Worth doing a 2nd Degree for PhD? Watch

titanlux
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I got a 2.2 at BSc but still have various MSc options... When I come to apply for a PhD though they all ask for 2.1 and I've emailed lots of admin and they say only 2.1 and above... what do you think i should do?
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faber niger
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Do you really want to do a PhD that much? If so, it's maybe worth it; if not, it obviously isn't. Also, are there any reasons why you didn't perform as you'd like? If not, what makes you think you will improve on the second degree? Though, already having a degree, you can take another in two years at many institutions. Were you planning on doing it in a different subject?
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titanlux
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(Original post by jismith1989)
Do you really want to do a PhD that much? If so, it's maybe worth it; if not, it obviously isn't. Also, are there any reasons why you didn't perform as you'd like? If not, what makes you think you will improve on the second degree? Though, already having a degree, you can take another in two years at many institutions. Were you planning on doing it in a different subject?
My first degree is in Maths but I was intending to do the second in Microbiology. In many respects I would really like to do a PhD mainly because I've always wanted to. But also I feel as if I would be at the bottom of the pile with a 2.2, despite having reasons for it. Could you explain about the taking the degree in 2 years please?
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hobnob
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(Original post by titanlux)
My first degree is in Maths but I was intending to do the second in Microbiology. In many respects I would really like to do a PhD mainly because I've always wanted to. But also I feel as if I would be at the bottom of the pile with a 2.2, despite having reasons for it. Could you explain about the taking the degree in 2 years please?
If you're doing a second BA, some universities will grant you "senior status", which means you'll be able to skip the first year. Second BAs are expensive, though, and if you decide to do one, you won't be able to get a student loan for it.
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faber niger
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Sure, but first, which university did you go to, so that I can advise you specifically about where to apply? And how are your A-Levels? Do you think the university will consider the reasons for you getting a 2.2 you have as being reasonable? Are they 'good'?
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faber niger
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(Original post by hobnob)
If you're doing a second BA, some universities will grant you "senior status", which means you'll be able to skip the first year. Second BAs are expensive, though, and if you decide to do one, you won't be able to get a student loan for it.
True. Which is why you I'd advise you to do one over two years, rather than three -- if you are determined to do it. Would you be able to get the money from somewhere? e.g. borrow from parents?
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titanlux
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(Original post by jismith1989)
Sure, but first, which university did you go to, so that I can advise you specifically about where to apply? And how are your A-Levels? Do you think the university will consider the reasons for you getting a 2.2 you have? Are they 'good'?
I went to durham, and my alevels were AAAb. the main reason for getting a 2.2 was going straight into 2nd year without the proper grounding in 1st (ie i transfered with an unconditional offer). I am actually appealing my exam marks this year but i don't think it will change the classification. I have a Bsc waiting for me unconditionally aswel as 5 or six masters programmes all on a 2.2. What do you think?

(Original post by jismith1989)
True. Which is why you I'd advise you to do one over two years, rather than three -- if you are determined to do it. Would you be able to get the money from somewhere? e.g. borrow from parents?
err as far as i know i'd be paying top up fees like everyone else... how much more is expensive? my masters courses are a lot cheaper lol
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Quady
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You will have to do an MSc before converting, for a start how would you even know what part of microbiology you want to do a PhD in???
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hobnob
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(Original post by titanlux)
I went to durham, and my alevels were AAAb. the main reason for getting a 2.2 was going straight into 2nd year without the proper grounding in 1st (ie i transfered with an unconditional offer). I am actually appealing my exam marks this year but i don't think it will change the classification. I have a Bsc waiting for me unconditionally aswel as 5 or six masters programmes all on a 2.2. What do you think?
Well, can you afford the cost of a second BA (or BSc, rather)?
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Quady
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Hang on do you want your 2nd degree to be a BSc or MSc?
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titanlux
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(Original post by Quady)
You will have to do an MSc before converting, for a start how would you even know what part of microbiology you want to do a PhD in???
Well i don't specifically want to do the PhD in Microbiology it was just for the BSc classification to get me through the computer system to even let me be considered for a PhD. Do you see what i mean? I mean in some cases a good masters will trump a BSc but not at the best institutions.
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faber niger
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(Original post by titanlux)
I went to durham, and my alevels were AAAb. the main reason for getting a 2.2 was going straight into 2nd year without the proper grounding in 1st (ie i transfered with an unconditional offer). I am actually appealing my exam marks this year but i don't think it will change the classification. I have a Bsc waiting for me unconditionally aswel as 5 or six masters programmes all on a 2.2. What do you think?
Ah, me was thinking you were gonna say somewhere less salubrious: there is hope for you!

I don't know whether your reason is altogether brilliant, as obviously Durham thought you could cope, otherwise you wouldn't have gained the offer, but I guess it may be accepted. I'm guessing that the BSc you have waiting for you is over three years? Is that an issue for you? Can you afford it? If you can and you are okay with it, then you might as well take it up, but if not, it would be seriously worth considering a Senior Status degree. (I'll give you more information if you want it.)

P.S. Where's the BSc offer for?

EDIT: All things considered, the cost of a three-year degree would be over £25,000 and you won't be able to get another loan -- can you afford that? Obviously, a two-year degree would be a bit, but not hugely, less.
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titanlux
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(Original post by Quady)
Hang on do you want your 2nd degree to be a BSc or MSc?
Well that's my question. I can do either and I've got unconditional offers for both. The question at the moment isn't the money, but rather if after doing an MSc do i find that I can't do a PhD because I haven't got a good enough BSc result.
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hobnob
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(Original post by titanlux)
Well that's my question. I can do either and I've got unconditional offers for both. The question at the moment isn't the money, but rather if after doing an MSc do i find that I can't do a PhD because I haven't got a good enough BSc result.
Possibly, but not necessarily. A lot will depend on how well you do on the MSc.
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mipmapped
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If you do a PhD at the same Uni as your MSc, it can be a big advantage. Get to know the faculty and put in some really good work and they may overlook the 2:2 when you apply for a doctorate.
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faber niger
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P.S. Random question, but if you were at Durham, why do have Cambridge as your place of study in your profile? Ostentation?! Or did you transfer to Durham from Cambridge? If so, that shows that you weren't performing well at Cambridge either, and so you really will have to dedicate yourself to your next degree if you want to improve.
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Kitty Pimms
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(Original post by titanlux)
Well that's my question. I can do either and I've got unconditional offers for both. The question at the moment isn't the money, but rather if after doing an MSc do i find that I can't do a PhD because I haven't got a good enough BSc result.
It's very unlikely, since the research councils themselves state that a masters can be used to make up for a 'less than satisfactory' undergraduate result. If a 2.2 plus distinction is good enough for them, it ought to be good enough for university admissions! In general the Masters mark is as, if not more, important if you're seeking admission straight after, simply because it is more recent and at a higher level and therefore ought better to indicate suitability for the PhD.

Moreover it's totally possible to get on to (particularly science) PhD programmes with a 2.2. and an MSc - I know Flexiblefish did this, in fact, and he's now doing his PhD at Imperial.

However, what I would be interested to know is how far the MSc will count as a conversion course? Even if it is sufficient grounding for the PhD without the BSc background, I would worry that you might struggle to get solid marks in a new subject, particularly given the history at undergrad.

Furthermore, I understand you want to do a PhD (good on you!) but are you sure microbiology's the right topic for you? Are you really prepared to jump through the hoops necessary to study a different subject without knowing precisely whether it's for you?

As others have said, there's the cost issue. If you'd be intending to do a 2nd BA only to ease your way into the PhD, it's likely to set you back up to 30k depending on where you take the degree. There's no guarantee your PhD would be funded, so if that's the objective, you might need to save money where you can.
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flexiblefish
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you want to do microbiology right?

then do the MSc option. all nat sci research councils accept 2:2 + Masters as equivelent to 2:1.

Do the 1 year masters, you are more likely to pass that than get a 2:1 from a 2nd degree. I have never heard of anyone failing an MSc (seems that there is an unwritten rule that the min mark is 49.5% because you have paid for it).

do the MSc, probably an MRes would be better if you have your mind set on PhD.
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faber niger
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(Original post by flexiblefish)
you want to do microbiology right?

then do the MSc option. all nat sci research councils accept 2:2 + Masters as equivelent to 2:1.

Do the 1 year masters, you are more likely to pass that than get a 2:1 from a 2nd degree. I have never heard of anyone failing an MSc (seems that there is an unwritten rule that the min mark is 49.5% because you have paid for it).

do the MSc, probably an MRes would be better if you have your mind set on PhD.
Or perhaps people who go on to do Master's degrees tend to be better than those who just do undergraduate degrees?
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Quady
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OK so your not sure your want microbiology to be your PhD area, does that mean your not sure what you want to do a PhD about?

In which case, why do you want to do a PhD? (obviously its not going to be maths, so its not for the money...)

Just do an MSc its quicker/cheaper.
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