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Considering doing an MPhil

(11 Posts)
daisychain01 Sun 02-Apr-17 07:51:24

I'd appreciate opinions about the MPhil as an alternative.

I have found doing my PhD while working Ft has been a hard slog. My progress is really slow.

I spoke with my supervisor about thé possibility of converting to an MPhil because it is somewhat less open ended in terms of the end deliverable, ie I could repurpose some existing research/study in my field of interest, rather than having to break new ground.

I feel I stand a chance of coming away with something and the MPhil seems a compromise that is achievable with my Ft job and homelife.

I'd value any insights into the MPhl, what is involved and whether you think Im making a good choice. Thank you!

Guitargirl Sun 02-Apr-17 07:55:06

How far into the PhD are you?

mistermagpie Sun 02-Apr-17 08:01:21

I have an MPhil. I'm not sure on the set up of your PhD but when I did mine (in Scotland if that's relevant) it was called a 1+3 PhD, with the 1 being your first year at the end of which you could qualify for and MPhil, and the 3 being the remaining three years to get the PhD. I think it was set up this way to be flexible, so although I was technically doing a PhD, if I got to the end of the first year and didn't want to continue then I would still get the MPhil. In my situation that's what I did and I never finished the PhD.

What was required for my MPhil was some coursework and a 25,000 word dissertation, that was all. It was actually quite 'easy' to get.

mistermagpie Sun 02-Apr-17 08:03:32

Sorry - meant to say, I did have to 'break new ground' in terms of the work for my dissertation, but only because I was fully funded to do that. Others on my course expanded on existing work.

FlyAwayPeter Sun 02-Apr-17 13:14:03

What do you want to achieve ultimately? In my field the MPhil isn't particularly special. If you want to be a serious researcher, you need a PhD.

But if you're already working F-T in another field, maybe the MPhil is just a nice thing to have.

mistermagpie Sun 02-Apr-17 13:48:06

Good point flyaway, my MPhil is just 'nice to have' and is totally irrelevant to the job I do now (13 years later). I was never intending to be a serious researcher.

daisychain01 Mon 03-Apr-17 03:20:25

Thanks everyone for your insights.

I started my PhD 4 years ago part time, and at that time had 50% bursary from my employer and the other 50% from my Uni. The big thing was that I used to enjoy management support for things like 2 days per month study leave. Work was very supportive, the research wasn't specific to my role but they recognised the broad range of skills gained was very worthwhile. I've changed roles since then though.

Its just so difficult (disjointed, knackering etc) doing my research while working FT.

My supervisor has been brilliant, so supportive and when we spoke recently we agreed that due to my challenges, an MPhil is much more achievable. As you point out magpie its the ability to expand on existing work that I'm hoping will help me. If I could give up work and immerse myself I could probably do the breaking new ground bit, but not when I only have the weekends (and would like family time too!)

It seems as though the MPhl is a bridge between my MSc and the full PhD, which sounds good.

I don't plan to go into academia. I've read a couple of threads on here and realise how very challenging it is to get job security in HE and research nowadays. My research is knowledge that I could apply in a commercial or academic setting. My MSc was technology based, so again is relevant in many contexts.

I'd love to be Dr Daisychain, but hey ho, if I can be Daisychain MPhi, I'll be happy!

daisychain01 Mon 03-Apr-17 03:20:52

Gosh sorry about the dissertation grin

2ndSopranos Wed 05-Apr-17 09:55:23

I have an MPhil. I applied for MA by research but they felt my topic and quality of my research proposal was more suited to MPhil. At one stage my supervisor wanted to convert to PhD but my institution didn't allow it.

Where I currently work you register for MPhil and if all goes well you are allowed to proceed to PhD. As a consequence, some people I work with in the wider institution think that somewhere along the line I messed up a PhD and had to settle for a 'lesser' qualification. It's annoying but I usually counter it with telling them my MPhil word count requirement was 10,000 words more than their humanities PhD. And that to meet my word count I had to excise 40,000 words from my thesis. And I got several publications from it. Then depending on the audience I add "so ner" grin

I can be very juvenile sometimes. I plan to do a PhD when my dc are a little older.

daisychain01 Wed 05-Apr-17 11:30:47

Thanks for your input Sopranos

Personally I'm not overly worried about the perception of a downgrade from PhD because I'm not in an academic environment and I'd sooner come away with something, an MPhil is an achievement in itself. And I would certainly consider the option of beefing my research towards a full Doctorste at a future time. I just want to get something in the bag before I get completely demotivated and throw in the towel grin

2ndSopranos Wed 05-Apr-17 12:54:04

Oh I'm hugely proud of my MPhil. I really enjoyed it too! And it was only a quirk of my institution (a very good one) that meant I had to submit for MPhil only.

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