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How Competitive is it to Get onto a Masters Course?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
I'm looking at 2013 entry... I have referees, experience as a union rep (with involvement on LGBT campaigns), I'll be a mature student and I have a 2:1 in Human Rights and Politics, from an average university. I don't have a private education, plus my A levels are a bit rubbish (due to being in hospital). I have worked in the civil service for the past three years and volunteered on differing campaigns.

I'm looking at Gender and International Relations, or Gender and Culture MA courses at either Manchester, or Bristol. I've heard that Masters courses are getting ever more competitive to get on to, so I'm wondering if I should lower the bar on the reputation of the universities I wish to apply to, so as not to waste my time.

I don't want pessimism, or blind optimism... I'm just curious for people who are better tuned in to what's going on with universities at present... Is it realistic to get on to a Masters course, with a 2:1, or is the market saturated with graduates with s 1st degree?

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hi Namaste,

    In my experience (which admittedly is going back a few years now) it's fairly easy to get a place on a Masters course, even PhD for that matter. Getting funding however (especially for arts and social sciences) is extremely tough. Pretty much if you've got a 2:1 and the money to fund yourself, I see no reason for you not try for the course you want to do at a decent uni.

    I might be missing some big shift in the way universities are being run, but it used to be they relied heavily on postgrads and research to get a good score on RAE, so I find it hard to believe they'll turn students with a 2:1 and money away. I'm pretty sure being a mature student won't count against you either. Mature and international students were always highly regarded at my uni :thumb:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    From my somewhat limited experience of working in an admissions office but mainly dealing with undergrad applicants masters applications are more complex. They're generally smaller courses, so the whole application gets looked at rather than just the basic grades. A levels generally aren't paid much attention as too far back. There are usually minimum entrance requirements on the academic grades front but beyond that it generally comes down to relevant experience - by the sounds of it you're doing pretty well on that front.

    Your best bet would probably be to get in touch with the admissions tutor for a couple of the courses you're interested in and ask them directly.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You shouldn't have any problems as far as I can see. But yeah, giving some people a call is usually a good idea.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I got onto all the masters courses I applied for no problem with a 2:1 and no relevant work experience. To be honest they're just glad to keep numbers up, it's finding the money that's the hard part.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ballerina wrote: »
    I got onto all the masters courses I applied for no problem with a 2:1 and no relevant work experience. To be honest they're just glad to keep numbers up, it's finding the money that's the hard part.

    Yeaahhh... Manchester don't seem to offer post grad burseries

    Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 2
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Its generally reasonably easy to get on to Masters courses as they are lucrative for universities. The difficult thing is to secure funding, so think carefully unless you have the money to pay tuition and support yourself.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    So it's kinda realistic to apply for places like Manchester if I went to an average university?

    I'll be using a combination of savings to get settled on (hopefully around £3-5K saved up by then) and a Career Development Loan for fees. I'll be doing a Masters part time, so will be working maybe 20-25 hours a week to cover rent and basic living... I think the hours I'd need to study on a part time Masters is around 16-20 a week, so figured this would add up to what I'd normally work.

    I figured it's doable, if say I paid £200-350 rent (I think for a single room this is realistic in Manchester, Leeds, Norwich or Bristol?) and worked enough to earn about £600 per month?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Sounds sensible to me :thumb:. I know quite a few people who did undergrad studies at average/less than average universities then went onto more prestigious ones for their MAs/PhDs. £200 - £350 a month rent in Leeds is pretty realistic I'd say, I think Manchester is fairly similar, no idea about Norwich or Bristol. I'm paying £230 a month in my house share in Leeds, but that's out of the city centre. Difficult to say on living costs, but if you're living simply I see no reason why you can't make it work.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ballerina wrote: »
    I got onto all the masters courses I applied for no problem with a 2:1 and no relevant work experience. To be honest they're just glad to keep numbers up, it's finding the money that's the hard part.

    Yup, same here
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Rent in Norwich is relatively cheap, and in Bristol it totally depends on exactly where it is that you want/need to be
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I have started the Manchester application... It is actually horrible. Really horrible... You need a PHD just to complete the fuggin' thing. :blush:

    No joke... Some drop downs ask for where you were born and it says England, but you can't put English as your nationality.
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