Hi all, I will be attending UCL’s MSc in Economics from this September and would like to hear some advice about applying to the American schools after the MSc. My primary aim is to apply for the T20 schools at the U.S, even though I am also thinking of doing a Ph.D in the UK.

1. As far as I know, UCL would offer places on their MRes / MPhil + Ph.D programme conditional on getting a distinction in their masters programme. Which one do you think is better? (i) Applying straight after graduating UCL’s masters, or (ii) stay with UCL for another year – based on the assumption that I finish the coursework with distinction - with their MRes and apply after their MRes grades (which would just take an extra year)

Put in other words, do you think studying MRes-level courses in UCL helps in graduate admissions in the U.S? On one side, it might be beneficial to show that I’m capable of surviving the graduate-level studies. But then, (i) I guess studying a Ph.D level course might be ‘too much’ since you will re-do the masters level coursework and (ii) I can run the risk of failing the MRes or being on the borderline threshold for passing – which I guess is not a really positive signal to the adcoms. (thus neutralizing the distinction-performance at Msc courses...)

2. Just the general question
- Do you know any UCL MSc graduates who proceeded into the American PhDs, arguably into the top 20? Which schools should I be aiming for if I happen to attain distinction?

– How well is UCL regarded in the states? Any inputs would be welcomed

Many thanks in advance.