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UCL vs Imperial for MFE courses

As the title suggested, I have recently completed my bachelor's degrees in Electrical Engineering at Imperial College and I have an interested in getting into a role that is quant related. Currently, I have been accepted into both the Computational Finance MSc course at UCL and the Risk Management/ Financial Engineering MSc at Imperial College and I am hoping to get some additional opinions on which of these courses are better or more relevant in the current industrial climate. Furthermore, I also want to ask if it might be worth my time to take a gap year out to apply to some US MFE programs as well as I am uncertain if they are superior in this area of study and it would be worth the time investment instead of just staying in the UK.
 
Hi David, I ended up choosing neither, waited a year and applied to some US programs as well. I am attending the MIT program this summer. To give a little bit of background, I have friends from Imperial College both Comp Sci and EEE, and I did tons of research and the imperial business school's financial engineering is quite bad in quality according to most of their opinion. The only respectable program at Imperial for quantitative finance is either module hosted by the actual engineering schools for the undergraduates or the Mathematic Finance program in the maths department.
 
Hi David, I ended up choosing neither, waited a year and applied to some US programs as well. I am attending the MIT program this summer. To give a little bit of background, I have friends from Imperial College both Comp Sci and EEE, and I did tons of research and the imperial business school's financial engineering is quite bad in quality according to most of their opinion. The only respectable program at Imperial for quantitative finance is either module hosted by the actual engineering schools for the undergraduates or the Mathematic Finance program in the maths department.
As I am also considering the RMFE program, would you mind giving me your friend's opinion as to why they think the program is bad
 
I will most probably be attending RMFE also mainly because its curriculum is more flexible (hence I wouldn't be sticked to the quant jobs, which are extremely hard to get into in London) and also career service and outcomes are excellent. If anyone plans to attend RMFE you can contact me and we can create whatsapp group.
 
Like I mentioned earlier, the main complaint I understand is as follows :

- It is marketed as a quantitative program. However, it is held in the business school with not many options (if any) to take modules from the actual engineering departments from the main college, which is the key focus of Imperial as an institution. You will be competing with undergraduate/Postgraduates from the actual engineering/maths/physics departments for the same quant roles. As I mentioned earlier, its modules in these departments that people look towards, ML courses from computing, signal analysis from EEE, maths and quantitative analysis from the physics/mathematics department.​
-My understanding is that the business school's academic rigorousness lags in far behind the rest of the schools​
- In terms of the only other quant-finance focused master's program at imperial, it is the Financial Mathematics at the maths department and they are the MVP of this on campus. They also offer some cross-departmental collaboration from what I understand, unlike the business school's program, so you are playing second fiddle to not just the STEM undergraduates/postgraduates; you are playing second fiddle to another master's program focused on this.​
- In terms of Non-quant roles and corporate finance positions, not only are you playing second fiddle to the MBA program in your own school, you will be competing with LBS/LSE, which are significantly more famous and with better career services​
-If you take a look at the alumni who graduated from RMFE and what they are doing it essentially, they are pipelined for middle office strats/risk management roles if they even get into the bulge brackets.​
- The careers office isn't as good as they advertise themselves to be. For a good careers development office to shape up, they need several cohorts of consistent student placements to build their network and trust with the recruiters, and the stats from the program just does not reflect that.​
I am in no way trying to discourage or insult anyone, I was in a similar position a while ago, and I think it is important to not tunnel vision and try to get into any MFE program that gives you a slot. The difference between a quality program and one that is subpar is huge and it will be a significant financial investment at the end of the day.​
 
Like I mentioned earlier, the main complaint I understand is as follows :

- It is marketed as a quantitative program. However, it is held in the business school with not many options (if any) to take modules from the actual engineering departments from the main college, which is the key focus of Imperial as an institution. You will be competing with undergraduate/Postgraduates from the actual engineering/maths/physics departments for the same quant roles. As I mentioned earlier, its modules in these departments that people look towards, ML courses from computing, signal analysis from EEE, maths and quantitative analysis from the physics/mathematics department.​
I don't really foresee the business school thing being a big issue, since other top programs like MIT MFin, Berkeley's MFE, UCLA MFE, CMU's MSCF are all housed in their business schools.

However, I do see your point on others. I have reached out to some alumni on linkedin and will ask for their opinions. Thanks a lot for taking the time to compile your thoughts!
 
No problem, I guess one thing I should have expressed more clearly is that I have no issues with business schools in general. As you stated there are many business schools that host top programs that are excellent quantitatively.

I guess I am just trying to emphasize that the imperial business school is quite new on the block and does not have the same reputation internally compared to the rest of the departments at the college whether academic wise or career-wise.

Additionally for most of the programs you listed, at least for MIT and CMU, the MFin and MSCF are designed to have a high degree of cross-disciplinary interaction with the rest of the departments on campus ranging from EECS to engineering to mathematics. I just do not see that with the Imperial RMFE program.
 
I completely agree with you. Coming from an US undergrad, it's quite disappointing to not be able to take courses from other departments. For instance, I would really have loved to take Market Microstructures at the math department.
 
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