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    I am a third year undergrad with offers from the following 5 universities, all are one year taught masters programs, all same entry requirements (2:1).

    Any advice/recommendation on making a selection, or regarding a particularly university would be greatly appreciated. (Visited all but Kings and SOAS. Particularly interested to hear what people think of SOAS)

    St Andrews
    - Middle East and Central Asian Security Studies (Option to specialise in one or the other and take language modules)
    Fees: 5900

    SOAS
    - International Politics
    Fee's: 13800

    Warwick University
    - International Relations
    Fee's: 10,000

    Kings College London
    - International Relations
    Fee's: 10,500

    Durham University
    - International Studies
    Fee's: approx 6,500

    I have an equal interest in all programs content, they all look great. I have visited most places and happy in terms of living in any environment.
    While I can financially afford to attend any of the options, I am conscious still of the fees and London living costs, in the sense of value for money in comparison to the other options.

    Thanks!
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    Only you can decide this.

    Everybody has different interests re. course content. Different priorities re. type of Uni/location etc. Whatever anyone else thinks is 'a good choice' will be their choice - not yours.

    Try and narrow it down to 2 or 3. Read the detailed course module/unit descriptions very carefully (not just the general description of the entire course) and look at who is actually teaching in that Dept. Look at assessment methods and the amount of contact time with tutors etc. Look at Library opening hours, post-grad lunchtime seminars etc, contact with students doing PhDs, access to other Libraries/Archives that might be important for your thesis etc, etc.

    Doing a 'cheaper' course that frustrates you and isnt actually what you wanted to do is a waste of time. Always go for the option that will give you the most enjoyment and the best opportunities to explore/exploit your personal interests. Otherwise what is the point in doing it at all?
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    Thanks for your advice, much appreciated.

    I do know exactly what you mean. The only one I think I have managed to discount so far is Kings. I have taken all of the things you suggested into account; as you're right, they are key. Many of all the factors to consider still results in them coming up rather balanced in pro and cons to each. I have examined the departments in detail and the courses too in terms of module structure, examination, teaching etc and while finding different costs and benefits to each still have struggled again. On the same principle of taking all of these things into account, I made the effort to visit the majority of the options in person as It could make a big difference.

    Despite informing myself greatly about each option and looking at it from several perspectives of deciding, my indecisive nature is getting the better of me as you can see. As you say I guess I can only make the right choice! Thanks.
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    (Original post by dylan_aber)
    I am a third year undergrad with offers from the following 5 universities, all are one year taught masters programs, all same entry requirements (2:1).

    Any advice/recommendation on making a selection, or regarding a particularly university would be greatly appreciated. (Visited all but Kings and SOAS. Particularly interested to hear what people think of SOAS)

    St Andrews
    - Middle East and Central Asian Security Studies (Option to specialise in one or the other and take language modules)
    Fees: 5900

    SOAS
    - International Politics
    Fee's: 13800

    Warwick University
    - International Relations
    Fee's: 10,000

    Kings College London
    - International Relations
    Fee's: 10,500

    Durham University
    - International Studies
    Fee's: approx 6,500

    I have an equal interest in all programs content, they all look great. I have visited most places and happy in terms of living in any environment.
    While I can financially afford to attend any of the options, I am conscious still of the fees and London living costs, in the sense of value for money in comparison to the other options.

    Thanks!
    Assuming from your name your undergrad was in IR at Aber, and also assuming you want to pursue a professional or academic career in IR, then while all are good options, Warwick and St Andrews are the only ones that might possible add to an Aber undergrad (though the others aren't a step back necessarily). So given the primary choice between Warwick and St Andrews, the question is do you want to specialise in MECASS or not?
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    Yes it was in Aber, I love aber as a dept but after going on semester exchange I strongly desire to experience new places. Yes I would like to carry on to do a PHD, however I am currently uncertain if I am capable yet, I think my masters will aid me in thinking about this. But yes if not I would like a professional career in IR.

    Yes as you advise, I think I have narrowed it to Warwick or St Andrews. The course as SOAS is great and fits my interests, however the examination structure is rather concerning. While having the same amount of essays as the other programs (if not more) , it also has exams on top, some of which are 70% unseen! The entire amount of module examination in all of the other programs, is only around 50% of what is expected for SOAS.

    Your final question about specialisation is my current dilemma between choosing between the two. I am very interested in the program on offer, however I am worried about firstly closing myself off to other areas I am interested in and secondly how specialisation may hinder me going forward. A person in the dept at St andrews says it should not hinder me in terms of PHD if I want to explore a proposal that is different to MECASS, as long as it is a good proposal it would be fine. I am however unsure if their is a hindrance from specialisation if I want to seek a professional job outside of the context of MECASS and doing a broad IR masters may be better in this context? However I may be over thinking this and it may not effect me at all?
 
 
 
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