Is it too late to think about phd?

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AliceSwann
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#1
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Hi there, I'm doing a MSc in physics at the moment and this lasts one year. With the structure of my undergrad it seems really difficult to apply for a phd of 2022 entry because I will only finish my research project next year when most phd positions are closed (I also can't self-fund). I know it's really really late but I only realised I wanted to do a phd when I got to my master's. If I take a gap year, I will have a lot of pressure from looking for research related jobs and I imagine asking for references after I graduate will also be awkward. Anyone got any advice? Thanks.
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threeportdrift
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#2
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(Original post by AliceSwann)
Hi there, I'm doing a MSc in physics at the moment and this lasts one year. With the structure of my undergrad it seems really difficult to apply for a phd of 2022 entry because I will only finish my research project next year when most phd positions are closed (I also can't self-fund). I know it's really really late but I only realised I wanted to do a phd when I got to my master's. If I take a gap year, I will have a lot of pressure from looking for research related jobs and I imagine asking for references after I graduate will also be awkward. Anyone got any advice? Thanks.
Very standard, and in some departments strongly advised to take a gap year between Masters and PhD. That way you can apply with references from a full degree which is bound to be stronger than one written after a term, and with a fulls set of grades, a completed piece of research etc,

You get reference from your Masters tutors - entirely standard after you've graduated.
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mnot
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(Original post by AliceSwann)
Hi there, I'm doing a MSc in physics at the moment and this lasts one year. With the structure of my undergrad it seems really difficult to apply for a phd of 2022 entry because I will only finish my research project next year when most phd positions are closed (I also can't self-fund). I know it's really really late but I only realised I wanted to do a phd when I got to my master's. If I take a gap year, I will have a lot of pressure from looking for research related jobs and I imagine asking for references after I graduate will also be awkward. Anyone got any advice? Thanks.
You can apply this year although your cv should be stronger once you have the full MSc. They can always make funding conditional on your MSc grade.

If you miss this year you can then re-apply next year once your in a stronger position.

You have a full undergrad of academics & dissertation already plus you can also discuss your MSc so you have some stuff for your application regardless. What matters is the research area specifically and finding a suitable supervisor.
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chazwomaq
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Why can't you look for PhD opportunities during your Masters degree? That's very normal. And why does the structure of your undergrad affect anything at all?

Even if you are applying for a PhD a year or two after your Masters, it's fine to ask them for an academic reference.
Last edited by chazwomaq; 2 months ago
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AliceSwann
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#5
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
Very standard, and in some departments strongly advised to take a gap year between Masters and PhD. That way you can apply with references from a full degree which is bound to be stronger than one written after a term, and with a fulls set of grades, a completed piece of research etc,

You get reference from your Masters tutors - entirely standard after you've graduated.
Thank you for replying! I think that makes sense as I will likely start applying to phds around September next year which is around the time I graduate, not like ages after. But then is it important to find relevant experience after my MSc and before phd?
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AliceSwann
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(Original post by mnot)
You can apply this year although your cv should be stronger once you have the full MSc. They can always make funding conditional on your MSc grade.

If you miss this year you can then re-apply next year once your in a stronger position.

You have a full undergrad of academics & dissertation already plus you can also discuss your MSc so you have some stuff for your application regardless. What matters is the research area specifically and finding a suitable supervisor.
Thank you! The problem is I didn't have a dissertation in my undergrad (we did a group project in physics which was a research project but it's nothing to talk about), and I've only started my master's project, so I haven't really any experience to show this year.
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by AliceSwann)
Thank you for replying! I think that makes sense as I will likely start applying to phds around September next year which is around the time I graduate, not like ages after. But then is it important to find relevant experience after my MSc and before phd?
They will have made the PhD decision without knowing what you are doing in the gap year. It's helpful, but so would be earning money. It's not vital though.
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AliceSwann
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#8
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(Original post by chazwomaq)
Why can't you look for PhD opportunities during your Masters degree? That's very normal. And why does the structure of your undergrad affect anything at all?

Even if you are applying for a PhD a year or two after your Masters, it's fine to ask them for an academic reference.
Thank you! I am looking, though funding opportunities for international students are quite hard to find, and I also have something specific that I want to do so what I want to choose from is limited. The problem with undergrad structure is that I don't have any research experience if I want to apply now, and since I've only started my master's project I don't think my supervisor has anything to write for me (we are only doing the literature review at the moment).
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AliceSwann
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
They will have made the PhD decision without knowing what you are doing in the gap year. It's helpful, but so would be earning money. It's not vital though.
Yeah, that's a good point, and earning money was also in my plans. Thanks a lot for the advice!
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legit help
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#10
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(Original post by AliceSwann)
Hi there, I'm doing a MSc in physics at the moment and this lasts one year. With the structure of my undergrad it seems really difficult to apply for a phd of 2022 entry because I will only finish my research project next year when most phd positions are closed (I also can't self-fund). I know it's really really late but I only realised I wanted to do a phd when I got to my master's. If I take a gap year, I will have a lot of pressure from looking for research related jobs and I imagine asking for references after I graduate will also be awkward. Anyone got any advice? Thanks.
Learning ends when one dies, so proceed with your studies
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AliceSwann
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#11
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(Original post by legit help)
Learning ends when one dies, so proceed with your studies
Point taken
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