View Full Version : Europe master or UK graduate diploma

02-01-2015, 11:43 AM
Hi guys, I am a final year (3rd year) undergraduate math major. I am graduating in July 2015.
I am currently taking the following courses:
1.Lebesgue Measure and Integral,
2.Fluid Dynamics,
3.Functional Analysis(graduate level)
4. Applied Probability.

Never took an economics course.
but my aim is an Economics PhD.

I am planning to do a Graduate Diploma in Economics in UK. possible destination are 1. Essex 2. Bristol 3. Warwick.

Is a Graduate Diploma a waste of time? Or is it better to apply to 2 year Master Economics program in Europe ?

Can you suggest some good 2 year European Master Economics programs which accept students with my background?

Thanks for your advice!

02-01-2015, 04:56 PM
In terms of two year masters programs, there are many available in Europe.

France: PSE and TSE (M1 and M2 I think)
Netherlads: Tilburg, Tinbergen (although I think they want you to stay for PhD)
Belgium: UCL and ULB
Italy: Boccini

And there's also Mannheim, Bonn, Stockholm and Zurich.

I don't want to burst your bubble, but as you have never taken an economics course, how do you know you want to do an economics PhD? How do you know you even like economics? IMO an economics textbook has fairly different content to economics books in bookshops, eg. books by Krugman, Stiglitz, Thaler, so if you want to do an economics PhD because you like books by authors already mentioned I'd get hold of an introductory textbook ASAP to see if academic economics is your cup of tea.

02-01-2015, 06:15 PM
A diploma is probably the best thing to go for, since they'll help you catch up with undergrad courses you never did, and prepare you for an MSc. I can also recommend Nottingham in that list, the diploma there is 9 months, and if you pass it, you'll automatically enrol in the MSc afterwards (at least I'm pretty sure that's the deal). Also York has a good MSc if you want (Exeter and Manchester too now that I think about it).

You could go straight for a 2-year MSc, but often times they'll require prior knowledge of economics, and Im guessing even if say Bonn or Manheim accepted you, you would struggle a lot catching up on some of the knowledge they ll be building upon.

I do have to agree with ZYX, how do you know that you want to do an economics PhD? Do you want to become an academic or work as an economist in a central bank/supranational organisation? Doing a PhD in something you kinda like but arent really into would be, to put it mildly, uncomfortable if not down right painful. Do be sure you want to do that, a diploma + 1 year MSc might be better in case you change your mind, you'll still be able to salvage the degre and get decent jobs with them.

02-02-2015, 01:22 AM
Thank you ZYX and jrdonsimoni for your replies. I am happy with my current math studies, but at the end of it, I want to move on to something else and Economics seems to be something that I will like and hopefully get a good job with it. What I read so far: I took a Game theory course online, and I am reading a Microeconomics textbook.

I understand that I don't know nothing about grad Economics, but from possible fields that Math undergrads switch to (i.e computer science, big data, stats, Econ, physics & financial); I chose Econ and a PhD seems a good target. But like you guys said a Master is better in case I change my mind.

What are your experiences so far with Econ graduate students from Math background? Which Europe programs do they choose initially?

Now about programs, in Europe only France seems to accommodate for people with non-econ backgrounds, (i.e the M1), the rest require some kind of course in micro/macro/metrics. I will look further in the requirements of Spain & Belgium master programs.

02-02-2015, 01:32 AM
The few people I know with a math background did do quite well actually, but they worked very hard and they did manage to grasp the intuitions well enough, but these may have been random exceptions, or they might have had econ classes without telling me (also possible).

Studying in the UK you obviously already know of those Grad Diplomas, I think they're the best thing to go for if you want to stay there, as for the rest of Europe I know the MSQ in Frankfurt is said to not require explicitly an econ degree, but the maths requirement is pretty heavy, so actually you might do well in there. The programme is for 2 years, but the structure is a bit odd (for Europe that is), with mid-terms following immediately after the first 7 weeks, and same thing for the finals at the end of each semesters. Tough, but possible obviously.

Quick disclaimer, Frankfurt s where Im doing my PhD, so obviously I'm a little biased, but that could be a possibility for you: some students here don't have an econ background and really,the only thing anyone seems to struggle with actually is the maths :) Plus, no tuitions, so big freebee there, and the possibility of moving to the PhD after the 1st year if you really wanna stay. Other german programmes may be similar in that respect, you could check them out: Mannheim, Bonn, Berlin.

Note: just realise I may be contradicting myself a little here between the whole "those programmes may require prior econ knowledge" and the "try it there, you might do well" and then citing Mannheim and Bonn in both instances..... sorry it's late and I'm tired, I'll be clearer here: it will be tough to go for a straight up 2-year MSc, but it is possible if you put enough work into it. Now, both Mann. and Bonn are great programmes, but they might indeed be better suited for people with prior experience of economics. Sorry for the confusion.

02-05-2015, 09:03 PM
indeed jrdonsimoni, I did a bit of research about the program courses for Mannheim and Bonn. Both are advanced programs for Econ Majors only. On the other hand Frankfurt's MSQ is very interesting, Perfect for my background. It requires the GRE, I will have to prepare for it and take it as soon as possible.

Can you give me more details about the MSQ? What courses does it have? there is very little detail about the program structure on its website.

Actually I am very interested in the Masters in Germany and France, due to the very low tuition fees, so am researching programs from these 2 countries more.

02-05-2015, 10:36 PM
I was going to reply here, but my answer was quite long and a little too detailed to be in here :) so I PM'ed you, hope thats ok

02-07-2015, 05:44 PM
it's ok. Thank you very much for your time and replies. :encouragement:

PM'ed you back. Reply when you can. Thanks a lot. :)