Finance MSc

  • Programme duration: Full-time: 12 months   Part-time: 24 months
  • Programme start: Autumn 2021
  • Entry requirements: You will need a 2:1 Honours degree or international equivalent in Finance, Accounting and Economics. Exceptional candidates with First Class Honours degrees in other subjects (with a significant component of finance) will be considered.
Finance msc

Module details

Due to the impact of COVID-19 we're changing how the course is delivered

Programme Structure

This 12-month programme consists of five compulsory modules and three optional modules followed by a dissertation over the summer period on completion of Semester 2.

Students are required to complete 180 credits to achieve a full MSc.

Compulsory modules

Corporate Finance and Valuation (ACFI906)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting70:30
Aims

The aim of this module is to examine a range of topics and issues in corporate finance including: capital budgeting, capital structure, dividend policy, raising long-term capital, corporate governance and international corporate finance in order to equip students to be able to undertake independent and advanced investigations in Corporate Finance.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Develop understanding of theoretical and empirical principles in capital budgeting as the basis for conducting a rigorous evaluation of associated scenarios.

(LO2) Critically assess theoretical and empirical developments in capital structure topics and relate their findings to the contemporary business environment.

(LO3) Develop skills to enable the critical evaluation of theoretical and empirical aspects in dividend policy research, and to communicate findings effectively.

(LO4) Develop knowledge regarding the sources of financing for the firm within a constantly changing financial environment.

(LO5) Develop knowledge and understanding in concepts of corporate governance and their relationship with corporate performance.

(LO6) Develop a comprehension of the importance of internationalization/globalization for firms' international transactions and the implications for effective corporate governance.

(S1) Numeracy/computational skills - Problem solving. This skill will be developed through capital budgeting and project evaluation.

(S2) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills – oral. Students will develop this skill through group review of journal articles and presentation.

(S3) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills - written. Students will develop this skill through group review of journal articles and presentation.

(S4) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Following instructions/protocols/procedures. Students will develop this skill through discussions and reviews on international corporate finance.

(S5) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis. This skill will be developed through capital structure and dividend policy reviews and discussion.

Portfolio Theory (ACFI923)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting80:20
Aims

To understand and appreciate the basic notions underlying the management and selection of efficient investments for portfolio construction. Special emphasis is given to notions of efficiency and the discussion of selection criteria.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Appreciate the pivotal elements of decision making under certainty and uncertainty, risk and risk management, portfolio choice, management and performance evaluation.

(LO2) Develop a systematic understanding, knowledge and critical awareness of the nature, concepts and construction of portfolios, having regard for the type of investor.

(LO3) Apply knowledge, understanding and techniques underlying portfolio management strategies including risk management strategies in uncertain contexts.

(LO4) Develop a conceptual and practical understanding of the understanding of performance evaluation of portfolios at the forefront of current practice.

(S1) Adaptability

(S2) Numeracy

(S3) Commercial awareness

(S4) Teamwork

(S5) Organisation skills

(S6) Communication skills

(S7) International awareness

(S8) Lifelong learning

(S9) Ethical awareness

(S10) Leadership

Financial Econometrics (ACFI901)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

The aim of this module is to provide students with a solid foundation in the statistical and econometric techniques that allow them to conduct independent empirical investigations in economics and finance. The approach centres on the linear multiple regression methods, including their use in estimating and testing the validity of models in economics and finance. The aims are that students will:

Understand aspects of the theories and principles of econometric analysis in economics and finance;

Be aware of a range of inferential techniques commonly employed in econometrics;

Understand the limitations of such techniques in different circumstances.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Discuss, evaluate and apply a range of mathematical and statistical techniques necessary for understanding and using econometrics methodology in finance and economic development.

(LO2) Use a number of statistical and econometric packages in real (simple) applications.

(LO3) Formulate, estimate and test a wide range of linear and non-linear models commonly encountered in financial analysis.

(S1) Problem solving. Students will be required to develop problem solving skills in lectures and practical lab sessions.

(S2) Numeracy. Numeracy skills will be developed through the application of techniques taught in lectures to various real and artificial data sets.

(S3) IT skills. IT skills will be developed through the application of techniques taught in lectures to various real and artificial data sets.

(S4) Communication skills. Communication skills, essential in econometrics, will be developed through the careful interpretation and guided discussion of results in practical sessions.

(S5) Time management. Time management and management of learning skills will be developed in part by working to a midterm exam while acquiring the skills as they go, and further by working towards passing the final exam.

Security Analysis, Valuation and Investment (ACFI825)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

Understand the essential characteristics of different asset classes;

Understand the theories underpinning the techniques of security analysis and valuation;

Applying security analysis technique in constructed examples and real world data;

Critically appraise investment strategy in the context of theory and practice.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) A systematic understanding, knowledge and critical awareness of the nature of equity securities and current professional practice related to equity markets.

(LO2) The application and critical appraisal of fundamental analysis to the valuation of equity securities, including residuals analysis in complex scenarios.

(LO3) A conceptual understanding of the principles underlying the equity markets and equity security valuation, including hybrids at the forefront of current practice.

(LO4) A systematic understanding, knowledge and critical appraisal of professional practice related to fixed income securities.

(LO5) The application of knowledge and understanding of applied techniques and methods to analyse yields, risks and valuation for fixed income securities in an uncertain context.

(LO6) A conceptual understanding of the principles underlying the yields, risks and valuation of fixed income securities and the application of current valuation techniques.

(S1) Problem solving. Students will be required to develop problem solving skills in lectures and practical lab sessions.

(S2) Numeracy. Numeracy skills will be developed through the application of techniques taught in lectures to various real and artificial data sets.

(S3) Commercial awareness. Within interactive lecture environment and supported self learning.

(S4) Communication skills. Communication skills will be developed through the careful interpretation and guided discussion of results in practical sessions.

Derivatives (ACFI918)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting100:0
Aims

To provide an introduction to derivative products, namely futures and options in their many different varieties;

To examine these products from both a speculative and hedging perspective and also consider advanced strategies such as intra and inter commodity spreads for futures as well as sophisticated option strategies used, not exclusively, to trade volatility;

To examine the sensitivities of option strategies to underlying factors, namely an options "Greeks";

To consider the Black-Scholes-Merton and the Binomial approaches to option pricing;

To use Monte-Carlo simulation for the pricing of path dependent exotic options;

To develop skills in use of Excel, VBA, and Matlab.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Understand how futures and options are traded and priced.

(LO2) Be able to select the appropriate product to either hedge or speculate against future expected market conditions.

(LO3) Apply pricing strategies in market based situations.

(LO4) Develop trading skills using market data.

(S1) IT skills. Students will develop IT skills through data manipulation and analysis, charting in Excel, writing VBA code, 3d plots in Matlab.

(S2) Problem solving. Students will develop problem solving skills during practical class sessions.

(S3) Numeracy. Students will develop numeracy skills through research problem sets.

Dissertation (ACFI912)
LevelM
Credit level60
SemesterWhole Session
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

The aim of this module is to enable a student to undertake an independent piece of empirical work that demonstrates a consolidated level of thorough understanding achieved by undertaking theoretical as well as empirical analysis on a particular aspect of interest in accounting and finance.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Comprehend and present theoretical and empirical analysis on a particular aspect of interest in accounting and finance.

(LO2) Apply appropriate methods and techniques to analyse qualitative and quantitative information of corporations, institutions and financial markets.

(LO3) Critically evaluate interactions between investors, corporations and regulators. Assess their decisions and consequences.

(S1) Research skills

(S2) Written communication skills

(S3) Organisation skills

Optional modules

Financial Markets, Financial Regulations and Ethics (ACFI824)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting70:30
Aims

To provide an understanding of the role and nature of regulation in the international financial markets;

To explore the changing nature of regulation, the benefits and challenges, through the lens of the recent global banking crisis;

To identify specific recent regulation that impacts on financial markets internationally as a result of initiatives announced by global bodies such as the G20;

To explain the ethical responsibilities required by the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and the Standards of Professional Conduct and to demonstrate the application of the Code of Standards;

To appraise and evaluate practical regulatory and ethical issues that require knowledge of the regulatory landscape and application of an ethical framework.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Explain the structure of the CFA Institute Professional Conduct Program and the process for the enforcement of the Code of Standards in uncertain contexts.

(LO2) Apply, and critically appraise, the six components of the Code of Ethics and the seven Standards of Professional Conduct.

(LO3) Explain and evaluate the ethical responsibilities required by the Code of Standards, including the sub-sections of each Standard.

(LO4) Explain the regulatory structure as it impacts on financial markets internationally.

(LO5) Evaluate the impact of financial crises on the development of regulation.

(LO6) Explain the nature and role of ethics within financial services and apply ethical approaches to practical industry scenarios.

(S1) Adaptability. Adaptability is demonstrated in assessments by reflecting on and responding to different financial environments in terms of how the regulatory and ethical standards may be consistently applied.

(S2) Problem solving. Students will be required to develop problem solving skills in lectures and seminars.

(S3) Commercial awareness. Students will develop commercial awareness through preparation for the written examination.

(S4) Ethical awareness. Students will develop ethical awareness through preparation for the written examination.

Banking and Financial Institutions (ACFI812)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting100:0
Aims

This module aims to provide an introduction to banking and financial institutions. The role played by commercial banks in the economy along with their interactions with Central Banks will be discussed.

A key aim is to outline how financial companies differ from non-financial companies and how these differences shaped the regulation on financial institutions. This module will also cover the risk to which banks and financial institutions are exposed.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will be able to discuss and analyse the characterising features of financial institutions.

(LO2) Students will be able to explain the role of the Central bank and its interactions with commercial banks.

(LO3) Students will be able to compare and contrast alternative instruments traded by financial institutions on the money market.

(LO4) Students will be able to describe and discuss the principal risks to which financial institutions are exposed.

(S1) Teamwork
The assignment will be completed in groups of three students and each student will be given a specific role. Students will need to co-operate to complete the assignment.

(S2) Problem solving
As an assignment, students will be asked to solve a problem with a difficult solution.

(S3) Numeracy
Numerical exercises and examples will be presented during the lectures. The assignment will also require numerical skills in order to be completed successfully.

(S4) Lifelong learning
By using practical examples and by asking students to solve a practical policy issue, this course aims to enable students to develop lifelong learning skills.

Financial Risk Management (ACFI809)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting100:0
Aims

This module aims to train students in evaluating, measuring and managing a range of financial risks to which companies are exposed. Particular emphasis is placed on the measurement and management of market risks, cash flow risks, interest rate risks and credit risks. The module also includes a brief discussion of recent issues on risk management (subprime crisis, the role of risk management failures etc.)

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) A critical understanding of the risk management function and the nature of the relationship between risk and firm value.

(LO2) Advanced knowledge of several risk evaluation and measurement techniques (Value at Risk, Volatility, Correlations/Copulas).

(LO3) Demonstrated ability to analyze the factors that lead companies to high levels of interest rate risk, market risk, credit risk and liquidity risk.

(LO4) Good understanding of the current academic literature on risk management with main emphasis on studies analyzing risk management failures (e.g. credit crisis, LTCM failure etc.)

(LO5) Valuable applied research skills in risk management and measurement [e.g. how to use specific econometric and statistical software (e.g. Eviews) in the analysis of relevant specific problems in risk management (e.g. calculating and evaluating “Value at Risk” measures)]

(S1) Problem solving. Students will be required to develop problem solving skills in lectures and seminars.

(S2) Numeracy. Numeracy will be developed through the application of techniques taught in lectures to various real and artificial data sets.

(S3) Critical awareness. Critical perspectives will be gained from required reading.

(S4) Analytical thinking. Students will work through problem sets both individually and in seminars.

(S5) Communication skills. Communication skills will be developed through the careful interpretation and guided discussion of results in practical sessions.

(S6) IT skills. IT skills will be developed through the application of techniques taught in lectures to various real and artificial data sets.

Financial Statement Analysis and Valuation (ACFI810)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting100:0
Aims

The aim of this module is to provide students with an understanding of financial statements, and the techniques and skills necessary for the interpretation of financial statements including their use in the valuation process.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Understand the role of financial statements in assessing the performance and position of an entity.

(LO2) Understand how ratio based techniques can be used in interpretation of financial statements.

(LO3) Explain valuation models which use financial statement information.

(LO4) Determine a valuation for a business using financial statement information with appropriate valuation models.

(LO5) Prepare financial forecasts derived from financial statement information.

(S1) Communication skills. Communication skills will be developed through the careful interpretation and guided discussion to support the individual assignment.

(S2) IT skills. IT skills will be developed through the application of techniques taught in lectures to various real and artificial data sets.

(S3) Numeracy. Numeracy skills will be developed through the application of techniques taught in lectures to various real and artificial data sets.

(S4) Problem solving. Students will be required to develop problem solving skills in lectures and practical sessions.

Advanced Corporate Finance (ACFI811)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting100:0
Aims

The aim of this module is to cover the following main areas in corporate finance: short-term corporate financing, bankruptcy/financial distress, corporate restructurings and real options. Particular emphasis will be placed on (i) the role of incentives on financing decisions and (ii) how financing and investment decisions interact with each other and how those decisions have implications for corporate bankruptcy, takeovers and corporate restructurings.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) An understanding of current theoretical and empirical developments in corporate finance that enable students to understand and develop theories and policies regarding bankruptcy/ financial distress, mergers and acquisitions, corporate control and governance as well as topics related to agency theory.

(LO2) Familiarity with major empirical studies in the areas stated above.

(LO3) An ability to appreciate and critically evaluate methodologies, results and implications of research studies in the discipline.

(S1) Communication skills. Communication skills, essential in econometrics, will be developed through the careful interpretation and guided discussion of results in practical sessions.

(S2) IT skills. IT skills will be developed through the application of techniques taught in lectures to various real and artificial data sets.

(S3) Numeracy. Numeracy skills will be developed through the application of techniques taught in lectures to various real and artificial data sets.

(S4) Problem solving. Numeracy skills will be developed through the application of techniques taught in lectures to various real and artificial data sets.

Fixed Income Securities (ACFI813)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting100:0
Aims

This module aims to:

Provide students with an understanding of fixed-income markets;

Equip students with the skills necessary to price and analyse fixed-income assets;

Enable students to understand and manage the risk of a bond portfolio;

Enable students to construct and interpret term structures of interest rates.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will be able to price a bond and develop strategies to exploit mispriced assets.

(LO2) Students will be able to understand and compute the forward given spot rates.

(LO3) Students will be able to evaluate interest rate risk and how to manage it.

(LO4) Students will be able to compute the term structure of interest rates and discuss its shape.

(S1) Numeracy
Students will learn to price fixed income assets.

(S2) Problem solving
Students will learn to identify mispriced securities and formulate strategies to correct the mispricing.

(S3) IT skills
Through the seminars, students will learn how to use Bloomberg to analyse fixed-income assets.

(S4) Commercial awareness
Students will learn to appreciate the impact of current affairs on their portfolio of fixed income assets.

International Finance (ACFI814)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting100:0
Aims

The aim of this module is to provide students with an understanding of international arbitrage relationships, models of exchange rate determination, and recent issues in international finance literature. By the end of this module, students should be able to describe the basic international parity relationships, outline some of the basic models of exchange rate determination, and have a good grasp of current issues in international financial markets, and be able to critically evaluate the empirical literature on international finance. Students should also be able to analyse risks that exist in international finance including foreign exchange, foreign trade and investment risks and to select and use appropriate techniques to manage such risks.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will be able to evaluate markets - the development and operation of markets for resources, goods and services.

(LO2) Students will be able to examine international issues in business and management.

(LO3) Students will be able to examine the sources, uses and management of finance; the use of accounting and other information systems for managerial applications.

(LO4) Students will be able to identify assumptions, evaluate statements in terms of evidence, detect false logic or reasoning, identify implicit values, define terms adequately and generalise appropriately.

(LO5) Students will be able to solve complex problems and make decisions: establish criteria, using appropriate decision-making techniques including identifying, formulating and solving business problems; and the ability to create, identify and evaluate options; the ability to implement and review decisions.

(S1) Problem solving skills
How this is developed: Through lectures on currency trading and exchange rate determination, and written examination.

(S2) International awareness
How this is developed: Through lecture notes, examples shown in the lectures, and written examination.

(S3) Organisation skills
How this is developed: Through lectures on currency trading.

(S4) Commercial Awareness
How this is developed: Through lectures.

Financial Modelling (ECON815)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting80:20
Aims

The aim of this module is to give the student an understanding of econometric and statistical methods for financial and economic time series. Important extensions include: stationary models for time series; testing for nonstationarity; models for nonstationary data; volatility models for financial time series; and models for multivariate data including vector autoregressions, error correction mechanisms and cointegration.

Extensive use will be made of the econometrics package EViews in tutorials to supplement the theory with applications and to provide hands-on experience.

The aims are that the student will:

Understand a range of univariate and multivariate models of financial and economic time series and their applications;

Understand the statistical characteristics of financial data including skewness, kurtosis and volatility;

Understand the motivations, methods and limitations of multivariate modelling for economic and financial time-series;

Be confident in the use of an econometric computer programme (EViews) for a range of methods and applications.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Be able to specify and appreciate the main characteristics of a range of time series models;

(LO2) Be able to estimate appropriate models of financial and economic time series for purposes of forecasting and inference;

(LO3) Be able to apply univariate and multivariate model selection and evaluation methods;

(LO4) Be able to accommodate seasonality, causality, unit roots, and long run relationships in economic and financial time series;

(LO5) Be able to analytically investigate the skewness, kurtosis and volatility aspects of models such as ARIMA and ARCH models of economic and financial time series.

(S1) Communication skills. Communication skills will be developed through careful interpretation and guided discussion of results in practical sessions.

(S2) Planning and organisation skills. Students will develop this skill through the development of research plans for the dissertation.

(S3) IT skills. IT skills will be developed through the application of techniques taught in lectures to various real and artificial data sets.

(S4) Lifelong learning. Students will develop lifelong learning skills through the development of research capacity and critical thinking.