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Finance and Investment MSc

Subject area: Economics and Finance Apply Full-time
Mode of study

1-year full-time

PG Code

N300PFININV

Start date

September

Finance and Investment MSc

Overview

Postgraduate Loans: From 1 August 2016, students who live in England will be able to apply for a Postgraduate Loan in academic year 2016/17 of up to £10,000. Find out more

About the course

This Finance and Investment Masters programme with professional placement is a specialised postgraduate degree course focusing on security/portfolio investment decision making. As such, it is structured around the syllabus of the Chartered Financial Analysts Institute.

The emphasis of this postgraduate course is on issues related to investment in capital markets, such as:

  • investment strategies.
  • the evaluation of investment performance.
  • the use of financial statement information in evaluating company performance.
The MSc in Finance and Investment at Brunel University London provides a systematic understanding of the techniques of modelling financial decisions, the valuation of investments and pricing securities using data from a range of different markets.

Aims

  • This postgraduate degree 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 Finance and Investment MSc would also be beneficial and of interest to applicants who are already practitioners in the financial field.
  • You will gain an advanced knowledge and understanding of corporate finance, financial markets, financial institutions and securities.

Enquiries

For enquiries prior to application:
Tel: +44 (0)1895 265599 
Contact Course Enquiries Online

For enquiries after application:
Tel: +44 (0)1895 265265
Contact Admissions Online

Course Director: Professor Menelaos Karanasos


Course Content

The MSc course comprises of four equally weighted modules in each of the first two terms, with three being compulsory and one optional. The dissertation carries one third of the marks for the course and is undertaken after the taught modules have been completed. The compulsory modules provide an excellent coverage of compulsory material in finance designed in a way that is applicable to the areas of finance and investment.

The MSc consists of compulsory modules, a typical selection can be found below. Modules can vary from year to year, but these offer a good idea of what we teach.

Taught modules are subject to change.

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. This module covers all the preparatory technical material needed to undertake the MSc in Finance and Investment, and feeds in to 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 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 and efficient market theory.

Financial Analysis or Business Finance Workshop: The module 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 module 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.

Security Analysis and Funds Management: The aims of this module are to: 1) Provide an overview of securities traded in fixed income, stock and derivative markets and their characteristics along with the stylised facts of financial marketsm. 2) Introduce classical models used for portfolio selection and risk management.

Modelling Financial Markets and Forecasting: This Investment and Finance module aims to provide participants with the skills necessary to conduct their own empirical investigations of a range of economic and financial relationships. Students will also gain the knowledge necessary to understand the related academic and practical literature. The emphasis throughout is on the rationale of the econometric methods analysed and their use in practice to both model and predict economic and financial problems.

Macro and Financial Econometrics: 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 models, and test economic hypotheses. The module provides a firm foundation in the theory and practice of econometric modelling of financial markets and is both theoretical and applied, and includes a number of empirical examples and applications.

Corporate Finance: This module is designed to provide students with a thorough knowledge of corporate finance through the study of the interaction between firms and the capital markets. This involves option pricing theory and applications, the firm’s capital structure decision, dividend policy,mergers and acquisitions decision, and decision to go public.

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. Finance and Investment MSc 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.

Risk Management: The main topics of study on this module are financial deregulation and how globalisation and technology have combined with advances in risk analysis to create the discipline of risk management. Students are introduced to the risk management of financial instruments portfolios using risk measures, such as conditional volatility models, value-at-risk and credit risk. The module concludes with an introduction to numerical methods.

Dissertation: A 60-credit dissertation is mandatory for all postgraduate students who undertake this course. Students are invited to select a research question which they investigate under academic supervision. Data support is provided by the Economics and Finance 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 the Finance and Investment Master’s programme 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.

Read more about the structure of postgraduate degrees at Brunel and what you will learn on the course.

Special Features

The course, is one of four specialist Master's programmes developed by leading experts in the Economics and Finance Department at Brunel University London.

As a postgraduate 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

  • As a Finance and Investment Master’s student, 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.

Postgraduate 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 who will be invited to teach part of the Finance and Investment 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 Assessment

Teaching

The modules on the Finance and Investment 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 (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 finance and investment obtained via lectures, seminars, and workshops.

Students who successfully complete a professional placement will be invited to attend a tutorial day to give a presentation about their experience. An optional reflective journal during the placement may assist in preparation for the presentation and dissertation.

Assessment

All modules of this postgraduate degree course 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. MSc students are expected to work on their dissertation in the summer and to submit the final draft in mid-September. Students who follow the Professional Practice pathway will complete their placement during the summer and work on their dissertation afterwards, submitting in January.

Employability

Professional Placement

A 12-15 week placement in firms within sectors such as corporate finance, asset management, insurance, trade associations and financial media can significantly improve your job prospects upon graduating. Not only will this give you the opportunity to apply what you learn in lectures, you'll gain insight into current matters in the sector. You'll also develop your professional skills, like teamwork, communication and problem-solving, which will make you a more rounded, employable candidate when it comes to securing a job.

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 teaching themselves 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 Finance and Investment graduates also hold positions as government economists including the Bank of England and HM Treasury.

Careers

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 Finance and Investment graduates also hold positions as government economists including the Bank of England and HM Treasury.

Graduate School Workshops

In addition to the department’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 Master's Students
  • CV Writing Drop-in Clinic for Master's Students
  • How to Succeed in Assessment Centres (Master's Students)
  • Interview Techniques for Master's Students
  • Transferrable Skills for Master's 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.

More about Employability

Work Placements

About the Professional Practice Placement

All students who enrol on the full-time Finance and Investment MSc will have the opportunity to complete a placement. A placement can significantly improve your employability and expose you to real-world situations in the Banking and Finance industry, and importantly, allow you to network with industry professionals.

Students completing the work placement option will have a competitive edge in pursuing careers as high-level analysts, economists and managers in financial institutions, governments, financial regulators, business companies and central banks, as well as international organisations.

The placement option is available to full-time applicants and will last for 12-15 weeks during the summer of your course. Placements will begin at the earliest in the last week of May and will finish by 19th September 2017. Some employers may also provide a salary.

For students who complete the placement, their dissertation will be completed after the placement has finished and submit by 19th January 2018. Students who do not find a placement will do their dissertation throughout the summer and submit in September.

Securing a Placement

Students will initially enrol onto the full-time route and will only transfer to the placement route when an offer for a placement has been made. The placement will be dependent on students finding and obtaining a placement through Brunel’s Professional Development Centre. The PDC will help students prepare for the placement in the MSc Preplacement Module, by advising on writing applications, CVs, cover letters, interview training and assessment centre training.

Students who do not find a placement will do their dissertation throughout the summer and submit in September.

If you will hold a Tier 4 visa to study at Brunel, there will be no need to extend it, as normally Tier 4 visas to study an MSc in the UK expire in January in any case. If you are unsure, apply for a visa that covers the whole length of the course you intend to do.

During the Placement

As well as supervision from your employer, you will also have support from a Work Placement Tutor from Brunel. Your Work Placement Tutor will be there to support you throughout your placement via email, telephone and will make a visit to your placement before the end date.

After the Placement

Students who complete the placement will attend a Tutorial Day in September and will prepare a compulsory presentation. More details will be available closer to the time. After the Tutorial Day, students will write their dissertations and submit this in January.

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 2016/17 entry

UK/EU students: £13,500 full-time

International students: £17,200 full-time

Placement: Additional £1,000

Funding opportunities available to postgraduate students

UK/EU students can opt to pay in six equal monthly instalments: the first instalment is payable on enrolment and the remaining five by Direct Debit or credit/debit card.

Overseas students can opt to pay in two instalments: 60% on enrolment, and 40% in January for students who commence their course in September (or the remaining 40% in March for selected courses that start in January).

Entry Criteria 2016/17

  • A UK First or 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent internationally recognised qualification) in Economics, Finance, Accounting, Mathematics, Engineering, scientific subjects with some study of Corporate Finance, International Finance & Securities.
  • Applicants with a 2:1 in a business subject should demonstrate some exposure to corporate finance/financial engineering/securities analysis and mathematics/statistics/operations research
  • Applicants with relevant professional qualifications will be considered on an individual basis.
  • Applicants with a 2:2 degree in the specified subject areas that have high grades in the compulsory subjects e.g. maths/stats/econometrics/finance will be considered on an individual basis.
  • Applicants with a 2:1 degree not in the specified subject area but with a statistical background or relevant work experience will be considered on an individual basis

Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.


International and EU Entry Requirements

If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions

This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case 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 University London strongly recommends that if you will require a Tier 4 visa, you sit your IELTS test at a test centre that has been approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as being a provider of a Secure English Language Test (SELT). Not all test centres have this status. The University can accept IELTS (with the required scores) taken at any official test centre or other English Language qualifications we accept as meeting our main award entry requirements.

However, if you wish to undertake a Pre-sessional English course to further improve your English prior to the start of your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider. This is because you will only be able to apply for a Tier 4 student visa to undertake a Pre-sessional English course if you hold a SELT from a UKVI approved test centre. Find out more information about it.

Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accepts a range of other language courses. We also have 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 number of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course.