Prospects after MSci Physics at 2.1

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AliceSwann
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#1
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Hi guys 👋 I've just finished my MSci Physics and will likely end up with a 2.1 (most likely 65-67)

I haven't really thought of what to do afterwards. I have thought of a few things that I would like to get advice on:

1. Does my low grade make it impossible to do phd? I know physics is extremely competitive, and I got through undergrad without thinking about pursuing anything academics so I didn't work towards it, but in my final year I really enjoyed the research project (got a 1st for it too) and would want to do a phd. However I also don't have a specific topic of interest.

2. How hard is it to get a job in tech/programming with an MSci in physics? So far my only relevant experience is coding for the physics project which does not have relevant application in industry. Despite people saying physics is a versatile degree, I don't have a readily applicable skillset for anything.

That's all I can think of for now, any advice would be appreciated, thanks
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_gcx
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I don't know many specifics about physics but you have definitely not counted yourself out of a PhD with a 2:1. Someone I know at my university (which is fairly good for physics) has a 2:1 (don't know how high) MSci from a "mid-tier" university and got a funded place, seemed to be coping well and really enjoys their research. The fact that you did very well in your research project + you're passionate about that project should count well in your favour.

I've only looked at phds in maths personally (where high firsts 80+ are not particularly unusual), and even they seem to accept a 2:1 (in a bachelors, even) outside the very top. I just googled a few (nottingham, lancaster) for physics off the top of my head and they seem to accept 2:1s as well.
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Spelunker
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Is a 2.1 a low grade!?
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AliceSwann
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(Original post by _gcx)
I don't know many specifics about physics but you have definitely not counted yourself out of a PhD with a 2:1. Someone I know at my university (which is fairly good for physics) has a 2:1 (don't know how high) MSci from a "mid-tier" university and got a funded place, seemed to be coping well and really enjoys their research. The fact that you did very well in your research project + you're passionate about that project should count well in your favour.

I've only looked at phds in maths personally (where high firsts 80+ are not particularly unusual), and even they seem to accept a 2:1 (in a bachelors, even) outside the very top. I just googled a few (nottingham, lancaster) for physics off the top of my head and they seem to accept 2:1s as well.
Thanks for your reply! Yeah, I'm aware that many unis just ask for a 2.1, but in reality it's much more competitive than that especially for funding, I have a few friends who didn't get anything even with firsts I think they only put the 2.1 there for people who got 68/69 at Oxbridge...

Good luck with your phd applications! (if that's what you're planning to do)
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AliceSwann
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(Original post by Spelunker)
Is a 2.1 a low grade!?
No, of course not! I think it's a respectable grade, but for highly competitive stuff like phd applications it would be a disadvantage since most people would have had firsts
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AliceSwann
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(Original post by _gcx)
MSci from a "mid-tier" university and got a funded place, seemed to be coping well and really enjoys their research.
Btw, can I ask what you consider to be 'mid-tier' unis? I'm an international student and I'm not quite sure how universities are considered here.
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_gcx
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(Original post by AliceSwann)
Thanks for your reply! Yeah, I'm aware that many unis just ask for a 2.1, but in reality it's much more competitive than that especially for funding, I have a few friends who didn't get anything even with firsts I think they only put the 2.1 there for people who got 68/69 at Oxbridge...

Good luck with your phd applications! (if that's what you're planning to do)
that might be the case at the top (you probably wouldn't be applying to Oxford with it even if they say "high 2:1 or first") but I don't see it being universally the case as that person got a 2:1 from a mid-tier university and got a funded place at Warwick. I'm sure they're far from the only one, even if it is less likely.
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_gcx
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(Original post by AliceSwann)
Btw, can I ask what you consider to be 'mid-tier' unis? I'm an international student and I'm not quite sure how universities are considered here.
I'll PM the university since I'm not sure how much this would uniquely identify that person
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Ghostlady
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(Original post by AliceSwann)
Hi guys 👋 I've just finished my MSci Physics and will likely end up with a 2.1 (most likely 65-67)

I haven't really thought of what to do afterwards. I have thought of a few things that I would like to get advice on:

1. Does my low grade make it impossible to do phd? I know physics is extremely competitive, and I got through undergrad without thinking about pursuing anything academics so I didn't work towards it, but in my final year I really enjoyed the research project (got a 1st for it too) and would want to do a phd. However I also don't have a specific topic of interest.

2. How hard is it to get a job in tech/programming with an MSci in physics? So far my only relevant experience is coding for the physics project which does not have relevant application in industry. Despite people saying physics is a versatile degree, I don't have a readily applicable skillset for anything.

That's all I can think of for now, any advice would be appreciated, thanks
My eldest is 2nd year of masters of particle physics in Lancaster and would also love to do a phd as well. Have you thought about speaking to your supervisors for advice? You might have finished uni, but surely do they have help for students too in assisting in going to the next direction?
It might be worth going into renewable energy, so hydrogen, nuclear would be a good topic, and people are really wanting to get to clean energy for the future. Lancaster has some great particle physics phds.

What modules grabbed your interest the most? It might be good checking out a phd in that field. And if your getting 65-67 its a high 2:1 so thats good.

There was a vlogger called Paige Y I think shes called. And she did physics and went onto to study actuary. I think shes part time as shes got a job too.
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AliceSwann
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(Original post by Ghostlady)
My eldest is 2nd year of masters of particle physics in Lancaster and would also love to do a phd as well. Have you thought about speaking to your supervisors for advice? You might have finished uni, but surely do they have help for students too in assisting in going to the next direction?
It might be worth going into renewable energy, so hydrogen, nuclear would be a good topic, and people are really wanting to get to clean energy for the future. Lancaster has some great particle physics phds.

What modules grabbed your interest the most? It might be good checking out a phd in that field. And if your getting 65-67 its a high 2:1 so thats good.

There was a vlogger called Paige Y I think shes called. And she did physics and went onto to study actuary. I think shes part time as shes got a job too.
Thanks for your reply! I hope her master's goes well

I've finished uni but haven't got final results back yet. I'd talk to my supervisors afterwards but I can't make up my mind, and I'm kind of ashamed of my grades too... (a mixture of 70s and 50s instead of consistent 60s...)

I can't make up my mind as I'm not even sure I will stay in the UK after I graduate, and I just don't know enough to have a specific research topic of interest. During my undergrad I was interested in cosmology modules but was not able to get a project in it, so I did my project in astronomy, which was also interesting, but I think I'm very unlikely to get funding in this area.
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Ghostlady
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(Original post by AliceSwann)
Thanks for your reply! I hope her master's goes well

I've finished uni but haven't got final results back yet. I'd talk to my supervisors afterwards but I can't make up my mind, and I'm kind of ashamed of my grades too... (a mixture of 70s and 50s instead of consistent 60s...)

I can't make up my mind as I'm not even sure I will stay in the UK after I graduate, and I just don't know enough to have a specific research topic of interest. During my undergrad I was interested in cosmology modules but was not able to get a project in it, so I did my project in astronomy, which was also interesting, but I think I'm very unlikely to get funding in this area.
Thanks Dont be ashamed of your grades. Shes also currently gets similar marks, and its still averaging a high 2:1 so its all good.
Comptition funded this one https://www.findaphd.com/phds/projec...atory/?p143559 in Poland.
Same as this one for leeds https://www.findaphd.com/phds/projec...tices/?p136480 .
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Callicious
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(Original post by AliceSwann)
Hi guys 👋 I've just finished my MSci Physics and will likely end up with a 2.1 (most likely 65-67)

I haven't really thought of what to do afterwards. I have thought of a few things that I would like to get advice on:

1. Does my low grade make it impossible to do phd? I know physics is extremely competitive, and I got through undergrad without thinking about pursuing anything academics so I didn't work towards it, but in my final year I really enjoyed the research project (got a 1st for it too) and would want to do a phd. However I also don't have a specific topic of interest.

2. How hard is it to get a job in tech/programming with an MSci in physics? So far my only relevant experience is coding for the physics project which does not have relevant application in industry. Despite people saying physics is a versatile degree, I don't have a readily applicable skillset for anything.

That's all I can think of for now, any advice would be appreciated, thanks
I finished too! How'd the MSc go? I got 80ish on mine (but subbed 4 days late for a 20% penalty... my supervisors performance mark of 90% got me to 70% overall on my MSc, but my 4th year COVID grade, which was rather sad, got me below a 1st to a 2:1 )
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AliceSwann
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(Original post by Callicious)
I finished too! How'd the MSc go? I got 80ish on mine (but subbed 4 days late for a 20% penalty... my supervisors performance mark of 90% got me to 70% overall on my MSc, but my 4th year COVID grade, which was rather sad, got me below a 1st to a 2:1 )
Wow, congratulations on your good project! I think even if you got a 2.1 it would be very high with your project, and it says more about your research potential

I haven't got my final results yet, a few exams went a bit sad, I will find out soon (fingers crossed!) but my overall average will definitely fall between 65-67. My research project didn't go stellar, but I managed a first. Thanks for the tips you gave me earlier this year!
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Callicious
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(Original post by AliceSwann)
Wow, congratulations on your good project! I think even if you got a 2.1 it would be very high with your project, and it says more about your research potential

I haven't got my final results yet, a few exams went a bit sad, I will find out soon (fingers crossed!) but my overall average will definitely fall between 65-67. My research project didn't go stellar, but I managed a first. Thanks for the tips you gave me earlier this year!
Aye... I've always done great on coursework and the like- exams not so much. I don't think I've completed an exam fully since A-Levels (I had special circumstances back then for extra time) and usually only get through 60-70% of them before I run out of time

Anyhow, I'm content- 2:1 is definitely enough for a PhD. My sup says that as long as your coursework is fine and your MSc grade is fine, I'll be fine- the same applies to you
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AliceSwann
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(Original post by Ghostlady)
Thanks Dont be ashamed of your grades. Shes also currently gets similar marks, and its still averaging a high 2:1 so its all good.
Comptition funded this one https://www.findaphd.com/phds/projec...atory/?p143559 in Poland.
Same as this one for leeds https://www.findaphd.com/phds/projec...tices/?p136480 .
Thank you! Well done on her part

I also look at this website, though I'm not planning to go to Poland. As for where exactly I will study the immigration/visa rules of different countries since staying away from my home country is one of my goals too. I probably will ask my supervisor or tutor about it later this year when I have a better idea of what options I have in terms of relocating.
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AliceSwann
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(Original post by Callicious)
Aye... I've always done great on coursework and the like- exams not so much. I don't think I've completed an exam fully since A-Levels (I had special circumstances back then for extra time) and usually only get through 60-70% of them before I run out of time

Anyhow, I'm content- 2:1 is definitely enough for a PhD. My sup says that as long as your coursework is fine and your MSc grade is fine, I'll be fine- the same applies to you
Good luck with what you plan to do! I'm sure your MSc project will look really great on your application

I'm the same with exams lol... and only realised towards the end of my degree that I was eligible for mitigation circumstances, but didn't apply earlier. My concern is that I only really have one piece of coursework, i.e. my master's dissertation, if we don't count the group project, and I think that's hardly enough experience...
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Callicious
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(Original post by AliceSwann)
Good luck with what you plan to do! I'm sure your MSc project will look really great on your application

I'm the same with exams lol... and only realised towards the end of my degree that I was eligible for mitigation circumstances, but didn't apply earlier. My concern is that I only really have one piece of coursework, i.e. my master's dissertation, if we don't count the group project, and I think that's hardly enough experience...
My sup told me that basically no one here in the UK has any research experience at the end of the MSc aside from their dissertation, and that's expected. Between him and his closest co-worker at the RoE, I think they have 10+ PhD students? He complained that the Brit ones had no research publications, while those from the EU had at least two+ when applying, especially the Portuguese/Spanish ones. He didn't discriminate when accepting the Brit ones based on their publications though, but yeah... it's worrisome but that's how it is, and apparently it's expected.

Edit: One of them (Chinese) had like, five publications when applying? He was only 23 when he applied, too! They're an amazing dude though- only met him once and he was quite attractive (mentally and physically! )

We plan to publish at least part of my MSc but even then that's only one. I'm going to try and self-publish some of the group project work I did last year with my group (the isochrone fitting stuff specifically) but other than that... yeah.

We don't get much experience with research here in the UK during a degree... :_:
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AliceSwann
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(Original post by Callicious)
My sup told me that basically no one here in the UK has any research experience at the end of the MSc aside from their dissertation, and that's expected. Between him and his closest co-worker at the RoE, I think they have 10+ PhD students? He complained that the Brit ones had no research publications, while those from the EU had at least two+ when applying, especially the Portuguese/Spanish ones. He didn't discriminate when accepting the Brit ones based on their publications though, but yeah... it's worrisome but that's how it is, and apparently it's expected.

Edit: One of them (Chinese) had like, five publications when applying? He was only 23 when he applied, too! They're an amazing dude though- only met him once and he was quite attractive (mentally and physically! )

We plan to publish at least part of my MSc but even then that's only one. I'm going to try and self-publish some of the group project work I did last year with my group (the isochrone fitting stuff specifically) but other than that... yeah.

We don't get much experience with research here in the UK during a degree... :_:
That's true, but considering that your dissertation is of a publishable standard I wouldn't worry about that at all. I always wonder how EU students got so many publications before they go on phds... it's slightly beyond me haha. And my dissertation/group project is definitely not of publishable standard 🙃
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Callicious
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(Original post by AliceSwann)
That's true, but considering that your dissertation is of a publishable standard I wouldn't worry about that at all. I always wonder how EU students got so many publications before they go on phds... it's slightly beyond me haha. And my dissertation/group project is definitely not of publishable standard 🙃
In the case of my gf, her supervisor is very helpful and stuck with her beyond her degree- even now he's with her, helped her get a job, and is helping her get into a PhD scheme. Just like with families sticking together long-term, the supervisor-student relationships over there are very close. All of 'em are like that- her friends and their supervisors, and so forth.

Ours isn't yet either- the code we wrote is extremely slow. I'm in the process of updating it + parallelising it to make it to a usable standard. The plan is that the paper will target the use of the material we wrote as teaching material (+ a teaching code) that can produce publication-standard results, but with the transparency + usability at MSc student level, if that makes sense. I'm handling the code but my groupmates will contribute to the descriptions/etc
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AliceSwann
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(Original post by Callicious)
In the case of my gf, her supervisor is very helpful and stuck with her beyond her degree- even now he's with her, helped her get a job, and is helping her get into a PhD scheme. Just like with families sticking together long-term, the supervisor-student relationships over there are very close. All of 'em are like that- her friends and their supervisors, and so forth.

Ours isn't yet either- the code we wrote is extremely slow. I'm in the process of updating it + parallelising it to make it to a usable standard. The plan is that the paper will target the use of the material we wrote as teaching material (+ a teaching code) that can produce publication-standard results, but with the transparency + usability at MSc student level, if that makes sense. I'm handling the code but my groupmates will contribute to the descriptions/etc
That's really nice, I wish her all the best for her job and phd
Earlier this year I told my supervisor I was applying to jobs, and they said a few times that I could ask them for a reference... I still haven't, because I'm still feeling too insecure to apply

Good luck with your code! That sounds like a very impressive and interesting project (I think I read the code myself too? haha)

Btw any recommendations for improving my coding skills?
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