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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2009 10:33 pm 
zee wrote:
But returning to my original question... what's the best way to do a Masters, and does it matter? (No definite decisions required yet, but it's good to know which way the wind is blowing.)


I would say whatever way is the cheapest. But failing that, if your DCs don't end up at the university of your dreams, possibly better just to do the BA/BSc there and go somewhere more prestigious to get the Masters.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 8:13 am 
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A good proportion of the grads that I have hired have Masters or beyond. The strongest candidates have normally done their first degree at one university and their masters at another.

IMHO Moving establishment for a specific masters shows a degree of Ooomppf.

Incidentaly, My interpretation of CVs also takes O and A levels into consideration. It is said that good O-Levels show you work hard and good A-Levels show you are smart.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:51 am 
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And don't forget - if you do a BA at Oxford (is it the same at Cambridge?), you can automatically get an MA a few years later without any study...

20 years ago it cost £11, but it might be slightly different now...


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:57 am 
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Location: Solihull, West Midlands
Warks mum wrote:
And don't forget - if you do a BA at Oxford (is it the same at Cambridge?), you can automatically get an MA a few years later without any study...

20 years ago it cost £11, but it might be slightly different now...


It is the same at Cambridge, but I would have thought most employers would know the amount of extra work needed to get MA (Cantab).... Still looks good on a CV though!

My eldest is doing a 4 year M Mech (mechanical engineering) degree, but the decision to change to a 3 year B Mech and do a Masters elsewhere would have needed to be made well before he took the third year, as effectively the 3rd year would be different in structure and in options available. He did toy with the idea at one stage (a Masters in Australia was particularly tempting!) but decided to stay where he already knows and likes the department and obviously has friends on the same course. Possibly this does show lack of "oomph" but as he signed up for the full four years initially I'm sure it could be sold instead as commitment to his original decision....


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:24 am 
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solimum wrote:
Possibly this does show lack of "oomph"


Unlikely. Sounds like a very reasonable choice if at a good establishment to start with.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:07 am 
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The finance is an important consideration. Need to check with individual LEA but if you do a 4year first degree you may get funding for all of it whereas if you do undergrad then postgrad the final year may not get funding.
Whether to do the 4th year depends alot on what you plan to do afterwards. If your career path is going to be 'using' your subject then it could well be necessary to do 4th year to have chance of best jobs.
If you are planning to go into profession that doesn't 'run on from' your degree (eg. scientist going into law, historian going into accountancy) then you'd be better doing three years and then make a start with relevent professional training.
Most places seem to let you chage down from 4 year to 3 year after 2nd year so maybe its best to sign up to 4year then decide later?
Other consideration if you are particularly strong in your subject - 4 year courses may attract others who are particularly committed to high level of academic study?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:08 pm 
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Location: Birmingham
As with situations there are pros and cons.

A masters can be useful in some situations if it's in a relevant discipline, but not always. For many applied science areas if often best not to do a general masters but to take the particular professional exams, some of which may be masters equivalent. e.g. M.Chem.A for those wishing to be Analytical Chemist or Public Analysts.

As someone who many years ago studied for both an M.Sc (exam & diss) and Ph.D (Research) I can confirm that there is a risk of being wrongly classified as by employers a perpetual academic and hence unsuitable for a working life in induistry and commerce. I had significant problems obtaining my first job in industry after my Ph.D in a job market that was not dissimilar to the current situation.


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