LSE, SOAS or IDS for Development Studies?Watch
I have acquired admission in both LSE, SOAS and IDS for a Masters in Development Studies.
I am confused between the three , since IDS is an industry leader but LSE has a better international reputation and will be more beneficial for me if I plan a switch in my career at a later point, some people have pointed out.
Costs in London are another big issues.
Another factor is my lack of a background in economics. I have an almost negligent basis in economics, and I have heard that the Masters at LSE is econ-heavy. Will not having a base in economics work against me during my stay at LSE?
I would really appreciate some guidance.
Need more help on going postgrad?
I applied and was accepted into the same programs as well! After a lot of research, I think I'm committing to IDS. All have a lot to offer, but IDS just seems to have the ideal combination for me of curriculum (I'm doing the Participation, Power and Social Change course) and cost (it's the cheapest and cost of living in Brighton is less than London). From what I know, all three of the programs are very reputable, so I wouldn't base your selection on reputation alone - surely, development practitioners will recognize any of the universities as being among the top in the field
On a related note, could you give me an idea how much would the annual cost of living be at London? I know it all comes down to how carefully or lavishly you choose to spend, but just a ballpark figure would be nice. It says 1000 pounds on LSE's website. And how does the cost compare to that at IDS?
Last year, I applied to LSE, SOAS, IDS, Manchester, Bristol and UEA for Postgrad degree in Development Studies. Even before receiving the offers, I have already decided to study in IDS. Eventually, I received a 9,000 pound scholarship from Bristol but still I believe I should go for IDS. I was accepted to all but LSE (which I am happy that I didn't get an offer from LSE because that made my life easier!). And I decided to study MA Poverty and Development at IDS.
I do accept the fact that LSE might have better international reputation and could offer exciting internship/employment opportunities as it is in London but even if I got offer from LSE, I would still have chosen IDS. The reasons are that the course that I am studying perfectly fits me and my expectations are, indeed, met. IDS is a research institute that teaches and there is always something going on! Secondly, Brighton is an amazing city and the campus is awesome! It is indeed, cheaper than London with the accommodation fees ranging around 400-500 pound and other costs could range from 100-400 depending on your spending style. I cannot make comparisons with London but I believe it is cheaper. Thirdly, I am from Myanmar and there are not much professors researching on the country. Only in IDS, I found one really inspiring professor who has done researches in Myanmar. However, I do get jealous of the students at LSE who are exposed to amazing guest speakers!! After all, the programmes take only one year and time flies so fast! What you could gain from the programme is friendship, reflections and attitude. You need to be in the place where you think you can absorb as much as possible and enjoy the journey! So, as Megan has said, all three are reputable and you should make the decision based on your taste, interest and expectation!
As a side note, if you are planning to get into really top organisations (UN, some big consultancies), they do have preferences from where they graduate. For instance, there is a consultant who always hires 2-3 graduates from IDS every year but at the same time, some UN agencies prefer LSE graduates. So, if you already have in mind which organisation that you want to go for, you might want to research where most of the employees come from.
I hope you found this useful and feel free to message or contact me if you have any questions!
Sorry this isn't directly related but I could really use some advice since I'm also interested in development studies.
I'm currently applying for MA Conflict, Security & Development at King's College London. I achieved a First class for my Undergraduate degree but got a 3rd class for one of my second year modules. This module isn't relevant to my postgrad subject btw. Do I still have to explain the bad grade in my personal statement? Thanks in advance
Great to see another fellow interested in development studies.
From my experience and understanding, as long as you have met the academic requirement, they are already in favour of you.
I did have bad grades in my first and second year but in my third and fourth years, I had good grades and the final grade was above what is required (I came from different system). Since the module is not relevant to your postgrad subject and I believe you have met the academic requirement, I do not think it is necessary to explain the bad grade of that module! And just one? If you did badly for second year but did great in your third year, you could be writing about your progress but I do not think this is the case as you said just one module.
Hope it helps!
I talked to a couple of famous recruiters from UN and Coffey International, here in Pakistan, and they both preferred LSE over IDS. They say IDS is top-notch, but LSE keeps doors open for a horizontal professional growth, and isn't strictly linked to development. LSE's brand name was also cited as another reason.
I still haven't made up my mind, but I'd be honest, I am tilted towards LSE. Lets see how it goes.
Thank you for your helpful advice, I very much appreciate it. It was just the one module that I did awfully on so I decided to take your advice and stick to the positives in my statement. Hopefully it will be okay since King's is my first choice.
Fizza I wish you the best of luck!