Try for PhD or a Second MS

posted
05-Jun-18, 09:18
edited about 15 seconds later
Avatar for Saadliaqat
posted about 4 months ago
Greetings,

I need some advice regarding my recent application for PhD which has given me a little bit of a shock.
So, here is the background, I did my MS in Computer Science from University of Edinburgh , achieved distinction in 3 modules including Final Dissertation (60 credits).
My overall percentage was coming to around 69%. (using https://gradehub.io/)
Then i worked in industry in database technologies for around 7 years now.
I now decided to pursue PhD so started applying.

My research statement (according to 3 professors I was in contact with) was pretty good, they really liked it and were looking forward for my application. (one prof was from Imperial, other from Warwick).

When I applied, I got rejected from BOTH universities.. the reason for BOTH of them was that my grades are low !.

After digging details ( for which I am still in contact with Uni of Edinburgh) . I found out that 2 of the modules I took (research proposal, research review) have only PASS or FAIL (no percentage). and somehow even though I have passed both modules, my overall percentage being calculated is taking into account 0% for both of them. these were 20 credit modules so 40 credits out of 180.

taking 0% of these two modules in my overall percentage is bringing it down to 54%.. I ofcourse had no idea that if I take such modules 0% will be counted towards my overall grade.

Now I am confused and a little upset as well. Since I cant change the grades or modules any more... I am thinking if or not I should perhaps stop my pursuit of PhD overall and just continue working .. Or ... do a Second MS , achieve better grades and then go for PhD ...

any advice / suggestions ?
posted
05-Jun-18, 19:42
edited about 15 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 4 months ago
You have confused me by talking about distinctions for individual modules. Whenever I see someone do that I know their overall score was low.

You did a Masters degree. The only thing which matters is your classification at graduation for the entire thing.
Did you get a pass, merit or a distinction for that? Forget gradehub and just go to your certificate.
posted
08-Jun-18, 22:58
Avatar for Saadliaqat
posted about 4 months ago
It was a pass
posted
09-Jun-18, 02:21
edited about 29 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 4 months ago
Yes that's what I suspected. So the feedback you got about having low grades is correct then,
I think this is the equivalent of a 2:2 or grade average 50 to 59%.
I think merit is 60 to 69 and a distinction is above 70 but I might be wrong,

Either way this is probably why you are getting rejections. I dont think it has anything to do with individual module weightings.
Applying to very popular places like Imperial and Warwick is going to be tough as you'll be facing a throng of people with distinctions.
posted
09-Jun-18, 15:44
edited a moment later
Avatar for Saadliaqat
posted about 4 months ago
Should back to my initial question :) , should I consider a Second MS or is my grade good enough for a phd ?
Should I perhaps aim for lower ranked universities ? (also how lower ? ) ..
posted
10-Jun-18, 00:24
edited about 4 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 4 months ago
Only you can answer that question. I was interested in getting to the bottom of why you were getting rejected.
Personally I don't believe anyone should be doing a PhD with such a poor grade but many people in your position manage to find a supervisor desperate enough to hire them anyway. It's your choice whether to take that risk or not.
posted
10-Jun-18, 02:01
edited about 43 seconds later
Avatar for chaotic1328
posted about 4 months ago
Quote From pm133:
Yes that's what I suspected. So the feedback you got about having low grades is correct then,
I think this is the equivalent of a 2:2 or grade average 50 to 59%.
I think merit is 60 to 69 and a distinction is above 70 but I might be wrong,

Either way this is probably why you are getting rejections. I dont think it has anything to do with individual module weightings.
Applying to very popular places like Imperial and Warwick is going to be tough as you'll be facing a throng of people with distinctions.


But surely if the OP had stated his case correctly, then the two modules where he passed, but scored 0 % somehow, contributed to his final grades, caused his low average.

This is the bit I don't get:

"After digging details ( for which I am still in contact with Uni of Edinburgh) . I found out that 2 of the modules I took (research proposal, research review) have only PASS or FAIL (no percentage). and somehow even though I have passed both modules, my overall percentage being calculated is taking into account 0% for both of them. these were 20 credit modules so 40 credits out of 180.

taking 0% of these two modules in my overall percentage is bringing it down to 54%.. I of course had no idea that if I take such modules 0% will be counted towards my overall grade."

If I got this correctly, he is saying that he got an average of 69% in 140 credits, and the 40 credits at 0% (both modules he passed without being given a percentage mark) dragged the 180 credits overall average to 54%. How can 40 credits out of 180 credits be classed as 0%, yet still are used in the calculations for the final average?

OP, please clarify.
posted
11-Jun-18, 13:54
edited about 1 minute later
Avatar for Saadliaqat
posted about 4 months ago
Hi ,

No idea. I asked my university to clarify how the overall result is being calculated, didnt get any response from them. I asked the professor who was teaching these modules and his response was that these two modules will not be calculated towards overall average , they are just pass or fail.

Then I used
https://gradehub.io/

i input my courses and their results, If i skip these 40 credit courses i get 2:1 (69%), if i put 0% for these 40 credits I get 2:2 (54%). even If i put the bare-pass for these 40 credits (i.e. 45% for each course), my overall from this online tool is 63%.

Until now I couldnt exactly figure out the relation between the weight of the module towards the overall average.
posted
11-Jun-18, 14:32
edited about 8 minutes later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 4 months ago
Quote From Saadliaqat:
Hi ,

No idea. I asked my university to clarify how the overall result is being calculated, didnt get any response from them. I asked the professor who was teaching these modules and his response was that these two modules will not be calculated towards overall average , they are just pass or fail.

Then I used
https://gradehub.io/

i input my courses and their results, If i skip these 40 credit courses i get 2:1 (69%), if i put 0% for these 40 credits I get 2:2 (54%). even If i put the bare-pass for these 40 credits (i.e. 45% for each course), my overall from this online tool is 63%.

Until now I couldnt exactly figure out the relation between the weight of the module towards the overall average.


The handbook for your course should tell you what you need to know in respect of how grades are worked out - pass, merit, distinction.
You should also be able to get a transcript which breaks down the marks.
posted
11-Jun-18, 14:38
by tru
Avatar for tru
posted about 4 months ago
Calculation of overall average should be total of (weightage x marks of all subjects) divided by total number of credits. So, if you took two subjects and got 75% for a 20 credit course and 50% for a 30 credit course, your average will be [(75*20) + (50*30)] / (20 + 30) = 60%. In other words, if you score really badly in a high weightage subject, you will end up with poor score.
posted
11-Jun-18, 14:42
edited about 1 second later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 4 months ago
Quote From tru:
Calculation of overall average should be total of (weightage x marks of all subjects) divided by total number of credits. So, if you took two subjects and got 75% for a 20 credit course and 50% for a 30 credit course, your average will be [(75*20) + (50*30)] / (20 + 30) = 60%. In other words, if you score really badly in a high weightage subject, you will end up with poor score.


The problem is the OP is claiming that 2 of the modules didn't have a score attached to them. They were pass or fail and the suggestion is that both were given as 0% in the final score marking.
Something sounds very odd here. I am not convinced we are hearing the full story.
posted
11-Jun-18, 19:59
Avatar for bewildered
posted about 4 months ago
Did you fail and resit any modules? If so, those marks get capped at a bare pass unless they accepted extenuating circumstances. That could explain a discrepancy. Otherwise ask the programme director why.
posted
12-Jun-18, 03:28
edited about 26 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 4 months ago
Yes, do consult handbook and course director for clarification about the grades. I think it is unlikely that there would be a mistake on the transcript but you never know. It is definitely worth checking it out, as such things do happen. And that is a huge difference.

Are you talking about applying for funding or being accepted to self fund? If the former, then the competition will be extremely high. I know one lady whose grades were quite low, but who had experience in the field, as (it sounds) you do. She ended up getting funding for part of her PhD and working as a teaching assistant (and now part time lecturer) to pay for the rest of her PhD/living costs. This is a Russell Group Uni, so there are ways of doing these things if you can be flexible / make sacrifices.
posted
13-Jun-18, 11:58
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 4 months ago
If you can't work basic things like this out for yourself, I struggle to see how you would do a PhD tbh.
posted
13-Jun-18, 15:31
edited about 28 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 4 months ago
But it does all sound a bit confusing...

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