MPhil Admissions


n order to be accepted for a MPhil we should present a detailed and solid research proposal. I am going to apply for LSE, Oxford,Cambridge,KCL and UCL for MPhil or same level programs. My grades are fine, my academic record very good (equivalent of First with Distinction for both Bachelor and MBA and waiting for the evaluation of my LLM dissertation propably 9.4/10 or First with Distincion also, rankings of 1-2% from all my previous programmes -three-, 4 publications in official law reviews and 2 in management review, professional experience in my research subject, references from 2 university rectors, bar association president and law department's president etc) and i have 2-3 alternative research proposals, all of them well-structured, complete and with a proper starting bibliography proposed. in addition to all these, I DO KNOW WELL MY PROPOSED SUBJECT, believe me. however I am not confident at all,as I have no previous contact with any professor from above institutions and i have no previous studies in UK. oficially, of course, the graduate admission office or its equivalent decides and then it finds you an appropriate supervisor. however i suspect that it only accepts proposals that fall in teaching staff's recent research interests, which means that without having previous contact with a professor it is impossible to be admitted. i tried to contact with 2-3 professors from each of the 3 first institutions (lse,oxford,cambridge), specialized in my research general field (corporate law) and EVERYONE answers (they are quite polite and quit in answering,to be honest) the same thing: "interesting subjects (for both proposals), however they do not fall in my research interest and i do not know (or think) if they fall in anybody other's".
if anybody is familiar with these procedures please answer to me (as i am not going to spend 2000 euros, take toefl exams and leave my job for one month to prepare applications, without any reason, only to be disappointed while i do have proposals to undertake phd research in my country and i am a bit proud of my overall academic record till now):
-after all, do these unofficial rejections from professors of my area play any role concerning the admissions department decision? is there any possibility that my proposal would be approved without having a previous OK from a professor? can my overall academic achievements "save me", without having previously agrred with any professor? are these previous responses crucial about the fate of my application (so i have to be disappointed)?
- do I something wrong after all, by contacting them?
- is a second LLM in the university of my interest the only real way to get in a mphil (so 1) i lost deadlines 2) everything oficially written about free admission to applicants from other countries does not fit in reality)

I think i look a bit confused, however i would prefer a sincere answer!
Thank you

n order to be accepted for a MPhil we should present a detailed and solid research proposal. I am going to apply for LSE, Oxford,Cambridge,KCL and UCL for MPhil or same level programs. My grades are fine, my academic record very good (equivalent of First with Distinction for both Bachelor and MBA and waiting for the evaluation of my LLM dissertation propably 9.4/10 or First with Distincion also, rankings of 1-2% from all my previous programmes -three-, 4 publications in official law reviews and 2 in management review, professional experience in my research subject, references from 2 university rectors, bar association president and law department's president etc) and i have 2-3 alternative research proposals, all of them well-structured, complete and with a proper starting bibliography proposed. in addition to all these, I DO KNOW WELL MY PROPOSED SUBJECT, believe me. however I am not confident at all,as I have no previous contact with any professor from above institutions and i have no previous studies in UK. oficially, of course, the graduate admission office or its equivalent decides and then it finds you an appropriate supervisor. however i suspect that it only accepts proposals that fall in teaching staff's recent research interests, which means that without having previous contact with a professor it is impossible to be admitted. i tried to contact with 2-3 professors from each of the 3 first institutions (lse,oxford,cambridge), specialized in my research general field (corporate law) and EVERYONE answers (they are quite polite and quit in answering,to be honest) the same thing: "interesting subjects (for both proposals), however they do not fall in my research interest and i do not know (or think) if they fall in anybody other's".
if anybody is familiar with these procedures please answer to me (as i am not going to spend 2000 euros, take toefl exams and leave my job for one month to prepare applications, without any reason, only to be disappointed while i do have proposals to undertake phd research in my country and i am a bit proud of my overall academic record till now):
-after all, do these unofficial rejections from professors of my area play any role concerning the admissions department decision? is there any possibility that my proposal would be approved without having a previous OK from a professor? can my overall academic achievements "save me", without having previously agrred with any professor? are these previous responses crucial about the fate of my application (so i have to be disappointed)?
- do I something wrong after all, by contacting them?
- is a second LLM in the university of my interest the only real way to get in a mphil (so 1) i lost deadlines 2) everything oficially written about free admission to applicants from other countries does not fit in reality)

I think i look a bit confused, however i would prefer a sincere answer!
Thank you
quote
lmwoods

To do an MPhil or a PhD you need someone to supervise you and I do not know any institution which could require a professor to supervise someone against their will. So, I'd say 'no' means 'no' from that particular professor; it does not mean 'non' from that institution as there may be other people there who have interests in your field. Maybe one way to find a supervisor is to look at your bibliography and work out who is writing RECENTLY in your field - academics' interest can change and develop. I do not count textbooks in this, but those who are writing academic articles or monographs. Then, try those people; of course this may take you outside your three favoured institutions. Then it is your choice whether you only want to do the qualification at those institutions. In my experience, professors can be quite narrow in their focus, especially the busy ones (ie already have several PhD students). On this basis, if they've said no, you having another qualification (e.g. a 2nd LLM) will not change the position. Of course, you could check whether your proposal is really as good as you think in terms of the level of information required and its format; some institutions have guidance as to what they expect.

To do an MPhil or a PhD you need someone to supervise you and I do not know any institution which could require a professor to supervise someone against their will. So, I'd say 'no' means 'no' from that particular professor; it does not mean 'non' from that institution as there may be other people there who have interests in your field. Maybe one way to find a supervisor is to look at your bibliography and work out who is writing RECENTLY in your field - academics' interest can change and develop. I do not count textbooks in this, but those who are writing academic articles or monographs. Then, try those people; of course this may take you outside your three favoured institutions. Then it is your choice whether you only want to do the qualification at those institutions. In my experience, professors can be quite narrow in their focus, especially the busy ones (ie already have several PhD students). On this basis, if they've said no, you having another qualification (e.g. a 2nd LLM) will not change the position. Of course, you could check whether your proposal is really as good as you think in terms of the level of information required and its format; some institutions have guidance as to what they expect.
quote

Thank you very much for your response. Now look, mostly, german and american professors write about my topic, and i have not fluent knowledge of german language (that is sad ofcourse.)about The research proposal is fine, it is the first thing i checked. however, the answer is that the subject does not fit in recent university's academic literature and debates. i understood finally that the professor will give you the subject, you will not give the subject to the professor, except if you know him! however, i imagined that this rule did not apply in a such an absolut way in single-year research diplomas as MSt, because after completing them it is possible but not asbsolut that you will continue to phd and because you have a whole year to define subject and find supervisor. If anybody has participated or knows the procedure about such programs could respond whether there is a flexibility in accepting applications for such single year diplomas or not.

i am interested in MST OXFORD AND DIPL IN LEG STUDIES CAMBRIDGE. is it necessary for both these programs to find a supervisor who accepts your proposal in advance? or does the committee its selection and then you have the opportunity even to change subject so as to find a proper supervisor?
Please, a proper answer would be very helpful!!!

Thank you very much for your response. Now look, mostly, german and american professors write about my topic, and i have not fluent knowledge of german language (that is sad ofcourse.)about The research proposal is fine, it is the first thing i checked. however, the answer is that the subject does not fit in recent university's academic literature and debates. i understood finally that the professor will give you the subject, you will not give the subject to the professor, except if you know him! however, i imagined that this rule did not apply in a such an absolut way in single-year research diplomas as MSt, because after completing them it is possible but not asbsolut that you will continue to phd and because you have a whole year to define subject and find supervisor. If anybody has participated or knows the procedure about such programs could respond whether there is a flexibility in accepting applications for such single year diplomas or not.

i am interested in MST OXFORD AND DIPL IN LEG STUDIES CAMBRIDGE. is it necessary for both these programs to find a supervisor who accepts your proposal in advance? or does the committee its selection and then you have the opportunity even to change subject so as to find a proper supervisor?
Please, a proper answer would be very helpful!!!
quote
Jagister

Your application will be stronger if you have found and talked to a professor in your area who is willing (at least in some vague hypothetical sense) to consider supervising you. Your application will not automatically fail if you do not have such a supervisor's agreement, but remember you may be competing with other applicants who have secured the support of a supervisor.

One thought - Oxbridge are great, but if mostly German and American professors write about your topic, might it be worth investigating doing study in...Germany or America? It is in your interests, after all, to be supervised by an expert in your field rather than some half-hearted person.

The other option is do a BCL/LLM and then transition into a research program from that once you have a better understanding of what areas the Oxbridge professors specialise in.

-----------
Read my blog at llm-guide.com/rambing_flowery_language.html

Your application will be stronger if you have found and talked to a professor in your area who is willing (at least in some vague hypothetical sense) to consider supervising you. Your application will not automatically fail if you do not have such a supervisor's agreement, but remember you may be competing with other applicants who have secured the support of a supervisor.

One thought - Oxbridge are great, but if mostly German and American professors write about your topic, might it be worth investigating doing study in...Germany or America? It is in your interests, after all, to be supervised by an expert in your field rather than some half-hearted person.

The other option is do a BCL/LLM and then transition into a research program from that once you have a better understanding of what areas the Oxbridge professors specialise in.

-----------
Read my blog at llm-guide.com/rambing_flowery_language.html
quote
M_T_Cicero

Perhaps the point that is being somewhat missed is that for research study, the best place to undertake the study is not necessarily a big fancy institution but it is where the best supervision can be found. It may be that you actually need to avoid the call of Oxbridge and LSE and look deeper into other strong institutions who actually home the leaders of your paticular discipline- whether that be UK or, as mentioned above, in Germany or America. If you aim to move onto a PhD and academia, those who judge the standard of your work when employing you will be interested, not in where you researched, but who supervised you, and if that happens to be a low league uni which doesn't make everyone say "wow", that is somewhat irrelevant.

Perhaps the point that is being somewhat missed is that for research study, the best place to undertake the study is not necessarily a big fancy institution but it is where the best supervision can be found. It may be that you actually need to avoid the call of Oxbridge and LSE and look deeper into other strong institutions who actually home the leaders of your paticular discipline- whether that be UK or, as mentioned above, in Germany or America. If you aim to move onto a PhD and academia, those who judge the standard of your work when employing you will be interested, not in where you researched, but who supervised you, and if that happens to be a low league uni which doesn't make everyone say "wow", that is somewhat irrelevant.
quote

Thank you for your reply. I do understand what you are saying, however 1) i come from a civil law jurisdiction so, only Mjur is open for me 2) i have to exploit the coming year and deadlines for Mjur have passed 3) i have already completed 2 postgraduate courses and i do not want to attend another taught course 4) i already am a phd researcher in my country and professional and research obligations do not permit me to be absent from my country for a whole year 5) i have already been accepted for PhD in City with different but similar topic proposal. So Mst Oxford and Dipl in Leg Stud Cambridge are ideal for me, especially as far as my academic achievements are concerned, because: 1) i will not have to reside in university for the entire year 2) i can conduct JUST research not taught courses 3) i do not have to pause my current phd in my country, as if i started phd in City. And to be clear, through oxbridge studies i just see a "bridge" to research in USA. My primary goal was to transfer a part of the research i have already conducted for my phd in these courses, however it was impossible, so i was obliged to change the specific topic 7 or 8 times, so as to find a faculty member just interested and as a POSSIBLE supervisor, without knowing if it will be true. However, I should observe that professors in these institutions want very detailed proposals Although i just apply for an introductory research degree, I trully (and i repeat that i have already submitted a phd proposal that was accepted, in my country and in City) cannot understand, what are we going to discuss for the whole year, as my proposal concluded to become as detailed (especially as far as methodology issues are concerned) as a first phd year report. I do not want to become ironic, I just mean that either noone can be accepted even in ONE YEAR research diplomas in these universities (although it is not obligatory for them to upgrade you finally to phd status) without having already studied there (and i am afraid that places in MSt and Dipl Leg Studies are covered by former students, although i cannot understand why a cambridge graduate should pursue the Diploma and does not apply for PhD or Mphil) or in another high-level english university, in a way that the few places in these courses are already pre-covered by a close circle of persons, or the Department finally does the selection (many faculty members told me: nice proposal, however it is up to the department to decide, and i don't know if they mean it or they just don't want to supervise), something that is more positive for me (due to previous academic performance).
You are right about the famous and non famous institution for research studies, however my primary goal is to pursue an academic career in my own country, and in my country 1) the Name and the general fame of the institution typed in your cv 2) or any studies just in munich university (!) are much more important for an academic career in law than anything else. I could be more easily accepted for instance in the place of young lecturer in european competition law, if i held a phd in english family law from oxford or even a master (or even just a seminar sometimes...) in POLITICAL SCIENCE from Harvard, than if i held a phd in european competition law in my country or warwick (it is not much recognised here!). As my german language level is not sufficient enough for phd studies in germany, my only choices are very top england and top usa!
Now you can understand that it is more important for me to alter a bit my research interests in order to be accepted...

Thank you for your reply. I do understand what you are saying, however 1) i come from a civil law jurisdiction so, only Mjur is open for me 2) i have to exploit the coming year and deadlines for Mjur have passed 3) i have already completed 2 postgraduate courses and i do not want to attend another taught course 4) i already am a phd researcher in my country and professional and research obligations do not permit me to be absent from my country for a whole year 5) i have already been accepted for PhD in City with different but similar topic proposal. So Mst Oxford and Dipl in Leg Stud Cambridge are ideal for me, especially as far as my academic achievements are concerned, because: 1) i will not have to reside in university for the entire year 2) i can conduct JUST research not taught courses 3) i do not have to pause my current phd in my country, as if i started phd in City. And to be clear, through oxbridge studies i just see a "bridge" to research in USA. My primary goal was to transfer a part of the research i have already conducted for my phd in these courses, however it was impossible, so i was obliged to change the specific topic 7 or 8 times, so as to find a faculty member just interested and as a POSSIBLE supervisor, without knowing if it will be true. However, I should observe that professors in these institutions want very detailed proposals Although i just apply for an introductory research degree, I trully (and i repeat that i have already submitted a phd proposal that was accepted, in my country and in City) cannot understand, what are we going to discuss for the whole year, as my proposal concluded to become as detailed (especially as far as methodology issues are concerned) as a first phd year report. I do not want to become ironic, I just mean that either noone can be accepted even in ONE YEAR research diplomas in these universities (although it is not obligatory for them to upgrade you finally to phd status) without having already studied there (and i am afraid that places in MSt and Dipl Leg Studies are covered by former students, although i cannot understand why a cambridge graduate should pursue the Diploma and does not apply for PhD or Mphil) or in another high-level english university, in a way that the few places in these courses are already pre-covered by a close circle of persons, or the Department finally does the selection (many faculty members told me: nice proposal, however it is up to the department to decide, and i don't know if they mean it or they just don't want to supervise), something that is more positive for me (due to previous academic performance).
You are right about the famous and non famous institution for research studies, however my primary goal is to pursue an academic career in my own country, and in my country 1) the Name and the general fame of the institution typed in your cv 2) or any studies just in munich university (!) are much more important for an academic career in law than anything else. I could be more easily accepted for instance in the place of young lecturer in european competition law, if i held a phd in english family law from oxford or even a master (or even just a seminar sometimes...) in POLITICAL SCIENCE from Harvard, than if i held a phd in european competition law in my country or warwick (it is not much recognised here!). As my german language level is not sufficient enough for phd studies in germany, my only choices are very top england and top usa!
Now you can understand that it is more important for me to alter a bit my research interests in order to be accepted...
quote

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