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    Hi everyone!

    I hope I've posted in the right place, I could really use some advice!

    Last year I graduated from a Russell group university with a 2:2 in mathematical physics. Despite my grades usually being between 60-80% I failed two exams (due to circumstances that I can't really go into, and aren't really the kind of thing you can get extenuating circumstances for). At the moment I'm working full time as a software developer.

    I'm looking to study for a masters degree in applied mathematics, with the intention of studying phd and finally moving into some kind of research career in the future. Despite my BSc score I genuinely believe I am capable but obviously it's hard to find good Master's course that will accept me with this grade.

    I could really use some advice on where I should go from here! For example:

    -I noticed I can study for a graduate diploma in mathematics instead of a masters, would this be a good starting point? Where would I go from there?

    -Would it be a good idea to apply for master's courses at universities with much lower rankings than for example King's/Manchester etc? Is a Master's degree from these places going to help me get onto a phd program?

    -I've looked into studying abroad (partially because I noticed courses are cheaper in mainland europe) would this be a good idea?

    Sorry for the long post, but I'm really stuck at the moment and don't know where to go from here. I'm willing to work as hard as it takes to get where I want to be. Any advice would be great!

    Thanks guys
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    (Original post by ragnallis)
    Hi everyone!

    I hope I've posted in the right place, I could really use some advice!

    Last year I graduated from a Russell group university with a 2:2 in mathematical physics. Despite my grades usually being between 60-80% I failed two exams (due to circumstances that I can't really go into, and aren't really the kind of thing you can get extenuating circumstances for). At the moment I'm working full time as a software developer.

    I'm looking to study for a masters degree in applied mathematics, with the intention of studying phd and finally moving into some kind of research career in the future. Despite my BSc score I genuinely believe I am capable but obviously it's hard to find good Master's course that will accept me with this grade.

    I could really use some advice on where I should go from here! For example:

    -I noticed I can study for a graduate diploma in mathematics instead of a masters, would this be a good starting point? Where would I go from there?

    -Would it be a good idea to apply for master's courses at universities with much lower rankings than for example King's/Manchester etc? Is a Master's degree from these places going to help me get onto a phd program?

    -I've looked into studying abroad (partially because I noticed courses are cheaper in mainland europe) would this be a good idea?

    Sorry for the long post, but I'm really stuck at the moment and don't know where to go from here. I'm willing to work as hard as it takes to get where I want to be. Any advice would be great!

    Thanks guys
    Spend the next 5+ years working on something relevant and get into a Masters on the basis of your professional experience, not your undergrad degree.
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    Sometimes a uni will accept you onto a PGDip with a 2:2, and will allow you to progress to the full Masters if your coursework grades are suitable. Might be worth shopping around to see if that applies for any of the Masters courses in your field. However a PGDip on its own is unlikely to enable you to progress to a PhD.
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    (Original post by threeportdrift)
    Spend the next 5+ years working on something relevant and get into a Masters on the basis of your professional experience, not your undergrad degree.
    I'm not really sure this is something I could do, how would I get 5 years of work experience relevant to Applied mathematics? Thanks for the reply though!

    (Original post by Klix88)
    Sometimes a uni will accept you onto a PGDip with a 2:2, and will allow you to progress to the full Masters if your coursework grades are suitable. Might be worth shopping around to see if that applies for any of the Masters courses in your field. However a PGDip on its own is unlikely to enable you to progress to a PhD.
    That is a very good idea! I didn't know this was possible, do you know of any Universities that do this? I'm going to have a look now! Thanks for the reply!
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    Have you tried applying for a funded PhD straight up? Your industrial experience (and reference) will look good and if your tutor from uni will provide an explanation of your transcript you have a slim chance at least... Quoting EPSRC:

    "Students must be able to demonstrate “a capability to undertake and benefit from research training through to completion, to the standard necessary to qualify for a PhD.” This normally requires an upper second class honours degree, or a combination of qualifications and/or experience equivalent to that level. However, universities can use their discretion in deciding whether candidates are suitable for research training."
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    It's worth noting as well that university rankings have much lower importance when it comes to post graduate study. If you were planning to return to industry afterwards then it would be important still as employers are more likely to be impressed by unis they know are higher on the general rankings, say UCL or Imperial. But if you're planning to stay in academia (which it sounds like you are, correct me if I'm wrong) then the most important things are going to be the research areas the maths department at each university focuses on. Also the actual facilities that will be available to you and partnerships/collaborations that the department has for the MSc/Project you're interested in.

    Using myself as an example, I had an offer from both Imperial and Leeds to do MSc in Geophysics. I decided to go with Leeds because I truly believe that they offer better facilities, better support, and have better links with Industry than Imperial. Despite Imperial's reputation.

    If you're planning to do a MSc then a PhD I would recommend choosing the Uni for your MSc that you would also want to do a PhD with. As then you have a year to really get to know the department. Firstly so you know you're making the right choice given the commitment of a PhD. Secondly it will help your application for the PhD and its funding if you already know the supervisors for the PhD by being one of their MSc students.

    If it turns out the Uni with the research you're interested is still a top Uni with a 2:1 entry requirement then you're still in the same boat. Some unis will consider your application if you have related work experience which could help you. But naturally I assume you'd want to start your post grad studies now rather than working for a couple of years.
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    (Original post by ragnallis)
    That is a very good idea! I didn't know this was possible, do you know of any Universities that do this? I'm going to have a look now! Thanks for the reply!
    Friend of mine's doing it at Birmingham at the moment, but she's on the Humanities side so I can't offer any more specific info for maths. Just a case of shopping around and seeing what - if anything - is out there.
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    (Original post by paddy_)
    Have you tried applying for a funded PhD straight up? Your industrial experience (and reference) will look good and if your tutor from uni will provide an explanation of your transcript you have a slim chance at least..
    I've already been rejected from a Master's course from two institutions, is there any reason why I'd be more likely to get onto a maths or physics PhD Program? My work experience in programming isn't really that relevant to them, even if it involved some programming.


    (Original post by Klix88)
    Friend of mine's doing it at Birmingham at the moment, but she's on the Humanities side so I can't offer any more specific info for maths. Just a case of shopping around and seeing what - if anything - is out there.
    Okay awesome I'll check Birmingham, haven't found anything else similar so far unfortunately



    (Original post by Jonnyishman)
    It's worth noting as well that university rankings have much lower importance when
    it comes to post graduate study. If you were planning to return to industry afterwards then
    it would be important still as employers are more likely to be impressed by unis they know are
    higher on the general rankings, say UCL or Imperial. But if you're planning to stay in academia
    (which it sounds like you ...

    So it isn't unlikely for someone with Master's from say, Manchester Met to study for a PhD at university of Manchester providing they got a good grade? Ideally I would like to do both at the same institution but I've had very few replies so far, can't exactly be picky!
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    (Original post by ragnallis)
    So it isn't unlikely for someone with Master's from say, Manchester Met to study for a PhD at university of Manchester providing they got a good grade? Ideally I would like to do both at the same institution but I've had very few replies so far, can't exactly be picky!
    Honestly I wouldn't know about Manchester Met and Manchester Uni. They sound like two different establishments to me. However if they do share a department or there's a large cross over of facilities and faculty then it may help your case.
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    (Original post by ragnallis)
    So it isn't unlikely for someone with Master's from say, Manchester Met to study for a PhD at university of Manchester providing they got a good grade? Ideally I would like to do both at the same institution but I've had very few replies so far, can't exactly be picky!
    Mobility between differently-ranked unis is pretty common at postgrad level. They're really looking at you as an individual and whether you're the right person for the job. You're more likely to be asked about your Masters dissertation/thesis research, than why you chose a former poly.
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    (Original post by ragnallis)
    Hi everyone!

    I hope I've posted in the right place, I could really use some advice!

    Last year I graduated from a Russell group university with a 2:2 in mathematical physics. Despite my grades usually being between 60-80% I failed two exams (due to circumstances that I can't really go into, and aren't really the kind of thing you can get extenuating circumstances for). At the moment I'm working full time as a software developer.

    I'm looking to study for a masters degree in applied mathematics, with the intention of studying phd and finally moving into some kind of research career in the future. Despite my BSc score I genuinely believe I am capable but obviously it's hard to find good Master's course that will accept me with this grade.

    I could really use some advice on where I should go from here! For example:

    -I noticed I can study for a graduate diploma in mathematics instead of a masters, would this be a good starting point? Where would I go from there?

    -Would it be a good idea to apply for master's courses at universities with much lower rankings than for example King's/Manchester etc? Is a Master's degree from these places going to help me get onto a phd program?

    -I've looked into studying abroad (partially because I noticed courses are cheaper in mainland europe) would this be a good idea?

    Sorry for the long post, but I'm really stuck at the moment and don't know where to go from here. I'm willing to work as hard as it takes to get where I want to be. Any advice would be great!

    Thanks guys

    I thin people worry too much about getting a 2:2. A friend of mine got a 2:2 when we graduated and I got a 2:1, he got into a much better university than me. He ended up going to St Andrews (commonly seen as the next best after oxbridge)! Don't worry, just make your personal statement amazing, and tie in extra curricular/career based stuff as well.
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    (Original post by ragnallis)
    I've already been rejected from a Master's course from two institutions, is there any reason why I'd be more likely to get onto a maths or physics PhD Program? My work experience in programming isn't really that relevant to them, even if it involved some programming.
    If you spin your application to emphasise a particular skill that you can bring to their research group (such as programming) then you might get lucky. If I were in your position i'd look for theoretical or systems engineering projects within experimental physics groups. Also, if you choose to do this always email the supervisors before applying with a CV and some questions about the project and be up front about your situation.
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    Do one with the Open University while you are working?
 
 
 
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