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What to do

Hi there,

I wouldn't worry too much about experience when applying for a Masters. I'd say that the university admissions will be more interested in the fact that you have a First class degree overall, and obviously that you have a passion for what you are likely to be studying, which you appear to have. I suppose any bit of experience that you do manage to get will always help, not just in making you look more attractive as a candidate but also in giving you confidence in the lab etc, but I don't think if you didn't have specific experience it would be a negative thing. After I completed my undergraduate degree in Biomedical Science, I took two years out working at a bank before I decided to embark on a Masters in Immunology, and I had very little lab experience other than what I had underaken as part of my undergraduate degree so I wouldn't worry too much.
In terms of the distance learning courses, although I don't know anything about the specifics of these actual courses, I do know that my Masters course was offered as distance learning, and the content of it was exactly the same as the on campus course. I'd say the most important thing to consider is what you actually want to do after the course, are you looking to do a PhD or get a research job etc? It's important to check on the pre-requisites of your chosen career field as you what qualifications you would require that would be instrumental in helping you make your decision.
Hope that helps, good luck in whatever you decide
S x

Time management Skills

We are also offered a time management postgraduate course (1 day event), but again, it isn't compulsory.

Quick referencing query

Or what about "in the Smith et al (2001) paper"?

PhD and feelings of inadequacy

Hey Pineapple,

I'm only 7 months in, but I feel like this constantly! Despite getting a 2.1 in my undergrad and a distinction at MSc I feel like I am waiting constantly for my supervisor to realise that he's made a huge mistake in offering me a place in his lab and ask me to leave straight away!
In fact sometimes I feel like just telling him he's made a mistake, and to save the time I'll just leave!!!!
No matter how much people say "oh well, I've always felt like this too etc etc" I still feel that it's just me and that I really am not good enough to be here! Some days are worse then others though, and on the very odd moment I do think; "yeah, I can do this" but that usually rapidly changes back to "no I can't"!!!!!
In addition, every criticism from my supervisor or post docs in my lab I take as a personal rejection almost, and it takes me days to get over it and move on. My poor boyfriend must hate me getting feedback at work with all the moaning I do to him!!!!!!!!
I have no words of advice I'm afraid! In fact, I could do with some myself so if anyone does have any...........

Sad all the time

Hey Annie,

Although I agree with the other posters in that if you're really THAT unhappy, you should definitely consider leaving, I think what's interesting is that you've already stuck it out for so long, despite being unhappy. So there must be things about your project and the work you do that you do enjoy. You say your home life is happy, so things aren't that bad in relation to your work that it's affecting your relationship or anything like that. Maybe it would be worth taking a break for a couple of weeks, or even longer if at all possible, do some fun stuff that you like and try not to think about the work for a bit. Then when you go back to it you can do so with a fresher attitude to it all. If you go back after a break and it's still the same then it may well be that it's just not for you. In addition, do speak to the powers that be at uni regarding your supervision, and other things that it might be possible to change, as you have rights a PhD student.
Only you can know what's right for you.
Good luck with everything. Keep in touch with how things go x

Harry Potter thread (just in case!)

I'm going on Friday, as a Friday night treat for me and my boyfriend (although he doesn't think it's much of a treat-not a HP fan!!)
Just booked them, and was very lucky as nearly all the seats for evening showings were full! Phew!!! So excited though! Feels like we've been waiting for ever for this film to come out!!!!!

part time job

Hi Fay

I did a Masters last year, again, like you, without any funding, and I managed to work 16 hrs a week (sometimes a bit more, sometimes a bit less) for the entire year. It's most certainly possible, you just need to find a job with a bit of flexibility regarding your hours, as lectures/tutorials etc crop up when sometimes you may be scheduled to work or your workloads may be more or less at different times.
Good luck!

Any information appreciated.

In general, there are two ways of obtaining a place to do a PhD. The first would be to apply for a PhD that has already been decided by a particular supervisor and usually comes with funding, that you find on a website like this or a specific uni website. The other way is if you know what you would like your topic to be (there or there-abouts) you can find a supervisor with similar research areas to yours and approach them about doing your research with them. But approaching a supervisor is certainly a viable idea, but you would need to have a specific area that you would want to go into first.
In regards to doing a full-time PhD and workin full-time, I would say this would be extremely difficult, if not near impossible. I wouldn't have time for a part time job, let alone a full time one!!!!
Hope that helps.
Good luck!

SMC University - real or farce?

I'm a HP fan, although not the one you're referring to! And I am most definately going to see the film next week, I literally cannot wait! (Although usually I do come out of the cinema saying how rubbish the film was compared to the book, as always!)
Yay, so excited!!!!!

Rental problems

Thanks for the replies guys.
Yes, I could get my parents to go as a guarantoor, but I just didn't want to have to have them go through full credit checks etc. when I know that it is easily affordable. And for some reason, eventhough other people I know have paid a portion up front, they won't let us do this, they said that the only option is to pay the entire 6 months up front-around £4500! I wish!
They've said the only other way to do it is that my work reference (who I put as my sup's PA as he's extremely busy) would have to lie and say that I get x amount gross per year, which would be seen as affordable by the referencing company!
Arghhhh!!!!!! I'm meant to be moving in in a week, and I've stupidly gone and got quite alot of new stuff for my supposed new home!

Rental problems

Hey everyone,
I'm currently trying to rent an apartment with my bf. I agreed to be the main tenant as he is only on a temporary contract with his employers, thinking that my stipend of 1250 pcm was easily enough to cover the cost. However, I've come up with difficulty now, as on the agreement forms they ask for gross salary, which obviously as a PhD student I don't get, so I put a note on saying I don't pay tax, NI etc etc, and what my net amount was per month. Now though, they've turned around and said that because I don't officially earn 17400 gross a year I can't have the property!
Has anyone else had this problem with trying to rent as a PhD student?

haemocytometer q! Help!!!!

Hey guys,

This is a bit of a basic question to most (but to me it's causing a considerable amount of stress!)
When you're counting cells on a haemocytometer, to work out the number of cells per ml, you calculate the average number of cells counted in however many squares, multiply that by the dilution factor in trypan blue and divide it by 100 to work it out in millions per ml, right?
So if I've counted an average of 381 cells, my concentration is 7.62 million cells per ml, and I've got 5 ml in total, so my total cell count is 38.1 million cells. How do I get that to 1 million cells per ml?
Do I either take out 1ml of the sample and add 7.62ml media to dilute it down? Or, could I add 33.1ml of media to the whole sample and this would take it to 1 million cells per ml?
Can someone confirm if I'm doing this right??????
Any help is much appreciated!!! x

Do you need masters to stand a good chance of getting funding for a PHD

Hi Shaun,

Most funded-PhD places stipulate that the minimum requirement is a 2.1 in a relevant discipline for entry on to the course. Therefore a Masters is not essential to get the place. However, it does obviously have its advantages, in that not only does it further your knowledge in a particular area, but also offers experience of research, which is invaluable for a PhD. In your case, obviously the fact that you got a first class honours degree at Undergrad level will make you stand out from the crowd, so I wouldn't necessarily say that just because one application was unsuccessful means that you won't be successful at all. The only thing that may count against you is that you've been away from research for 3 years whilst you've been working, which some might say means that having a Masters may be the best way forward.
Personally, I'd apply for others if you find some that interest you, and just make sure that you acknowledge the skills/experience etc gained in the last 3 years teaching that will help you with your PhD in your applications. If you get further rejections, maybe then consider a Masters, but at the moment, I'd say stick it out a bit more and apply for some other PhDs that interest you first. One rejection is nothing, it's relatively rare that you get the first PhD you apply for. I applied, and was rejected for 3 ,(and I have a Distinction at MSc) before finally being offered a place where I am now.
Good luck whatever you decide!

A confusing experience...


Hmmm this does seem a bit odd. I'd say the best thing for you to do to put your mind at ease would be to go back to your actual supervisor, and tell them about the meeting you've just had and see what they say then. Someone somewhere appears to have their wires crossed, and I guess this would be the only way to find out who!
Good luck, hope it gets sorted x

Problem with my supervisor on publishing

Quote From sleepyhead:

No offence dear, but your pet dying is sad. Not getting the job you want is sad. Splitting with a partner is sad. You do *not* have a problem, thus no right to be sad.

Yes you are over-dramatising. Madly. Please get a grip!

Here here! Dear god, if this was my only problem...... how happy I would be!!!!!!!