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    Hi all! I'd like to apply for MSc International Social and Public Policy and I need some advice. First of all, do you think LSE takes in serious consideration the age of the applicant? I am 30 and I'll apply to start in September 2018. I already got a BA and MA in Italy in International Relations, I graduated at the Masters, with the highest grades, in 2014 and I spent last years from an internship to another. Thus, I hope that with a LSE Master I could get some more chances.
    Any suggestion regarding submitting a great application is warmly welcomed.
    Thanks a lot!
    Greta
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    Hi Greta,

    I did the Social Policy (Research) course and really enjoyed it. In Social Policy as a whole there is a mix of students - some fresh undergraduates but equally people in the 30s/40s/50s looking to either change or upgrade their career. You would be possibly slightly older than average (I'd guess 26/27) but certainly not particularly old.

    My only reservation is how much value you'd get from doing another masters? Have you had any feedback from your job applications that would suggest another MSc would help? Is there anything in particular you think ISPP would give you beyond the LSE name?

    In terms of applications ISPP is a very broad course so I think they're pretty flexible in the type of people they consider. My most recent study was a few years before I started my MSc as well so that shouldn't be a problem. I just wrote about the particular area of social policy I was interested in and the various research approaches because I was specifically applying for the research course.

    Good luck!
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    Hi Indigo&Violet,

    thank you very much for your answer.
    I am glad to read that I wouldn't be that old after all!

    I know that getting a second Master would seem too much but, during my MA in International Relations, I focused on Political Theory and Political Philosophy, which I find a very interesting topic yet it is not attractive at all to employers.
    Thus I realized that I would need to narrow my field of expertise in a more "pragmatical" topic such public policy (development), which I also very much appreciate.

    Do you find it reasonable or would you suggest me a third way?

    Which is difference between Social Policy (Research) and the "classical" one?

    Thank you a lot for your attention!


    (Original post by Indigo&Violet)
    Hi Greta,

    I did the Social Policy (Research) course and really enjoyed it. In Social Policy as a whole there is a mix of students - some fresh undergraduates but equally people in the 30s/40s/50s looking to either change or upgrade their career. You would be possibly slightly older than average (I'd guess 26/27) but certainly not particularly old.

    My only reservation is how much value you'd get from doing another masters? Have you had any feedback from your job applications that would suggest another MSc would help? Is there anything in particular you think ISPP would give you beyond the LSE name?

    In terms of applications ISPP is a very broad course so I think they're pretty flexible in the type of people they consider. My most recent study was a few years before I started my MSc as well so that shouldn't be a problem. I just wrote about the particular area of social policy I was interested in and the various research approaches because I was specifically applying for the research course.

    Good luck!
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    Hi Greta,
    Happy to help. ISPP wasn't about in my day but it looks like the old Social Policy and Planning course. You have your two compulsory half-units plus dissertation, leaving you two whole units free-choice so it's a really flexible degree. Social Policy (Research) is more restricted in that you have 3 core units (Research Methods, Methodology and Dissertation) leaving you only half as many options. You get a less time to study subject content in particular areas but more methods training. You actually do a bit extra in SP(R) because the methodology unit is made of three half units; at the time I didn't enjoy the extra but it was probably good for me as I'm not sure I would have chosen qualitative methods but jobs seem to like that I've done both qual and quant.The dissertation is also a bit different. I spoke to a few policy and planning or development people who were strongly encouraged to do a literature review as a dissertation because their supervisors thought either they lacked the skills to do empirical research or that it was a risky option. SP(R) requires a (small) piece of original research. It looks like they've put a bit of methods stuff in the ISPP core though, so that might be different now. In terms of the jobs stuff, I don't really know. Have you had any feedback from unsuccessful applications? Could you go for a coffee with some supervisors from your internships and ask them what they advise? Development isn't my area but I know it's really competitive. You have an MSc so it's clear you have the general intellectual capabilities. If they come back saying you need more sector-specific knowledge then a second masters could help that, but it might be that they think you need more specific experience (so you might as well use you master fees to fund some more internships or voluntary experience) or that it's something else like interview technique or not matching jobs to skills that's holding you back. It's a tough one and I know how tough it is to keep getting knocked back. Good luck!
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    Hi Greta!

    I'm Brazilian and this week I got an
    unconditional offer to the MSc ISPP... and I'm 33! I've been working for the last 4 years at the Ministry of Social Development of Brazil and I think LSE had under consideration not only my grades but also experience. I don't think your age would be of any limitation! If you intend to apply, I'd be glad to meet you there and be your age group colleague.
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    Hi,

    thanks a lot for your answer. The research programme seems pretty interesting, I'll have a further look on that.

    Regarding my previous experiences, I talked with my former supervisors, they were happy with my results but they just couldn't afford to hire me, indeed they fired many other colleagues.
    I think it is a mix of bad timing and very theoretical education. Of course it is hard to match jobs to my philosophy skills.
    I think I will apply to a Master meanwhile looking for further jobs/internship that may provide me more practical experience.

    Thanks for everything!



    (Original post by Indigo&Violet)
    Hi Greta,
    Happy to help. ISPP wasn't about in my day but it looks like the old Social Policy and Planning course. You have your two compulsory half-units plus dissertation, leaving you two whole units free-choice so it's a really flexible degree. Social Policy (Research) is more restricted in that you have 3 core units (Research Methods, Methodology and Dissertation) leaving you only half as many options. You get a less time to study subject content in particular areas but more methods training. You actually do a bit extra in SP(R) because the methodology unit is made of three half units; at the time I didn't enjoy the extra but it was probably good for me as I'm not sure I would have chosen qualitative methods but jobs seem to like that I've done both qual and quant.The dissertation is also a bit different. I spoke to a few policy and planning or development people who were strongly encouraged to do a literature review as a dissertation because their supervisors thought either they lacked the skills to do empirical research or that it was a risky option. SP(R) requires a (small) piece of original research. It looks like they've put a bit of methods stuff in the ISPP core though, so that might be different now. In terms of the jobs stuff, I don't really know. Have you had any feedback from unsuccessful applications? Could you go for a coffee with some supervisors from your internships and ask them what they advise? Development isn't my area but I know it's really competitive. You have an MSc so it's clear you have the general intellectual capabilities. If they come back saying you need more sector-specific knowledge then a second masters could help that, but it might be that they think you need more specific experience (so you might as well use you master fees to fund some more internships or voluntary experience) or that it's something else like interview technique or not matching jobs to skills that's holding you back. It's a tough one and I know how tough it is to keep getting knocked back. Good luck!
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    Hi!

    Congratulations! It sounds great and it makes me feel more confident regarding my potential application. Yet I don't have such an important previous work experience as you did at the Ministry.
    Anyhow, is there anything you would suggest me in order to submit a good application? On what did you focus on your letter of motivation? And what about reference letters?
    Hope to become your colleague too

    Thanks!!



    (Original post by jsasampaio)
    Hi Greta!

    I'm Brazilian and this week I got an
    unconditional offer to the MSc ISPP... and I'm 33! I've been working for the last 4 years at the Ministry of Social Development of Brazil and I think LSE had under consideration not only my grades but also experience. I don't think your age would be of any limitation! If you intend to apply, I'd be glad to meet you there and be your age group colleague.
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    Hi Greta!

    Thanks!

    Well, for my personal statement I basically focused on activities during my undergraduate and PdDip courses which were related to social policy and development. I mentioned a scholarship for a research I was granted as well. Then, I wrote my path to work at the Ministry of Social Development and what my work responsibilities are. Finally, I made some points about what LSE can offer to propel my career, specific research fields in which I am interested, and my plans to apply the acquired knowledge in my country. My reference letters were from a Professor and my current employer. Each focused on my performance in the Academia and work.Hope I could help.
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    Hello! I am also thinking about applying to the MSc ISPP and I am turning 33! I am glad to read that people with experience is applying
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    Great! Thanks a lot!


    (Original post by jsasampaio)
    Hi Greta!

    Thanks!

    Well, for my personal statement I basically focused on activities during my undergraduate and PdDip courses which were related to social policy and development. I mentioned a scholarship for a research I was granted as well. Then, I wrote my path to work at the Ministry of Social Development and what my work responsibilities are. Finally, I made some points about what LSE can offer to propel my career, specific research fields in which I am interested, and my plans to apply the acquired knowledge in my country. My reference letters were from a Professor and my current employer. Each focused on my performance in the Academia and work.Hope I could help.
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    Hello,

    I have been accepted on the MSc ISSP course, and just wanted to ask the level of statistical analysis that would be involved, if anyone knows?

    Thanks in advance!
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    (Original post by curiouslycurious)
    Hello,

    I have been accepted on the MSc ISSP course, and just wanted to ask the level of statistical analysis that would be involved, if anyone knows?

    Thanks in advance!
    There's no compulsory stats courses in ISSP. For the core courses you will probably come across quantitative papers reporting things like p-values, regression coefficients and effect sizes but it's possible to get through just by reading the qualitative descriptions of the results/conclusions. Some of the optional modules like Welfare Analysis and Measurement are more naturally quantitative and some people choose to take stats courses from the Methodology/Statistics departments. These range from introductory to "oh sheesh" level. Same for the dissertation - most people do a long essay with little/no stats. Some do empirical qualitative research (again, no stats) whereas others to mixed or quantitative dissertations that you can make as complicated as you like.
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    Thank you for your response. So, I would be able to tailor the course to meet my quantitative needs? Do you think this would be widely recognized in an employment role that is more geared towards quantitative analysis?
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    (Original post by curiouslycurious)
    Thank you for your response. So, I would be able to tailor the course to meet my quantitative needs? Do you think this would be widely recognized in an employment role that is more geared towards quantitative analysis?
    The new ISPP course is a bit less flexible than the old one in that you have to get permission to take courses outside of the options list (http://www.lse.ac.uk/resources/calen...blicPolicy.htm) but I can't see why (beyond the timetable) they wouldn't agree to you taking extra methodology/stats courses. Have a look at the course guides (http://www.lse.ac.uk/resources/calen...d-subheading18) particularly the Methodology (MY) and Stats (ST) courses to see what might interest you, but don't get your heart too set on any one option as they might not run it this year, or it might be full or the timetabling might not work out.

    In terms of employers, I did a different course a while ago and progressed to a job that didn't require my MSc so I'm no expert. Some people applying for quantitative roles had to do STATA/R tests at interview and generally found them okay. It's never going to be as quantitative as a statistics/econometrics MSc, but with the right options you should be able to progress to quantitative roles within the social sciences.
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    Hi guys, just a question. I am in the process of starting an application for a programme transfer. I have an unconditional offer for MSc in International Health Policy (Health Policy Dept) and I am considering to transfer to MSc in International Social and Public Policy (Social Policy Dept). The main reason is that IHP has to many compulsory courses (5), whereas ISPP allows more tailoring (2.0 units). Does anyone know what the possibilities are to transfer to a different degree and dept (HP dept was until recently part of SP dept), even without having an offer for the MSc ISPP? Thoughts on these degrees also welcome! Thanks!
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    (Original post by nikoskount)
    Thanks!
    The departments will probably be fine with it - Health Policy probably don't want a student who doesn't want to be there and it's extra money for Social Policy.

    A few things to check though:
    - Check the regulations around any Health Policy modules you really want to do. Not all modules are available as outside options so you might not be able to do some of the courses you could do on Health Policy. Look in the course catalogue here: http://www.lse.ac.uk/resources/calen...s/graduate.htm
    - Your dissertation will be different. If you've already made plans for Summer 2019 (e.g. going back to work) be aware that on your new course you'll have to write 10,000 words, not 6,000.
    - If you need a visa, changing course might be trickier. You'll need to check with the visa team that it's okay.

    Good luck!
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    (Original post by Indigo&Violet)
    The departments will probably be fine with it - Health Policy probably don't want a student who doesn't want to be there and it's extra money for Social Policy.

    A few things to check though:
    - Check the regulations around any Health Policy modules you really want to do. Not all modules are available as outside options so you might not be able to do some of the courses you could do on Health Policy. Look in the course catalogue here: http://www.lse.ac.uk/resources/calen...s/graduate.htm
    - Your dissertation will be different. If you've already made plans for Summer 2019 (e.g. going back to work) be aware that on your new course you'll have to write 10,000 words, not 6,000.
    - If you need a visa, changing course might be trickier. You'll need to check with the visa team that it's okay.

    Good luck!
    Thanks a lot Indigo and Violet, much appreciated!
 
 
 
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