I'm new to this forum and have some questions regarding MPhils. I'm studying at an internationally unknown US Uni (GPA 3.99) and will graduate sometime next year.
I'm really interested in the MPhil International Relations at Oxford/Cambridge/LSE (and also in other political related subjects). However, I'm majoring in Business, and I was wondering whether these unis will reject me because I dont have a first degree in IR/Politics/or in a closely related discipline. (e.g I read that at Cambridge it would be an asset but it is not a requirement). So how does it look with Oxford/LSE?
Secondly, am I disadvantaged because my Uni is not internationally known?
Thirdly, I have read that at Cambridge you need to submit a Research Proposal? Are there any websites or books that help you in writing one? At Oxford/LSE you need to write a statement of purpose? What do I include in that? (My intended thesis etc...) Can I find some tips about it somewhere eg in a book? Also Oxford requires to send two essays related to IR. However, since I'm not an IR major can I just write them for Oxford?
Also, can I apply to more than one MPhil? Or will this be a disadvantage?
Your GPA will help, name of your uni less important. However bear in mind that at all these unis IR is competitive to get into.
Personally I think your undergrad will put you at a disadvantage, unless you can somehow illustrate some application to your intended focus field in your personal statement.
As a non-IR undergrad too, I can tell you that writing a research proposal for Cambridge without the academic background in place is not easy (and I had a semi-advantage in that my background is economics so I could use an IPE angle). You'll need to do a fair amount of reading to familiarize yourself with the literature in the area you are interested in, and particularly so in order to identify a gap in the literature that you can fill. The upside is that if you can do this successfully and write a decent research proposal it would probably help show that you do have the ability to do the course. I'd imagine you could use the essays you write for Oxford to the same end.
You can apply for more than one degree, it shouldn't disadvantage you. Just on a point of order, it is only Oxford and Cambridge that call taught masters MPhils; at LSE you'll be applying for an MSc.
I'm not sure how much in a hurry you are for this or how much time you may have, but it might help your application as well as your essays/proposal if you do an online course or summer school in IR. I'm not sure where in the US you are, but Harvard and Johns Hopkins both offer IR summer schools, and I'm sure other unis there must as well. Online courses are also an option but would take you longer to complete though obviously you can be more flexible with your time than at a summer school.
No disadvantage at all in applying for multiple programmes (why would there be?), but you will need to write a really excellent personal statement / research proposal to have a chance of getting in without an IR background - but quite possible. Summer schools or other work experience in IR is an excellent suggestion. Note that Oxford MPhils are two years which doubles the expense - consider an MSc if they do one.
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I also have the opportunity to do a second bachelor degree at the partner university of my uni ( it offers international relations)
I would only need to take some specific courses because some courses overlap. Do you think this would be better and provide me with an advantage?