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Masters Discussion Forum

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This Category:   PostgraduateForum.com > PhD Funding


MSc Followed by MRes

User: icarus93 - 14 March 2017 15:53

Hi everyone,

I always seem to turn to this forum in times of academic crisis, and here I am again! The advice I get here is top-notch, so I thank you.

To cut a very long and very tedious story short, I graduated with a BSc in environmental science back in 2014 (2i), then an MSc this year (Pass). I received an offer of a PhD place last year, but turned it down because the project brief wasn't exactly what I was looking for. I've since been through another PhD funding round and having applied for seven places, I only had two interviews with no offers, and waiting to hear back from the last one I applied to.

Disheartened, I had a quick e-mail exchange with the supervisor of the project where I had my last interview, which also happens to be the university where I did my MSc but in a different department. He recommended that I look into doing an MRes to bolster my future applications for funding. This to me seems counterintuitive, given that I already hold an MSc, but maybe the supervisor knows something I don't. If I were to pursue an MRes with this supervisor, it would at least diversify me into atmospheric chemistry, the employment figures are very impressive from the department and they seem to be starting some excellent research into what I want to do, but I just worry that a) it might not improve my chances of getting funding in the future, b) it may delay me from where I actually want to be, which is doing a PhD and c) having two MScs to my name may put some people off, thinking I am an eternal student. As much as I love university as a whole, I'm well aware that time is marching on, and I want to get on in life!

In short, should I look into an MRes, or maybe an MPhil would be more appropriate? Should I ignore this advice and keep applying for funded PhD places?

Thanks again!

User: TreeofLife - 14 March 2017 16:54

An MRes and an MPhil are practically the same thing.

Your potential MRes supervisor probably has enough funding to cover this, but not a PhD, or thinks you will be prepared to take out a loan to cover 1 year of a MRes but not 3-4 years of a PhD. It may be that you start there and then the MRes evolves into a PhD. Or equally, nothing comes of it but you will then just have additional strength in PhD applications.

You've come close, so I would keep looking for a PhD if I were you. You might have to accept that it won't be exactly in the area you want though.

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