Hello everyone,

I am currently struggling with an important decision regarding a Postgraduate programme for next year and could use some input from the community.

Current situation

I have been accepted to the following programs: - MSc Economics (UCL) - MSc Economics, Two Year program (LSE) and am waiting for a response (which is very likely to be positive) from: - Master of Advanced Studies in Economics (KU Leuven, Belgium)


I have a Bachelor degree in Engineering from a good university in in my home country but without that much international projection (PUC - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and I am currently finishing a MSc Statistics program at KU Leuven, Belgium, very likely with distinction. I have a strong quantitative background in Mathematics and Stats, but I lack formal knowledge in theoretical economics. My Economics knowledge comes from a lot of reading, 2 optional courses (Macro and Development Econ) and 2 Coursera MOOC's on (Principles of Macro and Micro).

For the past couple of years now, I have been doing the (surprisingly, imo) common transition from Engineering into Economics. I would like to pursue a PhD with a focus on applied econometric analysis to Development, Public Policies and Growth (if that doesn't sound too vague). I see myself working in academia, think tanks, research or policy making institutions. I have no intention of going into Finance or Consulting, or the business sector in general.


I applied to some PhD positions this year already, but was not accepted, in my opinion (just my opinion really, because no feedback was ever given), partly for lack of economic knowledge and training. In all three Unis, a good performance in the Master program is almost a guarantee to be accepted at the PhD program afterwards. However, this does not guarantee funding, so I would also apply to PhD's elsewhere (Oxbridge, LSE, UCL, Wawick, other places outside the UK).

Due to already having a 2-year Master program (in Stats), I originally applied to 1-year programs only, both in UCL and LSE. During my application, LSE contacted me and asked whether I would also be open to be considered for the 2-year program, to which I said yes.

One thing that concerns me a little was the fact that having two two-year Master programs and a switch of fields from my original Engineering degree would make me come across as somewhat indecisive and hurt my chances in the future. I have no clue whether this is indeed a thing or it's just me being an overthinker, I would also love to hear some thoughts on that if someone has any.

Any advice on my situation?
Thanks a million!


Engineer/Statistician seeking advice on choosing between MSc Economics at UCL, LSE (2-year) or KU Leuven as a first step to a future PhD.