The University of Cambridge is a very popular master in finance program in the UK. They offer two versions and I am lucky enough to have a review of the MPhil in Finance program. Hopefully this will help some of you who are interested in the program.
Let me preface by saying I completed a MPhil in Finance at Cambridge (not the Master in Finance).
Recruiting is top-notch at Cambridge. If you are qualified, you will get interviews to investment banks, private equity firms, and hedge funds. The caveat is (1) these positions will be in London/Europe (it’s difficult to go back to the U.S. where I did my undergrad) and (2) if you are looking to go to the industry, you will be at a disadvantage if you don’t have prior work experience. I found those who struggled in finding jobs either didn’t enough effort into applying early or had zero internship experience. Particularly in the most recent job market, you will need the requisite credentials to get interviews, but the Cambridge name provides the connections to get the job if you do.
My class had around 25 students. The MPhil finance program has people with 1 or less years of work experience. We had mostly students fresh from undergrad and a couple who already had master’s degrees. A couple had already worked for less than a year.
The program is great for recruiting in London and getting a study abroad experience (my goal since I had a job offer already lined up in the states). I’ll focus on recruiting since that’s what most people are concerned about. My classmates ended up in McKinsey, Goldman, MS, HSBC, Lazard, FTI, etc. The same caveats apply — recruiting is regional and job hunting will depend on the individual (interview prep, internships, marks, etc.). Try not to get caught up in schoolwork and put your efforts into recruiting if this is your goal. The program also is a tie-in to a PhD if that’s what you want to do. But be warned, the university has a strict 70% cut-off for entrance into their program (which extends 2 more years). This is actually more difficult that it sounds since about a 1/3 of students get this mark. Personally, I was quite frustrated by the grading as it seemed random at times and often not really based on execution.
Coursework tends to be more research oriented than practical. It seems more suited for further academic study (PhD) than for work placement, but the name and general drive of students gets them pretty good jobs afterwards.
As far as admission into the program, Cambridge has a pretty low acceptance rate (~8%). You must have superb academic credientials (+3.8-3.9 GPA) and it helps to have quantitative coursework. I feel as though the university cares less about extracurriculars, GMAT, experience, etc.
The Cambridge program is a bit different than the other UK programs. Oxford combined their MFin and MPhil programs and mixes everyone together whereas the Cambridge MPhil is strictly research oriented for fresh undergrads. LSE is solid as well but I go the feeling that admission is less stringent given their mass quantity of degrees (feeling like a degree factory at times when looking at their list). I think all of these programs will you get you interviews in London for the “right” candidate. But I would think Oxbridge has a bit more prestige in terms of meeting with people/employers.
Here is a link to the Cambridge University MPhil in Finance program