The most popular master’s programs at Imperial College Business School

Imperial College Business School is one of the leading business schools in Europe. Their varied range of master’s programs covers the entire business spectrum, allowing students to specialize in niche areas of study. To learn more about their offering, we spoke to Amy Duckworth, Director of Admissions at Imperial.

“At Imperial, we’ve got three suites of MSc programs: the management suite, the finance suite, and the specialized suite,” she says. “Within each of those suites, there are four to five programs that really give our students the opportunity to specialize and choose the area of study that interests them.” (00:19)

Despite having such a wide range of courses, competition is high for each one. Amy says that a couple of programs, in particular, are attracting more applications than ever. The popularity of these programs is a reflection of the changing demands of the job market.

“All of our programs are very competitive and we receive a high number of applications [for them],” Amy tells us. “A couple that are proving very popular at the moment are the MSc Business Analytics and the MSc Climate Change, Management and Finance.” (01:02)

When is the best time to apply for a master’s?

We’ve heard from other admissions directors that it’s a good idea to apply early – and the advice is no different at Imperial. Amy says that applying early is likely to put you at an advantage, but it’s not only beneficial for your chances of being accepted.

She says, “It’s worth applying early, especially if you’re considering scholarship funding, if you need a visa to study in the UK…and there are lots of other benefits to applying early. For example, you’ll get more chances to start networking with your future classmates [and] you’ll get access to our careers and career services, so [applying early] is definitely worth doing.” (03:02)

Unlike many MBA programs, which tend to have so-called application rounds, applications for most master’s programs at Imperial work differently. You can apply at any point in the academic year, starting from August. It gives students more flexibility and a bigger window to apply.

“Not all of our programs have application rounds,” Amy elaborates. “For a lot of them we actually have rolling admissions so you can apply anytime. We’re already open for applications – we opened in August so it’s possible to start applying [now].” (03:47)

How to prepare for a video interview at Imperial

Before doing anything, Amy encourages you to get in touch with the school. She says there are now more and more chances to meet the admissions team in person, so you can ask them any questions you may have.

“I would recommend engaging with us before applying,” Amy advises. “We do a lot of information sessions. We’ve been doing a lot online, and we’re starting to see in-person events coming back on the scene now as well.” (05:21)

Although in-person events are slowly starting to return, virtual elements are likely to remain part of the admissions process at Imperial. This can cause problems for applicants who aren’t used to talking to a camera. To address that, Amy has some words of advice.

“A number of our programs require a video interview, so it’s worth practicing that beforehand,” she says. “If you’re not used to doing video interviews then the format can be a little off-putting. So it’s worth just recording yourself answering some questions.” (05:54)

The one surefire way to not get accepted into a top business school

Imperial is a top business school, and top business schools are competitive. But that shouldn’t discourage you. Amy says that there is only one surefire way of not being accepted at a business school: not applying.

“Applying to anything competitive – whether it’s business school or a job – is never easy. That’s what makes it hard to get into – because a lot of people want to do it and there’s only so many spots available,” she says. (04:31)

“But that shouldn’t put you off applying and you shouldn’t self-select out of top institutions because maybe you think that other people are better or you’re not going to be good enough,” she adds. “Ultimately, the only thing that’s really going to make sure you don’t get in is if you don’t apply.” (04:50)

It can be easy to assume that business schools are only interested in exam results or GMAT scores. But in reality, what they’re really looking for are unique candidates who will apply themselves and contribute to the school. Instead of discarding a school because you don’t think you’ll get in, try engaging with them first to find out what they’re looking for. You never know; you might just be a perfect fit.