Overview of Mark_B

Overview

Avatar for Mark_B
Mark_B
Friday, 30 August 2013 at 12:52am
Monday, 7 October 2019 at 2:22pm
137
To view the blog of Mark_B, please click here
Login to send a private message to Mark_B
page 1 of 10 recent posts

Thread: PhD Loans Confirmed

posted
18-Mar-16, 10:13
edited about 15 seconds later
by Mark_B
« Moderator »
Avatar for Mark_B
posted about 3 years ago
We'll have to hope not Hugh.

There's some reason to be positive. The original announcement of the loans in the 2015 budget only made reference to STEM. That did suggest a move to replace or supplant existing funding (few STEM students self-fund). They've since been repositioned as a solution for those without RC funding, with more references made to Arts, Humanities, etc (where self-funding is much more commonplace).

Time will tell..

Thread: PhD Loans Confirmed

posted
18-Mar-16, 09:59
edited about 25 seconds later
by Mark_B
« Moderator »
Avatar for Mark_B
posted about 3 years ago
Some good points.

It'll be interesting to see what the specific eligibility criteria end up being for part-time students. You'd expect them to be eligible - particularly if the loans end up supplementing a 'portfolio' funding approach.

The £25,000 figure is interesting. It's not even clearly proportional to the £10,000 available for a Masters. It also bears no clear relation to the Research Council stipend it presumably works to offset the lack of (or replace..).

Personally, I think there's something to be said for the option being there. But the concern has to be the effect on existing funding and the academic job market.

Thread: PhD Loans Confirmed

posted
17-Mar-16, 10:17
by Mark_B
« Moderator »
Avatar for Mark_B
posted about 3 years ago
Hi Folks

Just a heads up: Yesterday's Budget confirmed PhD loans of £25,000 for English students without Research Council funding, beginning 2018-19.

As usual, we've got the details (such as they are) over at FindAPhD:
Bit of a mixed reaction around the internet - what do you guys think? Will these make much difference to your study decisions? Would they have if they were available when you started?

Interesting to hear what current / prospective PhDs actually think of these funding changes.

Mark

Thread: PhD Loan

posted
12-Feb-16, 15:52
edited about 19 seconds later
by Mark_B
« Moderator »
Avatar for Mark_B
posted about 3 years ago
Hi Khan

There will be student loans for UK PhD students in future, but details and dates haven't been confirmed. Possible that they'll be available by 2017-18, but by no means guaranteed.

There's a guide to what we know so far over at FindAPhD:

Thread: Does the ranking of your university matter for doing a PhD?

posted
13-Jan-16, 16:08
by Mark_B
« Moderator »
Avatar for Mark_B
posted about 3 years ago
Hi Seminarian

Personally, I'd suggest that *within academia* the reputation of your research group and your supervisor are more important than the ranking of the institution itself.

A high-ranking university will probably have strong individual departments and attract strong researchers. But the reverse isn't always true for a 'lower' ranking university that specialises in your niche.

Outside of academia the overall reputation of a university probably has more weight, but employers won't necessarily consider (or be aware of) specific rankings. If you think a given university sounds impressive, it probably does. Provided you can 'sell' the PhD itself, of course.

We put together a guide on rankings from a Postgrad perspective for FindAMasters not too long ago. It's PGT focussed rather than PGR, but many of the points are broadly relevant:


Hope that helps a bit,

Mark

Thread: Lets talk about funding!

posted
05-Jan-16, 13:27
edited about 6 seconds later
by Mark_B
« Moderator »
Avatar for Mark_B
posted about 3 years ago
Hi Gatto'

I'd definitely recommend keeping an eye out for loan plans in other parts of the UK.

Northern Ireland had announced plans before the English loans were confirmed and Scotland followed suit with its own proposals shortly after.

There's nothing on the table for Wales *yet* (so far as I know), but I'd be surprised if something isn't proposed / considered now we're into the New Year.

In the meantime, double check you definitely aren't eligible. If you're resident in England prior to beginning your Masters (and in the UK for three years) you could be. It's not yet clear what criteria is going to be used to judge this.

Mark

Thread: Star wars (Spoiler alert)

posted
04-Jan-16, 10:18
edited about 24 seconds later
by Mark_B
« Moderator »
Avatar for Mark_B
posted about 3 years ago
Aye - it's interesting that they didn't show a body. But then he'd have to have also survived an exploding planet (?).

Emo Kylo Ren was a bit naff (though he's spawned a pretty funny twitter account - https://twitter.com/KyloR3n). Ridiculously angry, evil Kylo Ren was hilarious - yet still quite ominous.

Thread: Star wars (Spoiler alert)

posted
04-Jan-16, 09:09
by Mark_B
« Moderator »
Avatar for Mark_B
posted about 3 years ago
I quite liked the film - but I'm not much of a Star Wars nut, so went in with different expectations. Thought Kylo Ren was scenery-chewingly good, pre-revelation, but wasn't as interested in his reveal.

BTW - added a spoiler alert to the thread title - just in case anyone clicks without having seen the film yet.

Thread: Postgraduate Masters Loans - Big Updates

posted
27-Nov-15, 15:54
edited about 26 seconds later
by Mark_B
« Moderator »
Avatar for Mark_B
posted about 4 years ago
That's an interesting one.

It's not covered in any of the documentation released so far, but that doesn't mean it isn't possible. I'd wait until next year when the SLC gets its application process in order and see.

Thread: Postgraduate Masters Loans - Big Updates

posted
26-Nov-15, 10:32
by Mark_B
« Moderator »
Avatar for Mark_B
posted about 4 years ago
Hello all

Just a very quick post for anyone following the UK Masters loans scheme. Big news in the documents behind yesterday's Autumn Statement announcement:

- Age cap raised from 30 to 60

- Loans at all UK unis (not just England)

- Research Masters now eligible

- Repayment rate lowered to 6% over 21k

More details in our update guide, over at FindAMasters.com.
Cheers to any of you folks who took part in the consultation and played a role in winning these improvements to the scheme.

Thread: Accomodation in Sheffield

posted
19-Nov-15, 15:00
edited about 29 seconds later
by Mark_B
« Moderator »
Avatar for Mark_B
posted about 4 years ago
Best that we don't get into too much of a UK vs Europe sidetrack here...

Speaking specifically of Sheffield:

Lots of the accommodation in the city has been specifically designed and built for students. It's modern, clean and of a good quality.

As anywhere, there will be some 'dodgier' options. Ask your university for a list of approved or recommended landlords.

You won't be subject to arbitrary rent increases - you'll sign a tenancy agreement that sets out the terms of your let. This also prevents you from being evicted or otherwise mistreated. You're covered by some fairly solid legal rights as a tenant in the UK. Again, ask your university for advice on these if you're concerned.

Hope that helps!

Mark

Thread: Accomodation in Sheffield

posted
19-Nov-15, 09:35
edited about 29 seconds later
by Mark_B
« Moderator »
Avatar for Mark_B
posted about 4 years ago
Hi Fabian

Funnily enough, myself and the rest of the 'team' here are based in Sheffield. I came here as a PhD student myself.

It's a great city, very friendly and very affordable for the UK.

I'm not sure if either of the universities have their own postgrad accommodation, but there's a huge amount available across the city (including dedicated student buildings).

We also have the best beer in the UK. No argument.

Happy to try and help with any more specific questions, but I haven't lived in student accommodation here myself.

Mark

Thread: MA in History challenges - too high or too low ?

posted
09-Nov-15, 13:38
by Mark_B
« Moderator »
Avatar for Mark_B
posted about 4 years ago
Well, there's two types of originality:

There's working on something no one has ever researched before. Sounds like you've done that and nailed it. But not every essay (or research project) has that luxury (hidden medieval manuscripts, new wonder drugs and policy docs just don't come around often enough).

The other type of originality involves combining things that have never been put together and showing why this has value*. So, applying an existing methodology to a new topic; realising that a shift in one part of the field necessitates a re-evaluation of assumptions about another, etc. That's much easier to achieve (and is how most 'original' work gets done - certainly in Arts/Hums).

Sounds like you're doing just fine though. Good luck with it!

*Sometimes the value just involves realising said combination was a terrible idea. I wouldn't recommend that so much for degree coursework.

Thread: MA in History challenges - too high or too low ?

posted
09-Nov-15, 12:48
edited about 34 seconds later
by Mark_B
« Moderator »
Avatar for Mark_B
posted about 4 years ago
My MA was in a Literature specialism, with a smattering of History.

a) No, a distinction is definitely achievable on each assignment, in theory. But don't expect to do that out of the blocks. The MA is a training exercise, not a one / two year assessment exercise. My MA was with distinction. My dissertation was published. My first essay only just scraped a Merit.

b) As Tree' says, it depends on you. I found having thoughts easy and organising them challenging. Writing was fine if I'd planned well and gave myself space to fine-tune. Think about your essay topic early.

c) see a)

d) I got a distinction in three modules. It's certainly doable, but you'll need to put a shift in (this is implicit in Eds's response, above).

e) The best dissertations are those that make an original contribution to their field (even if only a small one). This means they're well researched and clearly argued. Make it obvious what the contribution of your dissertation is. Don't just pick a question because you think it's easy to answer.

I'm not sure about distinctions being relative to an average of a cohort's results etc. That's not been the practice at the institutions I've studied / taught at. It's possible that your overall performance will be considered by an exam committee at the end of the year, but that's not quite the same.

Finally, I'm sure Eds is being a little tongue-in-cheek, but don't go too overboard with the footnotes and bib'. My dept' was quite strict about word count and effective scholarship. Referencing everything in site without showing how it contributes to your argument may not be the way to go.

Thread: Failed 1st year viva...I seriously need some advice

posted
05-Nov-15, 13:59
edited about 3 seconds later
by Mark_B
« Moderator »
Avatar for Mark_B
posted about 4 years ago
Yes, very important to reiterate Chickpea's point there: do seek support if you feel anxious to that extent. Even if that just means posting here. Don't let yourself get isolated or excessively self-critical.

I've also known people who've retaken their upgrade. It's not so unusual and certainly doesn't mean you're not capable of completing the PhD.

If you've prepared the wrong material - for whatever reason - that's almost certainly the culprit and the most positive response would be to go again, with the right prep'.
page 1 of 10 recent posts

Postgraduate
Forum

Copyright ©2018
All rights reserved

Postgraduate Forum

Masters Degrees

PhD Opportunities

PostgraduateForum is a trading name of FindAUniversity Ltd
FindAUniversity Ltd, 77 Sidney St, Sheffield, S1 4RG, UK. Tel +44 (0) 114 268 4940 Fax: +44 (0) 114 268 5766