PhD with a CFA level 3, distinction in masters and a 2:2 in undergraduate.


Hello everyone,

Given the unprecedented situation, I hope you all are fine, safe and well. I am an international student in the U.K. I completed my undergraduate in BSc (Hons) Accounting and Finance but due to major mitigating circumstances (which are documented), I ended up with a 2:2. I was always a bright student and this took a toll on me.

Initially, I always wanted to work but due to a 2:2, my chances were hampered. I applied to a finance master but I was rejected due to my poor grade. However, they were taking on people that have completed CFA level 1. I studied for it and passed in the 90th percentile. I then ended up giving level 2 and I cleared it. I got a position in a masters' program in the U.K. and recently my programme director emailed me that I am ranked second (76.5%) in my cohort, just shy of 0.5% of the top ranked student. Only the dissertation component is remaining and I am comfortable enough to state that I will clear the programme with a distinction.

The programme contained a lot of coding element and I have found that I have fallen in love with it. I plan on working for 4 years to give my CFA level 3 and get my CFA charter. At the same time, I plan on studying a part-time master in Data Science focusing on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). My focus has shifted towards academia and I want to actively pursue it. I want to be a lecturer now.

I have given you my background and my plan for the next 4 years, given these do you think that I would be eligible for a fully-funded PhD programme in the U.K.?

Moreover, what are the chances that I apply for the next year for a PhD given my current academic record (CFA level 2, distinction in master and 2:2 in undergraduate)?

Many thanks and have a nice day.



My University required a 1st class degree but I got a 2:1, I did however get a MSc distinction. I contact the supervisors of the funded post offered and arranged a chat with them. I explained during my degree I had given birth and had cancer, but in reality they weren't that bothered by my grade as my distinction at MSc showed I had the necessary skills.
I would contact them and explain that you have this distinction at MSc level, that you received a grade far lower than expected at degree level due to mitigating factors, however you have since learnt how to overcome barriers and work at your usual level

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Hi yousi321,

I think your master's more than compensates for your undergraduate degree. You have proven yourself capable of high quality work at a higher degree level and you have mitigating circumstances for the undergrad. Most universities will consider your Masters results more important than undergrad and you will probably get several interviews. At the interview you just need to be vague about mitigating circumstances and how you bounced back. After that I don't think a 2:2 will hinder you much. Goodluck!

Quote From yousi321:
I want to be a lecturer now.

I don't want to be rude but I would highly recommend you not doing a PhD solely to become a lecturer. The odds of becoming a lecturer are slim at best. You can read up about lecturer career prospects elsewhere but I have seen several people crash after realising what an academic career really entails, low pay and no job security. I cannot stress enough that you should not be doing a PhD solely for improved job prospects, as you might come to regret it later. I am not trying to put you off doing a PhD and if you love the work/research definitely go ahead, but I think you should do a PhD fully informed.