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icarus93
Sunday, 24 July 2016 at 1:13pm
Sunday, 13 November 2016 at 3:20pm
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Thread: MSc Followed by MRes

posted
14-Mar-17, 15:53
edited about 1 second later
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posted about 1 month ago
Hi everyone,

I always seem to turn to this forum in times of academic crisis, and here I am again! The advice I get here is top-notch, so I thank you.

To cut a very long and very tedious story short, I graduated with a BSc in environmental science back in 2014 (2i), then an MSc this year (Pass). I received an offer of a PhD place last year, but turned it down because the project brief wasn't exactly what I was looking for. I've since been through another PhD funding round and having applied for seven places, I only had two interviews with no offers, and waiting to hear back from the last one I applied to.

Disheartened, I had a quick e-mail exchange with the supervisor of the project where I had my last interview, which also happens to be the university where I did my MSc but in a different department. He recommended that I look into doing an MRes to bolster my future applications for funding. This to me seems counterintuitive, given that I already hold an MSc, but maybe the supervisor knows something I don't. If I were to pursue an MRes with this supervisor, it would at least diversify me into atmospheric chemistry, the employment figures are very impressive from the department and they seem to be starting some excellent research into what I want to do, but I just worry that a) it might not improve my chances of getting funding in the future, b) it may delay me from where I actually want to be, which is doing a PhD and c) having two MScs to my name may put some people off, thinking I am an eternal student. As much as I love university as a whole, I'm well aware that time is marching on, and I want to get on in life!

In short, should I look into an MRes, or maybe an MPhil would be more appropriate? Should I ignore this advice and keep applying for funded PhD places?

Thanks again!

Thread: PhD prospects after disappointing MSc results

posted
13-Nov-16, 15:22
edited about 26 seconds later
Avatar for icarus93
posted about 5 months ago
Thank you TreeofLife and kikothedog, I've had a few days to consolidate this and I guess I just had an overreaction! I'm a notorious worrier and over thinker.

Thanks again.

Thread: PhD prospects after disappointing MSc results

posted
08-Nov-16, 16:45
edited about 6 seconds later
Avatar for icarus93
posted about 5 months ago
Hey everyone,

I posted a while back saying that I had received an offer of a PhD place at Strathclyde in environmental engineering. I have since declined the offer after much deliberation and nerve shredding. The plan was, and still is, to await the next round of funded places in environmental science. I received my MSc results today (after being delayed twice I might add!). They are not as good as I had hoped. I had an average weighted score of 63% (very consistent with a couple of outliers in either direction) in the taught component, and was awarded a 58% for my thesis. This has brought my average weighted score down to 60.77%. Given this, I thought I would still scrape a merit, but after reading the small print, because I did not get a merit in my thesis, then I have been downgraded to a pass. Angry does not begin to describe how I feel and because there was no academic impropriety, I can't launch an academic appeal. I should be happy given that I have passed, but the celebrations have been marred by this latest revelation.

What I want to know is how likely is this to impact any future chances of my getting a PhD offer? Anyone else in, or has been in a similar situation? I had three interviews at well respected universities prior to my being awarded an MSc, so I like to think my chances won't have been harmed, but you never know. Presumably, this was on the back of getting a 2:1 in my BSc and the promise of further study?

Thanks for taking a look, and for your advice.

Thread: PhD Options - Advice Needed

posted
28-Jul-16, 10:17
edited about 6 seconds later
Avatar for icarus93
posted about 9 months ago
Quote From chickpea:
Winters in Glasgow: generally milder than you'd think up until December, colder in January/February. People do tend to think we get a lot of rain here - I don't notice that so much as I've lived here most of my life. You won't get many problems in the city with snow etc - it's a fairly rare occurrence and the city centre gets cleared quickly.


That's good to know. Bad winter's don't particularly bother me, but it's good to know what the worst of the weather will be like


Quote From Tudor_Queen:
If you want rain, go to Manchester. Anywhere away from there is comparatively dry!


Haha, nope rain can most definitely stay away!

Thread: PhD Options - Advice Needed

posted
26-Jul-16, 11:57
Avatar for icarus93
posted about 9 months ago
Thanks! I don't think any on-campus accommodation is glamorous, is it?

Thread: PhD Options - Advice Needed

posted
26-Jul-16, 11:43
edited about 6 seconds later
Avatar for icarus93
posted about 9 months ago
I'm from York, so things aren't always rosy down here either, but forewarned is forearmed!

Thread: PhD Options - Advice Needed

posted
26-Jul-16, 11:27
Avatar for icarus93
posted about 9 months ago
I couldn't agree more! I took a tour bus that went out to the West End and it did look really nice, plus one of the PhD students said she lived out that way. My original plan was to stay in on-campus accommodation for the first year, and find somewhere else the subsequent years, but the accommodation department didn't allow me to look around when I went up, so I'm in need of ideas for where to live once I've made my decision.

Quick question and a little off topic, what are the winters like? My mind is conflicted, it should be cold given that it's more northerly, but being west coast it should also be a little warmer???

Thread: PhD Options - Advice Needed

posted
26-Jul-16, 11:06
edited about 16 seconds later
Avatar for icarus93
posted about 9 months ago
First off, thanks to everyone who has taken the time to reply.

TreeofLife: I'd consider myself quite risk averse also, but I'm finding it difficult to decide one way or the other. I don't think Brexit will be an issue for another couple of years, but my master's supervisor said that 80% of his funding comes from the EU, so it's something that may be a problem if I delay for a while. With regards to interviews, I applied when I'd only just started my master's so there were no grades on my most recent transcript. I'm not sure if that means they interviewed me on the off chance that I'd be a high-achiever, and whether I'd be interviewed again given my a more complete transcript.

Chickpea: I've only been to Glasgow once, when I visited the university on an overnighter, and was pleasantly surprised given some of the things I've heard. I like to think of it as a cross between Edinburgh and Manchester. The Strathclyde campus is really well located, but it really is an urban campus. It didn't help that when I visited, it was an overcast and drizzly day, so my opinions may improve.

Tuutikki: I can't remember exactly what the website says but it's something along the lines of 8 of their engineering departments are ranked within the Top 10, so it obviously does well in that regard. It's interesting to hear about your friend. I guess I'm concerned that because it's not a top university, then the opportunities won't be quite the same as elsewhere. I don't know, it's difficult talking about rankings without sounding like a snob, and I hope I'm not giving off that impression! I really liked Glasgow when I visited, granted it was only for a short period, but there seemed to be a big city buzz in a relatively small town

Mako: Thanks for the food for thought. Like I've said above, Glasgow struck me as a good place and given I'd be spending more time in the city than at the university, then I think that's more important. I think maybe the campus I could get used to. As far as publications go, that's another area that was a worry, though I've been told that participation in working groups and conferences is more important. My main supervisor has had roughly 50 publication over a 30 year career, and a handful he's been lead author for.

Tudor_Queen: I think it would be a good opportunity to get involved in some new/potentially pioneering research given that they've invested in a new fracking centre.

Thanks again, it's been a constructive sounding board, but please continue to add to!

Thread: PhD Options - Advice Needed

posted
24-Jul-16, 13:33
edited about 1 second later
Avatar for icarus93
posted about 9 months ago
Hello all, I'm in no doubt that I'm in a situation faced by many people, but I'm in need of some advice with regard to my options of PhD study. I'll start off with a little background. I did my BSc in environmental science at Hull and then progressed after a years work experience to an MSc in environmental science and management at York, from which I'm due to graduate in January. I suppose I'm a typical 'B' student, in that I achieve around the mid-60s with the occasional grade a little higher and lower.

I started looking into doing a PhD last year and have subsequently applied to funded positions. My first application was to Durham, the exact project I wanted to do at one of the places I most wanted to study. Unfortunately I was rejected on a technicality because I didn't realise, and nor did the proposal specify that the project started in January (about halfway through my master's). I then applied to Manchester, Exeter, Edinburgh and Strathclyde. I received interviews for all, but only an offer from Strathclyde. Rejected from Manchester due to me screwing up the interview (my first one for a PhD), and from Exeter and Edinburgh because I didn't have a strong social science/quantitative science background respectively.

I visited the campus in June, and whilst the supervisors seemed nice, the campus is horrible and the overall ranking is a concern. I'd be based in the department of civil and environmental engineering. However, the project is of interest (fracking) and is one of only a handful of institutions in the UK to be doing active research into this area. The project is also fully funded, and I'm concerned that if I reject this place, then I may not even be offered a place at an institution I'd find more desirable, or be not offered a project with the same funding (see Brexit)

My sister and dad are of the opinion that I should accept, no question. My mum thinks I should do what I feel is best, either reject and take a year out and apply in subsequent years, or accept and see how it works out.

I'm sure you'll understand my predicament, and I'd be interested to know what you'd do faced with a similar situation. Thanks for any replies!
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