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Shall I bother to apply for a PhD if I'm not going to get funding? Watch

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    (Original post by Aph)
    I'm pretty sure you'll find that accredited degrees will have the core papers checked to make sure they have what they say on the tin... Also you'll find that as you move up the rankings of unis (generally) you see more people getting higher grades. If your theory were correct we'd expect to see relitively similar distributions in each uni which isn't the case.
    This article, which does argue for standardisation, explains how the system isn't standarised, as universities set their own exams, while also explaining why more people get higher grades at the better universities: https://www.timeshighereducation.com...017652.article

    Specifically in regard to accredited degrees, a certain baseline standard is enforced, but the difficulty still massively varies. Huddersfield requires BBB to get onto its law course; Cambridge requires A*AA, with many students surely exceeding their offer. If the same criminal law papers and coursework were provided to both universities, then everyone at Cambridge would get a first as they'd find it easy, and most at Huddersfield will struggle, with basically no-one getting a first. Yes, more people get higher grades at better universities, but not to the extent that would occur if accredited degrees/modules were standardised. Universities write exam papers that are suitable for their students, meeting the external requirements yet retaining significant freedom. So, papers at the better universities are significantly more difficult, and it's therefore more difficult to get a 2:1 or a first; people do get the higher grades because the entry requirements to get in are higher in the first place.

    This TSR thread may also be interesting to you: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=2000875.
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    (Original post by john2054)
    In 2010, in Cambridge University (excluding subjects with an undivided Class II):

    Class I: 22.9 %
    Class II, division 1: 57.6 %
    (total 80.5%)
    Source: http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/univ/camd...ate.html#exams

    Derby:
    • Good Honours66.1
    http://www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk/derby

    According to these statistics it is something like 15% harder to get a 2.1 at Derby than it is at Oxbridge. So you are wrong there again.
    All this shows is that more students get 2.1s/1sts at Cambridge than Derby. It says nothing of the standard of work required to get them. Considering that the most academically successful students in the UK go to Cambridge, it is hardly a surprise that their percentage of graduates with 2.1s/1sts is higher than Derby.
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    (Original post by doctorwhofan98)
    This article, which does argue for standardisation, explains how the system isn't standarised, as universities set their own exams, while also explaining why more people get higher grades at the better universities: https://www.timeshighereducation.com...017652.article

    Specifically in regard to accredited degrees, a certain baseline standard is enforced, but the difficulty still massively varies. Huddersfield requires BBB to get onto its law course; Cambridge requires A*AA, with many students surely exceeding their offer. If the same criminal law papers and coursework were provided to both universities, then everyone at Cambridge would get a first as they'd find it easy, and most at Huddersfield will struggle, with basically no-one getting a first. Yes, more people get higher grades at better universities, but not to the extent that would occur if accredited degrees/modules were standardised. Universities write exam papers that are suitable for their students, meeting the external requirements yet retaining significant freedom. So, papers at the better universities are significantly more difficult, and it's therefore more difficult to get a 2:1 or a first; people do get the higher grades because the entry requirements to get in are higher in the first place.

    This TSR thread may also be interesting fro you: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=2000875.
    im aware that uni exams aren't standardised, and they probably shouldn't be too much because they are designed to test what you have learned and if the uni wants to do specific advanced modules. And my suppositions were based on what I leaned for my uni choises. I found that the lowest ranked only had 15% getting a first and the highest 65%+ year on year. But I do imagine that it has more to do with teaching and quality then exams.

    Anyway this is probably derailing the thread. I should just say that employers (other than some high up companies) won't discriminate based on where you went to uni...
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    (Original post by Aph)
    Also you'll find that as you move up the rankings of unis (generally) you see more people getting higher grades. If your theory were correct we'd expect to see relitively similar distributions in each uni which isn't the case.
    Because the increase in capability of Oxbridge students is disproportionately larger than the decrease in difficulty of lower-ranked universities' exams.
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    (Original post by Aph)
    I should just say that employers (other than some high up companies) won't discriminate based on where you went to uni...
    I'm afraid this simply denies human nature and logic. As an aside, it isn't discrimination - you can only discriminate against someone on the basis of certain defined and protected characteristics, such as gender, marital status etc, academic ability is not a protected characteristic. More generally, discrimination suggests a bias based on an unfounded basis and academic ability is rarely an irrelevant attribute in the working environment.

    But to the point, general ability is rarely something humans don't consider when deciding whether to work with someone - it is a sensible strategy even at an evolutionary level. To simplify the employer's position - if you were a football team manager, and it cost more or less the same amount to buy any new player, you'd naturally be more interested in Premier league players than say county players. That doesn't mean you'd never look beyond the premier League, but you'd always be open to the possibility, read the application, etc.

    The graduate arena has changed dramatically, whereas the Blair era ushered in an expectation of degree level study and a drive to get 50% of school leavers into HE, no thought was given to the simple fact that this devalues the 'currency' of a degree - it's Economics 101. Then with the sudden change to the current era of student loans, its simply disingenuous to suggest it doesn't matter where you gain your degree and that all universities are equal when you are spending £40k on your degree.
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    (Original post by john2054)
    This is what she said, a 1.1 in the final year and 69 overall. There is a 2% give way at my university, with the final year's grades being the deciding factor. And being that she said she passed the final year with a first, that means in theory she would have definitely got a first overall, no questions asked. You guys are just too gullible i'm afraid!
    You're an absolute moron. I got a 66 in second year and 71 in third year, which rounded to a 69. Grow up and get off of this thread.
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    To everyone else, thank you very much for the time and effort you put into replying to my post. I appreciate it and am a little more hopeful for my applications to come. All the best.
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    I think a massive part of getting funding for a PhD (more important than your BA grade) is the strength and individuality of your proposal and, crucially, your references. This is why it's really important to actually go and see and get to know the staff in your department while you're doing your undergrad. It's also very helpful if your supervisor at the university you want to go to for your PhD knows you, and guides you through the application process. I'm not saying they're going to fill in your application for you, but they should drop hints about what direction you should be heading in with your proposal in order to get the attention of the ESRC or whichever funding body you're going for.

    I got 69% for my BA, but it was rounded up to First Class (Hons) on appeal due to a technicality. During my MA I applied to do PhDs at two universities and I ended up getting funded offers at both. If I'd not got such strong references (one of them was four pages long) I don't think I would have got funding.
 
 
 
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