Need reviews on my University list and a few suggestions

I am currently in high school in the UAE, I am going to be doing my bachelors and masters(not sure) and come back to work in Dubai.

I am going to be applying to a finance course(or something closely related) in the UK or Europe.

My UK list is:
LSE, Warwick, Manchester, Nottingham, Exeter


Rotterdam school of management, University of Amsterdam



I am a bit worried about my UK list, as I don't know if there are better alternatives. I would love some opinion on my list, and if I should replace a specific uni on my list with some other university.


Comments (26)

Sep 10, 2020 - 12:40am
CoconutBananas, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I can only apply to 5 universities in UCAS, and it won't be smart to include 4 risky unis like (oxford,cambridge,lse,warwick),

  • Prospect in Other
Sep 9, 2020 - 10:24pm

Firstly, economics is the better-respected course in the UK, but it's closely related to finance so I guess you didn't say anything wrong there. Your UK list seems alright. If you're studying economics, I would also consider UCL. Also, depending on your stats, shoot for Oxbridge. I'm not the most well versed in this, but if you want to succeed at Rotterdam/Amsterdam or Bocconi, I'm pretty sure you have to know Dutch or Italian, respectively. Your better alternative in the UK is UCL and Oxbridge.

Also, I would change your username for anonymity purposes.

Sep 10, 2020 - 12:45am
CoconutBananas, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Yeah, so I'm still not firm on the course, like if a uni has something with finance and eco I would pick it over finance. Economics is better, but I am super interested in studying finance, and I don't know if I will enjoy Economics as much. (But obviously, if I get into Oxbridge, I would pick Eco). So should I still apply for eco in the other unis?

I can only apply to 5 universities in UCAS, and it won't be smart to include 4 risky unis like (oxford, Cambridge, LSE, Warwick).

As far as I know, from the research I have done on Reddit and WSO, Bocconi and Rotterdam are nice unis.

Sep 10, 2020 - 5:07am
Slalomshalom11, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Oxbridge deadlines are 3 months earlier (oct. 15) and you can only choose to apply to either oxford or Cambridge. Not both.

Don't know whether you can apply for the rest with the usual deadline (jan. 15) or with your Oxbridge application, you'll have to check.

  • Prospect in Other
Sep 10, 2020 - 9:58am

The UCAS application only lets you write one general essay. This essay is your opportunity to showcase your passion and dedication for the subject you are applying to. While it's possible to showcase a passion for both finance and economics, it's tough to do both effectively. By trying, you'd be missing out on the opportunity to show a full passion for one or the other and just come off as sort of "half-assing" two things. To each their own, but imo economics is fascinating to study and obviously there's a lot of overlap between economics and finance, so you're not really missing out on a whole lot. My personal suggestion is to go after economics as a subject, since the prestige factor is heavy and you can still study finance to your heart's content. Try taking an econ course online or reading an econ book just to see if you're into it before making a decision. My personal suggestion would be to apply to econ programs tho at all the unis.

Like another poster suggested, you have to pick between Ox and Cam, so you're down to 3. I would go with Ox/Cam, LSE, UCL/Warwick (UCL is stronger and more prestigious imo), and then 2 others. So that puts you at 3 risky unis, which isn't that bad tbh. And you still have a fallback plan (applying around the UAE/Middle East, so you can probably even take on the risk of 4 good unis, but 3 is definitely a minimum here imo).

Bocconi and Rotterdam aren't just nice, they're phenomenal. But I'm assuming you don't have a strong foundation in Italian or Dutch, so the experience just isn't going to be that phenomenal for you.

Most Helpful
Sep 10, 2020 - 7:09am
Whyphy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

It depends on your grades but presuming you're above average I'd probably go for LSE, UCL, Warwick, and two of Manchester/Nottingham/Durham/Exeter (personally I'd opt for Manchester and Durham, but they're all good unis so I'd choose it more based on where you'd rather spend 3+ years of your student life).

If you wanted a softer backup then do LSE, UCL, Warwick, one of Manchester/Nottingham/Durham/Exeter, and then one of the rest of the Russell Group unis like KCL, Liverpool, Birmingham, Queen Mary..

LSE, UCL, Warwick you're basically straight to interview stage when applying, Manchester/Notts/Durham/Exeter you've got a foot in the door but need a bit more on your CV (potentially internship pre uni if you can, finance/investment club at uni, etc.), the rest of the unis will be more challenging but not impossible.

Edit: If you don't get into a top uni for undergrad, it's generally not that difficult to move up a tier for masters. A lot of people who don't get offers from semi-target undergraduate go do a masters at a target and get in that way.

  • NA in Other
Sep 10, 2020 - 1:37pm


Sep 11, 2020 - 2:47am
CoconutBananas, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I've looked into UCL, they don't offer finance. I am trying to avoid London as much as I can, just because I know other places in the UK apart from London are gonna give me a much better experience, thats why I have only picked one uni from London (LSE). I am anyways gonna do a placement year, in any uni that I go, so even if i go to manchester/notts/durham/exeter. I will have an internship, and since I am so interested in finance, I know I will be part of some club regardless of the uni I go to. Also, I will be working in Dubai after my uni. I am pretty sure due to the lack of intense competition here, I will be getting into a nice firm (since most candidates study in Dubai and UK unis are way better, education wise and rep.)

Also when you said "softer backup" did it mean that those unis are less risky or more risky? I am confused

I will be doing my masters as well, so that can be from a target school, if I don't get into one now.

So, do you have an alternative for UCL?


Sep 12, 2020 - 11:44am
Whyphy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Yes, I meant Liverpool, Queen Mary, etc as being less risky but still Russell group so not awful either.

As you don't really want to be in London, you could do LSE/Oxbridge, Warwick, Durham/Bristol, Manchester/Nottingham, then whatever easy one you want as a backup.

For Durham vs Bristol, Durham tries to follow Oxbridge socially, quite a few posh students, and basically everyone's an Oxbridge reject. Bristol is more down to Earth and in an actual city. Durham is kind of like Cambridge in the sense that it's a university with a city, whereas Oxford and Bristol are cities with a university if that makes sense.

Manchester vs Nottingham, academically not a huge difference. I would opt for Manchester out of the two because the city has more going on, it's a very student focused city (3 fairly large universities, big night scene, easy to get around etc), and because you'll be going abroad, everyone knows Manchester because of the football clubs so it gives you something to talk about with basically everyone.

Sep 11, 2020 - 2:51am
CoconutBananas, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I will look into those, I have to research a bit more if I can get a direct entry to Year 2, since courses in scotland are 4 years, compared to UK (3 years)

Sep 11, 2020 - 8:43am
Telemachus, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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