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    I'v heard people say that you don't need a Masters necessarily if you want to do a PhD. I wanted to know how much truth there was in that, and if I would be better off doing a Masters, and then a PhD, instead of skipping a step.

    Currently doing a B.Sc. in Biochemistry (in Glasgow, which is a 4 year course) and I'd like to keep studying biochem, but will doing the Masters too benefit me greatly, or is it just a couple of extra years of study that I could do without?

    Thanks!
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    A PhD without a Master's is certainly possible, but applicants holding a Master's will be preferred. Doing a Master's has the benefit of allowing you to exlore a field in depth to see if you like it before you begin a PhD in it. This is better than trying a PhD straight away and realising you don't like it.
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    (Original post by Notleks)
    I'v heard people say that you don't need a Masters necessarily if you want to do a PhD. I wanted to know how much truth there was in that, and if I would be better off doing a Masters, and then a PhD, instead of skipping a step.

    Currently doing a B.Sc. in Biochemistry (in Glasgow, which is a 4 year course) and I'd like to keep studying biochem, but will doing the Masters too benefit me greatly, or is it just a couple of extra years of study that I could do without?

    Thanks!
    Very much depends on your field. It's common to go straight from undergrad to PhD in STEM subjects, so I'd say that's probably your route. Check out some of the PhDs being advertised on findaphd.com and look at their requirements.

    In the Humanities, a Masters (at a very good grade) is generally mandatory for a PhD - this is certainly true for my field.
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    Hi

    I will suggest a PhD. There is no place in the UK, that I know of, that offer direct PhD route without a masters training. Many people, who have done Masters and then PhD have complained that it was kind of a double-take, except those who just continued on the programme or course that they did their Masters.

    If you are certain that you want to pursue a PhD, then please go for it. Many universities offer this 1+3 programme, where you will be attending lectures and workshops as part of the first year. It is technically a Masters, but without the MSc certificate at the end.

    Reputable universities will also not allow you to just jump into a full research degree without supporting courses in your subject matter or modules such as "Research Methods"

    If you are on the fence and want a way out at the beginning, then pursuing a straight Masters will be the best option. You can 'test the waters' to see whether you are well suited to doing the subject for the next three years.

    Good luck
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    (Original post by Notleks)
    I'v heard people say that you don't need a Masters necessarily if you want to do a PhD. I wanted to know how much truth there was in that, and if I would be better off doing a Masters, and then a PhD, instead of skipping a step.

    Currently doing a B.Sc. in Biochemistry (in Glasgow, which is a 4 year course) and I'd like to keep studying biochem, but will doing the Masters too benefit me greatly, or is it just a couple of extra years of study that I could do without?

    Thanks!
    As some others have said, you will meet the entry requirements if you get a 2.1 but you need to think about whether you feel ready to commit to a PhD, feel like you're competitive enough for funding, know what you'd like to study and get out of your PhD and feel like you've had enough training to get on with it because you'll be expected to be fairly independent from fairly early on. It helps if you have a bit of research experience and know what working in research is like.

    (Original post by Wired_1800)
    Hi

    I will suggest a PhD. There is no place in the UK, that I know of, that offer direct PhD route without a masters training.

    Reputable universities will also not allow you to just jump into a full research degree without supporting courses in your subject matter or modules such as "Research Methods"
    This isn't true. 1+3 programs are now (they were fairly new when I started my PhD 5 years ago) fairly common in the field but there are plenty of places where you can go straight on to a PhD program whether or not you have a masters degree. People coming straight from undergrad may (not necessarily if they have research experience) struggle and there is varying levels of support available for them, depending on the uni but there are no uni regulations against someone coming straight from undergrad into a PhD or for them to have certain formal training.
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    (Original post by alleycat393)

    This isn't true. 1+3 programs are now (they were fairly new when I started my PhD 5 years ago) fairly common in the field but there are plenty of places where you can go straight on to a PhD program whether or not you have a masters degree. People coming straight from undergrad may (not necessarily if they have research experience) struggle and there is varying levels of support available for them, depending on the uni but there are no uni regulations against someone coming straight from undergrad into a PhD or for them to have certain formal training.
    That was why I stated that reputable universities do not throw new intakes (especially those from undergrad) into the deep end without support or formal training nowadays. The variety of universities will have differences in the level of training involved. As you wrote, the 1+3 program is now common and your experience of 5 years ago has slightly changed

    I have relations at UCL and Oxford as well as friends at Cambridge, who have all corroborated that these universities require some sort of training for all new PhD entrants. My relation has a double (BSc and MSc) degree from Warwick and she was still expected to got hrough the training as some of her colleagues, who came straight from undergrad. She felt that she should have gone directly to her PhD programme without the MSc year at Warwick because she met the requirements to go directly to the PhD from her BSc.

    I agree that there are varying levels of support, but I still maintain that if the OP is going to one of the universities with available research support, then they should go directly to the PhD because it may be more of a double-take to do an MSc and a PhD (i.e. if the programme is 1+3).
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    (Original post by Wired_1800)
    That was why I stated that reputable universities do not throw new intakes (especially those from undergrad) into the deep end without support or formal training nowadays. The variety of universities will have differences in the level of training involved. As you wrote, the 1+3 program is now common and your experience of 5 years ago has slightly changed
    I think you've misunderstood what I said. I collaborate with people at UCL and as far as I know there is no compulsory training for PhD students. It's very department specific. Same goes for Imperial and some of the other places I have collaborators at. Even where I work there isn't anything compulsory for PhD students. All I'm saying is that masters or not you should choose a project/uni that meets your needs. Don't go in expecting training but equally ask for it if you need it.

    1+3 programs may be more common but certainly aren't the norm. From just a brief search on findaphd.com you'll see that most projects advertised aren't part of a program but are standalone projects.

    Ps:- from having a brief look at the Oxford, Warwick and UCL biochem PhD pages I can see no mention of compulsory training for new PhD students.
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    (Original post by alleycat393)
    I think you've misunderstood what I said. I collaborate with people at UCL and as far as I know there is no compulsory training for PhD students. It's very department specific. Same goes for Imperial and some of the other places I have collaborators at. Even where I work there isn't anything compulsory for PhD students. All I'm saying is that masters or not you should choose a project/uni that meets your needs. Don't go in expecting training but equally ask for it if you need it.

    1+3 programs may be more common but certainly aren't the norm. From just a brief search on findaphd.com you'll see that most projects advertised aren't part of a program but are standalone projects.

    Ps:- from having a brief look at the Oxford, Warwick and UCL biochem PhD pages I can see no mention of compulsory training for new PhD students.
    I think this will be a back and forth post.

    To fully clarify what I previously wrote. The original poster asked whether it will be better to pursue a Masters before a PhD or to go straight to a PhD. My suggestion, provided there are sufficient support provisions for the PhD, was that they should directly go to the PhD to reduce the risk of “re-doing” the first year.

    I agree that one needs to choose the university that meets their needs. My assumption to this question is that the OP already knows their potential universities and what provisions are present there. So the question was whether they should do a Masters first.

    Here is an example from Cambridge Engineering

    “To obtain a PhD degree you must complete three years full-time training or an equivalent period of part-time work (see below), and carry out an original piece of research which makes a significant contribution to learning in one of the many research areas in the Department. The Department wants its research students to obtain an effective training in research and to broaden their background knowledge, as well as to undertake a novel research project. In their first year, students take a minimum of two taught modules from a wide range of courses offered by the Department. Modules consist of lectures and practical work, and each module involves about 40 hours of work.”

    I completely agree with you that this is not constant across many Universities, but it is gradually becoming the norm. I also agree that the training courses are usually department-specific, but it is present there.

    I am just trying to advise the OP on the best option they should take based on my own perspective. Some people may find doing a Masters degree very useful, others may just want to go straight to the PhD.
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    (Original post by Wired_1800)
    I think this will be a back and forth post.

    To fully clarify what I previously wrote. The original poster asked whether it will be better to pursue a Masters before a PhD or to go straight to a PhD. My suggestion, provided there are sufficient support provisions for the PhD, was that they should directly go to the PhD to reduce the risk of “re-doing” the first year.

    I agree that one needs to choose the university that meets their needs. My assumption to this question is that the OP already knows their potential universities and what provisions are present there. So the question was whether they should do a Masters first.

    Here is an example from Cambridge Engineering

    “To obtain a PhD degree you must complete three years full-time training or an equivalent period of part-time work (see below), and carry out an original piece of research which makes a significant contribution to learning in one of the many research areas in the Department. The Department wants its research students to obtain an effective training in research and to broaden their background knowledge, as well as to undertake a novel research project. In their first year, students take a minimum of two taught modules from a wide range of courses offered by the Department. Modules consist of lectures and practical work, and each module involves about 40 hours of work.”

    I completely agree with you that this is not constant across many Universities, but it is gradually becoming the norm. I also agree that the training courses are usually department-specific, but it is present there.

    I am just trying to advise the OP on the best option they should take based on my own perspective. Some people may find doing a Masters degree very useful, others may just want to go straight to the PhD.
    First off, you're talking about engineering at Cambridge. The OP is talking about biochem (also my field). Also, the quote you provided talks about the department, not the uni, which in itself should tell you that this is not the norm even across a single uni.

    You mentioned Oxford, UCL and Warwick in your previous post which is why I checked their requirements and there's nothing about compulsory training.

    Finally, you mention formal/masters training and I quote, 'There is no place in the UK, that I know of, that offer direct PhD route without a masters training. ' This is simply incorrect/misleading. So as someone who helps look after this forum I have to ask you to please refrain from posting incorrect information.
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    (Original post by Notleks)
    I'v heard people say that you don't need a Masters necessarily if you want to do a PhD. I wanted to know how much truth there was in that, and if I would be better off doing a Masters, and then a PhD, instead of skipping a step.

    Currently doing a B.Sc. in Biochemistry (in Glasgow, which is a 4 year course) and I'd like to keep studying biochem, but will doing the Masters too benefit me greatly, or is it just a couple of extra years of study that I could do without?

    Thanks!
    Are you doing a masters undergrad if it is a 4 year course?
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    (Original post by alleycat393)
    First off, you're talking about engineering at Cambridge. The OP is talking about biochem (also my field). Also, the quote you provided talks about the department, not the uni, which in itself should tell you that this is not the norm even across a single uni.

    You mentioned Oxford, UCL and Warwick in your previous post which is why I checked their requirements and there's nothing about compulsory training.

    Finally, you mention formal/masters training and I quote, 'There is no place in the UK, that I know of, that offer direct PhD route without a masters training. ' This is simply incorrect/misleading. So as someone who helps look after this forum I have to ask you to please refrain from posting incorrect information.
    No need to get upset.

    First, I agreed with you that PhD-level training and support was department-specific. When you showed that it was Biochem, I showed you a clip from Cambridge Engineering (my field)

    I did not give any incorrect information. In my first post, I specifically stated that there was training support in 1+3 (i.e. 4 year) programmes. For example, Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTP) and Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) usually have 4 year programmes managed by BBSRC & EPSRC, where the first year is formed as a Masters training.

    When I wrote 'There is no place in the UK, that I know of,that offer direct PhD route without a masters training.' That was what I meant because the places I knew, had a CDT or DTP pathway that incorporated training. Of course, I did not claim that all universities had the same system, that was why I wrote that there is no place that I know of.

    Here is Warwick [and here] that states that students undergo training as part of their first year on the CDT programme and UCL that states that researchers receive 14 weeks of taught training of core modules as part of a cohort (same CDT pathway).

    Link for Oxford, 1, 2, 3, 4

    I was just trying to help the OP with some information on other potential pathways that are probationary. I did not want the OP to think that they have to do a Masters degree, when there may be opportunities for them through Doctoral Training Partnerships and programmes.

    If you think that I am lying on this thread, then I withdraw all I have written.

    Since you are the boss of this forum, I will refrain from further posts. I just wanted to save myself before leaving.
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    (Original post by Wired_1800)
    No need to get upset.

    First, I agreed with you that PhD-level training and support was department-specific. When you showed that it was Biochem, I showed you a clip from Cambridge Engineering (my field)

    I did not give any incorrect information. In my first post, I specifically stated that there was training support in 1+3 (i.e. 4 year) programmes. For example, Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTP) and Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) usually have 4 year programmes managed by BBSRC & EPSRC, where the first year is formed as a Masters training.

    When I wrote 'There is no place in the UK, that I know of,that offer direct PhD route without a masters training.' That was what I meant because the places I knew, had a CDT or DTP pathway that incorporated training. Of course, I did not claim that all universities had the same system, that was why I wrote that there is no place that I know of.

    Here is Warwick [and here] that states that students undergo training as part of their first year on the CDT programme and UCL that states that researchers receive 14 weeks of taught training of core modules as part of a cohort (same CDT pathway).

    Link for Oxford, 1, 2, 3, 4

    I was just trying to help the OP with some information on other potential pathways that are probationary. I did not want the OP to think that they have to do a Masters degree, when there may be opportunities for them through Doctoral Training Partnerships and programmes.

    If you think that I am lying on this thread, then I withdraw all I have written.

    Since you are the boss of this forum, I will refrain from further posts. I just wanted to save myself before leaving.
    No one is getting upset but it is important that the correct information is on here because this is a public website. People need to be careful and specific about what they're talking about rather than making general statements which may be based on incomplete or incorrect information.

    Anyway, you've now clarified that you've been talking about doctoral training programs, which are specifically designed to include a year of formal/masters training, rather than PhD programs in general. These are still in the minority when it comes to Phd pathways and are very competitive. You also said that with 1+3 programs you don't get masters qualification which is incorrect. You do.



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    (Original post by alleycat393)
    No one is getting upset but it is important that the correct information is on here because this is a public website. People need to be careful and specific about what they're talking about rather than making general statements which may be based on incomplete or incorrect information.

    Anyway, you've now clarified that you've been talking about doctoral training programs, which are specifically designed to include a year of formal/masters training, rather than PhD programs in general. These are still in the minority when it comes to Phd pathways and are very competitive. You also said that with 1+3 programs you don't get masters qualification which is incorrect. You do.



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    You seemed upset about my posts all day.

    I understand that people need to be careful and specific, when they are making statements. Trust me, I know about plagiarism or falsifying information.

    The OP asked whether doing a Masters would benefit her greatly or whether it was something she could do without. Hence, my suggestion, since she seemed keen on progressing to the PhD level, was for her to do that.

    My subsequent argument was that she may not be disadvantaged for progressing to the PhD from her undergrad because there are some support structures for her in reputable programmes and universities (i.e. DTP and CDTs in Oxford, Warwick and co.). Yes, the CDT pathways are small, but it provides an opening, rather than telling the OP to just pursue a Masters that she probably may not need because she did not know about DTPs and CDTs.

    The 1+3 programme that my friends are on, which is evident in the Centre for Doctoral Training pathway for EPSRC, does not give you a Masters qualification after the first year. At the end of your first year, you submit a short report and have a PhD-transfer viva. Once you pass that, you automatically progress to your research years. There is no MSc qualification or anything like that. I do not state claims without knowing what I am talking about.

    I agree with you that I should have painted the whole picture (which I did not have time to do), but I was just trying to provide a possible solution to someone, who asked a question.

    Good luck
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    (Original post by Wired_1800)
    You seemed upset about my posts all day.

    I understand that people need to be careful and specific, when they are making statements. Trust me, I know about plagiarism or falsifying information.

    The OP asked whether doing a Masters would benefit her greatly or whether it was something she could do without. Hence, my suggestion, since she seemed keen on progressing to the PhD level, was for her to do that.

    My subsequent argument was that she may not be disadvantaged for progressing to the PhD from her undergrad because there are some support structures for her in reputable programmes and universities (i.e. DTP and CDTs in Oxford, Warwick and co.). Yes, the CDT pathways are small, but it provides an opening, rather than telling the OP to just pursue a Masters that she probably may not need because she did not know about DTPs and CDTs.

    The 1+3 programme that my friends are on, which is evident in the Centre for Doctoral Training pathway for EPSRC, does not give you a Masters qualification after the first year. At the end of your first year, you submit a short report and have a PhD-transfer viva. Once you pass that, you automatically progress to your research years. There is no MSc qualification or anything like that. I do not state claims without knowing what I am talking about.

    I agree with you that I should have painted the whole picture (which I did not have time to do), but I was just trying to provide a possible solution to someone, who asked a question.

    Good luck
    The only reason I keep quoting you is to correct/clarify incorrect/incomplete information. You may want to check your facts about the masters qualification with the 1+3 programs. The 1 is either an MPhil or an MRes year. The 'transfer' is transfer from masters level to Phd level.
    Again if you're unsure/don't have the time to check/post correct/complete information please be careful about what you do post.


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    (Original post by alleycat393)
    The only reason I keep quoting you is to correct/clarify incorrect/incomplete information. You may want to check your facts about the masters qualification with the 1+3 programs. The 1 is either an MPhil or an MRes year. The 'transfer' is transfer from masters level to Phd level.
    Again if you're unsure/don't have the time to check/post correct/complete information please be careful about what you do post.


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    I was writing about information shared from friends. I think that we have over-stressed this issue. The OP, by now, should have gotten (hopefully) some useful tips that should help her cause.

    Whatever her decision, I hope that she is aware of the opportunities present for her to choose rather than making an uninformed decision and potentially losing one year that she could have spent doing other useful things.

    Thank you for your rebuttals and it indeed helps others to have good enough information to make valuable decisions.

    Cheers.
 
 
 
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