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The growing need for academic qualifications in the financial sector has persuaded the Judge Business School at Cambridge University to introduce a second masters degree for those who want to work in the City, Wall Street or other financial centres.
The Masters in Finance (MFin) degree will be for older participants who already work in banks and financial service firms. This requirement for work experience will set the degree in contrast to Judge’s existing programme – the finance MPhil – which is designed for those just completing undergraduate degrees.
The degree will put Cambridge in competition with London Business School, which runs the pre-eminent post-experience finance masters degree in the UK.
The MFin was conceived as long ago as 2005, according to Simon Taylor, who quit the City to become programme director in April 2007. One reason for the decision to launch the MFin was the extraordinary popularity of the MPhil, he says. It has the highest number of applicants of any postgraduate degree at Cambridge University and those accepted on to the programme all have first-class degrees.
The MFin, he says “will sit alongside the MBA” and will teach management skills as well as quantitative and analytical skills.
It will combine a rigorous academic education with a high level of practical content from City practitioners. Participants will have to complete an internship or a detailed academic project in order to graduate. The one-year programme will begin in September 2008.
Cambridge is not the only university to tap into the growing need for academic qualifications in the financial sector. Top US business schools such as NYU Stern in New York and MIT Sloan in Boston have revealed plans to offer masters degrees in finance.