The programme provides essential understanding of the theory of finance and of the skills required in practice. You learn about corporate finance, techniques of quantitative analysis, global financial markets, analysis of financial statements, derivatives, portfolio management, investment analysis, risk management and behavioural finance. You develop spreadsheet skills and econometric techniques for analysing corporate performance and identifying trends in financial markets and have access to financial databases, including DataStream. The dissertation, completed in the summer, enables development of individual interests.
Structure and Content
This one-year, full-time programme has an initial taught component of two 15-week semesters, involving lectures, practical case study work and workshops, followed by a supervised dissertation. In the Autumn Semester you will take the following modules:
* Financial Reporting: Provides an appreciation of the underlying assumptions and limitations of accounting information. Measurement and reporting problems involved in financial accounting ‘solutions’ adopted by regulators are discussed. Methods for interpretation of reported accounting information are explored and applied to ‘live’ data.
* Corporate Finance: Provides an understanding of how corporations raise finance (debt and equity) and invest money (capital budgeting, hedging, acquisitions). This module provides an understanding of the major decision areas of corporate finance and how these affect the value of the firm.
* Quantitative Methods in Finance: Provides the statistical and computing skills to fully understand modern banking and finance operations. Excel is used to manipulate statistical models and estimate linear models.
* International Finance: Covers the workings of the foreign exchange market, factors that determine exchange rates, and how corporations may manage their foreign exchange and interest rate risks using a variety of derivative products.
In the Spring Semester you will take the following module:
* Research Methods: Introduces students to generic and subject-specific research training. It also aims to prepare students for the dissertation module as well as to lay the foundations for more advanced postgraduate research.
You will then select three from the following four option modules:
* Derivatives: Focuses on the uses and the pricing of the key derivative instruments: options, futures, forwards and swaps.
* Financial Statement Analysis: Develops skills in the interpretation and use of financial statements, focusing on company valuation and identification of companies that may become insolvent. It includes a project where a group of students work together to write and present an investment analysis report on a UK quoted company.
* Investments and Portfolio Management: Provides an understanding of security valuation and portfolio management. It focuses on the valuation of both equities and fixed-interest securities and the management of equity and fixed-interest portfolios.
* Issues in Corporate Finance: Provides a thorough understanding of selected contemporary issues in corporate finance, including initial public offerings, capital structure, dividend policy, mergers, acquisitions and restructurings.
Delivery and Assessment
Successful completion of the taught modules leads to a Postgraduate Diploma. The Master’s degree is awarded on satisfactory completion of a three-month dissertation, following the Diploma examinations. Dissertation topics may be selected from a wide range of finance issues.
The MSc in Finance opens up a range of exciting career opportunities e.g. investment analysis, fund management, security dealing, financial market regulation, treasury management, financial engineering and corporate finance work within merchant banking firms. You are assisted in your job search by the University’s Career Development Centre.
Our programme also caters for students who wish to pursue an academic career. Completing the MSc in Finance provides the research skills to equip you to proceed to a PhD and thereafter a career in academic life. Many students from outwith the European Union are now choosing to apply to the Fresh Talent Initiative and remain in Scotland to work for a specified period.