What are the real requirements?


Hey folks,

I'm just looking into Masters degrees at the LSE, and the subject I'm most interested in is the LSE-PKU Double MSc Degree in International Affairs course.

What I notice however, is that it says out of 300 annual applicants only 18 gain entry. Which is what, 6% of applicants? So I'm just wondering what admissions actually look for in applications to narrow down potential candidates. I'd assume extracurricular activities has a lot to do with it, or would it be most likely that the majority of applicants don't have a sufficient (or relevant) degree?


You could try asking them (LSE) of course.


Quote From ksc7:

So I'm just wondering what admissions actually look for in applications to narrow down potential candidates.

With LSE....a big fat wallet.

(Seriously consider whether the exorbitant fees are worth the LSE brand name compared to other leading UK universities).


======= Date Modified 26 Oct 2008 10:43:05 =======
Uhmm...I beg to differ. LSE is what you make of it. There are MANY who are not rich, who come to LSE and are still happy with their choice in intellectual and professional terms. You can groan about the huge class sizes, the high fees, the having to work to pay your fees, and everything else. And there are plenty who do that, believe me. OR, you could prepare well for the fantastic lectures, attend the variety of public lectures they are able to organize with leading world figures, build a rapport with your course tutors and faculty, get to know the research bent of your department, use the lovely library and all the other things they have and really really have a very positive experience. Again, there are plenty who do that as well.

Its the same for all other leading places as well. It is what you make of it. Every Oxbridge in the world shall produce some who have liked it, and done well. And some who have not and loads in between.

And as far as LSE is concerned,I am *absolutely* sure that the admissions team have more on their minds that a big fat wallet.


Also, people who have a positive experience out of LSE are very very often not ones with a big fat wallet. Many big fat walleted people do get into LSE. But the ones who make it a positive intellectual experience, are often those who 'chose' LSE, and worked full/part time to make ends meet and still consider it worth their while.


If you are a UK student, then I think they'll be looking for a first from a high ranked institution plus good internships / work experience / experience of life abroad etc. However, if you are a UK student, then the real issue with these two year programmes is affordability as unlike every other UK university they charge UK students full international fees for MA degrees. I know of nowhere that will lend you the money for these fees as they are way over the maximum of the career development loans and they attract no research council funding. Unfortunately with half of the course being abroad you cannot guarantee to cover the costs by earned income so you do need to have the money. Like an earlier poster said you have to really consider (particularly given as Phdbug admits there are some serious complaints about teaching and contact with staff there - I know a lot of resentful LSE grads...), whether the LSE fees are really manageable and worthwhile.
I find the contrast between the LSE of today and the principles of its Fabian founders quite remarkable....


Phdbug, my words were tongue and cheek (...a running joke amongst British students, with the parentheses attempting to contain the serious comment). I'm not knocking LSE, and of course any university is what you make it.

Although I have to say, it is undeniable that LSE generally charges fees that are much higher than most other British universities, and therefore, attracts wealthy students and admits a very high proportion of wealthy international students (LSE is highly reliant on international fees). It is, and has been for a long time, a very elitist university. This is no better evidenced by its attempts at lobbying the government under the auspices of the Russel Grp to lift the cap on UG fees. Of course, there are students who have to work and stuggle to pay fees, but a great deal (and in my experience, a disproportionate number cf. to other UK universities) do not.

Having studied at LSE (at Masters level), and other London colleges, I personally haven't found anything that really sets LSE apart from the likes of UCL or KCL, and therefore, I always say to anyone applying to LSE, and facing much higher fees, to seriously weigh up whether it's really worth the money (frequently 2/3x the cost of other unis...including Oxbridge...and LSE is certainly not Oxbridge). Obviously, the ability to pay these high fees is a real factor when applying. In many respects, I find one pays for the international 'brand name' at LSE, and not necessarily a superior educational experience (relative to other top UK unis). Obviously, this is my experience, and yours and others may differ.

For my sins, I am considering a further degree possibly at LSE once I finish my PhD, so do not think in anyway I am 'anti-LSE'...but in my opinion the heavy branding and marketing of LSE doesn't necessarily reflect the reality of the place.


Quote From bewildered:

the real issue with these two year programmes is affordability as unlike every other UK university they charge UK students full international fees for MA degrees.

Really? Wow.


Yup £14, 556 for all students regardless of nationality or residence status for the year spent at LSE plus whatever PKU charges for their year. To be fair for their less popular programmes home/eU students get a discount and only pay £9500 or so but you really have to wonder whether it's worth paying vastly more than for Oxford, Cambridge, UCL etc if it's prestige you're after, or any of the other highly rated politics depts in the country if it's the subject that is the key.