After my MPhil, can I do my PhD at a different Uni?

posted
11-Jan-10, 16:46
Avatar for Socrates88
posted about 9 years ago
Hi,

I was wondering if I can get some help.

I enrolled onto an Mphil/PhD degree in Philosophy at a UK institution about a year and a half ago (Oct. 2008). Before I enrol, I explained to the school/department that my application is subject to funding and other financial assistance (i.e. I would only enrol if I managed to get the "50% fee-reduction scholarship" the university was offering + if I was offered enough teaching hours at the school where I was to do my degree, as a means of paying for the other 50% tuition fee remaining, and which my scholarship didn't cover).

I was delighted to hear that I got the scholarship (equivalent to 1/2 of my tuition fees), and that the school would allow me to teach enough hours so I can earn enough from teaching to pay the remaining 1/2 of the tuition fees.

When I enrolled and started the Mphil/PhD degree, they told me I wasn't going to get the teaching hours originally promised (some excuse was made up!). I finished my first year but had to borrow £2700 to pay the remaining tuition fees myself. I am now in the second year, and have been informed that not only will I not be able to teach enough this year to avoid borrowing money again, but that next year (my 3rd year, which is normally when I should be transferred from Mphil to Phd) I won't be getting any teaching at all!

Given the circumstances, and the school's change of mind, I am left with no option but to borrow another £2700 to pay this year's (2nd year) remaining fees myself, but since I'm already in debt from last year, I'm not sure I'll be successful in getting a loan. My only option is to pay this year's £2700 in installments, and apply for the Mphil exam, and try to come out with an MPhil in Philosophy as opposed to the originally intended PhD.

My dream has always been to have a career in Philosophy as Lecturer, and in my filed, I absolutely need a PhD to do so. Given that I can only contend with an Mphil for now, I was wondering what my prospects would be if I were to apply for a PhD in Philosophy at a later time in the future, at a different institution, when finances permit. Would my Mphil from this university help me to apply for a PhD later, or will it look like a failed PhD? My question is, can I get my MPhil from this uni I'm currently in, but apply for a PhD later at another uni (i would even be prepared to do the whole 3 years over again if necessary).
posted
11-Jan-10, 17:10
Avatar for bewildered
posted about 9 years ago
What a mess. Yes you could do a PhD after an MPhil but I think you'd have to make sure the two topics were different (the rules on not submitting the same work twice). But what it would look like is more tricky. I think you're going to need to keep your current supervisor on good terms with you so that he/she could write a reference explaining it wasn't a failed PhD. What does your supervisor think of the plan? If you haven't talked to him/her then do so - you never know there might be a better way to manage this. Could you, for example go part-time? The fees are sometimes a lot more manageable that way.
posted
11-Jan-10, 17:22
by jojo
Avatar for jojo
posted about 9 years ago
don't give up! try to transfer the thesis. you can interrupt while you try and do that. if that fails then you can settle for an Mphil. you can tell your supervisor that you need to interrupt to work for the money (could this be an option?) or to think about the best way forward.

when you've interrupted look for scholarships at faculties you'd like to apply to. call potential supervisors. explain yourself and your situation and why you have chosen them and why they should fund you. a) its cheaper than funding all the way from first year b) you are a good student only that your financial situation is not great c) you are committed to finishing. d) show them that you are interested in taking up teaching. the key to this is : do not settle for the MPhil even if it means doing the PhD part-time. you don't want to waste the hours you've already put in or start studying a new topic :-(. you also want to maintain a decent relationship with your supervisor in the meantime. just don't discuss this move with them yet. unless you think it will help your cause.

your dream is not over. :-)try that and see what comes up. keep us posted.8-)
posted
11-Jan-10, 17:53
Avatar for Socrates88
posted about 9 years ago
Hi,

Thank you both so much - it's so nice to be able to get feedback on this :o)

I haven't spoken to my supervisors about the fact that I'm considering applying somewhere else. I've spoken to my supervisor who has promised to see with our Head of School if they could give me a fee-waiver this year (as a member of staff), but he told me not to hold my breath since the budget's quite tight at the moment, hence my current state of panic!

Adding to this, my scholarship (which is 50% of my fees) has a proviso: it's a 'postgraduate research scholarship', so it doesn't specify if I come out with an Mphil of PhD, but it does state that it can only go on for a maximum of 3 years 'continuously', and only if I am registered as 'full-time'. If I go part-time, or take a year out then I won't have 1/2 my fees paid for, leaving me a worse situation than now.

Jojo -- what do you mean when you say I should 'transfer my thesis'? Do you mean it is better to transfer to another PhD programme at another uni now, and that this is a better option that trying to do it after my MPhil? I can't take a year out for work since I'll lose my 50% fee scholarship. Going part-time is no different since I'll lose my scholarship, effectively paying exactly how much I'm paying now (i.e. because part-time fees are generally half of full-time fees). But I've seen a few fully-funded PhD scholarships advertised recently at other universities, for a Sept. 2010 start. Could I apply for these, or would they be reluctant to take me given that I've started an MPhil/PhD at my given uni?

Bewildered -- my relationship with my supervisor is excellent - he's the only reason I came to this uni in the first place - and in so far as supervisors go, I think he's great. It wouldn't be a problem explaining things to him since he knows how much trouble I've been put through, but I guess he won't be happy about my decision to move on somewhere else. Though I do think that if I finished my MPhil he'd write me a good reference because that way, at least, I got my MPhil and made it worth his, my, and the university's while (giving me the scholarship and all).

The worry is, will getting an MPhil be worse off (in terms of getting me on a PhD & funding at another uni)? Will I be better off just transferring elsewhere now, or should I get the MPhil first? I’m really confused and don’t know which option to follow.
posted
12-Jan-10, 19:26
edited about 1 second later
by jojo
Avatar for jojo
posted about 9 years ago
what i meant was you can transfer your project to another university rather than start from the beginning. you just need to get another supervisor at the other university who is willing to carry on supervision. :-) hope that answers your question.
posted
13-Jan-10, 09:45
edited about 18 seconds later
Avatar for Socrates88
posted about 9 years ago
Will give it a shot. Thanks once again Jojo! :-)
posted
21-Apr-10, 13:22
Avatar for Socrates88
posted about 9 years ago
Just thought I'd update this thread I started in case someone finds my experience of any benefit to their situation.

I found a couple of departments that interested me (in terms of their research environment and area od specialisation) and I contacted their postgraduate officer. I explained that I have decided to stop at MPhil where I am currently studying for financial/ funding reasons, and whether I could apply to do a PhD (from scratch with a new proposal) at their department. In both cases, I got a positive reply saying that an MPhil is not considered a failed PhD under these circumstances & they encouraged me to apply for their PhD programmes.

It was stressful coming up with a new proposal from scratch, but I somehow managed! I got offered a place at both institutions, and am now waiting to hear nack regarding funding.

Thank you all for your encouraging words and support without which I would have perhaps never plucked the courage to do what I did :-)
posted
20-Oct-11, 02:48
edited about 2 seconds later
by London
Avatar for London
posted about 8 years ago
Tell us what have u done with your course :-)
posted
18-Mar-19, 04:38
edited about 25 seconds later
Avatar for Edresearch1
posted about 3 months ago
Hi Socrates88, could you share the universities and department that accepted your application. I believe I have ran into a similar situation. I applied and finished with and MPhil but now would like to proceed further to a PhD. Your help is much appreciated.

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