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Belgian student applying for a MSc in Finance watch

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    Hello everybody,

    I was wondering whether my qualifications are good enough to get into a good UK university and to follow a taught MSc in Finance.

    In short, these are my qualifications :
    - 3 years bachelor degree in 'Applied Economics' from a Belgian university : *** laude in the first year (68%) and 64% overall
    - 2 years master degree (in June 2009) in 'Financial Economics and Law'. I am confident to finish my master degree *** laude. Right now, I'm also working on a dissertation with a European Commission Director-General (the topic is off course a financial one).
    - outside university i can mention things such as 1 year top-level sport statute, private equity seminars and a Reuters workshop.
    - I'm going to decide this week to continue my search and also take a GMAT and language test so I can apply in September/October

    My university is situated in 'Leuven' and is, in my modest opinion, one of the most respected universities in Belgium.

    I already visited a lot of university websites and I know most of the entry requirements. I am also aware of the fact there a lot of similar topics on this forum, but I'm hoping to get some opinions..

    PS : I'm not aiming to get into a university such as Oxford because my grades aren't good enough (because they are from a Belgian university)

    Many thanks in advance,
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    Nobody? I know entry requirements are pretty normal for UK students and that an answer is always subjective.

    Nevertheless, as a Belgian student, I'm not so familiar with these qualifications. So,I just hope to get some impressions..

    Many thanks again!
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    hai, I'm glad to see another belgian student on tsr I'm in the same situation, also applying for a taught masters degree for 2009 entry, but mine is for international politics or international relations, so i'm not that familiar with finance degrees. But for what I know, you have a fair good chance to get an offer. I asked a lot of admission officers in different universities (nottingham, bath, york, bristol, durham etc.) and it seems that a 2.1 honours degree is approximately 65 % or more in a belgian bachelors degree. They will also take into account that you have a master's degree. As a lot of students on tsr have pointed out to me, that a taught master is much less competitive as a research one, so just go for it!

    p.s. het voelt raar aan om tegen een vlaming in het engels te praten, maar anders verstaan de meeste engelsen er niks van
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    many thanks!

    some other small questions :
    - you just mailed some admission officers with your questions? (I'm also doing it right now but I don't know emails with questions about Belgian qualifications are easily answered)
    - are you taking university leagues into account when making your decision ? (probably you're looking at them just to help you find the universities)
    - did you already took the IELT or TOEFL test? (I also need to take a GMAT test)

    And idd, I also think a taught master degree is probably less competitive (because a university has less to lose compared to a research degree).

    ps : bedankt voor het antwoord al ik heb de tekst hierboven maar in het engels gezet vermits ik anders wss wel een opmerking krijg van de administrator
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    - I emailed them yes, and they compare our grades with previous applications, but the most unis still think we work with 'kandidatuur' and 'licentie', so it's sometimes a bit confusing, but all of them asked for 65 % or higher, and if they're uncertain, they check it with NARIC ( a british organisation)
    -I idd did check those uni rankings, but knowing that those rankings are solely for undergraduate degrees, so some unis as Manchester who don't seem to be top unis, are for certain postgraduate degrees very very good. But watching those undergraduate rankings still give you an idea.
    - and nope, I haven't taken my toefl or ielts test yet, apparently you can take your test after your application and after you get an offer, which is conditional on you achieving a certain score on the test. So I'm guessing i'll take the test in March or April.

    P.s. just out of curiosity which unis do you prefer?
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    Do you think that it will be a big 'problem' that I have 64% after my 3 years bachelor..and let's say 70% in june 2009 after my 2 master years ? (Because universities / British council often translate a 2:1 degree into '*** laude')

    For a master in finance (or related subjects such as accountancy&finance or investment and finance) i'm considering universities such as Exeter, Durham, Lancaster,Strathclyde,Manchester ,..
    These are universities that offer, in my opinion, good postgraduate finance degrees.
    Off course, universities such as LSE, Warwick, Oxbridge, Imperial College London and Cass have a better reputation. Also the unis in London because London is a well known financial centre and all the important financial institutions/investment banks are situated here. But off course, these unis are also much more demanding (entry requirements and also much higher tuition fees).

    PS: also out of curiosity..do you have a 2:1 degree or a first class honours?
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    It's difficult to tell actually, each university has his own criteria, on which they decide to give someone an offer. But if you write a good motivation letter, have good references and achieve a good grade in your master degree, I don't see any major problems, but again, it's very personal to say. The admissions officers added that the grades in the last year of the bachelors degree and probably also the grades in the masters degree weigh heavier. So I wouldn't worry to much, if I were you I've achieved 65 % in my bachelor (that would be a 2.1) and I'm starting in september my master year.

    P.s. I'm also applying to Durham and if you want to share your experiences in the whole proces, just PM me and we can always talk on msn or so
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    Well I think your qualifications are good enough for entry into a good msc in finance!
    and if u do well in your masters you can even try oxford or cambridge,and LSE as well!you may have a chance!You could also get into other unis such as Bath,Durham,Manchester,Reading,Y ork,Exeter etc without problem I think.
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    I thought Leuven was a generally well respected university. I would have thought good grades from there would make an Oxbridge application realistic.
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    (Original post by threeportdrift)
    I thought Leuven was a generally well respected university. I would have thought good grades from there would make an Oxbridge application realistic.
    Yes, I agree , I know Leuven as well and that is why I mentioned oxbridge in my post
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    (Original post by pap_)
    Well I think your qualifications are good enough for entry into a good msc in finance!
    and if u do well in your masters you can even try oxford or cambridge,and LSE as well!you may have a chance!You could also get into other unis such as Bath,Durham,Manchester,Reading,Y ork,Exeter etc without problem I think.
    You could indeed try for one of those top notch unis as Oxbridge or LSE, as some of them ask for a 2.1, but if you take a closer look, you'll see they define it with a GPA of 3.6, which means you have to achieve a 'high' 2.1. But hey, you have nothing to lose, except maybe an application fee for one of those courses. I'm not entirely sure about that
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    (Original post by pap_)
    Yes, I agree , I know Leuven as well and that is why I mentioned oxbridge in my post
    I thought that the university of your undergraduate degree doesn't make any difference when applying for a postgraduate course?
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    (Original post by Didi Kule)
    I thought that the university of your undergraduate degree doesn't make any difference when applying for a postgraduate course?
    Then you thought incorrectly. It doesn't make much/any difference if you have an otherwise strong application which stands up well in comparison to all the other applicants. However, when it comes to comparing overseas grades, as standards in themselves, and compared to UK scores, universities cannot be expected to be all knowing. Reputation, often based on knowledge of past student performance from that establishment, or broader academic reputation has to count for a lot more. That doesn't mean it would be a completely damning factor, nor make anyone a dead cert.
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    yes indeed, it seems logical to base the decision on previous applications from that specific country (Belgium ), so they could have a vague unterstanding of the grade system. But if the student studied at Leuven, or Ghent or Antwerp for that matter, what difference does it make? So isn't it the reputation of the whole country that plays a crucial role?
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    If an admissions tutor is going to have to make decisions based on incomplete information, which they naturally are, no matter how rigorous the application procedure, then I'd rather they made it on the finest grain detail they have, rather than the more general.
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    Many thanks already for the answers!

    Nice to know some people are aware of the university of Leuven!
    (I think Leuven is ranked 17th in the Times Higher Education European ranking. Despite the controversy of university rankings, it means that Leuven has a minimum level of education I guess )

    Maybe I'm going to try LSE too after reading the comments here.
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    sorry to disappoint you but I think LSE might be a bit hard to reach... I'm a belgian student from leuven as well (starting a masters this year) and I think that, in order to get in at LSE, you would need at least 70% overall... I think the course you are applying for is also very competitive so they probably even expect more! So unless you can get excellent GPA scores, I would look at other unis too
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    You still have no idea how competitive it will be, it's also the first time for LSE and as you can see, they welcome applications from any discipline, which means they're really anxious to fill up their places, so if you apply really early, you might get the benefit of the doubt. The fee level is also remarkably high for a LSE degree, which could let many people consider if it's really worth the investment. It's true that your chances are maybe not that high, but give it a go and you never know if you'll get a chance...
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    It's very competitive... Or at least that's what I have heard... the applications closed really early (have a friend who applied) and only the top candidates got in
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    It will indeed be difficult, but not impossible I think Are you studying in the UK Jazzmien or planning to apply to a uni?
 
 
 

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