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Finance MSc

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  • Objectives
    The primary aim of the course is to provide students with advanced knowledge and understanding of the main theoretical and applied concepts in finance at an advanced level; and to provide advanced instruction and practice in the conduct of empirical research in finance. The course places considerable emphasis on empirical research methods and equips Masters students, through the taught stage of the programme, with the skills to carry out a piece of original research. This research constitutes the final dissertation stage of the Masters course. The course conforms to the ESRC guidelines for Masters degrees and has ESRC recognition as a postgraduate training year in preparation for undertaking a PhD.
  • Entry requirements
    Entry requirements: To gain a place on the course you must have top ranking academic results. We are looking for a UK bachelor degree with first or upper second class honours (overall average 65%), or the overseas equivalent with excellent results in finance subjects (accounting is not considered to be finance). When assessing your academic record, we take into account your grade average, position in class, references and the standing of the institution where you studied your qualification. We particularly welcome applications from institutions of high ranking and repute. You need to have studied or be studying a degree in finance, economics or maths. You must have taken a significant number of finance and quantitative courses during your degree (accounting is not considered to be finance). You must be taking a major or specialisation in finance in your final year and need to achieve top level results in final year finance subjects. You must also demonstrate a a solid background in quantitative skills, econometrics or maths. Applicants studying degrees in business administration, business management or commerce, can be considered but must be able to demonstrate a very strong background in finance throughout their degree and a final year major or specialisation in finance (as outlined above). Due to competition for places, preference will be given to applicants with a bachelor degree in finance or economics.
  • Academic Title
    Finance MSc
  • Course description

    MSc Finance – Programme structure

    All taught course units are 15 credits.

    Semester one

    • Introductory research methods for accounting and finance
    The course begins by explaining the methodology of positive economics and the
    associated concepts of research design. It then provides a foundation in statistics,
    computing techniques and databases, which are beneficial for successful completion of
    other postgraduate courses in Accounting and Finance.

    • Essentials of finance
    This course 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.

    • Derivative securities
    This course 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 derivatives.

    Plus, one unit from –

    • Foundations of finance theory
    This course 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 provides an advanced coverage of the main principles of investment analysis
    and portfolio management; it examines the steps involved in constructing an investor’s
    optimal portfolio, how to revise this portfolio to ensure it remains optimal, and how to
    measure the performance of this portfolio.

    • International macroeconomics and global capital markets
    This course examines major issues in the macroeconomic relations between countries.
    These include: evidence of globalisation in capital markets from parity conditions; the
    inter-temporal 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.

    Semester two

    • Financial econometrics
    This course 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.

    • Research methods and methodology in finance
    This course introduces you to basic research techniques in finance covering both theory
    and practice.

    • Corporate finance
    This course 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.

    Plus, one unit from –

    • International finance
    This course covers the developments in international financial markets and theories of
    exchange rate determination. In particular it focuses on the 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.

    • Financial statement analysis
    This course provides an understanding of the role of financial statement information in the
    decisions taken by current and prospective stakeholders in a company.

    • Real options in corporate finance
    This course 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.

    • International mergers and acquisitions: economic & financial aspects
    This course provides students 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.

    Summer research period (60 credits)

    The MSc dissertation normally consists of a literature survey in an applied/empirical area
    of accounting and finance followed by a piece of empirical work, involving either
    qualitative research methods or traditional statistical methods. Typical topic areas include

    • Corporate financial strategy
    • The investment performance of firms
    • Mergers
    • Initial public offerings
    • Market efficiency
    • The role and valuation of derivative securities

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