MA... now what with PhD applications


I've just found today that I've go a distinction for my MA dissertation. It's a taught MA and I've got distinction grades for all components of my MA, including dissertation with an averge 81%. What does this actually mean in realtion to PhD and universities to target for application? I have two applications on the go, one at the uni I'm currently at and one at a Russell group uni. Is this like when you get A levels and you should apply to the best or is it quite common to get distinctions, with publication being important and funding so hard to come by you just apply anywhere that will have you? I don't want to rush what is an important decision. I'm not a 'student' so to speak, I'm a teacher and have studied part time whilst working full time so it's been a long road and I've no publications because of this. Advice much aprpeciated. :-)

Avatar for Pjlu

Congratulations on completing your Masters and receiving such good results! Hope you are doing some spectacular celebrating at present.

Not sure how common it is to get distinctions in the UK, but I would apply to the Universities, that you genuinely would like to attend (without just assuming that the top drawer ones will give you a PhD scholarship or placement based on current results). Your results are great , but there will always be a few people out there who have higher and/or who have publications as well and it is pretty competitive these days. Nothing to stop you applying though to a few universities and then choosing the best offer made. Just make sure you apply to universities you genuinely would like to attend.

I found that I needed a break between my Masters and starting the PhD (like you I teach full time and study part-time), simply to give my brain a little bit of recovery time before it started going back into overload. I ended up with a six month official break between acceptance from my university of choice and actually commencing but as I was trying to write up Masters into article-it wasn't really a break and in retrospect, I would have taken longer and perhaps made it a year. However, you may feel very differently-I know I did at the time-did not want to lose momentum. Good luck and have fun celebrating....


Thanks. I've a 3 and 4 year old so spectacular celebrating was a cheap bottle of rose and a curry whilst watching 'take me out'!! Ha ha. Yeah it's the loosing momentum i worry about and not being published. I have q few options it's just scary giving up a job I've had for 10 yrs to be a student1