The Student Room Group

Can I apply to good unis for postgrad with high 50s in second year modules?

I’ve had severe mental health issues all year and haven’t been doing amazingly in work, as everything I do is last minute and as a History student this causes lots of issues since it requires heavy research.

I’ve gotten a 58 and 59 (2:1 in my uni) for two of my American history modules, whereas I’ve achieved 65s and above in other modules. I’m concerned that unis will look down on the modules with high 50s and that I won’t fare well amongst other applicants.
It won't necessarily be an issue - depends on how relevant they are to the postgrad course. If they're not that relevant (e.g. you're focusing on another period/region) and you have a good result overall it's unlikely to be a factor.

Even if it is a relevant course that doesn't completely rule things out either. I think @Sandtrooper got a lower mark in a relevant language module to their postgrad studies while in undergrad but went on to do two masters in the field, so obviously things are considered more holistically in general! Also my flatmate when I lived in Exeter got a low-ish 2:2 in a second year quantum mechanics module, and got onto a physics PhD project where that would be considered "essential background" (albeit this was partly as the PhD was at the same uni, the prospective supervisor mentioned it and asked who taught it that year, and on hearing who it was said "ah, so you actually did very well!" :tongue: ).

So not the end of the world. Obviously though you need to address the mental health issues as the root problem, so definitely make sure to speak with your GP, liaise with your uni's accessibility services etc as applicable! Make sure to document things and apply for extenuating circumstances where applicable as well. And focus on doing as well as you can in the meantime :smile:
Hi @WhyWhyWhy75,

As @artful_lounger has said, it's unlikely to be an issue unless it drops your overall degree classification.

It's possible that if you want to go onto a highly specialised MA course, a university might want to see good module grades in related undergraduate modules (i.e., if you applied to do Medieval History, they might look more closely at the transcript to see how you performed in undergraduate modules on the medieval period) but for a more general History MA, that's unlikely.

Even if your lower marks are in a related subject, it's not the end of the world. My lowest mark at undergraduate level was in a module on seventeenth and eighteenth-century literature and I'm now in the final year of a PhD specialising in medievalism in the the long eighteenth century! Universities recognise that you're on an academic journey and that a) life happens - and there may be extenuating circumstances for one or two lower grades - and b) you might not instantly 'get' a subject. It can take time to get a handle on some subjects that you later enjoy, or even become specialist in.

I'd also second what @artful_lounger has said about reaching out to your GP and to university support and wellbeing services if you have not already done so. I have a diagnosed mental health condition myself and having the support of tutors/supervisors, as well as of counselling and mentoring services has been crucial throughout both my MA and PhD studies.

Student Services can signpost you to relevant support in your university which might include counselling/wellbeing teams, peer supporters, academic skills support, and mentoring. It's also worth looking into Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) - I hadn't realised that students with mental health conditions qualified until Student Services told me - as that can cover the cost of one-to-one mentoring, as well as of specialist computer equipment to support your studies. Getting formal support from the university in place can also sometimes help to secure automatic extensions and examination/assessment adjustments if needed. You might also find the resources at Student Minds ( helpful.

Hope that helps!

Amy Louise :smile:

Quick Reply