I am considering doing an MPhil in Planning, Growth and regeneration at Cambridge. I also got an offer to study Town planning at Uni of Reading with a complete scholarship. Cambridge say that I did not win any scholarships for their course, therefore to do the course I have to take out a career development loan of 10,000 and live very humbly as the estimated living cost make the whole thing cost 16,000. I would love to hear from someone who has / is studying in the land econ department at Cambridge or knows a bit more about it than I do.

Is this course only suitable for those who want to be academics? I dont want to be an academic- I just want to work in real estate. Is this course really intense- i.e not for the average? Is this course just a money maker (in terms of fees) for Cam (as some masters are accused of being)? Is it worth paying 16k to buy the name of Cambridge and put on my cv? Is 10 months enough time to make a significant difference to my career?

What sort of people do this course? Is it mainly professionals? Are there many international students? Are there many under 25s?
What are the employment prospects? Are you or do you know of any successful postgrads from this course or any other masters course from Land economy department? What sorts of jobs are/do they do? Do you know of anyone who’s been happy doing this course?

Does this course have much planning in it- or is it mainly law and economics? I.e, does law and econ underpin all that you study? Can you get away with just doing planning modules?

Basically, I am asking all these questions because I got into Reading to do a planning masters, I have been awarded a complete bursary, and will only have to pay 2,000 for travel costs. I am not sure if I should just go to Reading because it costs less and it is a vocational course, or if I should take up the challenge of doing the Cambridge course which is expensive, but of course from a world class institution. I also have to add that I want to work at an international level, so trying to get a job as woman in real estate is harder in developing countries, one reason why I choose Cambridge was because it has a international rep, whereas Reading doesn’t.

Please let me know what you think. Is this MPhil worth it or am I being lured in to spend thousands of pounds I don’t have cos of a name? My big sis says that University of Reading will be most practical and beneficial in short run, but Cambridge will be more worthwhile in the long run. I have to make my final decision within this month. I am considering doing both- resubmitting my application to Cambridge for next yr (when my parents have money) and doing Reading now, or vice versa.. Worried that I’ll loose Cambridge place if I resubmit application! At same time Worried that I’ll loose the grant at Uni of Reading if I defer though
What are your views?

Thanks for taking a moment to help
Best wishes