Best UK Master's course to become a quant?

Hi all,

I'll be graduating from a decent UK uni this year with a BSc in Mathematics. I've been given 3 conditional offers for:

  • Cambridge MASt Applied Mathematics,
  • Imperial College London MSc Mathematics and Finance,
  • LSE MSc Financial Mathematics.

My ambition is to become a quant, and I realise that the two financial mathematics degrees are obviously designed for people wanting to go into quant etc., but they're both about 3 times the price of the Cambridge course, and realistically I'd enjoy the Cambridge experience a lot more (course and city).

Any advice as to which of these I should go for would be much appreciated.


Comments (6)

Most Helpful
  • Prospect in PE - Other
Mar 31, 2021 - 4:37pm

Strongly disagree with the post above. LSE is definitely not the place to go for quants, whereas Imperial and Cambridge are the top two schools in the UK for quant placement. Cambridge has a marginally stronger brand, but given the course, I'd take Imperial here. Either would serve you very well and if you prefer the college lifestyle (which I personally do, knowing lots of friends at Imperial it's a lovely area but the campus is kind of ugly) then pick Cambridge instead. However, it will be a lot less career focused and you'll need to push yourself to get out there a bit more than at Imperial or LSE - which should be fine, based on the fact you're even posting this. 

Don't take LSE though - it's not like it will make it impossible, but you're throwing away a nearly guaranteed shot from Imperial or Cambridge. 

Mar 31, 2021 - 4:49pm

I can also concur that LSE should be LAST on this list, they are not known nearly as well for the rigour of their mathematics courses as either Imperial or Cambridge. 

So now to consider Cambridge vs Imperial. I have heard that the Cambridge MMath Course is generally regarded as the toughest mathematics course in the world so getting a solid grade in their MASt would be very impressive. The downside is that the content is not focused towards finance but then again, a lot of quant job postings require familiarity with ML, Statistics and programming (particularly scientific computing so think Python, R or Matlab). So this course may hold the edge here. 

The Imperial course is ranked very highly - 7th Globally for Quant Finance masters (…). There is a focus on C++ programming on this course too which is also useful for quant hires. It also holds the benefit of being in London making networking easier (covid allowing). 

Apr 1, 2021 - 9:55am

Cambridge >>> Imperial >> LSE

Cambridge mathematics is by far, the best course in the UK to be a quant.

At Imperial/LSE, your classmates will be driven finance hardos & push you to apply & interview, whereas Cambridge will have less of that... but as long as you know how to apply - Cambridge is definitely the way to go

Apr 2, 2021 - 7:35pm

Thanks to all of you for your advice, it's really appreciated.

One thing I perhaps should have made clearer in my original post - I have no real work experience in the finance industry, having tried and failed to secure internships. Does this tip the scale more towards Imperial (relative to before, when you may have assumed I had internship experience), given its strong career focus.

Apr 3, 2021 - 7:22am

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