2018 UK Target Uni - MSc - for FO jobs: put your POV

2018 guide (obviously based on my experience and from various rankings)

TARGET: Oxbridge, LSE, LBS, IBS

STRONG SEMI: Warwick, UCL

SEMI: Cass, Edinburgh, Bath, Manchester, Durham

Other SEMI: Exeter, Queen Mary, Bristol, Kings, and so on through the Russel Group.

Decent chances to get a FO job but not so much in auge: Royal Holloway, Loughborough etc.

NON

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Comments (87)

Oct 28, 2017

IBS? Imperial business school?! Well we now know where you go hahahaha. No way it's the level of LSE and Oxbridge, and above UCL and Warwick. Imperial is only targeted for hard sciences and engineering majors, since these kids are extremely smart. I laugh at IBS whenever I screen resume.

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Best Response
Oct 28, 2017

I don't go to Imperial. However, I disagree with what you've said. ICBS has solid placement in London IB and has arguably the hardest MSc Finance course in the country. Anecdotally, a lot of guys I know on the programme got very high grades at good undergrad programmes in economics and mathematics.

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Oct 28, 2017

How would you rank the Master's at Imperial, UCL and Warwick compared to eachother?

Oct 28, 2017

For MSc, it is not divided like how OP laid it out. For UK masters, we only look at LBS, LSE, Oxbridge. These are the targets masters. Warwick, UCL, Imperial masters are good, but whenever we see these, we will look at undergrad to see if they did anything interesting at a target. The hardest course, assuming what you said is true, does not equate good placement. Perception of your uni, fair or not, largely determines where you get interviews.

Overall, European masters are much more popular here in the City.

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Oct 28, 2017

Fair enough on the rankings point. So for full disclosure, ICBS was one of the three MSc choices I considered and I looked into the career placement from it.

According to the careers report, MSc Finance students have placed in BAML, Barclays, Blackstone, BNPP, Citi, Commerzbank, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman, HSBC, Lazard, Macquarie, Moelis, Morgan Stanley, Nomura, RBC, Roths, SocGen, StanChart, UBS.

Fair enough, we don't know whether this was for FO and we don't know what % of students placed. But LinkedIn yields similar results.

I ended up going to one of the two other London universities you mentioned - but I still know friends at ICBS doing well. So I wouldn't call ICBS a joke, though saying it isn't at the level of LSE or LBS may be fair.

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Oct 31, 2017

I echo that. I have few friends there.
Great career outcomes, great faculty and learning outcomes.
I mean, if you want the best career service in the UK you have to pick LBS
Anyway, Little Internship + IBS > No internship + LSE hands down imho

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Nov 18, 2017

Toughts on St. Andrew?

The name of the game, moving the money from the client's pocket to your pocket

Nov 27, 2017

St Andrews places well into Citi/Barclays (both IBD and S&T), and sends at least one to BAML, LAZ, and Evercore every year consistently. I'd say it is a semi target. This is only for Undergrad.

Oct 28, 2017

It's pretty hard to come up with a fully exhaustive list, but if you're including some of the universities there then you should also drop in Nottingham and St. Andrews.

Realistically, once you get below a certain university, I think it's worth trying to go for a continental European school instead. For example, unless you are a British national, I'd pick RSM or a WHU over a Queen Mary.

Oct 28, 2017

Lads I'm not enrolled in master, and to be honest I'm looking for a good one to apply..
I want to be in London, and I think if my app with LSE, IBS, Warwick and CASS will not be successful, I'll try with QM or Edinburgh
If you have advices are accepted..
I haven't the GMAT
I'm French but I want to be in London/UK.. So I'm not considering RSM WHU and so on.
Exception could be Bocconi or Politecnico of Milan or LUISS (all of these in Italy)

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Nov 8, 2017

Logistically it'd be easier to remain in London but most London-based FO recruiters would prefer to see a top German or Dutch school over a QM. However, if you have good workexp / a solid undergrad brand name it wouldn't be a deal-breaker.

Nov 12, 2017

So maybe you would prefer Frankfurt School Of Management instead of QM?
They're really good but their massive placement is in Frankfurt.. and I don't speak German.......

The name of the game, moving the money from the client's pocket to your pocket

Nov 12, 2017

If you don't speak German, don't go to a German school. Although the likes of Mannheim, WHU, Frankfurt School and especially St. Gallen place fairly good in London, the main market will be Germany/ Switzerland where it very difficult to land a job if you aren't at least conversational.

Also, you won't be getting much out of Uni's social life if you're not German. That may sound a little harsh but it is true for many international students.

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Nov 13, 2017

Quite true lad, but you forgot a key point: As opposed to France Italy and so on, Germans speak a great english.
In addition to this, University provides you of German classes.

Anyway, I'm a follower of your opinion, but as former student in France and Germany I say that there's an enormous gap.

That being said, I would prefer Queen Mary than Frankfurt given the location

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Nov 13, 2017

Frankfurt School offers German courses.. I think that could be easy to obtain a B1 after an intensive course.. But I trust you guys, if you think that could be tough due to the language I don't move forward with research on that Uni..
My target is London, and I have to prepare an hedge in case of rejections by target and semi target..

The name of the game, moving the money from the client's pocket to your pocket

Jan 25, 2018

Heard this from a friend...Unless you're German native, dont go to German business schools. You might still be able to secure internships at BB/EBs in Frankfurt, however this might not be "fully" applicable for FTs. If you want to go to London, better choose business schools in London.

Germany has its own bread-and-butter, meaning that public schools like Mannheim will be viewed as a better school than business schools like WHU, FS or EBS outside IBD. In case you miss ur shot for IBD FT.

If you have ur choice down to WHU, FS or EBS, go with FS. It's easier to earn good grades there than WHU and if you dont want to deal with WHUlers elbow mentality (Ellenbogenmentalitat).

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May 17, 2018

In your opinion, is it better a MSc at RSM or Durham? For London IB positions

Oct 28, 2017

Lol Royal Holloway

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Oct 30, 2017

bump

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Nov 11, 2017

I believe if u want FO after Masters program in London, I would go:
Oxbridge, LBS, LSE and Imperial(harder to get FO but still good program)

All else are a lot harder to get FO I think.

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Nov 12, 2017

Warwick

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Nov 12, 2017

Are these MsC programs worth it if you don't have any prior IB internships? Asking because I am interested in UK IBD but I only have PWM experience.

I believe the best choice for someone without prior IB internships is LBS's MiM. Are there any other good MiM or MsC programs in UK that places well in London IBD that are longer than 1 year?

Nov 12, 2017

Longer than 1 year in UK is quite impossible unless you pick a global course or a double degree lad

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Nov 12, 2017

So there isn't another program with an optional extended term like LBS MiM?

Do you know how likely it is to get a SA position after you're done with the one year programs? Applying right before the 1 year program starts.

I heard IB experience varies with countries. If I do a unpaid internship at a tiny boutique in the US would that benefit me for London FT recruitment after a one year MsC program?

Nov 13, 2017

Unfortunately no lad, only LBS and LSE's global master in management.
Your proposed way is good.
1 y with experience > 2 y without experience in order to land a FT job in London

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Nov 13, 2017

Thank you for your help. One more question for you. How hard is it to get internships (if London has IB internships for non-students) or analyst positions at a boutique/MM in London without any prior IB experience if you finish a target MsC program like LSE? Not 100% sure if I can land a boutique internship in the US before I move to London.

Nov 14, 2017

To be honest, nowadays London job market is facing with an hiring freeze due to Brexit..
The only ONE program that ensure you a position is LBS's MiM.. Others give you a good advantage but without previous internship could be tough. I mean, you will probably end in a summer internship.. 1 year of delay.
As I said, is better a semi target with a previous work experience than a target without work experience.

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Nov 12, 2017

Any opinions on GMAT vs GRE? LSE state that they strongly prefer GMAT, but Cambridge only accepts GRE?

Nov 12, 2017

Pick the one that makes you more practical

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Nov 12, 2017

Not sure what you mean by more practical? I was just wondering if someone had successfully applied to both LSE and Cambridge with only the GRE or GMAT?

Jun 6, 2018

Virtually all business schools reportedly strongly prefer the GMAT.

If both tests are accepted for admission into a M.Sc. program, it is usually implied that the GMAT is prefered.

Cambridge's M.Phil. in Finance is highly theoretical and is seen as a good Ph.D. pathway, that's why they, unlike others, only accept the GRE.

If you're faced with such a situation and really want to apply to all programs, unfortunately, it comes down to you taking both tests: GMAT and GRE.

Good luck.

Would also love to hear from someone who did take both tests. It would be a valuable experience to share here.

Jun 7, 2018

I did both tests back to back and scored 99+ percentiles on both. The GRE quant is significantly easier than the GMAT (literally saw the same questions but dumbed down), so I'd recommend it if you're not super great at math. However there is less deviation, so you'd have to hit 168+ to make it to the top program's averages (ideally 170). So lower bar at the top end, but higher bar at the lower end.

I got into some of the top target MSc programs and interviews at all them including the top 2 in the US (I'm American). Adcoms at most schools were impressed by my numbers but Oxford literally didn't care and told me to throw one of my scores away in my application. I guess when your average is 740+, higher scores aren't really impressive.

I don't think there's an advantage to doing both tests- in the case of the GRE, not even bragging rights (if that's what you're into). I got the feeling that adcoms still slant towards the GMAT, despite what they say. Then I'm from a non-target so maybe that's what pushed me over. Could've easily backfired if I didn't get so lucky on both tests.

Jun 10, 2018

Really impressive record. Congratulations. I never thought about taking both tests back-to-back. It really sounds like an efficient strategy, come to think of it.

And thanks a lot for the tips.

As a non-US prospective M.Sc. applicant, I'm having a bit of trouble gauging the American programs.

From the tons of online research and data gatherings I was able to do over the last few years, and the admission and recruiting people I had the opportunity to meet in person (MIT, LBS, etc.), I get the sense that the MIT MFin remains the only non-quant focused non-financial engineering (no Columbia, no Princeton, no NYU, etc.) American pre-experience M.Sc. Fin. that enables its graduates to aim for outcomes (rebranding, font office SA, FT) and industries (Tier 1, Tier 2, BB IBD) in the US that are similar to what top European programs (Oxford MFin, Cambridge M.Phil, LBS MFA, LSE M.Sc. Fin, HEC MIF) do in Europe.

I noticed that you yourself were very rigorous in the way you made your decisions on which programs to apply for.

I would greatly appreciate to know your perspective on the other US programs.

Thank you so much.

Jun 11, 2018

Checked your reply to my other thread too. I sent you a PM!

Nov 12, 2017

How do you guys think European schools like HEC, ESSEC and Bocconi does in London?

"The markets are always changing , and they are always the same."

Nov 12, 2017

HEC and Bocconi are very strong in London. ESSEC not bad, but obviously they're better in Paris placement.
Look at this:
https://news.efinancialcareers.com/uk-en/218782/th...
Or
https://news.efinancialcareers.com/uk-en/274288/su...
Is quite clear, LSE, Oxbridge, Imperial, Warwick, UCL etc. win

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Nov 12, 2017

So would you suggest it's better to get a job in Paris and then lateral to London?

"The markets are always changing , and they are always the same."

Nov 12, 2017

I would go directly to London if possible.
But well, why not I guess, if you're French start from Paris with a SA then land to London could be a good road as well lad

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Nov 12, 2017

I'm French as well and tbh I would say ESCP > ESSEC for London.. Obviously HEC >>> other French schools

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Nov 12, 2017

Instead of ESSEC or these Unis I would prefer Frankfurt School Of Management tbf

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Nov 26, 2017
Real Marcus Halberstram:

Instead of ESSEC or these Unis I would prefer Frankfurt School Of Management tbf

If you're mentioning a German-speaking school in a German-speaking setting/region/location.

Then why Frankfurt and not St.Gallen HSG?

Nov 26, 2017

First of all, ppl from Germany speaks an english better by miles compared to french ppl.
Frankfurt is more international than Paris, in Frankfurt minority are majority while in Paris (where I'm living now) is very hard for you if you don't speak a fluent French.

Anyway, St. Gallen HSG is better than Frankfurt School, obviously. But I suggested it given the op said that this could be an hedging choice in case of rejections from UKs Uni. St Gallen is quite hard to get into lad

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Nov 26, 2017
The Original Mark Hannah:

I'm French as well and tbh I would say ESCP > ESSEC for London.

Unfortunately, I agree with you. I strongly get the sense that since 2015 at least, ESSEC is no longer among the leading UK IBD FO feeder-schools.

(according to data compiled by eFinancialCareers)

Jan 9, 2018

.

"The markets are always changing , and they are always the same."

Nov 13, 2017

Try to find something directly from your school in London, or try to send applications independently. ESSEC has a strong name

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Nov 27, 2017

Know one guy from a BB IB who went t HEC. Half of his social circle in HEC are in BB in London

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Nov 12, 2017
The Original Mark Hannah:

2018 guide (obviously based on my experience and from various rankings)

TARGET: Oxbridge, LSE, LBS, IBS

STRONG SEMI: Warwick, UCL

SEMI: Cass, Edinburgh, Bath, Manchester, Durham

Other SEMI: Exeter, Queen Mary, Bristol, Kings, and so on through the Russel Group.

Decent chances to get a FO job but not so much in auge: Royal Holloway, Loughborough etc.

NON

You agree?

Warwick is a target, and I would rather go there than at Imperial any day.

If your goal is breaking into the City, if I were you I'd apply to Oxbridge, LSE, LBS, Warwick and Imperial in the UK, HEC and Bocconi in Europe. Maybe HSG as well.

Those are my "tier 1" targets.

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Nov 13, 2017

Of course @Alessiod but I'm wondering which other Uni I could pick in case I get rejections from those targets..

The name of the game, moving the money from the client's pocket to your pocket

Nov 13, 2017
The Original Mark Hannah:

Of course @Alessiod but I'm wondering which other Uni I could pick in case I get rejections from those targets..

After these ones, my first pick would be Frankfurt, followed by Cass and UCL probably...

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Nov 13, 2017

If you want to be in London Cass > Frankfurt. Downside of Cass is the crazy tuitions fee

Nicest haircut than Bateman

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Nov 26, 2017
Alessiod:

Warwick is a target, and I would rather go there than at Imperial any day.

Then how do you explain the TOTAL ABSENCE of any BB IBD FO employer/position on Warwick's M.Sc. Finance's Career page.

Whereas the Imperial M.Sc. 2018 Brochure lists them all (and even Blackstone & BlackRock).

I don't know man... : It looks like Warwick seems leagues behind Imperial, in that matter.

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Nov 27, 2017

For those who are - for some biased reason - shit monkeying me, here's the link to Warwick M.Sc. Fin.'s list of employers & occupations:http://www.wbs.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/finance/...
If that looks attractive and strong enough for you as a possible career outcome. Be my guest, enroll there & I wish you the best of luck.

Now, if you ain'y lazy, you could also properly download Imperial's 2018 M.Sc. Brochure on their website.

Here you go. I'm only relying on facts & data published by the schools.

Please feel free to contradict me and come up with constructive and fact-based arguments.

If I'm wrong, I'd like to be aware of it.
Thx

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Nov 27, 2017

Would take Imperial any day especially they charge the same fee. I mean, come on. How can WBS justify for a PS30k + tuition fee?

Also, WBS campus sucks.

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Nov 18, 2017

How do you guys rank St. Andrews? @FinanceGrad @Real Marcus Halberstram etc.

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Nov 25, 2017

Good uni, I agree, probably the same level as Edinburgh. There are a decent number from both in IB. I'd personally prefer to study in Edinburgh though as it is a really nice city whereas I've heard St. Andrews is really small.

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Nov 25, 2017

Visit the city before applying lol

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Nov 18, 2017

Same level as Edinburgh is imho

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Nov 25, 2017

Believe common consensus is that the targets in the U.K. are

Super targets: oxbridge
Targets: ucl, lse, imperial (sciences only), Warwick (maths and Econ only)
Semi targets: Durham, Bristol, etc.

UCL seems to have momentum and strong placement. LSE seems to be losing it a bit. See: https://news.efinancialcareers.com/uk-en/218782/th...

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Nov 26, 2017

UCL as target for postgrad? What a big lol mate ur kidding us?

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Nov 26, 2017

UCL School of Management's campus is located right there in the heart of Canary Wharf financial district.

So, it wouldn't surprise me at all that its M.Sc. Programs (Finance, Management) place well in the City.

The school hasn't published a comprehensive employment report yet, but the listed employers on the programs' career page include the Tier 1 & Tier 2 BB.

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Nov 26, 2017

UCL placement in BB is massive at undergrad level.
Try to ask to ppl around the city or at alumni. Then do let me know about that.
Is a good semi, but not comparable to LSE, Imperial and Warwick

C'mon pal, a Uni like UCL that doesn't publish the employment report.

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Nov 27, 2017

Hum. It's fair to say that any serious EU applicant should wait until UCL releases more details about M.Sc. career & outcomes.

Are there any UK applicants who have acquaintances currently pursuing an M.Sc. at UCL and who could weigh in on this please?

Nov 28, 2017

"Friend" at BAML said that UCL is NOT a Target for Master courses

Undergraduate is a target

nobody is as dank as me

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Nov 27, 2017

Thank you SO MUCH! Really appreciate the info.

You literally saved me some application fees.

Dec 1, 2017

I have a master's from UCL. I didn't get any BB ibd interviews until UCL. And it was a politics Msc. MSc economics at UCL is one of the best. Not sure if it's better than oxbridge economics tho.

Dec 1, 2017

Not going to doubt that but that's what my friend said and I'm just posting it here.

nobody is as dank as me

Nov 25, 2017

For those of you who keep coming up with 'Oxbridge':

  • Cambridge has only one pre-experience Master program in its portfolio: and it's the M. Phil. in Management, which is delivered under the Judge Business School umbrella. No detailed data on employment on the program's page (only company names exhaustively listed, just like on the UCL MiM website);
  • As for Oxford: the Said brand is way weaker than the overall Oxford brand (UG). Plus, the MFE is extremely heavily quant-focused (both curriculum & career placement).

I would never put these specific 'Oxbridge' programs above an LBS (MiM or M.F.A. - both include summer internship) or an LSE (G.M.I.M. (2 years) or M.Sc. Finance (absolute ultra target for UK IBD FO)).

Have some judgement & learn to read public employment data.
This is how we were able to filter out the US pre-experience Masters (Duke, Ross, Kellogg, UVA) which, aside from their brandnames, are empty, really.

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Nov 25, 2017

Agree of Judge and Said being way wekker than the general respective university brands. However, I don't see in the OP that it needs to be a finance/management related subject. In fact most of the hires I've seen studied nothing close to finance. Engineering and STEM were most notable. But that's my experience.

Nov 26, 2017

Yeah exactly mate, engineering as well as economic history at LSE or the classic PPE

Nicest haircut than Bateman

Nov 26, 2017

Generally agree, but Cambridge has several pre-experience Master programmes. There's also a MPhil in Finance (although research focused)

Nov 26, 2017

Since this thread keeps popping up for no reasons, here are a few things I found from just googling to confirm your infos:

-Cambridge has more MPhils than just Management for pre-experience. MPhil Finance and Real Estate are two just on top of my head. They have another MSc Finance but that's post experience.

-Oxford: Said indeed has only MFE (not counting MLF) but this course places over 50% in either ibd (37%) and management consulting (around 20%) from one of the latest brochure (heard from a friend there that this year might be their best year in placement with Blackstone, GS, MS, JPM, PJT ft offers). No idea about curriculum but career placement is definitely not quant.

I had the chance to interview candidates for this year's cycle and honestly if you go to these schools, it doesn't matter to me. You already checked that box. We don't sit around and say to each other oh sh*t this kid goes to Oxbridge or LBS or LSE, doing a master in this course, we have to get them or whatever.

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Nov 27, 2017

Goldman HR girl came out to campus and told us that SA/FT IBD target for Msc is Oxbridge & LBS.
I'm enrolled in one of the three. Pm if you any questions.

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Nov 26, 2017

Haha you guys make me laugh with terms like 'ultra target' being flung around the place. Have you guys ever considered that it isn't the course that gets people recruited but the calibre of person that the course recruits? The reason that LBS MiM/ LSE finance MSc places so well isn't because the recruiter has an orgasm as soon as they see 'ultra target' on cv but because generally the students have previous ib internships, speak 3 or so languages and top grades and therefore seem to be a good fit. If you have the above qualities you should do well in recruitment whether you go to LBS MiM or Imperial finance and accounting.

Nov 26, 2017

I do agree with you mate but don't forget the very important role of a career service

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Nov 26, 2017

The role of the career service in the UK universities is greatly exaggerated. Most people i know, some that have secured places at PJT, Morgan Stanley etc have never stepped inside the career services. What is more useful though is that there are loads of events where you can meet bank employees as well as the wide range of career related societies on offer.

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Nov 28, 2017

And guess who ensures that the students get invited to a lot of these events: the career service :)

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Nov 26, 2017
beckett:

If you have the above qualities you should do well in recruitment whether you go to LBS MiM or Imperial finance and accounting.

The thing is: some of the programs offered by LBS (MiM, MFA) & LSE (GMiM) include summer internships in the curriculum. Imperial & UCL lack such an opportunity. One could very well pursue a Summer on his own, after completing his 1-year UK M.Sc.. But I don't know how the banks feel about such applicants (who, theoretically, should be applying for FT positions).

Nov 26, 2017

They give you the opportunity to include a summer internship during term time. You still have to apply to the programmes like any other candidate that is doing say a 4 year placement degree or has just graduated. Most banks say for their off cycle programmes that they accept placement people and also people that have just graduated which they define as up to a year after the graduate date.

Nov 27, 2017
beckett:

They give you the opportunity to include a summer internship during term time.

Thank you so much for this piece of information. After spending endless hours on LinkedIn, I could confirm your statement 100%.

Graduates (of Tier 1 UK & Continental M.Sc., at least) do pursue summer/autumn/off-cycle internships at Tier 1 BB, post-M.Sc.

I am really grateful that you brought that up because it completely changes my prospective program ranking to apply to.

Dec 1, 2017

EU applicant here.

Very well-versed about career outcomes of top UK (Oxford, Cambridge, LBS, LSE) & Continental (HEC) M.Sc. programs.

I'm humbly asking UK grads & other insiders about the other two (lesser known to international applicants) UK M.Sc.:
- Imperial
- Warwick

We seem to be getting conflicting info on these two programs. And here, I'm strictly speaking M.Sc. Finance. (I'm very well aware that Warwick UG & Imperial Eng. & Sciences are full targets. I'm specifically asking about their graduate business M.Sc. for opening doors to non-UK applicants to UK FO IBD roles in BB).

Sorry for insisting, as this is very important. Thank you so much for your time and effort, if someone has the kindness to enlighten us.

Nov 27, 2017

UK citizen here - completed a UK undergrad and doing a MSc in the UK.

Overall (not just for IB)- Imperial is viewed as more prestigious.

Undergrad for IB - equal. There are a lot of Warwick guys at banks, more so than Imperial. However, Warwick has a larger student population (24K) than Imperial (17K) and more tellingly has a higher number of IB-focused courses (Econ, A+F, Management, Maths) than Imperial does (Maths) at the undergrad level.

Postgrad for IB - Imperial- its business school is better located, facilities are top notch, and whilst ICL is known for medicine / engineering / maths, ICBS is building a very respectable brand for itself. On the other hand, I doubt WBS MSc programmes enjoy the same success as the undergrad courses do. Generally, from people who've applied, I get the feeling that WBS is lower down in the pecking order. I see more ICBS guys in IB but that's not a huge sample size.

As a UK guy, I just think ICL and ICBS have more prestige than Warwick. I'd guess 8 out of 10 students would agree with me. The other 2 would be Warwick guys.

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Nov 29, 2017

In my opinion, it's safer to go for an Oxbridge, LSE name simply because of their world-wide recognition. Sure, if you are dead set on London, schools like Warwick could cut it.

But why not play it safe and just get a GLOBAL brand on your CV? Gives you so many recruiting opportunities outside of the UK as well.

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Dec 11, 2017
Jan 4, 2018

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Jan 25, 2018
Jan 25, 2018