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Pivoting into other subject for masters.


I’m studying Mathematics with Data Science at the LSE, and will graduate next year.

I’ve decided I want to pursue a masters / phd in quantum technology, specifically quantum algorithms. However, I’ve noticed (unsurprisingly) most PHDs require at least some quantum physics. UCL has a course that supposedly accepts computer science students:

Would it be possible for me to pursue a CS Masters and go for this, or would I be better off trying to do a Maths masters? My only concern with the latter is that I will not be able to do quantum topics in this as I lack any undergraduate physics, therefore not helping me much with my Phd application. Such an example is Part III, where you specialise in Applied, Pure, Stats or Mechanics and they say ‘Applicants should apply to the pathway which best fits their academic background and interests.’

However, masters like this are a bit less clear:

I should note I am really interested in specifically quantum algorithms. I’m not too fussed about the engineering side of things.

Thank you for any responses.
(edited 8 months ago)
not my area of expertise, but I have done multiple Masters, each to change direction in my career - so there was not necessarily a good fit between my experience and the PG programme. In each case individual post grad academics have played quite an important role in what happened next.

In my experience (YMMV) the Uni's (or certain academics deciding who to recruit) can be quite flexible in your academic history if they really like you - I was offered an IBM Scholarship to do AI/Machine Learning at Masters, my first degree had pretty much nothing in that field but I had been pursuing a personal interest and had written some quite whizzy things. At interview things went really well and they offered a place there and then.

Also, in my experience (again YMMV) starting on a Masters can make it much easier to move across to a PhD - I turned down the AI Masters and did Corrosion instead. 6 months in (when picking our dissertation topics) two of us where approached about staying to continue to a PhD because our dissertation topics fitted with the wider ambitions of the department (ie professors).

I had specifically gone to that Uni to work with that Professor and knew of his work, it really helped with my application and my studies - don't underestimate the importance of individual academics and their own personal academic interests, if there are thought leaders in your field of interest find out where they work?

Not sure if its still true, but PhD's (used to?) work differently to a taught Masters. With a taught Masters you are a paying student, PhD studentships can be paid roles where you become a part of the research and teaching staff - I don't know anyone who paid to do their PhD - but that may different in 2023

Good luck :smile:
This is off topic, but as someone who is going on to study the same at LSE, could I ask you how you found the course?
Reply 3
Original post by PixiePresents
This is off topic, but as someone who is going on to study the same at LSE, could I ask you how you found the course?

I cannot comment specifically for the course, as it is new to this year, and I have yet to do any specific modules for it. I was allowed to switch due because my first year modules (Maths and Economics) were the same.

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