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MA Finance

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  • Entry requirements
    Entry Entry to the MA Finance requires a good first degree in a relevant subject, e.g. economics, finance, accounting or management from a university, or a similar qualification from any other institution. Alternatively, possession of a suitable professional qualification and relevant practical experience may also be accepted. In general, however, applicants are judged on their individual merits and age, work experience and other factors are also considered. A two-year programme, with the first year as a "qualifying year", is also available for students whose backgrounds are different from those outlined above in order to prepare them more fully for their MSc Finance studies.
  • Academic Title
    MA Finance
  • Course description
    The ever-changing nature of financial markets, financial institutions and business firms, has made it increasingly important for finance experts including financial managers in multinational companies, investment analysts in securities firms, lending officers in banks and other financial institutions and traders in capital markets and dealing rooms - to have a clear understanding of the theory and practice relating to financial market operations and corporate financial strategy. Familiarity with the most recent developments in risk appraisal, portfolio analysis, the engineering of synthetic products, modelling techniques, financial analysis and valuation are essential requirements for all those involved directly in financial activities or who wish to gain a deeper understanding of this important area of business management.

    The MSc and MA Finance programmes at Bangor offer you a unique opportunity to develop an appreciation of the causes and significance of current developments in the financial and corporate sectors, and to study advanced theory and practice relating to financial markets and the financial management of business firms.

    Issues you will tackle as part of your MSc or MA Finance degree programme include:

        * What are the relationships between risk and return governing investment in company shares and other derivative instruments?
        * Can market risk be priced accurately?
        * Can credit risk be priced accurately?
        * Which factors are most likely to influence the evaluation and implementation of international investment projects?
        * How can we calculate a suitable cost of capital to appraise the capital investment decision?
        * How should institutional investors go about constructing a portfolio of assets to maximise returns on behalf of investors?
        * How can we assess the investment performance of pension funds, insurance companies and unit trusts?
        * How are futures, options, derivatives and swaps used to manage balance sheet and off-balance sheet risks?
        * What are the key principles of international portfolio management in a world of fast and unpredictable movements in exchange rates?
        * How can spreadsheets be used to develop financial models, and what techniques are required to obtain computational solutions to finance problems?
        * What are the main features of financial engineering, and how can one asset be transformed into another?
        * What are the design features of synthetic assets, and how do they help us to develop strategies for hedging risks?
        * 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 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 with relevant analytical training so that they are familiar with the latest theoretical and practical developments relating to corporate finance and the capital markets. These programmes provide a coherent theoretical framework for the various subject areas, but the emphasis throughout is on advanced practical application of financial techniques in a real-world setting.

    The availability of parallel MSc and MA degrees in 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 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%.

    ESRC Recognition
    The MA Finance is recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as the first year of a 1+3 PhD training programme.
    MA Finance course structure

    Compulsory modules:

        * 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.
        * Financial Accounting
          This module examines the main issues and principles of financial reporting, in an international context.
        * 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.
        * Corporate Risk Management
          This module provides an analysis of pure risk and its management.
        * 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 3):

        * Financial Analysis
          This module analyses the techniques that are used to evaluate a company’s financial position and performance.
        * Financial Econometrics
          This module provides advanced coverage of econometric methods and practices that are used to model financial and business data. 
        * Financial Modelling
          This module develops a combined theoretical and practical approach to mathematical modelling for specialists in finance.

    Dissertation - approximately 10,000 words

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