About the MSc programme
The MSc Finance and Private Equity programme at LSE is the world’s only finance master’s degree with an integrated specialisation in the study of Private Equity. This unique programme offers students unparalleled access to leading Private Equity researchers (from both LSE and other institutions) and practitioners who have actively participated in the deals that are being studied. Sponsored by Abraaj Capital, the programme has been designed to meet the needs of high-level graduates from a range of backgrounds, whose career objectives lie broadly within the field of private equity. The programme follows the core structure of the MSc Finance (full-time) programme, with a compulsory dedicated core course in private equity taught in the second term (restricted to MSc Finance and Private Equity students only). The programme benefits from teaching by the Department’s leading faculty in a range of innovative and cutting edge courses.
The programme is designed for students whose academic background is not necessarily in finance; however it is aimed at people with good undergraduate degrees and good quantitative skills. Admission to the programme is very competitive. In previous years the majority of students accepted into the programme have obtained first class degrees or the equivalent. The mathematics used in the programme includes basic calculus and statistics.
Applicants are also required to have studied a minimum of A level Mathematics (or its equivalent). Applicants without a UK undergraduate degree are required to submit a GMAT or GRE test (GMAT is strongly preferred). The GMAT/GRE is also recommended for all students with UK undergraduate degrees, especially those who have not achieved, or are not expected to achieve a first class degree, or those whose quantitative skills are not demonstrated by their undergraduate studies. Prior work experience is not necessarily a pre-requisite for entry into the programme.
The foundation of the programme is built in the first term with the study of two core courses – Asset Markets and Corporate Finance. Asset Markets takes the student from fundamental concepts to up-to-date applications in fixed-income, equity, and derivatives markets. Corporate Finance begins with the firm's investment decision and the cost of capital. This in turn is linked to the firm's financial structure and market environment where the firm operates. It studies in detail major financial decisions including dividend choice, going public, mergers and acquisitions, and restructuring in financial distress. In the second term, students deepen their specific knowledge of private equity by taking a dedicated course taught by the School's Abraaj Capital Chair in Finance and Private Equity. This will explore the structure of private equity (PE) funds and how PE can be used in start-ups, in scaling-up cash flow businesses, and in restructuring firms facing financial distress. It explores the link between PE and venture capital on the one hand and public securities markets on the other. This course involves a number of case studies and is taught in conjunction with a range of practitioners in the field via a weekly additional PE practitioner seminar.
Admitted students are required to attend a pre-sessional course in September which includes both preparatory quantitative methods and an in-depth focus on careers skills and professional development, on a one-to-one, group and peer-led basis. Throughout the programme students are given access to a range of practitioners; in class, via the programme’s vibrant alumni network and more widely through the LSE Careers Service and events programme.
Applicants from developing countries may be eligible to be considered for one of the Lord Dahrendorf Scholarships (sponsored by Deutsche Bank). For more information, please visit lse.ac.uk/finance for more information.
(* half unit)
Corporate Finance provides a comprehensive overview of firms' financial decision making.
Asset Markets familiarises students with the workings of financial markets, and equips them with the fundamental tools of asset valuation.
Private Equity* provides a thorough grounding in the theory and recent developments in the field of private equity.
Students take three half unit courses from the following dedicated electives;
All students must write a 6,000 word extended essay on a topic relating to private equity.
Please read the following important information before referring to full details of course options found in the Programme Regulations.
The programme regulations available are for the current academic session and may be subject to change before the beginning of the next academic year. For more information about course availability in the next academic session, please contact the relevant academic department. The School reserves the right at all times to withdraw, suspend or alter particular courses and syllabuses, and to alter the level of fees. Courses are on occasion capped (limited to a maximum number of students) or subject to entry conditions requiring the approval of the course convenor. The School cannot guarantee that places on specific courses will be available.
A significant proportion of graduates join either investment banks or boutique corporate finance firms as analysts as a first step in their careers into the world of Private Equity, however, some have been hired directly upon graduation by private equity or venture capital firms. Following a similar structure to the generalist MSc Finance, the programme also prepares students for various roles in investment banks, consultancies, hedge funds and asset management firms, or to pursue further study. In addition, having met on the programme, students have worked together on entrepreneurial ventures and start-ups.
This programme is not intended as suitable preparation for the PhD Finance at LSE (if you are interested in PhD study, please see MSc Finance and Economics).