Should I quit my masters degree?

posted
17-Sep-18, 12:13
by RZ5
Avatar for RZ5
posted about 1 year ago
I've been registered on an MSc in nuclear science and technology since September2017. So far I have completed 120/180 credits and I have been granted an extension until May 2019 for the project/dissertation. For the taught part of the course (120 credits) my results are 67%, 72%, 70%, 68%, 45%, 73%, 70%, 75%. I would be averaging a distinction if it wasn't for the compensated fail (45%) which I disagree with. The external examiner will review work in October and I may have the chance to ask for a re-mark. The tutor who marked it is horrible and doesn't actually work in the university, he was a guest lecturer from industry.

I've hated this course from the start, but I was unemployed at the time and they offered me a £5000 bursary and no fees. I have to give the bursary back if I quit (I haven't spent it).
The course has had an impact on my mental health. I have completed over 20 pieces of assessment and my brain is cooked. I have no life and missed the summer due to studying.

I don't want to work in this industry. I also turned 30 in April and I have become scared of wasting time. Even 3 months to complete the project seems too valuable to spend on something I dislike.

I have enjoyed some topics on the course, but I feel like I am too old to be studying pointless physics. I need to be earning money and meeting people, not sat in my bedroom studying.

I could get a job and work on the project in the evenings, but a part of me just wants to pull the plug.

I have nothing else lined up at the moment. I'm sitting a medical admissions test this Friday and I have a few job applications in the pipeline, but that's about it.

I also feel like if I don't get a distinction it would tar my academic record as I got a 1st class in my bachelors.
posted
17-Sep-18, 14:39
by eng77
Avatar for eng77
posted about 1 year ago
Hello RZ5. You should not quit. To be honest, your reasons for quitting do not make sense at all. ou are 30, so what? Many Bachelor and Master students are in their fourties and even older. Is 30 the age that someone should stop learning?
How would you know that you get a job in 3 months or even in 3 years? How can an Master tar a Bachelor? A Master with 2:1 is definitely better than a Bachelor with 1:1. How would you plan to explain to prospectus employers about time spent in Master with no degree? This would be seen a sign of personality weakness and lack of persistence.
Having a bad experience in one course is not the end of the world. Just finish what you started and one day (not very far) you would be proud and laugh at the idea of quitting the course.
posted
17-Sep-18, 16:16
edited about 1 minute later
by RZ5
Avatar for RZ5
posted about 1 year ago
Quote From eng77:
Hello RZ5. You should not quit. To be honest, your reasons for quitting do not make sense at all. ou are 30, so what? Many Bachelor and Master students are in their fourties and even older. Is 30 the age that someone should stop learning?
How would you know that you get a job in 3 months or even in 3 years? How can an Master tar a Bachelor? A Master with 2:1 is definitely better than a Bachelor with 1:1. How would you plan to explain to prospectus employers about time spent in Master with no degree? This would be seen a sign of personality weakness and lack of persistence.
Having a bad experience in one course is not the end of the world. Just finish what you started and one day (not very far) you would be proud and laugh at the idea of quitting the course.


I just want to do something different - I've really had enough. I've had a month off and I feel slightly better. The fail mark has lowered my morale and the university bureaucracy (not able to challenge academic judgement) just makes me feel like walking away. I want to do something completely different like healthcare.

For my project I would have to use MCNP and I have no programming experience. I can probably get through it with a little bit of help and example codes, but I just can't be bothered writing yet another assignment (20,000 words) for the dissertation.
posted
17-Sep-18, 19:33
edited about 17 seconds later
Avatar for Becky1210
posted about 1 year ago
Let's be honest. If you has 1st class marks in bachelor, why are you failing your courses and feel miserable at the moment? Is it just stress or more? How are you doing compare to your classmates? Why are studying the Master in the first place? good potential employment? Free tuition?

"I don't want to work in this industry". How does this Master degree benefit your career? If not, while getting free money but wasting more time to study something not enjoying / no job prospect. Is it worth?
posted
17-Sep-18, 20:06
by RZ5
Avatar for RZ5
posted about 1 year ago
From my marks above you can see I basically have 7 distinctions and 1 fail (70% is a distinction in the UK). Why I failed that module - I have no idea, other than the lecturer being a harsh marker. I've sat a lot of exams in my life and I came out of that exam feeling good, so to get that result was a huge shock. As I say, I can't explain it.

I don't know anyone else on the course. A lot of the students are part-time and already work in industry so I never see them (this actually gives them an advantage in exams as they have prior knowledge). We all select modules and attend lectures for each module at different universities... so I have been to University of Manchester, Birmingham, Sheffield etc.

The masters doesn't benefit my career. Maybe it could have helped me get a quant role in finance, but I probably need a distinction for that and the 45% will ruin my grades.

I started the course because I had nothing better to do. I have, however, learnt that academia is totally pointless so it has enlightened me somewhat.
posted
17-Sep-18, 20:07
edited about 3 minutes later
Avatar for bewildered
posted about 1 year ago
How much of this is injured pride about the fail? If so, I think you need to avoid shooting yourself in the foot through being too proud. If you don't finish you'll get a PG Diploma for the taught element - employers unfortunately tend to assume that's a failed Masters. And if you don't declare it, you have to lie about a year on your cv. So it might be in your best interests to complete even if you think the dissertation element is going to be hard. And many with undergrad 1sts don't get distinctions at Masters level given some universities are giving 40% 1sts these days - you really won't stand out. You say you don't want to work in the industry which is fair enough but I think you could tell a better story to employers about your resilience and perseverance in completing despite that than looking like someone who gives up when things are hard. And you need to avoid sounding bitter - e.g your last sentence above.

PS Even very good students can sometimes misunderstand what an exam question is looking for... it might be worth considering that possibility. The work as a fail will have already been moderated by a second marker as fails always are and sent to an external examiner - again fails always are picked. If three people agree it's a fail maybe it's time to accept you just got something wrong.
posted
17-Sep-18, 21:04
edited about 16 seconds later
by pf329
Avatar for pf329
posted about 1 year ago
By my calculation, 75% in the dissertation would give you a Distinction overall, 45% would give you a Merit and 15% would give you a Pass. It seems silly to walk away with a Diploma and have to give £5000 back for the sake of scoring 15% in the dissertation.
posted
24-Sep-18, 17:09
edited about 19 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 1 year ago
It's just one of those things, horrible as it is to you given your record and the circumstances. But don't cut your nose off and all that. Just see it through but know for yourself that you could have got a distinction (if you end up not being awarded one). I think that a Masters is better than no Masters, whatever the grade. And a grade shouldn't stop you progressing. You can explain why it wasn't a distinction if the role you are applying for requires a distinction. Hope you see it through.

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