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Oxford MBA

Oxford Saïd Finance Lab

Finance study on Oxford MBA

The Oxford Saïd Finance Lab offers you the opportunity to understand key concepts, processes, instruments and models that are required to be successful in financial services. It connects theory with practice, preparing you for investment banking, private equity and asset management Analyst and Associate roles. It provides you with a strong understanding of the main theoretical concepts, instruments and models required to be successful in finance courses, electives and interviews with banks and funds, and ultimately your future careers in the financial services.


Practitioner led: This tailored financial graduate training programme is led by seasoned practitioners with many years of transaction and market experience. It is respected and participated in by financial services recruiters and senior finance professionals from many global institutions. 

Build and use core tools: At its core are a series of models that are used to evaluate and appraise situations from the real world. You will leave with a toolkit to tackle financial problems ranging from valuations to leveraged buyouts or M&A transactions and, more importantly, the knowledge of which, if any, tools to use and when.

Experiential learning: The Finance Lab is in addition to your programme of study and is not taught for credit. You are expected and required to actively participate in experiential workshops and seminars using real-life case studies working alongside a number of banking firms and funds. You will apply theory-based learning from the core programme and combine it with practical training relevant to both the interview processes and jobs. You need to be able to make a decision and be prepared to justify it in front of your peers and experienced professionals.

It is intended to be very tough and we aim to have a safe environment for you to learn from failing. You will not learn all the answers, but you will learn many of the questions and some of the behaviours that will stand you in good stead in the future


The Finance Lab is not for all students and assumes a level of commitment, knowledge and basic skill. All accepted applicants must pass two online courses in order to enter the programme:  Excel modelling and accounting.


Each session consists of two hours of discussion, plus a case study with a bank or fund. After each session there may be a networking event and sometimes a recruitment opportunity with the invited bank or fund. 


Bridging the gap between theory and practice.

These sessions are taught by expert practitioners eg:

  • Investment in Real Estate by Blackstone
  • Leveraged buyout acquisition by KKR
  • Leverage finance by Goldman Sachs
  • Mergers and acquisitions by Deutsche Bank

You will learn how to:

  • Apply finance concepts to real-world scenarios
  • Develop strategic mindset to complement technicals
  • Network with senior professionals, HR and alumni


Learn about the different firms and the industry and what makes each one unique.

Events feature:

  • Networking cocktails
  • HR presentations from major companies

After most teaching and modelling sessions, you will be able to network with banks and funds.

'Cocktail networking events that follow each case study is yet another unique opportunity to build one's network and gain one-­on­‐one exposure to senior professionals.'

Dennis Ou 2016 MFE student

How to apply

If you have been accepted on a relevant Oxford Saïd programme (MBA, 1+1 MBA, MSc Financial Economics and MSc Law and Finance) you will be sent details of the application process. You will be assessed and receive a conditional offer of a place by 31 July.

If you accept you will be requested to take and pass online courses in Modelling and Valuation.


Our annual challenges are an exciting and unique opportunity. They not only prepare you for working in the finance sector but also give you the chance to network with knowledgeable and influential professionals already well placed in the finance industry. They give you the chance to apply your skills to scenarios you are likely to see during the first three years working at a bank or a fund.

Bridgepoint Private Equity Challenge

Bridgepoint is a leading private equity fund in Europe with €12 billion of assets. This challenge is an investment competition aimed to find the smartest assessment of leveraged buyout opportunities in the UK. The winners are invited to spend a day with Bridgepoint at their head office in London, as well as winning a cash prize. Find out more about the challenge

Hermes GPE Private Markets Challenge

Hermes GPE is a leading investor in global private equity with AUM of £3.4 billion. This challenge is to analyse a secondary opportunity with a view to purchasing the portfolio or to create an investment portfolio for a pension fund. The winning team is invited to a networking dinner with Hermes GPE in London. 

“The Asset Management Challenge offers a great way to engage with some of the most driven students at Oxford Saïd on research projects similar to those they would conduct if they came to work for Hermes and we are delighted to have successfully recruited from the winners of this Challenge.”

Peter Gale, Chief investment Officer and Elias Korosis, Partner, Head of Strategy, Hermes GPE

Rothschild Global Advisory Challenge

Rothschild & Co is a global and family-controlled group. This challenge is to develop a strategic review for a publicly-listed company. The winning team or individual will receive a summer internship at Rothschild Global Advisory. Find out more about the challenge

Wharton MBA Buyout Case Competition

This challenge is run by Wharton University of Pennsylvania and is the premier MBA-level LBO case competition in the world.  It brings together teams from the leading business schools around the world to evaluate and make recommendations for a proposed PE buyout transaction. Find out more about the challenge

More information about the challenges

Challenges focus on three fundamental elements:

  1. theory based learning
  2. real-life challenges
  3. networking

​You will acquire the knowledge and execution skills required for entry into investment banking positions in: M&A, Leverage Finance, Project and Infrastructure Finance, Distress and Restructuring, Valuation, Equity Research, Capital Markets, Asset Management and Private Equity.

A team of five students can participate in the annual Wharton Private Equity Challenge, competing with more than five leading business schools in New York City. Oxford Saïd won the 2016 and 2018 challenge.

Companies we work with

Investments banks

Private equity funds

Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Deutsche Bank
Goldman Sachs
Houlihan Lockey
JP Morgan
Moelis & Company
Morgan Stanley
PJT Partners
Robey Warshaw

Advent International
ARES Management
Bain Capital
BDT Capital Partners
Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking
Hermes GPE
Oak Tree Capital
Terra Firma

Get involved and become a partner

Educate, network and recruit our top-notch students:

  • Educate through case studies and engage with students
  • Sponsor challenges, mentor, train and test students
  • Meet the students at networking cocktails, initiate and host additional customised events or London treks
  • Host HR company presentations to let our students know more about your company
  • Recruit University of Oxford students, offer summer and full-time internship opportunities or project opportunities

Finance Lab is a group of highly-trained and focused students keen to start a career in the financial industry.

If you'd like to take part contact

Academic staff

John Gilligan


Oxford Saïd Finance Lab prepares students to break into investment banking, private equity and asset management.


If you have any questions please email

MBA brochure