Best MSc Finance programs in UK / Europe

satyajit86's picture
Rank: Chimp | banana points 14

Hello,

I am from India and I have an Engineering degree with 2 years of work exp.

I am looking to get into Finance industry, specially into Hedge funds.

I checked the MSc finance ranking on FT.com. Most of these schools are in UK.
I wanted to know what are the job prospects for asian students after the completion of MSc finance program in UK.

Also, from placement point of view, if not in UK, will the MSc Finance degree from one of the below mentioned universities be helpful to secure a job in other financial markets like US, Europe, Singapore or Hong Kong.

I have shortlisted following universities which i think i can manage to get into.

Cranfield University
Warwick business school
Imperial college, London

I am still doing some research and might add some more colleges to above list.
Please suggest me other good colleges if I have missed any.

Thanks in advance.

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Comments (55)

Aug 14, 2012

If Cranfield is in the UK, don't bother. Imperial is top-notch with Warwick only slightly below. Look into UCL as well.

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Aug 14, 2012

Where's Cranfield? You might as well try LSE too.

The HBS guys have MAD SWAGGER. They frequently wear their class jackets to boston bars, strutting and acting like they own the joint. They just ooze success, confidence, swagger, basically attributes of alpha males.

Aug 14, 2012

I'm at Imperial at the moment (physics undergrad) and I've spoken to many of the professors/students of the course as I was considering it a few months ago. Hopefully I can give you some insight.

It is considered to be in the top 5 of the UK's MSc Finance courses. It is heavily targeted by investment banks, but not as much as the LSE course.

It is renowned to be the most quantitatively rigorous finance course in the country, and by a long way. It is mainly taken up by maths/science/engineering grads, and there have been stories where even they have struggled with some of the mathematical aspects.

It also incorporates programming and covers most of the CFA curriculum.

It's considered to be the top feeder to hedge funds in the UK (both from undergrad and grad), presumably because the graduates have gone through such quantitative training. It's quite common that those who do go into HF go as algo traders. I would say it has very strong links with the HF industry, if not the strongest out of the UK universities.

The negatives are that it is massively overpriced for what it is, if I'm not mistaken, it's the most expensive finance course in the UK. Imperial isn't a properly established business school (the business school is only like 8 years old), so it hasn't really built a reputation (yet).

As for cranfield, well to be frank very (VERY) few people know of it. Those who do regard it very highly but I believe its place on the FT rankings does not represent it's standing in the UK at all. It generally attracts the older crowd (i.e. those in their 30s, 40s who are looking to be promoted or enter a new sector). It's more targeted by government establishments and FTSE 250 type corporations. Forget about anybody outside the UK recognising this uni.

Warwick business school is solid but oddly enough the grad courses aren't as highly regarded by the finance sector as warwick's undergrad courses. By that I mean, nowadays warwick undergrads get picked up by banks like hotcakes, where as it isn't quite as easy for those from warwick's grad school.

Aug 14, 2012

Thank you very much guys. I am also planning to do CFA, so I think Imperial will be a good choice.

Also, can anyone provide me similar information about the IE business school, Spain and HEC Paris.

$atyajit

Aug 14, 2012

I'm sorry to break the bad news but I really don't think you can finance any good MSc with a budget of 10k unless you have at least a part-time job or can continue living at home. At many of the really good schools tuition will already get most of your budget or even exceed it.
The fact that you also have a low grade also means you won't get any scholarships.

So sure, I can tell you that going to Bocconi, ESADE, IE, HEC, ESCP, SSE, HSG or RSM (leaving out British schools) would help you with achieving your goal but this doesn't seem very realistic.

The amount of grammar mistakes is also not very promising, if I can be honest.

Maybe someone here can tell you about some hidden gems in European MSc programs with your desired specialization but this will be tough since you already have 2 very big issues flagged in your intro. Potentially it would help you to start working for a year or so to compensate for your grades and at the same time earn some cash?

Nonetheless, welcome to WSO and don't be discouraged - it might not be an easy way towards your goal but there are enough stories of people here who made it despite bigger obstacles!

Aug 14, 2012

Thank you for your sincerity.
I know I have to improve my English and I will do a course just for this.
But what business schools do not look at the rating of the degree but only GMAT?
And between those who have a lower cost, which have the best job placement in asset managment?

Aug 14, 2012

LSE, LBS, probably Oxford/Cambridge. Think schools with name brand recognition back in the US. That being said, it's going to be up hill of a battle considering you'll only be networking through email and phone. Factor in the time difference and you're going to have a struggle. General rule is if you want to work somewhere, go to school there. London is great, but if your goal is US finance I'd pick from any number of great US MSF schools to attend.

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Aug 14, 2012

1) Nope. Focused predominantly in the EMEA region.
2) Yes
3) Pretty tough (especially this year). Cambridge requires two years of work experience. Placement stats for Oxford were from 2007 which was a good year if you remember. So the recruitment is not excellent, but good. You still need to do a good deal of networking once you get there.

Aug 14, 2012

Would these schools provide part-time program? Thanks!

    • 1
Aug 14, 2012

LSE MS Finance is the best ;)

Aug 14, 2012

Other than the aforementioned three and excluding London Business School due to work experience requirements, I would say the top programs in order are:

1.) Imperial
2.) Warwick
3.) Cass
4.) Edinburgh
5.) Bristol?

That being said, I would look to the continent before looking at the programs after Warwick.

"If you can count your money, you don't have a billion dollars." - J. Paul Getty

Aug 14, 2012

Cas is not top three!

after Imperial, LSE, Cambridge (Mphil), Oxford, Warwick the next tier Durham, Edinburgh, Bristol, Nottingham, Cass etc are basically on par.

People argue a lot about which is better but in reality the difference is so little that I dont think it matters. All of them will allow you to get a foot in the door if your CV is solid. Nevertheless, none of those tier two schools will open a door by itself (opposite to LSE for instance)

If you are after IBD check for continental schools after the London schools (in that case LBS MIM is the way to go I would assume) , thats true.

On a second note, the ranking is for Msc Finance programs. Nevertheless the placement for those programs is by no way far superior than the placement for e.g. Msc in maths from a leading research university.

If you apply with a masters in the UK, most people will automatically assume you did not make it in the first attempt. Therefore chose wisely. In my personal experience the buyside (AM firms such as Henderson, RCM etc) value the Msc and the extra year whilst Banks would prfer a Bsc economics student most of the time (at least you will compete with them if you attend the same school)

Aug 14, 2012

sorry to threadjack but i'm looking to get into research (preferably macro research) in nyc or london. i've been thinking about Msc finance (i didnt do finance undergrad, but I have enough math and economics classes to meet the schools requirements) from the three schools above (assuming i could get into one). anyone know if these programs place well into research, or should I not even consider these?

Aug 14, 2012

Bocconi University

Aug 14, 2012

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Aug 14, 2012

I would say that LSE is top notch. Imperial is great also. Cass is the last one I would consider "worth the money" and its the least competitive. LSE 720+ Imperial 650+(good quant important) and 630+ for Cass. All depends on your prior experience though.

    • 1
Aug 14, 2012

I feel like LSE would be a little out of my league, but with what you said in mind, I'll definitely apply to Imperial and Cass. Would both be able to get you into London ibanking? Even if it's not the top ranked banks in London? I'm just kind of surprised that Cass and Imperial would be around that score of GMAT.

Also, since Imperial is a bit more recognized, would it be marketable if I decided I wanted to do NYC?

Aug 14, 2012

That's an interesting question that hasn't been raised before. Looking forward to the responses.

    • 1
Aug 14, 2012

are you new or something?
this question has absolutely been raised before, and isn't interesting at all

anyway, the first poster @zewa is on the money
LSE and imperial are excellent, cass is very borderline
oxford has a Msc Fin Ec, but that's 1.5 years

happy to give advice; no asking for referrals please

Aug 14, 2012

Get your head out of your ass, it's sarcasm.

Aug 14, 2012

I would say anything below Oxbridge/LSE/LBS is not really marketable in the US. Imperial maybe but cass is not marketable/known in NY.

I would think this situation is pretty easy. Apply to everything and go down the list I (and others) provided when deciding where to go, if you do have options. You can get into IBanking from Cass but its not easy. You have a great location but also a lot of competition.

Aug 14, 2012

Lol'd @ matayo not getting the very obvious sarcasm.

Aug 14, 2012

little correction, looking at the UK's goverments conversion table my gpa is just above the limit of 2.1

Aug 14, 2012

The schools you mentioned are definitely good, but I would also consider Bocconi, SSE and HEC Paris. The first two are two year programs, HEC is 1 year. All the three are in the same league as the ones u mentioned.

I wouldn't look outside Europe if I was you as you have a competitive advantage here (you could be easily employed) compared to the USA, where u would need to get a sponsorship for an HB1.

At the same time, it looks like u have quite a bit of experience, maybe if u waited a little and applied to an MBA, it would be a better option. But let more experienced users comment on that, as I'm not sure.

Aug 14, 2012

Many thanks for your reply!
I would prefer not to go back to Italy and not in Paris as I am not fluent yet in french, for non UE i also ment Asia/australia.

MBA could also be a good idea even if for that i believe i should gain a bit more experience isn't?
The question I have is, for a good Ms Fin or MBA, would be my profile good?

Aug 14, 2012

I have done a great deal of research on MSc finance programs and here is what I've found:

1) Cambridge: I believe this is an MPhil in Finance, which I believe to be geared more towards the academe, i.e. preparing students for getting a PhD in finance rather than for a professional career.
2) LBS: good school, however be aware that this program requires that you have at least 2 years of work experience. If you don't, don't bother applying. If you do have enough work experience, why not consider getting an MBA?
3) LSE: the most vocationally-oriented of the group, and likely also the one that will prepare you best for the actual work of an investment banker. Its location makes it a recruiting hot spot for London BBs.
4) Warwick: probably pretty good, not nearly as competitive admissions-wise as the other guys. It'll get you a finance job somewhere, but you will likely find it more difficult to get a front office position at a BB.

You should reconsider Oxford if you have good enough GMAT quant scores. Oxford has a Masters in Finance and Economics (or something comparable) that is not financial engineering. I would argue that this Masters in Finance is probably the best of the bunch in terms of prestige and getting a front office gig at a BB. Once again, admissions is highly competitive: you not only need to get circa a 730 on the GMAT, you need to have a 90+ percentile quant score. I got a 740 GMAT but only an 80% quant so I didn't even bother applying!

Have you thought about continental European programs such as HEC, Erasmus or Bocconi?

Aug 14, 2012

Please anyone?

Aug 14, 2012

If you are looking to work in the Pharma industry in France, why are you not considering any of the French schools (HEC, EDHEC, INSEAD etc.)?

Aug 14, 2012

Hey GuyFawkes thanks for the reply! Well for several reasons: 1) its way harder to get in when your a French graduate.
2) Several deadlines have passed (HEC, ESSEC and ESCP: i can't apply anymore as a French graduate )
3) Finally (and most importantly) is that i am looking for a big change (i studied in France) ,and i would not mind working outside of France for several years as well.
The thing is, job wise i am leaning towards consulting and the pharmacetical industry but i might change if a better opprotunity arises elsewhere.
Do you think any of my choices would standout from the rest?

Aug 14, 2012

Rotterdam is not a very fun city to be if you're not in a frat. Also, I think the programs at esade or boconni would place significantly better than the non cems strategic management master at RSM. The rsm finance master places pretty decent, but strategic management is not a very highly regarded MSc there.

Aug 14, 2012

Thanks for the reply iloveburritos, yeah i think you might be right: after alot of thinking i think that i prefer ESADE and Imperial in my choices, so which one would be regarded as better for what i am looking for?

By the way, i also learned that i might be elegible for the Masters in Management at Imperial as well as the MSc in economics and strategy, does anyone think that one is better than the other? Or it doesn't really matter because i would get the Imperial College brand name?

Any other suggestions/point of views are welcomed, don't be shy!

Aug 14, 2012

New info: i think that on all my choices i am leaning towards ESADE MIM and Imperial (MIM and MSc economics and strategy). I was thinking of another possibility, doing 2 masters: The MIM at ESADE and the Economics and strategy at Imperial. Would that be a good idea or just a waste of time? (for the second degree i might consider other business schools and 1 year programmes as well: LSE, HEC...)

What do you guys think?

Aug 14, 2012

I think doing two masters in the same time would be a complete waste of time and money. I also think that it would not be possible, as business schools would not accept this (+some are quite strict regarding class attendance)

If you can get into LSE/HEC, you should probably go there instead of Imperial or ESADE as those schools will open you more doors career-wise (in my opinion).

Aug 14, 2012

Hey aliasgoldman thanks for the reply! I think i wasn't clear in my statement: what i meant is that i might do 2 MSc one after another (so first year a general MIM, and second year something more specialized such as eco and strategy). Basically , i would do the same as the 2 years MIM/ or Grande Ecole in French business schools , the only difference is its 2 different unis and a bigger international experience.

So what do you guys think? (HEC and LSE would be possible as a second MSc that i was talking about).

Aug 14, 2012

SSE!!

Aug 14, 2012

Hey ChloeJ90, unfortunately i can't apply anymore to SSE because of the dealine :/... Anyways i prefer going for a 1 year progamme or two 1 year programmes for better flexibiility...

By the way, can anyone please tell me what would be better between MSc Economics and strategy and MIM from Imperial? I am eligible for both... If anyone has info please do share it!

Aug 14, 2012

Check linkedin and the career website. I agree the program econ and strategy master looks interesting, but from what I remember looking at it, not to many people actually get into strategy consulting firms (correct me if I'm wrong). Also, esade seems to have a lot of good corporates and consulting firms recruiting on their campus, not sure how this is at imperial.

Aug 14, 2012

Hey iloveburritos, it is like 10% who go into a strategy consulting role and 23% into management consulting. What would be better this programme or MIM at Imperial? (in terms or rep, intensive...)

Do you know any students there? Or does anyone here? It would be really cool if i could speak to one of them to get an insight...

Btw, i was also looking at LSE's programmes in management, is LSE well regarded in this field? For info i might apply to one of their programmes, but not their masters in management! (i was thinking of MSc in management and strategy).

Aug 14, 2012

SSE and HSG have strong representation in the city, you should be fine with those, even though I cannot comment specifically on quality and recruiting stats of the programmes you mention. Attending an equivalent coursein the UK would probably increase your chances though (Oxbridge or LSE), but if there's no chance you'd get it financed, obviously go with the cheaper options. It's very good that you're interning in London before you enter the full-time recruiting cycle, especially if it's with a well-known bank.

Aug 14, 2012
m2:

SSE and HSG have strong representation in the city, you should be fine with those, even though I cannot comment specifically on quality and recruiting stats of the programmes you mention. Attending an equivalent coursein the UK would probably increase your chances though (Oxbridge or LSE), but if there's no chance you'd get it financed, obviously go with the cheaper options. It's very good that you're interning in London before you enter the full-time recruiting cycle, especially if it's with a well-known bank.

Thanks for the comment m2. I have tried to get financed for the likes of LSE, Warwick and UCL, but being a EU but not-British citizen makes getting a loan close to impossible.
The internship is with a well-known bank (UBS), but it is going through pretty rough times, so I guess it's unlikely that they will extend me a full-time offer even if I perform very well.

Aug 14, 2012

i have a couple friends who are doing fsm at CBS, they said its free for eu citizens but forget getting a job in copenhagen if u dont speak a scandinavian language. a couple got bb interviews in london tho.

as for the others, it depends what language you speak. if you speak dutch go for erasumus etc. imo

Aug 14, 2012

For consulting finance HEC, Bocconi and University of St. Gallen(HSG) seem the best choices to me.

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