LSE or Cambridge for Human Rights / Politics masters?

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jeevanr21
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Hi!

I'm currently weighing up my options with regard to whether I want to study the MSc in Human Rights and Politics at LSE or the MPhil in Politics and International Studies at Cambridge. I have an offer for LSE, and didn't apply to Cambridge (it's too late for this year) but I'm wondering whether to take up my LSE offer or work for a year instead and rethink my options and possibly apply to Cambridge.

A bit of background about my motivations / current situation:

- I have a first-class degree in French and Spanish from Oxford (so would meet the requirement for Cambridge - must have a first)
- I eventually want to go into a career in human rights journalism
- I also hold a deferred place for an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia which I'm due to start in 2021

My main passion is Human Rights advocacy and activism, but I'm also very interested in learning about different regions of the world. The courses at Cambridge (The Middle East in Global Politics, The Politics of Africa, Religion and Politics, Cultures of War) and LSE (Gender and Human Rights, Genocide, Middle Eastern Politics, Post-Conflict Reconstruction) both appeal to me and so I'm having a hard time deciding.

I'm aware that LSE would cater more directly to my passion for Human Rights, but Cambridge does seem like it has some very interesting options and perhaps a greater breadth of specialisms (you pick six optional modules, as opposed to four at LSE). The Cambridge dissertation is also 20,000 words as opposed to 10,000 at LSE - but I'm quite keen to do my diss on women's suffering in the Sri Lankan civil war, which might fall more neatly under a Human Rights topic.

Can anyone interject here to offer some advice? I'm also considering which is better regarded in the field of Politics / IR / Human Rights but I'm not able to find any definitive answers - would employers be likely to hold a masters from LSE or from Cambridge in better regard? Can anyone who took either of these (or a similar course) tell me a bit about their experience?
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jeevanr21
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(Original post by jeevanr21)
Hi!

I'm currently weighing up my options with regard to whether I want to study the MSc in Human Rights and Politics at LSE or the MPhil in Politics and International Studies at Cambridge. I have an offer for LSE, and didn't apply to Cambridge (it's too late for this year) but I'm wondering whether to take up my LSE offer or work for a year instead and rethink my options and possibly apply to Cambridge.

A bit of background about my motivations / current situation:

- I have a first-class degree in French and Spanish from Oxford (so would meet the requirement for Cambridge - must have a first)
- I eventually want to go into a career in human rights journalism
- I also hold a deferred place for an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia which I'm due to start in 2021

My main passion is Human Rights advocacy and activism, but I'm also very interested in learning about different regions of the world. The courses at Cambridge (The Middle East in Global Politics, The Politics of Africa, Religion and Politics, Cultures of War) and LSE (Gender and Human Rights, Genocide, Middle Eastern Politics, Post-Conflict Reconstruction) both appeal to me and so I'm having a hard time deciding.

I'm aware that LSE would cater more directly to my passion for Human Rights, but Cambridge does seem like it has some very interesting options and perhaps a greater breadth of specialisms (you pick six optional modules, as opposed to four at LSE). The Cambridge dissertation is also 20,000 words as opposed to 10,000 at LSE - but I'm quite keen to do my diss on women's suffering in the Sri Lankan civil war, which might fall more neatly under a Human Rights topic.

Can anyone interject here to offer some advice? I'm also considering which is better regarded in the field of Politics / IR / Human Rights but I'm not able to find any definitive answers - would employers be likely to hold a masters from LSE or from Cambridge in better regard? Can anyone who took either of these (or a similar course) tell me a bit about their experience?
Hi? Can anyone offer any help with this?
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by jeevanr21)
Hi? Can anyone offer any help with this?
I've been through the Cam department, though a few years ago. there is very little Human Rights stuff in Cam, unless someone has newly joined the department, that's more held within Law and the Lauterpacht Centre in my experience. Employers aren't going to mind between Cam and LSE, your personal qualities will override any minor favouratisms of individuals. It certainly doesn't seem that Cam is worth deferring/losing LSE or deferring/losing Columbia. My only question would be - is this the right path to journalism, which is quite practice focussed? Do you have enough practical journalistic experience to succeed in the sector and this is just academic 'polish'?
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jeevanr21
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
I've been through the Cam department, though a few years ago. there is very little Human Rights stuff in Cam, unless someone has newly joined the department, that's more held within Law and the Lauterpacht Centre in my experience. Employers aren't going to mind between Cam and LSE, your personal qualities will override any minor favouratisms of individuals. It certainly doesn't seem that Cam is worth deferring/losing LSE or deferring/losing Columbia. My only question would be - is this the right path to journalism, which is quite practice focussed? Do you have enough practical journalistic experience to succeed in the sector and this is just academic 'polish'?
Thank you very much for this reply! I've also noticed that there is very little, but they do seem to have a Centre of Governance and Human Rights - although I imagine LSE's Human Rights Centre outshines it by quite a large margin. That's good to know, since my worry was primarily about prestige it's a relief to know that there won't be a difference there! Especially as dropping LSE would mean applying to Cambridge to study this course in 2022 after my Columbia masters.

I think it is the right path, but you do make a good point that journalism is a very practical profession. However the Columbia course is also highly practical in nature and also one of the most prestigious in the world I believe. I do also have quite a bit of practical experience - I worked for Reuters news agency in Paris and Madrid over my year abroad, as well as at Reporters Without Borders, and I've held leading roles in student publications.
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