Master Ranking - London IB

Hi, everyone. Most of the master rankings you can find here seem to be either wrong or not well explained. I’m gonna try to make one that suits most people. However, 2 assumptions are needed: This ranking is a) Only for London IB, and b) Independent of nationality and languages spoken. However, being a national or speaking the language of the country from where you’re getting your master from, strongly increases placement chances (e.g a German from Bocconi is tier 2.5 but an Italian from Bocconi is tier 1.5).

Here we go: 

Tier 1: Oxford MFE, LBS MFA, LSE MFin, LSE MFin & PE, HEC MiF

Tier 1.5: Imperial MFin, LBS MiM

Tier 2: LSE MFin & Acc

Tier 2.5: Bocconi MiF, ESCP MiF, ESSEC MiF, HSG MiF

This is only for the targets/semi-targets, I have no clue about the other unis. Feel free to add them.


Based on the most helpful WSO content, it's clear that the discussion around master's programs and their ranking, especially in relation to London IB (Investment Banking), is a topic of high interest and debate. Your ranking provides a structured view focusing on London IB placement, which is a crucial aspect for many candidates considering their postgraduate options. Let's delve a bit deeper into some of the programs you've mentioned, aligning with the insights from the WSO dataset:

Tier 1:

  • Oxford MFE: Known for its very academic program that places very well in IB/Consulting. The program's strong reputation, alongside Oxford's prestige, makes it a top choice for those aiming for London IB.
  • LBS MFA (Masters in Financial Analysis): This career-focused program boasts amazing placement across the finance spectrum, including IB. LBS's location and strong industry connections in London further enhance its appeal.
  • LSE MSc Finance & LSE MSc Finance and Private Equity: LSE's programs are slightly less academic than Oxford's MFE but offer amazing placement opportunities in IB and sometimes PE. LSE's strong academic reputation and its location in London make it a prime choice for students aiming for IB roles.
  • HEC Paris MIF (Master in International Finance): While HEC Paris is not based in London, its strong placement in London IB firms is notable. The program's international recognition and network in the finance industry make it a Tier 1 choice for London IB aspirants.

Tier 1.5:

  • Imperial MFin: Imperial College London's Master in Finance is highly regarded, with strong placement in finance roles. Its strong quantitative focus and the college's overall reputation in STEM fields make it a compelling choice.
  • LBS MiM (Masters in Management): While slightly broader than the MFA, the MiM at LBS still offers excellent opportunities for placement in finance roles, including IB, due to LBS's strong industry connections.

Tier 2:

  • LSE MSc Finance and Accounting: This program, while still offering good placement opportunities, might be seen as slightly more specialized towards accounting roles but still maintains strong placement in IB.

Tier 2.5:

  • Bocconi MiF, ESCP MiF, ESSEC MiF, HSG MiF: These programs, while highly regarded, might face slightly more challenges in placing students directly into London IB roles compared to Tier 1 programs. However, they still offer strong education and opportunities, especially for students from their respective countries or those who have strong language skills and networks in those markets.

Your approach to ranking these programs, especially considering the nuances of nationality and language skills, adds an important layer of consideration for candidates. It's crucial for students to not only consider the academic and placement strengths of these programs but also how their own backgrounds might influence their placement opportunities in the highly competitive London IB market.

Sources: European Masters Ranking | 2020, European Masters Rankings, European Masters Rankings, UK Target Universities Discussion Thread, European Masters Ranking | 2020

I'm an AI bot trained on the most helpful WSO content across 17+ years.

Considering how degree subject doesn't matter nearly as much to employers as the overall university brand name, from what multiple people have told me (at least for practically identical subjects like finance and a&f), you could probably group LSE MFin & Acc with the MFin. I'd also move Bocconi up to 1.5 at least, but I'm not entirely sure how well it places for internationals. Seems like the vast majority of people from Bocconi are Italians staffing southern Europe desks.


Agree with you.

1) The program name doesn’t matter that much

2) Bocconi MFin would be considered a Target for Italians / Semi-target for non-Italians


I think it depends. If you’re recruiting for MM banks or like transaction services I don’t think the particular master matters. But for BBs/EBs, it definitely matters. For example, some recruiting events are limited to only some masters from each uni. Also a strong proportion of the people working in BBs/EBs also came from these masters so they know which ones are more difficult to get into, and they use that as a "first screening".


Do you have specific insights from people in those programs/engaged with recruiting at these banks? Recently spoke to a current MFin student at Imperial, for instance, who claimed the MFin and MFin & Acc there have the same prospects, with the Fin & Acc kids even getting better offers on average due to more of them having IB-tailored profiles.


Interesting. Work experience plays a major role, so I’m not surprised if some candidates perform better even if they come from a less recognised program. Everything else equal, the MFin is more targeted than the MFin & Acc. This is also true for LSE. A quick LinkedIn search will show you that.

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For sure, but how much of that is due to employer discrimination versus student self-selection? MFins typically admit stronger candidates, who perform better as a function of their stronger profile, and some programs are more "IB-oriented" than others (more market-oriented kids at the Imperial MFin, given its quanty nature, for example, so not as many people interested in IB). But it seems kids from "lesser" programs with a strong profile place just as well. Individual profile strength seems to matter more than program prestige, at least within the same university. Things are obviously different when comparing different schools, where actual quotas or uni-specific hiring practices may exist for each one. Regarding the recruiting events you mentioned, do you have an example of one that discriminated between programs?


As said in OP, there's always a premium in doing a Masters in your country's best uni (Bocconi for Italians, HSG for DACH students, Nova for Portuguese, etc.)

However let's take a Polish/Indian/Turkish/American who wants to break into London IB: 

  • Tier 1: Top UK Uni (Oxford, Imperial, LSE, LBS) + HEC MFin
  • Tier 2: Bocconi, ESCP, ESSEC, Warwick, UCL, King's
  • Tier 3: EDHEC, ESADE, IE, HSG

For an International, I would say yes. For an Italian, it evens out.


MFP&E alumni here. They are pretty much the same class. Only 1 module is different. In fact, during the first term you can switch between programmes, but then you stick with one from second term onwards

Admission rate is <10% for both and was able to get interviews from MFPEs/BBs/EBs/MM

Needless to say, it did not give me any advantage in PE recruiting over the classical LSE Mfin. To be honest, I never understood why they made a new programme if everything is the same but one module


thanks! unfortunately I do think everything else will fail, so do you think it's even worth applying to Warwick or is it better to find a job for a year and then try again next year?


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