Past students have gained employment in a wide diversity of roles within the financial services sector worldwide including positions in investment analysis, private equity and portfolio management in financial institutions in London, Europe and overseas. On satisfactory completion of the programme students wishing to enter the financial sector will be eligible for exemption from the membership examinations of the Securities and Investment Institute (a UK professional body).
This course is aimed at graduates who are aiming for careers in investment analysis, stock broking, securities trading, fund management, banking and investment banking in financial institutions in London, Europe and overseas. The course is also suitable for students who are aiming for careers in corporate financial management in large non-financial companies. There are eight taught units which cover theory, empirical research and applications in the three key areas of corporate finance; financial markets and institutions, investments and corporate finance. The course is designed for graduates who wish to develop their knowledge and understanding of finance, and to acquire related skills, either as a preperation for a career in finance or for further study.
-Modern Portfolio Theory
-Option Pricing Theory
-Decision and Risk Analysis
Modern Portfolio Theory
The Modern portfolio theory will review and extend your knowledge of key theoretical issues; expected return, volatility, the efficient frontier, the random walk hypothesis, the efficient markets hypothesis, CAPM, Arbitrage Pricing Theory, and multi-factor risk models. The main way in which this unit extends undergraduate level studies is that you will learn how these models are tested in the guided critical analysis of the research literature, and you will also learn how to build and test these models for yourself.
Introductory courses usually leave you wondering how to construct the efficient frontier, or how to build and test a risk-factor model. In this unit you will learn how it's done. The unit lecturer will guide you through these methods step by step in the lectures and quantitative methods workshops. You will then apply these skills in the practical assignment.
Option Pricing Theory and Derivatives
Modern derivatives markets have only existed on a large scale since the early 1970s. Although financial journalists often portray derivatives as a complex and obscure topic, the subject is now a core part of finance, of equal importance to equities and bonds. Furthermore, its reputation of being a difficult area is undeserved; derivatives are probably easier to understand than either stocks or bonds.
Some entrants onto the programme will have had little exposure to derivatives products. Therefore Option Pricing Theory begins at the beginning, by reviewing the basic facts and terminology about options. The unit develops some ideas in time series (in non-mathematical terms), and goes on to develop the main option pricing models. You learn how to apply these models in the Option Pricing Theory quantitative methods workshops. The unit covers the empirical research on whether or not these models work in real world markets (they do), and you will then learn how to apply option-pricing theory to a range of speculation, arbitrage and hedging strategies.
The aim of this unit is to develop a critical awareness of the financial environment from both an accounting and finance perspective. Having studied this unit, students should understand the purpose of a company's annual report, and its relationship with corporate governance regulations both domestically and internationally; be able to analyse and interpret company information, both from the stock market and annual report; examine the role of the regulatory environment for corporate reporting and the stock market; understand the pricing of bonds and shares.
Decision and Risk Analysis
This unit covers key areas of decision and risk analysis including: fundamental concepts and models, which can be used to understand and inform the process of decision making, key statistical concepts, selecting and using appropriate software tools as aids to decision making. An understanding of these concepts is important, in order that students can undertake their own analysis of financial data and gain understanding from articles on finance.
-Fixed Investment Securities
Plus 1 unit from:
-International Banking and Finance
The Derivatives unit covers a range of other important derivatives products, futures, forwards and swaps. The main focus of this unit is the application of these products to hedging strategies in investment management and corporate finance.
Behavioural Finance leads on directly from Modern Portfolio Theory. From research carried out only since the early 1990s, we now know that stock market returns are predictable over long horizons (three to five years), and that it is possible to develop stock market investment strategies that yield high returns at low risk. The explanations of why this is possible lie in behavioural finance, in the psychology of investors and the institutional structure of the market.
The unit uses the quantitative methods developed in Modern Portfolio Theory to build and test a range of stock market investment strategies based on behavioural finance. Again, the unit lecturer will guide you through the difficult areas step by step.
Fixed income securities
This unit provides a thorough understanding of the fixed income securities market and develops the analytical skills specific to valuing fixed income securities and the management of interest rate risk.
Topics covered on the Corporate Finance unit include shareholder value and the goals of the firm, corporate governance, advanced capital budgeting, strategic analysis of capital investment decisions, dividend policy, financing policy, and mergers and acquisitions.
International Banking and Finance
Banks play a fundamental role in domestic and global financial markets. The second semester unit focuses on key issues in international banking, covering both descriptive and explanatory aspects.
The Business Valuation unit develops particular issues in corporate finance practice related to the important area of business valuation. This area of study is particularly relevant for mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings, litigation and forensic accounting work.
Students on the masters will be required to also prepare a 15,000 word research dissertation. The dissertation requires a clear and well-motivated introduction to the topic area, an extensive and well-referenced review of the existing research literature, a discussion of the methodology used in the student's own empirical research, a clear presentation of the results of this empirical research, and a critical analysis of the conclusions and recommendations resulting from the research