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Hi!

I got offers from MSc Economics at Warwick, MSc Economics and Development Economics at Nottingham and Paris School of Economics. Now it is my turn to choose one.

My only issue is financial. The only hope to get funded in Warwick was declined hence I am entitled to 19k pounds tuition fee (not saying living cost, hopefully it will be cheap in Coventry). For Notts, I am pretty sure I would get around 3k-6k pounds scholarship, that means I only need to pay around 10k pounds for tuition fee in Notts. PSE is flexible as it virtually costs nothing to study there except the expensive life in Paris.

My future intention is further development in academia, I always want to pursue a solid PhD at a prestigious US university (say Princeton or MIT, Harvard ...) hence I do understand the importance of the master degree (to get better recommendation and more extensive experience in research). My career is not yet decided but I want to be an analyst at authority levels or somewhere like ministry or WB, IMF, UN ... Hence I consider a solid academic background critical.

With that in mind, considering my financial issues (I could afford roughly 22k in a year of studying, in total sum). Do you think it is worth 10k pound to be in Warwick rather than Notts.

Is Notts good, I mean, excellent enough to convince me to not spend 10k more? (actually I would have to fund myself through some part time jobs if I would go for Warwick). In term of future career and international reputation, should PSE worth a go (I search for some reputation rank in research, PSE ranks 8 in the world, which boosted me to apply).
Even if after Master degree, I want to work for finance industry a couple of years before going to PhD, which one is better? (in case I suddenly change my mind in the future).

I know I am a bit of indecisive, but I am quite lost and really need your help. Some thoughts in the courses as well as the perspectives to further PhD career or in industry are much appreciated. I am aware of the 5 targets uni, but would Notts or PSE stands a chance with Warwick, given the substantial investment difference?

Many thanks for reading, any thought is much appreciated.
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Tcannon
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DevEcon is specialised area and Warwick does not really cover it extensively with specialised MSc or PhD topics. It has a good Econ department, but I don't think it merits the premium pricing giving lack of fit for your educational interest.

Nott has MSc DevEcon and good PhD research, supported by research grants and PhD scholarships. Particularly China research through its Ningbo campus. It is solid for UK PhD, but I don't think Nott is a big feeder to Top US Econ PhD programmes.

PSE has the strongest output for DevEcon. Its programme has the DevEcon track, research groups, more electives and a few modules are taught by known profs. I think there is the J-PAL Europe at PSE. Prof Duflo from MIT still participates at seminars (she did her MSc at ENS). The cost benefit makes PSE a strong case. PSE is also a stronger feeder to Top US Econ PhD programmes.

PSE > Nott > Warwick

Are you an overseas student and do you speak French? What areas of DEVEcon are you interested in and any target unis for your PhD? I personally find Banerjee/Duflo's work quite fascinating.
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(Original post by Tcannon)
DevEcon is specialised area and Warwick does not really cover it extensively with specialised MSc or PhD topics. It has a good Econ department, but I don't think it merits the premium pricing giving lack of fit for your educational interest.

Nott has MSc DevEcon and good PhD research, supported by research grants and PhD scholarships. Particularly China research through its Ningbo campus. It is solid for UK PhD, but I don't think Nott is a big feeder to Top US Econ PhD programmes.

PSE has the strongest output for DevEcon. Its programme has the DevEcon track, research groups, more electives and a few modules are taught by known profs. I think there is the J-PAL Europe at PSE. Prof Duflo from MIT still participates at seminars (she did her MSc at ENS). The cost benefit makes PSE a strong case. PSE is also a stronger feeder to Top US Econ PhD programmes.

PSE > Nott > Warwick

Are you an overseas student and do you speak French? What areas of DEVEcon are you interested in and any target unis for your PhD? I personally find Banerjee/Duflo's work quite fascinating.
Hi!

Thank you so much for your in-depth answer!

I am international student then a very high tuition fee entitled. I do speak French but not much (enough to hold a conservation but not that fluent to begin and finish a debate, I wish I would improve if I would go to Paris).

I am particularly interested in trade policy and aids (which I saw in Notts quite a lot of research activities happening). The reason is my home country is developing and I would like to do something on it, or at least if I am not going back there, I would follow the passion and have some policy that helps my home country.

For Warwick, I am actually fine with the Economics (not necessarily in Development) as I can do quite broad things in Economics, I mean, my pure interest is to do something with my home country and I feel that development economics should be proper. But I keep in mind the reputation of the institution I am going for, that going for Warwick to get into the top 5 uni in UK then hopefully get through a PhD in US (I am aiming at MIT, Yale, Columbia - to see Stiglitz or NYU). I found that at PSE, they have an exchange programme with Uni of California, Berkeley which is a very good point to start with (as UCB is also a targeted Uni in US, I am more than happy to do so).

For your ranking, thanks again but would it be true? I mean in general as PSE is quite new and I am not sure going to France is a good basement for further education (and wasting the chance to study at Warwick - the reason I apply for Warwick not Oxbrigde or LSE is again the financial issues, Warwick simply the most affordable programme I could do).

Err, really appreciate any thoughts and help from people! and particularly you Tcannon!

// and yes J-Pal is in PSE and it is much known in the world. The only worrying in PSE is that I heard some negative things on French education (some birds say I would quote "French is only first world nation with a third world education", from an economist at Harvard), that makes me quite worried and also I am not fluent in French then it's hard for me to do internship (which is compulsory in PSE) with French organisations.

In terms of other things, I would love to live in France anw, I have been in the UK for 3 years and a change is absolutely tempting. I would say, if PSE > Warwick and it is worth to move (then forgive the chance to study at the UK target university), I would definitely go for PSE.

(my current plan is: If PSE < Warwick in term of international reputation and chance of getting to a PhD in top uni of US, I would stay at UK. If Warwick is not worth that premium, I would go for Notts)
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Tcannon
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Warwick's fee is more a burden and quite prohibitive for home and overseas students. I can't identify Warwick with affordable, it is so unattainable for many price out home students. For most home student, Nott is more reasonable.

For Trade Policy, you can also attend seminars on Int Econ (more neoliberal than development seminars with its poverty angle)

PSE has the additional advantage with 2 year Econ. You may do an exchange at Berkeley or NYU. I know that Berkeley has a strong PhD DevEcon, its PhD move on to Michigan, Stanford, JHU or Northwestern. A semester at Berkeley would strengthen your application. You may also do an internship during summer vacation to follow your interest in Int. Trade. PSE profs do publish in respected journals: Journal of Development Economics, Journal of Development Studies and of course top overall journals -- AER, JPE, EMC.

MIT, Yale, Columbia are powerhouses.

PSE ranked 16th in development. PSE may be new, but its founding members Paris I and ENS have been around for many years.
http://ideas.repec.org/top/top.dev.html
Good luck
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thank you very much for your information, I am much leaning toward PSE now. Still waiting for further comments but I do think I am quite far away from Warwick. It seems Warwick is not worth what students have to pay.

Thank you very much, any more comments are massively appreciated!
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Kalepan
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Hello,

I don't know if it might help you but I heard some feedbacks from a student of PSE about the overall level of the students.
He was accepted last year on the Master 2 "APE - Analyse et Politique Economiques" and was really impressed by the very good academic level of both the students and the lecturers. You can explain this easily, his classmate came from ENS, ENSAE, Polytechnique, etc. which are the best academic institutions of France. Keep in mind that it was hard at first for him to keep up with the quantitative side of the master, but you cannot go wrong if you choose PSE.
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First question: which programme at PSE did you apply for? The APE programme or the PPD programme?

If APE, then hands down, choose PSE. It is a top university, with world leading academics, and you will be able to get strong references for US schools. Especially try and partake in the exchange as this will boost your profile a lot.

Out of Warwick and Nottingham, you have to think about your end ambition. I'd disagree with Tcannon and opt for Warwick over Nottingham purely because Warwick is a better feeder school for US PhD programmes. Schools in the US won't care about how much development economics you have covered. You essentially have your PhD to specialise, and even then you can focus your MSc dissertation on development economics - it's far more important when specialising to learn through journal articles than it is through textbooks (which modules too often focus on). Also they offer a couple of modules in economic growth, development, etc. so it's not like you won't be able to cover anything even if you want to. If you want to do your PhD in the UK or Europe, then it's a different story.

But overall, like Tcannon says, choose PSE hands down. It's the better school of the lot generally and the best US feeder school of those you have listed.
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