SERVING THE QUANTITATIVE FINANCE COMMUNITY

flubber78
Topic Author
Posts: 4
Joined: May 14th, 2018, 12:00 pm

### Masters in Cambridge

I am not from the UK and have received an offer for a masters in Cambridge (part III). I have a strong background in math and programming and intend to become a quant in the future.

However I can't afford the masters and couldn't get any scholarships. Is it reasonable to reach out to a potential employer in the UK (e.g. looking for a summer job) and ask for them to sponsor my masters, on the condition of working for them after I graduate?

As you can imagine, I am very desperate.

Thanks.

bearish
Posts: 3905
Joined: February 3rd, 2011, 2:19 pm

### Re: Masters in Cambridge

You can always ask, but I would be flabbergasted if you got a positive answer. A better course of action might be to first try to get a job based on your current "strong background in math and programming" and then leverage that toward funding graduate work. That would be difficult, but more realistic than your current mission.

trackstar
Posts: 26410
Joined: August 28th, 2008, 1:53 pm

### Re: Masters in Cambridge

You may be able to accept the offer of admission and then defer entry while you pull your finances together.

You'd have to be efficient and quick, as they only seem to allow deferral within the academic year for which you were accepted, but you could pursue full or part time employment, work study options at the university, student loans, etc.  You could also build a case for deferring to the next academic year - clearly on the grounds of needing time to gather the necessary funds.  Perhaps check with the relevant academic department for policies on that.

University of Cambridge - Deferring an Application

Congratulations on the acceptance and good luck!  Where there is a will, there is a way.  :)

ppauper
Posts: 69353
Joined: November 15th, 2001, 1:29 pm

### Re: Masters in Cambridge

I believe that part 3 is an optional 4th year for cambridge math students, who get their undergrad diploma after year 3 and can do an additional year if they so choose, but they also take graduates from other universities

(the master of advanced studies in either the department of applied mathematics and theoretical physics or the department of pure mathematics and mathematical statistics)
fees for home and EU students are GBP 10,065 and for overseas students are GBP 19,449.
there's something on that page about EU students and Brexit. You haven't said where you're from so we don't know if it applies or not, but at some as yet unspecified future date, EU students will have to pay the overseas rate
There are also college fees (on top of the university fees) which I didn't look for
Master of Advanced Study courses, which are equivalent of a fourth undergraduate year, are treated as undergraduate courses for fee purposes, and therefore overseas students are also charged the undergraduate College fee not included in the fee table below.
If you share more of your background, people might be able to help with suggestions for scholarships.
You haven't told us which scholarships you have already applied for, or where you're from, but if you're american and haven't already tried, try churchill scholarships

Will a bank (or other entity) lend you the money?
I don't know the rules, but it may be hard for an international student, since there's a risk to lenders that you go home when done and stiff them

Your best bet may be to get a job and earn enough to pay the tuition yourself.

I'm not as pessimistic as trackstar on deferral.
There may be a difference between an optional 4th year of an undergrad course (like part 3) and a stand-alone graduate course. I don't know the admission process for part III, but if it's at the college level rather than the university, you can probably just talk to the college and they'll let you do it a year later.

flubber78
Topic Author
Posts: 4
Joined: May 14th, 2018, 12:00 pm

### Re: Masters in Cambridge

Thank you so much for the responses.

I researched very carefully for all the scholarships that I am eligible, but I'm severely constrained by the fact that I'm not from the UK, nor EU, nor US, nor Commonwealth, so that the costs are very high (total costs up to £40k not even mentioning exchange rates) and funding options are limited.

My alternatives have came down to taking a loan or trying to apply next year, with no garantee that I will get in again (I read that I can't defer, but will try to contact the college anyway, thanks!).

Given all these facts I wonder whether it is financially sound to take such a huge loan, as I am quite young and my parents can't help. I think my best shot may be applying for a summer job and trying to leverage towards funding.

katastrofa
Posts: 6530
Joined: August 16th, 2007, 5:36 am
Location: Alpha Centauri

### Re: Masters in Cambridge

Are you from a developing country?

trackstar
Posts: 26410
Joined: August 28th, 2008, 1:53 pm

### Re: Masters in Cambridge

I am not pessimistic about the chance of deferring - the student would just have to build a case if it were extending into the next academic year, per the UoC website.

A summer job in a fund or a bank will certainly be a good step too - so Career Services and the alumni network may be helpful there.

Include a good cover letter about your skills and interests and your academic opportunity, but my gentle recommendation would be not to use the word “desperate” or paint this in a tragic light.

For business contexts, if you appear resourceful and enterprising that will further your effort.

flubber78
Topic Author
Posts: 4
Joined: May 14th, 2018, 12:00 pm

### Re: Masters in Cambridge

Are you from a developing country?
I am.
I am not pessimistic about the chance of deferring - the student would just have to build a case if it were extending into the next academic year, per the UoC website.

A summer job in a fund or a bank will certainly be a good step too - so Career Services and the alumni network may be helpful there.

Include a good cover letter about your skills and interests and your academic opportunity, but my gentle recommendation would be not to use the word “desperate” or paint this in a tragic light.

For business contexts, if you appear resourceful and enterprising that will further your effort.
Thanks for the tips, I will certainly not use this word.

katastrofa
Posts: 6530
Joined: August 16th, 2007, 5:36 am
Location: Alpha Centauri

### Re: Masters in Cambridge

You've probably already seen that website: https://www.cambridge-africa.cam.ac.uk/ ... ies/study/

You could also reach out to charities supporting people with your profile. Otherwise, many people here work to earn for their studies, but you will need a visa for that (which is also one of the reasons why no employer would agree on your deal, imho).

flubber78
Topic Author
Posts: 4
Joined: May 14th, 2018, 12:00 pm

### Re: Masters in Cambridge

You've probably already seen that website: https://www.cambridge-africa.cam.ac.uk/ ... ies/study/

You could also reach out to charities supporting people with your profile. Otherwise, many people here work to earn for their studies, but you will need a visa for that (which is also one of the reasons why no employer would agree on your deal, imho).
I am from South America, not sure if this changes work visa prospects

ppauper
Posts: 69353
Joined: November 15th, 2001, 1:29 pm

### Re: Masters in Cambridge

I'm sure he's already seen Cambridge Trust Scholarships which lets you put in your country and they give you a list of some of the scholarships available, the deadlines for most of which are long gone for this year.

South America is big, but even in the more prosperous South American countries, it would be a stretch to earn enough to pay the tuition, and as others have said, there's an issue with a visa if you want to work in eg London.
I think in your place, I'd earn what I could and take the rest on a loan, but you'd need to sit down and think long and hard about what your different career paths are, with and without Cambridge, before deciding on a loan. No one wants to take on debt, but if your future additional earnings because of the masters would cover the loan repayments and then some, then maybe it's worth it.
It's a dilly of a pickle.

ISayMoo
Posts: 1112
Joined: September 30th, 2015, 8:30 pm

### Re: Masters in Cambridge

One thing I'd say is that you can get a very good education outside Cambridge or Oxford, so if you end up not going there, do not despair. The world's not going to end.

mbunea
Posts: 102
Joined: March 26th, 2015, 11:39 am

### Re: Masters in Cambridge

Problem's getting a job which pays well enough if you're outside of EU or US. A master at Cambridge is a sure ticket to getting a subsequent visa / work permit.

So it's not the education, a good university from South America in combination with a good student results in a guy who's very capable and skilled. But working in what is statistically the best payed domain for knowledge workers, software development, he'd make about $22,000 per year in Brazil, before tax. Assuming a 40% tax, that's about$800 / month take home on average. You may get a living on those money but you'll struggle all your life (or a long, long time) before being able to lift yourself out of destitution.

Not to mention that very likely you won't get a job to do math or quant stuff but soul destroying and career wrecking "enterprise" crap, be that web or non-web. Either way if you don't get a job where you can practice and expand your skills at work, you're toast (and beware, 95% of the *finance* jobs are crap jobs that are no different than frontend javascript developer at Accenture or similar meat grinder).

ISayMoo
Posts: 1112
Joined: September 30th, 2015, 8:30 pm

### Re: Masters in Cambridge

They should do what you did: start a successful options trading business.