Oxford Saïd Finance Lab

Students in class

Break into investment banking, private equity and asset management.


The Oxford Saïd Finance Lab is available to those studying the MBA, 1+1 MBA, MSc Financial Economics, or MSc Law and Finance who have a background in finance.

The Finance Lab assumes a level of commitment, knowledge and basic financial skill.

The programme offers you the opportunity to work through case studies and apply key theoretical concepts, processes, instruments and models that are required to be successful in financial services. We aim to connect theory with practice, preparing you for investment banking, private equity and asset management Analyst and Associate roles while giving you access to networking opportunities. You will gain the skills and mindset required to enter and succeed in the finance sector. 

If you have been accepted on a relevant Oxford Saïd programme, you are eligible to apply to the Finance Lab and will be sent details of the application process. We only accept applicants who complete the full application process. The application consists of a series of questions which will assess your suitability, these are reviewed alongside your CV. If provisionally accepted, you must then pass several online courses to enter the programme. 

The Finance Lab runs concurrently with your degree programme.

The Finance Lab application deadline is 7 July. Exceptional late admission candidates with strong relevant experience may contact osfl@sbs.ox.ac.uk.

About the Finance Lab

Said Business School at twilight

Course syllabus


The programme will help you break into the investment banking, private equity and asset management industries through: 

  • online and in class finance and valuation modelling programme
  • case studies presented by leading banks and firms followed by networking opportunities with senior executives
  • participation in challenges including competitions against other business schools with the chance to win summer internships and cash prizes

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


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

You will leave with a toolkit and insights enabling you 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. You are 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.

Bridging the gap


  • Lessons taught by expert practitioners
  • Networking cocktails
  • HR presentations from major companies

You will learn

  • About different firms and industries and what makes each one unique
  • To apply finance concepts to real-world scenarios
  • To develop a strategic mindset to complement technical skills
  • To network with senior professionals, HR and alumni

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


Our annual challenges are an exciting and unique opportunity to prepare you for working in the finance sector.

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. Challenges focus on:

  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. Examples of challenges include:

Bank of America Investment Banking Challenge

Bank of America and BofA Securities (formerly Bank of America Merrill Lynch) provide global perspectives, comprehensive solutions and strategic guidance. This challenge is to present the investment case for a theoretical leveraged buyout of a UK publicly-listed company. The top three teams will spend a day at the Bank of America offices in London where they present their investment case and have the chance to meet other Bank of America executives at an awards reception.

Oxford Global Private Equity Challenge

This challenge is run by Oxford Saïd in association with the University of Oxford’s Private Equity Institute. It brings together teams from the leading business schools around the world to asses the potential for a private equity investment (LBO) of a publicly listed company.

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. 


  • 12 February 2024: Applications from MBA and MSc Financial Economics 2024/2025 open
  • End May 2024: Applications from MSc Law and Finance 2024/2025 open
  • 23:59 (UK) on 7 July 2024: Application deadline
  • 19 July 2024: Last applicants informed of application outcome and online login supplied to complete online element
  • 23:59 (UK) 15 August 2024: Deadline to complete online element of application
  • 23 August 2024: Informed of the overall application outcome
  • Start of September: Pre-arrival virtual online session

Become a corporate partner

Educate, network and recruit our 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

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

Companies we work with include: 

3i, Advent International, Ardian, ARES Management, August Equity, Bain Capital, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Bayside, BDO, BDT Capital Partners, Blackstone, Carlyle, CDC, Centerview, Citi, Deloitte, Denham, Deutsche Bank, EBRD, FTI Consulting, GIC, Glennmont, Goldman Sachs, Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking, GT, Hamilton Lane, Hermes GPE, Houlihan Lockey, ICG, JP Morgan, KKR, Lazard, Moelis & Company, Morgan Stanley, Oak Tree Capital, Park Square, Parthenon EY, Patron Capital, PER, PJT Partners, Robey Warshaw, Rothschild, Terra Firma, UBS, Walker Hamill