Join TSR now and get answers to all your questions about uniSign up now

Why do postgrad applications typically require two references?

    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    It just seems a ridiculous requirement to me, the only reference I could get is one from my university, I don't have a job so I can't get a reference from any employer.

    The only other option I have is asking my old sixth form to write a reference, but it's been so many years since I left there that asking them for a reference just seems pointless, I don't see what they could add to my application or what they could write even.

    The way most universities require two references for postgrad seems a bit over the top in my opinion, as if they're actively trying to create barriers to people applying as surely they most be aware that some applicants aren't in the position to get two references?
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by TobaccoSmoke)
    .......
    Two references is pretty standard for everything. You had more than one lecturer at uni, so ask another one.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by threeportdrift)
    Two references is pretty standard for everything. You had more than one lecturer at uni, so ask another one.
    Undergraduate degrees only require one reference. I didn't think of asking two lecturers for a reference, is obtaining two references from the same place generally seen as acceptable?
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    It's generally not hard to get two references. Your tutor and dissertation supervisor is a common combination.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by TobaccoSmoke)
    Undergraduate degrees only require one reference. I didn't think of asking two lecturers for a reference, is obtaining two references from the same place generally seen as acceptable?
    It's usual to ask for two. Some postgraduate applications ask for three references, in fact. It is after all normal to be taught by more than one person in the course of an undergraduate degree.

    I couldn't say why universities usually require more than one, but perhaps people who impress two academics while at university are more likely to be effective postgraduates than people who impress just one academic. Undergraduate degrees only require one reference, but they're also less challenging and admit more students. When admitting a small number of postgraduates for more demanding study which may use up more resources per student capita, a university might want to screen the applicants pretty carefully.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by TobaccoSmoke)
    Undergraduate degrees only require one reference. I didn't think of asking two lecturers for a reference, is obtaining two references from the same place generally seen as acceptable?
    Yes, two references from the same place is fine. You will nearly always need two referees for employment purposes, sometimes three.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    How does the process of getting references for postgrad applications normally work? Do my referees have to write and then send the references directly to me to attach to the application, or do I just put the details of the referees for the universities to contact?

    I know how it works varies from university to university, I just want to get some idea of what is the most typical system before starting to apply.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by TobaccoSmoke)
    How does the process of getting references for postgrad applications normally work? Do my referees have to write and then send the references directly to me to attach to the application, or do I just put the details of the referees for the universities to contact?

    I know how it works varies from university to university, I just want to get some idea of what is the most typical system before starting to apply.
    generally the university will send your referees a link to a reference portal where they can upload their references directly onto the application, so once you submit the application the link will be sent straight to them. it's generally good to give your referee's a heads up as to when and how the reference will be sent so they know to expect it :+)
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by TobaccoSmoke)
    ..........
    You ask 2 or 3 people if they would be happy to act as your referee for a series of applications for [give them something generic like 'a Masters in History' or a job in HR or whatever, gives them a clue what they might be asked to write about]. If they say yes, and university staff usually do, unless they think they have to say something bad about you - then check with them you have their prefered email, landline and an address.

    You give potential employers/courses the contact details of your referees, only when asked.

    You generally have nothing to do with the references, the university/employer goes direct to the referee when they want to. The days of the applicant already having a printed letter of reference from a 3rd party are pretty much long gone.
 
 
 
Poll
Do you have exam superstitions?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Quick reply
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.