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    Hi,

    Does anyone know if doing an MPhil (provisional PhD place) in the 2017-18 session with the intention to upgrade to a PhD in 2018, preclude an application for the new government funded PhD loans (for English students) upon a successful upgrade?

    Thanks!
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    (Original post by Eliza92)
    Hi,

    Does anyone know if doing an MPhil (provisional PhD place) in the 2017-18 session with the intention to upgrade to a PhD in 2018, preclude an application for the new government funded PhD loans (for English students) upon a successful upgrade?

    Thanks!
    You would need to speak to the specific university. Usually, the first year of a PhD, while nominally called something different, still counts as PhD study. So for my PhD, the first year I was registered as 'not at first registered for any degree' - as a formal designation! However, everything else accepted I was on a PhD course/programme/period of study etc.

    I suspect your MPhil (provisional PhD place) would be a registration whereby if you successfully upgraded, you wouldn't be awarded the MPhil and would progress to 2 further years of PhD study (as you can't usually get two degrees awarded for the same piece of work, which your first year would be). I also suspect that if you failed your upgrade, you wouldn't automatically get the MPhil, you'd have to meet the MPhil standard. So if the MPhil designation is just the University's vehicle for expressing a first year PhD, then it will probably qualify for the new PG loans (caveat that I haven't looked in any detail)
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    Thanks so much for your reply, threeportdrift! Yes, the set up is that the MPhil designation acts as a vehicle for expressing a first year PhD student in my college, but 'officially' the status of a PhD student is not given until after the upgrade. I think you are also right re the awarding of the MPhil outright if the upgrade is not granted. I am not eligible for the Masters loan for the MPhil as I already have a taught Masters, but the PhD loans don't seem to have any solid criteria available about them.. and this awkward first year seems not to be mentioned at all in the info that has been released on the PhD loans.. or at least the stuff I have found!
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    (Original post by Eliza92)
    Thanks so much for your reply, threeportdrift! Yes, the set up is that the MPhil designation acts as a vehicle for expressing a first year PhD student in my college, but 'officially' the status of a PhD student is not given until after the upgrade. I think you are also right re the awarding of the MPhil outright if the upgrade is not granted. I am not eligible for the Masters loan for the MPhil as I already have a taught Masters, but the PhD loans don't seem to have any solid criteria available about them.. and this awkward first year seems not to be mentioned at all in the info that has been released on the PhD loans.. or at least the stuff I have found!
    Well at my uni, despite the name, the PhD was seen as a 3 year course, starting in year 1. Have you tried applying on that basis? I think the 'awkward' first year isn't mentioned because it isn't an issue, because the majority of Universities don't have these arcane and daft terms for the pre-confirmation year, you are just called a PhD student for all 3 years.
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    The problem is that the student can't apply for the loan until 2018 an they do not start until the 2018-19 session. So, if one had a place on a PhD to start 2017 but was only able to fund one year and wanted to apply for a loan for the second and third year if later funding was not secured, there is no indication in the info so far released as to whether this is a possibility or not.. 'Officially' not being a PhD student until the second year, logic would suggest that this is not a problematic plan but Student Finance England are anything but logical!
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    (Original post by Eliza92)
    The problem is that the student can't apply for the loan until 2018 an they do not start until the 2018-19 session. So, if one had a place on a PhD to start 2017 but was only able to fund one year and wanted to apply for a loan for the second and third year if later funding was not secured, there is no indication in the info so far released as to whether this is a possibility or not.. 'Officially' not being a PhD student until the second year, logic would suggest that this is not a problematic plan but Student Finance England are anything but logical!
    Hey Eliza - sorry dragging this up but interested to know where you got to. Have you been able to get a loan for your Mphil? Im in exactly the same position. Want to start a PhD before the loans come in so was hoping to get the first year via a postgrad master loan then either see if I'm eligible when I 'upgrade; or at least only have two years to pay for!
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    Hey, am interested in this post. Am currently on the PhD starting with the MPhil of course as you don't get directly accepted into a PhD in UK. Please is there any update as to whether we are eligible for the student loan?
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    (Original post by Berakah73)
    Hey, am interested in this post. Am currently on the PhD starting with the MPhil of course as you don't get directly accepted into a PhD in UK. Please is there any update as to whether we are eligible for the student loan?

    I spoke to the uni, and its still not set in stone - but no, if you have already started studying you won't be legible for the loan. If you begin an Mphil now, you can apply for the post-grad loan but if you intend to upgrade to PHD you will be ineligible. As such I am waiting until September to start my studies at which point I can get a full PHD loan
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    Hi, I'm just starting the first year of my PhD (MPhil year) and am unsure if i qualify for the 10,280 postgrad loan? I haven't taken out a postgrad loan already as i went straight from bachelors to PhD programme. Also, I have funding already in place from industry, but would be really helpful to secure the loan too. Also, as it'll be 2019 when i transition to the pull PhD course, does this mean its possible to be eligible for the 10,280 and 25,000 loans?
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    Here's the relevant passage from the gov.uk website 'doctoral loans'.
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    Hmmm. Glitch above and can't edit. Reworked below:

    The rules are fairly crudely expressed but the DfE and universities are keen for the scheme to succeed as it changes the basis of a lot of doctoral funding. They'll be keen to minimise gaming, and the need for gaming. Rules will be refined as applications start to come in.

    An example of gaming would be if you started a new PhD programme in August and took your first year's credit with you to another university which sees an opportunity to bag such transferees and changes the terms of its programme to suit. Some universities already stress that doctorates can take less than 3 years where previous research is in evidence.

    If you talk to the right people at your university, there's a pretty good chance they'll see the need (or already have seen the need) to re-engineer course descriptions to take full advantage of the new funding stream. In your case, that might mean saying that those who have completed the MPhil stage need to re-register as PhD students on a 2-3 year programme.

    For people like you in their first year of a doctorate (which the scheme agrees to fund over 3-4 years after all), it's perfectly doable. If I were you I'd crack on with that optimistic assumption.
 
 
 

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