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Thursday, 3 December 2015 at 9:28pm
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Thread: Starting a PGCE while PhD is under examination?

24-Jul-18, 12:50
edited about 23 seconds later
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posted about 2 years ago
Hi, depends on the extent of your PhD corrections (if you have them). Sometimes they can take just a few days or a few days a week in the evening. For other people it is a more long term commitment over a year or so (those with major corrections and re-submissions). It took me most weekends for 4 months (at my university it is either 1 month, 6 month or 1 year corrections). The impact on the PGCE will therefore depend on your result and other commitments as well as work-rate. I am starting a PGCE this September. I did not consider this straight away after finishing the PhD (2016), I have worked 1.5 years in school support roles as a Teaching Assistant and Cover Teacher, at first to see what schools are like, then to gain some experience when applying for PGCEs. I do not see this as a 'wasted year/s' it has enabled me to hit the ground running with the PGCE especially confidence on behaviour management (and some schools are very tough), also get to see some great and not so great teaching. The pay as support staff is not good though.

Thread: Loans for PhD students

18-Dec-17, 23:20
edited about 3 seconds later
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posted about 3 years ago
PhDs earn about the same as Master's.

My major worry with the PhD loans is hypothetical in a way, that loans will corrode the number of fully funded scholarships in the future, especially university scholarships. The effects could be felt across all kinds of universities, or at non-research intensives, depending on the economic climate. Many well qualified, but debt-ridden graduates, and those graduates from disadvantaged economic backgrounds, may be turned off postgraduate research because of further increasing their debt. One can argue however that PhD loans opens up and widens access to postgraduate research, but for me this is at a high cost. Postgraduate research, like undergraduate education, could become framed as a personal investment rather than also a public investment. Equally, access to academia and research related professions could become even more difficult for those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds given the loss of, or squeezing on, fully-funded scholarships. Given that having a PhD does not boost earnings any more than a Master does, PhD debt will be quite a burden.
Moving from the hypothetical point, the loans were brought into service because the government saw unmet demand for PhDs, both from employers and from prospective students. The demand seems to be from STEM employers, although fully funded opportunities are more abundant here and which, along with the cost of high bench fees, mean that there will be few STEM PhDs utilising loans. Whilst the government talk about boosting industrial productivity through postgraduate research loans, this is not going to happen unless they pay-up on STEM PhD funding.
Instead, the loans I think will be associated with Social Science and Arts and Humanities PhDs, a place where funding is harder to come by, the academic job market is over-saturated, and in my opinion where direct links to industrial productivity are more esoteric. As I mentioned earlier, those with PhDs, on average, do not out-earn Masters. This means there will be people who take years to pay off a PhD loan, and a few not ever paying back.

Thread: Post-PhDers...where did you end up?

15-Nov-16, 01:50
edited about 15 minutes later
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posted about 4 years ago
I did a humanities/social sciences PhD. I decided not to apply for post-docs etc because my heart was not in academia, I really couldn't compete, also thought jumping ship now (28) rather than after several postdocs would be better. I 'found' market research and got interviews at Research Assistant/ Graduate Exec/ or (full) Executive levels but did not get anywhere, quite poor performance in interviews, though more particularly because i couldn't convince them I could work to tight deadlines (3 month projects rather than 3-4 years). So, I have been volunteering 1 day a week with the Citizens Advice Bureau as a Research and Campaigns Coordinator for my local office. More recently I have considered school teaching. I did alot of teaching at Uni (very different of course!). I have been applying to junior support positions with the idea of gaining experience to consider whether it is a viable path (and if it is, experience for PGCE), recently had one interview for a 'Graduate Learning Mentor' (abysmal pay, c12-13k). Currently have a placement in a primary school, looking to get one at Secondary as well. I have started Private Tuturing, agencies love PhDs
I have heard other people say they get turned down from non-academic jobs because they are 'overqualified'. I have found this not to be the case with me. I have had quite a number of interviews with the Civil Service's telephony team (call centre), and an interview for a job I did back during A levels.
Although i said at the beginning I was not looking at staying in academia, i did have a flutter on 2 or 3 positions, chosen because of their applied nature and thus could help me move away from academia. One was at Cambridge Uni, got an interview, but I could not comprehend an important question, could't understand it and did not give a confident answer. So that went up in smoke although a tale to tell in the future

Thread: PhD at Open University

18-Jun-16, 01:17
edited about 2 minutes later
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posted about 4 years ago
PhDs ought to be respectable wherever they are from, especially given the greater role of external examiners than we see at first degree level. Who the examiner is is more important really. That said, non-academic employers and the wider public don't really realise this (very unfortunate for those of us who have been studying at an institution that has taken an unprecedented nosedive in reputation since starting!, from 40s to scrapping around at the bottom)

Thread: MA in History worth it?

29-Mar-16, 15:33
edited about 59 seconds later
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posted about 4 years ago
Have you thought about a professional masters in history? For instance an MA in heritage management, archives, museum studies (Leicester uni famous for this), conservation, art history, architectural history etc. If you do well on these courses you can still apply for PhDs, yet you also have a degree that will make you more employable.

Thread: Funded PhD with 2:2 + MSc (pass)

21-Dec-15, 23:36
edited about 9 seconds later
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posted about 5 years ago
Funding from uni's (uni scholarships/departmental scholarships) is an option and from those lower in the league tables, or that are smaller and more remote (i.e not many applicants, thus increasing chances). The UK university I am at, one of the former, is rather easy to get in on Uni funding compared with other places. Someone I know got his PhD place at my uni with a 2:2 and a pass on both his masters (this is in 'human geography' btw). He was a reserve candidate however, and also never had an interview!

Thread: How to get into academia without a PhD?

03-Dec-15, 22:04
edited about 14 seconds later
Avatar for fredminxis75
posted about 5 years ago
As I think several posters have suggested, getting work as a Research Assistant is feasible, this is one way that you can get your foot in the door in academia without having/doing a PhD. I know several who finished a Masters and then went straight into Research roles on funded projects lasting several years, both within the social and physical sciences. However, they have both gone on to do PhDs, one part-time alongside the project, another after the research project. Both did PhD's because having one is more beneficial than not going forward, and along the lines suggested by others here. I do think you can develop a career in academia without a PhD, although it depends what subject area you are in (the more applied the better, I have a feeling) and also what Universities you apply to. As a side issue, not having a PhD and working with staff who do may cause consternation for both. We had a young Lecturer who did not have a PhD (although she was doing one part time) and even that led to people sniping that they shouldn't be a Lecturer. The paths that you will navigate to get where you want to go in academia will be different because you don't have a PhD.
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