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MSc after very long absence - references?

(6 Posts)
KatieLatie Wed 22-Jul-15 00:58:57


Currently considering applying for an MSc at a good university, but have been out of circulation for a LONG time (11 years): am I up a creek without a paddle because I am not sure that I could get a reference?

I have two degrees (2.1 graduated in 95 and a Masters with Commendation in 97). I then worked from 97 until 2004 when I stopped to concentrate on competing at international sport, then I had a baby and have stayed home with him. Son is now settled at school, so am looking at ootions. One interesting option is an MSc in Management, but I am struggling to think how I could get references.

Thoughts? Thanks

Kampeki Wed 22-Jul-15 01:06:24

Talk to your university admissions team - they will find a way around it.

AliceInSandwichLand Wed 22-Jul-15 11:31:54

I have gone back to doing an MA after a much longer gap (25 years). In my case, I managed to dredge up one academic referee from all those years ago (Google is your friend!), who was very willing to write a reference as to my academic ability all those years ago. My new university was happy to accept an employer's reference as my second one; I expect yours would have a similar protocol. I also needed to produce my academic transcript from my first degree - again, this was easier than I expected because my first university had computerised it all very efficiently. The only problem was at registration, when the new uni was deeply suspicious that I had a different name from on the transcript, having got married during the 25 year gap. I had to produce my marriage certificate and an old passport with both names on to satisfy them on this!

KatieLatie Thu 23-Jul-15 23:45:41

Thank you, both, very useful smile

MarvinKMooney Tue 28-Jul-15 13:55:07

I agree with alice. I work in pg admissions: if you've been out of HE for a long time, then an employer's reference is fine. Academics move on and they would have had a lot of students pass by since you were there - it would be hard to obtain an academic reference that truly reflects your performance at that time.

We would focus much more on your personal statement showing your motivation for studying at masters level and where you'd like it to take you afterwards. Do get an official transcript from your first degree: if you haven't got one, there will be an admin fee but it's worth sorting now, as you will no doubt be asked for it at some stage.

And, yes, do call the admissions team at the uni and dept of interest to you, as they can advise further.

Good luck!

Figmentofmyimagination Tue 28-Jul-15 18:00:40

Hi I went back in 2010 after last studying in 1985 and 1986 - in two different countries! Google is indeed your friend. I reached academic referees still working at both universities - and both were delighted with the novel sport of dredging up old academic records and writing lovely kind references for me! Universities are amazingly well organised when it comes to retaining these sorts of records imhe. I had a similar very positive experience getting hold of a transcript.

I could have asked for an employer reference but I really didn't want to, as it would have involved revealing my hopes to leave work and go back to study.

I don't think it matters btw that your references are both very old.

I would second the importance of taking care with the transcript.

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