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    (Original post by hellodave5)
    Ah yeah, they are massively over subscribed - It really is just a roll dice amongst those with high 2.1's and firsts, it seems.

    You can always do it part time and work alongside (which I'm doing). Another option is to borrow as part of a postgraduate loan from Barclays or The Co-operative Bank - very reasonable interest rates of which are paid by the government whilst you're studying!


    Thanks for the help! I'm actually very lucky in that I can afford to do the MA without taking out a loan - I didn't work this past year but I had a job before then, so I can self-fund. I'll try and look for a part-time job whilst doing the course, but honestly I can get by without doing so financially - and if I don't absolutely have to then I think my time would be better spent making sure I fulfil my potential with my studies and getting my money's worth by spending extra time reading and studying rather than working.

    If I end up doing a PhD I almost think I'd rather take a year or two out and work full-time, then do the phd full-time without working. I think I'd prefer just focusing on one thing at a time, rather than spending all day at the library then my evenings doing bar work or whatever.
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    (Original post by apotoftea)
    (PhD application success rates are about 1 in 8 for AHRC)
    That's not so bad, especially when you factor in department studentships too. Certainly better than a lot of other competitive graduate options.

    (Original post by LouLou92)
    Thanks for the help! I'm actually very lucky in that I can afford to do the MA without taking out a loan - I didn't work this past year but I had a job before then, so I can self-fund. I'll try and look for a part-time job whilst doing the course, but honestly I can get by without doing so financially - and if I don't absolutely have to then I think my time would be better spent making sure I fulfil my potential with my studies and getting my money's worth by spending extra time reading and studying rather than working.

    If I end up doing a PhD I almost think I'd rather take a year or two out and work full-time, then do the phd full-time without working. I think I'd prefer just focusing on one thing at a time, rather than spending all day at the library then my evenings doing bar work or whatever.
    So have you been working since graduation? And do the universities know you have savings? I wonder if perhaps that could have influenced their decision - it makes sense to favour those with less options.

    You won't need to work during a funded PhD; the stipend is fairly generous.
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    (Original post by maskofsanity)
    That's not so bad, especially when you factor in department studentships too. Certainly better than a lot of other competitive graduate options..
    That's the latest figure for one of the smallest doctoral partnerships. From what I've heard from policy meetings, it's higher elsewhere.

    (Original post by ellie.rew)
    I have heard of this happening in History too, because many departments still have on their regulations that the only formal requirement is a good BA, but I have found (I was advised to do this) that it tends to be offered to students who have done an undergrad at an institution who are therefore a 'known quantity' and the department can feel comfortable offering them a PhD place without going through a masters course. It's never officially recommended and I got the impression that if you havn't been advised to do it by someone high up in the department, then they won't really consider you.
    You won't get History PhD AHRC funding without a Master's though unless regulations have changed in the last year? Also, remember that most PhD students start out as MPhil students until they pass their upgrade and are officially PhD students. Some people do fail their upgrade.

    (Original post by LouLou92)
    haha that's a great way of putting it!

    I didn't even know it was possible to do an arts/humanities phd without a master's! Even if I had the chance, I don't think I'd feel fully prepared to embark on a full-time PhD without having the experience and teaching at MA level, the MA seems like a good bridge from undergrad to phd.
    It's rare but does happen It does depend on the MA, I'm not sure I gained massive amounts from mine looking back. Again though, fairly sure you won't get AHRC funding without a Master's under your belt.


    (Original post by TurboCretin)
    What are the chances for those of us who haven't even done that??
    I was being slightly tongue in cheek but MA funding through the AHRC does not exist (bar Oxford's special Oxford MSt only pot) onwards of the 2014/2015 academic year. Institutional awards still exist but will most likely go to a student who is a known quantity.


    (Original post by LouLou92)
    Thanks for the help! I'm actually very lucky in that I can afford to do the MA without taking out a loan - I didn't work this past year but I had a job before then, so I can self-fund. I'll try and look for a part-time job whilst doing the course, but honestly I can get by without doing so financially - and if I don't absolutely have to then I think my time would be better spent making sure I fulfil my potential with my studies and getting my money's worth by spending extra time reading and studying rather than working.
    That'll depend entirely on your MA course - I felt like I'd gone back a year on mine (as did others). An English MA friend of mine worked one day a week, managed to do a part time intership and still get a Distinction...

    If I end up doing a PhD I almost think I'd rather take a year or two out and work full-time, then do the phd full-time without working. I think I'd prefer just focusing on one thing at a time, rather than spending all day at the library then my evenings doing bar work or whatever.
    If you're AHRC funded for PhD full time, you're not actually allowed to work, firstly because the funding is there to be spent and secondly, you're meant to treat it as a 9-5 Monday to Friday job. The only caveat is academic teaching at a maximum of six hours (so it says in my guidelines!)

    I'm most grateful for the two years I worked for before starting my PhD
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    (Original post by apotoftea)

    That'll depend entirely on your MA course - I felt like I'd gone back a year on mine (as did others). An English MA friend of mine worked one day a week, managed to do a part time intership and still get a Distinction...



    If you're AHRC funded for PhD full time, you're not actually allowed to work, firstly because the funding is there to be spent and secondly, you're meant to treat it as a 9-5 Monday to Friday job. The only caveat is academic teaching at a maximum of six hours (so it says in my guidelines!)

    I'm most grateful for the two years I worked for before starting my PhD
    Wow from everything I've heard the MA is a huge step-up. I'd love if it wasn't because at the moment I'm kind of intimidated by the amount of work I'll have on in september!

    Ah okay I didn't know that. Thanks for the help!


    (Original post by maskofsanity)
    So have you been working since graduation? And do the universities know you have savings? I wonder if perhaps that could have influenced their decision - it makes sense to favour those with less options.

    You won't need to work during a funded PhD; the stipend is fairly generous.
    No, my job was at uni and I've moved back home. Couldn't get a transfer or anything so had to quit. I've applied for part-time jobs here but have been rejected for all so far despite the fact that I now have a first class degree on my c.v. (maybe overqualified? I'm not sure).

    Actually that's a really interesting point - on my uni application it asked whether I was relying on funding or self-funding and I checked self-funding. Maybe that was a stupid thing to do in hindsight, but at the time I thought my chances of getting an offer might be worse off if I said I wanted an offer+funding rather than just an offer. To be honest it is fairer that someone else gets the funding if they couldn't afford to do it otherwise - I can manage without it, although of course it will be harder.
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    (Original post by maskofsanity)
    That's not so bad, especially when you factor in department studentships too. Certainly better than a lot of other competitive graduate options.
    Yeah some of the PhDs I applied for (NERC) were 1 in 36 chance
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    (Original post by apotoftea)
    That's the latest figure for one of the smallest doctoral partnerships. From what I've heard from policy meetings, it's higher elsewhere.
    You probably should have stated that in your post instead of just saying AHRC in general, which was misleading.

    Still, compare it to about 1 in 50 for grad medicine and law training contracts, 1 in 20 for Big 4, even worst for consulting, probably 1 in 100 for investment banking.

    Graduate options are tough across the board.
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    (Original post by redferry)
    Yeah some of the PhDs I applied for (NERC) were 1 in 36 chance
    1 in 36 is very competitive but no different to the above careers. That's what it's like now for ambitious graduates - you need to be well prepared and realistic, as do most graduates who want to be in a top career.
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    (Original post by maskofsanity)
    You probably should have stated that in your post instead of just saying AHRC in general, which was misleading.

    Still, compare it to about 1 in 50 for grad medicine and law training contracts, 1 in 20 for Big 4, even worst for consulting, probably 1 in 100 for investment banking.

    Graduate options are tough across the board.
    That is AHRC - for one of the new AHRC doctoral partnerships (three institutions, one of which is small). I've yet to see others but give it time and they'll be published. On average though it's usually tougher than that, it's a new system this year. Plus remember universities such as QMUL, Warwick, Birkbeck and LSE don't have AHRC for the next five years.


    (Original post by maskofsanity)
    1 in 36 is very competitive but no different to the above careers. That's what it's like now for ambitious graduates - funding is certainly not as rare as "unicorns" and all this nonsense, but you need to be well prepared and realistic, as do most graduates who want to be in a top career.
    AHRC MA funding outside of Oxford from this September onwards is as rare as unicorns as it does not exist. They've scrapped it. Insitutional MA funding whilst incredibly limited will still be available, whether fees only or fees plus a grant. Though if there's only one spot and 35 applicants, chances are still incredibly low.

    Totally agree about Graduate Entry Medicine - absolutely mad statistics, you should see the numbers who sit the exams, let alone get to interview!
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    (Original post by LouLou92)
    Wow from everything I've heard the MA is a huge step-up. I'd love if it wasn't because at the moment I'm kind of intimidated by the amount of work I'll have on in september!

    Ah okay I didn't know that. Thanks for the help!
    It should be a step up so pick your course and institution wisely
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    (Original post by maskofsanity)
    1 in 36 is very competitive but no different to the above careers. That's what it's like now for ambitious graduates - you need to be well prepared and realistic, as do most graduates who want to be in a top career.
    True, I did win the one in 36 to get the title, but fell at the last hurdle, missing out on the 3 in 15 chance of getting funded after the interview. So I guess, really, the odds of getting a PhD were 3/15th of 1 in 36. (One in 180? Is that right?)
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    (Original post by apotoftea)
    That is AHRC - for one of the new AHRC doctoral partnerships (three institutions, one of which is small). I've yet to see others but give it time and they'll be published. On average though it's usually tougher than that, it's a new system this year. Plus remember universities such as QMUL, Warwick, Birkbeck and LSE don't have AHRC for the next five years.

    AHRC MA funding outside of Oxford from this September onwards is as rare as unicorns as it does not exist. They've scrapped it. Insitutional MA funding whilst incredibly limited will still be available, whether fees only or fees plus a grant. Though if there's only one spot and 35 applicants, chances are still incredibly low.

    Totally agree about Graduate Entry Medicine - absolutely mad statistics, you should see the numbers who sit the exams, let alone get to interview!
    Very competitive, but if as an applicant you realise that this is the state of top graduate destinations and everyone is facing them, then it seems more realistic and manageable. While there isn't a great deal of AHRC funding, there also isn't a great deal of applicants compared to, for example, PwC which had 30,000 applicants last year for around 1,000 places.

    Yeah I misread that and edited - it's completely correct. MA funding really is like gold dust, although this year there was actually a considerable amount as HEFCE injected huge amounts into taught masters (lots of £10,000 scholarships, though there were conditions to qualify).

    You have to be a brave soul to go near GEM. Law is just the same now though.
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    (Original post by redferry)
    True, I did win the one in 36 to get the title, but fell at the last hurdle, missing out on the 3 in 15 chance of getting funded after the interview. So I guess, really, the odds of getting a PhD were 3/15th of 1 in 36. (One in 180? Is that right?)
    What do you mean 1 in 36 to get the title? To get an interview?

    All you need to know is how many applicants and how many offers. It sounds like you're saying there were only 3 places because 3 in 15 doesn't make sense (it's 1 in 5) so I presume you mean 3 places for the 15 people who make it to interview? If there were 540 applicants then it's 1 in 180. That of course is extremely competitive, though certainly not typical and will be offset by all the other studentships you apply to which increases your odds. No one just applies to one funding opportunity which is 1 in 180 unless they're nuts (or a genius).
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    (Original post by maskofsanity)
    What do you mean 1 in 36 to get the title? To get an interview?

    All you need to know is how many applicants and how many offers. It sounds like you're saying there were only 3 places because 3 in 15 doesn't make sense (it's 1 in 5) so I presume you mean 3 places for the 15 people who make it to interview? If there were 540 applicants then it's 1 in 180. That of course is extremely competitive, though certainly not typical and will be offset by all the other studentships you apply to which increases your odds. No one just applies to one funding opportunity which is 1 in 180 unless they're nuts (or a genius).
    Yeah basically the way it worked was 15 students got a title, they got interviewed and of those 15 three got funded.

    True, I only applied to NERC funding though, but there was similar odds at York (this was at Leeds) too. I was so painfully close too, ended up top of the reserves list. I got the PhD with the phenomenally better 36 out of 800 odds in the end.
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    I'm waiting to hear back on a 10,000 opportunity masters scholarship from York.

    They have 50 to give away...results come back in a week or so.
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    (Original post by apotoftea)

    I was being slightly tongue in cheek but MA funding through the AHRC does not exist (bar Oxford's special Oxford MSt only pot) onwards of the 2014/2015 academic year. Institutional awards still exist but will most likely go to a student who is a known quantity.
    I was kidding myself
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    (Original post by maskofsanity)
    What do you mean 1 in 36 to get the title? To get an interview?

    All you need to know is how many applicants and how many offers. It sounds like you're saying there were only 3 places because 3 in 15 doesn't make sense (it's 1 in 5) so I presume you mean 3 places for the 15 people who make it to interview? If there were 540 applicants then it's 1 in 180. That of course is extremely competitive, though certainly not typical and will be offset by all the other studentships you apply to which increases your odds. No one just applies to one funding opportunity which is 1 in 180 unless they're nuts (or a genius).
    That's difficult to know. AHRC funding is shared between three or four unis, so you have to guess the combined number of applicants to all the PhD programs of these unis. Moreover I often found that faculties don't tell how many studentships they offer, they just say "we offer many/several faculty studentships".
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    (Original post by apotoftea)

    You won't get History PhD AHRC funding without a Master's though unless regulations have changed in the last year? Also, remember that most PhD students start out as MPhil students until they pass their upgrade and are officially PhD students. Some people do fail their upgrade.


    It's rare but does happen It does depend on the MA, I'm not sure I gained massive amounts from mine looking back. Again though, fairly sure you won't get AHRC funding without a Master's under your belt.
    (Original post by LouLou92)
    Wow from everything I've heard the MA is a huge step-up. I'd love if it wasn't because at the moment I'm kind of intimidated by the amount of work I'll have on in september!
    Yes, the point about not getting funding without a masters is valid and one of the main reasons I didn't take up the offer to go straight to PhD (the only funding I would even have a shot at would have been partial stipends and tuition waivers, along with teaching work in my second year).

    It does seem that whether an MA is worthwhile or not seems to depend on the individual circumstances. My masters has certainly been a step up from undergrad and I feel I've learnt a huge amount and been challenged, but it's been a realistic challenge that I could rise to. One of the important things (I've felt) is that I moved universities, because adapting to the different culture/approaches/methodologies and frameworks used by my current department (who are on the whole a lot more theoretically grounded than my undergrad one) has been one of the biggest challenges. It's not something I gave much thought to, but even just a change in location/people can be incredibly educational.

    On the question of odds, I know that for my History in Oxford, there were 9 fully-funded places, plus the Clarendon Scholars (30 for the whole Humanities Division). In 2012/13 there were 265 applications, so assuming a similar number this year that actually boils down to a not-too-shabby 29/1 odds of getting full funding, excluding Clarendon and other general/external awards.
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    (Original post by ellie.rew)
    Yes, the point about not getting funding without a masters is valid and one of the main reasons I didn't take up the offer to go straight to PhD (the only funding I would even have a shot at would have been partial stipends and tuition waivers, along with teaching work in my second year).

    It does seem that whether an MA is worthwhile or not seems to depend on the individual circumstances. My masters has certainly been a step up from undergrad and I feel I've learnt a huge amount and been challenged, but it's been a realistic challenge that I could rise to. One of the important things (I've felt) is that I moved universities, because adapting to the different culture/approaches/methodologies and frameworks used by my current department (who are on the whole a lot more theoretically grounded than my undergrad one) has been one of the biggest challenges. It's not something I gave much thought to, but even just a change in location/people can be incredibly educational.

    On the question of odds, I know that for my History in Oxford, there were 9 fully-funded places, plus the Clarendon Scholars (30 for the whole Humanities Division). In 2012/13 there were 265 applications, so assuming a similar number this year that actually boils down to a not-too-shabby 29/1 odds of getting full funding, excluding Clarendon and other general/external awards.

    I bet Oxford has more money to dole out though?

    The MA sounds like a very valuable experience. I'm changing unis too so I hope I'll find it as worthwhile. I know it'll be a step-up but hopefully it'll be cumulative just like moving from second year to final year
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    (Original post by ellie.rew)
    On the question of odds, I know that for my History in Oxford, there were 9 fully-funded places, plus the Clarendon Scholars (30 for the whole Humanities Division). In 2012/13 there were 265 applications, so assuming a similar number this year that actually boils down to a not-too-shabby 29/1 odds of getting full funding, excluding Clarendon and other general/external awards.
    You could potentially argue that the competition will be tougher though and those awards that are open to both home and international students, even more so.

    Basically be the best you can and cross your fingers!

    I wish I'd enjoyed my MA and it been a step up but sadly it wasn't.
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    (Original post by apotoftea)
    You could potentially argue that the competition will be tougher though and those awards that are open to both home and international students, even more so.

    Basically be the best you can and cross your fingers!

    I wish I'd enjoyed my MA and it been a step up but sadly it wasn't.
    Of the 9, I think only 2 (maybe 3?) are open to internationals, the rest are AHRC, topped up with departmental and college money. There are also a few (maybe 2 or 3?) ESRC funded places, but only if your history is quantitative enough. So still, yeah, cross your fingers!

    (Original post by LouLou92)
    I bet Oxford has more money to dole out though?

    The MA sounds like a very valuable experience. I'm changing unis too so I hope I'll find it as worthwhile. I know it'll be a step-up but hopefully it'll be cumulative just like moving from second year to final year
    Oxford has more money, but it's a big name university so attracts more applicants (and significantly more internationals). It's a bit of a catch-22 really and often it can be easier to get funding from a smaller/less 'prestigious' uni, simply because there's less competition from ridiculously smart people.

    My masters has been a bigger jump than any year-to-year jump at undergrad, but less of a jump than A-level to uni, if that helps?
 
 
 
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