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Why are Master's taught courses in the UK so stupidly easy to get into? Watch

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    Whats the average cost of a masters degree m

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    What is the Golden Triangle?

    Can I ask, is this true? I was thinking about applying for a Masters at universities like St. Andrews, Durham etc, you're saying you can get into these with any 2:1 degree?

    The point about the job dodging was interesting. What you want is a few years work experience (real work) and a Masters, that looks good.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    The 'Golden Triangle' is supposedly Oxford, Cambridge, ICL, LSE, UCL and KCL.

    There are a number of masters which you can only get into with a 1st at at least the first 4.
    Out of interest, which courses? I've never heard of an MA course specifically asking for undergrad from Ox, Cam, Imperial or LSE? Which discipline?
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    (Original post by the greatest)
    A masters course is generally seen as the least useful/necessary degree compared to a PhD and a BSc, to employers I mean. People will only take masters for numerous reasons (i) further studies for a PhD (ii) Change career path, so for example if you did engineering and wanted to be an actuary, one could easily do an MSc innit (iii) People feel guilty they didn't achieve their desired uni at BSc and feel they would like to achieve more, or for the sake of not wanting a job so quickly (iv) International students wanting to settle in a western/new country

    For these reasons, universities have realised the potential of making large amounts of money and considering a large chunk of these will be international students, more money will continue to be spent. I'm not saying a masters is useless, far from it but in certain situations people do masters for reasons which might not benefit their career compared to their regular BSc. Also that now and in the future many PhD places offered are via a doctoral trianing centre which composes of a general first year masters, so this method allows the transistion for people with just an UG degree, so master level courses on their own (in the sciences anyway) are becoming a less traditional way of persuing further studies.
    best explanation so far cheers!
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    (Original post by sadhukar)
    Pretty much anyone with a 2:1 can get into a golden triangle uni, even Billy from Midlands Polytechnic.

    Hell I know someone who got a 3.0 GPA in the US, failed his IB diploma and still got into UCL for a taught master's in economics.

    And the more important question - do employers know this?
    Hm, some will do, but then again: A 2:1 is not easy to get anywhere, which those employers who look at more than just the grade, will know, too. That is also the reason why e.g. an international student might be interesting, because competition is tough for those coming from countries/universities, where a 2:1 and/or a 1st is rare. Thus I would treat that "anyone with a 2:1" with caution, although I know exactly what you mean.

    At the end it really depends on the Master (cash cow extreme to "can't get a job without"-extreme), how fierce the competition is.

    Some employers might only look after grades, but not all do. But at the end it counts who is the best for the job and if a Master helps to accelerate the training period of the candidate, one might be prefered even with a relatively easy Bachelor. The problem then would be the funding, which means that only the inability of many to pay for a graduate degree, makes competition low, but not the need of employers for those with a Master.
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    I guess it's because a lack of demand?
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    You can get into most Master's courses at Oxbridge with a 2.1, though often they stipulate the 2.1 has to be a certain level (65%+). Usually, Master's courses at Oxbridge are a good deal easier than the undergraduate courses, and they can charge some tasty fees (College and course fees) which gives good incentive to let people on. Of course, there are many exceptions to this; Part III maths at Cambridge requires a high first and the course is very tough indeed. Many management, finance and econ courses also require a first and have stringent entry requirements, though this is probably more down to their popularity.

    Outside of Oxbridge, I think only very popular finance/management master's require a first to get onto.
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    (Original post by Eboracum)
    Out of interest, which courses? I've never heard of an MA course specifically asking for undergrad from Ox, Cam, Imperial or LSE? Which discipline?
    I mean there are masters courses at those universities which require 1sts, not that there are masters courses that require 1sts from those universities.
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    (Original post by Eboracum)
    What is the Golden Triangle?

    Can I ask, is this true? I was thinking about applying for a Masters at universities like St. Andrews, Durham etc, you're saying you can get into these with any 2:1 degree?

    The point about the job dodging was interesting. What you want is a few years work experience (real work) and a Masters, that looks good.
    Golden Triangle = 'triangle' of Oxford, Cambridge and London -> Imperial, UCL, LSE, and maybe KCL. And yes, it is true. If you have the 2:1, you might as well try for Oxbridge/Imperial/LSE/UCL.

    (Original post by Eboracum)
    Out of interest, which courses? I've never heard of an MA course specifically asking for undergrad from Ox, Cam, Imperial or LSE? Which discipline?
    What Observatory said is correct; some courses, especially the courses which the university is famous for, e.g. Medicine for UCL, Computer Science for Imperial, will require very high degrees. But the vast majority of them will require simple 2:1's, and there is always the 'name degrees', for example instead of 'Computer Science MSc.' at Imperial you can do 'Advanced Computing MEng' which will have alot less entry requirements and alot less work to do. This is an example of course, don't actually apply to an 'Advanced Computing MEng' in Imperial (if it actually exists).

    From what I observed, this seems to be the case especially for Finance courses. If I were you, I'd stay away from anything with 'Finance MSc.' - the amount of mediocre (note - I use this word not as an insult, but as the truth; after all you'd expect the best of the best in the likes of Oxbridge and Imperial and not average joe's) people subscribed to those courses is indeed absolutely staggering.
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    (Original post by Theophile)
    You talked to them, so what?

    I hope you realize the gulf between what you said you observed and the consequence you draw from it.
    So, it is not an observation but a direct admission from them? They admit themselves that there were times during their Bachelor's where they were more busy than doing their PhD.
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    (Original post by sadhukar)
    Pretty much anyone with a 2:1 can get into a golden triangle uni, even Billy from Midlands Polytechnic.
    There are some courses that require a First and there are many courses that require a high 2.1. Also, the applicants to offers ratios are fairly competitive, which doesn't sit well with your claim that anyone can get in with a 2.1, unless you assume that everyone who didn't get in had a 2.2, which is absurd.

    I have never heard of the "golden triangle" but it makes no sense as the university which is "golden" for you depends on your subject and specific research area.
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    (Original post by sadhukar)
    Pretty much anyone with a 2:1 can get into a golden triangle uni, even Billy from Midlands Polytechnic.

    Hell I know someone who got a 3.0 GPA in the US, failed his IB diploma and still got into UCL for a taught master's in economics.

    And the more important question - do employers know this?
    Too wide a generalisation. My taught Masters at an RG uni had an 8:1 application-to-offer ratio. Bit less selective these days - only 5:1.

    My cynical side says that an International student paying top whack for a finance or business-based Masters, would be welcomed in the upper tiers with rather more flexibility in entry requirements than a Home fee payer No facts to back this up, but your anecdote sounds like an example of this.
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    (Original post by sadhukar)
    Pretty much anyone with a 2:1 can get into a golden triangle uni, even Billy from Midlands Polytechnic.

    Hell I know someone who got a 3.0 GPA in the US, failed his IB diploma and still got into UCL for a taught master's in economics.

    And the more important question - do employers know this?
    "I know one person" ≠ the entire golden triangle application process.

    Especially for economics, I've just graduated with a high 2:1 in the discipline and knew that I wouldn't stand a chance in applying for LSE, Cambridge, UCL. My friend who is almost certain to graduate with the best mark on the course applied for various London uni's and his best offer was from KCL.

    (Original post by M'Ling)
    They just want your money. Don't be impressed by job-dodgers who talk of their up-and-coming Masters Degree. Most Unis will only care how you do in it if you apply for a PhD.

    Got the cash? Come on down! Just don't forget the cash...
    What about job's that specifically state that a Master's degree is a prerequisite, or at the very least very desirable? With the ever increasing amount of undergraduate's with at least a 2:1, don't you think that an MSc helps to differentiate from the rest?

    You state that Master's are cash cows, most non-finance/non London MSc's cost less than £9000, which is the going rate for one year of undergraduate study.
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    Same here, one of my friends with 3 internships related to his degree had good results - but not that good, average 2.1 - from Edinburgh uni and was rejected from LSE, UCL and King's. The reason is that they clearly put emphasis on the results of his previous degree.
    Moreoever if you look at the Intake/applications (available on LSE's website for instance), it's not that easy to get accepted into a Msc.
    Remember that the intake/applications at Oxford for a BSc degree is 1/6. From your perspective it seems pretty easy..
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    (Original post by frith27)
    "I know one person" ≠ the entire golden triangle application process.

    Especially for economics, I've just graduated with a high 2:1 in the discipline and knew that I wouldn't stand a chance in applying for LSE, Cambridge, UCL. My friend who is almost certain to graduate with the best mark on the course applied for various London uni's and his best offer was from KCL.



    What about job's that specifically state that a Master's degree is a prerequisite, or at the very least very desirable? With the ever increasing amount of undergraduate's with at least a 2:1, don't you think that an MSc helps to differentiate from the rest?

    You state that Master's are cash cows, most non-finance/non London MSc's cost less than £9000, which is the going rate for one year of undergraduate study.
    Thing is though there aren't that many jobs that are asking for that. Most want real life working experience as a way of differentiating between candidates
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    I've applied for LSE, UCL, Warwick and King's for master programs, Warwick and King's asked for a 3.3 GPA; LSE and UCL for 3.5. And I know that for LSE and UCL the applicant per place ratio was above 6. So I would say that your friend got lucky or he had a great professional background to compensate.
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    (Original post by jelly1000)
    Thing is though there aren't that many jobs that are asking for that. Most want real life working experience as a way of differentiating between candidates
    There are definitely jobs in the area I want to work in that ask for that, or at the very least it's becoming the norm among applicants.

    Internships can help bridge the gap between experience and higher education, getting glowing references from any employer helps you get noticed regardless of how much experience you may have.
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    (Original post by frith27)
    There are definitely jobs in the area I want to work in that ask for that, or at the very least it's becoming the norm among applicants.

    Internships can help bridge the gap between experience and higher education, getting glowing references from any employer helps you get noticed regardless of how much experience you may have.
    Atm most graduate schemes don't specify a masters. I know there are some areas they are needed e.g. Psychology and I'm doing one because I want to work for a think tank but its still the minority
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    (Original post by jelly1000)
    Atm most graduate schemes don't specify a masters. I know there are some areas they are needed e.g. Psychology and I'm doing one because I want to work for a think tank but its still the minority
    I recognise that it's still the minority, especially for graduate schemes. However who knows what the future holds, maybe the standard for graduate schemes will rise from a 2:1.

    If you genuinely love what you study and feel that it will benefit your career choices then I don't see why you should be put off taking an MSc in lieu of going straight into the job market.
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    Why are Master's taught courses in the UK so stupidly easy to get into?

    As already stated, this is a massive overgeneralisation.

    After my BSc I applied for a mix of MSc and PhD programmes. I was offered a PhD and wasn't even shortlisted for interview at one of the MScs.

    It all depends on the specific programme.
 
 
 
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