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Is it possible to apply for a prestigious university PhD if the GPA is extremely low?

I know it is a bit vagarious and ridiculous, but I just hope to try if there is a least 5%-10% possibility.
Bachelor is 70%-75% in Asia (QS 200+, Top 20 in Asia); Master is 55%-60% in UK (QS 100+, Top 10 in UK, international student). (Both could be regarded as 2:2, almost 2:1).
Both courses are economics but applied direction. And I have many years of Big-4-similar consulting and financial companies experience (senior-level).

Is it possible to apply for financial economics or business/financial PhD in Oxbridge, LSE, IC, UCL, Warwick? or Durham, Edinburgh, Nottingham, Bath?

Though PhD is not necessary for my current career, I still don't want to give up an academic ambition. Though not talented in academic research, but feel unsatisfied with my master's degree, especially when I contact some friends or colleagues who're struggling with doctoral research and even have less academic sensibility than me.
I also hope to dip into an academic environment when I'm old rather than busy with the financial business until my resignation.
(edited 2 years ago)
Reply 1
Btw, even if I can apply for this. Can I get a sponsorship from the university because of my low GPA?
Well the first thing to note in the UK PhD admissions and PhD funding are uncoupled and funding is normally not provided by the uni (unlike in the US). It is entirely possible to be admitted to a PhD programme but not be successful in applying for funding here. In fact, just getting admitted to the programme is in principle probably the easier part even for "top" universities - getting funding usually requires you have really excellent grades and other things to prove that basically you are worth funding for the PhD and you're not going to fail/drop out/etc.

Its unclear exactly what your undergrad result is here but if it corresponds to a UK 2:1-1st then you will nominally meet the requirements for most PhD programmes. However, without a 1st you may struggle to get funding - and with what looks to be a somewhat average masters result, that seems even more remote. Particularly for such a competitive field as financial economics, and especially if your degree was focused more on applied economics than mathematical economics and economic theory, it seems that there is a mismatch in your background for the area you're aiming for and also that you may struggle to get funding even if you are admitted.

The fact you say you aren't good at academic research is a bit of a worry I think as well....in the UK a PhD is purely research. There are no taught elements normally and you will just be doing full time academic research 9-5, 5 days a week typically, for 3.5 years. It seems like a bad idea to do something you aren't good at (and may well not enjoy) for no real reason as a result, even if you can get admitted to a programme AND funded for it. Overall to me it doesn't sound like a PhD is in your best interests or best suited to your interests and aptitudes anyway.
Since you are an international student, you can get a sponsorship which is necessary for you to stay in the UK.

If you want to secure a scholarship, you need to be very exceptional.

Most "prestigious" universities don't accept PhD applications that are lower than a 2.1 bachelor and a merit master. That's widely recognised as the bottom line. The grade is nowhere near important for PhD application, but your grade is indeed a bit low to show your suitability for doctoral research. It's hard for the institutions you list (Notts might be slightly easier but still very hard) to offer you a chance unless you have good papers or other research experiences.

You can find some proper unis outside your list accepting that grade, but I would recommend you reconsider if you want to go into doctoral research. Remember PhD doesn't necessarily mean a better job or better life.

Also, correct me if I am wrong. I think most Asian states use the US grading system, in which 80 is quite normal (like 2.1) and 70 is widely considered low. If it's more like the British system, your undergraduate grade should be fine.
(edited 2 years ago)
Original post by GGKK1350
I know it is a bit vagarious and ridiculous, but I just hope to try if there is a least 5%-10% possibility.
Bachelor is 60%-70% in Asia (QS 200+, Top 20 in Asia); Master is 50%-60% in UK (QS 100+, Top 10 in UK, international student). (Both could be regarded as 2:2, almost 2:1).
Both courses are economics but applied direction. And I have many years of Big-4-similar consulting and financial companies experience (senior-level).

Is it possible to apply for financial economics or business/financial PhD in Oxbridge, LSE, IC, UCL, Warwick? or Durham, Edinburgh, Nottingham, Bath?

Though PhD is not necessary for my current career, I still don't want to give up an academic ambition. Though not talented in academic research, but feel unsatisfied with my master's degree, especially when I contact some friends or colleagues who're struggling with doctoral research and even have less academic sensibility than me.
I also hope to dip into an academic environment when I'm old rather than busy with the financial business until my resignation.

"I have many years of Big-4-similar consulting and financial companies experience (senior-level)." This is the key, provided your academic record is sufficiently historic that it can be ignored, and your professional experience and seniority can be relied on as evidence of ability, you might stand a chance. If you are 35-40+ and working in the higher executive levels in your country - that group of unis will look at you. If you are under 30, then no, your academic record isn't strong enough and neither will your professional record be. I suspect that in neither case will you be competitive for funding.
Reply 5
Corrected my undergraduate grade.
It is 70%-75%, not under 70%, which could regarded as 2:2 of UK.

Btw, I’m preparing CFA & ACA, whether qualification is helpful to compensate for my low GPA? And does high GRE/GMAT grade works?

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