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    I'm currently doing my (undergrad) dissertation and that feeling of really wanting to be an academic has sprung up again. I am actually loving doing the research. My dilemma lies in whether I should go for the safer, career-led taught town planning masters degree or for the geography research one. I have several routes I could take to doing a PhD, but I want to know which, if any, would be best and if there would be better chance of funding with any of them.

    Route 1: Do an MRes in human geography (self funding) and then attempt to get some funding for a PhD either in the UK or in USA/Canada.

    Route 2: Compete for a bursary for a town planning masters and then work as a planner for a few years (as per the funding contract) and then try to get funding for a PhD either in the UK or in the USA/Canada.

    Route 3: Self-fund a town planning masters and then do the above.

    Route 4: A mix-and-match approach.

    Before starting my dissertation I was pretty set on being a planner, but the researching has really interested me. I'm averaging a 2.1 just now, so I should graduate with one next year, and if I'm lucky I might manage to bump it up to a first, although I think I'd have to be really lucky! So it does cut my competitiveness somewhat not having a first. I can afford to self-fund a masters, but self-funding a PhD is a bit out of my reach, and will be for quite a few years.

    I should probably say that my interests would come under the ESRC.

    Hi, what university are you currently at and were are you considering a masters?

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