Can I do a PhD without a Masters degree?


Is it possible to study a PhD without an MSc? For instance, can it be done if you achieved a 1st or 2.1?


Yes, of course. However, in my experience it doesn't make a difference as I goy a good 2:1 but no-one wanted me. Did a MSc and still no-one wants me. Patience is the key.


I don't have a masters and only got a 2:1 and I got offered the first PhD I applied for. I had quite a bit of experience in my area which I think helped, but you definitely don't need a masters to go for a PhD!

Good Luck!

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It all depends on the area you want to study. Does your undergrad provide you with enough technical, in depth knowledge about the area to go in to a PhD. Many universities will require a masters, if they commonly have research aspects to them i.e. a dissertation. This can demonstrate that you have what it takes to do PhD research. By the time you have finished your masters, or even started your PhD any undergrad dissertation will seem like a days work. - think about GCSEs and how easy you would find them now. That is the equivalent to what an undergrad dissertation looks like to potential supervisors IMO


created 7 years ago??????? how can that be right? The poster didn't join until 2006! Oh well.... I wouldn't necessarily advise it, its an incredibly big jump from BA/BSc to PhD without the masters but possible.


I don't feel the lack of a masters has held me back, I was offered two PhDs with a 2.1 honours degree and am in the third year of the one I accepted. That said, I did take 9 months out during which I worked in industry, I needed this to get the lab skills and confidence for my PhD, and I'm certain it's why I was offered the posts. I also think it helped to have had a short break from academia.


I have just started my PhD straight from my undergraduate degree. I have stayed at the same uni where there are 2 others who have done this move without a masters. I think it depends on the department really, some are more willing than others i think based on the type of work you want to do. :)


Of course its possible - but yeah as others have said it depends on the supervisor, afterall its their decision as to which candidate they want to pick. You don't get if you don't ask so it may be worth applying! ;) Then if it doesn't work out, try a masters.


Depends on your subject. Where I am I know a number of people doing PhDs in biology who didn't need an MSc or any research experience to get in. At the same university in psychology there are over 70 PhD students and an MSc is a formal requirement regardless of mark at undergrad level. I achieved a first in my undergrad degree and then did an MSc, and I wouldn't have been able to achieve the same standard of work at PhD level without the MSc under my belt. There is only one person I know of in the whole department who didn't have an MSc, but she had over 15 years of experience, and even she had to take a number of MSc modules in her first year. So yes, in the some subjects it can be done. If you are in a more competitive area like Psychology (especially clinical) you probably won't stand much of a chance with no MSc. I would check with the admissions tutors at the uni(s) you are applying to first, that's the best way to be sure really. All the best, KB.


I notice that this is a very old question, and hopefully the person who originally asked it now has a PhD! However, as it may be useful for others, the answer is yes in certain research areas, and no in others. It can often depend on where you are getting your funding from. The AHRC and ESRC usually require that you have an appropriate Master's degree to be eligible for their funding. I would concentrate on finding the University and research area you want first, and then worry about that later.


It depends on your subject area and university, but it also depends on what other experience you have. I got a PhD scholarship without a first degree or masters in a relevant subject because of other experience. (Hey, I'm old, I had lots of time to accumulate experience!) I do have a first degree and masters, but in a totally different discipline.

Avatar for Pete

Quote From stressed:

created 7 years ago??????? how can that be right? The poster didn't join until 2006!

I will try and explain:
This forum when it first launched did not require a login but did ask you your name, in this case "ben". When the forum changed and required registration, another member setup the name "ben". The system assumes that the two Ben's are the same person. This is why the sign up date and thread date appear the wrong way around. Hope this explains. (up)