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    Hello,

    I was delighted to receive an offer today for MSc Anthropology and Development at LSE. I also have an offer for MSc Violence, Conflict and Development at SOAS.

    So here's the thing, I already accepted SOAS because I was rejected from my first choice at LSE and didn't think I would get in. However, I know I can change my mind if required.

    However, I MUCH prefer the course at SOAS and I know it's very renowed in development. I feel like I'll just be accepting LSE for the name. I've also looked at careers, and for this specific course, the career destinations at SOAS are more to what I aspire.

    This is a big decision and I don't want to regret anything, but I do honestly feel I'd just be accepted LSE for the name and its reputation.

    Any advice please?
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    (Original post by ymw1996)
    Hello,

    I was delighted to receive an offer today for MSc Anthropology and Development at LSE. I also have an offer for MSc Violence, Conflict and Development at SOAS.

    So here's the thing, I already accepted SOAS because I was rejected from my first choice at LSE and didn't think I would get in. However, I know I can change my mind if required.

    However, I MUCH prefer the course at SOAS and I know it's very renowed in development. I feel like I'll just be accepting LSE for the name. I've also looked at careers, and for this specific course, the career destinations at SOAS are more to what I aspire.

    This is a big decision and I don't want to regret anything, but I do honestly feel I'd just be accepted LSE for the name and its reputation.

    Any advice please?
    Tough choice, as a current LSE student I can confirm it is a lot of work and the atmosphere and vibes are not great, teaching is ok, feedback is awful and the people are generally not the most pleasant to interact with, however, it is ranked extraordinarily well, especially for anthropology. I had to decide between Warwick and LSE and knew that I wanted to be a greedy, selfish capitalist and knew I would strive in the tougher more rigorous environment. Just think about it long and hard, make sure to visualize where you see yourself fitting in better, are you sociable and prefer having fun at uni or are you in it for the money?
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    (Original post by TastyChicken)
    Tough choice, as a current LSE student I can confirm it is a lot of work and the atmosphere and vibes are not great, teaching is ok, feedback is awful and the people are generally not the most pleasant to interact with, however, it is ranked extraordinarily well, especially for anthropology. I had to decide between Warwick and LSE and knew that I wanted to be a greedy, selfish capitalist and knew I would strive in the tougher more rigorous environment. Just think about it long and hard, make sure to visualize where you see yourself fitting in better, are you sociable and prefer having fun at uni or are you in it for the money?
    Very tough choice. How much should I make my decision on course content? Also, my aspiration is to work for the World Bank, DFID or the likes of Adam Smith International. I just looked at graduate destinations for this specific course at LSE but none of these were mentioned (however, for all other development courses they were, I guess it's just because it's also includes anthropology?). Though, in reality, it's what you make out of it I guess. Where do you think I have better career prospects?
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    (Original post by ymw1996)
    Hello,

    I was delighted to receive an offer today for MSc Anthropology and Development at LSE. I also have an offer for MSc Violence, Conflict and Development at SOAS.

    So here's the thing, I already accepted SOAS because I was rejected from my first choice at LSE and didn't think I would get in. However, I know I can change my mind if required.

    However, I MUCH prefer the course at SOAS and I know it's very renowed in development. I feel like I'll just be accepting LSE for the name. I've also looked at careers, and for this specific course, the career destinations at SOAS are more to what I aspire.

    This is a big decision and I don't want to regret anything, but I do honestly feel I'd just be accepted LSE for the name and its reputation.

    Any advice please?
    (Original post by TastyChicken)
    Tough choice, as a current LSE student I can confirm it is a lot of work and the atmosphere and vibes are not great, teaching is ok, feedback is awful and the people are generally not the most pleasant to interact with, however, it is ranked extraordinarily well, especially for anthropology. I had to decide between Warwick and LSE and knew that I wanted to be a greedy, selfish capitalist and knew I would strive in the tougher more rigorous environment. Just think about it long and hard, make sure to visualize where you see yourself fitting in better, are you sociable and prefer having fun at uni or are you in it for the money?
    I am also an LSE student and would sort of disagree with the above comment. I'm currently an undergraduate (incidently with an MSc offer for LSE and SOAS) but my boyfriend is a masters student here and i interact with a lot of masters student. I would argue that yes teaching is mediocre at undergraduate level, but significantly better at postgraduate level, that there's actually less compulsory work that other universities (course dependent but in general so) and I personally think the atmosphere at LSE is great (so goes to show personal opinion). You can definitly have fun and be sociable at LSE, it's just what you make of it. I would definitly reccomend LSE, it makes me smile all the time just being a part of it (I have a lot of LSE pride) and it's very supportive for masters students and holds lots of events (careers, networking and talks) that are relevant to your course.

    However, speaking from personal experience I would say go with where you really want to be (i.e. SOAS in this case). Sure LSE has a name but at the end of the day SOAS's expertise in this field is also fantastic that it really does not matter. Although I love being at LSE a part of me also regrets my undergrad choice of universities, I had the option to go to some good (but not LSE great) unis in the US but rejected them for the name of LSE. I've spent four years watching my friends in the US have the most amazing life experiences and I realised the name isn't everything. I've actually vowed from now on to take the path of life experience and what I want, instead of prestige.
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    (Original post by ymw1996)
    Very tough choice. How much should I make my decision on course content? Also, my aspiration is to work for the World Bank, DFID or the likes of Adam Smith International. I just looked at graduate destinations for this specific course at LSE but none of these were mentioned (however, for all other development courses they were, I guess it's just because it's also includes anthropology?). Though, in reality, it's what you make out of it I guess. Where do you think I have better career prospects?
    I mean obviously if you extremely dislike the course content then definitely pick the alternative, but it's difficult to turn down an offer from the LSE. I'm not really familiar with SOAS so I don't know their strengths very well, LSE does have extraordinarily high career prospects though, for anthropology they rank in the top 5 in the world. Do be aware that you will be exposing yourself to an enormous amount of work and frustration.
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    (Original post by ChangeOurWorld)
    I am also an LSE student and would sort of disagree with the above comment. I'm currently an undergraduate (incidently with an MSc offer for LSE and SOAS) but my boyfriend is a masters student here and i interact with a lot of masters student. I would argue that yes teaching is mediocre at undergraduate level, but significantly better at postgraduate level, that there's actually less compulsory work that other universities (course dependent but in general so) and I personally think the atmosphere at LSE is great (so goes to show personal opinion). You can definitly have fun and be sociable at LSE, it's just what you make of it. I would definitly reccomend LSE, it makes me smile all the time just being a part of it (I have a lot of LSE pride) and it's very supportive for masters students and holds lots of events (careers, networking and talks) that are relevant to your course.

    However, speaking from personal experience I would say go with where you really want to be (i.e. SOAS in this case). Sure LSE has a name but at the end of the day SOAS's expertise in this field is also fantastic that it really does not matter. Although I love being at LSE a part of me also regrets my undergrad choice of universities, I had the option to go to some good (but not LSE great) unis in the US but rejected them for the name of LSE. I've spent four years watching my friends in the US have the most amazing life experiences and I realised the name isn't everything. I've actually vowed from now on to take the path of life experience and what I want, instead of prestige.
    Interesting to hear this from someone that is much further into the education process than me. I definitely will confess that I not the most sociable and do take things extremely seriously, hence I have probably caused this pain to myself. I have been disappointed with the teaching and feedback quality however especially the classes at undergrad level. I also had a choice between the more "fun" uni namely Warick versus the prestigious LSE, I do not regret my decision so far.
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    I went to both SOAS and LSE so I hope I can give some insight.

    First of all, SOAS has some fascinating masters courses and it has a very pleasant university atmosphere. If I hadn't gone there for my undergrad, I most certainly would have considered it for masters.

    LSE has an exceptional reputation, but you'll find that in organisations like DFID and NGO's SOAS is quite well represented. LSE isn't nearly as sociable and everyone tended to keep to themselves. But I do think that the reputation is worth it in the long run.

    If you can afford the higher fees at LSE, and don't mind a less sociable atmosphere I would go with that - so long as the course still interests you.

    Teaching is better at postgrad level in any case.

    (Original post by ymw1996)
    Hello,

    I was delighted to receive an offer today for MSc Anthropology and Development at LSE. I also have an offer for MSc Violence, Conflict and Development at SOAS.

    So here's the thing, I already accepted SOAS because I was rejected from my first choice at LSE and didn't think I would get in. However, I know I can change my mind if required.

    However, I MUCH prefer the course at SOAS and I know it's very renowed in development. I feel like I'll just be accepting LSE for the name. I've also looked at careers, and for this specific course, the career destinations at SOAS are more to what I aspire.

    This is a big decision and I don't want to regret anything, but I do honestly feel I'd just be accepted LSE for the name and its reputation.

    Any advice please?
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    It isn't a tough decision. I'm not a student and work in the real world. I know Deputy Directors, G7s and G6s at DFID etc etc.

    Go to LSE and don't look back. LSE has the best reputation of any university in the country outside Oxbridge. Your masters won't count for much, but how you present your competencies in application and at interview. LSE is a good name which might add some value if you sell the hell out of the course to meet the specifications of the job you've applied for. SOAS won't assist much, SOAS is a tiny, ugly concrete block which is known at best as a so so institution with a vehemently left-wing student and academic body.

    Also the idea anyone is sitting around in gainful employment bothering to look up university rankings for anthropology is absurd. The type of organisations you want take people from all sorts of backgrounds with biological science degrees to law.
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    And also the wibblings of undergrads have little relevance to you as a 8-10 month masters student. It is true that LSE is a tedious academic hothouse full of workhorse Singaporeans, Hong Kongers and lost Americans. And most British undergrads probably would be better off going to a Bristol, Warwick or Durham for a better 3 year undergraduate experience. But if you're looking at London for a masters....
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    (Original post by flatlined)
    It isn't a tough decision. I'm not a student and work in the real world. I know Deputy Directors, G7s and G6s at DFID etc etc.

    Go to LSE and don't look back. LSE has the best reputation of any university in the country outside Oxbridge. Your masters won't count for much, but how you present your competencies in application and at interview. LSE is a good name which might add some value if you sell the hell out of the course to meet the specifications of the job you've applied for. SOAS won't assist much, SOAS is a tiny, ugly concrete block which is known at best as a so so institution with a vehemently left-wing student and academic body.

    Also the idea anyone is sitting around in gainful employment bothering to look up university rankings for anthropology is absurd. The type of organisations you want take people from all sorts of backgrounds with biological science degrees to law.
    Yeah I’ve been convinced by numerous people to go to LSE. I know I’ll regret it if I don’t. It will open up more opportunities. Thank you
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    (Original post by flatlined)
    It isn't a tough decision. I'm not a student and work in the real world. I know Deputy Directors, G7s and G6s at DFID etc etc.

    SOAS is a tiny, ugly concrete block which is known at best as a so so institution with a vehemently left-wing student and academic body.
    'Don't you know who I know?'

    That second part is neither the entire truth (it is a concrete block, I will concede) nor particularly relevant to job applications.

    I was about to tell you, OP, that SOAS is a no-brainer if you prefer the course content - it's an excellent institution in that field. However, after reading that you're interested in the World Bank or Adam Smith Institute, I'm afraid I have to reluctantly agree with the (obviously quite unpleasant) poster above.
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    (Original post by worldender)
    'Don't you know who I know?'

    That second part is neither the entire truth (it is a concrete block, I will concede) nor particularly relevant to job applications.

    I was about to tell you, OP, that SOAS is a no-brainer if you prefer the course content - it's an excellent institution in that field. However, after reading that you're interested in the World Bank or Adam Smith Institute, I'm afraid I have to reluctantly agree with the (obviously quite unpleasant) poster above.
    It is relevant because the people in question interview students like yourself and graduates/experienced hires and run the recruitment processes. I don't just know them, I have lived with them, I am friends with them, I have dated them. I am in a different professional field myself, but the same holds true for it.

    You're obviously a SOAS student and because I'm telling some cold truths about the place, you've gotten your back up and are spilling out insults. That tells me and everyone else that you're insecure. And I am not entirely surprised. But I can tell you that the real world does not care for your insecurity.
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    (Original post by flatlined)
    It is relevant because the people in question interview students like yourself and graduates/experienced hires and run the recruitment processes. I don't just know them, I have lived with them, I am friends with them, I have dated them. I am in a different professional field myself, but the same holds true for it.

    You're obviously a SOAS student and because I'm telling some cold truths about the place, you've gotten your back up and are spilling out insults. That tells me and everyone else that you're insecure. And I am not entirely surprised. But I can tell you that the real world does not care for your insecurity.
    I went to LSE so I think I can give a more well rounded answer. I went to SOAS before that and I can compare the two unlike yourself. SOAS is a great university in its own right, and have worked in a field close to what Op wants to.

    A fair number of FCO and DFID staff have postgrads from SOAS.
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    (Original post by postgradstuff)
    I went to LSE so I think I can give a more well rounded answer. I went to SOAS before that and I can compare the two unlike yourself. SOAS is a great university in its own right, and have worked in a field close to what Op wants to.

    A fair number of FCO and DFID staff have postgrads from SOAS.
    Yes, but you went as an undergrad so you're attached to the place. There are people from SOAS in many organisations, but LSE is universally preferred.

    SOAS is definitely not a great university. It is not known as a great university. It is known as an OK tiddly concrete block which is pretty radically left-wing. I'm not interested in justifications for your undergrad university.

    No one is going to discriminate against someone who went to SOAS because they went to SOAS. People sift on relevant competencies. But LSE is a university which may open doors, SOAS isn't. There's no need to do a masters, if you do, you invest in somewhere good. Oftentimes it is a bit of compensation for not having done an undergrad somewhere particularly noticeable, and that's fine.

    I've got 10 years experience in various fields and have experience of sifting applications and interviewing. If I were moving into the civil service (which I'm not going to do to cut my salary in half), I'd be looking at DD level. I know and have worked with many people in the FCO and DFID which are the organisations the OP is thinking of targeting. These people are and have been involved in recruitment. But many people move to different organisations and LSE has a better brand name and better transferability.

    Most people in the real world, across relevant and unrelated fields, do not know and/or do not care that SOAS is or is not especially good at this particular niche course.

    There is no debate. The OP made up his mind after apparently speaking to informed people both off and online. It's quite evidently the right choice.
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    It sounds like you should go to SOAS. You obviously prefer the course and, as you say, the career opportunities look good and gel with what you want to do. You say you "MUCH prefer the course at SOAS" and feel you'd just be "accepting LSE for the name and its reputation" - so I'd say trust your own instincts on this one and don't overthink it. If nothing else, you're far more likely to do well on the master's if you love the course and are enjoying yourself. Best of luck!

    p.s. Are there any open days you could go to? Getting a feel for each place might help you decide.
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    Hi, I am a postgrad applicant to both, LSE and SOAS, and currently in the same predicament and although prefer the course at LSE simply because my two options at the two universities are a bit different from each other, I would very much prefer to go to SOAS for the atmosphere, the faculty, and the experience. But might end up picking LSE for the reputation.

    I should emphasise that I went to neither for undergrad, I'm currently graduating from King's College, and know students (Undergrad and Postgrad) from both universities.

    Ultimately, the only thing that matters is your discretion, but since you did ask for people's opinions, here is mine. It sounds very much like you would rather go to SOAS and honestly, why wouldn't you?

    (Original post by flatlined)
    It isn't a tough decision. I'm not a student and work in the real world. I know Deputy Directors, G7s and G6s at DFID etc etc.

    Go to LSE and don't look back. LSE has the best reputation of any university in the country outside Oxbridge. Your masters won't count for much, but how you present your competencies in application and at interview. LSE is a good name which might add some value if you sell the hell out of the course to meet the specifications of the job you've applied for. SOAS won't assist much, SOAS is a tiny, ugly concrete block which is known at best as a so so institution with a vehemently left-wing student and academic body.

    Also the idea anyone is sitting around in gainful employment bothering to look up university rankings for anthropology is absurd. The type of organisations you want take people from all sorts of backgrounds with biological science degrees to law.
    As someone rightly said (except that it is a 'so-so institution-- it is obviously not), SOAS has a 'vehemently left-wing student and academic body', and I frankly would love to be a part of a concrete block intolerant to toxic right-wing, neoliberal and capitalist viewpoints. Who wants that kind of negativity in their lives? It is one of the things that make SOAS such a remarkable institution, and clearly the research it produces is excellent because of the political views the people there attempt to preserve.

    But at the same time, I do live in the real world and although it seems absurd to me why anybody wouldn't want to go to SOAS, the answer seems obvious now. Those people also live in the real world, and the real world survives on capitalism and glorifies 'brands' such as LSE. Clearly that is the reason institutions such as LSE have got to this point-- it is all about brand-building, not education and learning. And unfortunately, as much as I would love to accept SOAS, I know I need to survive in the real world, and obtain a Master's degree from a brand. SOAS is like utopia--and utopia doesn't exist.

    I might be late and you've probably already picked one, but I hope whatever choice you ended up making, you don't regret it later.
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    I am sure, by now, you have made your decision on where you are going. BUT, just wanted to comment by saying in the end, it is all about where you want to spend your time, and specifically, if you are looking to work in the Middle East/Africa/Asia and want to have some more intense expertise in those areas. Hope you made the best choice to your own heart and mind.

    (Original post by ymw1996)
    Hello,

    I was delighted to receive an offer today for MSc Anthropology and Development at LSE. I also have an offer for MSc Violence, Conflict and Development at SOAS.

    So here's the thing, I already accepted SOAS because I was rejected from my first choice at LSE and didn't think I would get in. However, I know I can change my mind if required.

    However, I MUCH prefer the course at SOAS and I know it's very renowed in development. I feel like I'll just be accepting LSE for the name. I've also looked at careers, and for this specific course, the career destinations at SOAS are more to what I aspire.

    This is a big decision and I don't want to regret anything, but I do honestly feel I'd just be accepted LSE for the name and its reputation.

    Any advice please?
 
 
 
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