The top 15 Masters in Finance courses for breaking into investment banking in the UK

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As we’ve mentioned elsewhere in this report, it’s become tougher for students undertaking a financial Masters degree to break into investment banking, with most bulge bracket firms curtailing graduate recruitment in the front office.

However, our own figures also suggest that investment banking is a favoured route for those graduates who decide to take a year out honing their skills and knowledge of the financial sector by completing a Masters. What are the chances of securing a role in the City currently?

By searching our own database in the UK – encompassing around 170,000 searchable CVs – we’ve created a Top 15 league table of finance-focused Masters degrees based on the proportion of people from the schools in our system securing a ‘front office’ investment banking job after graduation. This means those who have moved into corporate finance, capital markets, sales and trading and equity research.

We’ve allocated a greater weighting to those gaining a position in a tier one investment bank (Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley), followed by tier two banks (Barclays, Credit Suisse, UBS) and finally tier three institutions (BNP Paribas, HSBC, Nomura, Royal Bank of Scotland and SocGen). This, combined with the overall proportion of people securing a front office position, is how we’ve come up with the score below. We’ve also broken out the data to show the proportion of graduates gaining roles within the different tiers of investment bank.

A couple of caveats: Because we’ve restricted our search to those securing roles in London, inevitably the UK universities – who are often targeted by specific banks – have come out on top. There’s also the fact that we’re basing the data on CVs, so we have to hope that people are being honest about their employment history.