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Topic: is it possible to make PhD in UK without making MSc first?  (Read 21550 times)

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Offline Borek

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Dan, is it possible to make PhD in UK without making MSc first?

In Poland MSc is a prerequisite, I was told in US MSc are mostly graduate program dropouts.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2006, 07:56:11 PM by Mitch »
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Offline Dan

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Re: I am now a PhD Candidate!
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2006, 07:41:43 AM »
Dan, is it possible to make PhD in UK without making MSc first?

In Poland MSc is a prerequisite, I was told in US MSc are mostly graduate program dropouts.

As far as I know, a Master's degree (or some international equivalent) is a prerequisite for PhD/DPhil study in the UK. For Chemistry anyway.

Do you mean someone in the USA told you UK MSc's were a sign of graduate drop-outs, or that MSc's gained in the USA were a sign of graduate drop-outs?

If someone has an MSc it doesn't necessarily mean they dropped out of their PhD. PhD dropouts would have an MSc, but that doesn't mean they ever went for a PhD. At some universities, eg. Oxford, you cannot get a BSc in chemistry, a 4 year MChem is mandatory.

All I know about the US is this:

I'm doing a 4 year course, which will give me an MChem (provided I don't fail). Now, if I wanted to do a PhD in America I would also have to spend another year getting an american master's degree! This is supposedly because in America, it takes 5 years to get a masters, which everyone one in the UK attributes to poor university education in the USA - but I'm not in any position to comment on the degree of truth in that statement.

So I think for american PhDs you have to do an extra year in america before you start your PhD.
 
My Inorganic tutor did this - he had to do the extra year even though he discovered something new and awesome when he did his MChem research year, I can't remember what it was, solids don't get me very excited, but he got full marks for his thesis!
« Last Edit: May 23, 2006, 07:46:53 AM by Dan »
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Offline Borek

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Re: I am now a PhD Candidate!
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2006, 07:48:11 AM »
MSc's gained in the USA were a sign of graduate drop-outs?

In general US graduate studies end with PhD, ar at least that's the idea. If you fail, you may get MSc.

But that's what I have heard somewhere on the net, so it can be wrong, prejudiced or something.
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Offline Dan

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Re: I am now a PhD Candidate!
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2006, 07:52:54 AM »
prejudiced

Probably - at least if he Americans are as prejudiced towards us as we (generally) are of them!
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Offline P

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Re: I am now a PhD Candidate!
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2006, 09:15:45 AM »
Dan, is it possible to make PhD in UK without making MSc first?

In Poland MSc is a prerequisite, I was told in US MSc are mostly graduate program dropouts.

You can get onto a course if you have a good BSc.  Some start by undertaking a MSc and converting to a doctorate if the project goes in the right direction.    If you 'fail' your Ph.D. or if it doesn't quite go to plan shall we say, then they give you an MPhil.  A MSc is a respected course as far as I know.


That was the last "signifigant" stage before you get a PhD. I still need to work in lab a few more years and write a dissertation, but these are the easy things compared to this oral exam.

Thats different to here in the UK  -  we do the 3 year lab work, write the thesis and then do an oral exam  -  If you come out of the oral alive then you pass. 


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Re: I am now a PhD Candidate!
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2006, 06:11:26 PM »
Now that we are discussing about PhDs: I recently finished my exams and want to start applications in the states. Any useful hints on how to succeed in the GRE exams?
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Offline Donaldson Tan

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Re: I am now a PhD Candidate!
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2006, 07:51:59 PM »
Now that we are discussing about PhDs: I recently finished my exams and want to start applications in the states. Any useful hints on how to succeed in the GRE exams?

Do our UK undergraduate MEng and MSc qualify for direct entry into American PhD programs?

I am sure they are called intercalculated masters for a reason..
"Say you're in a [chemical] plant and there's a snake on the floor. What are you going to do? Call a consultant? Get a meeting together to talk about which color is the snake? Employees should do one thing: walk over there and you step on the friggin� snake." - Jean-Pierre Garnier, CEO of Glaxosmithkline, June 2006

Offline mike

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Re: I am now a PhD Candidate!
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2006, 08:18:11 PM »
Quote
In general US graduate studies end with PhD, ar at least that's the idea. If you fail, you may get MSc.

But that's what I have heard somewhere on the net, so it can be wrong, prejudiced or something.

Borek: Don't be too quick to judge! Failure is not the only reason people leave studies..
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Offline Donaldson Tan

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Re: I am now a PhD Candidate!
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2006, 09:05:30 PM »
My Inorganic tutor did this - he had to do the extra year even though he discovered something new and awesome when he did his MChem research year, I can't remember what it was, solids don't get me very excited, but he got full marks for his thesis!

One more year? So it means UK graduates are better off (time-wise) to do PhD in the UK & Europe?
"Say you're in a [chemical] plant and there's a snake on the floor. What are you going to do? Call a consultant? Get a meeting together to talk about which color is the snake? Employees should do one thing: walk over there and you step on the friggin� snake." - Jean-Pierre Garnier, CEO of Glaxosmithkline, June 2006

Offline mike

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Re: I am now a PhD Candidate!
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2006, 09:13:15 PM »
Australia: PhD = 3 years, MSc= 1.5-2 years, BSc = 3 years, honours = 1 year

To get your PhD you need to do BSc + Honours + PhD
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Re: I am now a PhD Candidate!
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2006, 06:21:01 AM »
Do our UK undergraduate MEng and MSc qualify for direct entry into American PhD programs?

I am sure they are called intercalculated masters for a reason..
Actually, even BSc with honours qualify for an american PhD. The honours is essentially, i.e. you need to pass 11 out of 12 course units within the 3 years. However, you probably won't get a place without a very good second upper or first class degree.
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Offline Dan

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Re: I am now a PhD Candidate!
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2006, 07:05:17 AM »
One more year? So it means UK graduates are better off (time-wise) to do PhD in the UK & Europe?

As far as I know, yes. But I don't know alot about it, so I think this will be my last post in this thread.

As I understand it, if you have an MChem, your PhD will take x years in the UK. If you go to America it will take x+1 years. The additional year is supposedy for american students to 'catch-up' and meet the standard required to begin PhD study - and UK students can't skip that year, which they moan about because they are supposedly  so much better educated blah blah blah.

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Offline DrCMS

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Re: I am now a PhD Candidate!
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2006, 05:13:59 AM »
You did not need to get an MSc to do a PhD in the UK when I got mine 11 years ago. 
To get goverment funding you needed to get a BSc with either a 1st or 2.1 grade.
If you had the money you could fund yourself with a lower degree but the odds are if you didn't get a 1st or 2.1 you wouldn't pass the PhD.  Unless you missed thing through illness or personal problems etc.

Back then we had to write a mini thesis at the end of the 1st year and had an oral exam with your supervisor and another lecturer/professor from the same department. 

If you passed that you carried on for another 2 years or so and then wrote up your full thesis followed by an oral exam by a lecturer/professor from another university who is an expert in the field you had studied along with a lecturer/professor from your own university department.  They can quiz you on anything they want; mainly stuff in your thesis but anything else they feel like, analytical techniques you've quoted results from, recent literature published after you wrote up etc. etc.  My exam lasted about 2½ hours which was fairly typical.  Once you passed that you're a PhD.

Writing up my thesis took about 5 months of 10 hour days 7 days a week and as jdurg said it is not easy.  Once you start putting it down on paper you have to tidy up all the loose ends and have the answers ready for the oral exam.

So what is the timescale and process in the rest of the world?

Offline hmx9123

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Re: I am now a PhD Candidate!
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2006, 04:37:55 PM »
To the best of my understanding:

The way things used to work here in the US was this:

BS - 4 years
MS - 2 years
PhD - 3 years

You had to do these sequentally.  More recently (past 20 years or so), certain universities started combining the Masters/PhD program.  So, now it's more like this at many places:

BS - 4 years
PhD - 5 years

This was supposedly done for financial reasons.  Apparently professors get more money from the university for PhD students than for masters students.  While students aren't technically PhD candidates until after they pass their qualifying exams, if they state that they're going for their PhD, then on paper, they fall into the PhD category and the prof gets more money.  This isn't the way it's done at all universities here; some still have the old system that requires them to get a MS first.

Now, that being said, you can still get a MS from universities that only offer a PhD program--you have to quit the PhD program before you get your PhD, or in some cases, you can write up a thesis for an MS, they give you that, and then you move on to the PhD.

Offline Borek

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Re: I am now a PhD Candidate!
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2006, 05:40:47 PM »
Now, that being said, you can still get a MS from universities that only offer a PhD program--you have to quit the PhD program before you get your PhD, or in some cases, you can write up a thesis for an MS, they give you that, and then you move on to the PhD.

In a way that confirms that MSc can be a PhD dropout.
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