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UK Master Degree, requirements

  1. Sep 7, 2011 #1
    Hi! It's first time I write.
    I'm an Italian Undergraduate in Physics, I'm about to get my first three years-degree in Italy(laurea triennale) in Physics, general-theoretical curriculm, within a few months(3,4).
    I'm planning to apply in a UK University for a one-year MSc or MPhil.

    Obviously, my dream is to get a place in a top University, such as Cambridge(it's only an impossible dream), Imperial, UCL, King's College(do you know others worthy institutions?).
    Would you advise me to apply for Edinburgh? A new postgrad course is starting in Semptember 2012...

    I'm 22, and if I was admitted I'd begin next autumn, when I'll be 23.
    My question is: what are the real entry requirements?

    I mean...except Cambridge, who requires a 1st honours degree, the other institutions require a 2:1 Bachelor.
    I'm going to get the Italian "110 e lode", the highest mark in an undergraduate degree.
    I'm not boasting my achievement, I'm absolutely aware that I'm NOBODY. I've told you that for the following reason:
    I would like to know how likely is to be given a place....Obvously, I know that Cambridge is almost an impossibile dream...however I really hope that, if a college requires a 2:1 Bachelor(roughly equivalent to 100-107 Italian mark), with the highest Italian mark I can hope to be eligilbe. Am I wrong?? I'm thinking that if it is possibile to get a position with a 2:1, it'll be very likely to do so with a 1st honours or Italian equivalent...so I'm hoping...but I'm obviously uncertain. For example, Cambridge does not allow 2:1 students to apply.
    Moreover I've also won a national written competition for a studentship, resulting 3rd amongs all Italian first-year Physics students three years ago...will I be albe to put this in my application?
    Will they require also my grades for each examinations?
    Unfortunately, my current University is not so famous, it's Salerno, but I'm sure none of you has never heard about it. However, courses are very similar in Italy for the first 3 years, no matter the University you attend.

    I'm very anxious, 'cos I'll have to spend a lot of time for IELTS to apply, and I could get no good place, this resulting in the loss of an academic year. I don't want the best, but an insitution worth this sacrifice.
    As a matter of fact, shouldn't I get a place in a good university(not Cambridge, I know it's too much), I'd regret not to have gone to La Sapienza of Rome, which is good for Physics, though not comparable with King's, Imperial, UCL, etc. etc.

    Please, help!
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 8, 2011 #2
    "For admission to the MPhil degree programmes the Faculty Board normally requires applicants to have followed a three-year first degree and to have achieved or be about to achieve at least an upper second class honours degree from a UK university or the equivalent. All applicants are assessed individually on the basis of their academic records."

    - Cambridge Website

    http://www.phy.cam.ac.uk/admissions/graduate/degrees.php#MPhil[/SIZE][/I] [Broken]

    You have a reasonably good chance of admission.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  4. Sep 8, 2011 #3
    So, do you know students with a 2:1 who entered these important programs?
    Does anybody know ?
  5. Sep 8, 2011 #4
    However, Cambridge has just lowered the entry requirements from 1st to 2:1...Yesterday it was 1st...who knows....
  6. Sep 8, 2011 #5
    This link might be useful.


    It is highly unlikely that you will get rejected by all those universities - unless, of course, your first class degree does not conform with Bologna process standards.
  7. Sep 8, 2011 #6
    Italina Laurea confrorms with Bologna accords :-)
    Thank you very much for the informations!
    Other opinions are welcome!
  8. Sep 10, 2011 #7
    Hello iorfus. Long story cut short, to gain admission into Oxbridge for postgraduate course, it is preferably that one gets a first class honours as he/she will have to compete with tons of applicants who are as good or if not better. As long as you are able to convince Oxbridge that the 110 e lode is equivalent to a first in the UK then you have a chance! Also, you can include your achievements in your personal statement, which you must submit along your application.

    Having studied at Imperial College myself, I can tell you that our Physics department is very highly regarded and it is worth your sacrifice!
  9. Sep 10, 2011 #8
    Hi Joe f, thank you for the answer.
    However,I think that 110 e lode(if you got all A and 2-3 B) is surely comparable to a 1st, though I'm almost sure it's not enough to have a resanoable chance. I'll apply, but only because there is no harm in trying.

    Therefore, I'm more interested in London, 'cause it seems to me a more realist idea, although I know that it's very hard to get a place.
    What do you think about Imperial? Are there student who enter with a 2:1?
    Do you know if King's have lower entry requirement? Is King's Physics well-regarded, though not as Imperial?

    If you could tell me something else about Imperial and/or London, I'd be very grateful!
  10. Sep 11, 2011 #9
    Well, there are a few Masters course for Physics at Imperial and their requirement varies. However, I do know that the MSc in Quantum Fields and Fundamental Forces requires their applicant to have at least a first. Have a look at this website for more information:


    London is a fantastic place to be in! It is all the things that people say London is: A shopping haven, melting pot of cultures, vibrant city and etc. You have to be there to experience the wonders of London! Plus, given that the 2012 Olympics is going to be held there, expect more events and celebration!

    As for Imperial, well, the university is great in a sense that you get to learn from very talented academics. Also, their research is of international standards so essentially, you will be learning from one the best in the world! However, life can be very stressful here at Imperial. Apart from the heavy workload, your fellow course-mates will be as bright as you, if not better so it will be a challenge just to keep up with the course. Then again, you are probably very capable so you need not worry too much about that! =)
  11. Sep 11, 2011 #10
    I've been in London in August and I've loved it.
    It seems to me that Imperial is almost no way inferior to Oxbridge.
    However, I'm looking for a very though course...
    I'm going to apply for Cambridge, Imperial, King's, UCL, Edinburgh, Lancaster, St. Andrews, Queen Mary, Durham...
    I hope I'll get a place
  12. Sep 11, 2011 #11
    Glad that you love London! :biggrin:

    Nope, we are certainly not lacking in anyway to Oxbridge! Also, I am sure you will get a place in one of these universities.

    On a more personal note, one of my very good friends from Italy didn't like London that much...but hey, he still graduated with a first! :biggrin:

    All the best!
  13. Sep 11, 2011 #12
    As far as your friend, did he enter as an undegrad or a postgrad?
    If the latter, how did he manage?
  14. Sep 11, 2011 #13
    We went in together as undergrad students during 08 and he did very well!
  15. Sep 11, 2011 #14
    I look up to him.
    Thank you, bye!
  16. Sep 11, 2011 #15
    I'd check out Manchester too if you haven't already, the physics department there churns out a lot of world class research.

    Best of luck!
  17. Sep 11, 2011 #16
    Have you thought about funding yet? I'm also applying to some UK grad schools this year, and I'm not worried that much about admissions. It's going to be even worse if I get in and I can't afford it.
  18. Sep 11, 2011 #17
    No, I haven't thought about it yet.
    Should I get in without funding, I'd use the scholarship I've won in this undergraduate years. I'm sure it is worth it.
    However, obviuosly, I'll apply also for the studentships, even though for the Master Degree it's harder than PhD.
    Moreover, I'm not a UK student, so even for PhD it will be very hard for me to have a stipend. Maybe, if I manage to take a UK degree, I'll apply for PhD in Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands....there also EU students are payed.

    Do you think it's easier to be admitted without funding? I'd never refuse a place, say, in Imperial, thoug self-funded?
    Are you a UK student?
  19. Sep 12, 2011 #18


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    Are you talking about masters or PhD? If you're applying for a PhD and are willing to fund yourself, then I have no doubt you will have several offers (unless you have really bad grades). You'll be seen as a free student for a department and so people will want to take you on -- when you apply for a PhD in the UK and you are not requesting funding, you go into a different pool and are not really competing against those who require funding. However, unless you have about £120,000 you're willing to lose, I would strongly advise against paying for a PhD.

    How much money do you have to spend? The international fee for Imperial's masters course is £22,250 for the year.

    Are you from the EU? If so, then you can access the studentships (either tuition fees or tuition+stipend; I can't remember what the residency requirement is).
  20. Sep 12, 2011 #19


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    I'm a UK citizen and I've just finished my Master's at UCL (a rival to Imperial). I paid 6.5k but this year the rate has increased to 7.5k or something like 26k for international students.

    I find myself in the unfortunate position that it is very hard to get funding for a PhD, several of my (good) Professors have tried to get funding for current students but failed. An annoying problem is that several (bad) Professors I know gleefully remark that they no longer bother with applying for grants because they are inundated with applications for self-funded PhD students from abroad/rich backgrounds.

    So if you have the money go for it but it is extremely expensive. Taking a 4 year PhD as an example if you want to live in London you are looking at close to £80,000 (~$126,000 or ~€95,000) just for rent, travel and living expenses. Add on top of that the tens of thousands of pounds for actually doing the experiment and you are looking at a fortune.
  21. Sep 12, 2011 #20
    I'm applying for a one-year master programme.
    I've seen that EU/UK fees are the same...International fee is intended for not European students:confused:...at least that's what I'had understood.
    I really hope I'm not wrong
    Unfortunately, I'm not rich so I could never pay for such a Phd...
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