CV help - Oxford "MA" and order on CV...

(18 Posts)
BeatriceBean Mon 20-Aug-12 23:41:18

I'm thinking about going back to work in a year or so and realised I don't actually know how to put my qualification on a CV (despite googling...).

Could you tell me what order these go on a CV

Undergraduate BA (humanities subject) Oxford .
Then "upgraded" to an MA (so same subject) a few years later.

Recently studied psychology Bsc with OU (and proudly got a first but that has nothing to do with it).

I believe the Oxford MA is a conversion rather than a separate degree as such, but if my CV just looks like I have a Bsc and then an MA it would appear I just spent a year at Oxford instead of 3 wouldn't it?
Should I list the Oxford MA separately with the later date. or just the undergraduate degree with "MA" in the qualifications list.

Also, am I Beatrice Bean MA, Bsc (in order of date but not "right" order) or Bsc, MA (but looks like a one year top up?!) or do I get BA, Bsc, MA?
(Btw I have never in my life written these out, I don't usually think unless you are a doctor it is appropriate!).

Excuse random waffling/badly phrased sentences - I've had a couple of glasses to drink, but the question is very genuine!

OP’s posts: |
TeaAndSlanket Mon 20-Aug-12 23:46:25

I think the MA (Oxon) upgrade cancels out the the original BA, so you either quote the BA or the MA, not both. Most clued-up HR types would know it's not a proper/separate Masters, but not sure how it's viewed in reality.

BeatriceBean Mon 20-Aug-12 23:57:19

That's what I thought about cancelling out rather being in addition to - but on a CV where do you put it?

Do you put, say,
1995-1998 Oxford Uni, Knitting, MA
2005 Open Uni, Chess, Bsc
1995-1998 Oxford Uni, Knitting BA
2002 Oxford Uni, Knitting MA
2005 Oxford Uni, Chess, Bsc.

OP’s posts: |
TeaAndSlanket Tue 21-Aug-12 00:03:40

Usually Reverse chronological I think, like you do with jobs. I.e. most recent qualification first; I would make an exception if the undergrad degree was more relevant for the job you're applying for, or the 2nd degree more of a hobby-thing.

E.g. For the job of archivist
MA (Oxon) History and Ancient History 1995-8
BSc deckchair arranging 2001-3

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 21-Aug-12 00:05:06

I think you put

1995-1998 Oxford Uni, Knitting MA [because that is what you upgraded to or because it is that to which you upgraded]
2005 Open Uni, Chess, BSc

Don't put the MA as a separate thing because (i) if you do get an HR manager who doesn't know that the upgrade is pretty much automatic, you don't want to get into arguments, however spurious, about misleading them that your MA was a separate degree and (ii) I can't imagine they much care when you upgraded.

TeaAndSlanket Tue 21-Aug-12 00:08:44

Oh yeah, date of your MA degree award is completely irrelevant in CV terms. Any fact checkers will look for the dates you studied, not degree ceremony dates.

LineRunner Tue 21-Aug-12 00:09:39

People who find out about the upgrade and who didn't know before that it's just an upgrade, are usually pissed off about it so don't put both BA and MA.

BeatriceBean Tue 21-Aug-12 00:32:05

Fab. Thank-you. Areas I'm looking at are likely to know Oxbridge conventions (I think), just didn't have a clue how to put it on a CV.

Bizarrely in my head (at the moment after wine) putting the MA on seems to make it "just" a one year course when I did a whole undergrad degree!

It may seem an odd choice to then do a Bsc after the "MA" but I was at the time looking for BPS recognition as I was thinking of retraining!

OP’s posts: |
BeatriceBean Tue 21-Aug-12 00:36:09

Er. Next question....

Do I then put the classification (Hons or a first (ahem I wish)) on the CV if I've listed it as a masters which obviously isn't classified the same?

(I might for example apply to teach at a prep school or a grammar school or similar and so they do tend to look at your actual degree).
(Of course I'd be deadly worried if they looked at my grammar etc on this thread but I would write the actual application in daylight hours)

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ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Tue 21-Aug-12 00:37:45

Yes, but as long as people do know Oxbridge conventions (and most do) then the MA won't seem like a one year course.

joanofarchitrave Tue 21-Aug-12 00:43:18

TBH i don't use my Cambridge MA in any CV or professional context and think less of those who do. It's a courtesy qualification that cost £50 and has no relevance except that it gave me a nice day out seeing my friends. However, I recognise that I appear to be unique in this prejudice.

If I used my MA I would put only that, not the BA as well, but that would mean that I would not use the degree class. Another reason to avoid the MA perhaps.

BeatriceBean Tue 21-Aug-12 00:49:22

Joano - I've never done so before and would normally never think of it for exactly the same reasons, but people do tend to use it in some schools (they like to big up the prospectus I'm sure) so I want to get it right if I apply to said schools.

OP’s posts: |
FairPhyllis Tue 21-Aug-12 00:57:50

This is how I do it:

date-date BSc (Hons) Chess (First Class), Open University
date-date BA (Hons) Knitting (Upper Second Class), Holy Thing College, University of Oxford (MA conferral date)

Or alternatively:

date-date Open University
BSc (Hons) Chess (First Class)
date-date Holy Thing College, University of Oxford
BA (Hons) Knitting (Upper Second Class)

where the 2nd and 4th lines align with the names of the institutions - MN won't let me do it!

EBDTeacher Tue 21-Aug-12 17:00:03

I don't use MA on my undergraduate degree. They have stopped upgrading them automatically now (year after me) so it will soon make no odds.

When I've seen other people use their MA they've always put Oxon or Cantab in brackets. I think that is the done thing. I write Oxford University(college name), BA(Hons) Knitting 2.1.

I would put my PGCE above this in the list because I did it latterly. Luckily, however, teaching jobs don't tend to accept CVs! grin

minipie Wed 22-Aug-12 18:38:07

I have an "Oxford MA" i.e. the free upgrade and I wouldn't mention it on a CV for the same reasons as joan. Also, someone who didn't know the "system" might ask what my MA was in - then I'd have to explain it wasn't actually an extra course just a freebie blush

So I'd put: 1998 to 2001: Oxford University, Subject (Result)

BeatriceBean Thu 23-Aug-12 14:19:24

Thanks smile

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piedaterre Wed 29-Aug-12 23:28:36

When I took my MA I relinquished my BA - so I put MA (Hons) Knitting, First Class, St Cake's College, Oxford
Any HR person with half a brain knows what that means, and it's technically correct as I no longer have a BA.
I then put my proper Master's (or in your case other degree) next.

MattSM Wed 03-Feb-16 17:26:09

Three and a half years after the OP, but I thought I would add my two cents' worth.

I also have an Oxford MA (upgrade). I think the important point is to recognise that this replaces the BA, so citing them both on one's CV would be incorrect, and at worst, dishonest.

Citing one's Oxford or Cambridge MA as a bare "MA" is also dishonest. It must be followed by (Oxon) or (Cantab), or whatever the modern equivalent is (I read somewhere that ours changed to "Oxf."). If nothing else, this is to signal to potential recruiters that it is not a postgraduate, academic qualification, but remains equivalent to a BA (think of it like the undergraduate MAs awarded in some Scottish universities, though I'm not sure it's for the same reasons, historically).

In terms of order (your second question), the conventions in the UK are listed here (, under point number 5. If you've upgraded your Oxbridge BA, it should effectively be "Name/Surname, MA (Oxon), Bsc (Open)". If you are really unhappy about the strange-looking order, then perhaps, at a pinch, you could redowngrade yourself to a BA (Hons), and this has the additional advantage of definitely not being misleading. The main thing is to avoid mentioning both BA and MA (Oxon).

I have no opinion on whether Oxbridge undergrads use their BAs or MAs on their CVs. It's a matter of personal choice.

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