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    Hi everyone!

    I am fortunate to have received offers from all three universities. However, I didn't ever think this would actually become a problem - as I am now trying to decide which one to choose. The courses I have received offers for are as follows:

    MPhil Economics - Cambridge (1 year)
    MPhil Economics - Oxford (2 years)
    MSc Economics - UCL (1 year)

    The cost is not the most decisive factor in making my decision (although a scholarship may make my decision substantially easier!).

    Oxford and Cambridge are somewhat of a childhood dream for me, but I don't want to make a foolish choice based on a bias which may be incorrect. This is because - according to several sources (including my lecturers) - UCL currently has the best Economics department for research.

    Also - I am not 100% sure whether I want to go into academia, public or private sector following the masters programme, so I'm not sure which one will give me the best preparation for a wide range of outcomes?

    If anyone could shed any light on these courses, or if they have had to make a similar decision that would be greatly appreciate.

    MERCI
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    Quite honestiy, I don't think there's much separating them from each other (though do you really want to spend an extra year at Oxford for essentially the same qualification?) for any of your potential career outcomes, other than if you think you may want to work outside the UK Oxbridge has (fairly or not) much wider name recognition than UCL. If you're planning on staying within the UK, just go for the course that interests you most.

    (Curious as to why you didn't apply to LSE, which is usually batched with those unis for a master's in econ?)
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    (Original post by sj27)
    Quite honestiy, I don't think there's much separating them from each other (though do you really want to spend an extra year at Oxford for essentially the same qualification?) for any of your potential career outcomes, other than if you think you may want to work outside the UK Oxbridge has (fairly or not) much wider name recognition than UCL. If you're planning on staying within the UK, just go for the course that interests you most.

    (Curious as to why you didn't apply to LSE, which is usually batched with those unis for a master's in econ?)
    The extra length of the Oxford degree is an aspect that is making me lean towards UCL or Cambridge. However, I would love to experience the "Oxbridge"/college student life as I have studying in London for the past three years. Not sure whether that is a valid reason to choose one above the other though. I also agree with you regarding the international recognition of an Oxbridge degree Vs. UCL. I guess Cambridge is winning by a slight margin at the moment.

    I did also apply to LSE for the MSc Economics course but was rejected
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    Well done on your offers.

    (Original post by iCreptio)
    However, I would love to experience the "Oxbridge"/college student life as I have studying in London for the past three years.
    Postgraduates at Oxford and Cambridge definitely have some opportunities and social structures that postgrads elsewhere don't, but it's not really the same as the undergraduate college experience—and if it was I think most postgrads would find it a bit infantilizing. Most grad students don't live on their college's main site even if they're in college accommodation, for example, and ultimately they're admitted and managed by their faculties rather than by their colleges, unlike undergraduates.

    It's up to you, but if I was in your position I wouldn't let the idea of 'the Oxford/Cambridge experience' weigh too heavily on the decision. I suggest focusing on the courses and what you plan to use the qualification to do afterwards.
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    I'm going to disagree with QHF slightly - while I don't think the "Oxbridge experience" should be a main reason to choose one course over the other, I do think there is something very special about studying there, even as a postgrad - it's only the undergrads who are continuing there who have something "more Oxbridge" to compare it to. You still get formals, May Balls, ancient buildings, amazing libraries, punting, yada yada. As a part-timer at Cam I probably had the "weakest" Oxbridge experience of all and I still found it pretty darn amazing. If there's nothing much else between the courses I for one would have this sway me to Cambridge over UCL.
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    (Original post by QHF)
    Well done on your offers.



    Postgraduates at Oxford and Cambridge definitely have some opportunities and social structures that postgrads elsewhere don't, but it's not really the same as the undergraduate college experience—and if it was I think most postgrads would find it a bit infantilizing. Most grad students don't live on their college's main site even if they're in college accommodation, for example, and ultimately they're admitted and managed by their faculties rather than by their colleges, unlike undergraduates.

    It's up to you, but if I was in your position I wouldn't let the idea of 'the Oxford/Cambridge experience' weigh too heavily on the decision. I suggest focusing on the courses and what you plan to use the qualification to do afterwards.
    (Original post by sj27)
    I'm going to disagree with QHF slightly - while I don't think the "Oxbridge experience" should be a main reason to choose one course over the other, I do think there is something very special about studying there, even as a postgrad - it's only the undergrads who are continuing there who have something "more Oxbridge" to compare it to. You still get formals, May Balls, ancient buildings, amazing libraries, punting, yada yada. As a part-timer at Cam I probably had the "weakest" Oxbridge experience of all and I still found it pretty darn amazing. If there's nothing much else between the courses I for one would have this sway me to Cambridge over UCL.
    Once I've been allocated a college I think I'll take a train up to Cambridge and have a look around exactly where I would live/study/spend most of my time, etc. (I've already had a good walk around the UCL campus and its libraries, etc).
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    (Original post by iCreptio)
    Once I've been allocated a college I think I'll take a train up to Cambridge and have a look around exactly where I would live/study/spend most of my time, etc. (I've already had a good walk around the UCL campus and its libraries, etc).
    Well, you may not know exactly where you'll be living, depending on college. Some have most or all of the postgrad accomm very near the main college or mostly in one place, while others may have student houses scattered across town. Definitely try seek out someone on the MCR of the college though, to give you some idea of the social life of the college, and the college itself will be very happy to let you look around if you've been offered a place (actually I found they were very happy to let you look around even if you were just considering putting them as a choice ). It's definitely a good idea to go up and look around. You can't get into the main university library without a student/staff card (not sure if they have visitor access if some sort) but you don't need a card to get into the Marshall library. Your college will have one or more libraries as well, and depending on your interests you may be interested in some of the other faculty libraries too. There are over 100 libraries in Cam...!!
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    (Original post by sj27)
    Well, you may not know exactly where you'll be living, depending on college. Some have most or all of the postgrad accomm very near the main college or mostly in one place, while others may have student houses scattered across town. Definitely try seek out someone on the MCR of the college though, to give you some idea of the social life of the college, and the college itself will be very happy to let you look around if you've been offered a place (actually I found they were very happy to let you look around even if you were just considering putting them as a choice ). It's definitely a good idea to go up and look around. You can't get into the main university library without a student/staff card (not sure if they have visitor access if some sort) but you don't need a card to get into the Marshall library. Your college will have one or more libraries as well, and depending on your interests you may be interested in some of the other faculty libraries too. There are over 100 libraries in Cam...!!
    Thank you for all the advice you have given me, I greatly appreciate it

    I'll be travelling to Cambridge in the next few weeks to have a look around.
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    From what I've heard, the Oxbridge name is way more recognised globally for Eco as compared to UCL.
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    (Original post by AntisocialFatman)
    From what I've heard, the Oxbridge name is way more recognised globally for Eco as compared to UCL.
    Definitely taking this factor into account as I would also like to possibly work abroad. Although I guess it depends which sector I go into; if I decide to go into econ research (or something similar), UCL might be favoured due to its excellent research rankings over the past few years. :confused:
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    While I'd much rather the London experience than the Oxbridge experience, if I were you I'd pick Cambridge. It seems a happy middle between UCL and Oxford with only being one year long, yet still having the highly recognizable name internationally. Best of luck to you!
 
 
 
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