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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 Nathanielle)
    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?
    Not necessarily , I'm saying alot of people who enroll onto master taught one year courses don't make full potential of these degrees. They might not make use of potential new job openings which they can acquire possibly new adapted skills. Fact is many still get jobs that they could have achieved with their UG degree, and by me saying not needed, its not to disregard anyone with a masters as lower than the others, it's with people who fall into the category I mentioned above, and on the basis that most jobs don't require a one year taught masters.

    I gave my reasons for why I thought it was easy to enroll onto these programs which are much broader than the one sole reason you quoted me, such as the impact of DTC, how many people wish to settle in high economic western countries and how much universities can receive based on international fees. the point you quoted was an indication I am pointed out that majority of graduate jobs dont specifically ask for a masters (which cant be attained at UG such as a MEng or architectural degree) and many who have attained them, employers are very wary of how beneficial it was to them and the candidate who completed this degree. Sure Masters are needed for certain disciplines, but generally speaking a BSc is the core degree needed and for a PhD , the role of researcher, professors, scientists, psychologist, historians all usually require this, so this is why I said the comments regarding it being the least sought.
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    (Original post by clh_hilary)
    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.
    Well yes but cant you attain the masters qualification with your bachelors degree as your UG degree? I'm specifically discussing taught master courses which in many cases architecture students finish this qualification at the end of their 4 year UG level, which is the same with engineers.

    Teaching is different, many people who just teach are not academics, I was specifically discussing the roles of professors and real academics at universities, where if you look at any half decent university most of them have a PhD.


    I know the benefits of Masters qualification for certain jobs, but I said that point with regards to why its relatively easy to get into a masters program. One of the reasons which you quoted was , which I maintain is that more jobs need just a 3 year UG degree compared to a one year masters. How useful it is is a different story but fact is most jobs do not specify a masters, compared to a BSc. That is why i feel with other reasons why it is relatively easy to get into these one year masters programs.
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    (Original post by maskofsanity)
    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.
    You have absolutely no evidence to show that Oxbridge graduates are advantaged against applicants from other institutions, let alone any evidence to suggest that most Oxbridge graduates went for postgraduate studies elsewhere for reasons other than their not being considered academically competitive enough. There would be a lot more Oxbridge graduates in grad schools if they are guaranteed places.

    It's not me who has a bias limiting my scope - it's you, my dear. You just keep trying to explain away any observable evidence, eg that many Oxbridge graduates have to go elsewhere for their postgraduate studies, whenever they don't serve to your stance.

    Maybe, just maybe, universities look a little deeper into just which institute you were from when they make decisions on offers.
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    (Original post by the greatest)
    Sure Masters are needed for certain disciplines, but generally speaking a BSc is the core degree needed and for a PhD , the role of researcher, professors, scientists, psychologist, historians all usually require this, so this is why I said the comments regarding it being the least sought.
    Ah, I see and agree, except with the quote above. I don't see a BSc sufficient to become a researcher and most PHDs don't accept an entry with a BSc no more and/or while they accept entries have a 1+3 structure or require you taking additional courses. Especially a professor has to be able to connect to other subjects than his own speciality and for that the curriculum of a BSc is in our days not sufficient. (In addition he should be able to teach students of any level.) Going from BSc to PHD is very rare internationally and becomes more and more difficult in the UK. Considering the level of courses in most BSc degrees I support that development. (In the industry it is different, a lot of jobs don't require an academic degree and/or more than just basic knowledge. An apprenticeship and/or BSc is totally sufficient.)
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    (Original post by the greatest)
    Well yes but cant you attain the masters qualification with your bachelors degree as your UG degree? I'm specifically discussing taught master courses which in many cases architecture students finish this qualification at the end of their 4 year UG level, which is the same with engineers.
    I'm not sure about the UK, but in Hong Kong and Australia, I'm 100% sure that you have to, I repeat, you must, have the master's degree to be licensed. Your undergraduate degree, whatever score you have, wherever you did it, does not matter.

    (Original post by the greatest)
    Teaching is different, many people who just teach are not academics, I was specifically discussing the roles of professors and real academics at universities, where if you look at any half decent university most of them have a PhD.
    Lecturers in universities who do not do research would need to have at least a master's degree. I mean, at least in proper universities, ie any university I had bothered to check, they do.

    But on their job notices, very rare do they ask specifically for a master's degree. It just so happens that without one you won't get hired.

    (Original post by the greatest)
    I know the benefits of Masters qualification for certain jobs, but I said that point with regards to why its relatively easy to get into a masters program. One of the reasons which you quoted was , which I maintain is that more jobs need just a 3 year UG degree compared to a one year masters. How useful it is is a different story but fact is most jobs do not specify a masters, compared to a BSc. That is why i feel with other reasons why it is relatively easy to get into these one year masters programs.
    That has nothing to do with the value of the masters but the mere fact that most people do not have a master's. If you have restricted yourself to hiring only applicants with postgraduate degrees, it will be very difficult for you to get enough applicants for the job. This is why unless it is relevant to the job, eg in teaching in university and architecture, they do not know that.

    Teaching didn't use to be a job for degree holders. Nowadays in Britain you can technically teach without a degree in some schools, too. But with the vast amount of university graduates available, what do you think your chances would be to teach in a proper school as a full-time teacher without a bachelor's degree? The same goes to most, if not all, professions. At least in teaching it makes sense to hire people who are academically more able. How about accounting? The graduates they hire are mostly not even more relevant disciplines. The bar is now higher only because they can set it that high now. If everybody has a master's, the requirement would be to have a master's.

    And that is also the reason why fewer people go for postgraduate degrees, because whilst it might give you a (slight) advantage in most every position, it is not needed; not having one wouldn't lead you to not having the job. And then the additional costs.

    ---

    Nevertheless, when talking about competitiveness into master's programmes, listing out figures such as 1 in 5 applicants got in compared to 1 in 8238234 at undergraduate level is irrelevant. All applicants to postgraduate programmes would be a lot more qualified than those to undergraduate programmes. You simply cannot compare it that way. It's like saying it's a lot easier to be a vice-chancellor of a university as 1 in 2 or 3 applicants can get in, compared to accountancy or whatever which have a lot more applicants and proportionally fewer offers.
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    (Original post by maskofsanity)
    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.
    Oh yes of course, because as many people can apply to said programme as its bachelor counterpart.

    The last Chinese presidential election only had one candidate, and that candidate eventually got elected into office. It has a 100% rate. It's less competitive than getting a job at McDonald's, that's for sure.
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    (Original post by Nathanielle)
    Ah, I see and agree, except with the quote above. I don't see a BSc sufficient to become a researcher and most PHDs don't accept an entry with a BSc no more and/or while they accept entries have a 1+3 structure or require you taking additional courses. Especially a professor has to be able to connect to other subjects than his own speciality and for that the curriculum of a BSc is in our days not sufficient. (In addition he should be able to teach students of any level.) Going from BSc to PHD is very rare internationally and becomes more and more difficult in the UK. Considering the level of courses in most BSc degrees I support that development. (In the industry it is different, a lot of jobs don't require an academic degree and/or more than just basic knowledge. An apprenticeship and/or BSc is totally sufficient.)
    Actually a doctorate, or any degree at all, is not an explicit requirement for professorship. For example, this professorship from Oxford did not specify such requirement. So since we are going by what's listed out in job notices instead of the reality, we can safely conclude that doctorates are worthless. :cool:
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    (Original post by clh_hilary)
    You have absolutely no evidence to show that Oxbridge graduates are advantaged against applicants from other institutions, let alone any evidence to suggest that most Oxbridge graduates went for postgraduate studies elsewhere for reasons other than their not being considered academically competitive enough. There would be a lot more Oxbridge graduates in grad schools if they are guaranteed places.

    It's not me who has a bias limiting my scope - it's you, my dear. You just keep trying to explain away any observable evidence, eg that many Oxbridge graduates have to go elsewhere for their postgraduate studies, whenever they don't serve to your stance.

    Maybe, just maybe, universities look a little deeper into just which institute you were from when they make decisions on offers.
    Only 35% of Oxford graduates go on to do any full time post-graduate course in the year following graduation and in the social sciences that falls to 24%.

    Only approximately 2/3rds of those who go on to further study read for a research degree or taught post-grad degree. Others are doing some kind of other course.

    Only 10% of Oxford graduates do a taught masters anywhere immediately after graduating.

    Unfortunately I do not have any stats broken down by home/EU/overseas, but my guess is that the proportions doing post-grad from overseas are quite a lot higher than for UK students.

    As Oxford offers very few post-grad courses that can be regarded as in any way vocational, a very large proportion of graduates have to go elsewhere in order to progress into a career.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    Only 35% of Oxford graduates go on to do any full time post-graduate course in the year following graduation and in the social sciences that falls to 24%.

    Only approximately 2/3rds of those who go on to further study read for a research degree or taught post-grad degree. Others are doing some kind of other course.

    Only 10% of Oxford graduates do a taught masters anywhere immediately after graduating.

    Unfortunately I do not have any stats broken down by home/EU/overseas, but my guess is that the proportions doing post-grad from overseas are quite a lot higher than for UK students.

    As Oxford offers very few post-grad courses that can be regarded as in any way vocational, a very large proportion of graduates have to go elsewhere in order to progress into a career.
    These mean nothing unless you have the proof that those who did apply for a taught master's programme at Oxford all got into it.
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    (Original post by clh_hilary)
    These mean nothing unless you have the proof that those who did apply for a taught master's programme at Oxford all got into it.
    Of course they mean something.

    In reality few internal applicants will fail to receive an Oxford offer because of the need for your tutors' support. The people who won't get in, never apply. However, not everyone who gets an offer will achieve the conditions of that offer.
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    (Original post by clh_hilary)
    Actually a doctorate, or any degree at all, is not an explicit requirement for professorship. For example, this professorship from Oxford did not specify such requirement. So since we are going by what's listed out in job notices instead of the reality, we can safely conclude that doctorates are worthless. :cool:
    Yeah, but reality ... Oxbridge has a keen interest to stay competitive and an academic a keen interest to be emplayable all over Europe due to the small amount of well-paid longterm positions in academia.
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    (Original post by clh_hilary)
    Oh yes of course, because as many people can apply to said programme as its bachelor counterpart.

    The last Chinese presidential election only had one candidate, and that candidate eventually got elected into office. It has a 100% rate. It's less competitive than getting a job at McDonald's, that's for sure.
    They are official postgraduate statistics form the horse's mouth.

    Your bizarre comparison is irrelevant. The statistics show that their courses are not actually competitive for UK graduates. You can either accept this objective admission provided indirectly by Oxbridge themselves, or you can carry on this mundane argument on your tod.
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    An interesting issue to be addressed would be to discover how many of the graduate students went to their master programs for a change in their career paths. I presume that easily, more than 70% of them chose a different path for their master. And that's extremely useful (and logical).

    Tech/engineering masters require the applicant to come from the same subject area, mostly because the degree offers a specialization within the same subject mastered by the student, which lowers the applicant per place ratio.

    That's not the case in the social sciences, where master programs are "independent" and normally don't require a specific skills set from the applicant. Therefore, it is extremely useful for these type of students to expand their knowledge/skills set by acquiring a master degree in a different subject (but of course, always maintaining some coherence in their choices).

    For example, I did my undergraduate studies in International Relations, with a strong emphasis in Political Science. Although I did the right choice based on my interests, this degree was extremely limited in providing me analytical tools and research methods. That's why I chose to do a Social Anthropology master; it is extremely related to my undergraduate studies and, when combined to a different degree, Anthropology becomes quite useful in the job market. And I chose to do it abroad, because an international experience is always valuable to a CV .
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    (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.
    I know, I wasn't suggesting that
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    (Original post by Nathanielle)
    Ah, I see and agree, except with the quote above. I don't see a BSc sufficient to become a researcher and most PHDs don't accept an entry with a BSc no more and/or while they accept entries have a 1+3 structure or require you taking additional courses. Especially a professor has to be able to connect to other subjects than his own speciality and for that the curriculum of a BSc is in our days not sufficient. (In addition he should be able to teach students of any level.) Going from BSc to PHD is very rare internationally and becomes more and more difficult in the UK. Considering the level of courses in most BSc degrees I support that development. (In the industry it is different, a lot of jobs don't require an academic degree and/or more than just basic knowledge. An apprenticeship and/or BSc is totally sufficient.)
    If you properly read my comment above I clearly say "and" before "most phds" in my first sentence. I never said that a BSc is solely sufficient for a PhD, those two topics I was discussing were unrelated.
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    (Original post by MichelBraga)
    Tech/engineering masters require the applicant to come from the same subject area, mostly because the degree offers a specialization within the same subject mastered by the student, which lowers the applicant per place ratio.
    That's not that case at all; it is in fact quite common for graduates to enter a masters in a different area, e.g. maths to computer science or economics, or physics to engineering.

    If the applicant per place ratio is generally lower in STEM (I don't doubt that it is, I just haven't seen figures to demonstrate it), I think it's because a higher proportion of those graduating in STEM fields at undergraduate level are satisfied with their career paths.
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    (Original post by clh_hilary)
    I'm not sure about the UK, but in Hong Kong and Australia, I'm 100% sure that you have to, I repeat, you must, have the master's degree to be licensed. Your undergraduate degree, whatever score you have, wherever you did it, does not matter.



    Lecturers in universities who do not do research would need to have at least a master's degree. I mean, at least in proper universities, ie any university I had bothered to check, they do.

    But on their job notices, very rare do they ask specifically for a master's degree. It just so happens that without one you won't get hired.



    That has nothing to do with the value of the masters but the mere fact that most people do not have a master's. If you have restricted yourself to hiring only applicants with postgraduate degrees, it will be very difficult for you to get enough applicants for the job. This is why unless it is relevant to the job, eg in teaching in university and architecture, they do not know that.

    Teaching didn't use to be a job for degree holders. Nowadays in Britain you can technically teach without a degree in some schools, too. But with the vast amount of university graduates available, what do you think your chances would be to teach in a proper school as a full-time teacher without a bachelor's degree? The same goes to most, if not all, professions. At least in teaching it makes sense to hire people who are academically more able. How about accounting? The graduates they hire are mostly not even more relevant disciplines. The bar is now higher only because they can set it that high now. If everybody has a master's, the requirement would be to have a master's.

    And that is also the reason why fewer people go for postgraduate degrees, because whilst it might give you a (slight) advantage in most every position, it is not needed; not having one wouldn't lead you to not having the job. And then the additional costs.

    ---

    Nevertheless, when talking about competitiveness into master's programmes, listing out figures such as 1 in 5 applicants got in compared to 1 in 8238234 at undergraduate level is irrelevant. All applicants to postgraduate programmes would be a lot more qualified than those to undergraduate programmes. You simply cannot compare it that way. It's like saying it's a lot easier to be a vice-chancellor of a university as 1 in 2 or 3 applicants can get in, compared to accountancy or whatever which have a lot more applicants and proportionally fewer offers.

    I'm a citizen and native of the UK, so I know the system well and in the UK a UG degree incorporated with a masters in architecture and engineering is more than sufficient to attain a good job. Worldwide is a different story as this is UK student forum mainly discussing UK student issues or topics so HK, Aus etc is irrelevant.


    Again your topic of discussion is all subjective of how relevant and competitive it is but like you stated yourself " And that is also the reason why fewer people go for postgraduate degrees, because whilst it might give you a (slight) advantage in most every position, it is not needed; not having one wouldn't lead you to not having the job. And then the additional costs."

    this is why I feel is one of the reasons why master courses in this country are not so difficult to get into. As I keep mentioning we can discuss with a PM how competitive and relevant you find master programs, but thats a a different topic. Your last paragraph has no basis for this topic, we are not discussing why we shouldn't base so much on statistics of competitiveness for master courses, but why they are so less competitive = more easy to get into.

    however you feel about masters courses is your own opinion and tbh I dont really care, I was answering a question based on the topic. I was using a general notion that most jobs dont need a masters, and the ones which do in this country as the industries mentioned can be attained at UG level. More graduate employers have a general requirement as either a BSc or a PhD and that is a reason IMO why one year master courses are easier to get into and like u said less competitive.
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    Using my degree as an example, you cannot progress in biochemical/biomedical research without a PhD. If you just have an undergrad degree, you are confined to becoming a lab assistant or technician in the field. In fact, getting onto a good PhD is incredibly difficult without a masters degree first and quite often top universities indicate strong preference to those with a masters level qualification.
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    (Original post by Smack)
    That's not that case at all; it is in fact quite common for graduates to enter a masters in a different area, e.g. maths to computer science or economics, or physics to engineering.

    If the applicant per place ratio is generally lower in STEM (I don't doubt that it is, I just haven't seen figures to demonstrate it), I think it's because a higher proportion of those graduating in STEM fields at undergraduate level are satisfied with their career paths.
    Perhaps, but the proportion of STEM graduates that chooses diferent paths for their masters is considerably lower than of Social Sciences graduates. And since they are more career focused, STEM graduates don't need a graduate level degree to succeed or stand out in the job market. An undergraduate program like Medicine or Engineering is more complete in this sense than a Sociology or even Law (in some cases) degree.

    So, from my point of view, it's easier to get into a STEM master program than a Social Sciences one, simply because the demand will be lower.

    Either way, I think a master program is always useful if you maintain some coherence with your initial study subject. It doesn't matter if it's not a requirement, employers will value it.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    Of course they mean something.

    In reality few internal applicants will fail to receive an Oxford offer because of the need for your tutors' support. The people who won't get in, never apply. However, not everyone who gets an offer will achieve the conditions of that offer.
    Yes, so it's anything but a 'guarantee'. It is certainly not just any 2:1 from anywhere in anything under any circumstances can do, and that there are other factors being taken into account when making offers.
 
 
 
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