Chances Of Getting Onto A Physics PhD?

15-May-19, 19:32
by Unknown
Avatar for Unknown
posted about 1 month ago
Greetings everyone,

I was hoping that I could get some thoughts of people who are currently applying or enrolled on physics phd courses in the UK.

I finished a 1 year master's in physics which was mostly theoretical based last year and while completing it I hoped that I could have gone on to do a phd. Unfortunately my overall average for the degree is only 61% which is equivalent to a low 2:1 and my bachelor's average is similar. I'm aware that while phd's are advertised as requiring a minimum of a 2:1 in reality unless you have a 1st or a very high 2:1 (67% +) that is borderline a 1st then getting onto a physics phd is extremely difficult due to the competition.

I then consigned myself to trying to find employment which i have not had much luck in despite Britain's "growing economy". The majority of entry level" stem" jobs are really specifically computer science roles or are jobs that want some sort of practical experience which I lack. Furthermore, for non stem jobs the recruiters always want "people skills" which I also lack. I'm just not a people person, I can fake it to an extent but no amount of polish is going to turn me into a bubbly extrovert. I hate the thought of having to work in an open office with other people and I've come to the conclusion that I'm just not suited to the modern workplace either.

With all that in mind the idea of a phd which is what I really wanted to do has come back to me. I know that certain fields of physics are more competitive than others such as theoretical/cosmology though I'm more interested in the applied side and quantum technology though how competitive this is in relation to other areas I am not certain. I am left wondering if applying will actually lead anywhere or will my applications just be thrown in the bin?
16-May-19, 21:29
by rewt
Avatar for rewt
posted about 1 month ago
Hi unknown,

You are right a low 2:1 without mitigating circumstances doesn't look good on an application. You sound like you are already defeated by saying everything you are not. What sets you apart? If you can answer that you could sell yourself in an interview. Some departments want motivated people over grades and if you have some relevant skills you might get something. It costs you nothing to apply, right?


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