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    Hi,

    I'm holding a Bachelor Degree in German Literature / Linguistics and Philosophy. In all honesty I don't know much about the application process at British universities.

    I will just list my questions here briefly and hope to get an answer.


    1) I'm going to be 27 when I apply for the Msc. Is that a problem?

    2) I have two very nice academic references. But these are not directly linked to Political Theory. Is that a problem?

    3) Due to personal reasons it took my quite a long time to finish my Bachelor Degree. Is that a problem? I have good grades though.

    4) My CV has a gap of a year after finishing my Bachelor Degree. I have had a big surgery and will continue with two internships and language courses in the meantime. Problematic?

    5) The bird catches the worm at LSE. So the earlier I apply the bigger the chances that I get in. Correct?


    Thank you
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    (Original post by Hannemann)
    Hi,

    I'm holding a Bachelor Degree in German Literature / Linguistics and Philosophy. In all honesty I don't know much about the application process at British universities.

    I will just list my questions here briefly and hope to get an answer.


    1) I'm going to be 27 when I apply for the Msc. Is that a problem?
    Your age will not be a problem. People of all ages apply to Master's programmes.

    2) I have two very nice academic references. But these are not directly linked to Political Theory. Is that a problem?
    Not necessarily a problem, though how 'far' is their subject from Political Theory? If they are two philosophy referees for example, then I'd say that was ok. When I applied for my History master's, only one of my referees was in the direct subject area I applied for, and it didn't matter. They will need to be able to recommend you as an academically strong candidate who could cope with the course. Make sure they are aware of any political theory courses that you took, and what your grades were.

    3) Due to personal reasons it took my quite a long time to finish my Bachelor Degree. Is that a problem? I have good grades though.
    Again, not necessarily a problem depending on the circumstances. If you had health or family-related issues, I would perhaps explain these to my referees (if they don't already know), so they can comment on that in your references, to explain to LSE why it took you slightly longer than usual, and that they need not worry about your ability to cope with the course.

    4) My CV has a gap of a year after finishing my Bachelor Degree. I have had a big surgery and will continue with two internships and language courses in the meantime. Problematic?
    Many people in the UK take a year or even several years between completing their BA and a Master's course, often so they can save up the money for the fees & living costs. Are the internships in any way linked with political theory? Obviously that could be helpful, but I don't think you'll be at a disadvantage.

    5) The bird catches the worm at LSE. So the earlier I apply the bigger the chances that I get in. Correct?
    No. This is not how postgrad admissions work, to the best of my knowledge. I think you are confusing the fact that LSE operates 'rolling admissions', with your chances of admission. Rolling admissions simply means that they consider applicants across the year, rather than as one or several big batches of applications all at once. Applying early will mean there is less of a chance that the course you want will be full, but you will still have to convince them that you merit a place on the course, and they will weigh your application up against others who applied at the same time (and anyone who applied earlier), but they will also look I imagine at the profiles of last year's applications to get an idea of the average standard and whether you fit with that, and whether it's likely they'll get better people later in the admissions cycle.
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    Thanks for the answer!

    My two references will be these: One of my professors in linguistics will support me. And she will try to demonstrate my academic abilitites in a general way so it'll be applicable to the subject of political theory. Another professor of mine is teaching philosophy (empirism, anthropology, phenomenology). And I will ask him to do the same. I have done two courses with a professor teaching political philosophy but he wonÄt give me a reference nearly as good as the other two. I have written my bachelor thesis with him though. I have got a good (not a very good) mark. But we can't stand each other, disagree on many topics and his help with my thesis was very poor. I don't even think he remembers me anymore. Besides, the courses offered in the area of political philosophy at my university really suck. So I mostly avoided them and learned stuff on my own while taking other seminars.


    What do you think about that?
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    Definitely choose your referees wisely, they have to advocate strongly for your application. Do not only go for tenured professors with fancy titles who can't remember you. The referee should know your work, be a strong writer, assess your academic potential (mainly course work, but also initiatives, intellectual thoughts and ability to communicate your ideas). Finally, make sure the referee is organised and can submit on deadline. I have heard so many stories of chaotic referees (holiday, family emergency, conference abroad) who missed deadlines and student was rejected. Some referees ask for your CV and statement (relevant when you graduated a while back) to make their writing easier.

    Why do you want to do a MSc Political Theory at LSE with your BA German Lit/Phil? Have you done any readings of relevant textbooks and academic journals? What are your academic areas of interests?
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    I had a look at the courses that are offered by LSE and this is exactly what I want to do now. With my Bachelor in Philosophy I feel extremely well prepared. If you want to hear a few names my foundations in political philosophy are quite well for Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Augustine, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Rawls, Habermas.... Besides that background in moral philosophy, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language. I am pretty confident that I can not only participate well enough at the courses at LSE but also that the course itself can benefit from my philosophical background. It's also not uncommon here to see philosophy students who have a stronger understanding of theories in the field of political philosophy than a student of political science (I don't want to start a debate here. Just want to argue why I am interested in this master as a student of Lit/Phil).

    I'm just curious, what do you think of my chances for the application? Can I maybe ask LSE itself for a prospect of my chances for the application?
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    I think your Philosophy degree counts as course website states that ‘any degree relevant to course’. History of Political Thoughts covers many philosophers’ work such as Kant and Marx. Some Political theory lecturers at LSE come from the Philosophy department.

    Admissions would look closer to relevant grades of Philosophy modules and less at German Lit. LSE website states that graduate applicants from Germany need at least 2.0 out of 5.0 as minimum requirement. But I know some German MSc students at LSE and they have German exam grades in 1.2-1.6 range. Some are DAAD, Adenauer or Studienstiftung Stipendiaten.

    There are German ambassadors listed on LSE website. 500 German students represent one of largest foreign student groups after the US. You can reach out to them.
    http://www.lse.ac.uk/study/informati...y/Germany.aspx

    Q: Have you taken IELTS/TOEFL and how will you fund tuition + living cost in London?

    Good news: MSc Political Theory is not very popular course and competition is less fierce. Website lists intake to applications of 39: 145, this is a ratio of 1: 3.5. This is very soft and low by LSE standard. Out of 145 applicants, LSE admits actually way more than 39 who matriculated. Some admits don’t take up place due to funding problems or matriculate at other unis, see yield rate. To my knowledge only MSc EU Politics, African Development and Political Economy in EU have lower ratios at 1:3. Popular courses such as International Relations, Economics or Development have ratio of 1:10.

    I can’t comment on your chances as I don’t have full picture. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Do you consider similar course at other unis? What do you expect to gain from MSc Political Theory?

    (Original post by Hannemann)
    I had a look at the courses that are offered by LSE and this is exactly what I want to do now. With my Bachelor in Philosophy I feel extremely well prepared. If you want to hear a few names my foundations in political philosophy are quite well for Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Augustine, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Rawls, Habermas.... Besides that background in moral philosophy, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language. I am pretty confident that I can not only participate well enough at the courses at LSE but also that the course itself can benefit from my philosophical background. It's also not uncommon here to see philosophy students who have a stronger understanding of theories in the field of political philosophy than a student of political science (I don't want to start a debate here. Just want to argue why I am interested in this master as a student of Lit/Phil).

    I'm just curious, what do you think of my chances for the application? Can I maybe ask LSE itself for a prospect of my chances for the application?
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    My bachelor grade is 1.4

    I'd also apply for the MA in Legal and Political Theory at UCL.
    As well as a similiar programme at a German university. I don't think Oxford would accept me with my current profile?!

    My dream would be to proceed with a PhD in the US.

    I haven't taken an English test yet but that shouldn't be a problem?!


    About financing my degree. I am pretty confident to get a scholarship. But that wouldn't cover university fees and barely living expenses...
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    1.4 is a great grade (first class degree) and makes you more competitive. I wrongly assumed from your clues that your grade would be 2.0ish. UCL has a good course though with a legal focus. It is smart of you to diversify rather putting all your eggs into one basket. I think you are certainly competitive for UCL and even LSE on condition you get good references and IELTS/Toefl. If you are determined to apply for Oxford, have a go for it. 4 applications (Ox, LSE, UCL, German uni) are doable. Better try and get a ding than 'what if'.

    General rule: few scholarships and many applicants. I hope you can get funding from a German source as it is rare to get scholarships, most Germans at LSE have German scholarships or are well off. On the plus side for you, after Brexit the £ has declined against the Euro.

    If your goal is PhD in the US, I read in an article in American Journal that political theory is really a niche within PolSci. This is reflected in few funded PhD places and jobs after graduation. Popular areas are policy, institution and governance. You also need the GRE, departments sometimes publish GRE/GPA stats of PhD intake. US unis take the GRE seriously.
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    which one of the following programmes would the one for me to choose?

    http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/gradu...heory-research

    or

    http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/gradu...litical-theory


    the oxford mphil is a little bit problematic because it lasts 21 months and is accordingly expensive...could also be a bit difficult to get a strong third letter of recommendation...


    thank your for your kindness and help!
 
 
 
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