MSc Options for Banking/Professional Services etc.


What are considered strong MSc choices to get into the above? For example, Maths, Economics and Physics will always go down well, I imagine. Accounting & Finance is also a good choice. But if you don’t have a background in the area, what are the other options?

How would more generic courses such as “Business Management” be recieved by Professional Services? Is it a good idea to stick with the more quantiative subjects?


MSc in accounting and finance is a really good one. I secured an offer finally for 2008/2009, but it was kind of difficult to get that actually. if you do not have enough accounting credits/modules in your transcripts, you might be offered a diploma course. Try Finance, as Quants are more desired. These days most of the companies look for people from TOP10 with any discipline with at least 2.1 or a good MSc/MBA. Good luck


I dont think Professional Services firms pay too much attention to the degrees/masters subject studied.


Londonbloke just read your post, that pretty much coincides with what I thought. Thanks!


Yeah. I would say go for the most ‘respected’ subject you can. If you go for Maths or Physics and get a good result, it will be hard for the firms to ignore you.


I should point out that having an accounting degree isn’t really necessary- they provide you with all the training you need.


Right it is not that necessary but if your uni is not within top 10 any other degree might not help. If you do Accountancy, I am sure you will not have much hard time during the training as other degree trainees do.
Nowadays, companies are increasingly searching for quants and that’s true although not much obvious.

Good luck with your desired study route. What uni are you going?


I’ve applied for my MSc at Leicester. It’s difficult to get onto the Maths/Physics courses without a background, I’m hoping on Financial Economics at the moment.


That sounds fair. The more hardcore your degree, the better. Doing an accounting degree won’t really help you get on- they provide you with all the training you need. Also, from my peers with accounting degrees, they don’t really help that much.


Financial economics is a lot better than Accounting of course. But, be very active and focused as Finance with Economics can be tough depending on the requirements.

As to Chris’s post, I am sure if you do Accounting, you will be a lot better off in grasping the main idea of the Accounting texts than anyone else. You will not have a lot harder time preparing for your exams. It can be achieved if you have your degree done very well at the university. Many grads with different backgrounds apply for Accountancy companies training programs but without fully understanding Accounting. They know that Accountats get paid well as their career progresses but to get to that level without professional qualification is not easy. Prior knowledge of Accounting will, to some extent, make it easy for the trainees to pass ACA/ACCA/CIMA and obtain their qualifications.

Bear in mind, although, BIG4 provides you with trainings, you will be working full time at the company. Keep in mind, while training, you will be working long hours(audit seasons), this means you will have little time to do reading. If you have Accountancy degree then it is obviously your Golden asset.

Whatever you do, get at least 2.1 while doing your degree, try to do Finance/Accounting related optional modules as they will provide you the basic knowledge. You will be better off.
If you do Accountancy, this shows your committment to the industry.
Anyway, good luck with your studies.


Hi everyone
I need some help with a decision that I’ve made.
I graduated in 2008 with a high 2:1 in Finance and Accounting and since then I’ve been successful in passing many companies final assessment stages only to be let down due to the effects of the recession affecting their graduate programmes.
Since then I’ve had experience working with an accounting firm whilst continuing to run my family’s own company. I’ve also been accepted for CASS business School for MSc Banking and International Finance
My main concern from what I’ve experienced is that I have not obtained the relevant market experience to secure me position within an area in the financial markets.
Although I understand the market situation is not good and given this time next year it may improve, I am concerned that by completing this MSc I will just be overqualified with no relevant experience and thus find it difficult to secure employment. In addition I’m 23 so I’m also concerned that my age will be a concerning factor when I complete this, leaving me to compete against new grads with possible experience and better grades?
I understand that it’s ultimately up to me to utilize CASS’s facilities, experiences and knowledge I will have gained from this MSc to make me a better candidate but I’m actually considering to try and defer my MSc for the following year. At current I am in the process of completing my IMC where I am then planning to self study for my CFA Level 1 whilst continuing to find employment.
What do you guys think? I really need some help with this!!!