Financial Technology MSc

  • Programme duration: Full-time: 12 months   Part-time: 24 months
  • Programme start: Autumn 2022
  • Entry requirements: You will need a 2:1 Honours degree or equivalent in any discipline. Non-graduates with very extensive professional experience and/or other prior qualifications may also be considered.
student sitting lit up by computer screen

Module details

Please note that the modules listed below are to be used as a guide only and could be subject to change for the 2022/23 academic year.


Semester 1 Compulsory Modules

Quantitative Techniques for Accounting and Finance (ACFI815)

This module aims to enable students to: (1) develop their awareness of the quantitative techniques used in the accounting and finance literature; (2) formulate, implement, and interpret quantitative empirical models; (3) develop and test interesting hypotheses and (4) to critically evaluate the performance and soundness of a statistical model.


Cryptocurrencies, Blockchain and Future of Money (ACFI826)

This module will establish why cryptocurrencies have evolved over the previous two decades and how they are disrupting the current global financial system. Students will reflect on the evolution of money and how cryptocurrencies are perhaps the next phase in the evolution of money. Competing forms of blockchain will be evaluated including decentralised, private and hybrid forms of ledger technology as well as different variants such as the tangle through the examination of real-world start-up case studies.

Students will distinguish between the relative use cases of competing forms of future money, namely; central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), decentralised currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum and corporate-issued currencies such as JP Morgan’s JPM coin. Although technologically oriented this module approaches these innovations through the lens of banking, finance, trading, valuation methodologies, accounting, tax and monetary policy implications. In summary, students will assess the financialisation of ‘new money’ and how best the banking and finance sector, as well as governments, central banks and tax authorities should respond.


Managerial Finance (ULMS767)

This module aims to enable students to develop: (1) A framework to allow understanding of the role of accounting and finance in management and business and of the information provided by accounting and finance to support decision making by managers; (2) An understanding of the basic principles of accounting and finance; (3)An understanding of the basic techniques of preparation of accounting and finance information; (4) An understanding of the fundamentals of financial management and finance; (5) An understanding of the use of accounting and finance information in managerial decision-making; (6) An understanding of the relationships between accounting and finance and other management disciplines; (7) To introduce students to alternative and traditional forms of finance; (8) An understanding of why initiatives such as crowdfunding are growing areas of the new financial landscape.


Introduction to Programming (Python) (ACFI827)

This module will establish a working knowledge of python for finance and its practical application in the context of FinTech. The module does not assume any prior knowledge of either coding or more specifically Python. Python programming is one of the most precious skills in the world of finance. Python is a programming language used to organize and visualize data to provide actionable insights, create desirable data forms and essential outputs to support business requirement documents.

This Python module rapidly develops programming skills for financial calculations and financial data analysis, with a focus on practical application. Participants will learn the essential skills required to make the most of programming opportunities, and gain a comprehensive understanding of the programming concepts, as well as extensive practical experience in some of the core data analysis libraries used in Python.


 

Semester 2 Compulsory Modules

Digital Banking and Global Payment Systems (ACFI828)

This module will explore the history of money and banking through to the present day fourth industrial revolution and the emergence of decentralised finance and the Bitcoin currency. The fragilities in the current banking system will be identified along with the regulatory and technological movement towards open banking and Payment Services Directive PSD2 (&3) type regulation, and similar.

The landscape of the current global payments industry including the prevalence of M-commerce will be discussed along with the fusion of financial services with social media giving rise to new opportunities such as hyper-personalisation and bespoke payment solutions. Unique features of digital and neo banks will be articulated as well as strategies for how incumbent established banks can attempt to ‘close the gap’.

The impacts of financial crises including; (1) The Dot Com Crash, (2) The Financial Crisis 2007-09 and (3) COVID-19 upon the banking and payments industries will be interpreted in the context of Black Swan thinking and attempting to pandemic proof new financial services business models. The role of A.I. in banking and payments will be outlined as well as predictions for the next decade plus, including Banking 4.0 thinking.  Examples of international cases studies will be used to contextualise the academic theory and research-based teaching provided.


LawTech, Regulation and Ethics (ACFI829)

This module assumes no prior knowledge of law and is not seeking to produce legal experts. Rather, it is commercially focused and will provide students with hands-on experience of a contemporary LegalTech application or process so that they can develop a practical understanding of the opportunities and risks of using technology to deliver or enhance legal services. 

Successful students will discover the way that technology has transformed other sectors outside of law (e.g. FinTech, media, medicine), and how this can help us to understand, predict or even design new types of legal practice and new types of ‘lawyer’, to better support business more broadly. This module will establish legal concepts and ways of working with legal problems which are being disrupted by machines and ‘artificial intelligence’.

The teaching on the module will raise students’ awareness of the commercial significance of artificial intelligence in an increasingly global, competitive and technology-driven legal services marketplace. Students with gain sufficient knowledge and experience of artificial intelligence and machine learning to understand the capacity of those technologies to support legal services, as well as the accompanying risks which regulators are concerned with.

We aim to develop a disruptive, innovative mind-set in students that will enhance their future skills and employability to better appreciate and understand how the LawTech services of the future can be integrated within disruptive FinTech businesses.



Semester 2 Optional Modules
(select two)

Digital Strategy (EBUS605)

This module will give the student an understanding of the processes involved in developing a strategy for digital businesses and the business issues involved in deploying such a strategy. Important elements include an examination of the approaches to strategy formulation, an evaluation of the emergent digital business models, business process re-design for digital business, digital business applications and technologies, and managing and planning for digital business. Extensive use will be made of case study material.


Big Data Analytics for Business (EBUS633)

The module aims to introduce techniques for big data analytics and their applications for very large datasets in different organisations and settings. In particular, it familiarises students with existing platforms and software tools used for big data analytics, such as Apache Hadoop and Terracotta, and develops core skills and expertise needed by data scientists for processing and visualising big data. It also establishes the importance of big data science for business intelligence and describes major opportunities and limitations for running or expanding digital business enterprises.


Technology Innovation and the Future of Management (ULMS503)

The aims of this module are to (1) Provide students with a critical understanding of theories, concepts, and alternative perspectives on technology innovation management; (2) Enable students to understand and critically evaluate the ethical issues raised by the deployment of new technologies within organisations; (3) Introduce the students to current debates on global grand challenges and the ways in which they are expected to impact organisations; Introduce students to debates on digital technologies and the future of work; (4) Support the development of subject-specific and transferable skills necessary for future employment in careers that ultimately have a managerial component.


Summer
(select one)

Dissertation (ACFI912)

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.

Dissertation (ULMS790)

This module aims to develop an in-depth understanding of a student’s chosen domain of management and business knowledge, and for the student to use this knowledge to analyse a management problem or issue. A preparation phase of the module is included to provide the students with the skills necessary in problem analysis and research in order that they can undertake an independent research project. Thereafter, independent, guided, study and research are used to develop both theoretical and practical critical-thinking skills, and to present their research, analysis and findings.