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COMPARE LSE Financial Mathematics VS Imperial Risk and Financial Engineering

Hello everyone,

I have received offers from :
-the LSE for its MSc Financial Mathematics
-the Imperial College for its MSc Risk and Financial Engineering

So far, I've gathered the following thoughts:
About the MSc FM at LSE:
  • it's pretty new and therefore there is no real way to determine if this program is respected among the quant community
  • the name LSE carries a stronger reputation outside UK than the name Imperial College
About the MSc Risk and FE at Imperial:
  • the program has been created several years ago and it seems that it has an established reputation (at least inside UK)
  • there is a real emphasis on programming courses
I have just graduated from a French engineering school with a major in industrial engineering and therefore, I have some weaknesses in finance and programming. So I'm wondering: which program will help me become stronger on these two points ? I have the impression that the one at LSE will emphasize maths (which is not my weak point) and that the one at IC will also emphasize maths but the other points as well.

I would appreciate the comments on these two programs from the Quantnet community since it has been so far the best source of info regarding quant education.
Thx
 
I guess your first priority is "course content", and I have absolutely no idea about either!
If that is not the case, I would have taken LSE financial mathematics over Imperial's RMFE. But, I don't think you can go wrong with either.
Congrats on the admits :)
 
First, congratulations! Those program was one of my top choice but however I did not get in. I am doing Msc Financial Mathematics in exeter right now. IMHO, you do not have to worry about reputation for both, since neither one put you in any disadvantages what so ever, they are top schools. Maybe some companies favour one instead of another but you need to research.
Please note that FinMath in LSE is new I think, because there was not last year.
But in terms of content, it depends on you. If you are good at finance theory, I think probably you should go for financial math at LSE assume you can master programming. If you are not, I think you should go for RMFE. Because without sufficient knowledge in finance, you won't get the synergy in FM.
FM and RMFE are different, FM focus on mathematical methods, RMFE focus on application.
I love FM more, because I can master programming and application myself easily, but I cannot do it for math, and I have a BA in finance so what I needed to develop is my math.
So make your own assessment,see which one serve you best for long term reward.
 
Thanks for these advices. I haven't taken a decision yet... My offer for IC RMFE will be withdrawn May the 5th therefore I would like to have some advice on the following point :

Andy mentioned that even-though we are students in these quant programs, we are also customers paying a high price for education. Thus, can I confront the admission staff of one program with the following question : "I have received an offer from school Lambda, why would I choose you instead of them for my graduate studies in FE ?" or will this be badly seen ?
 
@SagaG
I don't know the culture of European schools. It may not be looked upon favorably in Asia or Europe, I don't know.
It's a fair question among American schools. Just take a look at the questions asked to the directors of MFE programs here
www.quantnet.com/live/

In general, while many applicants don't ask such questions because of cultural difference, these are questions that should be asked.

1) How do you differentiate your program from the rest in term of quality, employment?
2) What are your most up to date statistics on internship/employment?
3) What networking and career services available to your alumni?
4) What promises do you make to your students and alumni?
5) How do you judge your program progress, competitiveness among others?
 
If you like, Alain will lend you his high precision paintball gun to complete the task.
Let repeat one point again: any good program will have answer ready for any of your question because they have nothing to hide and will express so in a very transparent manner. If you ever doubt that they are hiding something or trying to evade the question, time to move your money elsewhere.
 
Thanks, I'll try to question them as politely as possible !

Being polite is good, but only if you get your answers. Just like being a trader, it pays to be aggressive once in a while (especially in this case since you are paying them a huge sum of money). And like Andy mentioned, you are the paying customer and you should feel good about the product you are buying.
 
Andy mentioned that even-though we are students in these quant programs, we are also customers paying a high price for education. Thus, can I confront the admission staff of one program with the following question : "I have received an offer from school Lambda, why would I choose you instead of them for my graduate studies in FE ?" or will this be badly seen ?

You can try. You will have to be polite (England being what it is, being blunt won't get you anywhere). But you may not get the answers you want. If you ask IC why you should choose them over LSE, they may reply politely that perhaps LSE would suit you better (my guess). Ask them, rather, what their placement service is like, how many they do place, what the average starting salary is. Same with LSE. Then make the comparison for yourself.
 
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