Masters recruiting in UK

Does anyone have any insight on Masters recruiting in UK? I mean the structure, schedule, etc. Do I apply for graduate schemes, internships or full time roles for a 1 year Masters?Most of the posts here are targeted towards undergraduate students. I would love if anyone has information on master's recruiting.

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Comments (12)

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  • Prospect in PE - Other
Sep 13, 2021 - 6:41am

Depends on the bank - some will accept you as an SA, some will only accept you for FT or off-cycle. If you have some FO internship experience, would advise focusing on FT roles. Slight complication for foreign students is that many degrees continue over the summer and visa restrictions mean that you can't (legally) work FT until your course finishes. 

Targets are basically same as UG, but a few notes:

  • There's more focus on what you studied being relevant, but STEM/quant stuff still recruits well.
  • UCL is notably weaker at the MSc level and not really worth going to for the business school recruiting wise, but the university as a whole is still well targeted if you're studying an academically rigorous, non business school subject.
  • Warwick is also less targeted, but both the university and the business school remain strong semi-targets.
  • Imperial is still as strong as UG for the College (i.e. STEM subjects). However, the business school is a mixed bag; low target (or possibly even strong semi-target) for most of their courses, but some of the more specialised ones have exceptional placement. 
  • Doing non-STEM, non-business subjects at Oxbridge is unlikely to get you in. Conversely, Judge probably has worse placement than the main universities at master's level (whereas Said MFE is strong). 
  • LBS comes into play as a very strong target (best place to study a business-related subject in the UK at MSc level), and continental universities (HEC and Bocconi, primarily) are better feeders. 
  • Broad summary of master's targets:
    • For business/finance subjects: LBS > LSE, Said > Judge, HEC, Bocconi > Imperial (marginal target) > Warwick (strong semi) >>> UCL 
    • For strong academic subjects: Oxbridge > Imperial, LSE > Warwick, UCL (more of semi than full targets at MSc level)
Sep 13, 2021 - 7:32am

I am going to study MSc Finance at UCL this next academic year. I am targeting ER/AM roles because of my interest in the Financial markets and research. I have prior internships experience in various sectors such as equity research, trading, real estate and full time experience in a EV battery startup.

Should I be applying for internships/graduate schemes or FT roles?

  • Prospect in PE - Other
Sep 13, 2021 - 7:38am

In your case, I'd say FT and maybe off-cycle. Your internships should make you competitive - where did you do your UG? Try to see where previous alumni of the course have ended up and target those banks - as I said above, UCL's reputation as a university is better than the Business School (which is too new really to have a good rep yet), but some banks will likely ignore the differences and will treat it the same as any UCL MSc. Imagine it's quite bank dependent, but can't be of more help than that really. 

EDIT: Just looked at the MSc Finance course and surprised by how competitive entry is - you might be alright actually, will let others comment on its reputation but my general impression has been that the Business School as a whole is some way behind Warwick. 

  • Intern in PropTrad
Sep 13, 2021 - 8:17am

I would add a caveat that the UCL Msc in Data science & ML is highly respected in the quant space atleast and is likely their most well known master's course. Otherwise, solid explanation.

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  • Prospect in PE - Other
Sep 13, 2021 - 9:06am

True, it has an excellent reputation for AI/data science - but that's part of the main university right? And realistically anything like that is going to place exceptionally well from any of the traditional six targets (plus Edinburgh for the field) just by virtue of it being an academically rigorous degree with very useful skills. UCL tough quantitative MSc > Oxbridge humanities (or even softer STEM subjects), but my remarks were just in general for the university ceteris paribus. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Sep 13, 2021 - 12:00pm

Who said LBS > LSE?

This is false, LBS = LSE = Oxford = HEC for finance MSc,  period. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Sep 13, 2021 - 11:59am

The above is WAY too complex. 

Way to go is:

- Mostly apply for summer internships (once you have an offer you can start earlier)

- Try to apply to a couple of full times as well 

- The ratio of full time to summer should depend on your experience, brand name of firms you've worked at, and risk aversion. However you shall still apply to at summers as a basis 

- Do it ASAP, you're actually quite late to the party here my man

Sep 13, 2021 - 12:05pm

I was looking for this. I have started the applications. I was sorting out my CV, answers. Is the deadline mentioned on the programmes for the first round or the entire hiring process? It might be a silly question but I am new to this stuff

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Sep 13, 2021 - 12:41pm

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