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How important is the grade of your MSc dissertation? watch

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    Hi!

    So I am coming to the end of my MSc degree. Although I am still waiting to get one more essay grade back, and am still writing my dissertation, I've been calculating what grades I need to get to come out with particular awards (dangerous territory but the best kind of procrastination).

    Taking into account my current grades and weighting of modules, etc, if I get 50% in my dissertation I will come out with a 2:1 award. A 2:1 in a MSc degree makes me pretty damn happy, regardless of the fact it would be a low 2:1.

    However, after talking to some friends, I'm not sure if I should be happy with that. Firstly, it's been suggested to me that an overall award of a low 2:1 might limit me (in a way that a mid/high 2:1 wouldn't) in terms of applying for jobs, PhD and Doctoral (Clinical/Forensic Psychology) positions. Does anyone know how true this is, or could tell me a bit more?

    Secondly, I've been told that a low grade in my dissertation (below a merit) would limit me in a similar way, as employers/course directors are often interested in grades received in a dissertation, regardless if you've received a 2:1 overall or not. Again, anyone know a bit more about this?

    There were quite a few times during this MSc where I didn't think I would even pass, or just get a 2:2, so I've been pretty happy in the knowledge that it's likely I will finish with a 2:1 (so long as I pass my dissertation). But now I'm not so sure. Any help would be much appreciated!
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    Overall-classification wise, I'd be very surprised if any job went against you just for your ranking within a Merit, I've not seen any sign of HEAR being used to check out the specifics and my diploma was only ever seen by front of room staff just checking I had one. I can't comment about PhD applications (not having one!), but I imagine it's a bit more likely there, since they are so much more intimately involved in marking and classification knowledge.

    Grade within your dissertation is a little harder to give decisive statements on, but it's possible there's something to it, at least for academic applications/interviews (if you're applying for a PhD in relevance to your dissertation field as can be common, they clearly want to know you know what you're talking about). For private sector interviews (purely in my personal and near 2nd hand experience) some chat about dissertations, and might have that anti-pass viewpoint, but most wouldn't.

    Tldr:

    Can't give a decisive opinion, sorry,
    - Academic applications might have that concern
    - Public/Private probably wouldn't
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    It helps to have a Long Study Distinction in your pocket when making PhD applications. I'd argue that it's more important to have this than a high 2:1 overall.
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    Thanks for the replies so far.
    I actually have an interview for a PhD position on Friday. Now I am starting to wonder if I should take getting an interview (1 of 10 out of 33 applicants) as a good sign, or if I should expect to be compared to other applications in terms of my dissertation grade/ only be offered the position on the condition of getting a certain grade or something. Surely not? They are aware that I'm still completing my MSc, and won't have my final award until late September, at which point the PhD would have already started?
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    (Original post by diiahoib)
    Thanks for the replies so far.
    I actually have an interview for a PhD position on Friday. Now I am starting to wonder if I should take getting an interview (1 of 10 out of 33 applicants) as a good sign, or if I should expect to be compared to other applications in terms of my dissertation grade/ only be offered the position on the condition of getting a certain grade or something. Surely not? They are aware that I'm still completing my MSc, and won't have my final award until late September, at which point the PhD would have already started?
    I'd focus on the rationale and methodology of any research proposal you have submitted that earned your place on the interview list.
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    (Original post by DrSocSciences)
    I'd focus on the rationale and methodology of any research proposal you have submitted that earned your place on the interview list.
    There was no research proposal involved, just application letter and CV, the project is pretty well-established already. But yeah, guess I should focus on my research knowledge and stuff in the interview. I'm guessing they would let me know if there were any conditions attached.
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    Hello, When I was doing M.A in a renowned UK university, I was worried about such things because few lecturers were not happy to give me good score i.e. Merit/Distinction whatever I do. I was worried for my next admission in PhD. Partly you are right because high ranking universities e.g. OXFORD, CAMBRIDGE sometimes consider your score, but other universities do not actually bother. Instead they see if your intended supervisor is happy to accept you for supervision. My degree is NEVER checked by any academic staff; after admission only deptt administrator once saw it (without transcript/marks).
 
 
 

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