Hi all

I recently got rejected from a PWC AC, and am now contemplating whether or not to do a masters in either Accounting and Finance or Financial Mathematics, (my undergraduate degree is Accounting and Finance) next year and reapply in a years time, or to keep applying for further jobs, which is time consuming and I am very keen to work for either KPMG or PWC, both of which have rejected me this year.

Has anyone on here done a masters degree, and has it helped with their future.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.



Also, I noticed that fees to do a masters at leeds where I am currently studying are nearly £8,000, which seems a lot of money, do you get any support in paying this, and is it worth this expense.



It’s important to remember that most graduate schemes don’t require an postgraduate qualification, so if you’re getting past the application form stage (the only stage where your education matters), it’s probably not necessary for you to do an M.Sc.

Saying that, I graduated with a 2:1 in Computing Science, and am currently doing a CFA accredited M.Sc. in Financial Economics, and It’s probably the best decision I’ve ever made. The course content is interesting, relevant, and the pace is intense - which makes the course worthwhile, and good value for money. In addition, It’s completely switched my career outlook from IT to finance.

I was getting job offers before, but with the applications I’ve made including my M.Sc. I’ve had more success. So I’d say go for Financial Mathematics - it’ll be highly regarded by prospective employers.


thanks for that, i want to work for a big firm, and hav been rejected from them, hence wanting to take an extra year an re apply, as opposed to applying for smaller firms that i have less interest in but am applyin to them because they r ther. so i guess at the moment i am trying to weigh that up against the large expense of a masters. how did u find paying the fess, do you get any support at all


I’m living at home, so it’s fairly easy. I took out a loan, and work 2-3 days per week to pay the monthly installments and buy books, etc. etc. The course is great, probably 90% of the students are international, some of the people on my course are the smartest I’ve ever met. A couple of notes:

  • Don’t bet on 2009 being the end of the Financial Crisis - the future is uncertain, and doing an M.Sc. to “ride out the recession” is probably not a good idea.
  • If you want to work in banking, do the most difficult course you can at the best institution. I hate to compare and rank, but given the above point it’s a good idea to position yourself as well as possible.
  • The M.Sc. will carry less weight with some employers than others. This isn’t to do with any particular industry, but comes down to individual firms. If it’s a quantitative discipline it’ll probably go down well with most employers. If you want to become an accountant, do Accounting & Finance. If trading is your thing, then consider a CFA accredited M.Sc… Some employers value work experience more than a postgraduate qualificaiton, so there is a chance that your M.Sc. might carry no weight whatsoever.
  • Do the M.Sc. because you want to do the M.Sc., and for no other reason.

Andrew did you get any feedback on which part of the AC you didn’t do well in? I am in the same situation so will probably take a year out and reapply. Lots of people say dont do a masters for the sake of it because its really hard and you should do it only if it really interests you.


hi the09, i got feedback from pwc suggesting that I need to give more in depth answers in my interview, so the interviewer doesnt hav to probe for answers, and apparently i was too laid back in the individual exercise. how about u.

wat r u plannin on doin in ur year out. a masters does interest me, but im just worried about having to pay 8 grand fees for one year. it seems a lot of money, especially wen i wud stil hav rent an living costs aswel.


I failed one of the tests, but passed everything else. Bit annoying, especially as I passed the online tests first time round! I think I am in a good position to reapply because I think the partner interview was the most important part which I passed…
I’m gonna work, save up and travel for a bit. I’ve been in education since about 5, so the break will be nice. And once you start your career you’ll most likely be working for the next 30-40 years so I probably won’t get this chance again for a long time…


Andrew, I did my BA in Economics (2.1) and then went straight into an MA in Development Economics because I wanted to work in development (World Bank, DFID etc) after doing a PhD. However, I have now changed my plans and will not be doing a PhD. With regards to future development jobs my MA was vital and all the applications I completed wanted an MA/MSc and even a PhD. I would love to work in development in the future (maybe for the World Bank or EBRD etc) but for the time being want to work at a Big Four. I tried investment banks but gave up after Lehman went under (I applied to them!). I’m through to the AC at PwC this thurs, and in my first interview the guy didn’t really seem interested in my MA - he was more concerned with what I did in this year aside from studying (I was a captain for rowing) and on the committee of other socities etc - which went down well. My MA (with living costs etc) cost about £8k and to fund this I took out a career development loan with Barclays (the government pay the interest while you study) - this is something you could consider if you go down the MA/MSc route… yet it is not a decision to be taken lightly, it’s a lot of money to owe on top of a student loan!

In my experience I would say a postgrad qualification is not really needed if applying to the Big Four and if you have a 2.1 from undergrad - however, it may be of more use if applying to IBs. Furthermore, if you are passionate about the subject then this could be enough to justify postgrad study. I certainly was, and even though my MA has not really helped my applications to the Big Four (I was rejected by KPMG because I have a B in GCSE maths - it takes the p**s really!) I do not regret my postgrad study as I learnt a lot, developed as a person and it is something I can revert back to if I do one day choose development as a career.

One final note: I have found that the Big Four and IB’s place a lot more importance on your A-Levels than Postgrad study - so if you don’t meet the requisite UCAS points further study may not really help an application…