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Does failing an MA degree really affect the likelihood of admission to a second MA?

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    Recently I failed my MA degree in English Literature at St Andrews (they only gave me a PG Diploma), and I am considering applying for another MA/MPhil programme in the same or a related area in about 2 years. Do most universities in the UK require an absolutely CLEAN academic record from prospective students? Does my 'fail' grade really affect the likelihood of my being accepted into another MA programme in another institution, even if I could properly explain my failure?

    Thank you !
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    (Original post by pash913)
    Recently I failed my MA degree in English Literature at St Andrews (they only gave me a PG Diploma), and I am considering applying for another MA/MPhil programme in the same or a related area in about 2 years. Do most universities in the UK require an absolutely CLEAN academic record from prospective students? Does my 'fail' grade really affect the likelihood of my being accepted into another MA programme in another institution, even if I could properly explain my failure?

    Thank you !
    It depends on their view of 'properly explain'. Properly for you may not be sufficient for another university. it's not matter of a 'clean' academic record, it's where should the university invest it's relatively precious place on the course.
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    (Original post by pash913)
    Recently I failed my MA degree in English Literature at St Andrews (they only gave me a PG Diploma), and I am considering applying for another MA/MPhil programme in the same or a related area in about 2 years. Do most universities in the UK require an absolutely CLEAN academic record from prospective students? Does my 'fail' grade really affect the likelihood of my being accepted into another MA programme in another institution, even if I could properly explain my failure?

    Thank you !

    What was the reason you failed? was it academical? if so, it may be a waste of money to go for another one.

    If it was because you didn't enjoy the subject/supervisors then sure! go for it.
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    It depends why you failed. If you had say medical issues then you can easily address any concerns by using the two or so years to get yourself in a place where you can manage your health (or if it was a temporary issue point out that it's passed). Similary for other extenuating circumstances like family issues.

    If it was just an issue with your dissertation then you're going to need to explain what happened. Was it poor supervision? Do you understand what to do in similar cirumstances again? I.e. you want to convince your new institution that if the exact same thing happened again you would be able to deal with it effectively.

    Of course you will undoubtedly be a less competitive student but I don't think it would be impossible to get a place somewhere.
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    Your new uni would expect to see two good academic references from your first Masters uni. Can you find two members of staff willing to give you a reference, which explains in positive ways why you only had the PGDip? Would they recommend you for another Masters? If you can get the right referees you could be OK, but it might be a big ask - depends on what went wrong and why, the first time round.

    As has been said above, a uni is unlikely to take on a student they don't think is a good bet for completion.
 
 
 
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