The PgD/MSc Financial Services at the University of Ulster is an intensive fifteen-month programme offered by the School of Business, Retail and Financial Services. This programme allows highly motivated graduates from any business, science, or cognate discipline to ‘skill into’ the financial services sector. Career options for those who successfully complete the programme, will include positions in the following wholesale financial services functions: regulation and compliance, financial services computing, fund accounting, management and administration.
The programme distinguishes itself from more traditional postgraduate finance programmes, by being both academically rigorous and professionally relevant. This is achieved by satisfying the professional requirements of the key professional body in this segment of the financial services sector, namely the Securities and Investment Institute (SII), and by the inclusion of a work experience element. After completion of the PgD element, students may proceed to a six-month paid placement from June to December in a financial services institution. During this placement, they complete a work-based project for the award of MSc. Students wishing to progress to postgraduate research studies, instead of the placement, can elect to complete a traditional academic dissertation. Students successfully completing the PgD element will be eligible to become Associate Members of the SII (ASI status); and for those who complete the masters element via the work-based placement, and associated report, they will be eligible to become Members of the SII (MSI status).
Structure and Content
This programme is offered on a full-time basis. All students are expected to complete the taught element of the programme (PgD), before proceeding to the masters’ element (MSc). Candidates who are pursuing the Masters degree will be expected to complete a placement, and associated work-based project, or a research dissertation in the final semester.
The first phase of the programme (PgD) consists of eight compulsory, taught, modules delivered over two semesters. The taught modules are:
Financial Reporting and Analysis Securities and Derivatives
Economics of the Business Environment Regulation and Compliance
Financial Markets and Investments Financial Institutions and Operations
Research Methods for Financial Services Fund Management and Performance Analysis
Students who complete the above eight modules will be eligible for the award of the PgD and will have the option of undertaking either a placement, and associated work-based project, beginning in Semester 3, or a dissertation by research, for the award of the MSc.
Duration and Mode of Attendance
Postgraduate Diploma – two semesters
MSc – a further semester
Teaching and learning methods
While teaching is delivered mainly through lectures, lectures will be supported by a range of teaching methods and formats including: seminars, practical classes, group and individual presentations, case studies and guest speakers. A strong feature of the course is its use of innovative teaching methods to enable tutors to meet the needs of individual students and to respond immediately to developments in the dynamic business environment.
Assessment The multi-faceted approach to teaching and learning is reflected in the methods employed for assessment. A variety of forms of assessment are employed. The assessment within each module is tailored to the module aims and is normally a combination of cumulative assessment and examinations.