Is doing a masters degree hard?

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echzo
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I was recently offered a place to study at UCL a few weeks ago and whilst I felt excited and happy, I've always had second thoughts as to whether I should do it.

I only considered it for CAREER PROSPECTS and the fact that I have been jobless for 10 months. I feel like going down this route will refresh my status as a student again and maybe open a lot more doors for me in terms of employment.

The financial side of doing it isn't the issue, I have that covered. It's the mental side of doing it, as in exams, coursework and dissertation. I'm lazy af and at 25 I think I should be out there working for hard money and not studying and wasting more time
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alleycat393
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(Original post by echzo)
I was recently offered a place to study at UCL a few weeks ago and whilst I felt excited and happy, I've always had second thoughts as to whether I should do it.

I only considered it for CAREER PROSPECTS and the fact that I have been jobless for 10 months. I feel like going down this route will refresh my status as a student again and maybe open a lot more doors for me in terms of employment.

The financial side of doing it isn't the issue, I have that covered. It's the mental side of doing it, as in exams, coursework and dissertation. I'm lazy af and at 25 I think I should be out there working for hard money and not studying and wasting more time
Masters degrees are very intense and doing one in the hope that it'll increase your employablity is not a good idea at all. What is your story with looking for a job?
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echzo
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(Original post by alleycat393)
Masters degrees are very intense and doing one in the hope that it'll increase your employablity is not a good idea at all. What is your story with looking for a job?
Well to be fair I have been jobless for a while now. I've been applying a lot lately even whilst putting through the applications. There is just something that employers don't like

In any case, why say no to a masters degree if you have good funding opportunities?
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alleycat393
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(Original post by echzo)
Well to be fair I have been jobless for a while now. I've been applying a lot lately even whilst putting through the applications. There is just something that employers don't like

In any case, why say no to a masters degree if you have good funding opportunities?
Well if you haven’t worked out what that is that’s not going to change with a masters degree. It sounds like your applications are not of a high quality which would make sense if you are applying to too many things. You seem to be using the masters degree as something to bide your time with but if that’s what you want to do and have the money to then no one can stop you. Just be warned that it may not solve your employment situation though. Good luck!
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CTLeafez
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(Original post by echzo)
I'm lazy af and at 25 I think I should be out there working for hard money and not studying and wasting more time
I think you've answered it yourself. If you consider yourself lazy then doing a Masters will just be a waste of your time as you could potentially fail or come out with just a Pass.

Candidates for jobs who also possess a Masters will most likely have the upper tier classifications (Merit/Distinction) so your year will be essentially pointless, unless you have a genuine interest in the topic, rather than just for a career boost.

You should only go back to full-time education if your heart is truly in it.

The fact that you also described doing postgraduate study as 'studying and wasting more time' says a lot about your attitude towards it.
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stevesmiths
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(Original post by CTLeafez)
I think you've answered it yourself. If you consider yourself lazy then doing a Masters will just be a waste of your time as you could potentially fail or come out with just a Pass.

Candidates for jobs who also possess a Masters will most likely have the upper tier classifications (Merit/Distinction) so your year will be essentially pointless, unless you have a genuine interest in the topic, rather than just for a career boost.

You should only go back to full-time education if your heart is truly in it.

The fact that you also described doing postgraduate study as 'studying and wasting more time' says a lot about your attitude towards it.
Well said CTLeafez true words spoken.
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The Empire Odyssey
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(Original post by alleycat393)
Masters degrees are very intense and doing one in the hope that it'll increase your employablity is not a good idea at all. What is your story with looking for a job?
To be fair, it depends on OP's career goals.

I know that for entry-level jobs I applied to, I got rejected from 7-8 different places because they said even though the jobs I had applied for state a bachelor's is all I need, they had stronger candidates with master's which also gave them better industry knowledge and experience.

So, here I am, going to do a MA in the hope it will make me more employable. I would love to get into my career (PR) without having to do a MA. But a BA isn't cutting it.

But the difference between myself and OP, I want to do a MA anyway. The course excites me. But OP has an awful attitude lol.
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alleycat393
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(Original post by The Empire Odyssey)
To be fair, it depends on OP's career goals.

I know that for entry-level jobs I applied to, I got rejected from 7-8 different places because they said even though the jobs I had applied for state a bachelor's is all I need, they had stronger candidates with master's which also gave them better industry knowledge and experience.

So, here I am, going to do a MA in the hope it will make me more employable. I would love to get into my career (PR) without having to do a MA. But a BA isn't cutting it.

But the difference between myself and OP, I want to do a MA anyway. The course excites me. But OP has an awful attitude lol.
If you've applied for jobs and have received that sort of feedback then you know that the masters will increase your employability in the field but if that's not the case then the assumption that it will is iffy.
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The Empire Odyssey
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(Original post by alleycat393)
If you've applied for jobs and have received that sort of feedback then you know that the masters will increase your employability in the field but if that's not the case then the assumption that it will is iffy.
Yeah.

I went for interviews and they all told me it would be a good idea to work voluntary or get MA as it would increase my employability by a great deal. They also said there will and are plenty of young people with an MA applying for the same entry-level jobs I applied for.

Most voluntary experience was in London and I can't afford to travel to London for X amount of days (1 or 2 weeks) for experience that wouldn't get me anywhere.
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chaotic1328
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(Original post by alleycat393)
Masters degrees are very intense and doing one in the hope that it'll increase your employablity is not a good idea at all. What is your story with looking for a job?
But are they? I'd say that an English taught Master's is one of the easiest qualifications to obtain, requiring only 6 contact hours per week, six 4000-word essays (some RG unis demand only 4) and a dissertation (12-15000 words). Not a lot of effort for a postgrad degree.

I refer only to a taught Master's in the social sciences and humanities, as I have no idea what is required in STEM subjects.
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alleycat393
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(Original post by chaotic1328)
But are they? I'd say that an English taught Master's is one of the easiest qualifications to obtain, requiring only 6 contact hours per week, six 4000-word essays (some RG unis demand only 4) and a dissertation (12-15000 words). Not a lot of effort for a postgrad degree.

I refer only to a taught Master's in the social sciences and humanities, as I have no idea what is required in STEM subjects.
Are/have you done it? I don’t think it’s the contact hours that are intense. It’s the work required to do well coupled with the timeframes. But that’s not to say that everyone will find it intense.
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Notoriety
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(Original post by chaotic1328)
But are they? I'd say that an English taught Master's is one of the easiest qualifications to obtain, requiring only 6 contact hours per week, six 4000-word essays (some RG unis demand only 4) and a dissertation (12-15000 words). Not a lot of effort for a postgrad degree.

I refer only to a taught Master's in the social sciences and humanities, as I have no idea what is required in STEM subjects.
Some subjects are easier than others.
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JustSomeoneAlone
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Well, they ain't designed to be p*ss easy.
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chaotic1328
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(Original post by alleycat393)
Are/have you done it? I don’t think it’s the contact hours that are intense. It’s the work required to do well coupled with the timeframes. But that’s not to say that everyone will find it intense.
I done my MA in 2016-17, and finished my undergrad in 1994. My undergrad days were so long ago that I've forgotten exactly what the workloads were, but I am pretty sure we had 4 pathways in the final year, each with 3 essays of 3000 words, a dissertation of 10000 words, and exams for each pathway. That works out at 12 essays of 3000 words (36000 words in total), or 46000 words with the dissertation, plus 4 exams, all crammed in 2 semesters. We also had about 14-16 hours of contact time per week, so it could be claimed that we were more spoon-fed.

In contrast, most taught MAs these days require 6 essays of 4000 words (24000 words in total), plus a dissertation of 15000 words, making it 39000 words, over three semesters, with no exams to boot. By this comparison, I'd say that a taught Master's is much less intense than a comparable undergrad degree. The only thing that may said to be more intense is the much smaller number of contact hours a week, thus putting more emphasis on independent learning.

Of course, I may be barking up the wrong tree, as I have no idea of the workload of a final-year BA these days.
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Felixity1988
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I know this thread is old, but I'm going to add my comments anyway. I've started a masters degree 30 years after doing my undergrad degree. I've been working for the last 15 years or so as a bid writer, working to deadlines every day and often doing overtime. The masters degree I'm doing is in social policy. It's much harder than work, and I'd say it's much harder than my undergrad studies. The difference is the amount of reading you have to do, and perhaps my own desire to really understand everything (I think I'm less content at staying baffled than I was when an undergrad). I have two assessments associated with the courses I'm doing this term (plus a voluntary practice essay). One assessment is a 5000 word essay where we're expected to have 15-20 references cited. The other is a write up of a research methodology (no actual research needed) and for that we've been told that a good submission will cite 20-30 references. For this reason it really is in a different league to my degree.

I agree with others, you will have no social life and it will be an intense slog. I am enjoying the course very much, but truly I am currently dismayed at the intensity of it. It's probably because I'm already employable and my study is out of interest and to possibly change careers, but that's not essential that this bothers me. I guess for many, it's good to get it over and done with in a year. However if I had more money, I'd consider moving to a part time course so I could have some work/life balance, learn more in depth and do some housework from time to time!
Last edited by Felixity1988; 2 weeks ago
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