MRes after MSc ? Watch
This brings me on to my question, is it worth it to do an MRes after my MSc in the same field ? I am sure that the extra 12 months of lab experience from an MRes would make me much more prepared for a PhD, given that I also did not have a lab based project in my undergrad.I am curious if this would effect my PhD applications in a positive or negative way.
Any comment/advice is much appreciated.
Although I think in your shoes, I'd be more concerned to ask staff whether I would ever have a realistic shot at a PhD. And if it seems unlikely at present, what (if anything) I could do to boost my chances. Perhaps make it an open question and see what ideas they come up with, rather than immediately jumping in with the suggestion of an MRes.
If lab experience is what matters, how can another 12 months in a lab be negative for my application?
Whilst a PhD in your field is lab-based, you will still need a raft of research and analytical skills to make sense of your lab results. You will also need the skills to present your findings and defend them in front of a viva panel. There may be an argument that if you haven't taken those from an MSc, then would you fare much better with an MRes? But we probably can't aswer that. It's really a lot to do with your personal skillset, situation, experience and aspirations.
You should also be aware that some unis charge a premium for a second Masters. Depending on your target uni's policy, you could find yourself being asked to pay fees which are much larger than those advertised. My department charges International fees for a second Masters, even for Home/EU students. I'd advise checking that where you are, if money might be an issue.
Although MSc and MRes are both level seven qualifications, an MRes is an opportunity to get experience of and be able to demonstrate different skills that are good preparation for a PhD. That's not to say that a MSc is not a suitable step towards PhD though because it certainly is. Your 2.1 grade at undergraduate also holds PhD weight (I have seen loads of funded PhD opportunities in your subject area).
I'd apply for a range of both MRes and PhD and see how you get on