BSc vs MSc vs PGDip

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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friday
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BSc vs MSc vs PGDip

Post by friday » Sat Mar 14, 2020 5:31 pm

I'm considering studying doing a conversion course with a view to possibly going down the clinical or forensic route (though the latter seems unlikely for financial reasons). I'm not sure what the best option would be in terms of MSc/BSc/PGDip if I want to get on to the clinical psychology doctorate so I'd really appreciate a little advice. I will be continuing to work full time and am not entitled to a postgraduate loan.

I have a BSc (Hons) Open (1st) and MA Social Work (Merit 67%). My MA had a 60 credit research module. I only got 62% on this module because I handed it in a day late and lost 10% (I was doing the module while working full time as a social worker in a very stressful job I have now left). My tutor thinks my research is publishable so we'll be working on that in the next couple of months. I'd say my research skills are moderate. I have more experience with qualitative than quantitative. I only studied quantitative in my 1st year of undergrad and self taught what I needed for the quantitative part of my MA research. My undergrad research was very small scale and qualitative.

I am a mental health social worker in a prison, previously a social worker in a local authority community mental health team. Before social work I worked in mental health (wards and community) and have experience facilitating groups for service users, workshops for professionals and charities, and speaking at conferences. I have never been supervised by a psychologist.

My thoughts are:

BSc at Open University
Pros:
- Should be able to transfer some credits so I'd just need to do 240 credits (possibly 180 but more likely 240)
- The modules look interesting
- I should be able to get a student loan so I won't need to find the money up front
- I find OU study works for me

Cons:
- Will cost £10,000
- Would probably take 3 years since I'd probably want to do the final year modules one a year rather than full time study with full time work

PGDip at UEL or online
Pros:
- Could do online or at a brick uni
- Cheaper than either an MSc or BSc (if I could get a 50% scholarship from UEL this would be doable. If not, it will be a big stretch)
- Would take less time
- If I did it at UEL I may make links with people in the department which might be helpful for doctorate applications

Cons:
- Smaller research project
- Not sure how universities view it
- Need to find the money up front
- May not be enough given my not great MA research module grade

MSc
Pros:
- More in depth than PGDip
- Bigger research project
- Might make up for my poor MA research module grade

Cons:
- Expensive. I think this is only doable if I can get a 50% scholarship at UEL.
- Will take longer than PGDip
- Need to find the money up front which will be very hard

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Geishawife
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Re: BSc vs MSc vs PGDip

Post by Geishawife » Sat Mar 14, 2020 9:04 pm

I think, realistically, you need to decide between the BSc and the MSc. There are some Clinical courses that do not accept PGDips and you would definitely be limiting future options if you pursued this route. Either a BSc or an MSc would be acceptable (especially in light of you having a 1st in your original degree, so opt for the course you think you would get the most out of.

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miriam
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Re: BSc vs MSc vs PGDip

Post by miriam » Sat Mar 14, 2020 11:10 pm

MSc. Going back to undergrad level doesn't make sense, and PGDip isn't enough, plus it will give the potential of quantitative research.
Miriam

See my blog at http://clinpsyeye.wordpress.com

friday
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Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2010 6:10 pm

Re: BSc vs MSc vs PGDip

Post by friday » Sun Mar 15, 2020 10:46 am

Thank you. This is very helpful. I'm going to get on with my MSc application asap. If I don't get the UEL scholarship I'll do the BSc because I don't have £4,500 a year up front (who does?!)

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miriam
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Re: BSc vs MSc vs PGDip

Post by miriam » Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:29 am

friday wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 10:46 am
Thank you. This is very helpful. I'm going to get on with my MSc application asap. If I don't get the UEL scholarship I'll do the BSc because I don't have £4,500 a year up front (who does?!)
If you are employed, you might be able to get an employer to pay the fees up front and then take them back out of salary over an extended period, in return for a commitment to stay working for them over that period. Or you might be able to get a career development loan. Don't forget to claim back tax on course fees and materials if you can prove this is important to your professional development in your employment.
Miriam

See my blog at http://clinpsyeye.wordpress.com

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