Finance Master’s Entry Requirements

Studying a Finance Master’s can be a great way of levelling up your knowledge, pursuing more specific areas of interest, and preparing for a career in the Finance industry. However, Masters in Finance are typically very competitive, and it is essential that applicants meet the minimum entry requirements in order to have a realistic chance of securing a place.

This guide goes through all of the entry requirements for MFin and MSc Finance courses, including what qualifications, work experience and additional tests you need to complete in order to maximise your chances of receiving an offer.

 

What is a Master’s in Finance?

 

A Master’s in Finance is a postgraduate level degree that is designed to prepare you for a career in the Finance industry. Typically, students on MSc Finance courses learn a theoretical foundation in Finance as well as how to analyse financial decisions and the motivations behind them. Finance Master’s also often place emphasis on both technical and practical skills and so you will likely learn skills such as programming, financial modelling, and the applications of FinTech, that can be applied to real-world problems in the Finance sector.

 

Entry requirements for top universities

 

In order to study any Finance course at Master’s level, you will typically need a 2:1 degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject. Some universities also require applicants to have some work experience – the amount of experience differs between universities. A few universities also require or highly recommend a GMAT/GRE score. All of this information can be found for the top UK universities for Finance (that offer Masters in Finance) in the table below.

RankingUniversityCourseAcademic entry requirementsWork experienceGRE/GMAT requirements
1University of OxfordMSc Financial Economics1st class or high 2:1 degree (or equivalent).It is not mandatory to have any full-time work experience. However if you have any relevant experience, either full-time or via an internship, this will be considered as part of your application.GMAT or GRE score is required by all applicants. Oxford does not provide GMAT/GRE waivers or exemptions.
Oxford recommends that the quantitative and verbal scores are in the 80th percentile and the analytical writing score is at least 5 in order for your application to be competitive.
The average GMAT score of current MSc Financial Economics students is 742.
2University of CambridgeMFin Master of Finance1st or high 2:1 degree (or equivalent).Minimum 2 years’ graduate work experience in a core Finance or Finance-related role.GMAT or GRE score is not required but is optional and may improve the strength of your application, particularly where your academic qualifications are on the borderline of the minimum requirements.
3London School of Economics (LSE)MSc Finance1st or 2:1 degree (or equivalent) in any discipline and evidence of good quantitative skills. The majority of students accepted into the programme in previous years had 1st class degrees.Work experience (either through internships or full employment) is not a prerequisite for the course. However, applicants who have some professional experience should include this in their application, as it may strengthen their application.A GMAT or GRE score is required for all applicants without a UK undergraduate degree. The GMAT is strongly preferred over the GRE. A GMAT score is still strongly recommended for applicants with UK degrees, especially those with weaknesses elsewhere in their application.
4London Business SchoolMasters in FinanceA good grade in a quantitative degree. A 2:1 is highly recommended.2 years’ work experience since graduation required.
The average offer holder has 6 years of work experience.
Yes, the GMAT score is required of all applicants. Minimum score of 600 however 700+ is recommended.
5University of ManchesterMSc FinanceMinimum 2:1 degree with 60% average (or equivalent) in Finance, Economics or Maths. You must have taken a significant number of Finance and quantitative courses during your degree (Accounting is not considered to be Finance).N/AA GMAT/GRE is not required, however in some cases the admissions team may request it if your degree does not contain enough relevant quantitative modules.
6Imperial College LondonMSc Finance1st class degree (or equivalent) in a highly quantitative discipline, such as Mathematics, Engineering, Economics, Finance or Science.Prospective students are strongly recommended to undertake relevant internships and work placements and list them in the ‘Industrial/Professional Experience’ section of the application form and your CV, as this will add weight to your application.The GMAT is not required for MSc Finance, but a well-balanced GMAT score (650 or higher overall) will add weight to your application. The current class average from students who have taken GMAT is 703.
A score of at least 48/60 in the quantitative section of GMAT, or 159 in the quantitative section of GRE will give you the greatest chance of being considered.
7University of WarwickMSc FinanceA 1st or high 2:1 degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject.No work experience is required.A GMAT or GRE score is not required, however a well-balanced score (700+) may strengthen your application.
8University of EdinburghMSc FinanceA 1st or 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject (Finance, Accounting, Business or Economics preferred).Relevant work experience is not required but may increase your chances of acceptance.N/A
9UCLMSc Finance2:1 degree (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline.Experience in the Finance and Finance-related sector is beneficial but not essential.A GRE score is required. The GMAT will be accepted as a substitute if required.
11Lancaster UniversityMSc Finance2:1 degree (or equivalent) in Finance, Accounting, Economics or another Business-related subject.N/AN/A

The entry requirements to study MSc Finance courses are set by each individual university, so you should always check directly on your chosen university’s website or by contacting them if you are unsure.

What are the GMAT and GRE?

GMAT and GRE are two common admissions tests required by postgraduate business-related courses, including Finance Master’s. Both tests are designed to assess certain analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills.

Most MSc Finance courses require applicants to take the GMAT or GRE in order to qualify for entry, as well as some other Master’s Finance courses. The table above shows whether a GMAT/GRE is required (or recommended) by each of the top universities. Always check with your chosen university directly to confirm if you are required to take the GMAT or GRE in advance.

Our team of dedicated GMAT tutors and GRE tutors can help you prepare for your admissions test and get into a top university. More than 90% of our Finance students receive offers from their first or second choice, so you’ll know you’re getting the very best support. Reach out to our Finance team to find out more.

 

MSc Finance acceptance rates

 

Master’s Finance courses are competitive and, even if you do meet the entry requirements, there are limited spaces available. As a result, many top universities’ MSc Finance acceptance rates are lower than their average acceptance rates, with some dropping below 10%. The table below shows acceptance/offer rates for Master’s Finance courses at some top UK universities.

UniversityCourseAcceptance/offer rate
University of OxfordMSc Financial Economics9.3%
University of CambridgeMFin Master of Finance9.8%
London School of Economics (LSE)MSc Finance17%
London Business SchoolMasters in Finance~10-20%
University of ManchesterMSc Finance18%
Imperial College LondonMSc Finance9.7%
University of WarwickMSc Finance22%
University of EdinburghMSc Finance18%
UCLMSc Finance16%

With rigorous entry requirements and low acceptance rates, it’s important that applicants to MSc Finance courses do everything they can to stand out. That’s where working with an experienced Finance admissions expert can make all the difference. The Profs’ MSc Finance tutors can help you with every aspect of your application, from improving your degree classification to helping you achieve an outstanding GMAT score. Reach out to our postgraduate admissions team today to get started.

 

English Language requirements

 

If you are applying to study a Finance Master’s course at a UK university and have not previously studied in the English language, you will be required to take an English language test. The most common and widely preferred test is the IELTS (International English Language Testing System). The table below shows the minimum scores you will need to achieve in order to qualify for entry to some of the UK’s top universities for Finance.

UniversityIELTS score
University of Cambridge7.5 overall and at least 7.0 in every individual element.
University of Oxford7.5 overall and at least 7.0 in every individual element.
LSE7.0 overall with at least 6.5 in every individual element.
Imperial College London7.0 overall with at least 6.5 in every individual element.
University of Warwick7.0 overall with at least 6.0 in every individual element.

For more information about the IELTS, check the >IELTS website or get in touch with The Profs’ experienced IELTS tutors. Our experts can help you prepare for the test and reach the increasing minimum scores required by top universities.

 

Further resources

 

There are other requirements that you will need to meet in order to get into a Finance Master’s course in the UK. Most importantly, you must complete the application process for each of your chosen universities. This will typically include writing a Master’s personal statement detailing your motivations for studying Finance and any relevant experience and skills that make you an excellent candidate. You may also need to attend an interview with your chosen universities as part of the admissions process.
For more information on these stages of the Master’s application process, read our postgraduate admissions guides:

If you need help securing a 1st class or 2:1 degree and any other entry requirements to study a Master’s in Finance, our team of experts can help. The Profs’ Finance tutors have many years of experience tutoring a wide range of topics at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

In fact, 100% of our tutors have at least 2 years’ teaching experience and more than 90% have postgraduate qualifications, meaning you’ll be getting the best quality tuition to maximise your chance of receiving an offer. Get in touch today for a free discovery call from our team.

 

FAQs

 

Do I need to take the GMAT/GRE to apply for MSc Finance?

For most universities, a GMAT/GRE score is not an entry requirement. However, a GMAT/GRE score can help you stand out when applying for particularly competitive Finance courses, such as Cambridge and Warwick. London School of Economics (LSE) technically only requires a GMAT/GRE score if you did not study your undergraduate degree in the UK, however its MSc Finance course is extremely competitive, so we recommend that all applicants take the GMAT/GRE regardless of their academic background.

Always check with your chosen university and/or with a specialist Finance admissions expert to ensure you are meeting all entry requirements and giving yourself the best chances of success.

Is a Master’s in Finance worth it?

Finance Master’s provide students with many technical and practical skills needed for a successful career in the Finance industry. Additionally, a Master’s in Finance from a top university can help you to stand out from other applicants in the highly competitive Finance and Consulting industries.

The average yearly salary of Master of Finance graduates is £46,000, however this can be higher depending on the role you pursue and the company you work for. Top Finance and Consulting companies regularly recruit from top UK universities; for example, in 2021, Oxford graduates were recruited by employers including Bank of America, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Morgan Stanley, Bain & Company, Boston Consulting Group, and McKinsey & Company.

How long is a Master’s in Finance?

A Master’s in Finance course is typically one academic year in length if studied full-time. Some universities also offer Master’s in Finance courses on a part-time basis which last for two academic years.

What are the UK Master in Finance fees?

Tuition fees for international students typically range from £23,000 to £47,000 per year, however some top university courses can cost more than this. For example, Oxford’s MSc Financial Economics course costs £52,560, while Cambridge’s Master’s in Finance costs £51,000.