Advice on European MSc

Hi, was looking for some advice on applying to and chances at European masters.
I’m currently a third year at a weak UK target (Imperial, UCL, Warwick), got a 1st in first year but due to personal complications got a 2.2 in second year, which is my current worry. Have a couple internships at start-ups, SA internship in IBD at an MM in London. Exec position at my unis finance society and a lot of international experience. Got 740 on GMAT.
I know that the 2.2 takes UK masters out of the picture, but does anyone have any advice or insight into chances of getting into other European schools? Would be great to go to HEC, Bocconi but would I maybe have better chances at HSG, SSE, RSM, IE and the likes of those schools?

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HSG is on par with Bocconi, HEC - it’s a top tier target for its region. People who get into MBF have very strong profiles.

However, something like MaccFin is more achievable as the class size is significantly higher and the programme is not as prestigious (but still strong placement).

The main question for you is - what is the end goal?

If you want to live in French speaking part of Europe, aim for HEC/weaker French schools.

If you want to live in the DACH region, aim for HSG/Frankfurt.

If it’s going back to London, aim for British masters/top tier EU. There was a story a while back on one of the forums (I think WSO or student room) about someone with a 2:2 from imperial undergrad getting into an imperial masters by being on good terms with the masters professors and talking to them about why they got a 2:2, how they want to do that masters, etc. If the end goal is London, I think that would be your best best.

Also with regards to your final grade:
1. Does your first year count towards your overall grade?
2. Surely you can still pull up a 2:2 to a 2:1?

Another consideration is are you British or do you have an EU passport? Do you know any of the main EU languages?


Thanks for the reply.

To answer your questions:

1) I'm quite lost as to what my main goal is tbh, wouldn't mind London short term but long term would want to be in europe, prefebly not France though. I just want to keep as many doors open atm.

2) first year doesn't count for the overall final grade on my degree. However, as I'd be applying without my 3rd year grades I could submit my first and second year transcripts - my thoughts are that maybe some European schools don't take into account that my first year transcript means nothing for my final grade.

3) I don't think I'll have any problems pulling my grade up to a solid 2.1, but like I mentioned my application would only be assessed using first and second yr results.

4) I'm not British but have settled status, as I've lived here for a while, so don't need a visa. I'm also fluent in a nordic language, french and spanish.


I don't think the 2.2 necessarily kills you when you have a 740 GMAT. On an LBS application your IB SA is a big boost too. 


Your profile has several strengths that can be attractive to European business schools. While a 2.2 in your second year may be a concern, it's important to remember that admissions committees typically consider the entire application, including your GMAT score, international experience, internships, and leadership roles.

Here are a few points to consider:

  1. GMAT Score: Your GMAT score of 740 is excellent and can help offset concerns about your second-year grades.

  2. Work Experience: Your SA internship in IBD at a London MM and internships at start-ups are valuable. Highlight your accomplishments and what you learned during these experiences.

  3. Extracurriculars: Your executive position at your university's finance society showcases leadership and dedication.

  4. Personal Statement: Use your personal statement to explain any extenuating circumstances that led to your second-year results. Be honest and concise, focusing on how you overcame these challenges and improved.

  5. School Selection: Consider schools like HEC, Bocconi, HSG, SSE, RSM, and IE, which may be more flexible in their admissions criteria compared to highly competitive UK universities.

  6. Recommendation Letters: Ensure your recommendation letters speak to your strengths and potential for success in a master's program.

Ultimately, each European school has its own admissions criteria and processes. It's essential to thoroughly research each school, tailor your application to their specific requirements, and demonstrate how you're a strong candidate despite the temporary setback in your second year. If possible, reach out to admissions teams at your target schools for guidance on your unique situation. Your strong GMAT score and other accomplishments can be assets in securing admission to a European master's program.


Thank you for the insight. In your opinion, do you think it would be worth applying with only my first and second year grades? Or would it be worth waiting a year to have secured my third year grades and bumping my overall to a 2.1?


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