How to get into Imperial for MSc Finance

Imperial is renowned as one of the best universities in the world, especially for its Finance courses. QS Top Universities ranked Imperial as the 13th best university in the world for an MSc in Finance (2024).

Not only is it competitive to gain a place at Imperial, but the Finance course is especially difficult to get into. In 2021, Imperial’s offer rate for MSc Finance was reported to be as low as 9.7%. 

If you’d like to get into Imperial for Finance or you’re just curious about what it takes to get into one of the most globally acclaimed universities in the UK, then read on. This guide contains everything you need to know – from entry requirements to tips on what you need to do to get into MSc Finance at Imperial.

The Profs’ Finance tutors have first-hand experience with the admissions process and what is required to succeed at each stage. 

Thanks to our expert support, 95% of our students get into their first and second-choice universities. Reach out to our admissions team today to maximise your chances of success! We have plenty of experience getting students into Imperial, not to mention our founder is an Imperial alumnus! 

Also, check out our previous blogs on how to get into Imperial, Imperial’s courses and entry requirements and what to do if you don’t meet Imperial’s requirements.

What is the Finance course at Imperial like?

Why should I study Finance at Imperial?

Imperial consistently ranks in the top 20 for Finance in the UK, Europe and worldwide. 

Imperial was designated a CISI Centre of Excellence in Finance by the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment Institute (CISI). Its MSc Finance programme was the first London-taught programme with both CISI exemption and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) partner programme status.

The Business School boasts high-calibre resources, including the Finance Lab, allowing students to engage with real-time market data and analytics. 

MSc Finance offers robust career support, with strong links to top financial institutions, providing excellent networking opportunities and high employability rates post-graduation. Also, Imperial’s location in London, a global financial hub, allows students to engage with leading finance professionals through events and guest lectures. 

As an MSc Finance student, you’ll have the chance to join the Imperial College Finance Society (ICFS or FinSoc), a leading professional society at Imperial College London (catering to students aiming for careers in the financial sector). 

FinSoc is the largest non-departmental student society at Imperial, boasting over 800 members and a mailing list exceeding 3,000. Recognised as the top finance career-oriented society by the National Placement & Internship Awards and ranked the 5th best student society in the UK, FinSoc hosts significant events such as the Annual UIBS and the WorldQuant Alphathon trading challenge. Collaborating with top UK universities like LSE, Cambridge, Oxford, and UCL, FinSoc co-hosts major events, including Europe’s largest student-run financial technology conference, the London Fintech Conference.

A great way to check out everything for yourself is to attend one of Imperial’s open days, events and/or virtual tours. Find more information here.

Reach out to our expert postgraduate admissions team today to maximise your chances of success!

What is the Finance course like at Imperial?

There are two postgraduate Finance courses available at Imperial:

  • MSc Finance: This course offers a wide range of continually updated electives, allowing students to tailor their learning to match their career goals. The programme combines cutting-edge research, practical application, and a broad range of topics, leveraging strong corporate connections with leading companies in London and beyond.
  • MSc Finance and Accounting: This course is accredited by both ACCA and CIMA, designed to prepare students for careers in financial or professional services. It offers a strong theoretical foundation and insights from top-tier research in corporate finance, combined with practical solutions to real-world challenges in areas like mergers & acquisitions, private equity, and real estate. The programme includes lectures from esteemed practitioners and options for programming workshops, an Applied Project, or a work placement.

Both courses are one-year, full-time postgraduate programmes, however, students can opt for a four-to-six-month internship or a work placement, extending the programme to 16 months and providing further practical experience, though additional tuition fees apply.

Both courses equip students with quantitative skills and financial knowledge. Imperial claims that its MSc Finance courses are known for successfully placing students in top finance jobs for the past 25 years, covering sectors such as investment banking, asset management, and consultancy.

Want to prepare for the challenging Finance course at Imperial? Our impeccable Finance tutors can get you up to speed.

What does Imperial look for in its Finance applicants?

When considering applicants for its Finance programme, Imperial looks for students with strong analytical, quantitative, and critical thinking abilities. These skills will be further developed and honed throughout the course and can be applied to a range of career paths, including roles in investment banking, financial analysis, risk management, consulting, and corporate finance.

Want to make sure you shine among a sea of other applicants? Our expert Finance tutors can help you!

What are the entry requirements?

The entry requirements to study Finance as a postgraduate degree at the University of Imperial are high, as Imperial is one of the most competitive universities to get into. 

If you’re considering Imperial, take a look at the table below detailing the entry requirements for both of Imperial’s postgraduate Finance courses:

Finance MSc or Finance and Accounting MSc

QualificationGrades required
Undergraduate degreeFirst or 2:1.
International qualificationsCheck Imperial’s postgraduate accepted international qualification page for specific entry requirements relevant to your home country.

Please note: For these courses in particular, you must achieve the higher university requirement in the appropriate English language qualification. More information on this is available here.

Also, Imperial has no specific A level criteria. However, it warns applicants that many banks and companies in the financial sector have very strict grade requirements for their graduate programmes. Imperial strongly recommends that candidates research the entry requirements of any companies they’re interested in working for.

Worried that you won’t qualify with the necessary grades for Imperial Finance? The Profs’ undergraduate tutors can help. We have extensive experience helping students excel in their coursework, final exams and entry tests for this competitive course. Reach out to our team for support. 

What subjects are recommended?

Imperial deems it mandatory that MSc Finance and/or Finance and Accounting students have studied a quantitative BSc. 

Imperial highlights the following degrees as appropriate for both MSc courses: Maths, Engineering, Economics, Finance or Science. The Finance and Accounting course also suggests undergraduate degrees in Business or Accounting.

Please note that Imperial expects students commencing the MSc Finance to be proficient in probability, calculus, matrix algebra and real analysis.

Reach out to our admissions team today to maximise your chances of success!

What admissions tests are there?

Both postgraduate courses at Imperial do not require an admissions test.

However, both claim that a well-balanced GMAT Focus result with 650 or higher overall will add weight to your application. So, it’s definitely worth considering!

The GMAT Focus is the new version of the now-discontinued ‘The Graduate Management Admission Test’. This exam is designed to evaluate the analytical, quantitative, verbal, and reasoning skills of individuals seeking admission to graduate business programmes. One of the most popular courses to require the GMAT is the MBA programme.

More information on this is available in our article on how to prepare for the GMAT Focus.

Don’t forget our expert postgraduate admissions team is here to help you craft a winning application for Finance at Imperial. 

How hard is it to get into Finance at Imperial?

Applying for Finance at Imperial is no easy feat. 

If you’re thinking about applying to Imperial, take a look at the table below to get an idea of the competitiveness surrounding this postgraduate degree: 

CourseApplicationsOffers
Finance1998193
Finance and Accounting1704371

 

The table is based on the 2021/2022 cycle.

The Profs’ postgraduate admissions team can help maximise your chances of getting into Imperial to study Finance. Thanks to our network of experienced tutors, many of whom are Imperial graduates and ex-admissions officers themselves, we have the very latest and best knowledge on what Imperial is looking for in their Finance applications. 

Get in touch with us today to chat with a member of our team about how we can help with your application to Imperial.

What are the fees for Finance at Imperial?

Tuition fees vary depending on whether you’re a national student or not. The table below shows the course fee for Imperial’s postgraduate Finance students (2024/2025 onwards):

Home StudentsInternational Students
£45,400

Extended placement: £46,900

£45,400

Extended placement: £46,900

The cost is the same for both MSc courses: Finance and Finance and Accounting. 

You can find out more information here. You can also use Imperial’s fees and funding page to see the funding options available to you.

4 tips on how to get into Finance at Imperial 

1. Prepare thoroughly for each stage of the admissions process

When applying to study Finance at Imperial, there are many stages of the admissions process to consider. You should prepare for each one thoroughly if you’re set on being offered a place.

Your academic track record – preparation for your Imperial application starts from secondary school. Try to attain a First Class degree, or a high 2:1. Excellent A level grades (or equivalent) will also contribute to the competitiveness of your application. Also, ensure that your GCSEs don’t let you down. Again, a good track record is important – having no lower than a 6 (B) in English and Maths could prove important. At The Profs, we have excellent GCSE, A level tutors and undergraduate tutors who can help you attain your goal grades!

Your written application – You will need to answer application questions and career planning questions, provide a quantitative experience statement and your programming/computer software experience. You will also need to provide a current CV and a personal statement. Throughout all of these steps, you need to show Imperial who you are, and why you’re the perfect candidate for this course at this university. Your writing must be clear, compelling, specific and original. Our postgraduate admissions team can help, not to mention we have excellent personal statement tutors.

Your interview – If you are shortlisted you will be invited to an interview to demonstrate your passion and drive, and why you want to study a Master’s at Imperial. This is normally through a video interview platform which you can access online to record and submit your answers (sometimes you’ll be invited through Skype or telephone instead). This step can make or break your offer so get it right by enlisting the support of our expert interview coaches.

2. Show evidence of your love for Finance 

With such a low success rate, it’s important that you do everything you can to make your application stand out from the crowd. Your academic ability might get you on the shortlist, but it’s not what secures your place. Imperial particularly looks for applicants with academic ability, potential, and genuine enthusiasm for Finance. There are many ways you can show this, such as:

Conduct wider reading, beyond your school syllabus

Self-learning demonstrates a desire to learn about Finance at a higher level. Reading about Finance will allow you to draw from a wider bank of knowledge than your standard curriculum. This should demonstrate excellent capability and genuine interest in Finance, which will help you to stand out. Try to delve into something specific and niche e.g. the past and future of quantitative models within asset management.

Better yet, research Imperial’s Finance department, and discuss how you would contribute to their existing published research, projects or accomplishments. If you really want to impress Imperial, you could study the first 2 weeks of a module for your MSc course and talk about this in your application to show that you are ahead of the competition.

Keep up to date with national and international current affairs relevant to your field. It can boost your application to link the outside world to your discipline.

Our tutors can help you to understand where the ‘sweet spots’ are and what to read in order to stand out in your application. Reading as extensively about your subject as possible will help to prove that you’re proactive and engaged and that, most importantly, you would make an outstanding Imperial student.

Take on relevant extracurricular activities

With the competition so high, academic excellence is not enough. Stand out by showing initiative and interest beyond your curriculum. For Finance, this could look like being part of your undergraduate university’s entrepreneurship society, charity fundraising events, taking a quantitative course outside of your degree, or even a quantitative student job. 

Maybe you’ve got a blog on tax evasion cases within the media that you’d like to reference during your interview. It’s also a good idea to express an interest in joining or leading one of Imperial’s relevant societies e.g. The ICFS.

Imperial values any extracurriculars that demonstrate skills in collaboration, leadership and research.

Imperial is research-intensive, so any extracurricular that is entrenched in this or demonstrates research skills will be advantageous e.g. conducting research for a teacher or department and/or getting involved with your local library (preferably with their archives).

Find relevant work experience

You are strongly recommended to undertake relevant internships and work placements. Listing them in the Industrial/Professional Experience section of your application and CV will add value to your application.

Show evidence that you’ve been building your professional experience and knowledge of the financial sector throughout your undergraduate degree.

Don’t forget to mention the experience you might have picked up during your undergraduate course. Imperial College London offers ‘Sector Weeks’, ‘Employer-Led Skills Workshops’, ‘Career Forums’ and ‘Networking Events’. It is great if you are able to say you’ve done this as it proves you have some niche experience, but more importantly, it shows that you have initiative, motivation and passion.

If you were a part of any university society, especially if you had a position such as president or treasurer, it could be advantageous to mention this.

Insider tip: If you completed an internship, it’s extremely valuable to highlight this and demonstrate an understanding of the industry. Take a look at LinkedIn. You can search there for seniors from the same school, country, or subject as you who completed a postgraduate course at Imperial. Have a look to get an idea of their background. This will give you an idea of what kind of experience to pursue. Not to mention, you can reach out to them directly, network, and ask for an opportunity. Searching through Imperial alumni is especially important if you are not applying with ideal grades as you can find graduates with similar grades to you and deduce from their profile what they might have done additionally to get in. However, minimum entrance requirements can vary year-to-year and Imperial is far more competitive than it was a decade ago, so some profiles of Imperial alumni could be misleading. Plus, people with subpar grades might opt out of sharing them on their profiles. 

Consider completing extra qualifications

Remember to list the most advanced Quantitative courses that you have taken in your academic career in your statement and CV.

You might consider taking the GMAT or GRE to demonstrate your mathematical ability and bolster your application. 

Chat with our team for expert guidance through the admissions process.

3. Have a 5-year plan

Candidates are required to have a well-researched career plan with clear short and long-term goals. So, create a high-level 5-year plan. 

Imperial in particular values forward-thinking students with ambition. You don’t necessarily have to stick to your plan – in fact, it is expected that your interests and ambitions change as your knowledge and experience grow. Having a plan is simply a great way of demonstrating to Imperial that you are committed to the subject and that you are motivated to succeed at your degree, and thus would be a valuable Imperial student.

Why do you need to extend your studies and how will this postgraduate course help you to reach your goals in ways that your undergraduate course couldn’t? Imperial’s focus on careers cannot be overlooked, especially for postgraduate study. At MSc level, Imperial even has an additional career planning section. So, you will need to present a very clear objective behind this course: what do you hope to achieve with this and what makes your research proposal special?

Aim to be specific and ambitious, yet realistic.

Overwhelmed? Let us take the wheel.

4. Seek help from an expert postgraduate admissions tutor

If you have your sights on Imperial it’s important to consider how competitive it is. Meeting the entry requirements for Finance will not guarantee you an invitation to an interview. You must stand out!

Your application requires you to perform well in multiple stages to be in with a chance of securing an offer. Shortlisted candidates can often fall at the last hurdle of admissions. Unfortunately, undergraduate universities offer little support for students to secure a postgraduate degree at a different, top university, and the admissions process is totally new. As a result, we advise seeking a professional admissions tutor to help you through the process.

90% of our postgraduate students get into their first-choice universities! The Profs’ admissions tutors have many years of experience helping students develop their academic profiles, tailor their application to different universities’ admissions criteria, ace assessments, and excel in their admissions interviews. 

At The Profs, you’ll gain invaluable independent study skills along with a deeper, broader understanding of the knowledge needed to study Finance as a degree at a prestigious UK university. Reach out to our experienced team today to get started.