Bit annoyed with this - Didn't appreciate my potential.


OK some will think this pathetic. I've had serious difficulties with depression and had to abandon my masters, or leave the register for a few years whilst I sorted my life out. I got a first class undergraduate degree. When I left my degree (at a top institution) as far as I knew I was working on a low merit. I've had notification of my results and it turns out all my essays are distinctions or two marks off due to a new marking system and the university not having a uniform system before. They have been increased BUT my thesis was 2 marks off a distinction (I returned to the register to do this)- I guessed it was due to the lacking of originality. It seems I was pretty much correct. I argued this out with my adviser who said it wouldn't matter. She was obstructive and busy with her own research and short and sharp. It obviously did matter a lot. I am not falling out with her though.

I had lost all my confidence and feel I would have approached the dissertation differently had I known that I was capable of distinction level work and had the guts to really love my subject again and be original. I was jaded and had no idea what was at stake.

My institution does not award merits, so on an application it looks like a 'bare pass' even though my average is a distinction.

Difficult because nobody has a God given right to a distinction, I may well have missed any way. I feel bit annoyed by it all. Plus had I applied for a PhD a few years ago with those grades, they looked like low merits (nothing so special given the immense level of competition in the social sciences) but it seems they were actually really good. My old fashioned prestigious institution was just throwing a mark at it before - not that carefully. It seems some body criticised them for this a few years ago.


Oh man, this resonates with me.

For my MSc, I got an average of 78% but, my project wasn't distinction level so was marked at 68%. Because this mark was below 69%, even though my average was high enough, I was awarded a pass.

It's a slightly different situation, but I basically gave up on my project because I thought it was crap. The work was good, but the write up was awful. I have since been diagnosed with depression, so I expect that during that period I was actually suffering depression without realising it.

I graduated in 2009, and am on my way to getting a PhD but it still pains me. I haven't been able to publish from my MSc project - not because the work isn't good enough, but because I cannot read that write up without getting seriously sad and finding myself entering the depression spiral.

It's annoying and I hate it.

I don't really have any advice for you, but I wanted to empathise. My "poor" project mark was all my own fault whereas for you it seems there was some element of institutional failings, at least with your courses. The year after I graduated, my university introduced Merits. So, if I'd done this a year later, I'd have a merit rather than a pass which is the same mark as a friend of mine who averaged 51%.

Anyways, it sucks. So here, have a *hug* internet stranger.

How are you doing nowadays?


Honestly, I would give it up and move on. You can't do anything about it now. You don't know, and will never know, whether this affected your PhD chances so there's really no point in wasting time thinking about it.


Thanks for the kind responses. I do dwell on things. OK now thanks 'internet stranger'. Hope you are! Body is fit and healthy - looking back at some pictures and I looked awful a few years ago. I am applying for a PhD any way - strong marks whatever and you never know. Besides I've had this goal in mind for a while so must try.