How can I get PhD offers? Please help

posted
24-Nov-17, 21:21
edited about 6 seconds later
by Sleek
Avatar for Sleek
posted about 3 weeks ago
Can a 2:2 in first degree and a 57% in masters be accepted for a PhD? I have applied for close to two years but I haven't been able to get an offer. Even though I get a feedback from the school that there is no supervisor for my topic. I still wonder if my low scores can be the reason. A school actually rejected my application because they accept only distinction for a PhD. Please help!!!
posted
27-Nov-17, 10:52
by Lewlyn
Avatar for Lewlyn
posted about 2 weeks ago
Hi in many universities it is 55% so you are eligible ....i can help you with your PhD
posted
27-Nov-17, 17:11
edited a moment later
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 2 weeks ago
PhDs are becoming more competitive. What subject area are you?
posted
29-Nov-17, 19:09
edited about 20 seconds later
by bignige
Avatar for bignige
posted about 2 weeks ago
Sleek

My grades are not as good as yours and I have been made two offers.

A couple of other Unis have said that if I can show I have relevant research and work experience then they will consider that even though my grades don't meet their usual minimum requirements.

If I can help with anything just let me know.

N
posted
29-Nov-17, 20:33
edited about 14 seconds later
Avatar for chaotic1328
posted about 2 weeks ago
a couple of questions. The first is are you also applying for funding? If so, I think it might be difficult with your grades. I think the minimum grades needed are for funding these days are at least a 1st+ high merit, or high 2:1+distinction. If your proposal is very very strong, you might get away with a high 2:1 + a high merit.

The second is what universities have you been applying to? Some of the 'better' ones do ask for 2:1+merit, but if you have an interesting subject that interests your potential supervisors, you might be offered a place with your grades. The best bet is to contact potential supervisors and gauge their reaction. Also, entry requirements are usually on websites of individual institutions, and its probably not worth your effort of applying to institutions requiring distinctions as part of the entry requirements.

Lastly, I think you should be able to gain a place on a PhD course if you go the self-funded route, and you are not snobbish about the position of the institution on the league tables. A lot of posters here have pointed out that the prestige of a PhD depends less on the standing of the university, but more on the reputation of the supervisor and your own work.
posted
30-Nov-17, 10:10
edited about 25 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 2 weeks ago
Quote From Sleek:
Can a 2:2 in first degree and a 57% in masters be accepted for a PhD? I have applied for close to two years but I haven't been able to get an offer. Even though I get a feedback from the school that there is no supervisor for my topic. I still wonder if my low scores can be the reason. A school actually rejected my application because they accept only distinction for a PhD. Please help!!!


The question you need to ask is why you want to do a PhD with grades as low as that. You haven't mastered the basics at undergraduate level after a couple of attempts so is it realistic to think you can master a PhD? Also, your lack of offers after two years might be telling you something.
I always recommend not doing a PhD unless you have a solid 2:1 in your background but it's your choice.
posted
30-Nov-17, 17:17
edited about 15 seconds later
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 2 weeks ago
Quote From pm133:
[quote]
I always recommend not doing a PhD unless you have a solid 2:1 in your background but it's your choice.


Solid 1st I think you usually say.
posted
30-Nov-17, 20:00
edited about 23 seconds later
Avatar for chaotic1328
posted about 2 weeks ago
PM33: I really enjoy reading most of your comments here, and found them very useful. I do wonder, though, why you are so against people with lower grades taking on a PhD. Is it really the case that only people with very good 2:1s and above can hope to complete one? I've been told that a PhD demands not extreme intelligence, but self-discipline and perseverance. If that is the case, then a degree of whatever classification is evidence of some intellectual capability, so maybe people on lower grades, but with the right attributes, can excel in a PhD environment, or at least, be able to complete the degree?
posted
30-Nov-17, 21:36
Avatar for bewildered
posted about 2 weeks ago
But are those not attributes that if possessed should have produced 2:1 / merit results in the earlier degrees given how few don't manage to get a 2:1 nowadays. That's how unis tend to see it anyway.
posted
30-Nov-17, 22:19
Avatar for chaotic1328
posted about 2 weeks ago
Quote From bewildered:
But are those not attributes that if possessed should have produced 2:1 / merit results in the earlier degrees given how few don't manage to get a 2:1 nowadays. That's how unis tend to see it anyway.


That might be true. I saw an article a couple weeks back, and some top unis give out Firsts to near 30% of students, and apparently, the numbers of Firsts and Two-Ones given out are part of the criteria for rankings. Not sure if my memory is playing tricks on me, but I think when I graduated back in '94, marking and grades were based on a curve. The top 5-10% would be on a First, and the next 10-15% on a Two-One etc. Are there any similar marking schemes for undergraduate/post-grad grades these days?
posted
30-Nov-17, 23:26
edited about 20 minutes later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 2 weeks ago
Quote From TreeofLife:
Quote From pm133:
[quote]
I always recommend not doing a PhD unless you have a solid 2:1 in your background but it's your choice.


Solid 1st I think you usually say.

You are quite correct. Solid 1st it is.
A very high 2:1 should be OK though as boundaries are a bit fluid between classifications.
2:2 though and low 2:1 ? Not for me.
posted
30-Nov-17, 23:46
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 2 weeks ago
Quote From chaotic1328:
PM33: I really enjoy reading most of your comments here, and found them very useful. I do wonder, though, why you are so against people with lower grades taking on a PhD. Is it really the case that only people with very good 2:1s and above can hope to complete one? I've been told that a PhD demands not extreme intelligence, but self-discipline and perseverance. If that is the case, then a degree of whatever classification is evidence of some intellectual capability, so maybe people on lower grades, but with the right attributes, can excel in a PhD environment, or at least, be able to complete the degree?


It's very simple. I think it devalues the PhD.
Only people with a 1st or a very high 2:1 should be doing a PhD.
In my opinion, too many supervisors are simply wanting cheap research labour to get papers and boost their own careers and this is why people with all sorts of backgrounds are now being allowed to undertake one.

I have also said a few times that when you are looking for evidence of someone who has self-discipline and perseverance in addition to academic excellence then those with a 1st class will have that in abundance. Those with lesser degrees will not. If a supervisor is taking on a person with a 2:2 they are only interested in cheap labour and this really benefits nobody.

We genrally don't allow people to do an undergraduate degree without displaying excellence at school level and in my opinion we should not allow anyone to undertake a PhD without displaying excellence at undergrad level as a bare minimum. That seems perfectly reasonable to me.

A PhD should certainly require self discipline and perseverance but that should complement extreme intellectual capability and not replace it. The fact that someone can gain a PhD without displaying intellectual excellence (and we all know people who manage it) is a disgrace and should be rectified.
posted
30-Nov-17, 23:54
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 2 weeks ago
Quote From chaotic1328:
Quote From bewildered:
But are those not attributes that if possessed should have produced 2:1 / merit results in the earlier degrees given how few don't manage to get a 2:1 nowadays. That's how unis tend to see it anyway.


That might be true. I saw an article a couple weeks back, and some top unis give out Firsts to near 30% of students, and apparently, the numbers of Firsts and Two-Ones given out are part of the criteria for rankings. Not sure if my memory is playing tricks on me, but I think when I graduated back in '94, marking and grades were based on a curve. The top 5-10% would be on a First, and the next 10-15% on a Two-One etc. Are there any similar marking schemes for undergraduate/post-grad grades these days?


That would be extremely unfair to limit the top grades to that extent. Your grade should be a personal achievement and not based on how good the rest of the class is.
The problem AGAIN is league tables. It tempts lecturers to dumb down the material and make the exams easier. This gets happier students and better feedback which boosts league table positions. I have spoken before about being put under pressure to upgrade lab reports for no good reason other than to make an angry student happier. I refused to mark any more labs after that. It is absolutely crazy what is happening.

Now for a little twist.
When I graduated in 1990 I gained a 2:2 myself so I already know how poor a grade that is and how little you can do with it. Before doing my PhD, I went back to uni, got my 1st and THEN went for the postgrad route. I am a bit old school on this. I believe there should be no short cuts. Demonstrate excellence at the lower levels first and then move on. I don't think that is too much to ask.
posted
01-Dec-17, 00:03
edited about 9 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 2 weeks ago
One final thing I want to address for now is the issue of self funding.
Self funding should be banned unless the person has the qualifications I specified above. No exceptions.
We should jealousy guard the PhD qualification.
There should be no short cuts for those with deep financial pockets or those prepared to go into unimaginable debt.
Do the groundwork properly and THEN go for the PhD. It will mean so much more when you finally achieve it.
There does seem to be a very strange attitude out there at the moment of entitlement and really it needs sorting out. Earn your achievements and don't take short cuts.

Look, I know people will be upset at my posts (I've been attacked on here before) but it's just my opinion. Ignore it, agree with it or write it off as crap. I have genuinely no problem with either of those responses. Just for the love of God don't get upset. It's just one opinion out of many and there are plenty who will disagree with me.........just as it should be.
posted
01-Dec-17, 01:19
Avatar for chaotic1328
posted about 2 weeks ago

That would be extremely unfair to limit the top grades to that extent. Your grade should be a personal achievement and not based on how good the rest of the class is.


But isn't excellence comparative in a competitive system?

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