Finance and Investment MSc
- Special Features
- Course Content
- Teaching & Assessment
- Entry Criteria
About the Course
This course is designed to be a specialised degree course focusing on security/portfolio investment decision making. It is structured around the syllabus of the Chartered Financial Analysts Institute. The emphasis of the course is on issues related to investment in capital markets, such as investment strategies, the evaluation of investment performance, and the use of financial statement information in evaluating company performance.
The course will allow students whose career choices are likely to lie with financial institutions or in financial management to develop the relevant analytical tools and techniques necessary for such a career. The course should also be of interest to applicants who are already practitioners in the financial field.
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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.”
Modelling Financial Decisions and Markets
This unit provides a firm foundation in the theory and practice of econometric modelling of financial decisions and markets. The first half of the course is mainly theoretical, with examples of academic and professional applications used to illustrate and elucidate; the second half reverses the emphasis. The emphasis throughout is on the rationale of the econometric methods analysed and their use in practical applications.
Advanced Financial Theory and Corporate Policy
The course is designed to provide students with a thorough knowledge of financial theory and corporate finance through the study of the interaction between firms, individuals and the macroeconomy. The module provides an opportunity for students to develop an understanding of capital markets through the study of portfolio theory, equilibrium asset pricing models, efficient market theory, option pricing theory, optimal capital structure, dividend policy and mergers. Students will be able to establish the appropriate investment criteria in a world of uncertainty, to price derivative securities, and to derive the optimal capital structure of firms.
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 terest and equity
securities and advanced techniques for portfolio evaluation.
The course provides the analytical tools to evaluate financial securities and a critical understanding of the relevance of accounting information for security valuation. The role of accounting accruals is explored and their impact on earnings as a timely firm performance measure is considered. The course also examines how excess volatility arises in financial markets, its relationship with the theory of market efficiency and why some investment strategies yield positive excess returns over time.
Recent examples of dissertations by students taking this course include:
- Modelling and forecasting risk using value-at-risk; evidence from 12 EU stock market indices
- How to deal with the pensions crisis in China
- The term structure of interest rate
Elective modules (two from)
Accounting and Corporate Policy
This unit provides a critical review of the principles that underpin accounting standards in the UK, at the Financial Accounting Standards Board in the US, and at the International Accounting Standards committee. It also examines the limitations of financial reporting in capturing all the aspects of company performance; the role of accounting information in the valuation of enterprises; and the role which a common set of accounting standards can play in international business.
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.
This course provides an analysis of the ways in which risks are quantified and managed by financial institutions and market participants. Among the topics covered are the measurement, modelling, and management of market risk, volatility, value at risk and credit risk. A critical discussion of academic papers is an integral part of the module.
Course requirements: Time Series econometrics. Students will also need to be fairly competent users of Eviews.
The aim of this module is to describe the theory and practice of financial engineering. Throughout this module we will show how to use financial theory to solve practical problems and also to illuminate the institutional material that students of financial engineering must absorb. Also to o enumerate and describe the various securities and markets in a clear and concise manner that accurately blends theory and practice.
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 MS c 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.
UK/EU: £12,000 full-time
International students: £15,000 full-time
Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.
Entry RequirementsA 2.1 degree in Economics; Finance; Mathematics; Statistics; Physics; Engineering; or an equivalent qualification from overseas. All applicants would be required to have a minimum background in mathematics or statistics and economics or finance. However a strong background in mathematics or statistics could be a substitute for the required background in economics and 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: 59 (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.