Can work experience make up for my 2:2?


My Story - I studied the 4 years of an Aerospace Engineering masters at Sheffield, I allowed a few personal distractions to impact on some of my work and as a result I failed 4 modules over the 4 years. Departmental rules meant I could only be awarded a BEng 2:2 which I was obviously gutted about (bizarrely I was well inside a 2:1 after 3 years?!) I accepted it and have now spent over three years as a manufacturing/design engineer in the composite industry (mainly aerospace). I have helped to introduce new technologies to the company and have completed projects using six sigma methodologies.

I am now at a bit of a crossroads and need to move on. A professor I know asked me if I had considered doing a PhD, he thought that with my experience I stood a reasonable chance of finding one. One problem to mention: My final year project was a disaster as the new machine it was based around wouldn't work and my project had to be completely changed with a few months to go to a very basic alternative with very little scope, it's not something I would like to be presenting in a PhD interview.

Does anybody have any advice? Would an MPhil be more likely? I might struggle to fund an MSc. Honesty welcome!!


You should get on to a PhD programme with a 2.2 and your experience; however, it may not be a good university and it may not be with funding. I would suggest you do a one year masters courses with a large research element. If you get a distinction in this, you'll pretty much be able to go where you want. Normally, an MPhil asks for the same entry requirements as a PHD, so you wouldn't really be gaining much going down that avenue.


In your CV I would put the work experience (perhaps call it research experience) first, perhaps a skills section, then the education section.