Possibility for finding PhD


Thanks to everyone who has answered to my previous thread.
I have decided to carry on doing an MSc, I will not do an MRes only because I will have less time to work this year due to family matters (I'll be a friend's best man at his wedding, etc).

I have another question. May I remind you that my previous accomplishment is a 2.2 BSc Hons.
Say that I pass a masters with the lowest possible grade (ie I get a "Pass" instead of a "Merit" or "Distinction")
and say that I later want to do a PhD.

Will I have a chance of finding a funded PhD then?

And another question: I am thinking of going to work full time after my masters for a year.
Is there any chance that after two years the rules of entry for funded PhDs change so that I won't be able to get in any?

Thanks again.


I don't imagine the rules for PhD funding are likely to change any time soon.

Regarding the 2:2/MSc pass scenario - you would have met the requirements for funding, but whether you get it or not would depend on how you compare with the competition. That will partly depend on your field e.g. I imagine that if you're in psychology it might be quite tough as it's an over-subscribed field, whereas it might be a bit easier if you're an engineer/mathematician. But I could be wrong.

One thing - your comment about not doing an MRes because of time commitments. I would look very carefully into the respective time commitments of an MSc vs and MRes if I were you - I would actually imagine that an MRes was *less* demanding out of hours, because an MSc will involve more essay writing/book learning/exam revision, whereas with a research project there is an element of just getting on with it. See if you can get any more info on this.


I did an MRes and it had a six month research project. A friend of mine also did an MRes and instead she had two six months projects and had no other work to do such as essays, lectures and what not. It may be that an MRes will prepare you better for a PhD due to the intense research element.


Finding a funded PhD with a 2:2 will be very difficult. It will be easier to find a fee-waiver scholarship than one that includes living costs. Given that you are the beginning of your Masters, I would suggest that you work your arse off and get the best grade you can. If you don't feel that you are capable of achieving a good grade at Masters level, then a PhD may not be the best thing for you.


It really depends on your subject. In some subjects I would say you would definitely need a good masters grade to 'make up' for your 2.2 at BSc level. I don't know so much about other subjects but I am in Clinical Psychology and it is very unlikely you would get funding with a 2.2, especially without a very good grade at masters. In other subjects you might be okay. A friend of mine got a fully funded PhD in economics with a 2.2 and a pass at MSc. To be honest, I would work seriously hard at your masters and aim for a distinction if you want to be in with a shot at PhD funding...though it does depend a little on being in the right place at the right time and who you know etc. Best of luck, KB.