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CASM part III cambridge/ Imperial RQF /Durham EPP

  1. May 20, 2008 #1

    i am currently doing my masters in astronomy from a UK university..i didnt apply for any phds this year for i felt i didnt have the right kind of knowledge..so i thought another masters would do me good (am interested in cosmology)

    now i have three offers (am an international student and none of these offers have scholarship offers)
    1. Cambridge part III math
    2. Imperial - Masters in Relativistic Quant. Fields
    3. Durham- Masters Elementary Particle Theory

    although after much thought..i contacted someone in India(my home country) and now i have good chances of getting a project for like 5-6 months in cosmology in India.

    any suggestions on what i should do? i am going to apply this year for phds in UK but the dearth of funding is sort of depressing me.
    Last edited: May 20, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. May 23, 2008 #2
    Well usually I'd be the one asking that sort of question... but as no-one else has replied here's my 2c:
    Funding for taught masters' courses in physics is largely nonexistent as you're not contributing anything to the world's body of knowledge (yet :wink: ) It's much easier (although I'd guess still not a walkover) to get funding for a PhD. So if I were you I'd choose the option that put you in the best position to compete for funding next year, and I'd tentatively suggest that that wouldn't be working in India for 6 months, as you wouldn't follow any sort of recognised syllabus and I don't know of any Indian universities that have the same kind of international reputation as the options available to you in the UK.
    They're all pretty prestigious courses (Durham possibly less so- I may be biased as a Durham undergrad!); do well in any of them and you'll be in a very strong place to apply for PhD funding next year. This is especially true of the Cambridge course; the difficulty of the CASM is the kind of thing I'm told Cambridge LECTURERS tell "war stories" about, and it's internationally recognised as being a very demanding course. Also, if you have a look at the lecture courses available to you, the CASM is probably the one you'd find the best preparation for a PhD in cosmology unless you're specifically interested in the interface between particle physics and cosmology- the Durham course isn't called "MSc in Elementary particle theory" for nothing!
    If I were in your position (and all having gone well with my exams this year, in a year's time I'm hoping to be!) I'd bite Cambridge's hand off if you can possibly afford to live for the year.
  4. May 23, 2008 #3


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    What was your undergraduate degree in? I'll guess, for argument's sake, Physics, so then you have an undergrad degree in Physics and a Master's degree in Astronomy. The first natural question is why did you do a master's in Astronomy if you want to study Cosmology, unless it was really more Astrophysics/Cosmology courses?

    I don't know anything about the Durham course. The Imperial course is more physics, but it is all theoretical physics, so will prepare you for a PhD in Cosmology well. Part III at Cambridge has the added bonus that there are many many more courses, both from the pure maths, and the from the theoretical physics side. I'd suggest that you do Part III, as it will greatly improve both your maths and theoretical physics simultaneously, which will benefit you hugely for you Comsology research. I've also heard that if you manage to make it through Part III, then you will have a very close to 100% chance of getting a PhD place somewhere in the country. Good luck!
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