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Today I was told I achieved a 2:1 for my M.Math degree - Which I am pleased with due to the struggles I have had in my personal life during my degree and the knowledge that I was predicted a 2:2. I now want to look into doing a PhD in Operational Research - Anyone know if this is realistically not possible with a 2:1? I got first class results for my 4th and 5th year dissertations in maths (although the area was in math bio not operational research), would this be favourable despite an overall 2:1?
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Report 1 month ago
The first thing you should be aware of is that for PhDs often admissions and funding decisions are separate processes - so you could be admitted to the uni, but not get funding. Universities thus usually have minimum requirements to admit students to PhDs, which often will be a second class degree (sometimes a 2:1 minimum), however funding applications are very competitive and so people with a first are probably more likely to be awarded funding by external bodies in the initial round - although you may still be able to get funding with a 2:1, it might be harder. So it's possible but, might be tough to get a funded position.

That said there are some projects where funding and admission are tied (usually pre-determined projects with funding already attached to them), which may stipulate a 1st is required to be considered (but may say a 2:1 is the minimum for consideration). Also sometimes PhDs are offered where the funding comes from a fellowship or similar awarded to a particular researcher/research group; in these cases sometimes the awardee has more power in deciding who gets funded for their projects, and so may be more flexible and if you are a good "fit" for their project/research group, might be keen to take you on (especially if its someone you've previously done research work with)

Strong performance in your research oriented elements of the first degree will probably be good for convincing the uni to admit you, but may not be sufficient for convincing funding bodies. Getting funded ultimately is the biggest bottleneck, and may end up being a bit of a coin toss situation for you without a 1st. I would recommend you explore options far and wide, and contact potential supervisors to discuss your situation (as well as matters about the actual project itself, or your proposal if it is not a pre-existing project) and see what they advise.

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