This discussion is closed.
bkarts
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#1
Hi all,

I am new to the forum so I thought I'd give a bit of an introduction. About 3 years ago I completed my BSc in Economics from UCL, and I've been working in Finance since. However I've wanted to return back to academia to study economics for quite some time. I am particularly interested in macroeconomics, monetary economics and development.

I applied to a few places this year and have received offers from Warwick and UCL for their MSc economics program. I am struggling to decide which uni to opt for though. A major factor in my decision will be the chances of achieving a distinction - would any of you know what percentage of students typically get a distinction each year for the two courses?

Whilst I've read extensively that UCL's MSc is better than Warwick's, I've also read that Macroeconomics at UCL is relatively weak when compared to Warwick. My intentions are to pursue a PhD on completion of the MSc. If I can achieve a distinction then I'd like to go for Ivy league in the USA or Oxbridge/LSE here in the UK.

Please let me know what your thoughts are and which course you would recommend.

Many thanks
0
.ACS.
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#2
Report 5 years ago
#2
(Original post by bkarts)
Hi all,

I am new to the forum so I thought I'd give a bit of an introduction. About 3 years ago I completed my BSc in Economics from UCL, and I've been working in Finance since. However I've wanted to return back to academia to study economics for quite some time. I am particularly interested in macroeconomics, monetary economics and development.

I applied to a few places this year and have received offers from Warwick and UCL for their MSc economics program. I am struggling to decide which uni to opt for though. A major factor in my decision will be the chances of achieving a distinction - would any of you know what percentage of students typically get a distinction each year for the two courses?

Whilst I've read extensively that UCL's MSc is better than Warwick's, I've also read that Macroeconomics at UCL is relatively weak when compared to Warwick. My intentions are to pursue a PhD on completion of the MSc. If I can achieve a distinction then I'd like to go for Ivy league in the USA or Oxbridge/LSE here in the UK.

Please let me know what your thoughts are and which course you would recommend.

Many thanks
First, a couple of questions:

1. What is your long-term goal?
2. Which universities did you apply to originally?
3. Where do you want to apply for PhD programmes?

Both UCL and Warwick are strong universities and have strong MSc programmes.

Broadly speaking, Warwick is strong in macroeconomics and international finance, more so than UCL. UCL is strong in microeconomics and related areas, where development tends to fit depending on the focus within development (applied microeconomics).

But also, have you considered costs? There are a number of other universities in Europe which are much more affordable yet offer better graduate prospects within the field of academia.

These include:
ECARES, Belgium
UCLouvain, Belgium
• Carlos III Madrid, Spain
CEMFI, Spain
Barcelona GSE, Spain
Paris School of Economics, France
Sciences Po, France
• Toulouse School of Economics, France
Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden

I’ve put in bold those with a focus in international macro-finance/development etc.

A final point: the university you attend for your MSc is less important than for your PhD. It’s vital your PhD is taken at a university with a strong focus on the area you are interested, whereas it isn’t really for your MSc.

Hope this helps.
1
bkarts
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#3
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#3
(Original post by .ACS.)
First, a couple of questions:

1. What is your long-term goal?
2. Which universities did you apply to originally?
3. Where do you want to apply for PhD programmes?

Both UCL and Warwick are strong universities and have strong MSc programmes.

Broadly speaking, Warwick is strong in macroeconomics and international finance, more so than UCL. UCL is strong in microeconomics and related areas, where development tends to fit depending on the focus within development (applied microeconomics).

But also, have you considered costs? There are a number of other universities in Europe which are much more affordable yet offer better graduate prospects within the field of academia.

These include:
ECARES, Belgium
UCLouvain, Belgium
• Carlos III Madrid, Spain
CEMFI, Spain
Barcelona GSE, Spain
Paris School of Economics, France
Sciences Po, France
• Toulouse School of Economics, France
Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden

I’ve put in bold those with a focus in international macro-finance/development etc.

A final point: the university you attend for your MSc is less important than for your PhD. It’s vital your PhD is taken at a university with a strong focus on the area you are interested, whereas it isn’t really for your MSc.

Hope this helps.
Thank you ACS, I appreciate your comments. My long term plan is to have completed a PhD and then return to the job market as a professional economist capable of producing high quality research. My recent experience in finance (I've also sat CFA level 1 and 2) means I am interested in the area and would like to bridge the two skill sets potentially. But I definitely want to be working upon completion of the PhD as an economist.

I also applied to Oxford for their MPhil for which I was unsuccessful. I was not really considering Europe, partly because I still want to remain in the UK. Perhaps for a phd though, I would consider Europe and the States. In terms of US universities, I am considering Columbia, Harvard, Chicago and MIT, although this is merely from online research and by my interests in the faculty. I am hoping the MSc will give me more specific direction into which area I want to pursue,

Whilst UCL is strong in microeconomics, would you say they are weak in macroeconomics? And as you alluded to in your last point, do you know how feasible it is to secure a phd place before completion of a MSc (as at UCL, I understand, all exams are in the summer, whilst at Warwick, they are spaced out through the year).

If you wouldn't mind me asking, what is the typical route followed by an MSc candidate who seeks to pursue a PhD at a university other than the one they are currently studying at? Do most PhD candidates work for a year before starting their PhD?

I am just trying to understand in my head how I would secure a phd, whilst at say UCL, that flows seamlessly after my MSc...

Many thanks for your help again,
0
.ACS.
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#4
Report 5 years ago
#4
(Original post by bkarts)
Thank you ACS, I appreciate your comments. My long term plan is to have completed a PhD and then return to the job market as a professional economist capable of producing high quality research. My recent experience in finance (I've also sat CFA level 1 and 2) means I am interested in the area and would like to bridge the two skill sets potentially. But I definitely want to be working upon completion of the PhD as an economist.

I also applied to Oxford for their MPhil for which I was unsuccessful. I was not really considering Europe, partly because I still want to remain in the UK. Perhaps for a phd though, I would consider Europe and the States. In terms of US universities, I am considering Columbia, Harvard, Chicago and MIT, although this is merely from online research and by my interests in the faculty. I am hoping the MSc will give me more specific direction into which area I want to pursue,

Whilst UCL is strong in microeconomics, would you say they are weak in macroeconomics? And as you alluded to in your last point, do you know how feasible it is to secure a phd place before completion of a MSc (as at UCL, I understand, all exams are in the summer, whilst at Warwick, they are spaced out through the year).

If you wouldn't mind me asking, what is the typical route followed by an MSc candidate who seeks to pursue a PhD at a university other than the one they are currently studying at? Do most PhD candidates work for a year before starting their PhD?

I am just trying to understand in my head how I would secure a phd, whilst at say UCL, that flows seamlessly after my MSc...

Many thanks for your help again,

No worries, glad I could be of some help.

What I’ll first say is that the sort of research conducted in academia is far more technical than what is usually conducted in central banks, etc. and also within a university setting you’re far freer to conduct research you want to conduct.

In terms of US vs Europe, I don’t know particularly much about US universities; I know, for example, UC Davis is particularly good in international trade, and also I know which universities are saltwater vs freshwater, but that’s about it. I do, however, know an awful lot about European programmes and their specialities.

For PhD research, I’d argue UCL is relatively weak. That said, for their MSc programme, their macroeconomics module is pretty standard. Ideally you want to be covering DSGE models, dynamic optimization, etc. with textbooks by Sargent, Stokey, Lucas, etc. You want to avoid a course that uses Romer as this is a weak course.

The issue with securing a PhD prior to completing your MSc will be difficult since you won’t have the ability to make such a strong impression on lecturers, etc. and obviously you grades won’t be known (or even any of them as a signal/indicator of potential future performance).

Typically, and given the way the education system is set up, the most appropriate way is to undertake your PhD at the same institution you undertake your MSc, otherwise to undertake an MSc straight after your BSc and apply for PhD programmes elsewhere.

Most students will do a PhD directly after their MSc, which they tend to do directly after their BSc. Some take time out to work, but this is usually to raise funds, whereas it is typically more unusual to return to a PhD after a few years of work.

I hope this helps.
0
torres123321
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#5
Report 7 months ago
#5
UCL especially if you are doing microeconometrics and labour. Better and more rigorous coursework, much smaller class size~70, better econ department overall though highly depends on the field of interest. And for phd, better placement record.
0
X
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

University open days

  • Bournemouth University
    Midwifery Open Day at Portsmouth Campus Undergraduate
    Wed, 16 Oct '19
  • Teesside University
    All faculties open Undergraduate
    Wed, 16 Oct '19
  • University of the Arts London
    London College of Fashion – Cordwainers Footwear and Bags & Accessories Undergraduate
    Wed, 16 Oct '19

How has the start of this academic year been for you?

Loving it - gonna be a great year (136)
17.82%
It's just nice to be back! (204)
26.74%
Not great so far... (274)
35.91%
I want to drop out! (149)
19.53%

Watched Threads

View All