MSc International Banking and Finance

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  • Objectives
    The programme has been designed to enable participants to apply theoretical concepts to practical financial and banking problems. The approach is modern, making use of IT, market data, and case studies where appropriate. Each module is supported by JMU’s virtual learning environment, Blackboard.
  • Entry requirements
    We are looking for two distinct groups of students: - Those students with strong quantitative skills gained through an undergraduate degree in physics, chemistry, mathematics, engineering or a cognate subject. - Those graduates who bring to the programme some knowledge of economics and finance. This would include economics, accounting and finance graduates and also business studies graduates who have specialised in these areas. Quantitative students are particularly sought after by financial institutions. For these students the programme will expand their quantitative skills and show how these skills can be applied in the field of banking and finance. For those students with an economics and finance background the programme will expand and update their knowledge of finance and update their quantiative skills and show how these skills can enhance their understanding of finance and banking at an advanced level.
  • Academic title
    MSc International Banking and Finance
  • Course description
    Structure of the MSc course

    The MSc in International Banking and Finance consists of a taught
    component covering two academic semesters during which students
    attend lectures, tutorials and IT workshops coupled with directed reading
    and tutorial problems.

    Successful completion of the taught component allows students to move
    onto the dissertation stage, where they are required to write a 20,000
    word research based dissertation on a subject in which they have
    developed an interest during the taught component.

    The taught component consists of 8 modules: four in the first semester
    and four in the second semester

    The philosophy of the programme is that in semester one we provide you
    with the fundamental knowledge and tools required to explore banking
    and finance at an advanced level. As such, the four semester one
    modules are “core” and must be taken.

    Opportunity is given in semester two for students to specialise in subject
    areas they have been introduced to in semester one.

    This includes the application of forecasting in financial markets, risk
    management in international banking and finance, the interpretation of
    financial statements or advanced analysis of derivative securities.

    Simultaneously, students will continue to undertake a course in research
    methods in order to prepare for the dissertation stage of the programme
    and to further develop important research skills.

    Students are assessed on the taught component by a variety of
    mechanisms including examinations, PC based research problems,
    presentations and written reports.

    Every effort is made to vary the assessment methods and to distribute
    them evenly throughout the semester.

    University examinations are held in December/January and May, The
    deadline for submission of the dissertation is set at September 1st.

    Module Outlines


    The module covers the mathematics necessary for the study of banking
    and finance, and an introduction to statistical software. Solutions to
    models are to be achieved using mathematical methods and, where
    appropriate, Excel and/or Eviews. Statistical analysis is undertaken using

    This module provides students with an introduction to the world’s
    financial markets and the assets traded on them. This is to include
    equities, currencies, interest rates and their derivatives. The module will
    also cover subjects of topical issues, such as the impact of the Euro on
    financial markets, recent derivative disasters and the Asian crisis.

    This module provides students with a comprehensive introduction to
    orthodox macroeconomic policy. Particular emphasis is placed upon the
    debate between differing economic schools of thought and the link
    between economic policy and the world’s financial markets.

    This module provides students with a training in the microeconomics
    underpinning financial decision making and modelling. This is achieved
    through a thorough grounding in the fundamental theories of finance.
    A real-world emphasis on the module is provided by the use of current
    market data. Topics covered include: Portfolio Analysis, CAPM, APT,
    Dividend Policy, Bond Portfolio Management.

    This module aims to prepare the student for the dissertation component
    of the programme by introducing the research methods and financial
    econometric techniques used in quantitative work in international
    banking and finance through the use of the EVIEWS package.

    This module demonstrates how the financial assets introduced in
    semester one can be used in the management of financial risk. The use
    of option pricing theory in the evaluation of investment decision making
    is also examined. Case studies are used to provide a practical emphasis
    to the study of risk management.

    This module extends the student’s knowledge of derivative products
    introduced in semester one by examining how these assets are priced
    and traded. The practical application of option pricing is facilitated through
    the use of appropriate software.

    This module complements the traditional tools of investment analysis
    introduced in semester one by providing a practical foundation in the analysis
    of companies’ published financial statements.

    This module complements the time series analysis tools introduced in
    the research methods modules by demonstrating how these tools can be
    employed in forecasting. Competing techniques such as chartism,
    fundamental analysis, mechanical systems and non-linear approaches are
    also covered. A real world emphasis is provided through the use of real
    data and subject specific software such as Eviews, Excel and MATLAB.

    Course Team

    Jason Laws has been a Lecturer in International Banking and Finance
    since 1993 joining immediately upon completion of his MSc at Cardiff
    Business School. During his time at the school Jason has taught
    extensively in the area of financial markets at all levels with particular
    specialisms in option pricing and empirical finance. Since 1995 he has
    been the course leader for the MSc in International Banking, Economics
    and Finance. He has also been an influential figure in the development of
    the WWW and teaching and learning within the University. He has
    published in several refereed journals and his most recent book is
    ‘Applied Quantitative Methods for trading and investment’. (Wiley 2003).

    Christian Dunis is a Professor of Banking and Finance. Before joining
    JMU, Christian was Global Head of Markets Research at Banque
    Nationale de Paris which he joined from Chase Manhattan Bank in 1996.
    At Chase Manhattan, his employers for 11 years, he headed the
    Quantitative Research & Trading group. He has published in several
    refereed journals and his most recent books are ‘Developments in
    Forecast Combination’, (Wiley, 2001), ‘Advances in Quantitative Asset
    Management’ (Kluwer, 2000), ‘Nonlinear Modelling of High Frequency
    Financial Time Series’ (John Wiley, 1998), ‘Forecasting financial Markets’
    (John Wiley, 1996) and Applied Quantitative Methods for trading and
    investment’. (Wiley 2003). He is an Associate Editor of the European
    Journal of Finance.

    Ken Holden is Professor of Applied Economics. He has over thirty years
    experience of University teaching and research at the Universities of
    Manchester, Liverpool, Otago and the Open University. He is author and
    joint author of 8 books and over 60 research papers and is an Associate
    Editor of the International Journal of Forecasting, and the Journal of
    Forecasting. His main areas of academic interest are applying
    quantitative methods to economic problems, economic forecasting and
    using time series methodology in financial markets.

    Dr. Giorgioni joined the department in October 2004, after having spent 6
    years as lecturer in Economics at the University of Abertay Dundee. His
    research interests include applied macroeconomics, development
    economics and finance, international trade. He has published in peerreviewed
    journals such as Applied Economics, Applied Economic Letters,
    Economic Modelling, International Review of Applied Economics and the
    Journal of Chinese Economics and Business Studies.

    Thomas Coskeran is a Senior Lecturer in Economics. He has taught
    economics and finance for twenty years, including courses on
    International Money and Finance, European Business and International
    Trade. He has also worked as an economic adviser to HM Treasury and
    the National Health Service. His main research interest is applied
    quantitative microeconomics. Most recently, he has given presentations
    at international conferences and published research papers on the costeffectiveness
    of radon remediation among householders and the role of
    waste minimisation clubs in improving resource usage among

    Tony Hall has been a Senior Lecturer in Finance since 1990. He has
    previously worked at the London School of Economics and in the
    insurance industry. He has University teaching experience at
    undergraduate, postgraduate and professional level in the areas of
    Business Finance, Corporate Finance, Investment and Accounting. He
    also has wide ranging consultancy experience in the areas of employee
    share ownership, financial restructuring, and corporate restructuring.

    Karl Harper has been a Senior Lecturer in Financial Services since 1990.
    He previously worked for Lloyds Bank plc. During his time with Liverpool
    JMU Karl has provided training in International Banking in Russia, the
    Czech Republic, Romania, Ukraine and Poland. Karl is also an author and
    assistant examiner for the Chartered Institute of Bankers.

    James Eden has been a Lecturer in Monetary Economics and Corporate
    Finance since September 1993. He has worked previously at The
    University of Portsmouth and as a tax consultant with Price Waterhouse.
    He has taught on a wide range of courses in the area of Economics and
    Finance from Bachelors to Masters level. His specialism is
    Macroeconomics. He is the co-author of ‘Business Economics - An Active
    Learning Approach’, (Blackwell 1997) and ‘Economics for Business’
    (Macmillan 2001).

    KEN PURNELL BSc(Econ), MSc
    Ken Purnell is Senior Lecturer in Quantitative Techniques. He has
    experience of teaching Statistics and Management Science to a wide
    range of undergraduate, postgraduate and professional programmes.
    Consultancy has involved market research and the benchmarking of audit
    services. In addition, Ken has been extensively involved in Liverpool JMU
    partnership activity, both in UK and overseas.

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