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    (Original post by pendragon)
    Ah science... I am out of my depth already. But you probably have amazing references especially if they are paying you to do a MSc
    Not especially: it's really fairly common in the (physical, at least) sciences, and everyone on my course is similarly fully funded (10 of us, most with 2:2s, full fees + stipend).
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    "What are you thinking? What would you really like to do?"

    Thank you!!!

    I have read quite a lot of books about international politics and I have taken a international politics modules so I am very sure that I am my cup of tea. Actually, international politics especially strategic and security studies have long been my favourite subjects. In addition to this, I am very sure that an academic career in international politics is what I like most.

    I chose law just because I don't want to have my relatively excellent result 'spoilt' (6A1B1C in the HKCEE arts subject- I guess not more than thirty people in Hong Kong each year can get it - e.g. only about 1.5% of the total exam sitters can get an A in history or chinese history). Also, I thought I could do a master in politics after the LLB. However, now I really hate law. I am insufficiently motivated to study law hard! Law is very different from liberal arts subjects. It is professional and sometimes vocational. Also, it is quite difficult to get a 2:1 here (while the class median is 2.7 out of 4, the requirement of a 2:1 is 3. 2:1 in HKU LLB is not that easy.........)

    My not so outstanding performance reasonably means that I will not be able to get into a good graduate programme. I don't want to do research in international law or something closely related so I cannot see much relevance in what I am studying. I strongly feel that my career goal is 'in danger'. It was this passion that rendered a move to a UK politics degree desirable.

    Supplementary information:

    My case is a bit complex. Sorry!

    I was admitted by HKU via Early Admission Scheme (a scheme for top students in HKCEE) That means I can go into the university after F.6 (instead of the normal F.7 - HK system and UK system are exactly the same) and by-pass the A-level examination. Therefore, I cannot apply to Canadian and US universities because they need SAT result (I have insufficient transferrable credit). Obviously, I cannot study law and SAT or A-level at the same time so I only try UK universities............. My performance was not so great so I did not apply to good universities.

    During the second semester of my first year (I am now in second semester of my second year) I applied for internal transfer to Bachelor of Social Sciences of HKU but failed probably because of the very strict subsidy regulation (internal transfer is very difficult and thus possible only in truly exceptional cases). Actually, I do not know my exact market value. That makes it extremely difficult to assess my chance of getting into certain courses.
    (to be continued) Sorry and Thank you.
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    I am particularly interested in military and strategic things, perhaps with an East Asian focus.
    That's why I chose Aberstwyth. In UK only Aberstwyth and King's college, London Department of War studies provide such kind of courses. Obviously, I cannot get into King's college so Aberystwyth is my only choice in terms of academic content. Also, the department of Aberystwyth is 5* so I think it may help me to get into good graduate programmes.

    I choose SOAS because it has an Asian focus and the university is generally prestigious (It is part of U o L)
    I choose Essex because it has a 5* department and the university is at least more prestigious than Aberystwyth (in HK, not in UK)

    Therefore, I am very sure that Aberystwyth's programme suits me most and its department of international politics is the most prestigious one among the three but the overall prestige of the university is not so great, you know.......

    Being a university year two student, I think I am sufficiently qualified to say what I want to do and what I am really interested in.

    The core problem is therefore
    1. Whether I should choose an internationally known department in an unknown university.
    2. Whether a let's say, 1st class degree (which will be my target) in a less prestigious university hurt my chance of going to top graduate schools. As you know, applicants of the top programmes are normally 1st honours holders.
    Thanks a lot.
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    Pendragon, I am really grateful for your help.

    Thanks a lot!!!
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    Oh, I really hope my situation can be understood by someone

    I wrote two reply pages for it (above)! Sorry for that.

    Really sorry for the inconvenience caused.
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    (Original post by pendragon)
    Also as an undergrad at Ox, as soon as I get my honorary MA, I will automatically outrank anyone at Oxford who was not an undergrad there within the formal voting hierarchy, except the Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor I should say… Its quite funny, since there are plenty of people with Oxford DPhil’s who would remain jealous of me.
    To be precise, you will outrank everyone without a MA except the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and holders of Doctor of Divinity or Doctor of Civil Law.
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    (Original post by fredsmith365)
    But by that token, any first degree from one of the Scottish Ancients (or Dundee, which also admits members to the MA as a first degree due to it's historical background) similarly would require a lot more work than a degree from other universities, given that they also award the MA to people aged 21 (assuming no gap years etc; the Scottish MA is 4 years, but they enter a year earlier, and most English students with decent A-level grades can enter in the second year reducing it to the standard English 3 years).

    And yet it would be...unusual... to argue that an MA(Glasgow), MA(St. Andrews), MA(Aberdeen), MA(Dundee) or MA(Edinburgh) required vastly more work than say, a BA(LSE), BA(Dunelm) or BA(York). Even if this was argued, then on what grounds is the MA(Dundee) vastly better than, e.g. the BA(Heriot-Watt), given the two universities are typically fairly close under most metrics used and both operate within in the Scottish system?

    The fact that the first degree is the MA does not in any way imply a higher degree of scholarship; it's merely a misunderstanding of the historical background involved.
    I think that it does, generally such MA's are only given when the degree involves an undergraduate research thesis of some kind, and nobody at Oxbridge fails to recognise that at other universities the MA is a serious masters degree in its own right, retaining the use of it for undergraduates, whatever the historical origins of the practice, is an assertion of continuing elite historical status for these universities. As for the Scottish they are a different case, but an MA for a four year degree is understandable, and in recent years Oxford has introduced 'M' titles for advanced four year undergraduate degrees such as the 'MPhys'.

    To quote wiki on the purpose of the Oxbridge MA:
    "Technically, the function of the degree is to elevate a person in the Academic Order of Precedence [3] [4] - those holding MAs are naturally higher in the Order of Precedence than those holding BAs, and holding the MA reflects the relative seniority of those who have been a member of the University for longer. Note that in Oxford's case, the holder of an Oxford MA on its own is ranked above every doctoral degree holder not holding an Oxford MA, except holders of the DD and DCL degrees. Because of this, the Oxbridge MA is often conferred upon people taking up senior positions in the University (both academic and administrative), who would otherwise be ranked relatively low in the Order of Precedence.

    Most employers treat the Oxbridge MA as being of slightly higher value than a BA. This situation has been encouraged by the emergence of other undergraduate masters courses such as the MSci, MEng or MMath, which are superior to a bachelor's degree but lower in status than a postgraduate masters. Oxbridge MAs are seen by some as being within this cohort of advanced undergraduate degrees, mostly as a combination of the title of "Master of Arts" (as opposed to the title of Bachelor) and also by virtue of being granted by a leading research university with a long history."
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    (Original post by yeung3939)
    I am particularly interested in military and strategic things, perhaps with an East Asian focus.
    That's why I chose Aberstwyth. In UK only Aberstwyth and King's college, London Department of War studies provide such kind of courses. Obviously, I cannot get into King's college so Aberystwyth is my only choice in terms of academic content. Also, the department of Aberystwyth is 5* so I think it may help me to get into good graduate programmes.

    I choose SOAS because it has an Asian focus and the university is generally prestigious (It is part of U o L)
    I choose Essex because it has a 5* department and the university is at least more prestigious than Aberystwyth (in HK, not in UK)

    Therefore, I am very sure that Aberystwyth's programme suits me most and its department of international politics is the most prestigious one among the three but the overall prestige of the university is not so great, you know.......

    Being a university year two student, I think I am sufficiently qualified to say what I want to do and what I am really interested in.

    The core problem is therefore
    1. Whether I should choose an internationally known department in an unknown university.
    2. Whether a let's say, 1st class degree (which will be my target) in a less prestigious university hurt my chance of going to top graduate schools. As you know, applicants of the top programmes are normally 1st honours holders.
    Thanks a lot.
    I think you definitely should have applied to Kings College London for War Studies. 'Fortune favours the bold', even if you cannot get in, you should always give it a shot, after all what do you have to loose. You could try calling up Kings, explaining your situation and asking if they would accept a late application now, or during their clearance period. By the way TCD also has a Peace Studies department which is almost the same thing as Kings War Studies dept. (the irony!) I think that would have been a good shot. If Abber is really well known for your subject then go for it, but you cannot go by the 5* star ratings alone, one year while I was there Oxfords history dept was rated lower than Oxford Brookes history dept which to anyone who knows anything about it is nonsense. So get hold of someone who can give you the real lowdown to confirm Abber is really the best choice for your subject.

    And no getting a 1st trumps almost everything else so long as your university's dept. is respectable. If you get a 1st and it is a well recognised dept in the academic world you should definitely be able to get in somewhere decent for postgrad. Funding is another question, how do you plan to fund all this study, can your parents pay?
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    (Original post by pendragon)
    I think that it does, generally such MA's are only given when the degree involves an undergraduate research thesis of some kind,
    ...which a large number (if not a majority) of honours first degrees, BA, MA or otherwise, do: see, e.g., http://snipurl.com/ozsa .

    (Original post by pendragon)
    As for the Scottish they are a different case, but an MA for a four year degree is understandable,
    The Scottish MA is not a different case - by and large, it is exactly the same as an English BA - having spent the last year studying in Scotland, I have first-hand experience of this from shared lectures with undergraduates at fourth and fifth year lectures being the same level as those in the third and fourth years of my first degree in England - while this is in the sciences, I see no reason for this to be different in the arts. Saying "[it's understandable] for a four year degree" is a bit of a non-sequiter, frankly: a US first degree in the arts is typically the BA, but takes four years, to take just one example.


    (Original post by pendragon)
    and in recent years Oxford has introduced 'M' titles for advanced four year undergraduate degrees such as the 'MPhys'.
    Not just Oxford - a lot of universities do this - it's really fairly standard in the physical and mathematical science, and becoming so in the life sciences. (not sure if you were asserting this or not as it was a bit tricky to tell from the context: if not, just ignore )

    (Original post by pendragon)
    To quote wiki on the purpose of the Oxbridge MA:
    It's foolish in the extreme to rely upon Wikipedia as evidence of anything. I'll assume you know the reasons for this, they're really fairly obvious.

    (Original post by pendragon)
    whatever the historical origins of the practice, [the use of the MA] is an assertion of continuing elite historical status for these universities.
    Every university in the UK which predates the University of London, who started the use of the BA as the first degree in the UK (excluding Durham, which used to but changed it's practice in the 1950s, and adding in Dundee, which split off from St. Andrews in the 1960s and took up the St Andrews systtem) admits students to the MA as a first degree - 7 universities in all, ranging in league table positions from 1st to 38th (using the Sunday Times 2005 table, but a similar type of result would come out of any). In principle, most universities in the UK (i.e. excluding those who fall under special statutes) could choose tomorrow to admit students to the MA as a first degree. Hardly an "elite historical status" in and of itself.
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    Did i read hongkong? I was at the institute of education in tai po giving a paper at the international conference of inclusive education in 2005 - HK is a wicked place - absolutely mental, but great fun.
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    (Original post by The Boosh)
    Did i read hongkong? I was at the institute of education in tai po giving a paper at the international conference of inclusive education in 2005 - HK is a wicked place - absolutely mental, but great fun.
    Yup where I am and have grown up and gone to school, Im an expat Brit, I was born in London came out here at 2, and have only been back for undergrad. I love HK!!! I just went to the 7s recently, England won in a really close game against Fiji and it was such a great time!!!!!!!!
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    niiiiiiiice - i was hoping to go back actually, there is a conference at the uni of honk kong, international conference of special education i thiunk
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    i have a high 2.1. and extenuating circumstances, i am disabled and was in hospital 4 7 wks in my final year
    manchester business school is quite high up in the management school ratings! its about 4/5 in the times ratings.

    any thoughts about my chances....what i can do 2 improve them???? i am taking a yr out so have plenty of time to increase my chances.

    i plan 2 apply 2 oxford, manchester, lancaster, warwick and maybe bath.

    also can u apply 4 a esrc award 4 each uni or only 1???????.......i'm confused!!!!
    thanx 4 the help!
    luv jo.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


    (Original post by pendragon)
    Where is your undergrad degree from? How well recognised is Manchester Business school's MSc? I don’t know about business/economics. Look at the league tables (Times and Guardian - google it) and figure it out for me.

    What were you results from the MSc like? What was the average mark within your undergrad degree II.i? These things are important. I would say that if you have a very high average mark for undergrad (ie just missed a 1st), or if you got a distinction/top mark in your MSc then you have a good shot at getting into Oxford for a PhD. Otherwise not, unless Manchester is a very top place for your subject. Still apply anyway, what do you have to loose, just be sure to apply to lots of other places including insurance places that you can definitely get into, and don’t let all your hopes ride on any one place.
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    (Original post by jo131278)
    i have a high 2.1. and extenuating circumstances, i am disabled and was in hospital 4 7 wks in my final year
    manchester business school is quite high up in the management school ratings! its about 4/5 in the times ratings.

    any thoughts about my chances....what i can do 2 improve them???? i am taking a yr out so have plenty of time to increase my chances.

    i plan 2 apply 2 oxford, manchester, lancaster, warwick and maybe bath.

    also can u apply 4 a esrc award 4 each uni or only 1???????.......i'm confused!!!!
    thanx 4 the help!
    luv jo.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    Dont know about the funding, Im sure a high 2.1 with disability is good enough. Was your undergrad also at Manchester? You definitely have a good shot at Oxbridge then, but apply to all the places you are thinking of, postgrad is a very uncertain business.

    Improving your chances - if you are still doing a masters get the very best score you can, with a distinction or top mark your chances are greatly improved. In your year out (well you can only usefully utilise that bit of it before you submit your application) - publications are a big boost, if you cannot have academic ones like journal articles, then even newspaper or magazine articles that involve knowledge from your field are helpful. Thouroughly researching your proposed topic so you can write a really good thesis proposal helps. And lastly having a great job that is somehow relevent lined up for later in the year which you can mention in your app - ie I have an internship at goldman sachs or something like that in a months time.

    Hope that helps. Good luck! :p:
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    Welcome to Hong Kong! The Boosh, welcome!

    Have you been to Hong Kong Island, Lantau Island or Sai Kung?

    Also, just a silly question...

    Why the are degrees of University of Wales called BScEcon??? :confused:

    It seems that the degrees have nothing to do with economics. Is it a historical relic?

    Thanks.
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    (Original post by pendragon)
    I think you definitely should have applied to Kings College London for War Studies. 'Fortune favours the bold', even if you cannot get in, you should always give it a shot, after all what do you have to loose. You could try calling up Kings, explaining your situation and asking if they would accept a late application now, or during their clearance period. By the way TCD also has a Peace Studies department which is almost the same thing as Kings War Studies dept. (the irony!) I think that would have been a good shot. If Abber is really well known for your subject then go for it, but you cannot go by the 5* star ratings alone, one year while I was there Oxfords history dept was rated lower than Oxford Brookes history dept which to anyone who knows anything about it is nonsense. So get hold of someone who can give you the real lowdown to confirm Abber is really the best choice for your subject.

    And no getting a 1st trumps almost everything else so long as your university's dept. is respectable. If you get a 1st and it is a well recognised dept in the academic world you should definitely be able to get in somewhere decent for postgrad. Funding is another question, how do you plan to fund all this study, can your parents pay?
    Not really! That's why I have to choose a programme that can enable me to get into decent grad programmes and get decent funding..........

    Without a phd of top grad schools, I cannot really go back to Hong Kong and work as a professor there. It is because the salaries of HK universities' academic posts are among the highest in the world and the competition for such posts are no wonder very keen.

    That's why I have to be very concerned about the academic prospect of the degree programmes. Thank you very much
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    oh wrong grammar :p:

    sorry
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    (Original post by yeung3939)
    Not really! That's why I have to choose a programme that can enable me to get into decent grad programmes and get decent funding..........

    Without a phd of top grad schools, I cannot really go back to Hong Kong and work as a professor there. It is because the salaries of HK universities' academic posts are among the highest in the world and the competition for such posts are no wonder very keen.

    That's why I have to be very concerned about the academic prospect of the degree programmes. Thank you very much
    KCL War Studies is an excellent degree with a very good reputation. So if you get a 1st or high 2:1, your chances of getting into top grad school for masters are pretty high.
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    Yes of course! Thank you.

    But I have not applied to KCL because of my not so outstanding performance.

    I just want to know whether politics degrees of Essex, SOAS and Aberstwyth (international politics) are good enough. Which one is the best in terms of academic prospect!

    Sorry for bringing you trouble

    Thanks.
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    (Original post by yeung3939)
    Yes of course! Thank you.

    But I have not applied to KCL because of my not so outstanding performance.

    I just want to know whether politics degrees of Essex, SOAS and Aberstwyth (international politics) are good enough. Which one is the best in terms of academic prospect!

    Sorry for bringing you trouble

    Thanks.
    SOAS. Have you considered York, Manchester (Pol) and St. Andrews (IR)?
 
 
 
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