Do I need an MA to do a Phd?

posted
03-Jun-09, 23:46
by dnlxon
Avatar for dnlxon
posted about 5 years ago
Hi

I'll try not to ramble on, but here is a little history about myself. I graduated from MMU in 2005 with a 2:1 in Film and Media and after a stint in the music industry I have decided to go back to Uni to pursue my ambition of becoming a lecturer specialising in history and theory of landscape photography in in the United Kingdom.

I was wondering if anyone could provide me with any advice as to whether it would be a better option to get my MA before embarking on a phd or to go straight for the phd? I am recently married and need to work full time so obviously I would prefer not to spend two years doing my MA if it is not really required to get me onto a Phd!

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks

Dan
posted
04-Jun-09, 08:49
edited about 18 seconds later
by MH 2 star member
Avatar for MH
posted about 5 years ago
Hi Dan,

You can do a PhD straight after your BA or BSc but a Masters always helps. I was in the same situation years ago but went for a Masters and I am happy I did. But its your decision, I would suggest a taught Masters before PhD.

Take care
posted
04-Jun-09, 09:55
by monkey 1 star member
Avatar for monkey
posted about 5 years ago
depends on the country you want to do the Phd in. in the UK, a lot of people go into a PhD straight after their bachelor's degree, that is not a problem.
posted
04-Jun-09, 10:00
Avatar for Keenbean
posted about 5 years ago
Personally, I would double check with the unis you're applying to just to make sure. In my department an MSc is a requirement for getting on to the PhD, and if people apply to do a PhD without an MSc, they are expected to complete one before commencing their PhD. But I am in a very different area to you and it is an extremely competitive field- I know lots of people in other departments who didn't need a masters. KB
posted
04-Jun-09, 10:30
by Poppy 2 star member
Avatar for Poppy
posted about 5 years ago
If you do not really want to do an MA, try and get a PhD without one. Sure it can help having a masters, but really, as you say, your key aim is a PhD, not an MA. If you get completely stuck (no uni will offer you a PhD), you can always reconsider...
posted
04-Jun-09, 11:51
edited about 19 seconds later
by dnlxon
Avatar for dnlxon
posted about 5 years ago
Hi Guys

Thank you all so much for your replies. Plenty for me to think about! I am leaning towards the idea of getting my MA first, it may be a slower route but I think it will be a stronger foundation....
posted
04-Jun-09, 12:18
Avatar for Keenbean
posted about 5 years ago
I would really think about doing a masters. As I already said, my MSc was an entrance requirement for my PhD, but had I not done it I would not have been at all prepared for the demands of a PhD. In additon, a lot of people get onto a PhD by making contacts with potential supervisors through their masters degree, who might be able to help you to get funding. Also, you might be able to find a masters which is quite closely related to your intended PhD- how closely related is your PhD topic to your undergrad degree? Excuse my ignorance! KB
posted
04-Jun-09, 12:37
Avatar for BilboBaggins
posted about 5 years ago
AHRC (arts and humanities funding council) expects PhD entrants to have a Masters now. It is possible to get funding to cover the Masters as well, but I'd be doubtful about whether you could get funding to go straight to PhD. This isn't a problem if you're planning on self-funding the PhD of course, but if you are seeking funding do bear it in mind.
posted
04-Jun-09, 21:14
Avatar for missspacey
posted about 5 years ago
As said, it seems to be more of a standard now that PhD students have a masters degree (both for funding and entry requirements).

IMO, the leap between undergraduate work to PhD is simply too big. I would suggest you compare one of your own undergraduate essays to a published thesis....it's the best way to gauge the difference. I found one of my old undergraduate essays not so long ago and was quite horrified at the simplicity of it.
posted
05-Jun-09, 10:25
edited about 15 seconds later
Avatar for stressed
posted about 5 years ago
I would agree that to make the jump from undergraduate to Phd without the 'training' time of the MA would be very very hard. People do do it, but I know that I couldn't have done so. What you learn, and the training you receive during the MA sets you up for the Phd - my supervisor described it as an apprenticeship for the PhD and would recommend that nobody attempts a PhD without first doing their masters. A Phd is so very different to anything you'll have done before, especially as an undergraduate - there is no handholding, unlike the u/g where you have classes, lectures, exams etc there is no structure beyond meetings with your supervisor and submission dates for panel reviews (if your university has this - some don't which makes it even more difficult to pace yourself), you have to do it all and you have to have tools in place to do that. Whilst even a taught Masters can't fully prepare you it is a transitionary course that teaches you how to research in far more depth than the u/g does.
My personal advice would be to look at the long term, do the MA, then do the PhD, you will be more prepared and more able to cope - and even then the PhD is so very very hard (but I'm assured through watching people here stagger out the other end and into the light again - so worth it!)
posted
11-Jul-09, 17:12
edited about 29 seconds later
Avatar for AberdeenAngus
posted about 5 years ago
A lot of PhD courses consist of a Masters with a view to transferring to a PhD.
Doing a Masters will not be a waste of time as it counts toward your PhD (if you pick the right course/uni).

Also a whole Masters in better than half a PhD - should the worst happen.

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