What our students say
What our students say
Ashraful Haque Mahfuze, Bangladesh (2016-18)
Qualifications: MSc in Economics with Distinction (University of Warwick, UK), BSc in Economics and Finance (North South University, Bangladesh).
Research profile/Summary: I am looking at how external social influence in consumer’s purchasing decision can affect pricing and (endogenous) quality choice by firms.
Fields: Industrial organisation, game theory, mathematical economics, economics of information.
Previous research: A survey on diffusion of innovation in social networks (MRes year 1 summer project); The Economics of Romantic Love (MSc Economics dissertation).
Why did you choose MRes Economics as your programme of study at the University of Glasgow?
'I wanted to pursue a comprehensive PhD programme in Economics with rigorous training in the area before embarking on the research. To this end, this MRes/PhD programme in Economics at the University Of Glasgow was a relatively new offering (only in its second year when I applied). The prestige of the university (the same institution trained Adam Smith), coupled more importantly with the highly experienced and renowned faculty members especially in my field of interest (Microeconomic Theory), encouraged me to apply.
The city of Glasgow also played an important role in my decision. When I was in Warwick for my MSc, I visited Scotland, staying in Glasgow for two days. I instantly fell in love with the city and the friendliness of the people. I figured I would want to spend 5 years of my life in place that is welcoming and happy to have me. These all led to my decision to study here and I, even for an instant, never regretted that choice.'
Could you describe what an average week in your programme looks like, considering this a very distinct course as a pathway for PhD.
'The MRes is a two-year programme, and from the very moment it starts, it is quite intense. The first year contains the core courses: Microeconomic theory, Macroeconomic theory, Econometrics and Quantitative methods. In a typical week in the first year, there would be around 12 hours of lectures and the main assessment of the modules were examinations. For those 12 hours of lectures, a considerable time was spent to prepare for those lectures and self-study the material. The lecture hours were decreased in the second year, but the amount of time required for independent study was higher. In addition, some of us were appointed as Graduate Teaching Assistants in the second year, and some portion of the week required us teaching tutorials to undergraduate students.
As this programme is training us to be independent researchers, a significant amount of time in a week was required for self-paced and self-motivated independent study. This was more evident in the summer of both years: where in the first year we had to submit a research project while in the second year we have to submit a dissertation. The average week during the summer was mostly spent (at any location) digging up research articles, finding gaps in a research area, and attempting to address that gap with a good level of originality.'
What part of your programme did you enjoy the most, and how would you say it was different from other PG or research degrees?
'I have never been challenged so much in my academic career before enrolling in this programme. It course was quite intense, especially compared to the MSc I completed, and being able to survive this programme (and survive it well) after that entire struggle to me was most satisfactory. In addition, I enjoyed learning from some of the best researchers and academics the field of economics has to offer. This programme was different from my MSc in the way that although the MSc was a good degree to teach me analytical skills, this programme also enhanced my creativity and research skills. I feel quite ready to embark on the PhD, much more than how I felt two years back. One different aspect of this programme compared to other postgraduate taught degrees would be that most probably you would not attend a lecture and then instantly teach a tutorial in the same room in other taught programmes (this was possible for the appointed GTAs in MRes).'
How do you feel your programme helped you/will help you with your career plans?
'I wanted a comprehensive training before starting my PhD and this programme gave me exactly that. The core courses in the first year gave me the theoretical foundation that is required, while the field courses in the second year helped me narrow my research interests. Out-of-class interactions with the faculty members and especially my supervisor also played a major role.'
What is it like to study the programme and live here as a student?
'Glasgow is an amazing place to live. The city is very friendly and has an energetic atmosphere that is consistent with my preferences. I am very happy to call it my second home. As for the programme, although it was quite intense, I could take a lot out of it. I feel intellectually more capable than how I felt two years back, and now have considerably more tools and skills at my disposal for a decent thesis. Discipline, hard work, patience and persistence will all play important roles in surviving this programme.'