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About QHF

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  1. I hope this reply is in time to be useful (since their application rounds run in the autumn, it should be). There are some programmes at Oxford and Cambridge for which relevant professional experience and motivation might more than make up for a poor performance in an undergrad degree, especially given that that degree isn't even your most recent qualification. These tend to be slightly more vocational courses. In an application, you could point to your law school performance as proof that you can study effectively, and also as evidence that your academic performance has been on an upward trajectory. Your best bet, I think, would be to email the graduate admissions office who cover whichever programme you're interested in, and ask them. The UK government is increasingly pushing on access & diversity in British universities, and plenty of individual people and institutional facets within Oxford and Cambridge are concerned about minority access. However, at the moment that government action is very much focused on undergraduate admissions and, within undergraduate admissions, on applicants who are resident in the UK. Large-scale institutional thinking about access hasn't really reached international students or graduate students yet, though it probably should.
  2. QHF

    DPhil vs BPhil (at Places Like Oxford)

    Something between the two. The philosophy faculty is unusual (in the UK) in having a two-year master's rather than a one-year master's as its standard master's. (In most other humanities faculties, one-year master's courses are the norm.) You do have to make a separate application to the DPhil course during the second year of your BPhil, but if you're accepted you can ask the faculty to retrospectively consider the second year of your BPhil to have been the first year of your DPhil. (Thus maintaining parity with the standard [1yr master's] + [3yr PhD] UK postgrad model.) It's weird, which is very Oxford. From what I understand, if you've had funding for the BPhil, that's no guarantee of funding for the DPhil—each application process is a separate funding competition. Funded master's students tend to be pretty good candidates (and pretty good at writing fundable applications), and from the fairly small sample of people I know who went from master's to DPhil in the humanities, those who were funded for the master's definitely got funded for the DPhil a higher percentage of the time. But there's no guarantee, and I also know people who have done a funded master's and haven't secured any DPhil funding. Again, it might be worth your while to check with the philosophy faculty directly. You won't be the first person to have found their system confusing and I doubt showing interest would harm your potential application.
  3. QHF

    DPhil vs BPhil (at Places Like Oxford)

    (Context: I'm not in the philosophy faculty. But I pay a lot of attention to graduate funding and I used to have a housemate who did the philosophy BPhil.) 1. As far as I know—and also from a quick read of the faculty's website—DPhil applicants are expected to have master's-level experience in philosophy already. The website says that anyone admitted directly to the DPhil 'will typically have already completed substantial graduate work in philosophy', which suggests to me that while it's not a hard-and-fast rule it'd be a pretty exceptional candidate who dodged it. I think it's normal to do a master's in the same subject before doing a PhD across the humanities in the UK. So unless you already have a master's in philosophy, you're probably looking at the BPhil application. Remember that in the UK PhD programmes are shorter, more purely research-based and therefore more specialised than they are in the US: the master's that you're expected to have done beforehand is meant to make up for some of that difference. 1a. I don't know if you'd be stuck with your application research proposal but I'd be very surprised indeed if you had to stick to it. In my experience it's not unusual for students on nine-month master's courses here to switch from the proposal they applied with to something pretty different after arriving. You should probably ask the faculty directly about this if it's worrying you. 2. Yes, if you're very lucky and very good. There are several chunks of funding open to international students. I'm pretty sure international BPhil Philosophy applicants are put into the running for Ertegun and Clarendon money, which is usually a full scholarship (sometimes in combination with college money), for example. But of course there aren't going to be many such scholarships, and the competition for them is intense. Again, the faculty can probably give (indeed, will probably be very keen to give) you more details if you ask them. I hope that's helpful, and I hope you don't mind getting an answer from someone who doesn't do philosophy.

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