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FAQs about the Cambridge Master of Finance

Please thoroughly read through the information in this section before contacting the MFin Admissions Office.

What is the duration of the programme?
The programme lasts for 12 months and consists of nine months of taught courses and an individual project carried out over the summer. Between July and September students are required to complete a mandatory summer activity.

When does the programme start?
The Master of Finance programme starts at the end of September each year. It is not possible to start at any other point in the year.

Do you offer a part time or distance learning MFin?
No, the MFin is a full-time programme.

Do I need to live in Cambridge during the MFin year?
Yes, the regulations for the MFin degree require that you are in residence at the University for all three terms of the programme. Formally, this means that you must be resident within 10 miles of the University Church of Great St Mary for at least 59 days of the Michaelmas and Lent terms, and 56 days for the Easter term.

Please note that students are still expected to work on assignments, projects, and exam preparation during term breaks. Although we understand that you will need to take a break sometimes during the year it is strongly advised not to plan to be away from Cambridge for a long time.

When is the best time to submit my application?
Admissions will open in early September and close on 31 May. As demand for places is likely to be strong, we recommend you apply as early as possible. Early application also helps to assist with College placement and visa applications. Some scholarships also require applications to be submitted by earlier deadlines.

What is the deadline for applications?
We will not accept any applications after 31 May. Before this date, applications will be accepted until all available places are filled.

All three of your references must also be received by the 31 May deadline.

Is there an application fee?
Yes, there is a non-refundable application fee of £120 payable at the point of application submission. Payment can be made by credit or debit card through our online application system.

Do you offer any application fee waivers?
We offer an application fee waiver for candidates who are serving in the military and candidates from countries receiving overseas development aid.

If you would like to request an application fee waiver, please contact the admissions team before submitting your application.

Do undergraduate internships count towards the minimum work experience requirement
No, all work experience must be post-graduation.

Do part-time jobs count towards the minimum work experience requirements?
In most cases no. If you are applying for 2023 entry you must expect to have at least two years’ full time, post-graduation work experience by September 2023.

Please tell us if there are extenuating circumstances which mean that you have only been able to work part-time or on temporary contracts, such as bringing up a family or caring duties.

How are references submitted?
Please nominate three referees – an academic, a peer and a supervisor – in the references section of our online application form. Your chosen referees will be sent an automated email asking them to submit your reference to us directly, via our online system.

I don’t want to tell my current line manager that I am applying for the MFin. Can I submit an alternative reference instead of the professional one?
We understand that sometimes it is not possible to ask your current line manager for a reference, in which case we are happy to accept a reference from a former line manager or supervisor.

Failing this, we will accept a reference from a customer, supplier or adviser with whom you work on a professional basis.

Do you have an upper age limit?

When do I need to submit degree transcripts and other certificates?
Please upload a copy of your degree transcript (front and back pages) in the academic information section of our online application form.

If you are invited for an in-person interview, we will require you to bring the original transcript certificates with you. If you are unable to provide the original documents, you must have copies authenticated by a public notary or lawyer who has seen the original documents.

If you receive an offer of admission, you will be asked to provide an original copy of your transcripts.

Please prepare these documents now. We sometimes invite candidates to interview at short notice. Transcripts should be written in English, or be certified translations into English.

Do I have to take an English language proficiency test?
Fluency in English is a prerequisite for the Cambridge Master of Finance. If English is not your first language, you must have taken the recognised English proficiency test IELTS Academic or TOEFL in the two years before 30 September of the year you are applying for.

Full details of the tests we accept can be found in the ‘Apply’ section of our website.

We may, at our discretion, waive this requirement if you can provide clear evidence that your English is fluent. Visit the ‘Apply’ section of our website for more information and details of our minimum score requirements.

I want to do a PhD afterwards. Is Master of Finance the right programme for me?
The PhD requires a substantial amount of research methods training at masters’ level, which is not covered in the Master of Finance programme.

Candidates interested in an academic career should consider one of the School’s research MPhil programmes.

Would you consider my application if I do not have a degree?
We might consider applicants with special circumstances on an individual basis, they will need to provide evidence of sufficient academic ability to cope with the intellectual demands of the programme.

Our programme is intellectually demanding and the training received at the undergraduate level is considered appropriate preparation for masters’ level academic study.

Do you require a GMAT or GRE score as part of the application process?
The submission of a GMAT or GRE score is optional for anyone applying to the MFin. We assess the strength of an application based on all of the information the applicant provides us.

In some cases, a GMAT or GRE score can provide more information and potential strength to an application, particularly in cases where the academic score is borderline for our requirements or if the scoring of academic qualifications is unfamiliar to us.

However, we do not consider a GMAT or GRE score by itself as enough to accept or reject an MFin application and it cannot be presented as evidence of a strong academic record by itself. Please note we do reserve the right to request a GMAT or GRE score on the rare occasions where we feel it is necessary.

How do I know that you have received my application and supporting documents such as transcripts and references?
Please check your application status by logging into our online application system to verify that your application is complete. Please note that your application will not be reviewed by the Admissions Committee until we have received your application fee and all three references.

When will I hear if my application has been successful?
Approximately three weeks after we receive your completed application (including your three references), we will send you an email notification as to the status of your application.

Do I have to come to Cambridge for an interview?
Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an interview in Cambridge, and are expected to attend at their own expense. For those who will find it difficult to attend an interview in Cambridge, we also carry out video interviews via Zoom.

What happens after the interview?
We will usually inform applicants if they have been successful within a week of the interview.

Which College am I likely to join?
There are 31 Cambridge Colleges. Master of Finance students are put forward for the membership in the same way as other postgraduate students.

Candidates can only be considered for a College place once the conditional offer of a Master of Finance place has been made. The Master of Finance admissions team are responsible for working with colleges to find places for the programme’s students. It is very difficult to say which college this is likely to be until nearer the time.

What is the difference between the conditional and unconditional offer?
If your application is shortlisted you will be asked to take part in an interview. If after the interview you are offered a place on the programme, your place will be conditional on you providing evidence that you can fund the course and on you having a College place.

Once these conditions have been satisfied your offer will progress to an unconditional offer. The unconditional offer is also known as the Confirmation of Enrolment.

What is the cost of the Master of Finance programme?
The tuition fees for 2023/24 are £51,000. In addition, candidates should budget £17,668 for living expenses. Those who are offered and accept a place on the programme are asked to pay:

  • an initial deposit of 10% of the tuition fee within a month of being notified of the offer
  • a second instalment of 20% of the tuition fee, to be paid by 1 June or when your unconditional offer is made, whichever is latest.

Both of these are offset against the programme fees.

In addition, you will need to budget to cover accommodation and meals, textbooks and computer and software.

What scholarships do you offer?
For details of scholarships, bursaries and loans visit our fees and financing page.

Do I need a visa to visit or study at Cambridge?
The following websites provide information on whether you will require a visa to study in the UK or to travel to the UK for interview. These sites include information on how to obtain a visa, and the paperwork you are required to submit. Also included is the location of your nearest British Embassy or Consulate:

  • UK Visas & Immigration is the website of the Home Office department that administers visas.
  • UKCISA is a website especially designed for overseas students who wish to study in the UK.

Are the fees different for overseas students?
No, fees for all Master of Finance students are the same.

How do I contact MFin Admissions?
We are always interested in hearing from you, so please do not hesitate to contact us directly. However, you may find the answer to your question in our frequently asked questions section. If you cannot find the answer to your question on the website, please use the contact details published on our Contact us page.

Can I visit the School?
The Master of Finance Events page publicises events and open days taking place at the School.

Do you hold events outside of Cambridge?
Any upcoming events will be publicised on the Master of Finance Events page.

How can I contact MFin alumni?
Contacting our alumni is a great way to find out more about the MFin student experience. Alumni can answer your questions on life as an MFin student before, after and during the degree. Please visit the Contact MFin alumni page on our website to get in touch with previous students.