Masters - IPE vs IR vs Politics, Governance and Public Policy (at Sheffield)

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joedyer99
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I am considering doing one of those three courses as a Masters (MA) at the University of Sheffield. In terms of modules, all these courses are basically the same baring one compulsory module (the three other compulsory modules are the same in each course, and the fourth compulsory module in each respective course can be taken as an optional module in other courses).

I am very torn between each course, so I was wondering which course tends to "sound" better on paper/lead to better job opportunities.

Also, I have just graduated with a first in BSc. Economics also at the University of Sheffield so have no direct educational experience in these courses. I have an offer to do MSc. Financial Economics, but I have fallen out of love with pure/financial economics in general, so I want to do something else. Do you think I will be able to adapt smoothly to this change in direction?

Thanks if you can help!
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KatetheLecturer
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I'm going to vote for IPE, as you already have an economics' background, (so are likely to find the economics aspects much more straightforward than those who are starting from scratch) and there can also be more quant in that, which will give you greater employment options.

However - it's really much of a muchness, in all honesty: pick the path that you find most appealing, and you'll likely have very similar opportunities arising out of your study. And as you've already got an economics' degree, you probably are already quite well trained in quantitative methods already anyway. I think IR might give the most flexibility overall, as it's the widest spec, but IPE is more "prestigious" in some people's eyes, because it's more specific - but, as I say, it's pretty much same same in terms of how they are all regarded: policy might give you the slight edge if you wanted to go down a policy route, but, at the same time, almost all JDs would be covered by the training and subject matter you'll get in any of these courses.
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University of Sheffield Students
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(Original post by joedyer99)
I am considering doing one of those three courses as a Masters (MA) at the University of Sheffield. In terms of modules, all these courses are basically the same baring one compulsory module (the three other compulsory modules are the same in each course, and the fourth compulsory module in each respective course can be taken as an optional module in other courses).

I am very torn between each course, so I was wondering which course tends to "sound" better on paper/lead to better job opportunities.

Also, I have just graduated with a first in BSc. Economics also at the University of Sheffield so have no direct educational experience in these courses. I have an offer to do MSc. Financial Economics, but I have fallen out of love with pure/financial economics in general, so I want to do something else. Do you think I will be able to adapt smoothly to this change in direction?

Thanks if you can help!
Hey! I've just graduated from the Uni of Sheffield with a BA in Politics and Philosophy and I can tell you a bit about what I've heard from academics about these courses.

First of all, they're all fantastic in terms of quality of teaching, the Department of Politics and IR has amazing academics and the way all of these programs are planned and implemented reflects that. Second of all, as you rightly pointed out, one of the important differences between them is what they lead to in terms of your career, so the main question I think you could ask yourself is what you'd like to do after graduating.

From what I've heard from some academics – and this is by no means the only correct interpretation of these courses in terms of employability – the IR MA tends to be more relevant if you'd like to pursue a career in academia, the IPE MA is fantastic if you'd like to work in international organisations or development, and the Politics, Governance and Public Policy is great both for an academic path and for a career in public policy. I'm not sure if either of these programs would limit your career options really, these are just some rough guidelines about what tends to be easier to pursue after graduation.

I think the best thing to do would be to speak to as many of your lecturers and tutors as you can and ask them how you can achieve your career ambitions from the MA you'll be choosing eventually. The great thing is that the department is great in terms of career opportunities and they take things like networking very seriously, so you'll surely find the right people to learn from!

Hope this helps! If you have any questions, feel free to message me here any time, as I won't be responding to messages on TSR anymore!

– Andreea
BA Politics & Philosophy Graduate
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joedyer99
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Thanks both for your replies - really helpful! I’ll PM you Andreea
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