Stay at Bayes(Cass) or switch to Nottingham for IB prospects?

Currently a 1st Year student at Bayes (formerly Cass) Business School studying BSc Finance. I’ve realised after being here that I don’t particularly like the university, having found it socially awful and the institution itself is just incredibly underwhelming. 

I decided to reapply to other uni’s in January and have received an offer from Nottingham for BA Politics + Economics. I know that Notts is a pretty strong semi target but am unsure whether going here is much better than Bayes(Cass). Mainly as a lot of the IB representation for Notts is because it’s student body is significantly larger than other unis. Also I’m a bit worried of being in greater debt due to doing 4 years of uni and don’t know if going to Notts will really have a massive impact on my future earnings, compared to completing my degree from Bayes. 

Is going to Nottingham instead of completing my degree at Bayes worth it? Is it significantly better regarded by banks?


Honestly not a game changer - think either gets you in the door as much as the other. But you’ll probably have a better time there.


Haven’t noticed a disproportionate amount of alumni from Nottingham vs Cass. Suspect it comes down to experience, interview skills etc rather than the university name.

To exaggerate, it’s not like we’re debating a move from Bradford uni to LSE.

Still, if you think you’ll enjoy it more, go for it!

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This is super interesting to hear in all honesty. I asked a question about how Bayes is viewed a while back and got replies about how it’s barely seen as a semi target, or is a very low end one. Whilst a lot of the more recent threads about Notts seem to place it in a different league alongside unis like Bristol and Durham. 

I did a few searches on LinkedIn looking at major banks and saw outside of targets, uni’s like Exeter, Bristol & Notts were the most prevalent. However obviously this may be in part due to these uni’s having significantly more graduates than Bayes. Also when looking at a lot of Bayes/Cass alumni, it seemed like a fair amount of them had gone on to do target Masters programs from LSE, LBS etc. 

Do you know if there’s any way to find data about SA intakes or graduate intakes and the makeup of these classes for more recent years (2020 onwards)?


Nottingham is a notch better but it won't move the needle, as it's roughly in the same category. Also consider the opportunity cost of losing a year, tuition fees and questions that may come up regarding the gap in your CV.
Upside would be another shot at spring weeks as well as the social component of course, which I can't judge.

Suggest saving the money and getting into a Masters at a proper target. Perhaps also consider European undergrad targets taught in English, which beat both Bayes and Nottingham easily. Applications could still be open for next intake.


The costs of losing a year isn’t really the biggest concern to me as 1 ‘wasted’ year isn’t really the biggest issue when coming to a larger career as a whole imo. The point about the gap in my CV definitely wasn’t one I’d considered actually. Would you say that’s something that would seriously hurt me when coming to SW, SA applications?

Totally get your point about saving up for a target Masters but not changing uni won’t help me to save up because the government pays my tuition fees as opposed to it coming out my pocket lol. I looked at some options abroad for UG like Bocconi but it just didn’t really appeal to me in all honesty.


Agreed, an additional year in uni isn't entirely negative, especially if your experience so far wasn't as fun. Career earnings matter but you have to factor in your short to medium term means separately, so you can comfortably stay afloat. Even if it's funded by student loans, don't dig yourself in deeper than necessary. Frankly a lot comes down to your own and your family's circumstances.

Comparing incremental benefits of targets or semi-targets within their respective brackets is splitting hairs really. Individual factors will have far greater impact, as was said above. The gap year won't cause any issues necessarily but you would need to have a convincing answer prepared in case it is brought up.

European targets can sometimes afford you better odds as you don't have the same extent of competition with similar profiles. Even post Brexit you can save a fair amount of tuition potentially at a lower cost of living. CBA to check but look into SSE, RSM, HSG, CBS to name a few.


Sure, anything specific you'd like to know?

Generally the concept of semi-targets ceases to exist at Masters level. It's almost binary: worthwhile or not. In the UK only Oxbridge, LBS, LSE and Imperial are justifiable in terms of ROI. Abroad there are a number of programmes that can compete and courses are more commonly taught entirely in English than at undergrad level. Main names that come to mind are HEC, Bocconi, Insead, HSG, SSE, RSM, ESSEC, ESCP, CBS, ESADE, WHU, Nova (not exhaustive). In general it also matters what programme you get into (flagship vs. ancillary). Tuition can be cheaper, but some have different rates for domestic and international students. Languages spoken should be taken into account given some continental Masters will primarily recruit for local offices, while all of the above should have a shot in London as well.


Gonna add my thoughts, as I was researching semi-targets like Notts last year. Immediately I'd say a Master's would probably provide more value towards your goal of increasing future earnings for 1 year of your time (of course be at an increased expense), because you don't lose the year at Bayes this way. And, because I've still seen people at Notts take on Master's at the LSE or at Oxford to break into IB, so I don't see a huge enough upside to warrant a restart.

With what you talk about it being 'socially awful', I may (wrongly) interpret that to mean either the social life is poor or the societies at Bayes are poor. If the latter it may be difficult but gives you an opportunity to try improve them at the very least (and show that off on your CV). But if it is the former it can be solved pretty easily given you are in London, all you need to do is put yourself out there. It sounds to me that you conflate the poor social life into this issue (especially noticeable as you mention it first) when in reality it may just be an issue you personally face through lack of luck or lack of trying. You might well face this at Nottingham too. So,  you should rethink your position to not include the social element at all (least of all clubbing/nightlife) because you can determine that by yourself.


Thanks for the advice about Masters. The only concern with a Masters for me is that it’s significantly more expensive than me switching uni’s and the whole lost year at Bayes. Plus, as I’m still quite early into my undergrad, I’m unsure as to whether a Masters is for me atm (although I think this is partially due to my current UG experience). 

In all honesty I found both the social life and societies quite poor at Bayes. I have seriously tried with making mates at Bayes but it’s just been so difficult to find people with similar interests due to how different the demographic is tbh. Like my social life is actually okay atm because I’ve made some friends through people from my old 6th form who are at UCL and LSE and have enjoyed going clubbing and stuff with them in London. But it’s just frustrating how the uni has very little going for whilst all these other unis do. Plus I’ve visited some of my friends up at York, Sheffield and Manchester and just found it so easy to connect with people there so (without sounding like a prick) I really don’t think it’s a me thing in all honesty.

Excluding the whole social aspect, I’ve also found societies at Bayes to be quite poor, both Finance related and Sport/Other Interests related. I think there’s been some sort of hit post COVID with the Finance societies at Bayes as they’re all currently trying to recover and if you look at their sponsors it’s really poor when considered to traditional semi targets (Notts, Bristol, Exeter etc.). That being said some of the speakers who are invited are kind of impressive so it’s not all terrible. Outside of those, there is quite a lack of societies (again compared to RG unis) and the ones that exist compete at low levels, have poor facilities and it’s just hard to really get behind them.  

I’m not too sure what point I was making anymore lol. But essentially even excluding the whole social aspect, I still find it hard to believe staying here will be better than Notts.


I'd like to make clear that I wasn't trying to sound like a prick when I said that either, I was just saying it how I perceived what you were saying (& why I thought that). But, what actually are your interests & what parts of the Bayes demographic have you found too different to share those interests?

About the finance society, if it is shit that gives you a unique opportunity to try take charge of a semi-target's finance society & make that change yourself. I can't remember but I believe it was Bristol who came onto the scene with a new tracker, which was pretty interesting when before it seemed only LSE were running their tracker - so if you are one of the students at Bristol responsible for such a change I can imagine you can really sell it on your CV.

Also, I'd say the social life doesn't matter so much given you're already pretty well equipped with a set of friends in London, because from how you talk it seems like you can go out with / chill with also in London. If this isn't the case then it might get pretty lonely pretty fast & I sympathise with what you are saying. I'd definitely say (if you don't already) to really try make friends with classmates as it's really useful to have a support network for your actual academics. You could get them to introduce you to their group, or come to a society, etc. so it's an easy way to make friends.

About my point regarding the Masters, I completely agree it is much more expensive of a bill to foot (and self-funded living for that 1 year, I believe). But equally that cost of a Master's degree at a target would blow Nottingham's brand out of the water. The only downside apart from this is that you only have 1 real year to recruit and have got to hit the ground running. If I was you I would stay on at Bayes and network with alum who have broken in to try get any form of internship would be good, but if you don't land anything ideal or don't convert, you'd probably still be in good stead to apply for a Master's (assuming your grades are good). Don't take my word as gospel as I haven't considered a Master's in great depth yet.

Regardless, my reasoning as to why I am saying to stick to Bayes is because if you were to convert to Nottingham (which people call a marginally better semi-target) and restart, you may just end up taking a masters if you don't break in during undergrad. I get you don't know if you want to take one but many tend to if they want to break into banking or similar fields and haven't been able to at undergrad, so you may just be forced into it. In that case you'll have the cost of the year lost at Bayes, the cost of restarting at Notts, and then the cost of the Master's itself.

I know how you're thinking and that this marginal improvement through Nottingham may prevent you from getting to the stage of a Master's. But I'll leave you with one thought - would you have an easier time breaking in from LSE/Oxford or Nottingham?

Ultimately, it's your decision. But hope that gives you something to consider & good luck!


I’ve realised after being here that I don’t particularly like the university, having found it socially awful and the institution itself is just incredibly underwhelming. 

 So switch. Why the dithering? Forget IB prospects. You don't even like going to university. Imagine being miserable for three years. 

Also I’m a bit worried of being in greater debt due to doing 4 years of uni and don’t know if going to Notts will really have a massive impact on my future earnings, compared to completing my degree from Bayes. 

Debt from what? Do you have to pay the remaining tuition fees to Bayes? If not, there is no debt. People misunderstand SFE as debt - it is like a graduate tax. This isn't the US. The amount you pay back is pegged on how much you earn. Doesn't SFE wipe it off after a certain amount of years

Is going to Nottingham instead of completing my degree at Bayes worth it? Is it significantly better regarded by banks?

Absolutely dude. I didn't even know Bayes offer undergraduate degrees. Prioritise moving to Nottingham - don't listen to anyone saying stick with Bayes and network with alum. Networking won't help you get past BB HR lol...


The problem with Bayes is that 90% of the undergrad students in the business school did not achieve the minimum A Level grades required to get into IB (asides from the actuarial science students), so there isn’t a large amount of alumni in high finance. The careers centre is also terrible if you don’t want to become an actuary.

I’d definitely recommended Nottingham for the network AND the opportunity to apply for spring weeks again.


Are you by any chance also at Bayes or have you had experience with the uni? I am aware that a lot of students in the business school didn’t achieve AAA (which is the course requirement) but instead with AAB/ABB as the courses there go into clearing basically every year. That being said I’ve read AAB is the cutoff for IB and also from my personal experience I met a lot of people who had achieved AAA on my course. Also does the very small size of the business school not have anything to do with the smaller amounts of people in high finance.

That being said I have spoken to some alumni from the uni who have said that the careers centre sucks for undergrads haha


Yes I studied at Bayes for 4 years and currently work as a jr quant analyst. The size does have an impact, but the average Bayes student isn’t aiming for higher than actuarial/accounting so we don’t receive support for IB, AM and PE.

As we both mentioned the career centre is trash, societies are terrible with maybe one event a year and there are hardly any alumni in top positions to network with. It’s only getting harder to land top positions, so why make it harder by being at a uni that doesn’t instil confidence in employers? 

Im not sure what you study (IFRM?) but the finance modules are also really bad imo. But let me know if you want any further advice, I’ll pm you.


Did undergraduate degree in Singapore in Finance (2:1), currently working at a sell-side boutique sweatshop (low pay, small deals, Will be 1 YOE before i leave). Aiming to go to Bayes to get the opportunity to recruit for big banks/big shops.


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