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Thread: Msc in UK - How difficult is to have a distinction?

  1. #1
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    Msc in UK - How difficult is to have a distinction?

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    I have offers for both LSE and UCL Msc in Economics. I have to decide where to go within next week or so. My interests are labor and applied microeconomtrics and I want to pursue a Phd (in the same university) after the Msc.

    Then, anybody knows how difficult is to get a distinction in a Msc in Economics at a top UK University (i.e LSE or UCL)? Also, anybody know how many students get a distinction?

    It is a though decision so any information is more than welcome.

  2. #2
    Blondin
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    Hi,

    First of all congratulations for your offers!

    I think that obtaining a distinction is doable if you work seriously enough.

    I was enroled in the MSc EME at LSE, and throughout the year thought I would never pass the program. I did not work much or prepare classes. Then I started preparing for the exams, worked hard, and ended with a merit, missing the distinction by two percent.

    The 'morale' of my story is that I think most of the sudents in such programs have the ability to get very good grades, if only they work hard/seriously enough.

    Regarding your interests in labour and applied microeconometrics, UCL is the place to go!

  3. #3
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    Do you (or any other) have an idea on how hard it is to get to continue for a PhD in UCL? If I remember correctly, it is said on the website of LSE that you need a distiction in the MSc but I haven't found similar information regarding UCL.

    I was hoping to get admitted to the MSc programme in UCL next year and aim for a PhD there so that's why I'm asking...

  4. #4
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    I have contacted some professors at UCL and they told me that the criteria is more or less than for LSE. You should get a distinction in the Msc. Though, one told me that it is a bit less strict...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blondin View Post
    Hi,

    First of all congratulations for your offers!

    I think that obtaining a distinction is doable if you work seriously enough.

    I was enroled in the MSc EME at LSE, and throughout the year thought I would never pass the program. I did not work much or prepare classes. Then I started preparing for the exams, worked hard, and ended with a merit, missing the distinction by two percent.

    The 'morale' of my story is that I think most of the sudents in such programs have the ability to get very good grades, if only they work hard/seriously enough.

    Regarding your interests in labour and applied microeconometrics, UCL is the place to go!
    I will probably go to UCL. Just that declining an offer from LSE is not easy...

  6. #6
    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
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    As the only general guideline I'd give, try to find some actual current students there to ask, because the official rules and what schools actually do is often different. I knew one girl who was allowed to continue to a Ph.D. in a "distinction-only" progression who had a 63; of course, that was very unusual (she must have had a really great thesis idea), and hence the story was repeated, but still.

    Apart from that, rules vary so much not just across different schools but across different programs in different schools that yea, other "generic" advice wouldn't help you. But do keep trying to inquire from students in those exact programs, if you don't find any here, because what they tell you might be different from what the graduate secretary or a professor says.

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    Loving the Ivory Tower Canuckonomist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chopov View Post
    I will probably go to UCL. Just that declining an offer from LSE is not easy...
    UCL and LSE are both great programs, so I wouldn't feel bad choosing one for the other. Keep in mind that UCL does rank better in some fields than LSE. You've got two fantastic offers, so don't feel concerned choosing one for the other. Things will all work out in the end if you work hard. (I turned LSE down this year for Queen's, and I have no concerns about it.)

    Cheers,

    Canuck.
    Canuckonomist, Ph.D. Candidate, University of Toronto '15

  8. #8
    Blondin
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    Another option would be to go to LSE and then apply for the PhD programs. LSE is indeed a nice brand name, and it could be helpful if you start having doubts about pursuing an academic career.

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    Could be. But I was thinking on doing the Msc and Phd in the same university in order to have contact with faculty as earliest as possible.

    Any information on the number of studentes getting distinction? Blondin? How about LSE?

  10. #10
    Blondin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chopov View Post

    Any information on the number of studentes getting distinction? Blondin? How about LSE?
    I think three people got a distinction when I was there, out of a class of ~25. I don't know about the MSc Econ though.

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