Country of origin: China
PhD Economics student, Lancaster University
I decided to pursue a career of research in Economics when I was on the penultimate year of my undergraduate studies. Therefore when considering the choice of Masters programmes available I paid particular attention to the research atmosphere and relevant experts in the area I was interested in.
The MRes Money, Banking and Finance programme at Lancaster University attracted me as there are not many universities which offer open research-oriented Masters programmes, and Lancaster University Management School has a very high reputation for research.
When investigating the syllabus of the programme, I felt that the modules were carefully designed and would fit with my research plan. Firstly, there are balanced modules across Economics and Finance. Since I realised that to some extent I lacked an Economics background, the modules on Microeconomics and Macroeconomics were really useful. On the other hand, the Finance modules complemented and progressed my undergraduate-level knowledge of Finance. Secondly, as a vital part of Economics research, knowledge of Econometrics and the skill of applying it with data is very important and included in the Econometrics module. And indeed, the knowledge and skills I learned proved to be useful for the dissertation. Finally, there is an additional research training course in the second semester, which led me to be able to carry out research more quickly.
Now that I have studied at Lancaster University, I am satisfied that the content and quality of the modules met my expectations. The teaching staff are patient and nice. Additionally, certain elements focus more on practical issues and real-world situations. For example, in the Banking class we discussed financial stability and tried to find out the role of banks in the recent financial crisis. This is different from the specific models discussed in the research papers, but provided a big picture of economic development and such comprehension is also important in research as it enables fresh thinking.
The size and structure of the cohort was brilliant. The class size of around 25 people enabled effective communication during the lectures and tutorials and I enjoyed the multicultural environment within the group which made it easy to make friends. The social events held by the Economics Department are well organised and I had a good time with the staff and fellow students on the programme.
The Lancaster University campus is situated a couple of miles out of Lancaster with wonderful views and all kinds of facilities such as a supermarket and sports centre. Lancaster is conveniently connected by the frequently-running buses and the town is safe and friendly. Living either on- or off-campus is a good choice.