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MSc funding in physics

  1. Jun 19, 2009 #1
    Why is it so hard to find any sort of funding for those looking to bridge the gap between undergraduate and doctorate level? I have recieved a 2:1 in physics and am now looking to pursue a career in particle or theoretical physics.

    I imagine there could be some PhD courses I could get on to with my degree, but probably not theoretical physics courses at good universities. In any case I wouldn't feel comfortable entering straight into a PhD with my current knowledge of physics, and would rather spend a year really coming to grips with concepts we touched on towards the end of the undergraduate degree.

    So as far as I can see the only choice is to do a taught MSc, and the problem is the £3000 a year tuition fee price tag + living expenses (£9000+). So if anyone knows of universities offering funding through the EPSRC or similar bodies then can you please let me know. Also, if anyone else knowns an alternative route to a PhD programme, or has done a PhD in physics with a low 2:1 then I'd like to hear from you.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 20, 2009 #2
    Every budding Stephen Hawking wants to do particle physics. An equivalent question for a footballer who has just managed to pass the qualifying test for Scunthorpe United would be: "Why can't I get funding to play for Manchester United?" Ask Fergie that and you would get a short & to the point answer. Ask a professor that and he'll bluster for a while then make excuses and leave. So I'll give you a straight answer.

    A low 2i just isn't good enough to get you funding to pursue research in the sexiest areas of physics. Only the Rooney and Maradona's of the physics world get funding to do that kind of thing. And the equivalent of their skills is a very very good first, the sort that professors get up and clap and say they have 'never seen the like'...

    So what to do? I moved into other areas of physics & science. You should be able to find funding in areas that are thought important to the countries economy -- solid state physics, meteorology, nanotechnology, computing... and so on. Take a look at www.jobs.ac.uk and you will see funded MScs on there... Out of amusement I just did that and what did I see, a bunch of MSc offers, all for applied physics, none for sexy physics. Why am I always right? ... Note, even being right all the time doesn't get you into Stephen's lab...
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