KCL vs LSE for Global Politics/Affairs :) ADVICE APPRECIATED

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Miss_Thorn
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Hi there. Sooo I got offers from LSE and KCL for Global Politics and Global Affairs. Both of them are actually pretty similar in which courses you can select, the biggest difference is that in KCL you can learn a language as part of your degree and instead of a master thesis you do a practical policy project in a political organization.

So my dilemma is: While LSE has more prestige and employability stats, the KCL course appears to be much more practice focussed. I'm not planning to go into academia and having work experience I know that speaking a language (mandarin for me) is a huge asset...

I'm also a bit afraid I won't fit in LSE as I'm not the kind of person who is obsessed with her social status or would ever work for Goldman Sachs and so on. I'm from abroad so I don't know anything about the "feel" of these institutions.

So I just want to hear from students who might have expierienced LSE or KCL in a politics course. How did you like it? I was planning to travel to London around this time to have a look around and soak up the atmospheres of the campus... but well... That's not an option now XD
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Kaylee Frye
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I'm not a politics student, so I realise I only have very limited relevant experience - but if I were you, I'd choose the course that appeals to you the most.

I'm a current master's student at LSE, and I can assure you that not everyone is status obsessed; I've met a lot of fantastic, down-to-earth people here, and some truly inspirational professors - but that being said, I'm not a huge fan of our campus or the university's general 'vibe', which sometimes makes me feel more like a customer than a student. From what I've heard KCL has more of a traditional university feel - but to be honest, I don't feel like the fact that I don't like my campus matters that much; I'm only here for a year, I'm too busy with work and friends to get very involved in student life, and it's London, so there's always better things to do than hang around campus, imho!

As for LSE's prestige, I think that how relevant that is depends on what you plan on doing next; I'm an EU student, and hardly anyone in my home country has heard of LSE, so if I were planning to enter the local job market, it would hardly matter. If you're planning to work in the UK, I guess LSE might have a bit of an edge over KCL (depending on the subject - not sure how they both rank for politics), but KCL is a highly respected university too, and employers would likely be more interested in what relevant skills you'd acquired than just how highly your university was rated by the latest QS ranking.

I'm happy to answer any questions you have about LSE - but I think that, between LSE and KCL, there really are no 'wrong' choices, so just go for whatever course you prefer!
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lillylawyer
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(Original post by Kaylee Frye)
I'm not a politics student, so I realise I only have very limited relevant experience - but if I were you, I'd choose the course that appeals to you the most.

I'm a current master's student at LSE, and I can assure you that not everyone is status obsessed; I've met a lot of fantastic, down-to-earth people here, and some truly inspirational professors - but that being said, I'm not a huge fan of our campus or the university's general 'vibe', which sometimes makes me feel more like a customer than a student. From what I've heard KCL has more of a traditional university feel - but to be honest, I don't feel like the fact that I don't like my campus matters that much; I'm only here for a year, I'm too busy with work and friends to get very involved in student life, and it's London, so there's always better things to do than hang around campus, imho!

As for LSE's prestige, I think that how relevant that is depends on what you plan on doing next; I'm an EU student, and hardly anyone in my home country has heard of LSE, so if I were planning to enter the local job market, it would hardly matter. If you're planning to work in the UK, I guess LSE might have a bit of an edge over KCL (depending on the subject - not sure how they both rank for politics), but KCL is a highly respected university too, and employers would likely be more interested in what relevant skills you'd acquired than just how highly your university was rated by the latest QS ranking.

I'm happy to answer any questions you have about LSE - but I think that, between LSE and KCL, there really are no 'wrong' choices, so just go for whatever course you prefer!
Hello, I'm actually interested in this too!! Applied to both LSE and KCL for Public Policy (got an offer from Kings, still awaiting a decision from LSE) any insight you might have @Kaylee Frye about the difference in the study of Public Policy between both schools would be much appreciated
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Kaylee Frye
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(Original post by lillylawyer)
Hello, I'm actually interested in this too!! Applied to both LSE and KCL for Public Policy (got an offer from Kings, still awaiting a decision from LSE) any insight you might have @Kaylee Frye about the difference in the study of Public Policy between both schools would be much appreciated
Congratulations on your offer from KCL, and best of luck with LSE! I'm afraid I can't really compare the two; I don't study public policy, and I'm at LSE, so don't have much knowledge of KCL (let alone that particular course). If you have any questions about life at LSE more generally I'd be happy to help, and in general my advice is to always go for the course you prefer, as course content matters more than campus life or prestige, in my opinion
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Miss_Thorn
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Thanks a lot Kaylee Frye
Your feedback was really helpful! I wish you all the best

I now decided to go for International Public Policy at UCL. I felt like it was a compromise as it is not as good in social sicences as LSE in the rankings though a bit better than KCL and the best of them when it comes to overall rankings. Though forget rankings I feel like they divert the view from what's really important- as I'm working at a big and somewhat prestigious company right now I asked my mentors and they only laughed at my question wether they'd prefer a LSE vs UCL vs KCL student. The sector where it really matters might be investment banking and maybe law- which is definitly not for me. What is really important to them is that you have social skills and useful working experience.

IPP is a very interesting course that I can picture myself in. A lot of the professors have interesting working experience in fields that I want to go into. I feel like I also like the vibe of UCL better as it is interdisciplinary and not only social science focussed- I loved that about my undergrad uni. Also the fees are medium level which will not leave me broke at the end of the master.

I think LSE wouldn't have been a bad decision (it's an amazing uni no matter what after all) but I just have a gut feeling it's not for me. Sounds weird but I can always trust my intuition in such matters it actually got me places. That is what I'd also recommend to you lillylawyer Do your research and then if you still can't decide trust your feeling and since all schools are amazing institutions you'll be in fine whatever you decide. I feel so much better now that I've made this decision. No regrets
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username5271994
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(Original post by Miss_Thorn)
Thanks a lot Kaylee Frye
Your feedback was really helpful! I wish you all the best

I now decided to go for International Public Policy at UCL. I felt like it was a compromise as it is not as good in social sicences as LSE in the rankings though a bit better than KCL and the best of them when it comes to overall rankings. Though forget rankings I feel like they divert the view from what's really important- as I'm working at a big and somewhat prestigious company right now I asked my mentors and they only laughed at my question wether they'd prefer a LSE vs UCL vs KCL student. The sector where it really matters might be investment banking and maybe law- which is definitly not for me. What is really important to them is that you have social skills and useful working experience.

IPP is a very interesting course that I can picture myself in. A lot of the professors have interesting working experience in fields that I want to go into. I feel like I also like the vibe of UCL better as it is interdisciplinary and not only social science focussed- I loved that about my undergrad uni. Also the fees are medium level which will not leave me broke at the end of the master.

I think LSE wouldn't have been a bad decision (it's an amazing uni no matter what after all) but I just have a gut feeling it's not for me. Sounds weird but I can always trust my intuition in such matters it actually got me places. That is what I'd also recommend to you lillylawyer Do your research and then if you still can't decide trust your feeling and since all schools are amazing institutions you'll be in fine whatever you decide. I feel so much better now that I've made this decision. No regrets
Btw, did funding affect your decision? I'm considering doing a Master's at LSE but they're nearly double the price of degrees elsewhere which I just can't afford
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Miss_Thorn
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(Original post by Kavala)
Btw, did funding affect your decision? I'm considering doing a Master's at LSE but they're nearly double the price of degrees elsewhere which I just can't afford
Yes it did to a certain degree though it was not my major condern! I can imagine applying for summerschool/ a second master/ a language study abroad afterwards. I wouldn't be able to do it with the LSE's fees (24k). But at UCL/KCL (10-14k) I'd be able to afford it. I can e.g. do my masters at UCL AND a 9 months course at Oxbride and pay the same amount of fees as for one LSE master... which honestly shows how ridiculus their fees are. Again LSE is an amazing uni and maybe it'll pay off- but I think personally, I'll have more fun with my other options.

Also, I have no chance to secure needs based funding though my family is not wealthy (it's complicated) I might have been swayed by a scholarship... though on a second thought... no I'd probably still chose UCL
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username5271994
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(Original post by Miss_Thorn)
Yes it did to a certain degree though it was not my major condern! I can imagine applying for summerschool/ a second master/ a language study abroad afterwards. I wouldn't be able to do it with the LSE's fees (24k). But at UCL/KCL (10-14k) I'd be able to afford it. I can e.g. do my masters at UCL AND a 9 months course at Oxbride and pay the same amount of fees as for one LSE master... which honestly shows how ridiculus their fees are. Again LSE is an amazing uni and maybe it'll pay off- but I think personally, I'll have more fun with my other options.

Also, I have no chance to secure needs based funding though my family is not wealthy (it's complicated) I might have been swayed by a scholarship... though on a second thought... no I'd probably still chose UCL
Same for me, I wouldn't get a needs-based scholarship as my family earn too much for me to qualify but they don't have enough savings for those kind of fees lol. Good luck at UCL!!
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