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Thread: UK MSc: Economics vs Econometrics

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    UK MSc: Economics vs Econometrics

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    Please could someone offer some advice about which MSc programs are the best to apply for to increase my chances of getting onto a US PhD course next year.

    I know that the EME MSc at LSE is the best but I don't have any chance of being admitted to that. I'm looking more realistically at somewhere like Nottingham or Essex, and both of them offer MSc Economics, but also MSc Economics and Econometrics.

    Am I right in thinking that the MSc Economics and Econometrics would be better for boosting my PhD application chances because of the more quantitative nature of the course?

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    Re: UK MSc: Economics vs Econometrics

    I'm LSE MSc Econ alumni.

    Short answer: NO for top schools (probably top 20), MAYBE for lower-ranked schools.

    Long answer: From my experience, I feel that top US econ departments do not really give value to master's programmes from UK. Few exceptions are "distinction" from Oxbridge's MRes/MPhil and LSE's Econ/EME. But the condition that you get distinction means you must apply for PhD after you graduated from these programmes, so they won't help you for the next year. Lower-ranked schools might still give some value if you are already in these programmes AND you can get some strong LOR(s) from faculties there. Myself fall in the latter case.

    Hope this helps.

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    Re: UK MSc: Economics vs Econometrics

    This seems to be good advice from DDQuanta. If you do an MSc at a non-top 5 UK School, expect a placement into a non-top 5 UK School or maybe lower ranked US schools. These Masters programmes are really not comparable in terms of rigour to top 5 UK schools.

    Have you considered strong European programmes?

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    Re: UK MSc: Economics vs Econometrics

    - Firstly, you need to understand is that "quantitative" acc to US phds is serious proof based maths and stats and phd level econ modules.

    - Second - I have seen people from my university, Warwick MSc in Econ (top5) and not as rigorous as the other 4, who have done well in the Econ MSc and later went on to do an applied maths or pure maths MSc at Warwick after the MSc in economics and have secured places in top 20 US PhD. Moreover, Warwick is changing its course structure and will offer from 2020 September, a harder and more theoretical track for students interested in doing a phd later. This will be on par with other 4 masters in the top 5.

    My suggestion: Check if anyone from Nottingham's metrics prog have secured good phd admissions. Also see if you can take some math modules from the maths department alongside Econ courses. Courses like real analysis, point-set topology, probability theory, stochastic processes, numerical analysis will help a lot in prepping for a phd coursework and also later in your career. Also check out the MSc at Edinburgh, I have heard that their MSc course is quite rigorous. Link - Prospective MSc. They have also started another course which focusses on providing maths foundation to Econ students so they can compete in phd admissions. Link.- CPD (Mathematical Economics). I am quite sure that getting into a good US phd from a non top 5 school in UK is very hard and you will need to do a lot of extra coursework later on to make up for it. Better to aim at top 5 UK MScs (not LSE EME) and work hard to get a distinction. An usual option would be doing an applied maths degree at LSE which offers a mix of Econ and maths. This will help quite a lot in admissions if you can secure a distinction. If you think you can get into LSE MSc Econ and not EME, try to do that. It is not as rigorous as EME and securing a distinction will get you into the phd.

    Like ddquant said, securing above 70% in masters progs of LSE, UCL, Cambridge and Oxford will get you into their own phd programmes and possibly into other top 5 UK and top 20-30 US. Incase of Warwick, you will need at least 80% to seem competitive and get very good letters from profs.

    It is really hard to say what you need to do to ensure admission. Others on this forum who are more knowledgeable and experienced than me will tell you that the admission process is fairly random and can be frustrating. All I can say is always watch out for good admission outcomes of people from your uni or unis similar to yours and see what helped them get the admissions.

    Scary fact: EME is a very difficult course. So difficult that a dude from my uni who is really smart and capable and topped the entire MSc in econ cohort went onto do another MSc in EME at LSE and could not even secure a distinction. That should tell you something about the EME course.

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    Re: UK MSc: Economics vs Econometrics

    Ok, thank you very much to the posters above for the detailed answers, that's given me a much better idea of what to expect and what I should do.

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