No chance for a PhD?


Hey guys,
I'm currently in employment, but really would love to return to university for a PhD. I've applied for a 1+3 PhD in an area of Physics, but I feel so utterly hopeless about my chances. At undergrad I only managed a meagre 2:1. I found the course really difficult, it was at Cambridge and some feel their courses are a bit harder than normal, but admissions tutors only care if you got a first or not no matter where it's from. I have a really good Masters though from another university where I got a really high distinction (85%), but I'm sure it's not going to be enough :(. I have relevant work experience too but it all just feels so hopeless and upsetting.

Any out there feeling similar? :(


Hey...I got a 2.1 from a University in another country...nowhere near prestigious as Cambridge...then got a Merit on my MSc which I did whilst working full time. I managed to get a PhD position and am now in my third year. Yes you have to apply to a couple...and don't just depend on 1 position (I think that many would be meant for a particular person who the supervisor it does not necessary depend on you). Keep applying and u will get there...I eventually got offered 3 positions at the same time (after some months of applying). So it will be OK...if you keep at it you will get there


Thanks for your response. I'll keep trying, but it's looking so hopeless :(

Avatar for Mackem_Beefy

I was 2(ii) and Masters (with 5 years works experience) and got onto a PhD some years ago now. I went on to make a success of the PhD itself.

A 2(i), or a 2(ii) plus Masters is the lower end of the bar so to speak for a funded PhD. 2 years relevant works experience will nudge you up a notch and 5 years another.

I've a little on this in my blog about entry standards - see following link.

If you've made the standard, it all depends on how you're able to sell yourself and how you perform in any interview with a potential supervisor.

Ian (Mackem_Beefy)