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MPhil vs PHD

Hi!

I am considering doing a PhD at some point in the next few years, but I'm unsure whether to do an MPhil first. I have a MA already, however an MPhil seems to be a good stepping stone to a PhD where it's shorter, prior to committing to a full PhD.

I'm still very early on in thinking about all this, but wondered if anybody else had any insight?
An MPhil where? At most universities an MPhil is just an exit award for those who do not complete the PhD and not usually something you apply to directly. At Oxford and Cambridge though it's just a masters degree which may be taught, research, or both.

If you mean you want to do a research masters in general first (more commonly an MRes at other unis) then that's an option, but if you already have a masters you may as well just apply straight to the PhD programmes (you can always apply to both and if you get no traction for a funded PhD you can do a research masters somewhere else first).
Reply 2
Original post by artful_lounger
An MPhil where? At most universities an MPhil is just an exit award for those who do not complete the PhD and not usually something you apply to directly. At Oxford and Cambridge though it's just a masters degree which may be taught, research, or both.

If you mean you want to do a research masters in general first (more commonly an MRes at other unis) then that's an option, but if you already have a masters you may as well just apply straight to the PhD programmes (you can always apply to both and if you get no traction for a funded PhD you can do a research masters somewhere else first).

Sorry, I'm still in the very early stages of considering this all. A lot of unis seemed to offer both options but maybe I'm mistaken. Maybe I will look at directly applying to PhD's then, I just worry about the financial side of things with a full PhD where it takes so many years. I'd love to do one but not sure if I could afford it.
(edited 4 months ago)
Original post by Tara.C
Sorry, I'm still in the very early stages of considering this all. A lot of unis seemed to offer both options but maybe I'm mistaken. Maybe I will look at directly applying to PhD's then, I just worry about the financial side of things with a full PhD where it takes so many years. I'd love to do one but not sure if I could afford it.

I mean financially for a PhD the general sense is that if you're not offered a fully funded PhD it's usually something to consider very carefully before doing, because self-funded PhDs can hold a fair bit of stigma within academia if you aim to continue that route. Typical PhD funding in the UK for a fully funded PhD will usually be full tuition fees etc, plus a tax-fee stipend (usually paid monthly I think).

An MPhil may be seen as a "failed PhD" outside of Oxford and Cambridge MPhils or similar courses where it's clearly a standalone course completely separate from any PhD programme. If you just want to do a research masters then do look for one, but be aware they are usually called an MRes outside of Oxbridge and be certain that it is a standalone course and not usually an exit award for the PhD programme there. If it lists a course as "MPhil/PhD" or "PhD/MPhil" then usually the PhD is the actual degree in question and the MPhil is the exit award.
Reply 4
Original post by artful_lounger
I mean financially for a PhD the general sense is that if you're not offered a fully funded PhD it's usually something to consider very carefully before doing, because self-funded PhDs can hold a fair bit of stigma within academia if you aim to continue that route. Typical PhD funding in the UK for a fully funded PhD will usually be full tuition fees etc, plus a tax-fee stipend (usually paid monthly I think).

An MPhil may be seen as a "failed PhD" outside of Oxford and Cambridge MPhils or similar courses where it's clearly a standalone course completely separate from any PhD programme. If you just want to do a research masters then do look for one, but be aware they are usually called an MRes outside of Oxbridge and be certain that it is a standalone course and not usually an exit award for the PhD programme there. If it lists a course as "MPhil/PhD" or "PhD/MPhil" then usually the PhD is the actual degree in question and the MPhil is the exit award.

Ahh, that makes more sense. Thank you for your help! Where would be the best place to start looking for funding? I'd be considering an arts/journalism based Phd. (The topic I have in mind relates to both.)
Original post by Tara.C
Ahh, that makes more sense. Thank you for your help! Where would be the best place to start looking for funding? I'd be considering an arts/journalism based Phd. (The topic I have in mind relates to both.)

Usually UK PhDs are funded by the research councils, although sometimes other bodies may fund them (e.g. the British Heart Foundation jointly funds some PhDs with the MRC in cardiovascular health research).

Unsure if you mean "arts" as in visual/creative arts or in the sense of the humanities generally. In either case I believe you'd probably want to be applying to AHRC funding I would imagine? Not entirely sure how the specific mechanics of the application work though or at what time you make it or where however when you're applying with your own research proposal however!
I wouldn’t recommend doing a PhD without funding & a deep interest in the field you pursue.

The biggest difference between an mphil/phd is the depth of research required & the expected standard. Of course an MPhil can also be very high quality but the minimum standard for the award is a much higher bar.

PhDs are pretty well documented online so I’ll give an overview as to why an MPhil:
Why do an MPhil?
-you don’t have PhD funding, it lets you build a stronger resume for the PhD application
-you want to build some experience or knowledge in a new area
-you want to pursue a specific area of research & it doesn’t require the sane depth as a PhD.
Realistically, it depends on how much your parents have.
Original post by ABBAForever2015
Realistically, it depends on how much your parents have.


Masters students have access to the masters loan from SFE & most PhDs are funded positions (and realistically you should be able to work part time around most MPhil’s & PhDs have lots of opportunities for extra income). Your post isn’t constructive (or true).
(edited 4 months ago)

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