Signup date: 17 Oct 2006 at 5:56pm
Last login: 24 Jul 2008 at 3:24pm
Post count: 200
From my experience (again in 2005, so sorry if this isn't helpful) they weren't- I had no guaranteed means to pay it back at the time and my credit rating isn't exactly good, though this may have changed with the current economic situation etc. When I applied the max you could get was about £8000, so it pays for the fees and possibly rent as well. It's a real shame that funding for masters courses is so hard to come by, but the CDL could possibly be worth looking at if it's the same as it was a few years ago.
Hello again- it said about it being for vocational courses only for mine as well, but they didn't really ask many questions about it (mine was politics, so not strictly vocational either!)- could be worth looking into or speaking to one of the banks that runs them. (This all comes with the proviso that I did my MA in 2005, so may not apply now..) It's a bit of rip-off because the interest is something like 12%- you don't pay when you are studying (which is great) but then you have to pay it back over 4 or 5 years (which isn't..). Having said that, I wouldn't have been able to do my MA without it, and so long as I get a fairly decent pay packet in the end I don't mind! Could also be worth checking if there are jobs in the union or in the library for extra funds, good luck though..
The main difference between the two for me has been the standard expected- at PhD level you are expected to write like an 'academic', and it's not particularly easy. The hours etc., might not be very different, but the knowledge, judgement, analysis and so on is on a completely different level.
I've seen a few people just read from their papers- it's really boring, and pretty pointless when you can just read them yourself anyway. I've also found, as someone else has posted, that often people just don't prepare at all- they start skipping through slides and it's all timed wrong, and when that happens people lose interest. I think actually timing is very important, but powerpoint and timing the slides really helps. Good luck with it all...
Hi Spacey- I was absolutely terrified doing my first conference presentation, so you're right that it's a common feeling among PhD students! Obviously I can only talk from my own experience, but I use powerpoint (2-3 mins of talking per slide seems to work well), come up with a script and just go over it again and again by myself until I can repeat it off by heart. I know a lot of people don't like to do that, but I find it helps because you know what you are going to say so well that it's very difficult to actually go blank. The other thing that I find helpful is to remember that everyone gets nervous presenting (including Lenin, incidentally, who had to pull out of talks on several occasions because of it!) and so not to be overwhelmed by it all. Hope it all goes ok anyway..
There was an interesting story in THES a while ago, where a Korean 'professor' (she also had a very high ranking post- I can't remember what though) in a top university turned out to have absolutely no qualifications whatsoever, not even from school, and she'd been working there for a long time. Makes you wonder what the point of all this is!
Hello- I shouldn't think that you'd need to worry too much, although I know it can be a bit daunting having to write that many words for the first time! I think you will probably pick up the experience and skills to write the dissertation during the masters, but universities often keep copies of completed dissertations in their libraries so it might be helpful to have a look at them and note how they are structured. Also, 8,000 or more words can seem like a lot, but when you cut it down into paragraphs, sections and maybe think of it like a series of mini-essays on related subjects (say 2,000 words on this, another 2,000 on that etc.) you might find that you need more rather than less words...Final thing, I have known a few people who have gone from a BA completely unrelated to their MA (from Music to politics)and they did ok in the end...So best of luck
I'd agree with most of what is written here- I went to the pub with undergrads and it was a very bad idea, mainly because they and the module leader starting bitching about another undergrad student in their class, and it's very hard to draw lines re. what is acceptable/what isn't in an informal setting. I guess it depends what the students are like that you might be socialising with, but it is definitely something I wouldn't do again based on the experience which I had.
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