Are Merit Masters degrees respectable?Watch
Need more help on going postgrad?
Is a Merit at masters level respectable or is it seen the same way as a 2:2 at undergrad? Does anyone know the percentage of students that get a distinction?
Of course there is no proof of any of this. There are no percentages as postgraduate study is not government funding and universities are not required to provide any relevant statistics to the likes of HESA. You could ask individual departments but I doubt even they would know without having to do some research first.
I think things get a little more subtle post-Masters, than just the basic grade.
Very few people in my MSc group obtained Distinctions. Only one student within my MSc cohort at UCL obtained a Distinction and that was very rare according to the course director. Also, I think some universities differ on awarding distinctions. Some require an overall 70% average and at least a 70% average in a dissertation. Others award distinctions if students obtain at least 70% in four modules and at least a 70% in a research dissertation.
Also, with some careers (ie health psychology) applicants need at least a Merit in an MSc in Health Psychology to progress onto stage 2 professional doctorate in health psychology.
With applicants with 2.2 undergrad degrees, for admissions onto the clinical psychology doctorate, for some universities, some applicants require at least a Merit with a 65% average to meet the eligibility criteria.
All in all, I think a Merit at MSc level is beneficial for career progression, especially within psychology careers.
I have A diploma in sports Massage with merit
My results were 87% and 88%.
So I guess you need to get 90% to get distinction
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However, if you must compare, consider this:
Master's pass = 2.1
Master's with Merit: First
Master's with Distinction: Displays scholarly level capability (just as, I would argue, a First at undergraduate shows an understanding of a subject that borders Master's capability.
Completing an intense course in itself is fairly challenging. Pass and merit are quite common at masters level.
My masters (archaeology at Oxford) also doesn't offer a merit - it's either a fail, a pass or a distinction. It's a bit annoying that what is called a merit elsewhere is simply classed as a 'pass' here, but I guess you can stipulate the actual result breakdown in situations where it matters.
There's also the issue that for about 95% of Oxford masters students that's totally irrelevant as it's only applicable to people who do their undergraduate degrees at Oxford, AFAIK.
High Pass 70-74%
‘Leave to continue’ 67%
Borderline Fail 59%
Absolute Fail 58%
After this, they started spreading out the upper range of that scale-- I don't know if that actually represents a different number for the same quality of work, or just encouragement not to squeeze everyone into the same two or three scores. The new scale is:
75 +: Marks of 75 and above indicate work of Distinction level
70-74: Marks of 70 to 74 are awarded for work of high quality, which nevertheless falls below the level required for a Distinction. These marks clearly support leave to continue to the PhD.
67-69: Marks of 67 to 69 are strong marks which will help the candidate securely to pass the course but will normally exclude leave to continue to the PhD. [BIG difference from my year. I don't know if an old 67 paper would get a 70 now, or if they're just lifting the entrance ladder just a bit higher.]
63-66: Marks of 63 to 66 are solid but medium-range marks.
60-62: Marks of 60 to 62 are weak pass marks.
And then the marginal and outright fails as above.
Oxford's internet-based application asks whether I got a P, M, or D-- and strictly speaking, I got none of those. If I were to translate Cantab-speak to Oxonian, however, I might be able to say "D", since the Oxford scheme in a similar degree is meritless:
But that would only cause problems, so I'm going with "other" and the actual numerical marks.