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

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Comments (137)

Mar 17, 2019 - 11:56am

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!

Most Helpful
Mar 17, 2019 - 2:00pm

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.

Mar 19, 2019 - 9:48am

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.


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Mar 20, 2019 - 6:11am

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...

Mar 24, 2019 - 8:16pm
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?

Mar 18, 2019 - 7:46pm

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 - 9:03pm

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 - 9:45am

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 - 11:23am

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.

Mar 20, 2019 - 4:46am

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 20, 2019 - 7:50am

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.

Mar 20, 2019 - 2:56pm

A true ranking from a french perspective:

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

Tier 1:

  • Oxford MFE
  • LSE MSc Finance

Tier 1.5:

  • Bocconi MSc Finance
  • LSE MSc A&F

Tier 2:

  • "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
Jun 7, 2019 - 8:42pm

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

The MIT MFin Program is a Finance-Computer Science tailored for extremely highly quant appliants (Perfect applicant profiles are Engineers OR Computer Science Majors).

Not the same Program as the European pre-experience Finance master's, which are not-so-quanty MBA-like pre-experience programs for IB & MBB.

The MIT MFin is highly quanty +++
Frankly, it has nothing to do with all the other European programs that are being discussed here, in terms of curriculum & career outcomes.

For instance, try to successfully complete the "eligibility test quant exercises" on the program's admission website. I couldn't do any of them. Also, a typical applicant should be proficient in a programming language (Python, etc.).

(Attended a Presentation Seminar (in-person) about the Program. Talked with an Associate Dean of Admission and a Senior Program Director about eligibility, quant requirements, etc.)

Mar 23, 2019 - 7:39pm

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.

Mar 21, 2019 - 3:34pm

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

I have 2 offers:

LSE A&F (£28k)

Warwick Finance & Economics (£35k 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 £28k (+ 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 21, 2019 - 3:41pm

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 - 3:56pm

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 21, 2019 - 6:25pm

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 22, 2019 - 6:08pm

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 - 3:43pm

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

Mar 24, 2019 - 2:38pm

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 - 5:19am

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 École/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 - 4:22am

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

Mar 24, 2019 - 2:41pm

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 - 6:02pm

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

  • 2
Mar 26, 2019 - 5:24pm

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

Mar 26, 2019 - 7:56pm

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
May 29, 2019 - 8:21pm

Nope, different departments. LSE MSc Finance/Finance&PE has its own networking events and alumni network separately from the rest of the university. However, LSE MSc A&F also has its own networking events.

Apr 6, 2019 - 9:16am

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.

May 24, 2019 - 8:07am

Now that INSEAD has decided to join the pre-experience Masters in Management (MiM) market* (just as LBS did ten years ago, in 2009, when it launched its MiM),
*The INSEAD MiM inaugural starting class is scheduled for the 2020-2021 academic year

I think it is only extremely fair and logical to assume that in a couple of years, the whole pre-experience MiM landscape will shift to a two-tier stratum, in regards to overall firms deciding to switch pre-experience target programs, and to the FT pre-experience Rankings, etc.

This will be especially true (and very bad news!) for the big 3 Paris-based french schools (HEC-ESSEC-ESCP): They will lose their monopolistic position for pre-experience MBB placement.

This is really a big deal.

Given both INSEAD & LBS's total domination of all non-US MBA at the MBA-level (post-experience level), I wouldn't be surprise if the whole European PRE-experience recruiting & prestige landscape will lean towards the pre-experience programs that are offered at those specific two business schools, which already are the only non-US alternatives to M7 MBAs, and the only non-US European competitors to the US M7 MBA programs.

I know for a fact this newly-launched INSEAD MiM will cannibalize the MBB recruiting market for the Continental Europe offices (for pre-MBA Associate Consultant/Consultant positions).
Which I think is a good thing. There's been too much stagnation in the pre-experience MiM market in Continental Europe. And we, motivated Prospective applicants, deserved such a high-caliber player to add to our respective application lists.

Curious and eager to witness what their first published employment report for the first graduating class will look like. Definitely something to look forward to.

Jun 4, 2019 - 8:53am

Honestly, I'm doubtful that firms are going to turn around and start yanking folks from INSEAD's program because it's "INSEAD".

Just take a look at the Said and Judge programs.. they came on the scene fairly recently as well but the momentum has still mostly been from the stronghold programs of HEC, LBS, LSE, Bocconi, St Gallen, etc. It takes a lot more than just a name to disrupt an already established talent pipeline.

  • 3
  • Intern in Consulting
Jul 30, 2020 - 8:06pm

I think you should probably not include MBB placement,
No way LBS MFA places better than LBS MiM for consulting , both are equivalent programs serving different purposes.
HEC Paris MiM Grande Ecole >> HEC MIF in terms of consulting AND Finance in France.( Outside France, I think MIF for finance, MiM for consulting
So in terms of consulting reruitment
Tier 1 :
Oxford MFE, Cambridge Mphil in management, LBS MiM, HEC Paris MiM
Tier 1.5
Then the rest, but generally attending one of those schools gives good chances at consulting

Aug 1, 2020 - 7:37pm

for Finance
Tier 1: LBS, Oxford, LSE
Tier 2 HEC > Bocconi, Imperial, Cambridge Mphil FInance
Tier 3 LSE acc&fin, ESCP, ESSEC, HSG, SSE, ESADE > Wariwck, Imperial Acc&Fin > RSM, Edhec
Tier 4 Cass, WHU. IE. CBS, Nova

  • Intern in Consulting
Aug 11, 2020 - 12:32pm

I am planning to apply to Bocconi Masters. For MBB/Tier 2 Consulting, should I apply to the Master in Finance or Masters in International Management?

Aug 12, 2020 - 7:22pm

I am planning to apply to Bocconi Masters. For MBB/Tier 2 Consulting, should I apply to the Master in Finance or Masters in International Management?

The latter is a joke in terms of curriculum. If you gonna have a good time in Milan, opt for the 2nd. They are equally good for consulting recruiting ( are you italian? if not, don't even bother applying to consulting firms in italy)
  • Intern in Consulting
Aug 14, 2020 - 4:30am

I am a non-EU citizen , my goal is to leverage bocconi's brand for MBB offices in my home country. Anyways thank you for your reply.

Dec 9, 2020 - 4:52am

Thank you for this post!

Curious your thoughts on Henley Business School's MSc in Corporate Finance. 5th ranked in UK and 34th globally according to Financial Times rankings but would love to hear your insights. Seems like an ambitious programme but not sure about placements.

Im considering the MSc in Corporate Finance at Henley (received scholarship) vs Cass' MSc in Energy Trade and Finance. Post-grad goal is to transition into an IBD analyst role at a sustainability-focused investment bank (think greentech/nomura) or the Sustainable Finance group at a larger bank.

Im currently working in Sustainable Finance at the United Nations.


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