joeferry21
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Hi, I am an American undergraduate studying political science and international relations looking at various UK universities for my masters. Right now, I'm being drawn to two similar programs, both a MA in International Political Economy -- one at the University of Manchester and one at King's College London.

I was wondering if anyone had any insight to either of these programs/departments or universities in general. Right now, it's looking like KCL will be more expensive for me (which is definitely something I need to consider), however the marketability of KCL is drawing me towards it. I am interested in Manchester as well, but I don't know too much about it and would like some insight from someone who may know more.

I am also open to any suggestions for similar programs at other UK universities as well, I am just beginning my search with a goal to apply by the end of the year. Thanks!
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Realitysreflexx
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(Original post by joeferry21)
Hi, I am an American undergraduate studying political science and international relations looking at various UK universities for my masters. Right now, I'm being drawn to two similar programs, both a MA in International Political Economy -- one at the University of Manchester and one at King's College London.

I was wondering if anyone had any insight to either of these programs/departments or universities in general. Right now, it's looking like KCL will be more expensive for me (which is definitely something I need to consider), however the marketability of KCL is drawing me towards it. I am interested in Manchester as well, but I don't know too much about it and would like some insight from someone who may know more.

I am also open to any suggestions for similar programs at other UK universities as well, I am just beginning my search with a goal to apply by the end of the year. Thanks!
Wow so let's try and unpack this...

Reputation wise: Equal....there's really nothing between them. Everyone has heard of Manchester and everyone has heard of London... Anyone who doesn't know of these places or institutions is likely not somewhere you'll want to work.

Living cost's: Manchester all the way....you can probably live in Manchester for a year for roughly 70% of what you would spend living in London and would have just as much fun. You can also visit alot of different cities nearby.. Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield, Nottingham (really nice to party in where i went to uni).

But....if you plan on working in the UK, KCL might give you a tiny edge...you'll have more opportunities to go to networking events in London and thats where a large amount of MNC (multinationals) HQs are located...so envision a scenario of getting a few interviews in say January and February because employers like your profile you'll have a long train ride down from Manchester to London (3,5 hrs more or less).

I'm American too and just finished my degree in Business Management at University of Nottingham.

If this was a three year degree i would advise you to definitely go to Manchester but if you plan on working in the UK then pick KCL for networking and job opportunities...obviously you can get the same jobs by living in Manchester but the hiring process takes place mainly in the winter here.

Other options:

LSE, Leed's, Bristol, Durham, Nottingham, SOAS.

Also a real good one for IPA is Edinburgh, that's where Mark blythe went....you should know him! If not your missing out look him up! Works at Brown.
Last edited by Realitysreflexx; 3 weeks ago
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joeferry21
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(Original post by Realitysreflexx)
Wow so let's try and unpack this...

Reputation wise: Equal....there's really nothing between them. Everyone has heard of Manchester and everyone has heard of London... Anyone who doesn't know of these places or institutions is likely not somewhere you'll want to work.

Living cost's: Manchester all the way....you can probably live in Manchester for a year for roughly 70% of what you would spend living in London and would have just as much fun. You can also visit alot of different cities nearby.. Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield, Nottingham (really nice to party in where i went to uni).

But....if you plan on working in the UK, KCL might give you a tiny edge...you'll have more opportunities to go to networking events in London and thats where a large amount of MNC (multinationals) HQs are located...so envision a scenario of getting a few interviews in say January and February because employers like your profile you'll have a long train ride down from Manchester to London (3,5 hrs more or less).

I'm American too and just finished my degree in Business Management at University of Nottingham.

If this was a three year degree i would advise you to definitely go to Manchester but if you plan on working in the UK then pick KCL for networking and job opportunities...obviously you can get the same jobs by living in Manchester but the hiring process takes place mainly in the winter here.

Other options:

LSE, Leed's, Bristol, Durham, Nottingham, SOAS.

Also a real good one for IPA is Edinburgh, that's where Mark blythe went....you should know him! If not your missing out look him up! Works at Brown.
Thank you, this was helpful. It's sounding more like KCL would be the better option for me...granted I haven't applied yet just researching which program I should devote my effort to. Thanks again
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Realitysreflexx
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(Original post by joeferry21)
Thank you, this was helpful. It's sounding more like KCL would be the better option for me...granted I haven't applied yet just researching which program I should devote my effort to. Thanks again
Well on a final note, i would devote your effort to all applications. Due to coronavirus...well we've been shutdown for like 4 months...this has led to a massive shift in the university experience...meaning alot of it will take place online next academic year (so right now, this cycle..September). So i'll be honest with you alot of people have made the decision to defer, because they want the full quite expensive education experience. Now to us Americans it's like $20,000 bucks to go to the number what university in the world, for one year rather then two! Hell yeah i'm with that. But here the UK higher education system is hella expensive for European standards....and people want that full experience. Meaning alot of people will defer to next year...meaning the cycle your going to apply in, in a post-vaccine world will be ultra competitive. So apply early and put effort in!

For example i'm going to do my master in the Netherlands to avoid the UK fees, it's gonna cost me roughly $2,500 bucks for the tuition! (i'm a dual national though so EU fees). The ranking is very similar to UK universities like 72 in the world lol. Oh yeah not to sound like a marketing department, but you can look at dutch universities too, it's also fully in English...University of Amsterdam, Erasmus, Leiden, Utrecht, Groningen (Where i'm going).

Sorry if that got long, best of luck!
Last edited by Realitysreflexx; 2 weeks ago
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mike23mike
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(Original post by joeferry21)
Hi, I am an American undergraduate studying political science and international relations looking at various UK universities for my masters. Right now, I'm being drawn to two similar programs, both a MA in International Political Economy -- one at the University of Manchester and one at King's College London.

I was wondering if anyone had any insight to either of these programs/departments or universities in general. Right now, it's looking like KCL will be more expensive for me (which is definitely something I need to consider), however the marketability of KCL is drawing me towards it. I am interested in Manchester as well, but I don't know too much about it and would like some insight from someone who may know more.

I am also open to any suggestions for similar programs at other UK universities as well, I am just beginning my search with a goal to apply by the end of the year. Thanks!
Hi the Guardian good university guide has KCL's politics department as the 10th best in the UK and Manchester's as 30th. It's a no brainer for me, got to be Kings. Why not look at the universities with the top 10 politics departments and make a call. Living in Dundee will be very different from living in London.
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Alistarryans
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I agree with most of what’s been said already. KCL has a better reputation and faculties for politics, IR and economics. However, UoM’s political economy is strong and has produced many important scholars in said field, I.e winning British national doctoral thesis awards and so forth. One of the Turkey’s leading political economist comes from UoM.
That said, putting political economy aside, KCL’s politics studies, economics, and IR are slightly better equipped in terms of research. London can offer more than Manchester as long as you can afford the cost.
Hope this helps.
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Helloworld_95
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(Original post by mike23mike)
Hi the Guardian good university guide has KCL's politics department as the 10th best in the UK and Manchester's as 30th. It's a no brainer for me, got to be Kings. Why not look at the universities with the top 10 politics departments and make a call. Living in Dundee will be very different from living in London.
On the flip side for CUG it's 13th and 21st which is a lot closer, and in fact their overall score is just 1% apart which is entirely due to much higher entry standards at King's while Manchester's graduate prospects is 4% higher and research 12% higher. Not to mention that the year before King's was in 21st and Manchester was 19th. They're very much on the same tier and it's not a no brainer at all.

Also anything more than a very quick glance at the Guardian rankings for politics shows you how much of a clusterfudge they are due to how close the scores are amongst other things.
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