Choosing between a masters at a top tier university, and a PhD at a lower tier university

2018-03-13 17:08:22

I'm in a difficult situation, although I understand that I'm very lucky to be in this position.

I'm a final year UK chemical engineering student expecting a mid-high first class B.Eng degree from a fairly decent Russel Group university.

I'm looking for graduate studies and I have managed to secure 2 places:

The first is a fully funded 4 year PhD as part of a CDT in synthetic biology. My first year would be spent at Oxford and my final 3 years would be spent at Bristol University, which I will graduate from after that.

My second offer is for an MPhil in a similar subject at Cambridge University which they have offered to fully fund also.

I'm very unsure as to what to take. I cannot defer my PhD offer. On the one hand, Cambridge is a very good university but my fear is that if I do the masters there, I may have thrown away my only chance at a PhD, and that I won't be able to get one after that - And ideally I'd like to do a PhD at a top tier institution such as Oxfo