KCL Philosophy MA vs MPhilStud

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Oestrogen
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Hello,

I did a joint-honours undergraduate programme in Philosophy and an unrelated subject, graduated with a First in 2018. Now applying for 2019 admission to postgraduate studies in philosophy. Hoping to pursue research in the future.

The programme options at the other UK universities I'm applying at seem fairly straight forward - MLitt at St Andrews (with progression into MPhil in the second year), BPhil at Oxford (also a two-year course).

What I'm confused about is the MPhilStud and MA programmes at KCL. It seems that the MA at KCL is not regarded as a terminal degree - many go on to MPhil/PhD. It seems that the admission requirements for the MA are a little more relaxed too. Is the MPhilStud regarded as somehow more prestigious? And is this programme classified as postgraduate taught or research? Will I be eligible for research scholarships open to MPhil/PhD students?

Furthermore, application instructions say that MPhil/PhD students are required to submit a research proposal and to contact potential supervisors in advance. Are these instructions applicable to MPhilStud applicants?

I face the same dilemma with UCL. But since funding opportunities are better for the MPhilStud, I will be applying to that. I'm well aware that admission to MPhilStud at UCL is very competitive.

At this point in time I have absolutely no clue as to how I'd fare with my admissions. I'm worried that having a joint-honours degree will damage my chances. And since it's the holiday season, the universities have been slow in getting back to my queries.

Sorry for the rambling. If you have any suggestions pertaining to my situation, or if you could share your experience with the MPhilStud or MA at any of these universities I've mentioned, I'd be very thankful.

Cheers!
Last edited by Oestrogen; 3 years ago
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TrotskyiteRebel
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I did a UG in international relations and I got into Edinburgh to do a master's in philosophy. I applied to the MLitt in philosophy course as well and I got an offer. But I was rejected from King's (MA Philosophy) and Oxford. I wouldn’t worry too much about not having a philosophy degree, unless you want to apply for a research Masters. MPhil is kind of like a taught and a research masters. You do taught courses but also have to write a 25-30k dissertation. There’s limited funding for MPhil and you can only get 10k PG loan. I think a PhD after MA is more financially viable. There’s more funding available.
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Oestrogen
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Hi TrotskyiteRebel,

Thanks for replying! And on Christmas day no less. May I know why you chose the Masters (I'm assuming it's the MSc?) at Edinburgh rather than MLitt at St Andrews? How big is your cohort? Do you plan to move on to doctorate studies after this? How does your Masters connect to the doctorate degree, master's --> MPhil/PhD, or master's --> PhD directly?

I've always had the impression that MPhil is better regarded in the UK for doctorate admissions. I'm an international student so loans are not an option.

Guess I'll stick to applying for MA at KCL. Maybe even this will turn out to be a 'reach' option for me.

Happy Christmas day!
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TrotskyiteRebel
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(Original post by Oestrogen)
Hi TrotskyiteRebel,

Thanks for replying! And on Christmas day no less. May I know why you chose the Masters (I'm assuming it's the MSc?) at Edinburgh rather than MLitt at St Andrews? How big is your cohort? Do you plan to move on to doctorate studies after this? How does your Masters connect to the doctorate degree, master's --> MPhil/PhD, or master's --> PhD directly?

I've always had the impression that MPhil is better regarded in the UK for doctorate admissions. I'm an international student so loans are not an option.

Guess I'll stick to applying for MA at KCL. Maybe even this will turn out to be a 'reach' option for me.

Happy Christmas day!
They're both good unis and I already did my UG here so I decided to stay for another year. I wasnt sure how much I liked living in St Andrews. I am planning to do PhD. The MSc course here does prepare you for PhD study in most unis but an MPhil looks better. If you get a distinction then you're in a good position to apply for PhD. If money isn't an issue then I think you should apply for the MPhil. It prepares you better for PhD study. My plan is to get a distinction, take a year out and apply for funding with a distinction for PhD. I think you're in a good position and you have a strong academic background, I wouldn't worry too much. Another option you could consider is a one-year research masters. That's better preparation for PhD study but it's more difficult to complete.
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