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Oxford MSc Financial Economics

Oxford MSc Financial Economics


I submitted my application before the deadline but have not had a confirmation. Does this mean you have not received it?

We receive most of the applications for each stage on, or just before, the deadline and, due to the volume, it may take five working days for us to notify you that we have received your application or to inform you of its status.

I started my application last year but did not submit the form. Can I carry on using the same application form when I am applying for the following year's intake?

No, you will not be able to carry on using the same form for next years’ application. 

What is this year’s class size?

We will aim for a class of about 80 students for the 2018-19 programme.

What is the structure of the programme?

The MFE is delivered through Oxford University’s Saïd Business School. This means that, unlike other graduate courses, the Oxford MSc in Financial Economics features interactive classes, use of case studies, practitioner teaching, and proactive careers support.

Visit our programme outline page for more information about the programme structure.

How does the MFE differ from the MBA?

The MBA is a management degree, with required courses in a large range of management subjects (such as marketing, organisational behaviour, strategy, international business etc.). The MFE is a more specialised course focusing entirely upon finance and economics.

Are some courses shared with the MBA?

Yes, some elective courses in the third term are shared with MBA students. But the core courses in the first two terms are only taken by MFE students and some more technical and specialised electives are only available for MFE students.

Is the MFE more technically demanding than the MBA?

Yes. There are higher mathematical and statistical entry requirements for the MFE, and some of the courses have higher technical and theoretical requirements. On the other hand, MBA students study a much wider range of subjects and are required to draw upon, and develop, a very broad range of skills.  

What is the CFA Educational Partnership Programme and how does this fit in?

The CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Institute is an international organisation which administers the CFA qualification. This is a rigorous three-tiered professional qualification open to those working within the finance sector. It is an international standard for finance practitioners and is increasingly required by recruiting institutions.

The CFA Educational Partnership Programme officially recognises that 70% of the CFA qualification’s required body of knowledge is embedded within a degree programme’s curriculum. The Oxford MFE is delighted to be recognised as the founding member of this partnership programme, clearly demonstrating the academic rigour and professional relevance of the MFE syllabus.

The MFE and the CFA do not provide exemptions from each other’s exams. However, the MFE covers the most challenging areas of the CFA syllabus. MFE students also receive tailored training to help them prepare specifically for the CFA exams.

What are the maths pre-requisites for the MFE?

The MFE courses will be treated analytically and many of the concepts will involve mathematical techniques. We expect that successful candidates often will have taken some maths/quantitative courses during their undergraduate studies. At the start of the course all students are expected to have a working knowledge of Calculus and should know the basics of vectors and matrices, probability, statistics and econometrics. As a guide to what is expected, and as a refresher, all accepted students are expected to go through a maths workbook, which will be provided by us. We provide a short maths pre-course to make sure that all students have the skills required in the core courses. 

Some incoming students will have more maths than others. However, everyone enters the course with different advantages and some will have prior economics training and/or significant experience in financial markets. But it is one of the special features of the School that it brings together people with different backgrounds and that it develops technical as well as non-technical skills.

What computing skills will be developed during the course?

In the first term, students will be expected to attend MFE classes on Matlab, the most commonly used matrix programming language. This software is applied extensively in Asset Pricing II and throughout the two core Financial Econometrics courses. In addition, the Financial Econometrics II course will use Eviews, a point and click financial econometrics program. 

Will the MFE qualify me to apply for a PhD?

The MFE can be used as route to a PhD. As you might expect, there are conditions on continuing (or returning later) to do a PhD such as submitting an application, good grades in the MFE courses and a well-defined and realistic research topic.

I am studying for a Masters at another University. May I transfer to Saïd Business School for part of the year?

The programme does not accept transfer, exchange or visitor students.

Can MFE students take up courses within the University while studying on the MFE programme?

Yes, you can study on a course offered by other faculties at Oxford. However, you won’t get credit towards the MFE for any of these courses and you should be aware that the MFE is an intensive and time-consuming programme.

If I retake the GRE/GMAT test, will you take the latest or the highest score?

We shall accept the highest score that you have achieved on the test. If you wish to try and improve upon your existing score before you apply, there is no reason not to do so. Please note that you cannot mix and match scores from different tests.

May I submit my application before I have taken my English language test or GRE/GMAT?

No. You must take the tests in advance of the deadline and submit the results with your online application form. If not, your application will be deemed incomplete and it will not be forwarded to the Admissions Committee for consideration.

Do I need any work experience?

No, work experience is not mandatory for gaining admissions. However if you do have any relevant experience, either full-time or via an internship, this will be considered as part of your application for the programme.

How do you decide whether to interview an applicant?

We look at the application in its entirety, and decide whether it satisfies all our requirements. We need to satisfy ourselves that, with hard work, you will be able to cope with the course. But beyond that, we are looking for highly motivated, high-achieving students, for whom the MFE fits well into their career plans, who will contribute much to the class, and who will go on to achieve great things. We interview candidates where we would like the opportunity to discuss this in greater depth. 

Do I have to come to Oxford for an interview?

If you are selected for an interview, you will be invited to come to the School and have your interview here. Applicants are strongly encouraged to attend an in-person interview in Oxford. If it is not possible for you to come to Oxford, we shall arrange a Skype interview. For applicants based in the UK, you must attend a face-to-face interview at the School.

I am applying for a scholarship. Do I need to pay the application processing fee?

Yes. All applicants must pay the application fee.

I have submitted a 'Request for Information' form to the Admissions team. Why have I not heard anything?

We aim to answer your enquiries as quickly as possible. At busy periods the volume of queries and applications we receive means that it may take 2 working days for us to respond. 

Do I have to live in Oxford while studying on the programme?

The University of Oxford's policy stipulates that students will not be allowed to reside/commute beyond a distance of 25 miles from the city centre in term time.

If I do not take my place up on the MFE course, will my deposit be returned to me?

The deposit is not refundable in the following cases:

(a) You choose to withdraw after paying your deposit (although please note the position in the event that you decide to cancel your contract with the University in the circumstances described below*

(b) You fail to provide satisfactory evidence as requested to meet your  financial guarantee process.

(c) If you subsequently request and are granted deferred entry, your deposit will be held to guarantee your place on your course with the new later agreed start date.

However, the deposit is refundable in the following circumstances.

(a) Your visa application is refused, subject to the provision of evidence that you have applied for and been refused a visa.

(b) You are unable to take up your place because of unforeseeable circumstances such as serious ill health or bereavement, subject to the provision of appropriate evidence, such as a doctor’s note.

*You are entitled to cancel your acceptance of a place at the University for any reason within a period of seven working days beginning on the day after the day on which we receive notification of your acceptance of this offer. You can do so by sending a notice to us in writing stating that you wish to cancel your acceptance of the offer of a place. The University would refund any deposit which you have paid to us within 30 days of receiving your notice of cancellation. Please note that by cancelling your acceptance of the offer, you will be withdrawing from both the University and the College, if you have already been offered a college place.

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We run a series of open days, information events where you will be able to find out whether the MSc in Financial Economics at Oxford is the right fit for you.