European Masters Rankings

Hi all,

After seeing an increase in terms of masters related questions over the forums I have decided to do a ranking for all masters, as well as their focus. As always any input will be appreciated and will update the post with quotes.

This is purely for IB and London - European masters would probably be higher if considering T2 cities such as Paris/Frankfurt/Zurich

Tier 1 - IB, PE and MBB placement:

Oxford MFE: very academic program placing very well in IB/Consulting (albeit lower demand)/PE (rare but doable). Requirements are GMAT>720 + 1st class or equivalent, little focus on work experience

LSE MSc Finance: program a little less academic than Oxford but with an amazing placement in IB + sometimes PE. Requirements are 1st class, GMAT is optional but I'd say GMAT>700, work experience is a bonus.

LBS MFA: career focused program, amazing placement across the finance spectrum. Requirements: high 2.1 (65+), GMAT>680, work experience highly valued

Tier 1.5 - Almost top tier - less known internationally (outside Europe):

HEC MIF: Great placement both in France and London with people at MBB, in PE/IB

Bocconi MSc Finance: Similar to HEC for Italy

LSE MSc A&F: Similar as above although less competitive therefore less recognised but with a great placement nevertheless

Tier 2 - Strong IB and MBB Placement:

LSE MIM: Samilar requirements as A&F, places in consulting too, less finance focused - 2 years, allows to do summer internship -> FT for people with less work experience

LBS MIM: similar to LSE's MIM in terms of placement, career focused and similar to the MFA in terms of requirements.

SSE/ESSEC/ESCP/St.Gallen/WHU: Great placement across the board, often favoured by local students, GMAT>680, 1st class, work experience counts for 20%~

Imperial MSc Finance: Similar to LSE A&F program

Tier 2.5 - Strong IB Placement:

Warwick MSc Finance: Places well for some people with solid work experience - only for Europeans - internationals struggle placing into IB.

ESADE MSc Finance:

Tier 3 - Good but placement not guaranteed:

EDHEC: Places for French student mostly - Financial Markets>>>>>Corporate finance

Imperial MSc A&F/ Cass MSc Finance: placement similar as Warwick MSc.

IE/CBS MSc Finance: Smaller European schools that place some students

Note: didn't consider Cambridge as most of their masters are small cohorts/niche/post experience - but they would certainly be in tier 2

Comments (86)

Mar 17, 2019

Hi! This is a really good ranking and I bet very much appreciated for the community.

Overall, I agree on almost every single rank, however I strongly disagree in one. I do not consider LBS MFA tier 1 as LSE MFinance or Oxford MFin as it has 1)less reputation 2)worse placement 3)new program 4)LBS brand comes from its MBA and MiF (2 year experience). On top of that, the placement of the program might be upper skewed and the program's impact not as high as opposed to the LSE and Oxford, becaude its students do usually have great experience in IB. All in all, I would downgrade the LBS MFA to Tier 2.

Nice job!

    • 5
Mar 17, 2019

Strongly disagree with this.

The faculty of finance at LBS is arguably the best in Europe, and the MBA top 2 in Europe with Insead.

The MFin consistently gets the top spot in the rankings.

This goes to show the strength of LBS as an institution, and the MFA greatly benefits from this. The opportunity to network with MBAs is a huge advantage for MFA students vs Oxford and LSE.

A quick Linkedin search is enough to show that placement is stellar, despite the programme being only 3 years old.

The cohort is very impressive, with people from Harvard, Oxbridge and LSE undergraduate degrees. While this is also true of the other tier 1 programmes, what surprised me about LBS was everyone's work experience.

I wouldn't necessarily say the MFA is better than the Master in Financial Economics at Said or the MSc Finance at LSE, but I definitely think they are on par with each other. I hold offers from LSE and LBS and did not apply to Oxford due to quant requirements.

    • 8
Mar 19, 2019

Oxford MFE shares some classes with the MBA, mostly electives. Also the students of both programmes are taught in the same building. So I think there should be plenty of networking opportunities.

Mar 22, 2019

you were at lbs?

Mar 17, 2019

As specified at the top of my post this is purely based on job placement. These 3 schools are the only ones that placed directly kids into PE, hence Tier1.

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Mar 20, 2019

I know for sure that also HEC and Bocconi placed some kids directly into PE. I agree with your rankings, but I would not consider "direct placement into PE" to discriminate between tier 1 and tier 2. I Consider the fact that a mandatory requirement to be considered tier 1 should be the fact that the schools are located near London, as even an average student through networking can easily get better placement than a top class student from most of the other schools.
Also would rank HEC as tier 1.5 as it's not on par with SSE/ESSEC/ESCP etc...

    • 1
Mar 24, 2019
Pan European Monkey:

As specified at the top of my post this is purely based on job placement. These 3 schools are the only ones that placed directly kids into PE, hence Tier1.

So I guess you do not consider BX, Silver Lake and CD&R as Tier 1?

    • 1
Mar 17, 2019

Thanks a lot for this, great post.

The average GMAT for the MFA was 716 last year, so getting in with a 680 would probably be an exception rather than the norm.

    • 2
Mar 17, 2019

I used the GMAT as a minimum threshold to be considered for admission.

Mar 21, 2019

Thanks again, great post. However, the minimum thresholds for LSE Fin and Oxford MFE are not 700 and 720 respectively. Neither is it 680 for the MFA, though it's recommended.

Mar 17, 2019

Although these lists can always be argued to no end, I disagree with Oxford putting little focus on work experience. If you go to the profile book for this year, the first two pages (18 students) literally have (multiple) McKinsey, Citi, BAML, Rothschild, Barclays, Lazard, Nomura.

I'd say that's stronger work experience than the LBS MFA profiles, although I do agree that the MFA is a very career-focused program and may be ideal for people preferring high likelihood of securing a job.

Mar 17, 2019

This is more in regards to how much weigh recruiters put on academia or work experience. For Oxford it's minimal ie 10% max. It just so happens that A+ students have most of the time great internships.

Mar 17, 2019

I don't think it's accurate to put a percentage on how much weight Oxford attaches to work experience/academics/GMAT. There's of course a quant threshold you need to pass, but except for that I'd say it's a very holistic picture. The essay also only focuses on career and is not a regular Statement of Purpose.

Mar 18, 2019

Pretty good ranking, although I would probably move WHU and ESCP to tier 2.5. They do not place as many people (in absolute or relative terms) in IBD / Consulting as HEC, Bocconi, SSE, HSG, etc.

These detailed rankings are not very useful though. Getting into a BB/EB/MBB is feasible from all of the schools listed, and at Oxford you'll have to compete with much better prepared students (vs. having less competition at a lower-ranked target).

Mar 17, 2019

True about WHU/ESCP, not very familiar with MSc outside the UK.

I agree that all of them are targeted, however MBB (except for CBS/IE/ESADE) is not possible for tier 3, and PE for tier2 and below. I think that being at Oxford will out weight any of the masters below in terms of name recognition throughout your career.

Mar 18, 2019

There are plenty of students in MBB coming from the so-called "tier 3" masters. Most of them work in their home countries, but it's difficult to say how much of it is self-selection.

A quick linkedin search will show you that there are analysts (with no previous ft experience) in buyside positions at BX London who studied at HEC, Bocconi, HSG, etc. Haven't tried checking other firms, but would expect it to yield similar results.

Are you at Oxford by any chance? Once you start working, you'll soon realize that most people outside of uni couldn't care less about where you went to school. A target university just makes it easier to get your foot on the door.

    • 1
Mar 18, 2019

Just looked on linkedin. I see business analysts at McK in London from Warwick, Bristol, Exeter, and so on. Pretty sure it is similar for BCG and Bain.

Looking at the analyst class of a single fund with minor representation in the UK to draw this type of conclusions is short-sighted at the very least.

Your school sure does count, but much less than the students/faculty/university have led you to believe.

Mar 17, 2019

I am from one of the school listed/similar schools and all I can say is that whilst yes some people are going to McK its more exceptions rather than the norm. There is usually 1kid going there per firm per year max. That makes 3 kids/year out of usually 300+ applicants. A 1% offer rate is very low, hence Tier 3.

Note that a majority of people getting into MBB from these schools are most of the time diversity/LGBT/women - speaking from experience as one of my good friend is one of them. My friend is clearly saying that he gets such opportunities because of his profile not his CV.

Mar 19, 2019

Out of curiosity, how do you let people know that you're LGBT? A friend of mine said that I should put all the terms that apply to me on top of my CV. But that seems a little strange. So how do you do that?

Mar 19, 2019

Is SSE tier 4 or something? Does Riga branch matters?

Mar 17, 2019

SSE is tier 2, no clue how the Riga branch differs from the core school in Stockholm.

Mar 19, 2019

Disagree with Imperial Finance Msc being tier 2.5. Especially in the past few years, Imperial's Finance course has got better and I would place it at 1.5. Certainly not lower than LSE A+F.

    • 2
Mar 20, 2019

No one has yet mentioned anything about LSE Finance & Private Equity masters program? How this in your opinion rans compared to LSE Finance masters program?

Does the PE-program give any advantage to land to PE compared to normal Finance program?

Mar 19, 2019

It's a very similar course with the option to take a private equity module.

Might help slightly to tell your story better when they ask why PE but not really.

Most Helpful
Mar 20, 2019

A true ranking from a french perspective:

[This ranking changed the initial post thanks to me].

Tier 1:

  • Oxford MFE
  • LSE MSc Finance
  • LBS MFA

Tier 1.5:

  • HEC MIF
  • Bocconi MSc Finance
  • LSE MSc A&F

Tier 2:

  • LSE MIM
  • LBS MIM
  • "SSE/ESSEC/ESCP/St.Gallen/WHU" MSc Finance
  • Imperial MSc Finance

Tier 2.5:

  • Warwick Msc Finance
  • ESADE MSc Finance

Tier 3:

  • EDHEC MSc in Financial Markets
  • Imperial MSc A&F
  • Cass MSc Finance
  • "IE/CBS" MSc Finance
    • 10
Mar 20, 2019

What about tier 1 vs US programs like MIT MFin globally?

Mar 17, 2019

Places well into IB/MBB - probably tier 1.5/2. Great recognition due to brand name, although not their strength (usually better MBAs).

    • 1
Mar 17, 2019

Agreed - updated mine with more details!
Do you have any clue in regards to entry requirements/what is valued for these masters?

Mar 22, 2019

Good one.
Just wanted to add that for the French schools it's rather the MiM (Grande Ecole / sometimes with Finance specialization in Year 2) degrees than just MIF/MSc Finance that place best

    • 1
Mar 17, 2019

Love the [] - but as said the rankings would be updated and improved with the help of other users - I did my ranking in a rush but thought that it would add value to users regardless. I have little knowledge of European schools and this is where the major change lies.

Apr 4, 2019

EDHEC MSc in FM Tier 3 while Warwick Tier 2? You must be kidding me...

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Mar 21, 2019

Thanks for the post. Could anyone give me some advice on my current predicament.

I have 2 offers:

LSE A&F (PS28k)

Warwick Finance & Economics (PS35k but received 50% scholarship)

I would definitely prefer to LSE but the cost is extremely high. Come from a middle class background and parents can help me but the total figure is not close to the PS28k (+ London living costs) needed. Could defer for a year and would hopefully work and save enough for 2020 entry.

Is it worth it or shall I just take Warwick?

Probably want to go into IB but only about 75% sure at the moment.

Mar 17, 2019

Placement from LSE A&F>>>>Warwick. For Warwick it depends on your current work experience. If you have a strong CV feel free to PM - Warwick can be a good balance between cost & opportunity for you. However if you haven't had experience/good brand name on your CV LSE will be the best for you.

Mar 21, 2019

CV is not particularly good, one internship at BB in PWM, Economics (1st) at low Russell group. Another thing to consider is the ability to network in London etc but by the time term starts in September this will be too late for the recruitment cycle. Also would prefer to study A&F in comparison to E&F.

Mar 22, 2019

get a loan

Mar 21, 2019

I will be getting a PS10k UK government one. I am very hesitant to look for private student loan companies, I got an ad for one of them with 18% APR...

Mar 21, 2019

Could need some help. Got into Imperial's climate change, management and finance program. Obviously a specialized degree and but I hope to go into energy/clean tech banking (corporate banking or development bank is the goal but open to IB too) or corporate finance (FP&A, strategic finance, etc). I have around 2 years of experience in valuation. Should I apply for graduate roles or more experienced roles (senior analyst)? Also, I understand specialized degrees are tiers below finance or finance/accounting in terms of recruiting but how far below? Tier 2.5?

Mar 17, 2019

Probably somewhere in tier 3. I have no clue for the level you should be recruiting - maybe ask the career center there they should be able to help you!

Mar 22, 2019

Surprised to not see HEC MiF in Tier 1, especially when the programme is (was) ranked highest for pre-exp. Masters in Finance. Otherwise the list is fairly spot on. I'm trying to choose between HEC and LBS and struggling considerably, but atm it seems HEC has better relationships with MBB/BBs and PE firms + great post-grad. salary statistics, whilst LBS network built seems far stronger due to the exposure to MBA/MFin students. Thoughts?

Mar 23, 2019

You have ZERO chance of landing MBB out of HEC if you're not perfectly fluent in French.
1 - Competition on-campus for MBB is monstrous (your colleagues are far from being naive);
2 - Actually, language fluency is a strong requirement, as is boldly stated on each and every MBB networking event in Paris throughout the school year.

Good luck with that

    • 2
Mar 22, 2019

Thanks for the insight, I was unaware of this. So HEC would be a preferable school for those already fluent in other languages - otherwise LBS MFA/MiM would be the better course for landing IBD/PE gigs?

Mar 30, 2019

Definitely would like to object:
First of all - you'll not get a job in French MBB If you're not French native.

BUT, HEC is placing excellently at MBB internationally and most of them hold country specific events (e.g. McK Germany, Bain Italy etc.) at HEC/ in Paris.

However, best for Consulting would be a Grande Ecole/MiM if you're considering French schools

Bit surprised to not see HEC in Tier 1 either as I know atm ~10 people joining PE directly at very reputable firms.

Apr 1, 2019

I don't agree with your statement. Most of the international students compete for MBB in their home countries and having HEC on CV will give you an edge on other students who didn't go to study abroad.
Lots of Germans and Italians landed internships in MBB back home

    • 1
Mar 17, 2019

Is that for maters or MBA? Are you fluent in French? What is your goal?

Mar 22, 2019

Not for MBA, this is purely based on pre-exp masters courses. I can speak French to a conversational level but by no means am I fluent or have business-level French. Ultimately looking at any improvement on Big 4 Adivsory, whether that is best to transition to Corp Fin. IBD or MBB i'm unsure but long-term the current aim is VC/PE

Mar 24, 2019

Former MBB London. There are 5 target unis, 70% of the intake is Oxbridge, 20% is UCL/Imperial/LSE, 10% is other. LSE is in reality not dominant at all in consulting. I think UCL and Imperial do actually better. Might be different for banking. For LBS only the MBA is seen as a target, the masters degrees not.

STEM disciplines are favoured more than arts but you can get in from any of them. Finance masters aren't favoured that much in reality. You're better off doing Theoretical Physics than a Masters of Finance

Mar 26, 2019

Yep, can confirm all these numbers via my own intel. Although, LBS does place pretty well for their MiM.

Mar 24, 2019

Surprising, knew very few in London. Could be it's internationals who place into local offices where the LBS brand is potentially more favoured.

    • 1
Apr 5, 2019

Does the LSE A+F have access to the same recruiting / networking as the pure Finance course? Just curious as its housed win the Dept of Accounting.

Mar 26, 2019

Recruiting is LSE wide afaik

Apr 6, 2019

You forgot to include RSM in Tier 1.5/2.

Apr 6, 2019

RSM is not Tier 1.5/2.. I would put it in Tier 3/3.5.

Apr 6, 2019
FutureHFM:

RSM is not Tier 1.5/2.. I would put it in Tier 3/3.5.

I don't think so. I know over 30 people that went to BB/EB in the last two years + it's definitely a better school than the Scandinavian ones.

In the end, which school you come from matters much less than actual experience, making this entire thread pretty useless.