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123po
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Hi
I really need some advice for my postgraduate application.
I receive an offer from MSc in Economics (2-year programme) at LSE and an offer from Advanced Diploma in Economics at Cambridge.
If I want to do research in economics in the future, which one is better in the academic circle and which one may better prepare for Ph.D. application in the future?

Your advice would be very valuable and helpful!
Many thanks!

**Some background information:
1. In the first year of the two-year programme at LSE, intermediate microeconomics, intermediate macroeconomics, maths(linear algebra and calculus), and econometrics will be taught. If I meet the department's requirement, I can proceed to the second year, which is MSc in Economics at LSE.

2. Advanced Diploma at Cambridge covers similar materials, except that it does not teach maths (so in this sense, the two-year programme at LSE provides a better foundation in mathematics).
If I can get a first in Adv. Diploma, I can proceed to Mphil in Economics Research at Cambridge.

3. I personally prefer LSE to Cambridge, because of the better course design. After all, applying for a Ph.D. is uncertain: I myself may change, and the criteria for Ph.D. admission is a black box. Focusing on certain things may be better.
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alleycat393
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(Original post by 123po)
Hi
I really need some advice for my postgraduate application.
I receive an offer from MSc in Economics (2-year programme) at LSE and an offer from Advanced Diploma in Economics at Cambridge.
If I want to do research in economics in the future, which one is better in the academic circle and which one may better prepare for Ph.D. application in the future?

Your advice would be very valuable and helpful!
Many thanks!

**Some background information:
1. In the first year of the two-year programme at LSE, intermediate microeconomics, intermediate macroeconomics, maths(linear algebra and calculus), and econometrics will be taught. If I meet the department's requirement, I can proceed to the second year, which is MSc in Economics at LSE.

2. Advanced Diploma at Cambridge covers similar materials, except that it does not teach maths (so in this sense, the two-year programme at LSE provides a better foundation in mathematics).
If I can get a first in Adv. Diploma, I can proceed to Mphil in Economics Research at Cambridge.

3. I personally prefer LSE to Cambridge, because of the better course design. After all, applying for a Ph.D. is uncertain: I myself may change, and the criteria for Ph.D. admission is a black box. Focusing on certain things may be better.
The MSc is definitely the better option and you won't have to faff with an MPhil to get onto an PhD program. PhD admission criteria is not a black box. Info is on each uni website. You have to research it.
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123po
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(Original post by alleycat393)
The MSc is definitely the better option and you won't have to faff with an MPhil to get onto an PhD program. PhD admission criteria is not a black box. Info is on each uni website. You have to research it.
Thank you for your advice!
But can I further ask why do you say "faff with an MPhil"? The offer I got from LSE is also a 2-year MSc programme, which also takes 2 years before proceeding to a Ph.D.
Regarding the Ph.D. admission criteria, yes, you are right - they are on the website. I should have put it more clearly: I think the admission process is like a black box since you don't know about competitors and the selector's preference.
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alleycat393
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(Original post by 123po)
Thank you for your advice!
But can I further ask why do you say "faff with an MPhil"? The offer I got from LSE is also a 2-year MSc programme, which also takes 2 years before proceeding to a Ph.D.
Regarding the Ph.D. admission criteria, yes, you are right - they are on the website. I should have put it more clearly: I think the admission process is like a black box since you don't know about competitors and the selector's preference.
You wouldn’t know about competitors and selectors preference for any job or education course.

An MPhil in most disciplines is a failed Phd so you don’t want that as your final qualification if you don’t end up doing a phd.
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The Assassin
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(Original post by 123po)
Hi
I really need some advice for my postgraduate application.
I receive an offer from MSc in Economics (2-year programme) at LSE and an offer from Advanced Diploma in Economics at Cambridge.
If I want to do research in economics in the future, which one is better in the academic circle and which one may better prepare for Ph.D. application in the future?

Your advice would be very valuable and helpful!
Many thanks!

**Some background information:
1. In the first year of the two-year programme at LSE, intermediate microeconomics, intermediate macroeconomics, maths(linear algebra and calculus), and econometrics will be taught. If I meet the department's requirement, I can proceed to the second year, which is MSc in Economics at LSE.

2. Advanced Diploma at Cambridge covers similar materials, except that it does not teach maths (so in this sense, the two-year programme at LSE provides a better foundation in mathematics).
If I can get a first in Adv. Diploma, I can proceed to Mphil in Economics Research at Cambridge.

3. I personally prefer LSE to Cambridge, because of the better course design. After all, applying for a Ph.D. is uncertain: I myself may change, and the criteria for Ph.D. admission is a black box. Focusing on certain things may be better.
For research? Absolutely LSE.
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123po
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(Original post by alleycat393)
You wouldn’t know about competitors and selectors preference for any job or education course.

An MPhil in most disciplines is a failed Phd so you don’t want that as your final qualification if you don’t end up doing a phd.
That is a sharp comment for Mphil! I will take that and thank you for your messages!
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123po
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(Original post by The Assassin)
For research? Absolutely LSE.
Thank you for your advice and LSE would love this!
And I agree with you, especially for development economics.
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Swissbro
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Some thoughts:

1. For development economics, Oxford seems to be the best place in the UK as far as I know. If you still have the opportunity to apply there for an equivalent program, you should check it out. (UCL is also very good, if I'm not mistaken.)

2. An MPhil is not at all a "failed PhD", at least in economics. I'd put more focus on a program's structure and the department that offers it than the particular degree designation.

3. The common consensus seems to be that LSE Econ is, in a general sense, more prestigious / better than Cambridge Econ, at least for academic careers.

4. Having said that, there are also differences between the two specific programs that you are comparing, due to which you might choose Cambridge over LSE anyway: Unlike the MSc at LSE, the MPhil in Economic Research is intended to the foundational year of a PhD (similar to the MRes at LSE) and is said to be the more rigorous course. Also, the cohort is much smaller (around 40 against 120 students at LSE), so I imagine it's easier to get in touch with professors.

5. You should also consider non-academic factors, such as costs, location, the social environment etc. In all likelihood, your career trajectory will not be irreversibly and drastically different if you attend LSE rather than Cambridge for your master's, or vice versa, so you might as well pick the one university that provides you with the best overall experience.

(Full disclosure: I was accepted to the MPhil in Economic Research at Cambridge and did not apply to LSE)
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123po
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Thank you very much for all your advice!They are very deep and considerate thoughts, and I appreciate them.Considering non-academic factors, I 100% prefer LSE to Cambridge as I have friends in London and living in London, although costly, is amazing.As for academic reasons, I don't konw. As you mentioned, Cambridge has smaller classes and more rigorous MPhil in Eco. Research. But LSE's two-year MSc covers more maths modules than Adv. Diploma at Cambridge and can better prepare me for studying economics further. So may I ask you:1. for what academic reasons made you apply to Cambridge but not LSE?2. which area in economics is Cambridge strong at?3. do you think the benefits of more maths courses can outweigh the benefits of smaller classes?(full disclosure for me: I completed my undergraduate study at LSE, and have some emotions( or bias?) attached to LSE and London).Many many thanks!
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Swissbro
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(Original post by 123po)
Thank you very much for all your advice!They are very deep and considerate thoughts, and I appreciate them.Considering non-academic factors, I 100% prefer LSE to Cambridge as I have friends in London and living in London, although costly, is amazing.As for academic reasons, I don't konw. As you mentioned, Cambridge has smaller classes and more rigorous MPhil in Eco. Research. But LSE's two-year MSc covers more maths modules than Adv. Diploma at Cambridge and can better prepare me for studying economics further. So may I ask you:1. for what academic reasons made you apply to Cambridge but not LSE?2. which area in economics is Cambridge strong at?3. do you think the benefits of more maths courses can outweigh the benefits of smaller classes?(full disclosure for me: I completed my undergraduate study at LSE, and have some emotions( or bias?) attached to LSE and London).Many many thanks!
Cambridge simply seemed to be a better fit than LSE. As already mentioned, there are important differences between the MPhil in Economic Research and the MSc in Economics that, at least to me, makes it a much more attractive program, despite the fact that LSE is usually ranked higher for economics. On top of that, Cambridge is particularly good in macro (my own field of interest), so the ranking difference between the two universities isn't really that relevant to me, especially as we are only talking about a master's degree and not a PhD.

Besides, there were also some other, non-academic factors that made me favorably disposed toward Cambridge: The college system, a student body that is academically much more diverse, the lower cost of living, the general reputation and history of the university (particularly in economics), etc. In the end, there wasn't really much left that made me feel that I *have* to go to LSE, so I decided to save myself the application fee. Of course, this is not to say that LSE isn't also an amazing university and as as you might appreciate, the factors that I mentioned are mostly specific to my own preferences and probably don't speak much to your situation.

I can't tell you what you should decide, but given that you seem to come from a background different from econ / math, you are probably well-advised to focus first and foremost on the program that offers you the best opportunity to get up to speeds with the discipline and fill any mathematical deficiencies that you think you might have. From what you wrote, this strongly speaks for LSE. Before you decide, however, you might want to ask representatives at both universities what, if any, opportunities students in the Advanced Diploma have to work on their mathematical maturity. It would strike me as odd if Cambridge really doesn't offer anything at all in this regard.
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123po
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(Original post by Swissbro)
Cambridge simply seemed to be a better fit than LSE. As already mentioned, there are important differences between the MPhil in Economic Research and the MSc in Economics that, at least to me, makes it a much more attractive program, despite the fact that LSE is usually ranked higher for economics. On top of that, Cambridge is particularly good in macro (my own field of interest), so the ranking difference between the two universities isn't really that relevant to me, especially as we are only talking about a master's degree and not a PhD.

Besides, there were also some other, non-academic factors that made me favorably disposed toward Cambridge: The college system, a student body that is academically much more diverse, the lower cost of living, the general reputation and history of the university (particularly in economics), etc. In the end, there wasn't really much left that made me feel that I *have* to go to LSE, so I decided to save myself the application fee. Of course, this is not to say that LSE isn't also an amazing university and as as you might appreciate, the factors that I mentioned are mostly specific to my own preferences and probably don't speak much to your situation.

I can't tell you what you should decide, but given that you seem to come from a background different from econ / math, you are probably well-advised to focus first and foremost on the program that offers you the best opportunity to get up to speeds with the discipline and fill any mathematical deficiencies that you think you might have. From what you wrote, this strongly speaks for LSE. Before you decide, however, you might want to ask representatives at both universities what, if any, opportunities students in the Advanced Diploma have to work on their mathematical maturity. It would strike me as odd if Cambridge really doesn't offer anything at all in this regard.
Thank you for your reply!

Yes, Mphil is more research-based than MSc, and Cambridge's strong macroeconomics can provide a better match. I have asked a current Advanced Diploma student about how he deals with the lack of maths modules in this programme. He does not need to learn math as deep as me (linear algebra and calculus at the undergraduate level will do, no need for real analysis), as he does not intend to do a Ph.D. Also, he took courses on econometrics and statistics at LSE summer school.

Your answer is very detailed and gives me good guidance on how to make my final choice. I will follow your advice and ask more people from these two programmes for more information.

Best wishes
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123po
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(Original post by Swissbro)Cambridge simply seemed to be a better fit than LSE. As already mentioned, there are important differences between the MPhil in Economic Research and the MSc in Economics that, at least to me, makes it a much more attractive program, despite the fact that LSE is usually ranked higher for economics. On top of that, Cambridge is particularly good in macro (my own field of interest), so the ranking difference between the two universities isn't really that relevant to me, especially as we are only talking about a master's degree and not a PhD.

Besides, there were also some other, non-academic factors that made me favorably disposed toward Cambridge: The college system, a student body that is academically much more diverse, the lower cost of living, the general reputation and history of the university (particularly in economics), etc. In the end, there wasn't really much left that made me feel that I *have* to go to LSE, so I decided to save myself the application fee. Of course, this is not to say that LSE isn't also an amazing university and as as you might appreciate, the factors that I mentioned are mostly specific to my own preferences and probably don't speak much to your situation.

I can't tell you what you should decide, but given that you seem to come from a background different from econ / math, you are probably well-advised to focus first and foremost on the program that offers you the best opportunity to get up to speeds with the discipline and fill any mathematical deficiencies that you think you might have. From what you wrote, this strongly speaks for LSE. Before you decide, however, you might want to ask representatives at both universities what, if any, opportunities students in the Advanced Diploma have to work on their mathematical maturity. It would strike me as odd if Cambridge really doesn't offer anything at all in this regard.

(Original post by Swissbro)
Cambridge simply seemed to be a better fit than LSE. As already mentioned, there are important differences between the MPhil in Economic Research and the MSc in Economics that, at least to me, makes it a much more attractive program, despite the fact that LSE is usually ranked higher for economics. On top of that, Cambridge is particularly good in macro (my own field of interest), so the ranking difference between the two universities isn't really that relevant to me, especially as we are only talking about a master's degree and not a PhD.

Besides, there were also some other, non-academic factors that made me favorably disposed toward Cambridge: The college system, a student body that is academically much more diverse, the lower cost of living, the general reputation and history of the university (particularly in economics), etc. In the end, there wasn't really much left that made me feel that I *have* to go to LSE, so I decided to save myself the application fee. Of course, this is not to say that LSE isn't also an amazing university and as as you might appreciate, the factors that I mentioned are mostly specific to my own preferences and probably don't speak much to your situation.

I can't tell you what you should decide, but given that you seem to come from a background different from econ / math, you are probably well-advised to focus first and foremost on the program that offers you the best opportunity to get up to speeds with the discipline and fill any mathematical deficiencies that you think you might have. From what you wrote, this strongly speaks for LSE. Before you decide, however, you might want to ask representatives at both universities what, if any, opportunities students in the Advanced Diploma have to work on their mathematical maturity. It would strike me as odd if Cambridge really doesn't offer anything at all in this regard.
Sorry,I just noticed I may lead to some misunderstanding in my last reply.
The 2-year MSc at LSE does not teach real analysis, either. The point I want to make is that maths courses taken during students' undergraduate study will provide enough background for Adv. Diploma. Students who are interested in taking extra modules on methodology, such as real analysis, need to improve their maths by themselves.

Best
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Cambridge123
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Hi, dear 123po.Congratulations!I am also applying for this program for 2019/20 and submitted the reference at Jan. The current status is 'review by department'.Would you like to share your timeline for Cambridge Diploma such as date of GAO and offer letter?Thanks!
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nopparujnew
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I have also applied for the Adv Dip Econ at Cambridge following my Engineering background with the intention to continue to a PhD in Economics. I am still under consideration by the department and is eagerly awaiting the results.

I also have an offer from LSE’s EME course and is very happy to have received it. However, Cambridge has always been my dream Uni and despite the ranking differences, I will choose Cambridge over LSE solely due to my personal reasons (that is of course if I get the offer from Cambridge).

So go with what you feel is the right thing. I know it’s a hard decision but keep re-thinking about it and eventually you’ll make up your mind

Btw, also interested to know your application timeline. I applied since November and still haven't heard a thing!
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