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Post by ndubz » Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:09 pm

Hello Everyone.

I would really appreciate your advice as I plan on applying for the Doctorate next year. I currently hold a 2:1 from a less than average UK university and I am aware of how difficult and competitive it is to get onto the Doctorate. I have managed to secure a place at UCL to do an MSc this September. However, I was wondering if it would boost my Doctorate application significantly if I had Oxford or Cambridge on my application rather than UCL? Or whether it would make any difference as UCL is itself an excellent university. I have a good depth of relevant experience, but I am mostly worried about my academic achievement as I am aware that there will be a wealth of applicants with higher grades than I have, and similar experience.


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Post by Monroe » Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:59 am

I really wouldn't worry. A 1st in a UCL masters will more than suffice to demonstrate academic ability.

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Post by alexh » Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:30 pm

Why do you think you need a masters?

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Post by jason712 » Fri Aug 25, 2017 8:58 am

I have to echo the above response, I don't think you NEED a Masters to boost your Doctorate application. But if you are still planning to do one then UCL is more than fine.

Ultimately though, if you aren't that keen on doing a Masters and your only reason is for the Doctorate then your time is better spent getting clinical or research experience. A Masters is a costly and stressful endeavour.

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Post by Geishawife » Fri Aug 25, 2017 10:10 am

Further echoing what has already been said, when you say you have a 2:1 is it a high or a low 2:1? The university you study at is far less important than the grade you obtain so a high 2:1 from a less prestigious institution is far more beneficial than, say, a 2:2 from a Russel Group university. If you have a high 2:1 you will meet the criteria for all the clinical courses academically and are far better off obtaining solid clinical experience from here.

I'm not saying don't do an MSc. If you are really interested and will enjoy it and get a lot out of it, that's fine. But don't do it simply to "compensate" for having obtained your first degree at what you see as a "lesser" university. It could be very costly and unecessary.

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Post by Psyfer » Mon Sep 25, 2017 6:12 pm

I am personally not convinced that psychology doctorate courses mind where you studied.

If you fancy an MSc just go to whichever course sounds more fun (or is cheaper). Also, choose an assessment method that suits you e.g. exams vs coursework.

Think about how relevant the course is too, can you do your dissertation on a clinical population, do you get any sort of placement?

Also, you really don't need a masters, so don't bother if you don't actually want to do one.

I am handing in my MSc dissertation tomorrow (hopefully) and my stress has literally cause me a headache.

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Post by BlueCat » Tue Sep 26, 2017 4:25 pm

It wont make a blind bit of difference where you get your masters from. However, it also won't make the slightest bit of difference where you got your first degree from. In terms of the scoring of application forms for clinical training, a 2:1 is a 2:1 and a masters is a masters whether it is from the "top" university in the UK, or the "bottom". And who's to say what top and bottom are anyway.....what does it even mean? Research competence, research profile, employment prospects, weight of applied vs theoretical psychology, student satisfaction? Its all relative, and a bit meaningless, really :)
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