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

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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.
    It depends on the actual industry and companies. You cannot generalise things like that. Would a university, or a school not favour applicants with a higher degree? And then there are fields like architecture where you really need a master's to get a license.

    Even in the field of business, a master's degree can be valued. Why else would anyone do an expensive MBA or eMBA? My friend who's a broker is working in a company where literally everybody has a master's degree. Coincidence?
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    (Original post by Nichrome)
    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.
    MBAs from good schools require experience - grades are less important in this instance.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    I mean there are masters courses at those universities which require 1sts, not that there are masters courses that require 1sts from those universities.
    Also - there are more than a few people who did their undergraduate degrees at Oxbridge with a 2:1 but had to go elsewhere for their postgraduate degrees.

    If a degree from anywhere can lead you to Oxbridge, surely an Oxbridge one would guarantee you the place. But it doesn't.
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    (Original post by sadhukar)
    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.
    There indeed have been lots of dodgy finance-related masters, but just want to point out the fact that Masters of/in Finance tend to be more competitive. The dodgy ones tend to be the newly opened ones. A friend of mine applied to Warwick and they rejected him on the programme he's applied for but offered him to do their new programme. Both finance-related.
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    A lot of masters are simple cash cows, targeting either native workshy students or internationals who don't understand that the qualification is essentially meaningless.

    However in some fields qualification inflation is so bad that a masters degree is a pre-requisite; also, you will find that if you intend to work in Europe masters degrees are the norm over there. The other time a masters is useful is when you want to demonstrate commitment to a different field from your undergraduate degree, which after all you decided as a naive 17-ye
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    (Original post by Klix88)
    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.
    Potentially true for Americans, but not for other ethnic groups. At Oxford, for example, 50% of American applicants got in. But only 33% of Asians and 25% of Chinese.

    Here I think language might be a big factor.
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    (Original post by clh_hilary)
    So you're saying that KCL has trouble finding 10-20 applicants?
    Applicants who met the requirements for that particular course, yes. It's not surprising at all for a subject like Education which has a low number of applicants.

    (Original post by clh_hilary)
    Also - there are more than a few people who did their undergraduate degrees at Oxbridge with a 2:1 but had to go elsewhere for their postgraduate degrees.

    If a degree from anywhere can lead you to Oxbridge, surely an Oxbridge one would guarantee you the place. But it doesn't.
    The reason they went elsewhere will be down to funding first and foremost, or a host of other factors such as going to a better department/supervisor for their subject, wanting a change, etc. Nothing to do with getting an offer I would imagine as that's relatively simple, and even more so for alumni.
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    (Original post by maskofsanity)
    Applicants who met the requirements for that particular course, yes. It's not surprising at all for a subject like Education which has a low number of applicants.
    It's an MA that's more about the sociology of education than education studies. The requirement is a 2:2 degree. But yeah, I suppose KCL is hugely unpopular not even 20 applied. Don't even know how other schools survive.
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    (Original post by maskofsanity)
    Applicants who met the requirements for that particular course, yes. It's not surprising at all for a subject like Education which has a low number of applicants.



    The reason they went elsewhere will be down to funding first and foremost, or a host of other factors such as going to a better department/supervisor for their subject, wanting a change, etc. Nothing to do with getting an offer I would imagine as that's relatively simple, and even more so for alumni.
    I do know someone who went to Oxford for undergraduate who had to leave because he 'only' had a 2:1 and wasn't allowed back for postgrad.
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    (Original post by clh_hilary)
    It depends on the actual industry and companies. You cannot generalise things like that.
    This. I'm already working in my field and am going back for a taught MSc because there's only so far you can go with a BA. Completing an MA/MSc most definitely will earn you a pay boost and make it possible to lead projects just like a PhD holder would (depending on the client; some require PhDs, some don't, but there is plenty of desirable work for those with only a master's). That's not to say that there aren't fields and/or countries where the degree is not worth the money, but saying it's useless across the board is not accurate.
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    (Original post by clh_hilary)
    It's an MA that's more about the sociology of education than education studies. The requirement is a 2:2 degree. But yeah, I suppose KCL is hugely unpopular not even 20 applied. Don't even know how other schools survive.
    That course is unpopular, yes. They didn't get enough applications... which is what you said. The entry requirement was a 2.2 because demand was low.

    (Original post by jelly1000)
    I do know someone who went to Oxford for undergraduate who had to leave because he 'only' had a 2:1 and wasn't allowed back for postgrad.
    Did he apply for a course that required a 1st class or a higher 2.1 than he had?
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    (Original post by maskofsanity)
    That course is unpopular, yes. They didn't get enough applications... which is what you said. The entry requirement was a 2.2 because demand was low.



    Did he apply for a course that required a 1st class or a higher 2.1 than he had?
    I can only presume so
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    (Original post by maskofsanity)
    The reason they went elsewhere will be down to funding first and foremost, or a host of other factors such as going to a better department/supervisor for their subject, wanting a change, etc. Nothing to do with getting an offer I would imagine as that's relatively simple, and even more so for alumni.
    I know more than one Oxford undergraduate who has been rejected from a Cambridge M.Phil, to be honest. Postgraduate admissions for the latter hover around the 3:1 applications to offers ratio, varying across courses (compared to 1:5 at undergraduate). The discriminating factor is really funding, which is incredibly scarce.
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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.
    The majority of 2:1 holders might be able to get onto certain courses at certain universities in the 'golden triangle', but that fact isn't particularly representative or helpful. At least for Cambridge, 67% is frequently a minimum requirement, 70% is occasionally a minimum requirement, and they are rarely sufficient to ensure entrance. The vast majority of courses remain competitive, while funding - which is an effective precondition to entry for many people - is incredibly scarce.
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    (Original post by clh_hilary)
    It depends on the actual industry and companies. You cannot generalise things like that. Would a university, or a school not favour applicants with a higher degree? And then there are fields like architecture where you really need a master's to get a license.

    Even in the field of business, a master's degree can be valued. Why else would anyone do an expensive MBA or eMBA? My friend who's a broker is working in a company where literally everybody has a master's degree. Coincidence?

    Well actually in most cases of job advertisements, I'm pretty sure PhD's and BSc's are more sought out than an MSc in the sense they don't necessarily say an MSc is a requirement. Most degree jobs says they want a BSc, and many research,academics and scientist based jobs need a PhD. That's not to say an MSc isn't useful as I stated clearly in my whole response.

    Like you said it depends alot on the circumstances such as an industry, which I agree but the purpose of me stating my point you quoted is that it may help yes, but it is not needed! that is why they are relatively easy to get into after undergraduate level. Most master courses are useless and alot of the people who enroll in these programs don't use their degree to their full potenential in terms of getting a job or using the skills they require which are specifically needed for a certain job.

    And an MBA to a certain degree is arguably the most overpaid (given its one year/two year status) and ovverated degree by people. It should only be used for people who are looking to go in a much more managerial career or possibly setting up their own company. an MBA in many cases is not a requirement. I understand its potential but overall most jobs these days do not specifically call an MSc an actual requirement compared to the degrees I mentioned. That plus all the reasons I gave in my original post was to conclude why it is easy to get into a masters course these days.

    If you wish to discuss how useful a masters is thats a different conversation which is not related to this topic. PM if you wish you to continue this regarding your thoughts.
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    (Original post by the greatest)
    Like you said it depends alot on the circumstances such as an industry, which I agree but the purpose of me stating my point you quoted is that it may help yes, but it is not needed! that is why they are relatively easy to get into after undergraduate level.
    Are you sure? Why should there be another big hurdle after a Bachelor degree? I mean, the question is, why do you consider a degree, only because it is easy to get in (although at least you need an undergraduate degree with a 2:1) as useless? Maybe a Master should be in fact an option for much more than just the best?
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    At the end of the day, an MSc isn't going to hurt is it? Especially if you have the ability to pay like a lot of UK natives who do it do have.
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    (Original post by the greatest)
    Well actually in most cases of job advertisements, I'm pretty sure PhD's and BSc's are more sought out than an MSc in the sense they don't necessarily say an MSc is a requirement. Most degree jobs says they want a BSc, and many research,academics and scientist based jobs need a PhD. That's not to say an MSc isn't useful as I stated clearly in my whole response.
    I've already have pointed out the fact that you cannot get a license as an architect without a master's degree.

    Your comment on that it's not 'needed' because it's not stated out is also not sound. If you want to teach in a university, for example, the 'requirement' listed is often just an undergraduate degree but in reality that would lead you nowhere. Doctorates are definitely not required (but required for promotion) but masters are despite the fact that it's not listed as a requirement. Even vice-chancellorship may not list having any degree as a requirement, doesn't mean you don't need any.
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    (Original post by jelly1000)
    I do know someone who went to Oxford for undergraduate who had to leave because he 'only' had a 2:1 and wasn't allowed back for postgrad.
    It's also ridiculous to suggest that ​every single Oxbridge graduate who went for a postgraduate programme at Oxbridge did not go back to Oxbridge because of factors other than their being rejected on academic or experience grounds.
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    (Original post by Misovlogos)
    At least for Cambridge, 67% is frequently a minimum requirement, 70% is occasionally a minimum requirement, and they are rarely sufficient to ensure entrance. The vast majority of courses remain competitive, while funding - which is an effective precondition to entry for many people - is incredibly scarce.
    The courses aren't really competitive at Cambridge though - have you actually looked at their graduate admissions statistics? The only reason the stats appear somewhat competitive at first blush is simply because they are heavily skewed by the huge proportion of international applications. For Oxford they made up over 75% last year; for Cambridge over 60%. If you look only at the UK students, the applicants to offer ratios is over 50%. In my book, that is not competitive.

    (Original post by clh_hilary)
    It's also ridiculous to suggest that ​every single Oxbridge graduate who went for a postgraduate programme at Oxbridge did not go back to Oxbridge because of factors other than their being rejected on academic or experience grounds.
    It follows on from the above that alumni who meet the requirements are more or less guaranteed a place, even more so when you consider that Oxbridge like to promote from within. I didn't say everyone and I didn't say for all programmes (this is a thread about taught masters remember), but if you use a bit more deductive reasoning and bit less bias you might be able to understand.
 
 
 
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