How hard is it to get a first in an MA? Watch

Charliefen
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I am starting an MA in Medieval and Early Modern Studies next week and wondered how hard it is to get a first? I got a first in BA History but only just, although admittedly I have been in and out of hospital for the majority of it. How much harder is postgraduate study compared to undergraduate?
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QHF
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(Original post by Charliefen)
I am starting an MA in Medieval and Early Modern Studies next week and wondered how hard it is to get a first? I got a first in BA History but only just, although admittedly I have been in and out of hospital for the majority of it. How much harder is postgraduate study compared to undergraduate?
Depends on a lot of imponderables. An MA often means, in raw terms, more work (more substantial assignments, requiring more substantial preparation). But people flower intellectually at different times and in response to different things: I've seen students who had a high 2.1 at undergrad really take to the greater challenge of an MA, and come out with strong distinctions. You might find something similar—starting higher, because you have a first already—if you take to the course and your health is stronger. Give it your best shot, and, as much as you can, focus on the immediate concrete tasks which the course presents you with each day / week / month, rather than worrying about the overall problem of doing well.
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by Charliefen)
I am starting an MA in Medieval and Early Modern Studies next week and wondered how hard it is to get a first? I got a first in BA History but only just, although admittedly I have been in and out of hospital for the majority of it. How much harder is postgraduate study compared to undergraduate?
Unless your university has some strange system of its own, there is no class grading for masters degrees. Grading is usually just a % and in some places there are Merit and Distinction awards - but that's far from universal. Employers are much less caring about Masters grades than undergrad. You generally need about 67% to be considered for a PhD, but there are variations, that's not a hard rule.

The general step up from UG to Masters could be described as one classification. So if you deliver 2.2 quality work for a Masters, you will fail the assessment. If you deliver 2.1 you've get a nothing special pass, 50-60%. If you deliver what would have been a first at undergrad ,you'll get 60-70% at Masters. To get above 70% you'll have to produce something that was epic compared to UG work. That's only a rough approximation though, people adapt to the work differently and different universities have different grading conventions.
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chaotic1328
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Depending on the institution, course and marking schemes, but based on personal experience, I'd say that it's not that hard to get a Distinction at MA level, especially if you are fresh out of undergrad studies with a First. The work at an MA level is certainly not that much more intensive compared with final year undergrad work. For what it is worth, I got a 2:1 (way back in 1994) from a college of further and higher education, and graduated with a Distinction at a RG Redbrick in 2017, in a totally different subject from my undergrad.
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