Masters application with bad 2nd year grades?

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beanbean3
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So I just finished a BSc in Physics - and I got a low-ish 2:1 (63%) overall.

The problem is that my first-year (which didn't actually count) and second-year (accounting for 32% of my degree) grades were both really bad - I got thirds and had to resit a few exams.

I realised in my final year that I needed to work hard in order to get a decent grade, and my final year average was 75% - I got firsts in all my modules except one (which was a 68%), and got some really impressive grades (98 in one, and 82 in another). This overall averaged to 63% - which I completely expected and I was happy with a 2:1.

I really have no real excuse for my poor grades, other than I realised that I really wasn't passionate about Physics, and focussed way too much on extracurriculars and social life. The issue is I want to do a Masters, (probably in Environmental Science/Policy, which I am sure about), and I'm worried about how bad my first and second year grades will look on my transcript!

Is this something I should mention in my personal statement? Is it realistic for me to even think about doing a Masters - most places require a minimum of 2:1, which I meet, but will they account for previous poor grades? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!
Last edited by beanbean3; 2 weeks ago
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PhoenixFortune
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(Original post by beanbean3)
So I just finished a BSc in Physics - and I got a low-ish 2:1 (63%) overall.

The problem is that my first-year (which didn't actually count) and second-year (accounting for 32% of my degree) grades were both really bad - I got thirds and had to resit a few exams.

I realised in my final year that I needed to work hard in order to get a decent grade, and my final year average was 75% - I got firsts in all my modules except one (which was a 68%), and got some really impressive grades (98 in one, and 82 in another). This overall averaged to 63% - which I completely expected and I was happy with a 2:1.

I really have no real excuse for my poor grades, other than I realised that I really wasn't passionate about Physics, and focussed way too much on extracurriculars and social life. The issue is I want to do a Masters, (probably in Environmental Science/Policy, which I am sure about), and I'm worried about how bad my first and second year grades will look on my transcript!

Is this something I should mention in my personal statement? Is it realistic for me to even think about doing a Masters - most places require a minimum of 2:1, which I meet, but will they account for previous poor grades? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!
If you are going to apply to competitive universities, then you may struggle. Otherwise I don't see it being a huge issue - especially as you aren't looking to do Physics at masters level.

Don't waste words justifying your marks in your personal statement - if you are really worried, ask your referee to mention it, but as you don't have extenuating circumstances, it might just detract from the rest of your application.
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ZR246
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(Original post by beanbean3)
So I just finished a BSc in Physics - and I got a low-ish 2:1 (63%) overall.

The problem is that my first-year (which didn't actually count) and second-year (accounting for 32% of my degree) grades were both really bad - I got thirds and had to resit a few exams.

I realised in my final year that I needed to work hard in order to get a decent grade, and my final year average was 75% - I got firsts in all my modules except one (which was a 68%), and got some really impressive grades (98 in one, and 82 in another). This overall averaged to 63% - which I completely expected and I was happy with a 2:1.

I really have no real excuse for my poor grades, other than I realised that I really wasn't passionate about Physics, and focussed way too much on extracurriculars and social life. The issue is I want to do a Masters, (probably in Environmental Science/Policy, which I am sure about), and I'm worried about how bad my first and second year grades will look on my transcript!

Is this something I should mention in my personal statement? Is it realistic for me to even think about doing a Masters - most places require a minimum of 2:1, which I meet, but will they account for previous poor grades? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!
You can always come up with some BS about difficult personal circumstances, sickness in the family etc just 1 sentence and then that it's now been resolved.
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emiloujess
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PLEASE do not lie on your application, like the above poster suggests.

I would just apply and see what sort of offers you get. I have a poor first year of Advertising (I switched courses after that first year) on my university records and I still got an offer from Nottingham. I would say your drastic improvement in grades in third year will speak a lot for how you have changed. Also those extracurriculars might come in very useful. Good luck!
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Muserock
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I also had an offer at Nottingham. They didn't ask for my degree transcript, just my certificate so depending on your subject, they may never know anyway. If they do, they may well be impressed by how much you have grown throughout your degree and how you managed to turn things around. Good luck!
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beanbean3
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(Original post by emiloujess)
PLEASE do not lie on your application, like the above poster suggests.

I would just apply and see what sort of offers you get. I have a poor first year of Advertising (I switched courses after that first year) on my university records and I still got an offer from Nottingham. I would say your drastic improvement in grades in third year will speak a lot for how you have changed. Also those extracurriculars might come in very useful. Good luck!
Thanks so much for your reply!!

Did you address the poor first year on your personal statement? Would you recommend doing so?

Also, did you get rejected by any unis because of the poor first year??
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emiloujess
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(Original post by beanbean3)
Thanks so much for your reply!!

Did you address the poor first year on your personal statement? Would you recommend doing so?

Also, did you get rejected by any unis because of the poor first year??
Hi! No I didn't, but I handed in my transcript from Advertising first year, as well as the first and second year of the course I was doing at that point (Sociology & Criminology), so if they looked they definitely saw a low 2:2, then improving grades on the new course. I'd focus your PS on the skills you've learnt and improved on during your undergrad, instead of mentioning 'I know this was bad but xyz'. So say if your time management and essay writing skills have improved etc. These improvements can all be seen in your third year grades so you may be able to kind of turn it into a positive if you know what I mean?

I only applied to Leicester and Nottingham (I was limited in area and didn't want to bother my amazing referees too much), but I received an offer from both.
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