Business Finance MSc
- Course Content
- Special Features
- Teaching & Assessment
- Entry Criteria
About the Course
The MSc in Business Finance is designed to enhance students' understanding of the operation of the firm, with a special focus on the financing decisions it must make. This requires an evaluation of the firm’s relationship to financial markets. It also requires an understanding of the theory and practice underlying corporate finance and investment decisions. By studying the operation and design of corporate financial systems, and analysing business financing and investment decisions, this Masters programme should enable students to find a role within the finance department of large firms or in government bodies, as well as provide them with tools to help organise smaller businesses.
The objective of the Business Finance MSc is to produce graduates with a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of business finance and company valuation within the context of modern financial markets, without necessarily requiring a high level of mathematical or statistical knowledge as a prerequisite. The key transferable research skills acquired will enable students to proceed to PhD study. In addition, the programme will equip students with the key skills required to undertake further professional development and seek career opportunities within financial management.
AimsThe aim of the Masters in Business Finance programme is to provide a rigorous treatment of the theory of corporate finance as well as to provide students with the econometric and mathematical techniques necessary to understand the literature and undertake empirical investigations in the area of finance.
Through a selection of optional modules, this postgraduate programme is designed to offer you the opportunity to obtain more specialised knowledge through options such as Financial Reporting in Capital Markets or International Finance, and International Accounting Standards and Policy or Investment Valuation Models.
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The full-time Business Finance Masters programme is designed with four equally weighted modules in each of the first two terms, with three being compulsory and one an option from a list. The dissertation carries one third of the marks for the course and is undertaken after the modules have been completed. The part-time option is designed with two modules in each of four terms. The compulsory modules give an excellent coverage of core material in finance designed in a way to be applicable to business. The Business Finance MSc analyses the theory and practice of business finance, focusing on financial decision making within the firm and how the firm interacts with the financial markets and institutions.
Through the compulsory modules, the course provides students with a rigorous treatment of the theory of corporate finance as well as to providing econometric and mathematical techniques necessary to understand the literature and undertake empirical investigations in the area of finance.
Through the optional modules the course is also designed to offer a broader perspective on the subject matter and allows you to cover specific areas in accounting and finance that is of particular interest to you.
Modules are subject to change.
Essentials of Mathematics and Statistics: This module ensures that students have a systematic comprehension of the required minimum knowledge of mathematics and statistics to successfully meet the learning outcomes at postgraduate level. This course covers all the preparatory technical material needed to undertake the MSc Business Finance programme, and feeds into all assessed modules.
Quantitative Methods for Business Finance: This module provides an introduction to statistical techniques needed in the study of business and finance. The materials and explanations that will be presented are suitable for an introductory course on quantitative methods or statistics. The module assumes no previous knowledge of econometrics and is designed to give a thorough understanding of core econometrics. In particular, students will learn how to (a) perform a statistical analysis and undertake hypothesis testing and (b) perform a simple and multiple regression analysis.
Foundations of Finance: On completion of this module students will have an understanding of various financial instruments, markets and concepts which are necessary when conducting the corporate investment decision. Topics include bond and equity markets and instruments, discounting, compounding and the time value of money, the decision rules relating to the capital budgeting techniques and their application, the incorporation of risk and uncertainty into an investment decision, including portfolio theory and the Capital Asset Pricing Model.
Business Economics: Students will develop a sound knowledge of the theory of business economics and its applications, as well as acquiring an understanding of (i) the relationship between government and business and (ii) the macroeconomic environment of business. Topics include fundamental economic problems, analysing market structure, business strategy in different market structures, business activity, employment and inflation, globalisation and multinational business.
Company Valuation: This module discusses the fundamental approach to company valuation and applies the fundamental analysis in different contexts, such as security valuation and credit risk. In addition, the module examines the limitations of corporate financial statements in the context of company valuation.
Business Finance: This module aims to provide students with an understanding of the financing decisions and policy of modern corporations.
Business Finance Workshop: Following successful completion of this module, students will be able to: demonstrate a sound knowledge of the operation of financial markets and the theory underpinning corporate finance policy; understand how theory and applications are linked in practice and be able to relate this to the techniques used to model financial decisions and markets. Students will see the methods that arise in other modules being applied to different types of financial data from different countries, and gain a better understanding of how they are used in a corporate environment.
Dissertation: The objective of the dissertation is to bring to bear the techniques and perspectives covered in the taught part of the course upon a specific issue of interest. The dissertation should provide an independent and critical appraisal of an issue, normally (although not always) involving an empirical analysis of the topic being investigated. Although the dissertation is likely to be empirical in nature and will probably involve the use of econometric modelling, it is not about econometrics. The dissertation sets out to investigate a question/issue/problem of interest, and in this context, econometrics is simply a tool that helps us address and answer the question of interest.
Students must choose two optional modules from the following.
Either Financial Reporting in Capital Markets: This module covers a variety of financial reporting issues related to the capital market: accounting for valuation with special emphasis on cash flows and revenue recognition; capital market efficiency related to financial statements announcement and financial analysts forecast; corporate disclosure and corporate governance (The Cadbury Report and The Combined Code on Corporate Governance); financial statements as the measurement of economic income and value.
Or International Finance: The aim of this module is to analyse the international financial system. In particular, it considers the operation of foreign exchange markets, including forward, futures and option markets. Special attention is paid to the use of currency derivatives for hedging and pricing decisions, discussing issues of foreign exchange risk management and international capital budgeting. In addition, the use of such instruments in speculation is assessed, relating them to key equilibrium notions. The main theories of exchange rate determination are analysed, discussing arguments in favour of fixed exchange rates/target zones and under which conditions these result in speculative attacks and/or currency crises.
Either International Accounting Standards and Policy: This module introduces and evaluates key accounting issues related to International Financial Reporting Standards required by investors. For example, the economic role of accounting standards, provisions and contingent liabilities, business combination, accounting for executive share options, financial instruments, pension accounting, and recent accounting topics in academic research e.g. accounting conservatism and accounting information environment.
Or Investment Valuation Models: This module analyses how financial market information (corporate, country-specific and global information) can be used to estimate the value of different investments. It covers a range of different models that are available to an analyst performing investment valuation, while presenting the common elements in these models to provide a framework that can be used to select the right model for any valuation scenario.
- Essentials of Mathematics and Statistics
- Foundations of Finance
- Quantitative Methods for Business Finance
- Business Finance Workshop
- Business Finance
- Business Economics
- Company Valuation
Students must choose two optional modules from the following:
- Financial Reporting in Capital Markets
- International Finance
- International Accounting Standards and Policy
- Investment Valuation Models
- The Dissertation must be submitted in the spring term of the third year.
A key feature of this course that distinguishes it from other Finance Masters programmes is that it emphasises the applied aspects of Business Finance and financial decision making within the firm. As such, there is more focus on real-life, up-to-date analysis of business decisions and less emphasis on the theoretical foundations and mathematical underpinnings of finance. This is particularly suited to students who would like to enhance their knowledge of Finance within a business context but who have backgrounds in a wider business or management field.
Another feature is that the emphasis on the applied nature of financial decision making is reinforced through the Business Finance Workshop. This is a series of presentations and discussions of cutting-edge topics led by industry leaders and practitioners.
The course is one of four specialist Masters programmes developed by leading experts in the Economics and Finance Department at Brunel. As a student here you will be part of a long standing and thriving environment for research and study with many advantages and benefits such as:
Outstanding academic expertise and research-led teaching
- 95% of our academics are nationally and internationally recognised for their work in economics and econometrics in the latest Research Assessment Exercise (2008)
- As a result, you will benefit from up-to-the-minute research-led teaching by academic staff who regularly publish in international peer-reviewed journals, have an impact on international regulatory design and obtain significant research grants.
Professional training facilities
- You will have access to a variety of professional databases used in business and the finance industry which include Datastream, Bloomberg, Bank Scope, Osiris, Reuters 3000 Xtra and Thomson One Banker
- We hold regular training sessions and external visits with Bloomberg, which will enhance your research and expose you to real-world factors that will be important in future finance related employment.
- Brunel offers a number of scholarships for UK, EU and international students.
Excellent links with leading organisations
- We have excellent links with business and the finance industry, which will help you to network with organisations and get ahead in your career.
Industry talks, guest lectures and research seminars
- A number of industry talks with professionals from the private sector will be invited to teach part of the programme and will provide you with further practical experience
- There is a wide range of events on offer, such as guest lectures and research seminars to keep you up-to-date on the latest developments and will help build your contacts.
Facts and Figures
We are one of the best Economics and Finance Departments in the UK to provide research-active teaching and our research is focused in the following four research centres:
Brunel Macroeconomic Research Centre (BMRC) – We are a group of experienced macroeconomists that focus on research in monetary policy, unemployment and the labour market, and financial development and growth.
Centre for Economic Development and Institutions (CEDI) – CEDI’s activities cover the emerging research field of economic development and institutions, incorporating development economics, comparative economics and transition economics.
Centre for Empirical Finance (CEF) – The main research areas covered within this centre are financial econometrics, risk modelling, micro finance, international finance and computational finance.
Centre for Accounting and Corporate Governance (CACG) – CACG’s research focus includes: What is the process of governance failure? How should it be defined and how can it be predicted? How does governance impact on managers’ incentives? How is governance affected by cultural norms and how does governance affect financial markets?
Effective learning is achieved through a combination of lectures, seminars, directed independent study, workshops, oral presentations, and varied assessment patterns. Use of appropriate IT resources is expected (e.g. electronic resources to access data, and relevant software programmes used in research methods). Dissertation research will give you the opportunity to integrate your knowledge of important themes, frameworks and research findings in business finance obtained via lectures, seminars, and workshops.
All modules are assessed by a combination of coursework and final examinations. Students who successfully complete the taught part of the course can proceed to the dissertation stage. Students are expected to work on their dissertation in the summer and to submit the final draft in mid-September.
The Department of Economics and Finance is proud to be celebrating 20 years of taught postgraduate education in Finance. Former students from our MSc programmes are now themselves teaching in the Australian Business School, EdHec Business School, Nice, Glasgow University and Oslo Business School. Other MSc students hold senior positions in financial institutions including the Bank of Cyprus, HSBC in Istanbul, Standard Life in the UK and TD Bank Financial Group in Canada.
Many of our graduates also hold positions as government economists including the Bank of England and HM Treasury.
Graduate School workshops
In addition to the School’s events and training sessions, you will have the opportunity to undertake workshops and skills training provided by the University’s Graduate School, for example:
- CV Writing for Masters Students
- CV Writing Drop-in Clinic for Masters Students
- How to Succeed in Assessment Centres (Masters Students)
- Interview Techniques for Masters Students
- Transferrable Skills for Masters Students
For further information visit the Graduate School.
At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.
UK/EU students: £12,600 full-time; £6,300 part-time
International students: £16,000 full-time
Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.
Applicants should have a 2.1 in Business, Economics, Finance, Banking or Investment areas. Applicants with a 2.1 in Management with a background in Economics or Maths (eg an A-level in Economics, Finance, Maths, statistics, or 40 credits or above in Economics, Maths or statistics at university) will also be considered. Applicants with ACA and ACCA qualifications will be considered. Applicants with a high 2.2 in Economics and exceptional applications including highly relevant personal statements and strong academic references may be considered on an individual basis.
English Language Requirements
- IELTS: 6.5 (min 6 in all areas)
- Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
- BrunELT: 65% (min 60% in all areas)
Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accept a range of other language courses. We also have a range of Pre-sessional English language courses, for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.
Our International Pathways and Language Centre offers a range of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course.