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MSc Economics UK

Hey! I’m a 2nd year BSc Management undergrad studying at a target/semi-target uni.

I recently found out that my passion lies within economics. I am therefore looking to apply to MSc Economics programs.

I’m among the top students within my cohort. The problem is that within my program, there are very few classes relevant to economics.

I only managed to take a) Introductory Micro b) Introductory Macro c) Statistics and Probability d) Business Calculus (Integrals, Series, Matrices, Optimisation, etc.)

Although I scored really good in all of these subjects, I still believe my profile is not competitive enough for Econ at a postgraduate level.

What can I do to increase my chances? And hypothetically which programs would accept someone with my profile?

Many thanks in advance!
(edited 1 year ago)
It's great that you have discovered your passion for economics! Although your current course may not have many classes relevant to economics, there are still ways you can improve your profile and increase your chances of being accepted into a Master's program.

One way to do this is to take additional economics classes at your university or through online courses or MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). This will show admissions committees that you are dedicated to pursuing economics and have taken the initiative to gain more knowledge in the subject.

You can also consider completing an internship or gaining relevant work experience in the field of economics. This will not only improve your resume, but it will also give you a better understanding of the real-world applications of economics and may even help you narrow down your specific area of interest within the discipline.

As for which programs would accept someone with your profile, it's difficult to say without knowing more about your specific grades and other experiences. However, some programs may be more flexible in their admissions criteria and may consider a strong overall profile, including your grades in the relevant courses, your motivation and passion for economics, and any relevant experience or extracurricular activities.

I hope this helps and good luck with your application!
Great, thank you for your answer.
I will try to do everything I can to improve my chances. I’m more interested on the Macro side of economics.
I was thinking about:
1) Take a summer class in intermediate macro or econometrics this summer at a reputable university like LSE.
2) Take the GRE and try to get a very competitive score.
3) Try to be a research assistant on my international economics class next year.
4) Try to land an internship in something economics related.
Any other thing you would recommend? What about Maths? Which online courses would you recommend to cover the maths needed for postgraduate admissions?

Many thanks again!
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by econ_and_fin
Hey! I’m a 2nd year BSc Management undergrad studying at a target/semi-target uni.

I recently found out that my passion lies within economics. I am therefore looking to apply to MSc Economics programs.

I’m among the top students within my cohort. The problem is that within my program, there are very few classes relevant to economics.

I only managed to take a) Introductory Micro b) Introductory Macro c) Statistics and Probability d) Business Calculus (Integrals, Series, Matrices, Optimisation, etc.)

Although I scored really good in all of these subjects, I still believe my profile is not competitive enough for Econ at a postgraduate level.

What can I do to increase my chances? And hypothetically which programs would accept someone with my profile?

Many thanks in advance!

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but a management degree (even from a target/semi-target) doesn't meet the minimum entry requirements of UK master's degrees in economics that are rigorous.

If you generally want to pursue a solid UK MSc Economics degree, you have two options in my opinion. The first is to only apply to some of the more average MSc Economics courses, that are still solid, but generally aren't seen particularly rigorous and may be a stepdown from your current institution (assuming you're at a genuine target/semi-target). Examples would include places like Exeter and so on - thus decent but not amazing at postgrad level. Your second option is to undertake a Postgraduate Diploma in Economics, this is a one-year course that essentially teaches you the fundamental material in an economics undergraduate degree, then you can apply for a MSc Economics anywhere (often universities also say that if you achieve X% in the PGD then you'll get an automatic offer from that institution, so you'd want to pick where to study it strategically - either at a uni you want to do your MSc at or somewhere the course is very respectable e.g. Birkbeck).

The reason I say all of this is that whether you're looking at tier 1 or 2 UK MSc Economics courses, they all require either an undergrad in economics, a STEM subject, or joint honours economics where you've studied a significant amount of economics (beyond introductory courses like you mentioned you had). As a result, you wouldn't satisfy these MINIMUM entry requirements. I've summarised the minimum entry requirements below to show you why I think the above two options are the only two paths for you to undertake a good (subjective I know) UK MSc Economics.

Tier 1:
LSE = 1st in economics
UCL = 2.1 in economics with significant mathematical component
Oxford = 1st or high 2.1 in economics and expected to have working knowledge of at least one programming language
Cambridge = high 2.1 in economics (specifically states no business/management undergrads)
Warwick = 2.1 in undergrad degree that specialises in economics

Tier 2:
Notts = 2.1 in economics or a maths-related subject
Bristol = 2.1 in economics, finance or a maths-related subject (may have some wiggle room but again I don't think you satisfy the module requirements)
Durham = 2.1 in economics, finance or a maths-related subject
Bath = 2.1 in economics, businesses or STEM (you may be able to get onto this, but I'm not sure you satisfy the module requirements it has)
York = 2.1 in economics or STEM subject
Manchester = 2.1 in economics, finance or a maths-related subject
Edinburgh = 2.1 in economics or a maths-related subject
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by BenRyan99
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but a management degree (even from a target/semi-target) doesn't meet the minimum entry requirements of UK master's degrees in economics that are rigorous.

If you generally want to pursue a solid UK MSc Economics degree, you have two options in my opinion. The first is to only apply to some of the more average MSc Economics courses, that are still solid, but generally aren't seen particularly rigorous and may be a stepdown from your current institution (assuming you're at a genuine target/semi-target). Examples would include places like Exeter and so on - thus decent but not amazing at postgrad level. Your second option is to undertake a Postgraduate Diploma in Economics, this is a one-year course that essentially teaches you the fundamental material in an economics undergraduate degree, then you can apply for a MSc Economics anywhere (often universities also say that if you achieve X% in the PGD then you'll get an automatic offer from that institution, so you'd want to pick where to study it strategically - either at a uni you want to do your MSc at or somewhere the course is very respectable e.g. Birkbeck).

The reason I say all of this is that whether you're looking at tier 1 or 2 UK MSc Economics courses, they all require either an undergrad in economics, a STEM subject, or joint honours economics where you've studied a significant amount of economics (beyond introductory courses like you mentioned you had). As a result, you wouldn't satisfy these MINIMUM entry requirements. I've summarised the minimum entry requirements below to show you why I think the above two options are the only two paths for you to undertake a good (subjective I know) UK MSc Economics.

Tier 1:
LSE = 1st in economics
UCL = 2.1 in economics with significant mathematical component
Oxford = 1st or high 2.1 in economics and expected to have working knowledge of at least one programming language
Cambridge = high 2.1 in economics (specifically states no business/management undergrads)
Warwick = 2.1 in undergrad degree that specialises in economics

Tier 2:
Notts = 2.1 in economics or a maths-related subject
Bristol = 2.1 in economics, finance or a maths-related subject (may have some wiggle room but again I don't think you satisfy the module requirements)
Durham = 2.1 in economics, finance or a maths-related subject
Bath = 2.1 in economics, businesses or STEM (you may be able to get onto this, but I'm not sure you satisfy the module requirements it has)
York = 2.1 in economics or STEM subject
Manchester = 2.1 in economics, finance or a maths-related subject
Edinburgh = 2.1 in economics or a maths-related subject


Thank you for the information BenRyan. Very helpful.

Totally agree with you.
I am looking to get into tier 1 programs.
From what you mentioned, a 1-year diploma in economics is the only way to get there.
Having said that, which 1-year diplomas in economics do you recommend so that I can aim for a Tier 1 MSc Economics later on?
I am open to do that diploma in both the UK (preferably) or any other EU country.
Just some additional information, doesn’t know if it helps or not for your assessment of my application: I have a 3.8 GPA (top 5% within cohort) with strong grades on all quantitative subjects (top 5%).
Particularly, I am expected to score a perfect 100% on my most advanced maths class (which is still probably a simple maths class compared to top tier economics undergraduate programs).

Many thanks in advance, and thank for your help again.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by econ_and_fin
Thank you for the information BenRyan. Very helpful.

Totally agree with you.
I am looking to get into tier 1 programs.
From what you mentioned, a 1-year diploma in economics is the only way to get there.
Having said that, which 1-year diplomas in economics do you recommend so that I can aim for a Tier 1 MSc Economics later on?
I am open to do that diploma in both the UK (preferably) or any other EU country.
Just some additional information, doesn’t know if it helps or not for your assessment of my application: I have a 3.8 GPA (top 5% within cohort) with strong grades on all quantitative subjects (top 5%).
Particularly, I am expected to score a perfect 100% on my most advanced maths class (which is still probably a simple maths class compared to top tier economics undergraduate programs).

Many thanks in advance, and thank for your help again.

My personal recommendation for the GDE would be Birbeck in London. It's not the best known university or has the best reputation, but it's generally seen as the top place to study the graduate diploma in economics. It's where most of those working as economists study the GDE, I know for a fact that the Bank of England, HM Treasury and lots of consultancies all send their staff without formal Econ training there.

The top people each year go to the likes of Cambridge, LSE, Oxford and UCL. Though you will have to be good to get into the former two. It also gives the option of studying part-time, so some work while doing it.

Elsewhere, most good unis offer the GDE (e.g. Cambridge, Warwick, Nottingham, Bristol, etc). Some give conditions on straight progression to their master's, for example Cambridge state that if you get 65% or above then you'll automatically receive an offer for the MPhil Economics course.

Whether you have a good grades, are top of your classes, or have done well in maths modules - this info is all fairly irrelevant without other info like the quality of undergraduate degree and which university. Regardless, I don't believe getting onto the GDE is very difficult so I'm sure you'll be fine. Just research where is best to do the GDE for you.
Original post by BenRyan99
My personal recommendation for the GDE would be Birbeck in London. It's not the best known university or has the best reputation, but it's generally seen as the top place to study the graduate diploma in economics. It's where most of those working as economists study the GDE, I know for a fact that the Bank of England, HM Treasury and lots of consultancies all send their staff without formal Econ training there.

The top people each year go to the likes of Cambridge, LSE, Oxford and UCL. Though you will have to be good to get into the former two. It also gives the option of studying part-time, so some work while doing it.

Elsewhere, most good unis offer the GDE (e.g. Cambridge, Warwick, Nottingham, Bristol, etc). Some give conditions on straight progression to their master's, for example Cambridge state that if you get 65% or above then you'll automatically receive an offer for the MPhil Economics course.

Whether you have a good grades, are top of your classes, or have done well in maths modules - this info is all fairly irrelevant without other info like the quality of undergraduate degree and which university. Regardless, I don't believe getting onto the GDE is very difficult so I'm sure you'll be fine. Just research where is best to do the GDE for you.

Great! I’ll check that.
I study at a good European Business School (think like Esade, ESCP, RSM, CBS, etc.)
Best regards.
Original post by econ_and_fin
Great! I’ll check that.
I study at a good European Business School (think like Esade, ESCP, RSM, CBS, etc.)
Best regards.

I also checked the different diplomas in economics and I cover all pre-requisite requirements to get in.
One last question I wanted to ask you is what are the differences regarding student life in the MSc Economics at Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, UCL, and Warwick?
Someone told me they had very few classes at Cambridge making it a very lonely experience. Is this true across all unis?
Thanks.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by econ_and_fin
I also checked the different diplomas in economics and I cover all pre-requisite requirements to get in.
One last question I wanted to ask you is what are the differences regarding student life in the MSc Economics at Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, UCL, and Warwick?
Someone told me they had very few classes at Cambridge making it a very lonely experience. Is this true across all unis?
Thanks.

Original post by econ_and_fin
Great! I’ll check that.
I study at a good European Business School (think like Esade, ESCP, RSM, CBS, etc.)
Best regards.

Obviously it's good to study at a good business school, though it's naturally not as strong of an ability signal as studying at a good economics undergrad school, when applying for postgraduate economics.
Yes, the GDE is open to people from most degree backgrounds, so you should definitely qualify and meet the entry requirements. It might even be the case that you find the start of the GDE easier as you have a business school background whereas some will be coming from a complete range of undergrad degrees so at least you have some intro classes.

Regarding the student experience, was that anecdote from someone studying economics? Ultimately master's degrees are more about building your research skills and a lot of that is solo work. I've heard LSE has the worst student experience as it's all bunched into a tighter time frame (most MSc's have classes from Oct-Jan, Feb-May/June, then your dissertation over the summer and hand it in end of aug/start of sept. At LSE you have to do your dissertation alongside the 2nd semester, though it's shorter at only 6k words).

While I went to LSE, I think generally Oxford and Cambridge have the best student experiences. A lot of people don't want to study in London as they're working cities rather than student cities, and are very expensive, often students can live quite far apart. Many complain that Warwick is in the middle of nowhere, the nearest largest places are Coventry and Lemmington Spa, which aren't exactly the most desirable places for student life, though if you're a fan of the countryside then it could be a good option.

Oxbridge often have the best student life as they're beautiful cities and you're surrounded by history, tradition and amazing architecture. They also use the college system which makes building social ties a lot easier. They also have a lot more prestige than the others, many say that LSE is better at postgrad level (incl me) but Oxbridge is definitely more prestigious, though I doubt it would make a difference when it comes to applying for jobs.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by BenRyan99
My personal recommendation for the GDE would be Birbeck in London. It's not the best known university or has the best reputation, but it's generally seen as the top place to study the graduate diploma in economics. It's where most of those working as economists study the GDE, I know for a fact that the Bank of England, HM Treasury and lots of consultancies all send their staff without formal Econ training there.


Oh, very glad to know this indeed! :yy:

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