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Finance and Business Economics MSc

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  • Objectives
    The course aims to provide advanced training for students in both finance and related areas of business economics. The course has an international orientation, with a strong empirical content. You carry out a major piece of empirical research in a dissertation project from either the finance or business economics areas.
  • Entry requirements
    The MSc Finance and Business Economics course will appeal to students who wish to pursue a career in financial markets, banking and financial institutions, or in industry. The course also provides excellent training in research methods and practices for anyone who wishes to progress to studying for a PhD with a view to obtaining eventually a position on the staff of a Business School.
  • Academic Title
    Finance and Business Economics MSc
  • Course description
    Module details

    Typical compulsory course units and optional course units may include: Essentials of Finance; Data Analysis for Business Economics; International Macroeconomics and Global Capital Markets; Foundations of Finance Theory; Portfolio Investment; Derivative Securities; International Trade: Theory and Policy; Foreign Competition, Industrial Performance and Economic Growth; Corporate Governance and Financial Reputation; Corporate Finance;The Analysis of Business Structures; Financial Econometrics; Financial Statement Analysis; Research Methods and Methodology in Finance;        International Mergers and Acquisitions; International Finance; Real Options in Corporate Finance and Business and Government.

    All taught course units are 15 credits.

    Semester 1

    - Essentials of Finance
    This course unit provides the basic theoretical foundations of theories of asset pricing. The
    course focuses on the structure of the main theories of asset pricing that are most used in
    empirical and applied finance, such as Portfolio Theory, the Capital Asset Pricing Model and
    Arbitrage Pricing Theory, as well as providing an understanding of the formal construction of
    asset-pricing models.

    - Data Analysis for Business Economics
    The aim of the course unit is to give an introduction to econometric methods, in particular to
    linear regression as the major statistical cornerstone of econometric work.

    - International Macroeconomics and Global Capital Markets
    This course unit examines major issues in the macroeconomic relations between countries.
    These include: evidence of globalisation in capital markets from parity conditions; the intertemporal
    approach to current account dynamics; the fundamental determinants of the real
    exchange rate; the sustainability of current account deficits, with special reference to the US
    experience; capital account liberalisation; alternative measures of international capital
    mobility, and the Feldstein-Horioka puzzle; economic growth, theory and policy.

    One course unit from:

    - Foundations of Finance Theory
    This course unit provides a foundation in the most important models in finance: general noarbitrage
    relationships (forward parity, put-call parity, MM theorem, the law of one price),
    stock valuation models (APT, CAPM, TSP) and option pricing models.

    - Portfolio Investment
    This course unit provides an advanced coverage of the principles of investment analysis and
    of a wide range of topics in portfolio management. It aims to bring state-of-the-art practices in
    the finance industry to the classroom and supplement it with theories and recent empirical
    findings in the area.

    - Derivative Securities
    This course unit covers the valuation and application of financial derivatives instruments, and
    the use of no-arbitrage arguments and risk neutral valuation for the relative pricing of financial

    - International Trade: Theory and Policy
    The course unit aims to present a thorough review of the economics and politics of
    international trade and investment and to impart skills to critically investigate, analyse and
    interpret economic data relating to current world trade events.

    - Foreign Competition, Industrial Performance and Economic Growth
    This course unit analyses theoretical and empirical developments in the interactions between
    multinational enterprises and the factors affecting industrial competitiveness and economic
    performance at the level of individual countries.

    - Corporate Governance and Financial Reputation
    This course unit introduces an overview of key topics in corporate governances, for example:
    economic history and competing economic models, Anglo-American versus Continental;
    ownership and institutional structures; CEO remuneration, internal and external corporate
    mechanism. The other half of the module provides practices of financial reporting and
    fundamentals, analysis of corporate governance reports and their relationships with
    accounting and auditing.

    Semester 2

    - Corporate Finance
    This course unit covers theoretical and empirical aspects of corporate financing, capital
    structure and dividend policy, and more advanced topics in agency theory, signalling,
    incomplete contracting, incomplete information games, corporate control and governance,
    and executive compensation.

    - The Analysis of Business Structures
    This course unit introduces you to the main ideas involved in the economic analysis of
    business organisational structures. It focuses on the economics of organizational architecture.
    The course views organizational architecture as consisting of three aspects of corporate
    organisation: the assignment of decision rights to individuals and sub-units of the firm; the
    systems used to evaluate the performance of individuals and business units, and the methods
    of rewarding individuals

    -Financial Econometrics
    This course unit covers OLS, ML and GMM estimation methods, univariate time series
    analysis and various topical issues such as ARCH, vector autoregressive models, unit
    roots, error correction, co-integration and non-linear time series models.
    One course unit from:

    - Financial Statement Analysis
    This course unit provides an understanding of the role of financial statement information in the
    decisions taken by current and prospective stakeholders in a company.

    - Research Methods and Methodology in Finance
    This course unit introduces you to basic research techniques in finance covering both theory
    and practice.

    - International Mergers and Acquisitions
    This course unit provides you with a conceptual framework for the understanding of mergers
    and acquisitions. Using both economic and financial analysis, the course investigates how the
    basic principles arising from an extensive theoretical tradition can give meaning to a raft of
    empirical findings about the phenomenon.

    - International Finance
    This course unit covers developments in international financial markets and theories of
    exchange rate determination. In particular, it focuses on theoretical and applied aspects of the
    causes of financial/exchange rate crises, the relationship between international capital flows,
    investor behaviour (including sentiment) and international asset pricing, and the potential for
    international financial market contagion of financial crises.

    - Real Options in Corporate Finance
    This course unit evaluates strategy and management value in property, power, resources,
    R&D, football, dot.coms, telcos, banking and consulting. The course surveys the real options
    that practitioners have identified in these industries.

    - Business and Government
    The purpose of this course unit is to explore the interaction between business and
    government; the economic principles underlying government intervention in industries,
    markets and firms; the arguments for and against public and private ownership; and the
    regulatory framework for monopolistic industries and maintaining competitive structures.

    Summer research period

    Research dissertation (60 credits)
    The dissertation normally consists of a literature survey in an applied or empirical area of
    finance or business economics, followed by a piece of empirical work. Half of the students
    are supervised on business economics projects by staff in MIBS, and the other half of the
    enrolled students are supervised in MAFG on a finance project.

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