How to Get Into LSE MSc Finance

MSc Finance is a particularly competitive course at LSE. Just 6.2% of applicants were successful in getting into MSc Finance at LSE in 2021, so it’s important to ensure your application stands out to LSE’s admissions officers.

If you’re thinking of applying for MSc Finance or just curious about what it takes to get into one of the most competitive courses at LSE, this guide contains everything you need to know – from entry requirements to tips on how to prepare from our expert Finance tutors.

The Profs’ Finance tutors have first-hand experience of the admissions process and what is required to succeed at each stage. Thanks to our expert support, 95% of students who work with The Profs receive an offer from their first or second choice university. Reach out to our team today to maximise your chances of success.

What is LSE MSc Finance?

LSE’s MSc Finance programme is a postgraduate course lasting for 10 months (full-time) and designed for students looking to develop their knowledge and interest in Finance. The course consists of two core courses studied in the first term: Corporate Finance, which provides an overview of firms’ financial decision making, and Asset Markets, which familiarises you with how financial markets work and the tools of asset valuation. Each student can then tailor their MSc Finance course to suit their own interests and goals, choosing from a range of optional modules, such as:

  • Fixed Income Securities and Credit Markets
  • Topics in Portfolio Management
  • Risk Management in Financial Markets
  • Financial Engineering
  • Quantitative Security Analysis
  • Sustainable Finance and Impact Investing
  • And more. See the full list of modules on the LSE MSc Finance course page.

There are also several joint MSc Finance courses offered by LSE which allow you to study Finance alongside another related discipline. These courses include:

  • MSc Finance and Economics
  • MSc Finance and Private Equity
  • MSc Accounting and Finance
  • MSc Risk and Finance
  • MSc Real Estate Economics and Finance.

It is important to do your research into your chosen LSE MSc Finance course to determine if and why it is the best course for you. The programmes are extremely competitive, so you will need to show admissions officers that you are passionate and committed not only to the subject area and wider industry, but also to this specific course and university.

LSE MSc Finance Entry requirements

Academic qualifications

The minimum entry requirement for LSE MSc Finance applicants is a 2:1 degree (or equivalent) in any discipline. Although there are no prior subject requirements, your undergraduate degree should have provided you with good quantitative skills, as this will be necessary to study Finance as Master’s level. Additionally, though it may be possible to receive an offer with a high 2:1 degree, the course is incredibly competitive and most successful applicants in previous years held a first-class degree.

You will also be expected to have an A level in Mathematics (or equivalent), or be able to demonstrate an equivalent mathematical ability.

Admissions test

The GMAT/GRE is required for all applicants without a UK undergraduate degree, with the GMAT being preferred. If you hold a UK degree, it is still strongly recommended that you take the GMAT in order to help your application stand out from other competitive candidates – especially if you are applying with a 2:1 degree (rather than a first) or a lack of evidence of quantitative skills.

Work experience

You are not required to have work experience in order to qualify for entry to LSE’s MSc Finance course. However, if you do have some professional experience (whether through internships or full employment), we recommend including this in your application, as it may strengthen your application and help you stand out from the competition.

English language proficiency

If you have not previously studied in English or do not meet LSE’s English criteria, you may also have to provide evidence of your English proficiency as part of your MSc Finance application. If you are required to take an English language test, you will need to meet LSE’s ‘standard’ requirements, which are:

  • IELTS – 7.0 with no less than 6.5 in each individual element
  • TOEFL – 100 overall with 23 in Reading, 22 in Listening, 24 in Writing, and 22 in Speaking
  • Other tests are also accepted. See LSE’s graduate language requirements page.

For most Master’s courses, you can apply even if you have not yet taken an English test at the time of applying (your application will still be considered without it). However, if you receive an offer, it will be conditional and you will be expected to meet the required English language score requirements before starting your course.

How to apply for LSE MSc Finance

The application process for LSE’s MSc Finance course is largely the same as for other Master’s degree courses. You will need to apply directly to LSE via its own applicant portal and follow the instructions provided. Your application will include submitting the following:

  • CV – this should detail your academic and professional experience, as well as your wider skills and interests.
  • Transcript of your previous qualification/s – this should show what you have studied in past qualifications and what you achieved so that LSE can assess whether you meet the academic entry requirements for MSc Finance.
  • A statement of academic purpose – this is a 1,000-1,500 word personal essay that explains your academic interest in and academic preparedness for your chosen course. In your statement, you should discuss:
    – Your relevant academic interests, strengths and background
    – Your areas of specific interest within the course
    – Your academic preparedness for the course
    – Your motivation for undertaking the course
    – Your academic/professional aspirations and how your chosen course might help you realise these aspirations
    – Additional reading or research you have done around your subject area
    – Relevant work experience that has informed your decision to apply for your chosen course.
  • A GMAT/GRE score – you will need to share your GMAT/GRE score report with LSE via Educational Testing Service (ETS) as well as entering your scores in the relevant section of the online application form.
  • Two referees who can provide academic references based on their knowledge of your experience, skills, and educational background.

For more tips on how to apply for LSE’s MSc Finance course, read our guide on how to get into LSE Masters:

How to Get Into LSE Masters

How can we help?

The Profs’ postgraduate admissions experts can provide you with invaluable support with your application to the MSc Finance course at LSE. 90% of our tutors have postgraduate degrees and many have worked as Finance lecturers and admissions officers at top universities, as well as in the Finance industry. This makes our tutors best placed to give expert advice on your suitability for the LSE MSc Finance programme and how to show you meet the entry requirements in your application. Reach out to our team today to access support.


LSE MSc Finance acceptance rate

MSc Finance is a particularly competitive course at LSE. The 2021 acceptance rate was just 6.2%, meaning less than 1 in 17 applicants were successful in receiving an offer. It’s therefore important to ensure your application stands out to LSE’s admissions officers.

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

LSE does require all applicants without a UK undergraduate degree to take the GMAT/GRE. Even if you are exempt from taking the test, it is recommended that you do still take it and submit your score if it is competitive. A strong GMAT/GRE score can help you stand out when applying for such a competitive Finance course.

How long does LSE take to give offers Masters?

For courses with rolling admissions, offers will be released at different times, however the first offers will be released from January onwards. LSE aims to release all decisions within eight weeks of acknowledging your application, however the wait can be longer than this at certain times, especially during busy seasons such as following the Christmas and Easter vacations and in the weeks following PhD funding deadlines. The university publishes a list of its current processing times on its website, which you should check before contacting LSE for an update. Any decision made regarding your application will be available via LSE’s graduate applicant portal.

What is the deadline for accepting an LSE Master’s offer?

When you are made an offer for an LSE Master’s course, an offer reply form will become available on the Graduate Applicant Portal (GAP). To accept your offer, you will need to complete this form and submit it to the university. LSE asks that you submit the form within six weeks of receiving your offer if possible, however if you are not able to submit the form within this time, you will not lose your offer and LSE will not assume that you do not wish to take up your place. You should simply aim to submit the form as soon as possible to allow the university to plan for the coming year.

How much is LSE MSc Finance?

The LSE MSc Finance fees are £42,384 for both UK and international full-time candidates. To secure a place on the course, offer holders will usually be required to pay a deposit of £3,900 within four weeks of receiving their offer. You should also take into account other costs associated with the course, including accommodation, living costs, and travel and visa costs if you are applying from outside the UK.

How many Masters can you apply for at LSE?

You can apply for a maximum of two graduate programmes at LSE in any one application cycle. You should submit separate statements of academic purpose for each programme you apply to.

Can I switch my Masters degree LSE?

You can usually request to change your Master’s course at LSE, but only during the Michaelmas term course selection period. Outside of this period, changes will not normally be allowed except for in very exceptional circumstances.

Can you study an LSE MSc Finance part-time?

You can apply for LSE’s part-time MSc Finance course online. You will need to meet the minimum entry requirements, which include a 2:1 undergraduate degree and ideally 2-5 years’ professional work experience. The part-time MSc Finance course lasts for 21 months (more than double the 10 month-long full-time MSc Finance course) and costs £21,192 per year.

Which is better: LSE vs Imperial MSc Finance?

Both London School of Economics (LSE) and Imperial College London are extremely good universities that rank highly for Accounting and Finance courses; according to the QS World Rankings (2022) LSE is ranked 7th best in the world, while Imperial is ranked 23rd in the world. Both universities require applicants to have a high 2:1 or first class undergraduate degree (or international equivalent) and while the GMAT/GRE is not required of many students, it is recommended that you submit a high GMAT/GRE score regardless in order to help your application stand out.

Both universities are highly regarded amongst employers, with LSE arguably having the slight edge due to its specialism in Economics as a school. Ultimately, we recommend doing your research into both courses, including looking at the specific modules you’ll cover and the industry links associated with each course, to decide which is best suited to you.