Chances of getting onto an AI/CS related PhD based on these qualifications and grades

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BillMurray
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Hi there, firstly I'm looking to apply to one of the many AI related PhDs that are funded by UK research councils, the CDT's and Doctoral training partnership programmes (normally 4 years, 1st year is a Masters year).

Example courses (there are many):

Univeristy of Oxford- EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Autonomous Intelligent Machines

University of Bristol- EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Future Autonomous Robotic Systems

Heriot-Watt University- The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Robotics and Autonomous Systems

I'd imagine they are quite competitive. What do you think my chances are based on the qualifications below?

BA International Relations FIRST CLASS (Staffordshire University).

MSc Computer Science Conversion MERIT (60%) (Swansea University). Capped grade for IT Security module, tolreated fail (43%) for algorithms and data structures module.

MSc Intelligent Systems PREDICATED DISTINCTION (De Montfort University). 7 Modules out of 8 graded 70% +. Predicted distinction for dissertation.

Obvious question, should I leave out the MSc Computer Science degree in any application. OR, would it make a difference if I were to take an algorithms and data structures distance learning module from the University of York's MSc CS D/L degree and quit after I have completed the first module (the Algorithms module), I'd get the transcript, credit and grade.

Note I'm completing the DMU degree via the distance learning route, designed to be completed in 3 to 5 years, I'm due to complete in 2. I have had a lot of face to face contact with tutors on the course, I live close to the uni.

I've also published one article with one of my professors.
Last edited by BillMurray; 1 month ago
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by BillMurray)
Hi there, firstly I'm looking to apply to one of the many AI related PhDs that are funded by UK research councils, the CDT's and Doctoral training partnership programmes (normally 4 years, 1st year is a Masters year).

Example courses (there are many):

Univeristy of Oxford- EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Autonomous Intelligent Machines

University of Bristol- EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Future Autonomous Robotic Systems

Heriot-Watt University- The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Robotics and Autonomous Systems

I'd imagine they are quite competitive. What do you think my chances are based on the qualifications below?

BA International Relations FIRST CLASS (Staffordshire University).

MSc Computer Science Conversion MERIT (60%) (Swansea University). Capped grade for IT Security module, tolreated fail (43%) for algorithms and data structures module.

MSc Intelligent Systems PREDICATED DISTINCTION (De Montfort University). 7 Modules out of 8 graded 70% +. Predicted distinction for dissertation.

Obvious question, should I leave out the MSc Computer Science degree in any application. OR, would it make a difference if I were to take an algorithms and data structures distance learning module from the University of York's MSc CS D/L degree and quit after I have completed the first module (the Algorithms module), I'd get the transcript, credit and grade.

Note I'm completing the DMU degree via the distance learning route, designed to be completed in 3 to 5 years, I'm due to complete in 2. I have had a lot of face to face contact with tutors on the course, I live close to the uni.

I've also published one article with one of my professors.
I think you should talk directly to students on, and staff involved in those specific CDTs. I suspect that they will be polite, but reading between the lines will say you've not much chance. The problem is that the first degree is irrelevant, the Swansea degree isn't good, 60% is the pass mark, not a Merit, at Oxford and Bristol. The De Montfort degree looks better, but De Montfort is De Montfort and distance learning while being on the door step and getting face-to-face... that isn't necessarily a positive. I think you might well be able to find someone to take you on for a self-funded PhD, but frankly, you are a risk, and CDTs don't tend to deal in risks, they need to have dead cert passes to justify their funding.

Obviously, it's worth applying if there's any chance, but I'd do some research first with the CDTs and be realistic about your prospects.
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BillMurray
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
I think you should talk directly to students on, and staff involved in those specific CDTs. I suspect that they will be polite, but reading between the lines will say you've not much chance. The problem is that the first degree is irrelevant, the Swansea degree isn't good, 60% is the pass mark, not a Merit, at Oxford and Bristol. The De Montfort degree looks better, but De Montfort is De Montfort and distance learning while being on the door step and getting face-to-face... that isn't necessarily a positive. I think you might well be able to find someone to take you on for a self-funded PhD, but frankly, you are a risk, and CDTs don't tend to deal in risks, they need to have dead cert passes to justify their funding.

Obviously, it's worth applying if there's any chance, but I'd do some research first with the CDTs and be realistic about your prospects.
Thanks. I have spoke to a few departments, and they simply said that they can consider my application based on my previous qualifications and the current MSc I'm studying (this was a while ago when I didn't have any results, it was based solely on the module titles!.

I got the feeling that they would have accepted the MSc Intelligent Systems degree alone for consideration. Which makes me think that not including the MSc CS degree in any future application might help, what do you think?
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by BillMurray)
Thanks. I have spoke to a few departments, and they simply said that they can consider my application based on my previous qualifications and the current MSc I'm studying (this was a while ago when I didn't have any results, it was based solely on the module titles!.

I got the feeling that they would have accepted the MSc Intelligent Systems degree alone for consideration. Which makes me think that not including the MSc CS degree in any future application might help, what do you think?
Applications normally require you to divulge all previous university registrations. You shouldn't leave it out, because it would always be considered relevant, should the omission be found out, and therefore invalidate your admissions offer.
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Marcin93
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Hey. I just got accepted to the UKRI CDT Biomedical AI at the University of Edinburgh. I had a 21 from the same uni in Mechanical Engineering with some tolerated fails in certain courses. I think the most important thing is your project proposal and your interview. As long as you have the minimum grade requirements (21 in related field) and an interesting personal statement and project proposal, you will get an interview. This interview is technical and you'll be asked specific questions about neural networks for example what is the activation function or how does backpropagation work and you'll need to give a satisfactory answer to this. Other than that, I think what helped me is that I had found a supervisor with a specific project before applying. The competition for these is really high because the spaces are limited 13in my case out of 150 candidates so nailing the personal statement and interview is really important for this.
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