PhD haunted by Third class degree


Quote From Jamie_Wizard:
Oh, that interview sounds like luxury (said as one of the business men in the famous Four Yorkshiremen Monty Python sketch)...

A few years back, when I was training as a hospital pharmacist, I was on clinical rotations and had to observe patients receiving ECT (Electro-Convulsive Therapy) at a Psychiatric hospital.

I arrived early morning, smartly dressed and was sitting in the waiting room reading some related literature. In storms this angry giant wearing scruffy jeans and an old shirt. He looked like one of the Hairy Bikers. I'm 6ft but was sitting, and he looks down at me giving me the dirtiest, angriest look (can't figure out why, other than he thinks I'm a med/pharm student). I then found out he was the consultant in charge of the procedure for the patients that morning!

A bit later I get sent into the operating theatre to meet this consultant and the anaesthetist and male nurse. I step forwards to shake the aforementioned consultants hand and he gets irritated that he already has a coffee cup in his right hand. He steps back and looks at me head to toe and says in a cockney accent "that's a bit fuckin' formal" - reminiscent of a scene from one of those British gangster heist movies. I was gobsmacked, and automatically replied "Not really, handhakes are a convention during introductions in this kind of setting". I then observed the procedures and patients and kept reading related parts of the BNF (British-National Formulary) aka the "Pharmacist's Bible".

The whole thing was surreal enough as it was without his behaviour - the procedure is that they anaesthetise the patients using milk of amnesia (Propofol - a white fluid anaesthetic that was inappropriately prescribed to Michael Jackson), attach electrodes to half or both sides of the patients brain and delivery controlled shocks to precipitate an epileptic fit. They had old fashioned analogue voltmeters and ammeters (with a moving needle). All we needed to set the scene was some lightning bolts, a rumble of thunder, and this psychiatrist weirdo to let out an evil laugh.

lol weird story!
ECT is still used?


Indeed they do AmlTAA. According to the clinical research literature, it has reasonably good results when patients haven't responded to various antidepressants. However, a common side-effect is memory loss, and so it's usually reserved for more serious/recalcitrant cases.

Avatar for Mackem_Beefy

I note replies by others that third class should be history given you've since gone on to two masters and a PhD. I wish I could say that is an end to the third class story. I'm sorry to hear about you mental health issues and had you reported that at the time, that could have been taken into consideration. But as you say, there are different attitudes to mental health issues in different countries.

I ended up with a 2(ii) followed by two masters then PhD. During the first of those masters, I also suffered health issues (exhaustion plus a damaged ankle) that I reported late in the day. I was surprised I got that first masters as I'd written it off and started the second when it came through. It's wrong that your penalised in any way, shape or form because you have had health issues of any description.

What I have identified is perhaps during screening, my 2(ii) was enough to stop my application going further as generically that was enough for an HR administrator to bin an application before it reached a hiring manager. It wasn't 2(i) and above, so end of story. This issue is a hard one to get past.

Where, however, you do get past this very basic screening and you are queried on your third class degree, you might allude to health issues rather than talk about depression per se. You might have had a period of ill health at around the time of your finals and not really elaborate. If you are pressed further, just say the level of work you put in for your degree had left you heavily fatigued and needing to seek medical help. You could say once past this, your dedication to hard work once you recovered was born out by your later achievements, your masters and PhD.

Translated, it's possible to turn this round into a selling point and it's just finding the right words to do that.


Avatar for Mackem_Beefy

Quote From rewt:
I agree with Tudor_Queen and pm133, two masters and a PhD will supersede any degree. If you don't want to talk about the third you don't have to put it on your CV. Just leave the grade of your CV and let them assume. It is similar to how no-one asks about secondary school grades after a stage, your undergrad degree doesn't matter as much after a PhD. So I would just avoid telling employers about the third.

Also, I don't think you can change your degree result without resitting the entire degree. You could possibly get a reference from your supervisor saying that they thought the results was unfair and attach it to your CV as a supporting document.

I would say check with the University registrars as it might be possible to resit the last year's exams as an external candidate depending upon University rules, although you may be limited to a top result of 50%. It might be enough to make the degree a 2(ii).

That said, there's probably a time limit in which this can be done and given the opening poster has done double masters and PhD since, that time limit has probably expired. I think the limit might be two years, with it not really being feasible beyond that especially with rapidly changing technology subjects.

Quote From pm133:
I would agree with this but funnily enough I had an interview for a small company many years ago. My CV had my degree and my Highers results from school. I also had quite a few years of experience. [b]The owner of the company interviewed me and said "Erm I noticed your GCSE results are not on your CV".[/b] I laughed out loud and then realised he was serious about wanting to know what they were. No other company ever asked about anything to do with my degree or my schooling. It was all about what experience I had.

Employers can be weird sometimes during interviews. One of them tossed a Yellow Pages at me, turned sideways and opened up and starting reading a magazine in the middle of asking me a question once.

So glad I don't have to tolerate this sort of thing anymore. I should write a book....... :-D

This can be explained simply due to many employers looking for basic evidence of Level 2 literacy and numeracy, translated, you have the equivalent of a GCSE English and Maths pass during the initial screening. Although fairly rare, it's something I'm seeing increasingly in job adverts.

That said, if you've a degree, masters or PhD it should be self-evident you have the required level of literacy or numeracy. I don't personally list school-level qualifications on my CV now though I can produce evidence of these if asked, which to date I haven't.