The Student Room Group

Choice of Masters between UCL, Imperial and Oxford

Hello! I would really appreciate it if you could give me advice on which universities I should attend. I currently hold offers from some universities in the UK, but do not know which one to choose. My offers include MSc Financial Risk Management at UCL, MSc Finance at Imperial College London, and the MPhil Economics at the University of Oxford.

All three universities and programs are great in their own right, however, I am unsure which one is more suitable for me. To distinguish between the programs, it is important to note that the UCL program is taught by the department of computer science, and modules are provided by the faculty of engineering sciences and faculty of mathematics. The Imperial program is completely taught by the Imperial College Business School. For Imperial's MSc Finance, the university claims a 99% employment rate only three months after graduating which is highly impressive. Whereas the UCL program is incredibly mathematical and computational, the Imperial program is highly practical and applicable with valuable networking opportunities. Lastly, Oxford is a world-renowned institution with a highly ranked Economics program and department. I am unsure of the opportunities presented within the university in terms of networking, however, the mere prospect of graduating from such a university is likely to open many doors in the future. The Economics program is also two-years long and much less expensive than the UCL and Imperial one. Given that I am an international student, both the UCL and Imperial programs are over £40k, not including the London rent.

Now, in terms of my career aspirations, I am hoping of going into the more quantitative side of the finance industry, such as a quantitative analyst, asset or risk management, investment banking or management consultant. I also want to keep my options open in case I might want to pursue a career as a data scientist in tech firms. I am aware that working in finance field in general does not necessarily require a masters in Finance or Economics, so I am not sure whether one is necessarily better than the other. My primary concern is in terms of graduate employment. Which university and program will allow me to land the best possible job?

I would really appreciate any help or advice anyone could provide concerning the three universities I mentioned, as well as their respective programs. I see the benefit in all three of them, but do not know which one will equip me with valuable tools, skills and opportunities.
(edited 11 months ago)
Reply 1
Original post by Ad_Infinitum
Hello! I would really appreciate it if you could give me advice on which universities I should attend. I currently hold offers from some universities in the UK, but do not know which one to choose. My offers include MSc Financial Risk Management at UCL, MSc Finance at Imperial College London, and the MPhil Economics at the University of Oxford.

All three universities and programs are great in their own right, however, I am unsure which one is more suitable for me. To distinguish between the programs, it is important to note that the UCL program is taught by the department of computer science, and modules are provided by the faculty of engineering sciences and faculty of mathematics. The Imperial program is completely taught by the Imperial College Business School. For Imperial's MSc Finance, the university claims a 99% employment rate only three months after graduating which is highly impressive. Whereas the UCL program is incredibly mathematical and computational, the Imperial program is highly practical and applicable with valuable networking opportunities. Lastly, Oxford is a world-renowned institution with a highly ranked Economics program and department. I am unsure of the opportunities presented within the university in terms of networking, however, the mere prospect of graduating from such a university is likely to open many doors in the future. The Economics program is also two-years long and much less expensive than the UCL and Imperial one. Given that I am an international student, both the UCL and Imperial programs are over £40k, not including the London rent.

Now, in terms of my career aspirations, I am hoping of going into the more quantitative side of the finance industry, such as a quantitative analyst, asset or risk management, investment banking or management consultant. I also want to keep my options open in case I might want to pursue a career as a data scientist in tech firms. I am aware that working in finance field in general does not necessarily require a masters in Finance or Economics, so I am not sure whether one is necessarily better than the other. My primary concern is in terms of graduate employment. Which university and program will allow me to land the best possible job?

I would really appreciate any help or advice anyone could provide concerning the three universities I mentioned, as well as their respective programs. I see the benefit in all three of them, but do not know which one will equip me with valuable tools, skills and opportunities.


I presume that you received an offer from the MPhil in Economics programme at Oxford? What are your career goals? It seems that based on what you applied for I'd assume that you're looking to work in an investment bank.

Honestly, the Finance course at Imperial will equip you with the right skills if you want to be a M&A, generalist investment banker. I have friends who did that and ended up in bulge bracket banks and have since moved on to large private equity firms. The MPhil is a lot more academic, people there usually end up in economic consultancies, a small % in business consulting, IB, and a lot more in academia and central banks or policy making.
Reply 2
Oh yes sorry, you already have an offer. Yea, there is absolutely no point in doing a 2 year programme if your end goal is to end up in a prestigious firm in the private sector. You're better off saving that time to do a prestigious MBA in the future to either pivot or break into said industry.
Reply 3
Original post by anony123sg
I presume that you received an offer from the MPhil in Economics programme at Oxford? What are your career goals? It seems that based on what you applied for I'd assume that you're looking to work in an investment bank.

Honestly, the Finance course at Imperial will equip you with the right skills if you want to be a M&A, generalist investment banker. I have friends who did that and ended up in bulge bracket banks and have since moved on to large private equity firms. The MPhil is a lot more academic, people there usually end up in economic consultancies, a small % in business consulting, IB, and a lot more in academia and central banks or policy making.

Thank your for your response!

I am currently torn between the MSc Finance at Imperial and the MPhil Economics at Oxford as both are great in their own way. While I am not certain about which career I want to pursue, as I have a feeling that might change in the future, I believe that I would like to begin somewhere in the private sector such as asset or risk management (leaning slightly more towards asset management). Whichever choice I make will be difficult as it will mean forgoing a great university and potentially great experience.

Both universities have great career prospects, while the MPhil Economics at Oxford allows for more diverse choices in the future such as in tech, banking, consultancy .... The Imperial MSc Finance is more focused in terms of career choices, with great networking opportunities in London, although I can assume there are great networking opportunities in Oxford as well. Will the MPhil Economics allow for the same career progression (into private equity as you mentioned) as the MSc Finance program (as that might be an avenue I want to consider in the future) ?
Original post by Ad_Infinitum
Hello! I would really appreciate it if you could give me advice on which universities I should attend. I currently hold offers from some universities in the UK, but do not know which one to choose. My offers include MSc Financial Risk Management at UCL, MSc Finance at Imperial College London, and the MPhil Economics at the University of Oxford.

All three universities and programs are great in their own right, however, I am unsure which one is more suitable for me. To distinguish between the programs, it is important to note that the UCL program is taught by the department of computer science, and modules are provided by the faculty of engineering sciences and faculty of mathematics. The Imperial program is completely taught by the Imperial College Business School. For Imperial's MSc Finance, the university claims a 99% employment rate only three months after graduating which is highly impressive. Whereas the UCL program is incredibly mathematical and computational, the Imperial program is highly practical and applicable with valuable networking opportunities. Lastly, Oxford is a world-renowned institution with a highly ranked Economics program and department. I am unsure of the opportunities presented within the university in terms of networking, however, the mere prospect of graduating from such a university is likely to open many doors in the future. The Economics program is also two-years long and much less expensive than the UCL and Imperial one. Given that I am an international student, both the UCL and Imperial programs are over £40k, not including the London rent.

Now, in terms of my career aspirations, I am hoping of going into the more quantitative side of the finance industry, such as a quantitative analyst, asset or risk management, investment banking or management consultant. I also want to keep my options open in case I might want to pursue a career as a data scientist in tech firms. I am aware that working in finance field in general does not necessarily require a masters in Finance or Economics, so I am not sure whether one is necessarily better than the other. My primary concern is in terms of graduate employment. Which university and program will allow me to land the best possible job?

I would really appreciate any help or advice anyone could provide concerning the three universities I mentioned, as well as their respective programs. I see the benefit in all three of them, but do not know which one will equip me with valuable tools, skills and opportunities.

Maybe I'm missing something but isn't the Imperial course cheaper than the MPhil at Oxford anyway? Imperial course is £42.2k. Oxford MPhil is £26.45k per year for a two year course, hence £52.9k, so more expensive overall.

Have you actually looked at the syllabus for the MPhil Economics? You only really want to be doing the Oxford course if you either want to do a PhD Economics or go into an economic consultancy, central bank or work as an economist for a Bank. I would not recommend it if you want to go into finance (e.g M&A, asset management, private equity, venture, quantitative finance, etc) or tech. You'd have been better off applying for their MSc Financial Economics course to go into finance, or just work for a few years and then do an MBA.

If you want to go into finance, do a finance degree (e.g Imperial), it's as simple as that. Can't work out the logic of wanting to go into finance or tech and then doing a postgrad specialist degree in economics, just do one in finance, quant finance, data science, maths or CS.
(edited 11 months ago)
Reply 5
Original post by Ad_Infinitum
Thank your for your response!

I am currently torn between the MSc Finance at Imperial and the MPhil Economics at Oxford as both are great in their own way. While I am not certain about which career I want to pursue, as I have a feeling that might change in the future, I believe that I would like to begin somewhere in the private sector such as asset or risk management (leaning slightly more towards asset management). Whichever choice I make will be difficult as it will mean forgoing a great university and potentially great experience.

Both universities have great career prospects, while the MPhil Economics at Oxford allows for more diverse choices in the future such as in tech, banking, consultancy .... The Imperial MSc Finance is more focused in terms of career choices, with great networking opportunities in London, although I can assume there are great networking opportunities in Oxford as well. Will the MPhil Economics allow for the same career progression (into private equity as you mentioned) as the MSc Finance program (as that might be an avenue I want to consider in the future) ?


Yes, your overall analysis is quite correct. However, based off what I have read and gathered, the MSc in Finance at Imperial will be more beneficial to you. The MPhil in Econs will have you involved in intellectually stimulating classes but not particularly relevant to get you up to speed in a high finance job tbvh. You'll be spending your second year writing a thesis. You're better off doing exceptionally well in MSc Finance, focus on financial modelling and IB interviews and then spend that year you saved with multiple finance internships, a long term off-cycle internship or if all goes fantastically well, directly into a finance job.
Reply 6
Original post by BenRyan99
Maybe I'm missing something but isn't the Imperial course cheaper than the MPhil at Oxford anyway? Imperial course is £42.2k. Oxford MPhil is £26.45k per year for a two year course, hence £52.9k, so more expensive overall.

Have you actually looked at the syllabus for the MPhil Economics? You only really want to be doing the Oxford course if you either want to do a PhD Economics or go into an economic consultancy, central bank or work as an economist for a Bank. I would not recommend it if you want to go into finance (e.g M&A, asset management, private equity, venture, quantitative finance, etc) or tech. You'd have been better off applying for their MSc Financial Economics course to go into finance, or just work for a few years and then do an MBA.

If you want to go into finance, do a finance degree (e.g Imperial), it's as simple as that. Can't work out the logic of wanting to go into finance or tech and then doing a postgrad specialist degree in economics, just do one in finance, quant finance, data science, maths or CS.


IMHO BenRyan99 is spot on. The only exception will be if you actually want to be an economist in the tech sector. Usually, a PhD will be necessary and you'd have to be really good in technical and theoretical stuff like microeconometrics, advanced micro and advanced applied math in general. Or another specialisation will be in anticompetition regulation and policy making. These all have nothing or little to do with financial modelling, equity research, portfolio management. I get that the idea of going to Oxford is extremely appealing but the study of econs at advance level is really quite a commitment and not necessarily applicable to what you're looking for.

Yea quant finance, CS, data science and math are all great - they can all lead you to quant or trading jobs. Traditional IB wouldnt be an issue if youre able to nail the interviews and have outside preparation for IB related stuff.
Reply 7
Original post by anony123sg
IMHO BenRyan99 is spot on. The only exception will be if you actually want to be an economist in the tech sector. Usually, a PhD will be necessary and you'd have to be really good in technical and theoretical stuff like microeconometrics, advanced micro and advanced applied math in general. Or another specialisation will be in anticompetition regulation and policy making. These all have nothing or little to do with financial modelling, equity research, portfolio management. I get that the idea of going to Oxford is extremely appealing but the study of econs at advance level is really quite a commitment and not necessarily applicable to what you're looking for.

Yea quant finance, CS, data science and math are all great - they can all lead you to quant or trading jobs. Traditional IB wouldnt be an issue if youre able to nail the interviews and have outside preparation for IB related stuff.


I understand your reasoning, thank you for your response. I realize that the Imperial program may be more in line with my aspirations. I am still quite lost in terms of what I want to pursue as a career, but anticipate that I would likely start off in the private sector (finance, likely in asset management, M&A, private equity).

However, I would really appreciate it if you clarify the employers outlook on someone with an MSc Finance at Imperial v someone with an MPhil Economics at Oxford. Are they viewed as being on the same level, as I have heard that there are firms that primarily target graduates from Oxbridge and LSE. Therefore, I would like to know how Imperial would rank or compare to those universities. And I totally agree with you, as you have guessed, I truly am struggling between the appeal of Oxford and practicality of Imperial (arguably, both are great choices). I have seen on LinkedIn that many people with an MPhil Econ have needed up working for prestigious banks such as Morgan Stanley, so not sure if such a degree would completely rule out the possibility of going into Finance as IB don't really require a background in finance. Alas, Imperial also has great graduate prospects, but is it to the level of Oxbridge and LSE?
Reply 8
Original post by Ad_Infinitum
I understand your reasoning, thank you for your response. I realize that the Imperial program may be more in line with my aspirations. I am still quite lost in terms of what I want to pursue as a career, but anticipate that I would likely start off in the private sector (finance, likely in asset management, M&A, private equity).

However, I would really appreciate it if you clarify the employers outlook on someone with an MSc Finance at Imperial v someone with an MPhil Economics at Oxford. Are they viewed as being on the same level, as I have heard that there are firms that primarily target graduates from Oxbridge and LSE. Therefore, I would like to know how Imperial would rank or compare to those universities. And I totally agree with you, as you have guessed, I truly am struggling between the appeal of Oxford and practicality of Imperial (arguably, both are great choices). I have seen on LinkedIn that many people with an MPhil Econ have needed up working for prestigious banks such as Morgan Stanley, so not sure if such a degree would completely rule out the possibility of going into Finance as IB don't really require a background in finance. Alas, Imperial also has great graduate prospects, but is it to the level of Oxbridge and LSE?

Yes of course that there are a good number of Oxford MPhil Econs people who are in bulge bracket banks. It might be wise to look deeper into what roles they are in. Tbh, most of them would have been good enough to get into these jobs already with or without a masters or a masters at another top ranked school. You'd be surprised that a masters in former CASS/Bayes business school will yield strong prospects in IBD etc.

When I was younger, I used to have the same dilemma as you. However, experience and wisdom have showed me otherwise. LSE is great for finance tbh but you definitely do not need a MSc Econs degree from LSE. Be wise in what you choose like LSE's 2 year MiM programme, Finance and Accounting, or take Econs programmes with PE or Finance (these place relatively well as cohorts are more selective and smaller. A & F in LSE is decent and might land you to where you want to be but competition is stuff and intakes are huge and a fair share of candidates aren't necessarily the best students applying to grad school.

By and large most top schools are good enough to land you a chance at such jobs? Sometimes you'd be surprised that someone with an Oxbridge MPhil or even Oxbridge undergrad with a first struggle to land even a first interview with IBD. On the other hand someone in a Mid tier Uni with a decent first with all the right networking and connections or even a not as prestigious masters in finance will get a strong shot at the job. there really isnt a clear answer and things are uncertain now with how the market and IBD is changing.

Like I said do the MSc Finance. Better still do a MBA to leapfrog after whether or not you start IBD in a big / small firm or otherwise.
Reply 9
Original post by BenRyan99
Maybe I'm missing something but isn't the Imperial course cheaper than the MPhil at Oxford anyway? Imperial course is £42.2k. Oxford MPhil is £26.45k per year for a two year course, hence £52.9k, so more expensive overall.

Have you actually looked at the syllabus for the MPhil Economics? You only really want to be doing the Oxford course if you either want to do a PhD Economics or go into an economic consultancy, central bank or work as an economist for a Bank. I would not recommend it if you want to go into finance (e.g M&A, asset management, private equity, venture, quantitative finance, etc) or tech. You'd have been better off applying for their MSc Financial Economics course to go into finance, or just work for a few years and then do an MBA.

If you want to go into finance, do a finance degree (e.g Imperial), it's as simple as that. Can't work out the logic of wanting to go into finance or tech and then doing a postgrad specialist degree in economics, just do one in finance, quant finance, data science, maths or CS.


Thank you for you response! Yes, overall Oxford would be more expensive, however, I was referring to the yearly tuition. Unfortunately, I am unable to apply for their MSc Financial Economics as I do not have a GMAT/GRE. The reason why I applied for the MPhil Economics is because I wanted to keep my options as open as possible for the future. I am unsure what kind of career is suitable for me, however, I know that I want to start off in the private sector (likely in Finance: asset management for example). At the moment, I am not sure whether I would like to do a PhD, but certainly not in the next few years as I want job experience. I therefore need a program that will provide me with the most flexibility in terms of my career.

I understand your point concerning the MPhil Economics, it is more practical to do the MSc Finance. However, I have seen people on LinkedIn that have taken the MPhil Economics and are currently working in investment banking or other divisions within finance such as equity research. Therefore, I am not certain whether the MPhil would be completely useless in that regard.

However, the MSc Finance does ensure a logical progression into pretty much any area within finance, with that I completely agree. How does Imperial compare to its competitors, especially the London universities (namely LSE MSc Finance and UCL MSc Financial Risk Management or MSc Finance) as well as Oxbridge? What is an employers outlook on a graduate from Imperial compared to the others that I previously mentioned?
Reply 10
Original post by Ad_Infinitum
Thank you for you response! Yes, overall Oxford would be more expensive, however, I was referring to the yearly tuition. Unfortunately, I am unable to apply for their MSc Financial Economics as I do not have a GMAT/GRE. The reason why I applied for the MPhil Economics is because I wanted to keep my options as open as possible for the future. I am unsure what kind of career is suitable for me, however, I know that I want to start off in the private sector (likely in Finance: asset management for example). At the moment, I am not sure whether I would like to do a PhD, but certainly not in the next few years as I want job experience. I therefore need a program that will provide me with the most flexibility in terms of my career.

I understand your point concerning the MPhil Economics, it is more practical to do the MSc Finance. However, I have seen people on LinkedIn that have taken the MPhil Economics and are currently working in investment banking or other divisions within finance such as equity research. Therefore, I am not certain whether the MPhil would be completely useless in that regard.

However, the MSc Finance does ensure a logical progression into pretty much any area within finance, with that I completely agree. How does Imperial compare to its competitors, especially the London universities (namely LSE MSc Finance and UCL MSc Financial Risk Management or MSc Finance) as well as Oxbridge? What is an employers outlook on a graduate from Imperial compared to the others that I previously mentioned?


Having seen your responses. I think some critical questions will be where you did your undergrad, your final mark (in numbers) and what major. Once I know these I can offer you slightly more guidance and advice. You dont need to specifically say which university but some indication will be good.

Imperial is Fine. Imperial itself is highly regarded, the b school less so but again its going to consider everything. If you excelled well in Finance in Imperial Im sure youll stand out.
Reply 11
Original post by anony123sg
Having seen your responses. I think some critical questions will be where you did your undergrad, your final mark (in numbers) and what major. Once I know these I can offer you slightly more guidance and advice. You dont need to specifically say which university but some indication will be good.

Imperial is Fine. Imperial itself is highly regarded, the b school less so but again its going to consider everything. If you excelled well in Finance in Imperial Im sure youll stand out.

Hello, I have been reading your responses and really appreciate your help. To answer your question, I am currently a final year student studying Economics at the University of Manchester. In terms of my grades, they don't really give us predicted grades, but I am aiming for a first hopefully (so that would be above a 70%).

Also, any indication on the Imperial Business School's reputation specifically as you alluded to the fact that they are less known for it?
Reply 12
Original post by Ad_Infinitum
Hello, I have been reading your responses and really appreciate your help. To answer your question, I am currently a final year student studying Economics at the University of Manchester. In terms of my grades, they don't really give us predicted grades, but I am aiming for a first hopefully (so that would be above a 70%).

Also, any indication on the Imperial Business School's reputation specifically as you alluded to the fact that they are less known for it?


I don't think it really matters for a masters for UG straight out of uni. But an ICLBS MBA will be pretty lame. Though ICLBS is pretty cool now and offers a new UG programme in econs and management which is extremely tough to get into. Didn't oxford set out conditions for your offer?
Reply 13
Original post by anony123sg
I don't think it really matters for a masters for UG straight out of uni. But an ICLBS MBA will be pretty lame. Though ICLBS is pretty cool now and offers a new UG programme in econs and management which is extremely tough to get into. Didn't oxford set out conditions for your offer?


Tbh I am surprised you did not apply for the MPhil in Finance or the MPhil in Finance and Econs at Cambs. My friends who did those had very good job prospects in investments and banking etc.
Reply 14
Original post by anony123sg
Tbh I am surprised you did not apply for the MPhil in Finance or the MPhil in Finance and Econs at Cambs. My friends who did those had very good job prospects in investments and banking etc.


I applied to MPhil Finance and Economics at Cambridge but have not heard back yet unfortunately. I applied before December 1st, to be honest, I do not know why they are taking so long to reply back.
(edited 11 months ago)
Reply 15
(Original post by anony123sg)I don't think it really matters for a masters for UG straight out of uni. But an ICLBS MBA will be pretty lame. Though ICLBS is pretty cool now and offers a new UG programme in econs and management which is extremely tough to get into. Didn't oxford set out conditions for your offer?

I have not received the conditions yet, will receive them in the coming week I think. Given my current qualifications, do you have any suggestions or advice?
Original post by Ad_Infinitum
Thank you for you response! Yes, overall Oxford would be more expensive, however, I was referring to the yearly tuition. Unfortunately, I am unable to apply for their MSc Financial Economics as I do not have a GMAT/GRE. The reason why I applied for the MPhil Economics is because I wanted to keep my options as open as possible for the future. I am unsure what kind of career is suitable for me, however, I know that I want to start off in the private sector (likely in Finance: asset management for example). At the moment, I am not sure whether I would like to do a PhD, but certainly not in the next few years as I want job experience. I therefore need a program that will provide me with the most flexibility in terms of my career.

I understand your point concerning the MPhil Economics, it is more practical to do the MSc Finance. However, I have seen people on LinkedIn that have taken the MPhil Economics and are currently working in investment banking or other divisions within finance such as equity research. Therefore, I am not certain whether the MPhil would be completely useless in that regard.

However, the MSc Finance does ensure a logical progression into pretty much any area within finance, with that I completely agree. How does Imperial compare to its competitors, especially the London universities (namely LSE MSc Finance and UCL MSc Financial Risk Management or MSc Finance) as well as Oxbridge? What is an employers outlook on a graduate from Imperial compared to the others that I previously mentioned?

I don't quite get why yearly tuition is important if one of the courses is more than a year, the cost of the course is what's important, not the yearly cost. The MPhil is only cheaper per year because it's two years, if you look at similar courses like their MFE, it's over £50k. They only make the MPhil Economics cheaper because nobody sane would spend 2x £40k+.

What you have to understand is that postgrad economics, especially this Oxford course, is intended as preparation for a PhD. It's highly theoretical and wouldn't be great preparation for going straight into finance. It's not that it's bad at all, it's just it doesn't add much for finance jobs. As another poster said, looking at some grads from the MPhil going into finance isn't really a proper counterfactual. Two close friends of mine have done the MPhil there, both did summer internships during the summer at the end of the first MPhil year, one at Morgan Stanley, another at Blackstone. However, one did maths and Econ with me at LSE and the other did maths, Econ and stats at UCL - I think both could've comfortably got positions at banks before Oxford as well as after. So the logic of Oxford boosting your opps from undergrad isn't 100% clear.

But the main point isn't really about all this. It's more that postgrad economics is very difficult, especially at a top uni (very different to undergrad imo). So do you really want to spend 2yrs and >50k doing a very tough master's in a subject that you're not planning on working in? This is why the imperial course makes more sense imo. It's shorter, cheaper, in London and focused on the areas it sounds like you're more interested in. Also for finance postgrad, I'm not sure Oxford has a better rep than Imperial imo. Obvs LSE and LBS have the best rep for finance, but I'd say Imperial and Oxford are roughly equal, then Cambridge, then Warwick and UCL. Ox probably had a better undergrad rep, especially for non-science subjects, but I work in asset management and I wouldn't look at an MPhil Economics from Oxford more favourably than a MSc Finance/MSc IWM from Imperial for a finance position (non-economist position) at my fund. Though this is just my opinion.
Reply 17
Original post by Ad_Infinitum
(Original post by anony123sg)I don't think it really matters for a masters for UG straight out of uni. But an ICLBS MBA will be pretty lame. Though ICLBS is pretty cool now and offers a new UG programme in econs and management which is extremely tough to get into. Didn't oxford set out conditions for your offer?

I have not received the conditions yet, will receive them in the coming week I think. Given my current qualifications, do you have any suggestions or advice?


seems fine and workable to me. Just make sure you secure your first class award. and if ox hasnt sent you the conditions yet I believe that theyll be expecting a strong first from manchester or RG unis in general so at least 75 will be safe.

BenRyan99 has said it all. I totally agree with him. I know someone who went to a decent but non RG uni did well ended up in Oxford MPhil Econs at Nuffield (which is super prestigious) did consulting first and ended up at a top tier PE shop. Before PE he went to HBS to do the MBA which is really impressive. Most of my friends who did the MPhil in Econs work for the central banks of their countries or are economists at funds and banks.

Honestly, just do a good finance degree. LBS has some MSc programmes. LSE should definitely be considered, you better apply tbh. I'd advise to go to Imperial network with people like BenRyan99 and just be strategic and do well for the programme whilst understanding what high finance is all about.

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