Overview

Applications to this course for September 2014 entry are now closed.

Applications for September 2015 entry will open in early November 2014.

Intake: September only
Duration: 12 months full-time
Fees: TBC (full-time)
Financial support: Please see our Scholarships page
Application deadline: Course closed for September 2014 entry

A Masters in Finance from Cass has the potential to open up global career opportunities for flexible high-calibre students. That's because Cass is among the world's most respected business schools, meeting the needs of employers with a unique blend of theory and practice.

Our proximity to the London's financial district, enhances the practical, real world nature of the educational experience at Cass. Indeed, you will often be exposed to regular instruction and advice from City of London professionals.

This gives you: 

  • A comprehensive grasp of the principles and applications of finance 
  • Technical and conceptual skills 
  • Broad experience of quantitative techniques
  • A focus on financial issues in all industry sectors
  • City of London contacts
  • An international, multicultural perspective
  • A flexible qualification suitable for a wide range of roles.

The course is a Chartered Financial Analyst Institute (CFA) Partner Programme and is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Securities & Investment (CISI) There are also exemptions from some exams of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). Please see the Accreditations tab for more information on how you can benefit from these partnerships.

The course accepts around 90 students a year, usually drawn from at least 35 nationalities. The international dimension of the course is enhanced by the backgrounds of the permanent and visiting academic faculty.

This international dimension, and Cass's close links to City of London institutions, opens up outstanding networking and career opportunities.

View our guide to finance MSc courses at Cass

I chose to study the MSc in Finance at Cass because of the reputation of the School and its location which offer a great perspective.'
Maxim Shemetov, MSc in Finance

Maxim describes more of his experiences at Cass....

 

See more alumni profiles and student video diaries

Information Sessions

Individual appointments

If you would like to arrange an individual appointment to discuss this programme please email sue.andrews.1@city.ac.uk

Course content

We review all our courses regularly to keep them up-to-date on issues of both theory and practice. Consequently, there may be some change to the detailed content of the modules and occasionally to module titles.

To satisfy the requirements of the degree programme students must complete:

eight core courses

and

two additional core modules plus three electives

or

one elective and a Business Research Project

Induction Weeks - the MSc in Finance course starts with two compulsory induction weeks, including:

  • An introduction to the Cass Careers offering with a focus on key skills and attributes that employers are looking for.  The annual MSc Careers Fair at this time also provides the opportunity to meet over 60 companies who are recruiting across many sectors including finance, energy, insurance, real estate, shipping, strategic management and internal auditing.
  • a refresher course of basic financial mathematics, statistics, computing and electronic databases

Term 1

Four core modules (30 hours each)

Corporate Finance and Valuation

Provides a thorough understanding of the key decisions companies are expected to make. Broadly speaking these are: investment decision, financing decision and dividend decision. These decisions are expected to lead to the maximisation of the wealth of the shareholders, but in practice a number of complications occur. The course provides a thorough understanding of the factors affecting these decisions. In particular, it assesses the different ways of valuing companies, estimating the cost of capital, forecasting cash flows, raising capital through private equity firms, initial and seasoned equity offerings, choosing between debt and equity, paying dividends, taking over other companies and restructuring assets and liabilities. The course also deals with the interaction between corporate and capital markets and the agency conflicts between managers and shareholders.

Financial Reporting

Provides an understanding of the nature of, and assumptions implicit in, the preparation of financial statements and their interpretation. More specifically, enables students to appreciate the methods, rules and assumptions underlying the preparation of published financial statements and to appraise the role of financial accounting data in the measurement of management performance through time and across companies. The second part highlights the key differences in international accounting practices and examines the links between accounting information and stock price behaviour.

Statistics in Finance

Provides detailed coverage of statistical theory and its applications in finance practice. Topics covered include: multivariate regression, volatility tests, ARCH and time-series models, and co-integration. Makes extensive use of e-views software for application of these techniques.

Theory of Finance

This module will make it possible for participants to acquire an understanding of the principal objectives of asset management and the linkages between financial risk and portfolio return. Students will develop an understanding of the structure and functioning of capital markets, an appreciation of the valuation methods for securities and to introduce the principles of portfolio theory.

Term 2

Four core modules (30 hours each):

Asset Management

Provides a fundamental understanding of the structure and functioning of capital markets, the principles of investment decisions under risk and the optimal allocation among asset classes. The second part focuses on specific fund management issues related to applied asset pricing, active and passive management, tactical asset allocation, investment style, the impact of transaction costs, portfolio performance measurement and behavioural finance.

Derivatives & Risk Management

Although journalists might have you believe otherwise, derivative contracts are essential for the smooth operation of financial markets.  However, because they have the potential to increase the volatility of financial markets, it is equally essential that students have an in depth understanding of how they work, how they are priced and how they are traded.  In this course students will develop in depth knowledge of forwards, futures and swaps and their application in the management of risks. The course covers a full range of the most important options and futures contracts including those traded on: stock indices, commodities and credit instruments.  It has also been designed to complement the Fixed Income module that focuses on focuses fixed income derivatives.

Research Methods Module

This compulsory module trains students to undertake independent research either in the context of a single organisation or by using third-party sources. It provides the necessary tools and skills to initiate, research and write up a business project and includes training in research methodology, availability of data sources, project writing, time-management and presentation skills. These skills will be invaluable to students in their future career whether or not they choose to complete a project.

And two of the following:

Advanced Corporate Finance

The market value of a firm depends on the effective utilisation of current and future assets, the funding of such assets and its interaction with capital markets. This module provides an in depth analysis of the theory and international practice of capital structure and dividend policies, mergers and acquisitions and short-term financing issues. The aim of this module is to develop an understanding of modern corporate finance so that the corporate manager, the treasurer, the investment banker, the financial analyst and the accountant will have the conceptual foundations for making intelligent assessments of key financial decisions. The course puts significant emphasis on the interactions between international capital markets and the value of the underlying real assets.

International Finance

This course provides the student with an integrated view of international financial markets and the management of multinational firms. Students will study the markets for foreign exchange, currency forwards, options, swaps and international equities, studying how they operate and how the instruments traded in these markets are valued.

Fixed Income

The aim of this module is to introduce students to all the tools necessary to enable them to understand the problems involved in managing a fixed income portfolio. The focus of this module is on fixed income security markets, pricing and uses for portfolio management or for hedging interest rate risk. It will also cover term structure analysis and the use of fixed income derivative instruments in bond portfolio management.

Term 3

A Business Research Project and one elective

OR

Two modules:

  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Trading & Market Microstructure

And three electives

Electives

You may choose from a wide variety of electives. Electives that were offered in 2013 were:

  • Hedge Funds
  • Corporate Restructuring
  • Project Finance
  • Raising Equity Capital
  • Credit Risk Management
  • Global Macro Strategy
  • Islamic Finance
  • Ethics, Society and the Finance Sector
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Energy Markets (Taught in a block format in Dubai)
  • Project Finance & Infrastructure (Taught in a block format in Madrid)
  • Corporate Governance
  • Advanced Company Valuation
  • Private Equity Investment
  • Technical Analysis and Trading Systems
  • Advanced Financial Modelling and Forecasting
  • Trading and Hedging in the Forex Market
  • Real Estate Portfolio and Fund Management
  • Behavioural Finance
  • Introduction to C
  • Matlab
  • Visual Basics in Finance

Teaching staff

The teaching staff on the MSc in Finance have many years of practical experience working in the financial services sector and are also active researchers in their fields

This knowledge and experience inform the highly interactive lectures that make up the MSc in Finance.

Course Director

Prof. Richard Payne

Other Module Leaders include:

Teaching staff on Cass Talks

Some of the lecturing staff on the MSc in Finance have taken part in recent editions of Cass Talks.

Prof. Richard Payne argues banning short-selling could do more harm than good.

Prof. Richard Payne says short-sellers are not the villains some regulators make out.

Accreditations

Cass Business School is among the global elite of business schools that hold the gold standard of 'triple-crown' accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the Association of MBAs (AMBA) and the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS). We are consistently ranked amongst the best business schools and programmes in the world which, coupled with an established 40-year reputation for excellence in research and business education, enables us to attract some of the best academics, students and businesses worldwide into our exclusive Cass network.

CFA programme partner 

The CFA Institute, the global association of investment professionals, recognises the rigour and the relevance of the MSc Finance and has awarded this course partner status. CFA Programme Partner status is awarded to a select number of universities around the world whose degree courses incorporate at least 70% of the CFA Program Candidate Body of Knowledge. The CFA Program is the essential qualification for those wishing to pursue a career in the finance sector and the CFA Institute recognises the MSc in Finance as strong preparation for their professional exams.

Cass students on CFA partner courses have the option of taking some additional preparatory classes for the CFA exams. They also have access to CFA study materials (including an online Level 1 sample exam) and complimentary access to Financial Newsbrief, a daily investment brief by the CFA. In addition, there is the opportunity to take part in the CFA Global Investment Research Challenge.

Each year 5 CFA scholarships are available to Cass students, offering financial assistance with the CFA exam registration fees.

CIMA

Students successfully completing the MSc in Finance will be awarded exemptions from the following modules:

  • C2: Fundamentals of Financial Accounting
  • C3: Fundamentals of Business Mathematics
  • F3: Financial Strategy

ACCA

Students successfully completing the MSc in Finance will be awarded exemptions from the following modules:

  • F1: Accountant in Business
  • F2: Management Accounting
  • F3: Financial Accounting
  • F7: Financial Reporting
  • F9: Financial Management

CISI Centre of Excellence

Cass Business School is one of a select group of UK universities to be designated a Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) Centre of Excellence. The CISI designation means that Cass graduates who complete the MSc in Finance will also be eligible for the award of the CISI Diploma without having to take any of the CISI exams.

MSc Research Project

Students have the option of studying five specialised electives in term three to give them a breadth of subject matter. Alternatively if students would like to study one particular area of interest in depth they have the option of taking one elective and completing a Business Research Project, which in some cases may be completed in partnership with a sponsoring organisation.

The Project will be of approximately 8,000 words. This offers an opportunity to specialise in a contemporary finance topic related to students' future careers. The Project should be based on independent research either in the context of a single organisation or using third-party sources.

Students are encouraged from the start of the course to think about a topic for their Project. A member of academic staff supervises the project, and the student may choose whom they would like to work with. The Project must be submitted by the end of August. Company sponsored projects are encouraged and a number of such projects may be available.

Many students use this opportunity to complete a project in conjunction with an organisation they might want to work for. This gets their foot in the door and can lead to permanent employment post programme, whilst earning course credit.

Some recent projects:

  • Board of Directors & Firm Value Market Reaction to the Appointment of Executive & Non-executive directors
  • Comparison of Implied & Historical Volatilities in the Currency Markets
  • Corporate Finance Distress & Debt Restructuring: An examination of high yield bond issuers
  • Did The 1990's US Banking Consolidations Create Value?
  • Exploring the Interaction Between Earning Quality & Accounting Standards
  • Performance Measurement - The role of EVA
  • Private Equity Valuation Model
  • What are the determinants of returns in emerging markets
  • Why do firms buy back their shares? An Analysis of Share Repurchase Announcements by UK firms

Entry requirements

Documents required for decision-making

  • Transcript/interim transcript
  • Current module list if still studying
  • CV
  • Personal statement (500-600 words)

Documents which may follow at a later date

  • IELTS/GMAT, if reports available
  • Confirmation of professional qualification examinations/exemptions/passes, if applicable
  • Two references
  • Work experience is not a requirement of this course

We cannot comment on individual eligibility before you apply and we can only process your application once it is fully complete, with all requested information received.    

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Degree Level

  • A UK 2.1 or above, or the equivalent from an overseas institution
  • Some level of previous study in finance or quantitative methods is preferred.

Read more

References

Applicants will need to submit two references, one of which MUST be an academic reference.

Read more 

English Requirements

  • If you have been studying in the UK for the last three years it is unlikely that you will have to take the test
  • If you have studied a 2+2 degree with just two years in the UK you will be required to provide IELTS results and possibly to resit the tests to meet our requirements.

IELTS

The required IELTS level is an average of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in writing.

Read more

Please note that due to changes in the UKVI's list of SELTs we are no longer able to accept TOEFL as evidence of English language for students who require a CAS as of April 2014.

CFA Claritas Investment Certificate

  • Covers the essentials of finance, ethics, and investment roles, providing a clear understanding of the global investment industry.
  • Highly recommended, particularly for students from a non finance background. 

Read more

GMAT

  • Highly recommended
  • A well-balanced score in the range of 600-800 will significantly strengthen your application

Read more

Work Experience

Work experience is not a requirement, but please provide details of relevant experience that might enhance your profile. This information will be included in your CV which is required with all applications.

Tuition fees and term dates

Tuition fees 2015/6

Application fee: Nil

Tuition fees: TBC Currency Converter

Deposit: £2,000 (paid within 1 month of receiving offer and non-refundable unless conditions of offer are not met)

First instalment: Half fees less deposit (to be paid at registration)
Second instalment: Half fees (paid in January following start of programme)

Term dates 2015/6

In-Person Registration (all students must attend): 16th - 18th September 2015

Induction: 21 - 25 September 2015

Term I
28 September 2015 - 4 December 2015
Term I exams
11 January 2016 - 22 January 2016

Term II
25 January 2016 - 8 April 2016
Term II exams
25 April 2016 - 6 May 2016

Term III
16 May 2016 - 24 June 2016
Term III exams
27 June 2016 - 8 July 2016

Submission deadline for Business Research Project 
1 September 2016

Official Course End Date
30 September 2016

Career opportunities

Graduates from the MSc in Finance move into a diverse range of financial sector careers: investment banking, securities sales and trading, foreign exchange, hedge funds, private banking, credit products, financial and credit risk management and consultancy.

MSc in Finance employability

Our Graduate Destination Survey (pdf) of last year's MSc in Finance cohort shows that 83% of graduates are now either in work (80%) or not job seeking as they are in further study, military service etc. (3%)*

Some examples of where graduates from the 2010/11 MSc in Finance are working are:

  • Nomura - Fixed Income Division, Structured sales Analyst - UK
  • Lazard Asset management - Institutional Sales/Relationship Management, Associate - Germany
  • PwC - Valuations and Strategy, Analyst - India
  • Renaissance capital - Investment Banking, Analyst - Russia
  • Enterprise Performance Management, Analyst - UK

*Based on 2012 survey respondents

Cass Careers Service