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. Supported by The Abraaj Group, 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 obtained first class honours 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 (and those with UK undergraduate degrees who do not have, or are not expected to achieve, a first class 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 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 Group 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 quantitative methods for finance, interpreting financial statements 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.
(* 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 electives:
All students must write a 6,000 word extended essay on a topic relating to private equity.
You can find the most up-to-date list of optional courses for MSc Finance and Private Equity in the Programme Regulations section of the current School Calendar.
You must note however that while care has been taken to ensure that this information is up-to-date and correct, some circumstances may cause the School to subsequently change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. The School will neither be liable for information that after publication becomes inaccurate or irrelevant, nor for changing, suspending or withdrawing a course or programme of study due to circumstances outside of its control. You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee places on its courses. You should visit the School's Calendar, or contact the relevant academic department, for information on the availability and/or content of courses and programmes of study. Certain substantive changes will be listed on the Updated graduate course and programme information page.
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).