Grospatapouf
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Hi to all!

To begin with, a short introduction:
* Dropped out of high school at 15 ; Worked as an electrician till 18.
* Served as a Mountain Commando Operator for 6 years (French army).
* Passed a high school equivalency
* Resumed my study in IR at Leiden University in the NL (22nd QS Subject World-Ranking 2021)
* top 10% of the class ; headed for c*m laude.
* participate in the extra-curricular honors academy
* Will be 28 on graduation.

Yet, I would like to reorientate towards Economics and connex areas such as Finance and Strategy.
I have been looking up programs in the UK and most require a strong quantitative background which I lack. However, there are some alluring exceptions that do not, such as LSE's Msc Finance, or Oxford's Mphil in Economics and Msc Financial Economics.

In the context of my honors curriculum, I have covered introductory courses on Data Science, the Principles of Finance, and Strategic Management. Additionally, I should take Economics courses as electives during the fall semester to complement what I have already learned as a Political Science student. However, that seems marginal compared to the coursework covered by any other Econ student.

Therefore, I would like to have your sentiment regarding a potential application as an International Relations graduate for these programs (and any other that might come to mind).

Cheers,
Last edited by Grospatapouf; 4 weeks ago
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BenRyan99
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You definitely wouldn't be able to go straight to an MSc Economics in the UK. Pretty much all UK economics master's require an undergraduate degree in economics or at least a quantitative STEM degree.

I'm not quite sure where you get the idea that LSE's MSc Finance course or Oxford's MPhil Economics or MSc Financial economics courses aren't mathematical? I can assure you they are quite mathematical.

The only way to get around not having an undergraduate degree in economics to do an MSc Economics in the UK is to do something called a postgraduate diploma in economics. This is essentially where they teach you all the essential stuff in an undergrad degree in just one year, including the maths. Lots of universities offer these. When you're doing this course you can then apply to master's degrees. It's very very unlikely you'll get onto a MSc Economics course that's worth going to if you don't have either a bachelor's degree where at least 50% of the content was Econ, of a postgraduate diploma in economics
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Grospatapouf
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(Original post by BenRyan99)
I'm not quite sure where you get the idea that LSE's MSc Finance course or Oxford's MPhil Economics or MSc Financial economics courses aren't mathematical? I can assure you they are quite mathematical.
Oh that's not what I meant in my first message. I acknowledge these courses are highly quantitative, but the quants requirements are not quite explicit.

As such LSE only requires "[an] upper second class honours (2:1) degree or equivalent in any discipline and good quantitative skills" and defines quantitative skills as "basic calculus and statistics, so applicants are also required to have studied a minimum of A level Mathematics (or its equivalent)."

As for Oxford, they do mention that "candidates with a first degree in another related discipline should demonstrate how their academic background prepares them for graduate study in economics", which is confusing given that Political Science is a discipline interested in Economics.

I was indeed considering a year of pre-master (that's how we call post-graduate in the NL). But conversely, whether I go professional or I stay in academia, what would it be worth against a master in IPE or Public Administration?

With my current profile, I understand that LSE is likely to recruit me for one of these two, which would probably open doors for Investment Banking and IFIs.
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BenRyan99
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(Original post by Grospatapouf)
Oh that's not what I meant in my first message. I acknowledge these courses are highly quantitative, but the quants requirements are not quite explicit.

As such LSE only requires "[an] upper second class honours (2:1) degree or equivalent in any discipline and good quantitative skills" and defines quantitative skills as "basic calculus and statistics, so applicants are also required to have studied a minimum of A level Mathematics (or its equivalent)."

As for Oxford, they do mention that "candidates with a first degree in another related discipline should demonstrate how their academic background prepares them for graduate study in economics", which is confusing given that Political Science is a discipline interested in Economics.

I was indeed considering a year of pre-master (that's how we call post-graduate in the NL). But conversely, whether I go professional or I stay in academia, what would it be worth against a master in IPE or Public Administration?

With my current profile, I understand that LSE is likely to recruit me for one of these two, which would probably open doors for Investment Banking and IFIs.
You've got to remember that the entry requirements stated are the absolute minimum requirements rather than the average of what accepted candidates possess. Plus I wouldn't really say political science is that much of a related discipline for academic economics, there's hardly any overlap beyond the topic of public choice and voting theorems. I think by related disciplines they're referring to more business school or maths subjects.

If you're considering investment banking roles and that's a potentially a reason why you may want to go to LSE, why don't you just apply for these roles normally? Investment banks don't require master's degrees, they simply ask for an undergraduate degree in any subject. Almost all their entry cohorts are made up of people who have converted their summer internships into full-time offers, not many positions are available to just normal graduates without internship experience in investment banking. Why spend all the money on a master's just for a graduate role that doesn't require one?
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Grospatapouf
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Well as a Political Science undergrad, you get to learn about micro and macroeconomics, international political economy, rational choice theory, and statistics, so I would say it is not so distant except for the econometrics and finance part. I would say that Political Science is really on peer with Business Administration with regards to economics. And as I said, I have an additional semester of electives to spend on economics courses.

I will have a look into internship opportunities but, from what I know, contrary to the UK, a master's degree is the standard to get a decent junior position on the continent, irrespective of your area of study.
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BenRyan99
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(Original post by Grospatapouf)
Well as a Political Science undergrad, you get to learn about micro and macroeconomics, international political economy, rational choice theory, and statistics, so I would say it is not so distant except for the econometrics and finance part. I would say that Political Science is really on peer with Business Administration with regards to economics. And as I said, I have an additional semester of electives to spend on economics courses.

I will have a look into internship opportunities but, from what I know, contrary to the UK, a master's degree is the standard to get a decent junior position on the continent, irrespective of your area of study.
In the UK, banks hire mostly out of undergrad so will focus on the rep of your undergrad university. If this is different on the continent, it might be worth just doing a PS master's then at somewhere European that places well into IB rather than paying the high UK fees. I assume you've seen the fees of the courses you've listed? Oxford's MFE is 47k plus a year's living cost so 60k total for 9 months, the MPhil is 36k plus two years of living costs. Is it worth it over euro institutions?

Bit confused with you trying to justify what you've said on the basis of PS being akin to BA seeing as most economics master's don't accept BA students, some do if they've got some research experience or went to a top euro university. If you look on places like LinkedIn for the academic backgrounds of students on master's courses at the places you've mentioned for example the Oxford MPhil, there's basically none from non-economics or mathematics backgrounds. So this just empirically gives you an idea of what they're looking for.

I honestly feel like you may be overlooking the quantity and complexity of economics that UK master's degrees expect you to know going in as a MSc student. You say you've done micro, macro and stats, that's obviously helpful but I doubt it's been more than 50% of your degree in econ modules which tends to be the requirement. If it's just intro to micro, macro and stats then this is a big problem. Even if it's the intermediate courses like using Varian for micro or for macro Blanchard or Mankiw, it will be a huge struggle. If you've not covered econometrics then I doubt you'll be granted admission at most places, most require Wooldridge's intro to econometrics to be studied at the very minimum.

Just to give you an idea of what you're expected to know, I've pasted below the list of 1st and 2nd year core undegrad topics that Warwick's MSc expects you to know when starting their master's. They tend to specify the 1st and 2nd year topics as 3rd year modules can vary to a greater degree than the early modules. This will be less than what the master's you've mentioned will expect you to know as LSE and Oxford > Warwick.

Micro
Classical: Can you solve 2 good consumer demand problems?
Do you know the Cobbs Douglas Demand functions?
And can you solve 2 good 2 consumer General Equilibrium problems?
Hicksian and Marshallian demand functions.
The basic strategic market models (Bertrand, Cournot and Stackleberg)
Have you covered the derivations for the 1st and 2nd fundamental welfare theorems?
Have you covered arrow's impossibility theorem and voting paradoxes?
Game Theory:
i)find pure Nash for a 2 by 2 game?
ii)find mixed Nash for a 2 by 2 game?
iii)do SPE: Subgame Perfect Equilbria
iv) Auction theory and mechanism design
v) normal, extensive form and dynamic games
Some universities also cover graph theory

Macro
i) Monetary Policy Have you covered The Kydland and Prescott Paper or Taylor rules at the minimum?
ii) Neo-classical. have you previously covered classical models of economies?
iii) Neo-Keynesain. have you previously covered Keynesian models of economies?
iv) Have you covered the core basic macro models such as IS-LM, Solow growth, endogenous growth theory, in-depth study of Ricardian trade and Heckscher-ohlin models?
v) Government budget constraints, Ricardian equivalence and sovereign debt dynamics.

Maths and stats

Introductory Mathematics:
(i) Introduction to analysis;Have you covered the theory behind differentiation and integration?
(ii) Linear Algebra; Have you seen matrix algebra before? Do you know what a rank is? what a determinant? Have you manipulated matrices before?
(iii) Revision of multi-variable function and calculus and constrained optimisation (e.g. Lagrange, Kuhn Tucker). Can you do differentiation and partial differentiation?
(iv) Differential and difference equations. Have you seen differential equations before? e.g. particular solution and complementary function.


Statistics and econometrics:
(i) Basic probability theory. Do you know what Bayes Rule is? What does it mean for two events to be independent?
(ii) Estimation and significance tests. Do you know what a T test is? Do you know what an F test is, what about chi-squared?
Linear regression model. Least squares estimation. Gauss–Markov Theorem. Prediction. Multiple regression. Least squares estimation. Dummy variables. Linear Restrictions. Structural change. Omission of relevant variables + inclusion of irrelevant variables.
Dynamic models. Non–linear models, chow and bounds tests. Functional form tests. Heteroscedasticity: implications and detection tests. Autocorrelation: implications and detection tests. Types of autocorrelation. Generalised Least Squares.
Lagged dependent variable models. Multicollinearity. Errors in variables. Simultaneity. Instrumental Variable estimation. Limited Dependent Variable Models (LPM, logit and probit).
Nonstationarity and Cointegration. Autoregressive model (AR1), ARDL model and moving average model (MA).
Panel models (fixed and random effects), difference in difference regression, regression discontinuity, average treatment effects. Some cover distributional regression (quantile, censoring and truncated regression).
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patrick619
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(Original post by Grospatapouf)
Well as a Political Science undergrad, you get to learn about micro and macroeconomics, international political economy, rational choice theory, and statistics, so I would say it is not so distant except for the econometrics and finance part. I would say that Political Science is really on peer with Business Administration with regards to economics. And as I said, I have an additional semester of electives to spend on economics courses.

I will have a look into internship opportunities but, from what I know, contrary to the UK, a master's degree is the standard to get a decent junior position on the continent, irrespective of your area of study.
I am doing BSc Economics at the LSE and struggle to find a reason or have the ability to apply for pure economics masters.

You have to love academics, like love love academics, like get hella excited when you read economics papers.

You will stand a better chance at getting into MSc Finance or MSc Finance and Economics at LSE, to be honest with you. Drop me a message if you want to chat.
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Grospatapouf
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(Original post by patrick619)
I am doing BSc Economics at the LSE and struggle to find a reason or have the ability to apply for pure economics masters.

You have to love academics, like love love academics, like get hella excited when you read economics papers.

You will stand a better chance at getting into MSc Finance or MSc Finance and Economics at LSE, to be honest with you. Drop me a message if you want to chat.
Thanks for your insightful answer.

Indeed at this stage, it is kind of hard for me to wrap my head around it. Economics (and its related topics) really caught my attention during my study of PS, but it remains difficult to tell if I am yet ready to engage with it in-depth.

As for the LSE, I'm actually more interested in studying MSc Finance and Economics or Msc Economics and Philosophy than pure Economics. Nevertheless, according to each prospectus, I might not satisfy the admission criteria.

(Original post by BenRyan99)
1. Oxford's MFE is 47k plus a year's

2. If you look on places like LinkedIn for the academic backgrounds of students on master's courses at the places you've mentioned for example the Oxford MPhil, there's basically none from non-economics or mathematics backgrounds.

3. I honestly feel like you may be overlooking the quantity and complexity of economics that UK master's degrees expect you to know going in as a MSc student. You say you've done micro, macro and stats, that's obviously helpful but I doubt it's been more than 50% of your degree in econ modules which tends to be the requirement.
1. Indeed, the MFE is quite prohibitive. If that may help another student, I have heard back from them and they invited me to apply for their programme.

2. Well, I agree a large majority of students has economics backgrounds. Notwithstanding, many also come from PPE programmes, with a hardly more pronounced preparation for economics than the one I can get with my elective and honours credits (?)

2. However, I do agree with you on the coursework. I would be lagging behind and I might even need to retake the first year. I will weigh that when making my decisions for 2022-2023.
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