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Thread: MSc at Trinity College Dublin (vs UCL)

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    MSc at Trinity College Dublin (vs UCL)

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    I know Trinity doesn't compare with top universities in Europe but it's one of the few universities outside the UK that offer a one year MSc with a research component. How would you rank their program in comparison to UCL?

    The only reason I might consider Trinity over UCL is because of the tuition. I'm non-EU so UCL is going to cost me 25000 whereas Trinity is only around 15000.

    Is that extra 10000 worth it just for that UCL tag? Would it really make a huge difference when I apply for PhDs in US/Canada?

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    Re: MSc at Trinity College Dublin (vs UCL)

    Correct me if I'm wrong but you'll be better off going for a rigorous coursework masters (like the BGSE's MSc for example), and then taking a gap year to be a full-time RA and apply the next cycle. That way, you'll have the grades from your MSc and 1 year RA experience. Doing well in a good/well-known programme sends a better signal than excelling in a relatively unknown programme. Or, you can just apply to 2-year coursework + masters thesis kind of programmes, like CEMFI.

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    Re: MSc at Trinity College Dublin (vs UCL)

    I was planning on taking a gap year after the MSc at UCL or Trinity as well but I'm not sure if they allow you to be an RA. Does BGSE let you do it? There are bound to be some visa issues since I'm not European but I'm going to have to check that.

    I'm more keen on a one-year masters since I was hoping that would help me get admitted to a good MA program in Canada and then a PhD subsequently. My undergrad degree is not in economics (it was physics) so I want to use the UK MSc as a bridge to change fields (since they're easy to get admitted to).

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    Re: MSc at Trinity College Dublin (vs UCL)

    If your aim is to get into a PhD programme, outside of top 3-4 masters programmes (from Oxbridge, LSE, Warwick/UCL) in the UK, European programmes strictly dominate them. They provide much better preparation. Most masters in the UK are terminal in nature; they do not prepare you adequately if your aim is to get into a PhD programme.
    I'm not sure if BGSE allows you to stay on. Maybe someone here can shed some light on visa issues after graduation. Regardless, with a BGSE Msc, you ought to be able to find RA work at your undergrad institute. Else, source out opportunities in your local universities.

    Best way to judge programme strength is to look at placement data. BGSE consistently place people in the top 30 PhD programmes each year. I'm unfamiliar with the placement strength of Trinity College Dublin, though.

    Furthermore, with a rigorous masters, there's no need to do another Canadian MA. You can just work on your application during your time as an RA (i.e. take extra math classes or whatever) and just apply straight to the Canadian PhD programme if that's your end goal.

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    Re: MSc at Trinity College Dublin (vs UCL)

    BGSE does sound like the best option for me although I am concerned about whether I'll be able to handle the advanced track, I've only taken intermediate courses in micro, macro and econometrics. Someone here mentioned doing the standard track for one year and then advanced track the next year but I emailed them and they don't let you do that. The Canadian MA made sense to me since I thought it would make me more competitive for Canadian PhDs and I've read that they're generally more rigorous than European MAs, but you're right it would probably be a waste of time.

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