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    Hello everybody,
    a friend of mine has been accepted to Cambridge for the Mphil Modern Society and Global Transformations and to LSE for the Msc Political Sociology. At the moment, he is very confused. He feels he can't refuse Cambridge because of the reputation etc. but at the same moment he is not sure about rejecting LSE.
    Any advice would be really appreciated
    Thanks anyways
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    (Original post by KKKL)
    Hello everybody,
    a friend of mine has been accepted to Cambridge for the Mphil Modern Society and Global Transformations and to LSE for the Msc Political Sociology. At the moment, he is very confused. He feels he can't refuse Cambridge because of the reputation etc. but at the same moment he is not sure about rejecting LSE.
    Any advice would be really appreciated
    Thanks anyways
    Where did he go as an undergraduate?
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    (Original post by KKKL)
    Hello everybody,
    a friend of mine has been accepted to Cambridge for the Mphil Modern Society and Global Transformations and to LSE for the Msc Political Sociology. At the moment, he is very confused. He feels he can't refuse Cambridge because of the reputation etc. but at the same moment he is not sure about rejecting LSE.
    Any advice would be really appreciated
    Thanks anyways
    From what I know it's at the dept. of SPS, which is a weak research department at Cambridge. The two degrees your friend is choosing between differ to such a great extent that I believe the choice ought to be made depending on which structure of degree they prefer. The LSE's course will require a far shorter dissertation, however, will include a greater taught component. As for Modern Soc/Global Trans, it's more research orientated. What does your friend wish to do after the completion of his course, a doctorate...? For a doctorate, I wouldn't recommend Cambridge for any Politics based course, it's far inferior to the LSE in Pol research standing. So, if his intentions lead him towards doctoral research, I don't think Cam is a good place for a Politics/IR PhD, as opposed to Oxford and the LSE - which are by a long distance the best. Really does depend on what this person is seeking to do after grad. school, such info. would be very helpful in dispensing advise.
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    He is an international student and his first degree was on politics/international relations.
    He is not compeletely sure about proceeding to a PhD, at least not immediately after the Mphil/Msc. What he would really like to do is journalism or work as a consultant/parties etc. He applied to these two courses because he didn't want to go on with international relations and found both of them really interesting. I thought Cambridge was considered one of the best places for a doctorate, no?
    He has also heard that SPS is considered rather weak but then again others tell him about the University's reputation, that he can't say no to Cambridge etc.
    What do you think?
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    (Original post by J.S.)
    From what I know it's at the dept. of SPS, which is a weak research department at Cambridge. The two degrees your friend is choosing between differ to such a great extent that I believe the choice ought to be made depending on which structure of degree they prefer. The LSE's course will require a far shorter dissertation, however, will include a greater taught component. As for Modern Soc/Global Trans, it's more research orientated. What does your friend wish to do after the completion of his course, a doctorate...? For a doctorate, I wouldn't recommend Cambridge for any Politics based course, it's far inferior to the LSE in Pol research standing. So, if his intentions lead him towards doctoral research, I don't think Cam is a good place for a Politics/IR PhD, as opposed to Oxford and the LSE - which are by a long distance the best. Really does depend on what this person is seeking to do after grad. school, such info. would be very helpful in dispensing advise.

    Does the same advice go for Cambridge/LSE and Sociology? I'm doing my Msc at LSE this coming year, but am now trying to figure out where to apply for my MPhil/Phd (2005 entry). I am looking at 1) Staying on at LSE, 2) Cambridge SPS or 3) Goldsmiths. I want to focus on Cultural Sociology and want the department to have a strong theoretical base. Is Cambridge SPS inferior at the PhD level in Sociology?
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    (Original post by KKKL)
    He is an international student and his first degree was on politics/international relations.
    He is not compeletely sure about proceeding to a PhD, at least not immediately after the Mphil/Msc. What he would really like to do is journalism or work as a consultant/parties etc. He applied to these two courses because he didn't want to go on with international relations and found both of them really interesting. I thought Cambridge was considered one of the best places for a doctorate, no?
    He has also heard that SPS is considered rather weak but then again others tell him about the University's reputation, that he can't say no to Cambridge etc.
    What do you think?
    Cam would be ok for just the MPhil, but SPS is really quite poor for a doctorate. With the MPhil he'd get the 'brand name' and wouldn't really need for the dept. to be particularly strong at research level-although I'm not sure what value such an obsecure sounding course would hold outside of academia. Cambridge can be an excellent place for a PhD, however, it does depend on what you're looking to study, i.e. Maths at Cam is quite clearly an excellent research dept.

    Chiaussieuk: I'm not a Sociologist, however, I would have thought that LSE is the best place in the UK for a Sociology PhD. Cam is at best pretty ordinary, Oxford is better as it's certainly more established, even has a proper Sociology programme at graduate level.
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    Oxford doesn't seem to have any scholars who work specifically on Culture or Cultural Sociology. The Soc department at Cambridge has a couple of professors that specialize in this topic. Also, I like the interdepartmental nature of SPS because a lot of the work done in 'cultural studies' encompasses different disciplines.

    This is what the Cam. website says: "Cambridge has a strong and vibrant tradition of teaching and research in sociology. Some of the most well-known figures in British sociology – including Anthony Giddens, Michael Mann, John Goldthorpe, David Lockwood, Philip Abrams and Michael Young – were formerly based in Cambridge, and some of the most distinguished names of twentieth-century sociology, from Talcott Parsons and Daniel Bell to Pierre Bourdieu and Jürgen Habermas, have lectured here. For many years, sociology in Cambridge has been practised and taught in connection with other disciplines – we have particularly strong connections with politics, psychology, anthropology, economics and history."
    Mind, this is on the department website, and it's not as though they'll make themselves sound bad!
    Even though you are not a Sociologist, I do appreciate your input! It's hard to decipher reputations when I have access to little more than the websites and the 'propaganda' that the unis put out themselves.
    I think for me, it will be a matter of finding a person that I want to work with and whether they are interested in supervising my work. I've also never visited Cambridge and I think that will be a deciding factor. Don't know if I could live outside of London (or a big city) for three years! Also, once I'm at LSE, I might not want to leave!
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    (Original post by Chiaussieuk)
    Even though you are not a Sociologist, I do appreciate your input! It's hard to decipher reputations when I have access to little more than the websites and the 'propaganda' that the unis put out themselves.
    I think for me, it will be a matter of finding a person that I want to work with and whether they are interested in supervising my work. I've also never visited Cambridge and I think that will be a deciding factor. Don't know if I could live outside of London (or a big city) for three years! Also, once I'm at LSE, I might not want to leave!
    Something else you make wish to take into account, there's quite a difference in size, Sociology at LSE is huge, whereas at Cam it has a only a handful of staff. Consequently, I would therefore imagine that each year the LSE has a far greater number of research citations, so will naturally be a better known dept due to this. Also, it houses the British Journal of Sociology. SPS was founded in the 60s, and Sociolgy as a department came about in 2004. In contrast LSE has the very first department in the UK founded in 1904. Cam Sociology is a small, recently founded dept., even its research score is not Sociology on its own, rather it's combined with Psychology. I'd take a very serious look at what opportunities it's likely to provide its doctoral students. It sells itself as a part of the Social Sciences grouping, even the research centres are elsewhere, and that is probably because it really cannot sell itself, not yet anyway.
 
 
 
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