Worried Im not good enough for PHD


I just got accepted onto a funded PHD course but im worried i might not be good enough. I have just finished my undergraduate and got a first class but im worried because i skip doing a masters i wont be good enough, like i would be playing catch-up. Is skipping the masters a bad choice?


My masters was painful, if i learnt anything from my masters it was how painful research can be. I made lots of mistakes both in my lifestyle and way of research that i hope i have now learnt from. It all depends on the type of course you are doing, really. If you are in science it is useful to have time working independently in a lab which you get from your masters and 3rd year project. Getting to know how things work in research. So really more to do with the experience of it (working with PhD students daily), which also helps you to decide if a PhD is for you.

Contents and knowledge wise i personally wouldn't say you are at much of a disadvantage. If you had gone to do a masters that was a very similar area to your PhD sure you would have that extra knowledge and that would make things easier, but starting a PhD there is a whole load of new learning and, at least i have been told since i haven't started mine yet, a really steep learning curve.

So sorry i can't really give much advice on whether it is a bad choice or not, i guess it depends how ready you feel.
One thing that i would say is i think it is common to worry about whether you are good enough or not, whether you did a masters or not, so don't let that put you off. If at anytime you feel stupid i think it is important not to be hard on yourself thinking it may have been a bad choice not doing a masters because you can bet the people who did a masters are probably also feeling that pressure.

And hey, if you have been accepted on a funded PhD course it means they have full confidence in you!



Hey Bbird! For some subjects doing an MSc first is compulsory to get onto a PhD, even with a first class degree, but for others it is not a requirement (especially in the pure sciences). You're obviously doing a subject where it isn't a requirement, so you should be fine. An MSc was compulsory for my PhD but I know many people doing different subjects who went straight from BSc and who are not having difficulties with the transition, so you should be just fine, especially since you did such a good job with your undergrad degree! Good luck with starting! KB


======= Date Modified 11 Sep 2011 16:49:30 =======
Hi Bbird,

I just wanted to message you to say you'll be absolutely fine. I went straight from an undergrad degree to a PhD after taking a year out, and after two years p/t I dont feel I've been disadvantaged in any way.

The only area I wished I had more knowledge of which a Masters course could have helped with was different methodologies and approaches, but of course this can be improved through reading!

Oh yeah - and good luck!