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Merit in Oxford MSc Politics Research

Hey folks, I'm wondering what my odds are for apply back to Oxbridge to do a DPhil in the social sciences. I did an MSc in Politics Research during the first full academic year of the pandemic (2020/2021). I applied two months before the pandemic was a thing and got accepted. I tried to defer my offer but that got rejected so I ended up coming during the pandemic.

I ended up with a merit in my masters at Oxford. I got a 68 in my graduate course work and a 65 on my dissertation. I'm not sure what grade I would end up with. Would it be a 66.5 or rounded up to a 67? Anyway, considering the circumstances, I feel like I still did fairly well. But, had it not been the height of the pandemic, I'm sure I could have done better (distinction).

I'm wondering what you all think my prospects are for reapplying and getting accepted into a DPhil program. I'd definitely have to also secure some funding to make a 3-4 year degree in the UK viable. Other background information. I'm from Canada and did my undergraduate in Canada, with a final average equivalent to a first-class undergraduate degree with honours in the UK.

Anyway, any insights would be much appreciated. Thanks folks!
Reply 1
I posted this in the middle of the night, that's why it may not have been noticed. Any thoughts would be much appreciated folks! Thanks in advance.
Reply 2
Original post by jacob88
Hey folks, I'm wondering what my odds are for apply back to Oxbridge to do a DPhil in the social sciences. I did an MSc in Politics Research during the first full academic year of the pandemic (2020/2021). I applied two months before the pandemic was a thing and got accepted. I tried to defer my offer but that got rejected so I ended up coming during the pandemic.

I ended up with a merit in my masters at Oxford. I got a 68 in my graduate course work and a 65 on my dissertation. I'm not sure what grade I would end up with. Would it be a 66.5 or rounded up to a 67? Anyway, considering the circumstances, I feel like I still did fairly well. But, had it not been the height of the pandemic, I'm sure I could have done better (distinction).

I'm wondering what you all think my prospects are for reapplying and getting accepted into a DPhil program. I'd definitely have to also secure some funding to make a 3-4 year degree in the UK viable. Other background information. I'm from Canada and did my undergraduate in Canada, with a final average equivalent to a first-class undergraduate degree with honours in the UK.

Anyway, any insights would be much appreciated. Thanks folks!


Hi, I think you have to be a bit realistic here. Your chances of admission for a social sciences DPhil will probably be fairly low with those grades; there are FOIs showing how many students with merit-level masters get admitted and the numbers aren't in your favour. That said, your chances of admission are zero if you don't apply.

For funding, unfortunately you stand a vanishingly small chance of obtaining Oxford funding unless you're applying for an extremely specific scholarship that has few eligible applicants. That doesn't mean that wider funding sources are closed to you so there may be Canadian funding you can tap into.
Original post by jacob88
Hey folks, I'm wondering what my odds are for apply back to Oxbridge to do a DPhil in the social sciences. I did an MSc in Politics Research during the first full academic year of the pandemic (2020/2021). I applied two months before the pandemic was a thing and got accepted. I tried to defer my offer but that got rejected so I ended up coming during the pandemic.

I ended up with a merit in my masters at Oxford. I got a 68 in my graduate course work and a 65 on my dissertation. I'm not sure what grade I would end up with. Would it be a 66.5 or rounded up to a 67? Anyway, considering the circumstances, I feel like I still did fairly well. But, had it not been the height of the pandemic, I'm sure I could have done better (distinction).

I'm wondering what you all think my prospects are for reapplying and getting accepted into a DPhil program. I'd definitely have to also secure some funding to make a 3-4 year degree in the UK viable. Other background information. I'm from Canada and did my undergraduate in Canada, with a final average equivalent to a first-class undergraduate degree with honours in the UK.

Anyway, any insights would be much appreciated. Thanks folks!

You need to ask this of some academics in your old department. It's a question at least 50% of students on every course have and they've got nothing to lose by being quite open with you. If you gat a positive - 'yes, we'd love to see you back', then there you go. If you get 'It would be nice to see you again, but funding is tight, I think everyone this year got 85% or higher' then there's a hint that you'd need to find external funding, but they'd consider you.

I'd say it's worth a shot at both, if you have a well worked up, interesting research proposal. You stand a good chance of an offer, but funding might be tricky from either Uni.

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