Hey there Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

MSc Finance: LSE vs. Imperial

Announcements Posted on
Post on TSR and win a prize! Find out more... 10-04-2014
Interview Discussion 30-01-2014
    • Thread Starter
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I've had a search on the fora, and there's not much on the merits of these two courses against eachother. And I'm having trouble choosing between the two! Does anyone have any experience of the courses? Currently, I'm completely split. Here's what I've got so far:

    Imperial
    Pros:
    Course more 'rigorous'.
    More electives offered.
    More teaching hours, so potentially better value for money.
    CFA/CISI accredited.

    LSE
    Pros:
    Better brand name / networking opportunities (potentially).
    Course ends earlier, leaving more time to do internship/similar/have one last summer of freedom.
    Course is cheaper (marginally!).
    Course is both more selective in terms of admissions, both by absolute size and places:applicants ratio, and so potentially smaller class sizes (though, I have no data on this, nor on the more useful statistic of places:applicants offered a place, though I can't imagine that many people reject LSE).

    What do people think? I'm going to look around Imperial on Friday, who have actually been quite good about personally handling my queries, rather than LSE who made a little bit of a blunder with my offer conditions and just generally have made things a little bit complicated by passing everything through 'admissions centre', but that aside, I'm stuck!

    Cheers guys, any help appreciated

    Henry T.
    • 2 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    If I was you I would take LSE in a heartbeat. But I can't explain why lol

    The money should be a slight factor, the selectivity of the course another slight factor. What i see it as:

    Rigorous course for lesser brand name VS easier course with better brand name.

    When I say easier have you seen the stuff? They are both hard, but i guess interesting too.

    Warwick MSc finance is also very selective, like 90 places with 3% acceptance. I think i will take imperial oveer it, not sure yet.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Ineedaplace)
    If I was you I would take LSE in a heartbeat. But I can't explain why lol

    The money should be a slight factor, the selectivity of the course another slight factor. What i see it as:

    Rigorous course for lesser brand name VS easier course with better brand name.

    When I say easier have you seen the stuff? They are both hard, but i guess interesting too.

    Warwick MSc finance is also very selective, like 90 places with 3% acceptance. I think i will take imperial oveer it, not sure yet.
    I assume you gave your £1000 deposit for warwick in the end then, since its still on the table.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by henryt)
    I've had a search on the fora, and there's not much on the merits of these two courses against eachother. And I'm having trouble choosing between the two! Does anyone have any experience of the courses? Currently, I'm completely split. Here's what I've got so far:

    Imperial
    Pros:
    Course more 'rigorous'.
    More electives offered.
    More teaching hours, so potentially better value for money.
    CFA/CISI accredited.

    LSE
    Pros:
    Better brand name / networking opportunities (potentially).
    Course ends earlier, leaving more time to do internship/similar/have one last summer of freedom.
    Course is cheaper (marginally!).
    Course is both more selective in terms of admissions, both by absolute size and places:applicants ratio, and so potentially smaller class sizes (though, I have no data on this, nor on the more useful statistic of places:applicants offered a place, though I can't imagine that many people reject LSE).

    What do people think? I'm going to look around Imperial on Friday, who have actually been quite good about personally handling my queries, rather than LSE who made a little bit of a blunder with my offer conditions and just generally have made things a little bit complicated by passing everything through 'admissions centre', but that aside, I'm stuck!

    Cheers guys, any help appreciated

    Henry T.
    The difference in cost is marginal, so unless it really is a factor, I wouldnt have that as a pro for imperial.

    Generally, if you were an engineer, and you were doing that at Imperial I might say go for that, however, LSE has a built up power house reputation in IB, so if thats where you wanna be, then probably LSE.

    I do really agree about the course at Imperial it looks sooo much better than LSEs'. One thing to consider is the fact you have to do a dissertation at LSE, where with Imperial you generally do a 3000 word applied research project, so much more scope for getting higher marks if you dont do a dissertation. On the other hand, if you do wanna do one, then probably LSE. But again, if you want to focus more on the quantitative side, Imperial would be slightly better.

    In the UK in order its LSE then Imperial for starting graduate salaries (LSEs 1, Imperials 2). Of course, that number is biased by the fact that LSE is by far the smallest london institution and the fact alot of their grads go into IB, but it is still a factor.

    I've been abit waffely, so I would very much advise LSE. Dont get too bogged down about the competition of the course cos I doubt IBs look at how many applied vs how many were accepted. People who do wine tasting at LSE have a very good shot at getting into IB's.

    Just pat yourself on the back for the offers (cos its deserved), and think what you want. If you want quant and are very focused on IB, then you you will have just the same opportunities as an LSE grad if you went to Imperial. If you want a more general course and an IB name, LSE. There are sooooo many other factors too. You may not want to do IB. If thats the case, in the times top 200 unis, Imperial is ranked in the top 10. so just consider everything. Its like choosing between Jessica Alba (LSE) or Natalie Portman (Imperial), more people probably fancy Jessica, but lets face it, theres more substance to Natalie, and I still fancy the pants off her
    • 2 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Go with Imperial as Imperial Finance offer holders are convinced its equal to LSE in IB.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by prospectivEEconomist)
    Go with Imperial as Imperial Finance offer holders are convinced its equal to LSE in IB.
    This guy is a joke. I dont think many people think Imperial is the same for general IB roles (though at specific roles, imperial might edge it). I never quite get he/she acts like he/she does
    • 2 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    just talked to three HR departments. They don't give a damn where you go if it is between imperial and LSE. Unless this situation occurs and this is a MAYBE....

    A) Interview at TSR investent bank as LSE guy . The guy is LSE alumni. You have more in common = score!!!
    • 17 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Holy f

    £27,500

    that is stupid.
    • 2 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    27,500 vs 25,844 that difference is so marginal.....
    • 17 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    And at OP

    The MSc Finance at Imperial seems more like the MSc Financial Mathematics (maybe a mixture of that and the straight finance course, with the weights towards financial mathematics) at LSE (just by scanning the compulsory and optional modules for each).
    • 2 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    the MSc RM&FE at Imperial is more quantitative. Although your right the Imperial one is more mathematical. I would say go with LSE for simplicity, brand name and i guess the thousand pounds off is great.

    Although the location of the accomadation to lecture halls and library should play a big part in the decision. Of course scope out the facilities first. No point attending the course to get a pass or merit, baaaaaammmmmm go for distinction.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Go to imperial. Employers wont differentiate between LSE and Imperial students.

    Imperial has better electives, better teaching quality. It's also more organised. Imperial's MSc Finance course workload is insane, so be prepared!
    • 12 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by henryt)
    ...
    Bump. Any more thoughts? Henry - what did you conclude between the 2 programs, particularly for entering the buy side? I know you didn't end up picking either, but I hold an LSE offer + I hope to get an Imperial offer, so I'm facing a similar dilemma.
    • 2 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I have listened that Imperial is more for positions in derivatives desks (options, swaps, forwards, etc) and LSE more focused on cash products (stocks, bonds, currencies spot, etc)
    Quant vs Sales & Trading
    • 12 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Econla)
    I have listened that Imperial is more for positions in derivatives desks (options, swaps, forwards, etc) and LSE more focused on cash products (stocks, bonds, currencies spot, etc)
    Quant vs Sales & Trading
    No, this is just plain wrong. Both courses will cover derivatives and cash products. Also, Sales and Trading involves derivative products as well as cash products.
    • 2 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I know that sales and trading involves both type of products. What I tried to say is that imperial is more focused on quantitative aspects of trading, modeling, quant guys in C++ hedging the respective portfolios, looking for patterns to develop algorithmic trades, etc.
    On the other hand you have "discretionary" traders and sales (brokers, financial advisers, etc). These guys knows a lot of finance and economics but they are not engaged in daily financial modeling or doing rocket science functions. They work more with customers and take an approach more holistic when trading (technical analysis, fundamental analysis, etc)
    Every finance degree has derivatives and cash products related courses, I am just an Engineer majored in Finance and I had these courses.
    What I said was, for what I have heard, that Imperial Msc Fin. is a better place to go if you want to make a career in a more quantitative role and LSE Msc Fin. would be better for non quants wannabe.
    Now if the OP is looking to be a quant, he should look at Ms Financial Engineering, Financial Mathematics, or even the Msc Finance and Economics from LSE, which is much more quantitative than its Msc. in Finance.

    Here are the requirements of both programmes. Take a look at what they ask in terms of quantitative background.

    LSE: "Admission to the programme is very competitive. In previous years, the majority of students accepted into the programme have obtained first class degrees or the equivalent. The mathematics used in the programme includes basic calculus and statistics, so applicants are also required to have studied a minimum of A level Mathematics (or its equivalent). Prior work experience is not a pre-requisite for entry into the programme, but can be considered an advantage."

    IMPERIAL: "A First or Upper Second Class honours degree (or international equivalent), from a recognised university, in a highly quantitative discipline such as mathematics, engineering, science or economics."

    Regards
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by henryt)
    I've had a search on the fora, and there's not much on the merits of these two courses against eachother. And I'm having trouble choosing between the two! Does anyone have any experience of the courses?
    Henry T.
    I'm a graduate of the MSc Finance program. I'm working in IBD (think M&A, IPOs, etc). I can tell you that in my cohort, the split between sales&trading and IB is roughly 2/5ths S&T and 1/5th in IBD. The rest is scattered in to asset management/hedge fund/consulting roles. My classmates have got front office roles in Citi, Morgan Stanley,JP Morgan, Barclays, Merrill Lynch, Nomura, BNP Paribas, Goldman Sachs, etc (OK, I think thats enough!)....From my experience, Imperial doesnt have a specific focus (such as IBD for LSE), but the nature of the course prepares you for a wide range of careers. There are a lot more people getting into S&T roles due to the strong quant background of many in the class, but theres nothing preventing you from getting into an IBD role if you work hard enough!

    PM me if you have any questions regarding Imperial.
    • 2 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by joekings)
    I'm a graduate of the MSc Finance program. I'm working in IBD (think M&A, IPOs, etc). I can tell you that in my cohort, the split between sales&trading and IB is roughly 2/5ths S&T and 1/5th in IBD. The rest is scattered in to asset management/hedge fund/consulting roles. My classmates have got front office roles in Citi, Morgan Stanley,JP Morgan, Barclays, Merrill Lynch, Nomura, BNP Paribas, Goldman Sachs, etc, you name it....From my experience, Imperial doesnt have a specific focus (such as IBD for LSE), but the nature of the course prepares you for a wide range of careers. There are a lot more people getting into S&T roles due to the strong quant background of many in the class, but theres nothing preventing you from getting into an IBD role if you work hard enough!

    PM me if you have any questions regarding Imperial.
    Thanks joekings, we all appreciate your "insider information" :eek:

    Regards
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Econla)
    Thanks joekings, we all appreciate your "insider information" :eek:

    Regards
    welcome?
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Hey everyone,

    I am an American deciding between Imperial Msc Finance and LSE Fin&Econ, and stumbled upon this forum while searching on google.

    I would like to pursue a career in trading in the future, but I have little interest in being a quant/rocket-scientist (or IBD for that matter). LSE seems to be better brand name (especially if I want to come back to the US at some point), but from reading this thread it seems that Imperial has a more rigorous quant curriculum and thus places better into trading roles.

    Which program would you guys recommend, knowing my career preference? Thanks in advance.

Reply

Submit reply

Register

Thanks for posting! You just need to create an account in order to submit the post
  1. this can't be left blank
    that username has been taken, please choose another Forgotten your password?

    this is what you'll be called on TSR

  2. this can't be left blank
    this email is already registered. Forgotten your password?

    never shared and never spammed

  3. this can't be left blank

    6 characters or longer with both numbers and letters is safer

  4. this can't be left empty
    your full birthday is required
  1. By completing the slider below you agree to The Student Room's terms & conditions and site rules

  2. Slide the button to the right to create your account

    Slide to join now Processing…

    You don't slide that way? No problem.

Updated: March 17, 2012
Article updates
Reputation gems:
You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.