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Changing fields when applying for PhD (physical sciences)


User: K_MT - 24 November 2020 19:30

Hi all,

Apologies if this is a very long-winded post but I'm very unsure of my position and wanted to ask people who may well know more if they can help out.

Two years ago I graduated with a 2:1 in a BSc Astrophysics degree (with some modules in computer science too) and went onto do an MSc in Biomedical Engineering (graduated with Distinction - mainly thanks to a 78% in my final research dissertation).

I've spent the last year or so teaching science at secondary level, and while I've enjoyed doing it, I really miss doing physics at university level and have a real desire to go back. In particular, I have a (admittedly broadly defined) research interest in a particular field of astrophysics. It's not something I studied within my undergraduate degree due to module availability, but I did complete a literature review on the topic for my final dissertation and (when I have spare time - which isn't often due to teaching...) am working through university-level lecture slides and problems on it.

I've looked at some universities, and while I technically have met the requirements for their PhD intake (minimum 2:1 and MSc), I'm worried my MSc being in a distantly related field will disqualify it from consideration.

Has anyone here who works in a physical science department ever come across a situation like mine? Or is it likely to be a hopeless pursuit?

Thanks in advance for any information that can be offered :)

User: rewt - 25 November 2020 20:37

You still have an undergrad degree in astrophysics so that should count. Having a masters in another field will not negate the undergrad degree. You can also find the transferable skills from your masters and teaching that you can apply to the PhD. If you are in any doubt you can contact the supervisor/university and ask if you are suitable.





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