MSc Economics / Financial Economics choice Watch
I am split between choosing an MSc course in Economics/Finance. In a nutshell - I have offers for the MSc Economics in Warwick, the MSc Economics and Financial Economics in Nottingham, the MSc Finance (Economics and Finance) in Durham and the MSc Economics and Finance in Bristol.
I am still waiting for a reply from MSc Economics at UCL.
I have spent an immense amount of time researching for degrees and since my budget is not unlimited, Oxbridge, Imperial and LSE had to go.
Briefly, my career goal is to become an analyst-side economist in the private sector/ work as an Economist at a Central Bank or some multinational institution. At this point of my life, pursuing a PhD does not seem to fit my interests. Since my main interests are in financial and monetary economics, I went for the above courses. However, I really cannot make an objective choice on my own.
if I haven't bored you too much yet - here are the pros and cons I have "collected" about the four programmes:
On Durham - At first glance - an old and very respected university; perhaps the strongest university over all from these four after UCL. An ex-girlfriend of mine studied there and I absolutely loved the university and the city. However, I am not sure if the fact that there is no real department of Economics there and the lower rankings in Tilburg, econphd. and The Complete University Guide make the course average. I very much like the wide variety of modules the MSc Finance and Economics offers, as well as the option to go on a placement instead of writing a dissertation. Not that I don't want to write one, I just feel that experience is more valuable in this job market. 10.5k fees seems reasonable.
On Nottingham - From what I have read and heard, the Economics department there is very strong and focused on research. Price also comes in favour here - only 7600. The syllabus seems to be standard for a Masters degree in Economics. Have never been in the city but it seems pleasant to live in. However, I am not sure how top employers in the UK would perceive a Nottingham degree and whether it would be competitive to Warwick/LSE/Imperial/Oxbridge.
On Bristol - basically the same as Nottingham. Again price (9900) here is quite the factor.
On Warwick - The logical top choice from the four I have been accepted to, I guess. The strongest department, highest ranking (again perhaps slightly <UCL) etc. What really worries me is the 20k fee. I could manage to self-fund but I am really not sure whether the difference in +10k is worth it. Also, from what I have heard (I am not from the UK and I hope I don't offend anyone), Coventry seems to have the reputation of quite the ****ty place. I could manage to live in suboptimal conditions for a year or two, but really - can someone tell me how bad it is?
I am really hesitant on whether to wait for a reply from UCL, as I have heard they usually answer around the beginning of March and some of the above programmes have deadlines in late February. Plus, even if I get accepted, to be honest, the MSc Economics there seems extremely demanding. From what I have researched, I am not sure I could be able to score high on modules so quantitative. Also, the microeconomic focus of the department there and the fact that you have all your exams in May seems to discourage me a bit. However, London seems to be the top choice for any economics and finance interested person, plus I absolutely love the capital.
I would very much appreciate if people with more experience, who have faced a similar choice, or simply disagree with me, could help me in ranking the above MSc and give their honest opinion on whether paying the Warwick fees is worth it. Would also appreciate any other advice on these institutions and the cities they are in.
I understand that there are target universities for Banking & Finance, but regarding UK government / Bank of England economist positions, how hard would landing a job with an MSc from one of the above institutions be? I guess it heavily depends on personal qualities and interview impressions, however, would for example a Warwick Masters in Economics heavily increase my chances or are graduate positions at such institutions extremely competitive, meaning Oxbridge, LSE and UCl are heavily favoured?
What I mean is - Do most HR departments familiar with the top 10 courses in the country go like 'Hmmmm he finished Nottingham and their financial econometrics teaching is rigorous so he must be very good' or 'Durham is quite weak in Monetary and Time Series analysis so we better get someone else'?
Thanks again in advance for any insights into the industry you are kind enough to share.