Degree pedigree

The place to ask about degree courses, conversion courses, masters, PhD or other qualifications. Discuss specific courses, their pros and cons, the content, the application process, different institutions, how to fund them, etc. Includes advice if you have a 2:2 and questions on transcripts
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Dipa
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Degree pedigree

Post by Dipa »

Hi. First time posting here. I’ve seen quite a lot of talk about how it matters what class of degree you have but I’ve seen less about where you get your degree from.

My first degree is from York but it’s not in psychology. I’m considering doing a conversion and an MRes in psychology in the next four years but for that to be financially viable I would be looking at degrees that are from less prolific universities.

I’m not really a university snob (wouldn’t be considering it otherwise) but my worry is that if I ever did go for the doctorate I would be potentially putting myself at a disadvantage. So now I’m a bit cautious. I notice that the marketing in some of the newer universities offering the conversion aren’t exactly boasting about their success rate. Any thoughts?
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Geishawife
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Re: Degree pedigree

Post by Geishawife »

It doesn't matter at all where you obtain your degree(s). The courses are more interested in your grade and what you get from it than in where you studied. Given this, what matters most is that you get the best possible grade and that depends (at least in part) on the suitability of the course for you and how good a "fit" it is for your interests and circumstances. So, go for the course that suits you best in terms of how/where it is delivered, the modules that interest you, how it is assessed etc. and put any thoughts of university reputation to one side.
Mia1991
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Re: Degree pedigree

Post by Mia1991 »

I would agree with Geishawife. It is less about where you get it rather your grade which is indicating you academic potential and the likelihood that you will be able to manage the demands of completing a doctorate. That's essentially what they are considering. I had doctorate interviews at each course i applied to over the years and i had a 2:1 from what i would say was your average university! Focus on what location works for you, the university course itself and the staff through open days if you can.
Dipa
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Re: Degree pedigree

Post by Dipa »

Thanks. That’s really encouraging. I was considering the Leeds Trinity Course as it’s very affordable and it would mean I could afford the MRes afterwards if things worked out. It’s also taught in the evenings which is ideal but then I got hit with a tirade of negativity on another forum. They basically said that unless you go to a top ranked university they’ll basically bin your application. I pointed out that one of the universities they were slating actually offered the clinical doctorate and they basically said that’s irrelevant. Seemed to be a few holes in the logic!
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Geishawife
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Re: Degree pedigree

Post by Geishawife »

Dipa wrote: Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:56 am Thanks. That’s really encouraging. I was considering the Leeds Trinity Course as it’s very affordable and it would mean I could afford the MRes afterwards if things worked out. It’s also taught in the evenings which is ideal but then I got hit with a tirade of negativity on another forum. They basically said that unless you go to a top ranked university they’ll basically bin your application. I pointed out that one of the universities they were slating actually offered the clinical doctorate and they basically said that’s irrelevant. Seemed to be a few holes in the logic!
Then "they" are talking rubbish! If you fancy that course and think it's the most suitable fit for you, then go for it. I have been involved in selection for many years and have NEVER encountered extra points for a "top" university and binning of applications from "lesser" institutions. Go with what suits you and get as much out of it as possible. That is what will increase your chances of success, not the name or reputation of the university.
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Spatch
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Re: Degree pedigree

Post by Spatch »

I’m not really a university snob (wouldn’t be considering it otherwise) but my worry is that if I ever did go for the doctorate I would be potentially putting myself at a disadvantage. So now I’m a bit cautious. I notice that the marketing in some of the newer universities offering the conversion aren’t exactly boasting about their success rate. Any thoughts?
Not sure if folk know but this has been the focus of some study (shout out to Katrina Scior from the UCL DClinPsy crew).

https://www.bps.org.uk/blogs/dr-katrina ... ining-fair

For those unable to access this (or too lazy to click the link), the relevant points are summarised below

"Supported by a small grant from the Leeds Clearing House we set out to explore whether access to clinical psychology training is similarly skewed, by examining the influence of educational background on the outcome of applications to the UK’s 30 clinical psychology training courses...Taking into account both the type of school and the type of university where applicants completed their first degree (pre-1992 vs post-1992 institutions), as well as their degree class, we looked at data from September 2011 on the 2719 UK applicants for entry to clinical psychology training, of whom 17% (461 individuals) were offered a training place...

...Applicants who attended post-1992 universities were more likely to be rejected without interview and less likely to gain a place than applicants who attended pre-1992 universities.

...52% of psychology undergraduates major at post-1992 universities but only 36% of applicants for clinical psychology training were graduates of post-1992 institutions (2010/11 figures). We see a further drop-off in the proportion of graduates from post-1992 institutions during selection as only 23% of places offered to UK graduates in 2011 went to applicants from such universities."


Type of uni for undergrad has also been talked about on previous threads such as
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=11910&hilit=former+poly&start=60

Beyond this, having gone through selecting for several years, I wouldn't say that people give extra points for the university you go to or bin applications from "lesser" ones, but the contextual factors may have some wider impact. For example, Bath are explicit that they count A-levels, which are an indirect marker for the type of university someone is likely to attend. Places like Oxford or London have lots of strong research teams, clinics and services and a critical mass of psychologists so may facilitate gathering really good experience.

That is not to say it is impossible and I am not intending to put anyone off. The above research demonstrates people get through, but also there does seem to be leakage at the various stages of selection around this.
Shameless plug alert:

Irrelevant Experience: The Secret Diary of an Assistant Psychologist is available at Amazon
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Irrelevant-Expe ... 00EQFE5JW/
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