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Cambridge or Oxford or LSE

Hi guys! I just received these postgraduate offers from the following programs:Oxford: Mphil in Economics;(2-year program)Cambridge: Mphil in Finance and Economics;The London School of Economics and Political Science: MSc in Finance and Economics;Imperial College London: MSc Investment and Wealth management;Warwick: MSc Finance; MSc Finance and Economics;New York University: MA (Economics).As an international student, I would like to work in the investment banking /trading/equity research department in the UK/USA in the future. Which one should I choose?
Original post by wzy01059
Hi guys! I just received these postgraduate offers from the following programs:Oxford: Mphil in Economics;(2-year program)Cambridge: Mphil in Finance and Economics;The London School of Economics and Political Science: MSc in Finance and Economics;Imperial College London: MSc Investment and Wealth management;Warwick: MSc Finance; MSc Finance and Economics;New York University: MA (Economics).As an international student, I would like to work in the investment banking /trading/equity research department in the UK/USA in the future. Which one should I choose?

Firstly, congratulations! These are some great options! Curious as to where and what your undergrad was in.

In terms of the careers you mentioned, if you wanna work in the London then I'd go with LSE's MSc Finance and Economics. If you're wanting to work in the US I'd go with NYU for obvious reasons.

In terms of why I think this, NYU for US careers isn't really debatable. For the UK, obviously all these courses are great but not only is LSE the best in the UK for postgrad economics and finance, it also places the most students into investment banks (partly due to department quality, partly due to location and partly due to self-selection of students).

The Oxford MPhil is great but, firstly it's twice as long, secondly it's more for people who want to do a PhD Economics at Oxford whereas people who want to go into finance tend to select the MSc Financial Economics there. Cambridge is obviously a great uni but I wouldn't say Finance is it's best area and whilst its arguably got the best Econ undergrad course, it's MPhil and PhD Econ courses are behind LSE, Oxford and UCL. Warwick is good but behind all the others you listed imo. Imperial's course is good and maybe a bit more focused on finance but I'd say LSE edges it personally, I'm sure if you're a good candidate then you'd get offers whether you're at LSE or Imperial
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 2
Original post by BenRyan99
Firstly, congratulations! These are some great options! Curious as to where and what your undergrad was in.

In terms of the careers you mentioned, if you wanna work in the London then I'd go with LSE's MSc Finance and Economics. If you're wanting to work in the US I'd go with NYU for obvious reasons.

In terms of why I think this, NYU for US careers isn't really debatable. For the UK, obviously all these courses are great but not only is LSE the best in the UK for postgrad economics and finance, it also places the most students into investment banks (partly due to department quality, partly due to location and partly due to self-selection of students).

The Oxford MPhil is great but, firstly it's twice as long, secondly it's more for people who want to do a PhD Economics at Oxford whereas people who want to go into finance tend to select the MSc Financial Economics there. Cambridge is obviously a great uni but I wouldn't say Finance is it's best area and whilst its arguably got the best Econ undergrad course, it's MPhil and PhD Econ courses are behind LSE, Oxford and UCL. Warwick is good but behind all the others you listed imo. Imperial's course is good and maybe a bit more focused on finance but I'd say LSE edges it personally, I'm sure if you're a good candidate then you'd get offers whether you're at LSE or Imperial

Hi!Thank you for your reply! My undergraduate program is BA (Finance) at the University of Manchester in the UK. Yes, it would be an easier choice for me if I was not been rejected by the MSc Financial Economics in Oxford because compared with economics, my interest still falls into finance. But my professors suggest that the economics program at Oxford is the best economic program in the UK and also the Cambridge finance and economics program is good but it seems to send too many offers to my uni this year (around 10). LSE is also a super good uni for its great location but maybe Oxbridge is better for getting into top-tier companies?
Original post by wzy01059
Hi!Thank you for your reply! My undergraduate program is BA (Finance) at the University of Manchester in the UK. Yes, it would be an easier choice for me if I was not been rejected by the MSc Financial Economics in Oxford because compared with economics, my interest still falls into finance. But my professors suggest that the economics program at Oxford is the best economic program in the UK and also the Cambridge finance and economics program is good but it seems to send too many offers to my uni this year (around 10). LSE is also a super good uni for its great location but maybe Oxbridge is better for getting into top-tier companies?

Don't get me wrong, Manchester finance is definitely solid but for some reason I'd assumed that you came from a better uni/course given how impressive your offers are, I've seen people from top top unis do much worse in master's applications so you must be a solid candidate so you definitely be happy with these offers.

I think the general consensus is that LSE's MSc Econometrics & Mathematical Economics is the best European economics master's, it's got by far the best track record of placing students into top US PhDs than any other European course. But Oxford I would say is number 2 and better than LSE's straight MSc Economics.

I'm of the opinion that if you're wanting to work in finance then doing two years of theoretical economics probably isn't the best use of your time and £36k + 2yrs of living costs + the opportunity cost of the extra year relative to one year courses. The MPhil program there is definitely rigorous, I'm just not quite sure how stuff like real analysis, advanced mechanism design and even lots of the advanced microeconometric methods will have very very little use in a finance career. The course would only offer you two optional financial economics modules too, the macro ones might be useful but grad level macro is stupidly theoretical with pretty unrealistic models which are only useful for specific central bank stuff, either that or they're variations of long run growth macro which again is useless in finance. The Ox course would be great PhD prep or even really good if you wanted to go into economic research teams at banks/consultancies, but not normal trading/IBD roles imo, it's not bad, it's just not that relevant.

Whereas the LSE and Imperial courses will have a decent degree of theoretical and applied finance and have brands that will be more than enough to get you into a bank/fund if you're a decent candidate. AFAIK, there aren't many companies that would hire Oxbridge but not LSE, a lot of the most elite firms in finance/consulting seem to hire from Oxbridge and LSE so I think you'd only ever experience that problem if you went to somewhere like UCL or Warwick, think you'd be fine with Imperial too, and this is just for the most elite small companies, banks hire from a wider range and hire from LSE far more than Oxbridge nowadays (again there are many reasons for this tho).

Ik some corp law firms are Oxbridge only but the most elite firms I've found still hire from LSE as well as Oxbridge so I don't think it would affect you prospects at all personally.

Ultimately, it's your decision so just go with whatever feels right for you in terms of modules, career path and cost.
Thanks for the splendid reply to the post. It’s reassuring to know that the Mphil Economics program at Ox is ranked 2nd.
hey, congrats on all your offers! wishing you all the best I’m a second year econ undergrad hoping to apply for a masters in econ next year, I had 2 quick questions. did you do a GRE? and what was your % uni grade average when you sent in your application? thank you!
Reply 6
About 84. Yes I had a GRE but the verbal score is not that high, the math score is full mark tho.

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