Change the Entry Requirements for PhD? Watch

Salll93
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I have been offered a place on a PhD.

Entry requirement 2:1 or above in undergrad - a masters desirable.

I have a 1st at undergrad and currently studying an MRes.

The offer they have given me is conditional, based on the completion of my MRes (no specific grade specified). Me and my current university have questioned this, as a masters is not essential, so therefore I already meet the requirements. This will delay the paperwork and my stipend payment as my final MRes qualification papers will not be ready until 1 week before the start of the PhD.

Can I appeal? Is this even a thing that happens?
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Notoriety
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(Original post by Salll93)
I have been offered a place on a PhD.

Entry requirement 2:1 or above in undergrad - a masters desirable.

I have a 1st at undergrad and currently studying an MRes.

The offer they have given me is conditional, based on the completion of my MRes (no specific grade specified). Me and my current university have questioned this, as a masters is not essential, so therefore I already meet the requirements. This will delay the paperwork and my stipend payment as my final MRes qualification papers will not be ready until 1 week before the start of the PhD.

Can I appeal? Is this even a thing that happens?
You can ask them to change it, but there is no guarantee they will.

EDIT: If you have funding, might it be the case that the funding required MRes and they simply added this to the PhD offer? I suppose that, as far as stipend is concerned, there will always be a delay because they will always require the MRes. I know my PhD offer is conditional on passing an MRes, even though I have a master's already. The PhD offer is merely matching the funding offer, even though I meet ordinary the PhD requirements anyway.
Last edited by Notoriety; 3 weeks ago
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stabilo20619
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That sounds strange.

I applied for PhD while doing a Msc and they gave me an offer based on my Bsc and made no reference to completing the Msc.

I would definitely appeal if I were you. Have you contacted them already? What did they say?
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Salll93
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I rang and asked why and they stated because my MRes is my 'ongoing qualification' they have made that a requirement. My funding isnt even based on a masters degree. The adverisement didnt say a masters was essential. Are they even allowed to do this?

Of course I'm going to finish my masters (I have 4 weeks left), my issue is I'll have moved into the city before the paperwork is even sorted and my stipend will be late.
(Original post by stabilo20619)
That sounds strange.

I applied for PhD while doing a Msc and they gave me an offer based on my Bsc and made no reference to completing the Msc.

I would definitely appeal if I were you. Have you contacted them already? What did they say?
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watchingyouwatch
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Entry requirements and an offer are not the same thing.

Just because you have the entry requirements doesn't mean that a) they will offer you a place b) that they won't ask for something specific- in your case that you complete your MRes

If this is the conditions that stipulated it seems unlikely that yo can appeal.

It might be worth asking them if they can lift the condition as you have nothing to lose.
Assuming you don't think you are going to fail could you get your current university to send some to the new one saying you have passed ( but before the qualification papers are ready)

(Original post by Salll93)
I have been offered a place on a PhD.

Entry requirement 2:1 or above in undergrad - a masters desirable.

I have a 1st at undergrad and currently studying an MRes.

The offer they have given me is conditional, based on the completion of my MRes (no specific grade specified). Me and my current university have questioned this, as a masters is not essential, so therefore I already meet the requirements. This will delay the paperwork and my stipend payment as my final MRes qualification papers will not be ready until 1 week before the start of the PhD.

Can I appeal? Is this even a thing that happens?
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Salll93
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Yeah, the PhD university stated they could accept a letter confirming I will have passed the course before my transcript and certificate are ready. My current uni says it is not possible and it wont be known until September which is when the paperwork will be available anyway.

I find it ridiculous, that if I was successful with just a completed undergraduate degree I would have an unconditional offer.

(Original post by watchingyouwatch)
Entry requirements and an offer are not the same thing.

Just because you have the entry requirements doesn't mean that a) they will offer you a place b) that they won't ask for something specific- in your case that you complete your MRes

If this is the conditions that stipulated it seems unlikely that yo can appeal.

It might be worth asking them if they can lift the condition as you have nothing to lose.
Assuming you don't think you are going to fail could you get your current university to send some to the new one saying you have passed ( but before the qualification papers are ready)
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by Salll93)
I have been offered a place on a PhD.

Entry requirement 2:1 or above in undergrad - a masters desirable.

I have a 1st at undergrad and currently studying an MRes.

The offer they have given me is conditional, based on the completion of my MRes (no specific grade specified). Me and my current university have questioned this, as a masters is not essential, so therefore I already meet the requirements. This will delay the paperwork and my stipend payment as my final MRes qualification papers will not be ready until 1 week before the start of the PhD.

Can I appeal? Is this even a thing that happens?
Offers, especially funded offers are competitive. The stated minimum conditions (and on average they are coming down, to help widening participation and mature students) are just that, a minimum. They are nothing to do with being competitive.

It's a less extreme example of saying the minimum entry qualification for the Olympic 50m breaststroke is a 50m breastroke certificate. When you select the entrants, you can still say to someone -we'll give you a place in the Olympics, but you need to finish in the top 2 in your national championships.

  • Minimum standard - required to stop complete time-wasters
  • Offer standard - only the best of those that apply - who will likely be required to be well above the minimum standard
  • Funded offer standard - only those we can be sure will pass - which might require evidence of passing other things well above the minimum standard.


So there is no appeal process because the offer criterion is perfectly reasonable. It's just a logistical faff, but the academic judgement is sound.
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Keysandblues
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I was in a pretty much same situation as you are now in (At the same uni). But I was able to provide MRes transcripts (however they took around4 weeks to process that). Few viable options are, to ask your current supervisor to send them an email stating your progress so far. You can also let your prospective supervisor(s) know about your situation, they may help you by speaking to someone like your postgrad admin or the registry team. Maybe ?! Good luck.
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mgi
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(Original post by Salll93)
I have been offered a place on a PhD.

Entry requirement 2:1 or above in undergrad - a masters desirable.

I have a 1st at undergrad and currently studying an MRes.

The offer they have given me is conditional, based on the completion of my MRes (no specific grade specified). Me and my current university have questioned this, as a masters is not essential, so therefore I already meet the requirements. This will delay the paperwork and my stipend payment as my final MRes qualification papers will not be ready until 1 week before the start of the PhD.

Can I appeal? Is this even a thing that happens?
Yes .unfortunately this kind of stupidity still happens. I've got a Master's and yet I still had to wait till the uni got details of my first degree before i was finally accepted on the Ph.D course.
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9876543211234
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If you only had a UG degree, your offer likely would not be unconditional (and almost certainly would not have had funding attached). Some doctorate courses only require undergrad because in some cases they will accept particularly special students; in reality, the masters degree is invariably a de facto requirement.

Is is fairly common for master's students only to get their results a couple of months into their phd. When the MA/MSt/MSc is at a different place to the DPhil/PhD, it causes problems like yours. I just got my master's supervisor to email my phd supervisor, and together they bullied my phd uni to smooth out the funding situation.

(Original post by Salll93)
Yeah, the PhD university stated they could accept a letter confirming I will have passed the course before my transcript and certificate are ready. My current uni says it is not possible and it wont be known until September which is when the paperwork will be available anyway.

I find it ridiculous, that if I was successful with just a completed undergraduate degree I would have an unconditional offer.
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mnot
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(Original post by Salll93)
I have been offered a place on a PhD.

Entry requirement 2:1 or above in undergrad - a masters desirable.

I have a 1st at undergrad and currently studying an MRes.

The offer they have given me is conditional, based on the completion of my MRes (no specific grade specified). Me and my current university have questioned this, as a masters is not essential, so therefore I already meet the requirements. This will delay the paperwork and my stipend payment as my final MRes qualification papers will not be ready until 1 week before the start of the PhD.

Can I appeal? Is this even a thing that happens?
This is standard practice, whilst it might seem unfair, remember you may have been looked on more favourably by the scholarship panel or the potential supervisor because of the MRes. Also if you fail to achieve the MRes this sends a different message to the new Uni (if you can't complete a research masters, how can you complete a research doctorate...).

Im sure it will work out fine, but this is to be expected.
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PQ
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Ask if you can defer the start of your PhD until after your MRes results are available to ensure your stipend is available in time. If they think they might lose you because of financial hardship then they might be able to make some adjustments.
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mgi
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(Original post by mnot)
This is standard practice, whilst it might seem unfair, remember you may have been looked on more favourably by the scholarship panel or the potential supervisor because of the MRes. Also if you fail to achieve the MRes this sends a different message to the new Uni (if you can't complete a research masters, how can you complete a research doctorate...).

Im sure it will work out fine, but this is to be expected.
This does not make sense though. What would they have done if he hadn't started a MRes and just applied with a good first degree? He got penalised in a sense for showing more foresight!
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mnot
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(Original post by mgi)
This does not make sense though. What would they have done if he hadn't started a MRes and just applied with a good first degree? He got penalised in a sense for showing more foresight!
Not necessarily,
He may have gotten the PhD, but also he may not have, the fact he is on an MRes may have been a decisive factor in awarding him the PhD in the first place, either way they want someone with a proven track record so if a candidate couldn't complete an MRes it would be unlikely they could complete a PhD.

Once you start the MRes the PhD application is fundamentally different, if the applicant had applied and not included the MRes information in his application then it wouldn't have been considered and there wouldn't have been this requirement, but its obvious that a prior research degree would be useful so they included it in their application, and benefitted from this. It is much much harder to get a PhD without a masters so if OP hadn't included this information it is much more likely they have no offer.

So they most likely have benefitted from the MRes, but yes obviously a University is going to expect you to pass the course for you to gain funding, there are many more candidates they could find who would happily take the funding. Entry requirements for PhD's aren't like the taught level, as every research application is fundamentally different, its not like A-level where the target is obvious, its more about demonstrating your ability to the panels so they can have confidence the money isn't being wasted.
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Salll93
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Love how all of you have assumed I’m a male.
(Original post by mnot)
Not necessarily,
He may have gotten the PhD, but also he may not have, the fact he is on an MRes may have been a decisive factor in awarding him the PhD in the first place, either way they want someone with a proven track record so if a candidate couldn't complete an MRes it would be unlikely they could complete a PhD.

Once you start the MRes the PhD application is fundamentally different, if the applicant had applied and not included the MRes information in his application then it wouldn't have been considered and there wouldn't have been this requirement, but its obvious that a prior research degree would be useful so they included it in their application, and benefitted from this. It is much much harder to get a PhD without a masters so if OP hadn't included this information it is much more likely they have no offer.

So they most likely have benefitted from the MRes, but yes obviously a University is going to expect you to pass the course for you to gain funding, there are many more candidates they could find who would happily take the funding. Entry requirements for PhD's aren't like the taught level, as every research application is fundamentally different, its not like A-level where the target is obvious, its more about demonstrating your ability to the panels so they can have confidence the money isn't being wasted.
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by mgi)
This does not make sense though. What would they have done if he hadn't started a MRes and just applied with a good first degree? He got penalised in a sense for showing more foresight!
40 people apply for 1 funded PhD place where the minimum requirement is a 2.1 at undergrad.

20 applicants have a 2.1 at Undergrad
10 applicants have a 2.1 at Undergrad and are predicted pass at MRes
10 applicants have a 2.1 at Undergrad and are predicted a merit at MRes

You interview the strongest 5 students that have a 2.1 at Undergrad and are predicted a Merit at MRes and you select one to award the fully funded PhD.

That student then fails to complete the MRes. You've just awarded your fully funded PhD to someone with lower qualifications and achievements than 19 other applicants and who is at the same level academically as 20 others.

It might well be that the person you awarded to had very many other achievements, but academic ability is a core factor in PhD selection. And how would you feel if you were one of the other 39?

The minimum requirement is a threshold, it has nothing to do with what is competitive.
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mgi
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(Original post by mnot)
Not necessarily,
He may have gotten the PhD, but also he may not have, the fact he is on an MRes may have been a decisive factor in awarding him the PhD in the first place, either way they want someone with a proven track record so if a candidate couldn't complete an MRes it would be unlikely they could complete a PhD.

Once you start the MRes the PhD application is fundamentally different, if the applicant had applied and not included the MRes information in his application then it wouldn't have been considered and there wouldn't have been this requirement, but its obvious that a prior research degree would be useful so they included it in their application, and benefitted from this. It is much much harder to get a PhD without a masters so if OP hadn't included this information it is much more likely they have no offer.

So they most likely have benefitted from the MRes, but yes obviously a University is going to expect you to pass the course for you to gain funding, there are many more candidates they could find who would happily take the funding. Entry requirements for PhD's aren't like the taught level, as every research application is fundamentally different, its not like A-level where the target is obvious, its more about demonstrating your ability to the panels so they can have confidence the money isn't being wasted.
You say that it is much harder to get a Ph.D without a Master's. I don't believe that for a moment. Had he applied without doing a MRes there is no evidence that he would have been rejected as a potential doctoral student from a number of universities. What he should have done in hindsight is apply when he had competed his first degree. Then he would find out what the panel were thinking and he may also have been accepted as well. How comes some students are getting into PhD courses with a good first degree only then ? It is best to rationalise one's thoughts at undergraduate level before doing any more studying after graduation!
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stabilo20619
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I applied for a funded PhD in my final year of undergrad with predicted 1st class - I didn't even get an interview.

I applied for the same PhD while doing a Msc - I had an interview and unconditional offer (based on 1st class Bsc results).

So a master definitely boosts your PhD application IMO. It's true however that applying once your Bsc is finished (without doing a Msc) may give the admissions panel more hope in you.
(Original post by mgi)
You say that it is much harder to get a Ph.D without a Master's. I don't believe that for a moment. Had he applied without doing a MRes there is no evidence that he would have been rejected as a potential doctoral student from a number of universities. What he should have done in hindsight is apply when he had competed his first degree. Then he would find out what the panel were thinking and he may also have been accepted as well. How comes some students are getting into PhD courses with a good first degree only then ? It is best to rationalise one's thoughts at undergraduate level before doing any more studying after graduation!
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9876543211234
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Take it from someone who is near the completion of their doctorate and who has had many conversations with supervisors who are also admissions tutors for both UG and PG courses: Not having as master's degree is not always essential to getting on a PhD course, but it certainly makes it harder, especially these days. Thanks to student loans at master's level, a large number of BA/BSc graduates decide to take an MA/MSc in order to have another year to decide what to do. In this context, it is very strange for a prospective PhD student not to have a master's degree. The reason master's are not always included in the minimum requirements is in order that unis can take people returning to uni from industry, or certain extremely exceptional UGs.

Also, in these days of limited funding all around, not having a master's can be very damaging to getting funded PhDs. I was very lucky to get a full scholarship for my MSt, which was beneficial for my funding application at DPhil level. I know one person who did not do a master's, and they did not get funding. By contrast, I know two Americans who got a BA and MA in the US, then came over to the UK, chose to do an MPhil in order to get used to UK higher ed, and still didn't get funding for PhD.

(Original post by mgi)
You say that it is much harder to get a Ph.D without a Master's. I don't believe that for a moment. Had he applied without doing a MRes there is no evidence that he would have been rejected as a potential doctoral student from a number of universities. What he should have done in hindsight is apply when he had competed his first degree. Then he would find out what the panel were thinking and he may also have been accepted as well. How comes some students are getting into PhD courses with a good first degree only then ? It is best to rationalise one's thoughts at undergraduate level before doing any more studying after graduation!
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mnot
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(Original post by mgi)
You say that it is much harder to get a Ph.D without a Master's. I don't believe that for a moment. Had he applied without doing a MRes there is no evidence that he would have been rejected as a potential doctoral student from a number of universities. What he should have done in hindsight is apply when he had competed his first degree. Then he would find out what the panel were thinking and he may also have been accepted as well. How comes some students are getting into PhD courses with a good first degree only then ? It is best to rationalise one's thoughts at undergraduate level before doing any more studying after graduation!
As you stated some not most. It is highly likely that the undergrads moving straight to PhD already have a working relationship with the supervisor, so the scholarship panel & supervisor have a much easier barrier to entry, this is not true in a lot of PhD studentships where there are many applicants/place 40:1, 50:1... and even tho the University has a policy of a 1st at undergrad, in order to secure the position the university requires a higher threshold than the nominal uni-wide policy, context is everything.
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