MPhil Edinburgh/Strahclyde possibly Cambridge?

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Denzel89
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Hello, just finished an MSc and I really fancy an MPhil to dig a little deeper into a topic, hopefully there are some people on here that can advise on what exactly an MPhil entails.

I believe it to be a year consisting of a singular research project with a thesis at the end? Is this something you can do around a job or is full time absolutely full time?

The MSc I have just completed was rather simple and was completed to a decent standard with just a few hours a week really.

Also, I see a lot of universities make mention of conferences etc will I be expected to partake in such things?

Daniel.
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artful_lounger
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The exact format of MPhils vary a bit, but at most unis you don't normally enter for the MPhil, it's just awarded to would-be PhDs who for some reason are unable to complete their programme. That normally takes place over two years. There are some one year MPhils like at Cambridge, where MPhil is used for almost all masters degrees including fully taught masters courses and Oxford where MPhil is sometimes offered there as the equivalent of a MRes somewhere else. Outside of Oxford and Cambridge if you are looking for a one year standalone research masters, the most common title is MRes. The MPhil might come with an expectation you may progress on to the PhD, or be viewed as a "failed PhD" externally.

In any case, a one year research masters will normally be a full time course and you'll be expected to be doing research full time on your thesis/project. For STEM fields you may be expected to be in the lab conducting experimental work 9-5 most weekdays, while for "arts" courses you will probably be expected to have regular meetings with your supervisor and the assumption would be that to do a quality research project, you would be working on it full time. You may well also be expected to partake in the research environment within your department otherwise e.g. joining journal clubs, attending a regular departmental seminar (for which you may be expected to present at some point), going to conferences as dictated by your supervisor etc.

It is in many cases a "mini-PhD" (as evidenced by the fact as above it's the normal exit award for those who do not complete the PhD but have worked on it for at least two years and have a substantial thesis to submit still). You would be expected to be doing much more in depth and usually original research on such a course, unlike a taught MSc, and so just because there aren't structured contact hours doesn't mean that you wouldn't be expected to put in as much if not more time. Thus, it's unlikely you will be able to work full time while completing the course, and I imagine you would probably be discouraged from even working part-time.
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Denzel89
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
The exact format of MPhils vary a bit, but at most unis you don't normally enter for the MPhil, it's just awarded to would-be PhDs who for some reason are unable to complete their programme. That normally takes place over two years. There are some one year MPhils like at Cambridge, where MPhil is used for almost all masters degrees including fully taught masters courses and Oxford where MPhil is sometimes offered there as the equivalent of a MRes somewhere else. Outside of Oxford and Cambridge if you are looking for a one year standalone research masters, the most common title is MRes. The MPhil might come with an expectation you may progress on to the PhD, or be viewed as a "failed PhD" externally.

In any case, a one year research masters will normally be a full time course and you'll be expected to be doing research full time on your thesis/project. For STEM fields you may be expected to be in the lab conducting experimental work 9-5 most weekdays, while for "arts" courses you will probably be expected to have regular meetings with your supervisor and the assumption would be that to do a quality research project, you would be working on it full time. You may well also be expected to partake in the research environment within your department otherwise e.g. joining journal clubs, attending a regular departmental seminar (for which you may be expected to present at some point), going to conferences as dictated by your supervisor etc.

It is in many cases a "mini-PhD" (as evidenced by the fact as above it's the normal exit award for those who do not complete the PhD but have worked on it for at least two years and have a substantial thesis to submit still). You would be expected to be doing much more in depth and usually original research on such a course, unlike a taught MSc, and so just because there aren't structured contact hours doesn't mean that you wouldn't be expected to put in as much if not more time. Thus, it's unlikely you will be able to work full time while completing the course, and I imagine you would probably be discouraged from even working part-time.
I see thanks.

Another reason for it is, (yet to confirm) is that 'research' is a pathway for chartership with my professional body. Plus I would like to be an expert of sorts in a field where very little is written. I absolutely therefore do not care about the 'failed PhD', however I do understand why that would be so.

I have spent the day looking around and quite a few Uni's do offer MPhil's as stand alone degrees.
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by Denzel89)
I see thanks.

Another reason for it is, (yet to confirm) is that 'research' is a pathway for chartership with my professional body. Plus I would like to be an expert of sorts in a field where very little is written. I absolutely therefore do not care about the 'failed PhD', however I do understand why that would be so.

I have spent the day looking around and quite a few Uni's do offer MPhil's as stand alone degrees.
I mean if you want to be an expert in your field, why not just do a PhD in full? That's kind of the point of them - you develop a specialist expertise in some small niche area of knowledge. Research masters courses usually have little or no funding available for them as well, unlike taught masters and PhDs, and the taught masters -> PhD is a pretty standard pathway
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Denzel89
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
I mean if you want to be an expert in your field, why not just do a PhD in full? That's kind of the point of them - you develop a specialist expertise in some small niche area of knowledge. Research masters courses usually have little or no funding available for them as well, unlike taught masters and PhDs, and the taught masters -> PhD is a pretty standard pathway
Well, simply because I cant be bothered with another 3-4 years minimum studying. Ive been here for 5 years already, I am 32 years old and really need to get back to work. Which is, ideally as a self employed specialist surveyor for which I need (again ideally) the professional chartership. My thinking here was if a 1 year or so course would get me MRICS then it would be worth doing and I then I could go on my merry way as a highly qualified specialist surveyor.

When you say funding...are there not loans for such things?

Edit: I see you can only have the loan if for a full PhD
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by Denzel89)
Well, simply because I cant be bothered with another 3-4 years minimum studying. Ive been here for 5 years already, I am 32 years old and really need to get back to work. Which is, ideally as a self employed specialist surveyor for which I need (again ideally) the professional chartership. My thinking here was if a 1 year or so course would get me MRICS then it would be worth doing and I then I could go on my merry way as a highly qualified specialist surveyor.

When you say funding...are there not loans for such things?

Edit: I see you can only have the loan if for a full PhD
Yeah the postgrad masters loan is only for taught masters courses (and you can only get it once) and the postgrad doctoral loan is only for PhDs (it's also very little - generally if doing a PhD you want to find a funded PhD, either by one of the research councils or sometimes other institutions or bodies, including industrially sponsored ones, the doctoral loan would normally be considered self-funding a PhD).

There may be industrially sponsored PhDs in your field worth considering - I'm not that familiar with surveying/planning though. In engineering they certainly exist and may even include substantial time spent working at the sponsoring company on the research project. Might be something to explore!
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Denzel89
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What do PhD student typically do for money? I mean, what does the funding cover? Could you get funding from say some industrial source and take the loan? Im not really keen for another four years of poverty tbh. But I do fancy further study!
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