Finance and Accounting MSc
- Course Content
- Special Features
- Teaching & Assessment
- Entry Criteria
About the Course
The 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. Subsequently, it provides a solid platform for a successful career in the financial sector and financial accounting.
The aim of this course 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 will provide a solid platform for a successful career in the financial sector.
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The 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 statics.
Introduction to Quantitative Methods
This module provides a broad introduction to the theory and practice of econometrics. Econometrics is concerned with the systematic study of economic phenomena using observed data. The aim is to help students use statistical methods to estimate the parameters of economic moduels, and test economic hypotheses.
Main topics of study include option pricing theory; capital structure and the cost of capital; dividend policy and mergers.
Company Valuation and Performance
The modules uses financial statement information in assessing firms’ financial performance, value, and creditworthiness. It employs both technical and fundamental analyses and applies them to different valuation contexts. Among the different approaches discussed, emphasis is laid on intrinsic valuation (discounted cash-flow models) as a main tool for valuing equity and other assets, characterizing the key inputs and outputs of the analysis. A number of real-world cases are used to illustrate the theory, following a step-by step methodology. The use of corporate financial statements in estimating the fundamental value of equity is discussed; as well as their limitations in the context of securities valuation. Building upon basic knowledge of accounting and finance, and providing some background tools in finance, the module is accessible to both finance and accounting students.
Accounting and Corporate Governance
Main topics of study include the variation in accounting standards across the major economies and their economic significance; accounting for intangibles; accounting for financial instruments and directors' share options; accounting for comprehensive income; the Cadbury report, the Greenbury report, the Hampel report and the combined code on corporate governance; directors: independence, responsibilities, remuneration; internal control; audit: internal, external, audit committees; independence; shareholders; the role of institutional shareholders; metrics to measure corporate governance.
Recent examples of dissertations by students taking this course include:
- Volatility spill over effects from developed to emerging markets;
- Interrelationship between banking and currency crises;
- Pension funds - is there an alternative? Comparison with property investment.
Elective Modules (two from)
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 abovementioned 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.
Capital Markets and Securities Valuation
This module is designed for those wishing to study the financial markets. The material begins with a “macro” view of the financial market by looking at the problem of investing in portfolios (combinations of securities) and then goes on to study the details of fixed interest and equity securities. It concludes with portfolio management and evaluation. Along the way the theory of finance is imparted via illustrations in portfolio theory, the analysis of fixed in terest and equity securities and advanced techniques for portfolio evaluation.
Financial Intermediation and Monetary Policy
The module explores the nature of monetary policy as well as links between money, financial intermediaries and the broader economy. We firstly examine the functions of money and how it is created. We then explore the role of money in the economy and its effect on inflation, business cycles and interest rates. Because these economic variables are so important to the health of the economy, we investigate how monetary policy is and should be conducted. We evaluate the institutional arrangements of central banks and how central banks have dealt with monetary problems and crises in the recent past.
Business Finance Workshop
The course is provides the following: The characteristics of financial data and accounting information. The model building methodology applied to accounting data and financial market information. The main estimation techniques and theories of finance as they are applied in practice.The methods used to diagnostically evaluate statistical models as applied in practice. The ability to interpret and analyse financial methods and data. The ability to determine the appropriateness of method and theory applied to different data types and practical settings. The ability to select inferential procedures to appropriately assess financial problems. The ability to predict financial behaviour and assess models in a practical environment. The ability to evaluate empirical research in accounting and finance. The ability to value financial assets. Demonstrate generic and transferable skills
The course 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.
This module analyses 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 analyzed, discussing arguments in favor of fixed exchange rates/target zones and under which conditions these result in speculative attacks and/or currency crises.
Capital Markets and Securities Valuation
This course is designed for those wishing to study the financial markets. The material begins with a “macro” view of the financial market by looking at the problem of investing in portfolios (combinations of securities) and then goes on to study the details of fixed interest and equity securities. It concludes with portfolio management and evaluation. Along the way the theory of finance is imparted via illustrations in portfolio theory, the analysis of fixed in interest and equity securities and advanced techniques for portfolio evaluation.
Bank Regulation and Macro-Prudential Policy
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 and product regulation in financial systems. Bank regulation in emerging market countries.
Our range of general and specialist courses reflects our particular strengths in financial markets and institutions, financial accounting, macroeconomics, econometrics and microeconomics.
Academic staff are involved in international research, reflected in a strong publications record and a vibrant PhD programme. In the 2008 RAE, 95% of academics were rated as conducting research of international standing.
Students in Economics and Finance benefit from the combination of specialist lecturer expertise, access to wider disciplinary expertise, and a multi‑disciplinary approach to course development that is a particular strength of the School of Social Sciences.
Economics and Finance Research Centres
- Brunel Macroeconomic Research Centre
- Centre For Economic Development and Institutions
- Centre for Empirical Finance
- Corporate Governance and Finance Research Centre
- Centre for the Analysis of Risk and Optimisation Modelling Applications
What our students say
- Joseph: “Brunel’s graduates have amongst the highest graduate starting salaries in the UK.”
- Huong: “Something I love here at Brunel is the international environment, which enriches my understanding of different cultures.”
- Jigar: “I found the tutors very friendly and they were ready to explain everything from scratch.”
- Vidar: “Academic staff at Brunel are of a high standard and the University has first class facilities to offer its students.”
- Enid: “The programme has equipped me to make a meaningful contribution to the development process in my country as a government analyst, particularly with regard to financial regulations, practices and institutions.”
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 this year. The MSc in Business Finance started in October 1991: former students from this course 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 and some students from the Business Finance degrees are at the Bank of Cyprus, HSBC in Istanbul, Standard Life in the UK and TD Bank Financial Group in Canada.
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
International students: £16,000 full-time
Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.
Entry RequirementsA 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)
- TOEFL Internet test: 92 (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.