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    Bascally, I'm planning ahead (I want to study an MA after my undergrad degree).

    So, is there anything you would recommend I do during my degree in order to help me gain a place on a MA? Is there anything you wish you'd been told sooner in order to help you prepare for applying or to give you a good chance at being successful with your application?

    I'm particularly interested in Oxbridge postgrad applicants but everyone feel free to comment!

    Thank you
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    wish i knew what i wanted to do at degree, now i do and ive dropped a very helpful A level lol
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    (Original post by Oh snap!)
    wish i knew what i wanted to do at degree, now i do and ive dropped a very helpful A level lol
    Not relevant to a POSTgraduate forum
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    saved up some money as you dont get student loans for a masters!
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    (Original post by Sir Joe)
    saved up some money as you dont get student loans for a masters!
    :eek: Damn! How else do you fund it if you don't have money saved? *Googles frantically*
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    get to know your professors early - very few of them knew my name from the big lectures. you'll need a few (3 for Oxford, 2 for Cambridge) who know you very well to write your references.
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    (Original post by Sir Joe)
    saved up some money as you dont get student loans for a masters!
    :ditto:

    There are no student loans available and funding is HIGHLY HIGHLY competitive for MA courses.

    There's no UCAS for postgrad

    Work your butt off in your first year - yes it does matter when unis are looking at your undergrad results transcript (something I wished I'd done)

    Do not rush into it - postgrad is not for everyone and trust me 3 years at uni is a long slog, let alone the extra year. Don't automatically assume you'll do your undergrad and go off onto postgrad. Uni does not suit everyone and for the most part, the majority of people do leave it for good after 3 years.

    Don't use the excuse of a postgrad course just so you can go to Oxford or Cambridge or better your undergrad degree. It's the wrong attitude to have and if you go in with anything else but for the love of your subject and to further your subject knowledge, you're probably going in for the wrong reasons.

    Enjoy your undergrad course - it'll be the most fun out of all your potential university education
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    (Original post by Sunflower52)
    get to know your professors early - very few of them knew my name from the big lectures. you'll need a few (3 for Oxford, 2 for Cambridge) who know you very well to write your references.
    This. Sourcing personal statements can easily become a nightmare.
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    (Original post by Sir Joe)
    saved up some money as you dont get student loans for a masters!
    What about an undergrad masters degree?
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    (Original post by Buster_Bunny)
    What about an undergrad masters degree?
    Yes to the student loan and money - you'll get money for it as it's a 4 year course

    However, it's not equivalent to an actual MA course - so you've got to weigh up the pros and cons of each
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    (Original post by apotoftea)
    Yes to the student loan and money - you'll get money for it as it's a 4 year course

    However, it's not equivalent to an actual MA course - so you've got to weigh up the pros and cons of each
    Ahh see i was wondering about that! And people said "a masters is a masters"
    Im thinkin bout doing a PhD after anyways... i need to, to be successful in the job i wana do.
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    (Original post by Buster_Bunny)
    Ahh see i was wondering about that! And people said "a masters is a masters"
    Im thinkin bout doing a PhD after anyways... i need to, to be successful in the job i wana do.
    Out of interest what sort of job are you after as few ACTUALLY require a PhD, bar being an academic. Am interested that you've got such high career plans at what the age of 17/18?

    An undergrad Masters which most people would notice as they're written like: BSci, where as if you did a BSc, then a MSc, you'd list two seperate qualifications.

    It won't get you funding either. Most funding guidelines will categorically state that an undergrad masters does not account for anything.
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    (Original post by apotoftea)
    Out of interest what sort of job are you after as few ACTUALLY require a PhD, bar being an academic. Am interested that you've got such high career plans at what the age of 17/18?

    An undergrad Masters which most people would notice as an undergrad science masters is a BSci, where as if you did a BSc, then a MSc, you'd list two seperate qualifications.

    It won't get you funding either. Most funding guidelines will categorically state that an undergrad masters does not account for anything.
    It doesnt require it, but if i wana be successful then its better - Research Scientist for zoology. And im 18.
    My course is MZool :/
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    (Original post by apotoftea)
    :ditto:

    There are no student loans available and funding is HIGHLY HIGHLY competitive for MA courses.

    There's no UCAS for postgrad

    Work your butt off in your first year - yes it does matter when unis are looking at your undergrad results transcript (something I wished I'd done)

    Do not rush into it - postgrad is not for everyone and trust 3 years at uni is a long slog, let alone the extra year. Don't automatically assume you'll do your undergrad and go off onto postgrad. Uni does not suit everyone and for the most part, the majority of people do leave it for good after 3 years.

    Don't use the excuse of a postgrad course just so you can go to Oxford or Cambridge or better your undergrad degree. It's the wrong attitude to have and if you go in with anything else but for the love of your subject and to further your subject knowledge, you're probably going in for the wrong reasons.

    Enjoy your undergrad course - it'll be the most fun out of all your potential university education
    Thanks =)

    I'll keep the advice in mind whilst I do my undergrad and I'm going to focus on my degree as an end in itself rather than a means to and end (postgrad) otherwise I'll probably drive myself crazy :yes:.
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    (Original post by Buster_Bunny)
    It doesnt require it, but if i wana be successful then its better - Research Scientist for zoology. And im 18.
    My course is MZool :/
    Oh wow - very interesting I've no idea how Zoology works so best of luck with future plans and PhDs etc
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    As someone who attended Oxford for postgraduate studies, I can tell you a few of the things that I was able to mention in my statement of purpose. You can then take from it what you will:

    - I hadn't studied Linguistics for my undergraduate degree, but had studied Classics and so had studied both Latin and Greek, which I believed to be helpful preparation
    - I also speak French (ditto)
    - I had had a few articles published in minor journals, usually those run by universities, including one before I'd left school
    - I'd spent a fair amount of time attending academic conferences, both at my own university and otherwise
    - Mentioned an academic relevant to Linguistics who had come to my university to give a talk and whom I'd had a chance to speak with at length/what this meant for my own enthusiasm for my studies
    - Mentioned what topic/s I might like to work on during postgrad - shows you've thought about it a bit!

    Hope that helps
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    I know this is a little off topic for this thread, but in my sector which is the humanities it is important that I get a postgraduate qualification before embarking on a PHD, usually people will have an MA - but does anyone know if a PGCE would be acceptable to progress on to doctoral studies?
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    (Original post by robbo3045)
    I know this is a little off topic for this thread, but in my sector which is the humanities it is important that I get a postgraduate qualification before embarking on a PHD, usually people will have an MA - but does anyone know if a PGCE would be acceptable to progress on to doctoral studies?
    Is a PGCE not below a masters as it is a Pg Cert and doesn't encompass any extended research? Surely it doesn't teach you much in preparation for a doctorate.
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    (Original post by arkbar)
    Is a PGCE not below a masters as it is a Pg Cert and doesn't encompass any extended research? Surely it doesn't teach you much in preparation for a doctorate.
    Well this is what I thought, but one of my lecturers went on to a PHD from a PGCE. But like you said I would want a more research based postgrad course to prepare e for a doctorate.
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    What your lecturers were able to do is very different to what current students will be able to do...times have unfortunately changed! One of the classics lecturers at Oxford (now retired) didn't even have a PhD afaik.

    I also have something else to add to the OP's original question: make sure you get through as much of the reading list as possible before you start. I was abroad when I received confirmation of my acceptance after results, so with no access to appropriate libraries (and knowing that it's unwise to purchase all of the texts before starting) I wasn't able to read anything until September. It didn't help.
 
 
 
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