1st class, but should I do MRes before PhD?

posted
19-Mar-19, 13:56
Avatar for chocoleaf
posted about 9 months ago
A lil bit about my background: I just graduated with a 1st Class honours degree in life science. I have done an undergrad project with thesis, presented at an international conference, and also awarded best undergrad project by my faculty. Done an internship at a research lab as well.

Getting a PhD is my ultimate goal, but I don't think I am quite ready for it yet. For the reasons stated down below, I'm not sure if it's a good idea for me to jump straight into PhD from bachelor's.

I intend to get into biomedical research, preferably at a foreign country for that overseas experience. I had to depend on scholarship due to financial constraint. Based on the entry requirements that I've seen so far, I am qualified for PhD and of course for Master's. However, what concerns me the most is the scholarship application. Compared to applicants who have Master's + research experience, with/without publications etc., I think my profile seem a little weak since I came straight from bachelor's. (or it's not? let me know what do you think)

Besides, getting into PhD is a big deal. Once I'm in it, there's at least 3-4 years of commitment to be invested. So I thought of doing MRes first, to sort of give myself time to explore my area of interest + gain experience, but people around me (professors, family members, friends) have been giving me different opinions regarding this matter, basically falling into these 2 categories:

1) With my profile, I should just go for PhD and MRes would be redundant, because research profile can always be built later on, skills can always be taught and learned. And scholarships for MRes are scarce.
2) Getting an MRes is a good investment as it provides me training and exposure which will certainly help me set my pace when I get into PhD. Plus it's a good way to strengthen my profile for PhD application later on.

I really don't know what to do right now and honestly, I feel stuck. I'd appreciate any opinions, comments and I welcome all of you to share your PG experience with me. Thanks in advance
posted
20-Mar-19, 19:37
by Cat123
Avatar for Cat123
posted about 9 months ago
Just apply for the PhD, you could also apply for an MRes/ MSc as a backup. I know a few students who got 1st class batchelors degrees who went straight from BSc to PhD. You will find there are 1+3 programmes also, integrating an MSc and PhD.
posted
20-Mar-19, 20:29
by rewt
Avatar for rewt
posted about 9 months ago
You sound like a good candidate and will be considered favourably. As Cat123 said, apply for both and see what offers you get. An MRes will definitely help your PhD hunt and if you do well you should get one. Though I have heard such good things about the 1+3 courses. If you do well, you start a PhD with after a very relevant masters but if it doesn't go well, you can make a clean break while still getting a Masters.
posted
21-Mar-19, 19:46
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 9 months ago
You have the right background to be accepted into a PhD position.
That is absolutely fine.

I'm not clear on what your other problem is though.
Are you unsure if you want to commit to 4 years?
posted
31-Mar-19, 18:43
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 9 months ago
An MRes is not redundant unless you have already studied or have time to study later or don't need to study any of the modules on it! If you can get funding I'd say go for the MRes - it's really useful. But you could apply for both if you have a 1+3 and a 3 only option... see which one you get offered the funding for, and if both, make decision then. I'm not sure I've ever heard of anyone regretting doing an MRes, but I have heard people wishing that they'd done one.

Best of luck with your decision!

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