Looking for advice: Should I switch to MSc?

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AliceSwann
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Hello, I'm a physics undergrad at UCL, will be 3rd year soon. My first year average was 58 and second year 77. I was wondering if I should switch to master's because I haven't had an internship and have nothing to write in my personal statement. Ideally I would like to apply for a phd after my master's. Any advice? Thanks!
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Mr Wednesday
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(Original post by AliceSwann)
Hello, I'm a physics undergrad at UCL, will be 3rd year soon. My first year average was 58 and second year 77. I was wondering if I should switch to master's because I haven't had an internship and have nothing to write in my personal statement. Ideally I would like to apply for a phd after my master's. Any advice? Thanks!
When applying for a Physics PhD the most important aspects will be (1) overall degree award and the trajectory of the marks in your transcript [58->77 improvement is fine in this context] and (2) a reference from someone who knows what you are like in a research environment, that’s most often a 3rd/4th year project supervisor. Summer placements etc are nice to have (and might add another pertinent referee to the pile) but in no way essential.

Top STEM universities WILL want a masters level qualification before a PhD, if you are on a 4 year MSci then that’s a perfectly good route and there is no compelling reason to switch to a standalone MSc unless it ticks a very specific skill set your current course does not cover.
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AliceSwann
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(Original post by Mr Wednesday)
When applying for a Physics PhD the most important aspects will be (1) overall degree award and the trajectory of the marks in your transcript [58->77 improvement is fine in this context] and (2) a reference from someone who knows what you are like in a research environment, that’s most often a 3rd/4th year project supervisor. Summer placements etc are nice to have (and might add another pertinent referee to the pile) but in no way essential.

Top STEM universities WILL want a masters level qualification before a PhD, if you are on a 4 year MSci then that’s a perfectly good route and there is no compelling reason to switch to a standalone MSc unless it ticks a very specific skill set your current course does not cover.
Thank you very much for the answer! I'm currently on a BSc degree and thinking about switching to a four year MSc degree, so I can stay for 4 years straight which could be more convenient. I heard that applying to a master's makes you more competitive than doing a 4-year MSc so I wasn't sure about it🤷
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