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IR: Cambridge/LSE/Oxford/Sciences Po

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I'm having a very hard time deciding where to study in Europe next year in international affairs. I've been accepted to Cambridge, LSE, Oxford, and Sciences Po but funding, course structure and reputation are weighing on me. I have a BA in International Development and 2 years of relevant work experience (co-op) in foreign policy. After graduate school, I would like to eventually work for the UN, an international organization or the foreign affairs department. Here are my initial thoughts:

LSE - MSc IR: no funding, 1 full year, foundational course in IR + courses + 10,000 word dissertation. I have applied to a couple of external scholarships which could offset the higher cost of living, but have heard that it's more of a degree that looks good on paper.

Cambridge - MPhil IR: no funding, 10 months, courses + methodology + 25,000 word dissertation. I really like the idea of living on a small campus, not far away from London. Having browsed internet forums I'm not sure about POLIS' reputation.

Oxford - MPhil IR: no funding, 2 years, foundational courses,  courses + methodology + 30,000 word dissertation. Probably my first choice but I don't have the means to spend 90k on tuition + living expenses for two years esp. given my likely income afterwards. Would I be making a huge mistake in rejecting the offer and going elsewhere?

Sciences Po - Int. Security: Partial funding (20,000 euros), 2 years, internship, a ton of courses, already bilingual. i could afford to stay in Paris for two years with the scholarship and it would give me the opportunity to get some more work experience/internships during the summer and fall. Not too sure about the university's reputation and course structure since it seems like there are 8 classes per semester??

Right now, I'm leaning towards Cambridge given the length of the programme and the campus, but also very open to considering LSE or Sciences Po. Grateful for any opinions :)

Edited by MarieAntoinette
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  • 2 months later...

Congrats! They’ve all got good reputations. Go to whichever you most prefer that you can afford. 

May I ask where you did your undergrad and what grade you got? I’m thinking of applying to similar courses

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A few years ago I got IR at Cambridge and Comparative Politics at LSE. Chose the latter, simply because LSE is higher on the world university rankings for politics/IR. No regrets :) 

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  • 7 months later...

I am also debating whether to attend LSE's Msc International Political Economy or a dual degree between Sciences Po and the University of Toronto. I'm curious as to how you found your experience and which program you chose!

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