carlodivarga-s
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so, i just graduated with my first degree (high 2:1; i was 4% away from a first, which is... possibly annoying me more than it has the right to), and, after getting rejected from a master's course i applied to, have realised that what i want to do is actually do a phd without doing a master's.

without going into too much detail i have a good idea for a subject (a continuation of what i did my dissertation for my first degree about - i was very close to a first for it and my advisor said there was a phd in there somewhere), which is basically masculinity and how it relates to eroticism/homoeroticism in opera.

problem is: i've looked at a lot of phds in music (this would specifically be musicology) and most but not all of them want a master's first. i know the purpose of needing a master's before getting a phd - it shows that you can write and make an argument, but i know if not exactly then roughly what i want to write about, so doing a master's seems like a lot of expenditure to essentially be able to do something i feel very passionate about as it is.

am i best applying to master's courses and not applying to phds? and if i do apply to master's courses am i best applying to taught master's courses or research master's? or should i apply for master's courses and the phds that don't require a master's first? (or should i throw my hat in the ring for the ones that do require a master's, since the worst they can do is say no?)

thanks in advance!
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by carlodivarga-s)
so, i just graduated with my first degree (high 2:1; i was 4% away from a first, which is... possibly annoying me more than it has the right to), and, after getting rejected from a master's course i applied to, have realised that what i want to do is actually do a phd without doing a master's.

without going into too much detail i have a good idea for a subject (a continuation of what i did my dissertation for my first degree about - i was very close to a first for it and my advisor said there was a phd in there somewhere), which is basically masculinity and how it relates to eroticism/homoeroticism in opera.

problem is: i've looked at a lot of phds in music (this would specifically be musicology) and most but not all of them want a master's first. i know the purpose of needing a master's before getting a phd - it shows that you can write and make an argument, but i know if not exactly then roughly what i want to write about, so doing a master's seems like a lot of expenditure to essentially be able to do something i feel very passionate about as it is.

am i best applying to master's courses and not applying to phds? and if i do apply to master's courses am i best applying to taught master's courses or research master's? or should i apply for master's courses and the phds that don't require a master's first? (or should i throw my hat in the ring for the ones that do require a master's, since the worst they can do is say no?)

thanks in advance!
Yes, you are best off applying for a Masters before a PhD in your subject area. It doesn't really matter is it's taught or research, so long as the taught course structure has a dissertation that you take.

Passion doesn't get you through a PhD, it's a large, in depth, complex thesis, and the Masters is evidence that you can handle something about 25% of the size.

Summoning The_Lonely_Goatherd who is the font of all music knowledge around here
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chaotic1328
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Depending on subjects, but I am sure that some universities allow you to register for an MPhil with just an undergrad degree, and then get upgraded to a PhD after the first year.
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PhoenixFortune
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(Original post by carlodivarga-s)
so, i just graduated with my first degree (high 2:1; i was 4% away from a first, which is... possibly annoying me more than it has the right to), and, after getting rejected from a master's course i applied to, have realised that what i want to do is actually do a phd without doing a master's.

without going into too much detail i have a good idea for a subject (a continuation of what i did my dissertation for my first degree about - i was very close to a first for it and my advisor said there was a phd in there somewhere), which is basically masculinity and how it relates to eroticism/homoeroticism in opera.

problem is: i've looked at a lot of phds in music (this would specifically be musicology) and most but not all of them want a master's first. i know the purpose of needing a master's before getting a phd - it shows that you can write and make an argument, but i know if not exactly then roughly what i want to write about, so doing a master's seems like a lot of expenditure to essentially be able to do something i feel very passionate about as it is.

am i best applying to master's courses and not applying to phds? and if i do apply to master's courses am i best applying to taught master's courses or research master's? or should i apply for master's courses and the phds that don't require a master's first? (or should i throw my hat in the ring for the ones that do require a master's, since the worst they can do is say no?)

thanks in advance!
Most PhDs that don't require you to have a master's first are in the realms of STEM rather than Arts and Humanities. A master's degree demonstrates a lot of skills that universities look for in researchers, which aren't necessarily demonstrated at undergraduate level (a lot of master's students struggle with the new expectations of master's study, so it isn't just a box-ticking exercise).

You could look into funded studentships which offer a 1+3 award (essentially 1 year of master's followed by a 3 year PhD), but be warned that these are extremely competitive in the Arts.
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ageshallnot
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As above. Plus the fact that being 4% off a first puts you on 66% which is a middling not a high first. A Master's would therefore improve your application.
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stabilo20619
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A masters is becoming the new bachelor degree. Unless you did exceptionally well in your bachelors (high first + experiences) then your chances of jumping to PhD are very low. Unfortunately, even though you said you're passionate in that area, you should consider doing a masters, getting a distinction and applying for PhDs afterwards.
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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Ooooh, a muso :headfire: Hello! :hi:

I've never heard of a muso going straight from an undergrad to a PhD. As has been said, a Masters is the necessary preparation for a PhD course, even if you have a very clear idea of what you wish to study for your PhD. It's quite common for work from the Masters dissertation to feed into the PhD, so it would not be the wasted/unnecessary expenditure that you think! Treat it as doing the groundwork/preparation for the PhD, and an opportunity to start reading early!

Out of interest, how come you got rejected from the Masters course you applied to? That's very odd for that to happen, regardless of whether you were trying for funding or not... :dontknow: In all honesty, it's a bit worrying (unless you were trying Oxbridge?) and suggests that either your application wasn't strong enough or that your undergrad transcript was pretty dodgy with no extenuating circumstances. But it doesn't sound like the latter is the case? :iiam:
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XOR_
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Funding is what will likely hold you back from that especially given it's a non-stem subject. Basically, consider it like this, you're a supervisor and can only supervise 1-2 students due to funding constraints - wouldn't you prefer the person had a masters proving they had a better chance of getting through the first year?
Even with a masters it can be hard. Not saying you shouldn't apply if it doesn't cost you much time but chances are low IMO.
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carlodivarga-s
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(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
Ooooh, a muso :headfire: Hello! :hi:

I've never heard of a muso going straight from an undergrad to a PhD. As has been said, a Masters is the necessary preparation for a PhD course, even if you have a very clear idea of what you wish to study for your PhD. It's quite common for work from the Masters dissertation to feed into the PhD, so it would not be the wasted/unnecessary expenditure that you think! Treat it as doing the groundwork/preparation for the PhD, and an opportunity to start reading early!

Out of interest, how come you got rejected from the Masters course you applied to? That's very odd for that to happen, regardless of whether you were trying for funding or not... :dontknow: In all honesty, it's a bit worrying (unless you were trying Oxbridge?) and suggests that either your application wasn't strong enough or that your undergrad transcript was pretty dodgy with no extenuating circumstances. But it doesn't sound like the latter is the case? :iiam:
the course i got rejected from wasn't a music course - it was queer history at goldsmiths (my degree is in history and music), which is the only course of that sort so was quite heavily subscribed to. i didn't ask for feedback, but even so i think part of the issue is that i come across more articulately on paper than in person (bc i'm autistic and have adhd - i'm perfectly good at writing but in person i borderline sound like i learned to speak that morning), but also i'm working on that so hopefully i'll do better at future interviews.

i've looked at a couple of research-based rather than taught master's courses and i'm definitely thinking of applying to some now, though: i mostly had concerns about spending a lot of money to do research i wouldn't be able to use in the future. thank you!
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gjd800
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Got to play the game and do the master's, unfortunately
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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(Original post by carlodivarga-s)
the course i got rejected from wasn't a music course - it was queer history at goldsmiths (my degree is in history and music), which is the only course of that sort so was quite heavily subscribed to. i didn't ask for feedback, but even so i think part of the issue is that i come across more articulately on paper than in person (bc i'm autistic and have adhd - i'm perfectly good at writing but in person i borderline sound like i learned to speak that morning), but also i'm working on that so hopefully i'll do better at future interviews.

i've looked at a couple of research-based rather than taught master's courses and i'm definitely thinking of applying to some now, though: i mostly had concerns about spending a lot of money to do research i wouldn't be able to use in the future. thank you!
Ahhhh yes, I can imagine Goldsmiths being in huge demand for that! It might be worth asking for feedback, so you know how to market yourself better for any future applications Research-based MAs in a music dept sound like a good plan! Wishing you the best of luck, sounds like a fascinating topic
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kitkatkate281
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Just an idea, if you're really passionate about your undergrad dissertation subject it might be worth looking at music/musicology masters that have modules in that subject, or a very similar subject. I was looking at doing a musicology masters for some time, and although there are not a lot of musicology masters, they offer a lot of different modules and subjects. But as you said, research masters are also a good step towards a PhD, and are normally cheaper as well!
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