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    Hi,

    I'm a 23 yo male first class physics graduate. Currently doing an accountancy qualification. I'm really disliking finance and would like a change of career eventually.

    My current short term (within 2 years) targets are:

    >Study IR and undertake lots of further reading
    >Live abroad
    >Learn a new language. This is a personal goal and not for professional reasons.

    I was set on Nottingham Ningbo (China) campus and learning mandarin. But after reading further, it's obvious mandarin is very hard and fluency within 2 years (I was open to a year's TEFL after) is unlikely. On top of that, i'm not massively keen on living in China or going on holiday there in the long term. The straw that broke the camel's back was that supposedly China can be quite xenophobic and even a fluent westerner will not be fully accepted. All that work doesn't quite seem worth it.

    So I'm now considering studying at Ningbo (i'm still very interested in China's role in world politics and am very keen to live in China for a year) but studying spanish on the side as I could possibly get near fluency with a year of hard study. Unfortunately it just seems a bit silly to do that really. What do you think?

    I'm also open to alternatives. Does anybody know any interesting places to study IR abroad possibly in a spanish speaking country?
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    Anybody?

    Ignore the Spanish stuff. Will be mandarin i'd be learning.

    Been looking into Peking university. Does anybody know how competitive it is to get into? What the student experience is like?

    Also, is Nottingham Ningbo respected at all?
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    Without a first degree in a related subject, you will struggle getting a place.

    Masters degrees arent 'conversion' courses - they are are specialist advanced degrees where you build on existing knowledge in that subject.

    If you simply want to study IR or languages then you best bet is looking at doing something like Open University units http://www.open.ac.uk/socialsciences.../politics.php? to build up a Certificate or Diploma qualification. With something like this, a University might consider you for a relevant Masters degree.
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    Thanks for your response but what you say actually contradicts what I've found from a number of other sources.

    Firstly, I've often read that Masters are sometimes offered to give a student the opportunity to diversify their bachelors rather than add to. I'm sure every Masters is different and is looking for different applicants though.

    Secondly, I have been in touch with Ningbo who have encouraged me to apply with my BSc in physics.

    Thirdly, both Ningbo and Peking say the prerequisite is a bachelors degree and there is no specific mention of a related subject. Are you implying that the prerequisite of a related subject is implicit?

    Fourthly, I once read a messageboard where new postgraduate students starting the IR MA at Peking were chatting and it was mentioned that some had never studied IR before.

    So saying all that, why do you believe otherwise? Maybe the prerequisites are stricter in UK universities?
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    I cannot comment on the specifics of study in China. At an RG or similar Uni in the UK, you would certainly need to have studied a related subject at undergrad - History, Politics etc in order to have some grasp of social science concepts, or to have substantial relevant work experience. A physics degree would not be adequate for this purpose.
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    How about exploring middle eastern countries. I studied in UK and now working in Qassim University. http://www.qu.edu.sa/en
 
 
 
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