Policy-oriented postgrad degrees (MPA, Msc Economics, MSc Public Policy, etc.)

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msi680
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Hi all,

I am a US student (come from a well-regarded US school with a degree in economics) looking to further my education with a masters degree that will hone my quantitative skills. I wish to ultimately hold a leadership position at either a government agency/NGO/think-tank.

I'm applying to some US MPP programs, but also wanted to expand to UK schools (and perhaps others in Europe) for a more quantitative-focused degree. There seem to be many LSE programs that could perhaps be a fit--their MPA, MSc in Public Policy and Administration, perhaps even an MSc in Economics. Any ideas of which programs are more well-regarded (I will likely return to the States afterwards), and which would be a better fit for someone who wants to work in policy? I'm also hoping for a program where students are NOT coming straight out of their undergraduate degrees, since I will have had four years of work experience under my belt.

I'm really looking for a practical, not theoretical, degree. I want something that will strengthen my data / analytical skills in a policy-context--not just coursework in theoretical political science and economics.

Any help would be appreciated!
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Indigo&Violet
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Given your background and your desire for a practical, quant focused degree you might want to look at the MSc in Social Research Methods.

I have really enjoyed doing Social Policy (Research) which is the slightly less quant-heavy version house in Social Policy rather than Methodology. My programme had a mix of fresh undergrads, people at a similar stage to you and some mature career changers (I'd say we went up to our 50+ for or oldest member). Social Policy are an amazing department - I've had fantastic support, a good social life and easy access to some seriously heavy-weight academics. I've not had too much to do with the SRM crowd but they also seem to have a good gang. We get some of our teaching from Methodology and the academics make a bit effort to be approachable and friendly since they know lots of people have methods demons! If you ask then the department is normally able to put you in contact with a current student if you'd like to ask them how it's going.

My course is about 50% methods, 25% dissertation and 25% free choice modules so you can do a bit of theory in your chosen area in your free choice bit. SRM has the same split but if you've got the basic maths you can jump into the more advanced methodology courses like policy evaluation and causal inference that I would have quite liked to have done. I know it doesn't sound as glamorous as Public Policy but compared to other people I've spoken to at LSE my degree is far more practical and I've really enjoyed it.
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tmt1290
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Hi msi680 - this seems to close a while ago now, but I wanted to check what you went for in the end? I am now also thinking of doing a masters and think my interest is quite similar to yours. Would be get great to hear!
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