Staying at same institution - a mistake?


I am a mature student, currently halfway through my research training MSc. I did my UG degree (graduated last year) at the same uni I'm doing my MSc at, and I'm also currently applying to do a PhD here.

I have several reasons for wanting to stay here: my husband has a job here (he has been trying to get another job elsewhere so that we can move, but no luck), the department is small, very supportive, and enthusiastic about my future, and I want to be part of the development of the department, which my research will help to encourage (or so I and my adviser/mentor hope).

I've just applied for institutional funding, AHRC block funding etc, and am waiting to hear. If nothing comes of the funding I will be applying elsewhere, even if it means having a long-distance marriage, which isn't ideal. Staying here is definitely my first choice.

My question (finally!) is: Will it be a bad thing for my future as an academic if all my degrees have come from one institution? Does it really matter that much? My "ideal" plan would be to do the PhD here, maybe stay on and teach, if the opportunity arises, for another couple of years, and then seek employment elsewhere. Would having my BSc, MSc and PhD from the same uni make me less employable as a lecturer/researcher?

Sorry for the long message. Hope this isn't a completely daft question...


i have heard rumours that it is 'frowned upon' to do all your degrees at the same institution - however i have never seen any actual proof of this! i say go where you will be happiest, a phd is a long slog and if you have found a project you want to do and a good supervisor to do it with then just go for it regardless. in some ways, staying at the same institution should be seen as a plus point (in my personal opinion anyway!) as it shows that you have developed and maintained good, strong professional relationships with your research group.

as to whether it will make you less employable in the future, you may well be asked about it in interviews, but as long as you can put a positive spin on it i can't see that it would hold you back too much. it might be an idea to try and make contacts outside of your institution over the course of your phd, maybe even some form of collaboration if at all possible, to prove that you can spread your wings beyond your group. but i repeat, if this project is the best one out there for you, then snap it up and don't worry too much about it!


Haha Smoobles!  I've also heard the same rumours, but also have never seen any proof that there is anything wrong with staying at the same institution.

In fact, I have always thought staying at the same university shows consistency and that the person is well-regarded by the staff in their department. I've also found that people who end up staying for more than one degree at the same university will often be offered a job at their university, which stands to sense as they have shown so much loyalty.

Twomules, go to the university that best suits your research and choice of supervisor.


Hey Twomules! I was in exactly the same position as you last year- I did my undergrad degree and my MSc at the same uni, and now I am doing my PhD here, despite hearing the same rumours that it's not good to do this. But at the end of the day I am in a great department with the best facilities for my PhD, and the best person to supervise it (and I got the funding to do it here). I had a look around whilst doing my MSc and there simply was no better place to do it. I think if you are happy where you are and they can support you with your PhD in the best way possible, then go for it!