Masters or Doctorate

(12 Posts)
DeadDoorpost Sun 13-Jan-19 19:44:23

I just wanted to know if you HAVE to have a Masters before doing a doctorate? My dissertation for my BA could very well be a decent thesis and is very niche (so could move towards writing an academic book with it after) but not sure whether to do an MA I enjoy or focus it towards my aim of a doctorate if that's what I'd need.

My BA is in creative writing, if that's relevant.

OP’s posts: |
MarchingFrogs Sun 13-Jan-19 19:50:58

No, DS1 tells me that one of his friends has gone straight from BSc (in a pure science, though) to PhD.

DeadDoorpost Sun 13-Jan-19 20:01:52

Kudos to him! I'm really not a science orientated person so admire anyone who is.

I might have to look more into it. Maybe it depends on the university?

OP’s posts: |
justanotherusernameyay Sun 13-Jan-19 20:04:24

You can go straight to PhD if the university accepts you. I know many who did that

GCAcademic Mon 14-Jan-19 08:43:03

It might be the norm in the sciences, but extremely rare in the humanities. My department has never accepted someone straight from BA onto the PhD.

emzw12 Mon 14-Jan-19 08:44:07

I did my PhD first then work paid for me to do a MSc afterwards.

Leyani Mon 14-Jan-19 08:51:00

If you get accepted and can self fund, no reason not to. For scholarships you’d need a strong masters, unless you’ve got vast amounts of relevant experience.


Twisique Mon 14-Jan-19 11:19:50

If you have had a gap between BA and applying it would really benefit you to do a MA or a MRes.

Juanmorebeer Mon 14-Jan-19 11:25:51

It is possible but to get it funded then a masters is compulsory for the majority of programmes. Speaking from experience in soc sciences I had a PhD proposal accepted at a few universities, could have taken my pick straight after BSc. However I could not get any funding.

I took a year to do a full time MSc and was offered every scholarship I applied for. In my experience it was a great investment. It put me in an excellent position.

DeadDoorpost Mon 14-Jan-19 18:38:58

Thank you all! I guess it could be worth doing a Masters beforehand then, but I'll keep my mind focussed on the doctorate. Will certainly look to see whether I can afford to fund it myself or not, guess it depends how much I want to buy a house first.

OP’s posts: |
CowJumping Mon 14-Jan-19 20:07:24

Most decent places will require an MA first. You then go on to an MPhil/PhD programme and you generally need to upgrade or transfer from MPhil to PhD after demonstrating you can work in the way that’s required for a PhD.

And a BA dissertation is absolutely NOTHING like working on a PhD. So don’t assume you can breeze straight into a Humanities PhD programme. And any university that allows you to is deeply suspect, IMO. I’ve seen quite a few extremely high-achieving and hugely competent PhD candidates almost buckle under the requirements.

SarahAndQuack Tue 15-Jan-19 08:56:08

My dissertation for my BA could very well be a decent thesis and is very niche (so could move towards writing an academic book with it after)

How do you know? If this is the case, then you are absolutely exceptional. Most academic publishers would not treat a BA dissertation as a realistic basis for an academic book. Have you had a proposal accepted? Or approached a publisher informally? If you have, and you're getting good responses, maybe you are as good as you say. But to be honest, I wonder if you are underestimating the difference between a good BA thesis and postgrad study/publishing. FWIW, I'm a postdoc writing my first book; I know a lot of very brilliant people writing their first books, and none of us thinks our BA dissertations were anything close to that standard, or to the standard of a MA thesis.

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