Finance and Accounting MSc

  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Special Features
  • Teaching & Assessment
  • Employability
  • Fees
  • Entry Criteria

About the Course

The Finance and Accounting Masters programme includes topics such as the theory of finance, company valuation, the assessment of corporate risk, international accounting standards, corporate governance and financial statement analysis.

Although designed for students interested in a career in business and consulting, accountancy firms, financial institutions and government, this MSc in Finance and Accounting also provides a thorough preparation for academic research in finance and accounting. It is also appropriate for those with professional qualifications in accounting who wish to obtain a deeper understanding of financial accountancy.

Aims

The aim of the Masters course in Finance and Accounting is to produce graduates who have a sound knowledge of both accounting standards and corporate governance, as well as their role in the operation of financial markets. It is designed to provide a solid platform of specific subject knowledge alongside a set of highly valuable and transferable employability skills for a successful career in the financial sector.

Enquiries

Course enquiries
Email sss-pgenquiries@brunel.ac.uk
Tel +44 (0)1895 265285

For applications already submitted
Contact Admissions online
Tel +44 (0)1895 265265

View the School of Social Sciences website

Related Courses

Course Content

The full-time course 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 courses are complete. 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 accounting. The Finance and Accounting programme includes topics such as the theory of finance, company valuation, the assessment of corporate risk, international accounting standards, corporate governance and financial statement analysis.

All students will also be offered research training to prepare them for undertaking independent research and preparing a dissertation in an accounting and/or finance related topic.

All students take a one-week introductory course in mathematics and statistics.

Taught modules are subject to change.

Compulsory Modules

Essentials of Mathematics and Statistics: The aim of this module is to ensure that students have a systematic comprehension of the required minimum knowledge of mathematics and statistics to successfully meet the learning outcomes at postgraduate level. It covers all the preparatory technical material needed to undertake the MSc in Finance and Accounting, and feeds into all assessed modules.

Financial Theory: This module is designed to provide students with a thorough knowledge of financial theory through the study of the interaction between firms, individuals and the macro-economy. It provides an opportunity for students to develop an understanding of capital markets through the study of portfolio theory, equilibrium asset pricing models and efficient market theory.

Financial Reporting in Capital Markets: The main aims of this module include developing a framework for understanding and mapping between underlying economic events in the capital market and the information provided by financial statements; developing knowledge and the concept of how the mapping between financial statements and economic events affects the position and activities of firms in capital markets; and developing critical thinking of on-going controversies and debates related to financial reporting.

Quantitative Methods for Finance and Economics: The module is fundamental to the empirical content of most of the other modules that comprise the Masters in Finance and Accounting. It also provides the necessary tools for the dissertation to be undertaken by Masters students in the summer term. The aim of the module is to enable students: to conduct their own empirical investigations of a range of financial and accounting relationships; to impart the knowledge necessary to understand empirical analysis in academic related journals; and to provide a basic foundation in the theory and practice of econometric modelling as applied in finance and economics.

International Accounting Standards and Policy: The main aims of this module are to illustrate the key aspects of international financial reporting standards which are important to investors. The module introduces students to financial statement analysis and research on accounting information in financial markets.

Company Valuation: The main aims of this module are to discuss the fundamental approach of company valuation and to apply the fundamental analysis to different contexts, such as security valuation and credit risk. The module also examines the limitations of corporate financial statements in the context of company valuation.

Investment Valuation Models: Students will have the opportunity to analyse how financial market information (corporate-, country-specific and global information) can be used to estimate the value of different investments. The module covers a range of different models that are available to an analyst performing investment valuation, while presenting the common elements in these models. The module also provides a framework that can be used to select the right model for any valuation scenario.

Dissertation: A 60-credit dissertation is mandatory for all students who graduate with an MSc degree. Students are invited to select a research question which they investigate under supervision by an academic. Data support is provided by the Department, including Bloomberg and Bankscope. Dissertations raise the employability of students by allowing them to choose research questions that are specific to their job market requirements. Recent examples of dissertations by students taking this course include:

  • Volatility spill-over effects from developed to emerging markets;
  • The interrelationship between banking and currency crises.

Optional Modules

Banking: The module aims to explore the nature of banking as well as links between financial intermediaries, risks and the broader economy. As a starting point we will use economic theories to justify the existence of banks and why they can perform certain roles better than other intermediaries. We then focus on the different risks associated with banking – whilst these are inevitable outcomes of banking activity their active management at a micro and macro level can reduce financial fragilities. In regards to the latter, the last part of the course focuses on bank regulators’ objectives and how these are accommodated in research and policy framework such as Basel III.

International Finance: Students will have the opportunity to analyse the international financial system. In particular, this module 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.

Derivative Securities: The module enumerates and describes the various securities and financial markets in a clear and concise manner that accurately blends theory and practice. This module describes the financial derivative securities that are used in modern finance, and outlines the principles behind their valuation. Students are introduced to options, futures, swaps, bonds and the yield curve. This is followed by option pricing techniques, notably the continuous time no arbitrage pricing theory of Black and Scholes, and the lattice approach of Cox, Ross and Rubinstein, applied to options on stocks.

Business Finance Workshop: This exciting module provides training in the following areas:

  • Characteristics of financial data and accounting information
  • Model building methodology applied to accounting data and financial market information
  • Main estimation techniques and theories of finance as they are applied in practice
  • Methods used to diagnostically evaluate statistical models as applied in practice.

It also equips students with the ability to:

  • Interpret and analyse financial methods and data
  • Determine the appropriateness of method and theory applied to different data types and practical settings
  • Select inferential procedures to appropriately assess financial problems
  • Predict financial behaviour and assess models in a practical environment
  • Evaluate empirical research in accounting and finance
  • Value financial assets
  • Demonstrate generic and transferable skills.

Bank Regulation and Macro-Prudential Policy: The module covers the following topics: Banks, capital and liquidity in an unregulated system, the rationale for bank regulation and the role of market failure, financial crises and their economic and fiscal consequences, direct regulation through capital, liquidity and balance sheet controls, macro-prudential regulation, product regulation in financial systems, and bank regulation in emerging market countries.

Global Financial Markets: Development finance, one of the key areas of economics, has attracted interests of academics and practitioners alike. Only in the last five years the financial sector has gone through a number of remarkable structural changes as a result of the increasing financial integration worldwide. The general trend towards greater global financial integration has been bolstered by the increasing harmonisation of the regulatory framework and the increasing integration of the underlying financial infrastructure. The above mentioned financial developments create the need for economists, managers, traders and analysts to make rapid and often far-reaching decisions about their short term operations and long term strategies. The aim of this module is to provide a good grasp of both the key areas of development finance (the finance-growth relationship) and selected aspects of the applied economics of the modern financial institutions. The topics covered include financial development and economic growth. Special attention will be given to the topics of financial crisis and the need and role of regulation.

Special Features

This Masters course in Finance and Accounting allows specialisation through the appropriate programme along designated pathways in Financial Reporting, International Accounting Standards, or Financial Management. It combines quantitative methods, financial theory and technical accounting, in order to provide a solid platform for a successful career in the financial sector.

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.

Scholarships

  • 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?

Teaching and Learning

The modules on the Finance and Accounting Masters programme incorporate a diverse range of teaching methods which reflect the module learning outcomes and the demands of the subject material. 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 (eg 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 finance and accounting obtained via lectures, seminars, and workshops.

Assessment

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.

Employability

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 in accountancy and professional services, finance and banking, and business and management consultancy. The programme aims to introduce the students not only to the economics of finance and accounting but more importantly to establish the links between the changing nature of financial markets, institutions and investors' decisions. Our graduates are thus highly employable in the finance sector.

The MSc in Finance and Accounting is designed to develop specific subject knowledge alongside a set of highly valuable and transferable employability skills, including:

  • Understanding of business procedure and the nature and functionality of organisations, and the ability to analyse the contexts in which accounting operates
  • The ability to understand, manipulate and interpret complex financial and numerical data and appreciate statistical concepts
  • Applying a methodical approach to analyse information critically, assessing all aspect of a situation and evaluating possible solutions
  • Developing organisational skills such as learning to think logically, pay attention to detail and organise the time and work efficiently.

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.

Careers

Graduates will have acquired a sound knowledge of both accounting standards and corporate governance, as well as their role in the operation of financial markets. As such the course provides a solid platform for a successful career in numerous areas of the financial sector.

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.

» More about Employability

Fees for 2014/15 entry

UK/EU students: £12,600 full-time

International students: £16,000 full-time

Read about funding opportunities available to postgraduate students

Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.

Entry Requirements

A 2.1 degree in Economics; Finance; or an equivalent qualification from overseas. All applicants would be required to have a minimum background in mathematics or statistics; accountancy; and economics or finance.

English Language Requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 (min 6 in all areas)
  • TOEFL Paper test: 580 (TWE 4.5) PBT
  • TOEFL Internet test: 92 IBT (R20, L20, S20, W20)
  • 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.

Page last updated: Thursday 19 December 2013