The ever-changing nature of business firms and the markets in which they operate, has made it increasingly important for corporate managers have a clear understanding of the theory and practice relating to strategic management and the interrelationships between the firm, its employees and its markets, and the implications for corporate financial strategy. Familiarity with the most recent developments in risk appraisal, valuation, marketing, human resource management (HRM), organisational behaviour and strategic management are essential requirements for all those involved directly in business, or in financing business activities, or those who wish to gain a deeper understanding of these important areas.
Issues you will study as part of your MSc or MA Business and Finance degree programme include:
* How can organisations ensure their own survival in a rapidly changing competitive environment?
* What are the key strategic management problems facing organisations?
* Are organisations as complex as they seem?
* How can you analyse the strategy process, evaluate the strategic choices that may be made and place a value on the strategic options that are available?
* How would you recognise effective approaches to HRM?
* What are the costs and benefits of the alternatives?
* Do contemporary employment practices lessen conflicts and tensions in the employment relationship?
* Which factors are most likely to influence the evaluation and implementation of investment projects?
* How can we calculate a suitable cost of capital to appraise the capital investment decision?
* What are the relationships between risk and return governing investment? Can market risk be priced accurately?
* Can credit risk be priced accurately?
* What are the key principles of international portfolio management in a world of fast and unpredictable movements in exchange rates?
* Can futures, options, derivatives and swaps be used to manage the risks involved?
* How can financial forecasts be used in business valuation, and what techniques should be used to improve trend analysis and interfirm comparison?
With these needs in mind, the MSc and MA Business and Finance programmes at Bangor are designed to develop participants' existing skills through a scheme of specialist advanced study. An important objective is to provide participants not only with an insight into organisational behaviour and strategic choices in HRM and marketing, but also with an understanding of theoretical developments relating to corporate finance and the capital markets, and competence in the techniques required to assess the consequences for business management. These programmes provide a coherent theoretical framework for the various subject areas, but the emphasis throughout is on advanced practical application of busniess management and financial techniques in a real-world setting.
The availability of parallel MSc and MA degrees in Business and Finance allows you to choose between registering for a more technical MSc degree (including a compulsory element in Financial Econometrics), and a less technical MA degree (for which Financial Econometrics is optional). The MSc degree may be more suitable for applicants with some previous background in mathematics, statistics or econometrics, while the MA degree is more suitable for applicants who prefer to adopt a predominantly non-quantitative approach to their studies. However, both degrees include a compulsory module in Research Methods, which includes coverage of both quantitative and non-quantitative research techniques. Provided you are registered for the correct modules for your chosen degree, it is normally possible to transfer between the MSc and MA degrees during the first few weeks following your initial registration.
The MSc and MA degrees in Business and Finance are scheduled for a duration of 12 months. Each degree programme consists of two parts.
Part 1 is a wholly taught component, contributing 120 credits. Part 1 is taught during the two semesters which make up the academic year. Teaching during semester 1 normally runs from late-September to December, with examinations in January. Teaching during semester 2 normally runs from late-January to early-May, with examinations in May and June.
Part 2 is a supervised dissertation of around 10,000 words, contributing 60 credits. The dissertation provides you with the opportunity to critically review, and possibly (but not necessarily) produce an original contribution to, the literature in any part of the taught syllabus. Part 2 is completed during the summer months, from June to September. You are expected to submit your dissertation by the end of September in the calendar year following your initial registration for your MSc or MA degree programme.
Continuous assessment is an integral part of all of our taught modules. The weightings attaching to coursework and other forms of continuous assessment vary from module to module, from a minimum of 25% to a maximum of 50%.
The MA Business and Finance is recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as the first year of a 1+3 PhD training programme.
MA Business and Finance course structure
* International Financial Markets
This module provides an overview of financial instruments in a multi-currency world, taking account of insights from portfolio theory concerning the relationship between risk and return, the diversification of risk, and the pricing of assets.
* Strategic Management
This module analyses strategic decision-making within business.
* Human Resource Management
This module develops a critical awareness of the key human resource management issues that arise within organisations.
* Management and Organisational Behaviour
This module provides an integrated analysis of management as an academic discipline, drawing on the work of classical and contemporary writers in the field, and as a practical strategic activity in a dynamic environment of continual change.
* Marketing Strategy
This module critically evaluates the contributions of various schools of thought in marketing, and examines the relevant analytical models and management practices, with emphasis on the strategic importance of marketing to all organisations.
* Research Methods
This module equips students with knowledge of intermediate and advanced research methods, which they will encounter in other modules and in their dissertation.
Optional modules (choose 2):
* International Financial Management
In this module, the financial management of multinational companies, and the influence of the macroeconomic, fiscal, currency and political environments on business and financial decision-making are examined in an international and global context.
* Financial Analysis
This module analyses the techniques that are used to evaluate a company’s financial position and performance.
* Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis
This module analyses the philosophical basis for research in the management sciences, and examines a number of key methodological issues and approaches.
Dissertation - approximately 10,000 words