Overview

Intake: September only
Duration: 12 months full-time
Fees: £24,000 (full-time)
Financial support: Please see our Scholarships page
Application deadline: None - rolling admissions

The MSc in Investment Management is founded on three principles: academic rigor, relevant knowledge and an international orientation.

You will acquire a sound knowledge of the theoretical foundations that underpin modern investment and risk management techniques. These principles are applied in practice via case studies and the use of online databases such as Bloomberg and simulators. The practical aspect is delivered with extensive input from City of London institutions. Many leading practitioners teach on the course, providing a vital link between theory and practice.

The MSc in Investment Management is a demanding course. During the course you will cover the traditional syllabus of a general Masters degree in finance and develop extensive expertise in a range of specialised areas such as the management of equity and bond portfolios; trading techniques; asset-liability management; risk management; alternative investments; venture capital and management of foreign exchange.

An advisory panel of senior practitioners ensures that the course remains at the forefront of developments within financial markets and reflects topical and technical developments in the marketplace.

The course is a Chartered Financial Analyst Institute (CFA) Programme Partner and is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Securities & Investment (CISI) and the Chartered Alternative Investment Analysts Association (CAIA). Please see the Accreditations tab for more information on how you can benefit from these partnerships.

View our guide to finance MSc courses at Cass

Course characteristics

On a typical intake of around 100 students a year, a minimum of 35 nationalities will normally be represented. The international dimension of the course is further developed through the backgrounds of the resident and visiting academic faculty. The international learning experience adds range and depth to the student experience, while generating worldwide networking opportunities after graduation.

International Opportunities

Students on the MSc in Investment Management and the MSc in Corporate Finance are able to apply for an additional year's study at LUISS or Bocconi business schools in Italy. Two places are available at each school every year. Students are selected on the basis of their term one results at Cass and a shirt essay.

International elective modules may also be available in term three.

'Studying in London was great. It gave me a global experience.'
Bryan Ciambella from the USA, MSc in Investment Management

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

Information Sessions

Individual Appointments

If you would like to arrange an individual appointment to discuss this programme please email kate.hodson.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. Therefore, 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

five electives

or

one elective and a Business Research Project

Induction Weeks The MSc in Investment Management course starts with two compulsory induction weeks, including:

  • An introduction to Cass Careers with a focus on the 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.
  • Database inductions, and introductions to the course, studying at Cass and financial services

Term 1

Four core modules (30 hours each)

Equity Analysis

This course provides the fundamental and advanced techniques/tools used by practitioners to analyse equity markets, measure corporate performance, estimate equity values and ultimately sharpen students' judgement regarding stock market investment. The lectures are highly participative and use practical case studies in measuring cash-flows, understanding relative valuation approaches, performing residual income analysis as well as exploring equity investment tactics.

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 derivative instruments in bond portfolio management.

Portfolio Theory

Provides students with an understanding of modern portfolio theory and its implications for the pricing of assets. It gives unified approach to asset pricing, asset management and risk management. Topics covered include: portfolio diversification, optimal portfolio construction, expected utility theory, capital asset pricing model and arbitrage pricing theory with applications.

Quantitative Methods in Investment Management

This module provides students with the tools required for modelling financial data ranging from the classical linear regression model to nonlinear volatility modelling. Value at Risk (VaR) analysis will also be introduced as a tool for measurement and management of risks in the financial markets. In-depth analysis and practical implementation of VaR approaches including the RiskMetrics system developed by JP Morgan and alternative simulation based techniques is central to the course. VaR validation and stress testing within the Basel regulatory guidelines will also be discussed. Emphasis is placed on the practical applications of methods, and the teaching involves an examination of some empirical studies designed for equity and fixed income markets.

Research Methods Module

This compulsory module, run over terms 1 and 2, 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.

Term 2

Four core modules (30 hours each)

Alternative Investments

Following the collapse of the world's equity markets between 2001 and 2003, many investors are investing in, or are thinking of investing in, less traditional asset classes as an alternative to equities. The integration of these alternative asset classes into traditional investor portfolios is still at an early stage, leaving investment managers with significant challenges as they seek to satisfy investor demand for these alternatives. It is intended that this module will give students the background in commodities, hedge funds and private equity necessary for today's investment management industry.

Structured Products

The aim of the course is to develop students' understanding of derivatives, particularly forwards, options and swaps in both vanilla and exotic forms. A strong emphasis is placed on the use of derivatives in practical applications including risk management and structured products. The students make extensive use of Bloomberg and gain practical experience of the process of designing structured products.

Advanced Financial Statement Analysis

Accounting is the lingua franca of the financial world and impacts all aspects of the financial services industry, including corporate finance, asset management and investment banking. This module will provide a secure grounding in the potential value-relevance of accounting, and in the role of accounting for financial analysis and valuation. The aim of this module is to provide students with an understanding of the characteristics and limitations of accounting data and the role of accounting in the broader financial environment.

Portfolio Management

The course enables students to understand how modern portfolio and asset pricing theory can be employed for the attainment of investment objectives. It covers in detail the formulation and implementation of various active and passive investment strategies, as well as the analysis and management of risks associated with particular strategies. It includes practical case studies in portfolio construction and performance and asset allocation. Students gain further practical experience through a portfolio management simulation game and the use of use software packages.

Term 3

Five electives (18 hours each)

OR

One elective and a Business Research Project

Electives

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

  • Corporate Restructuring
  • Private Equity in Emerging Markets
  • Credit Risk Management
  • Global Macro Strategy
  • Ethics, Society and the Finance Sector
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Energy Markets (Taught in a block format in Dubai)
  • Project Finance & Infrastructure (Taught in a block format in Madrid)
  • Advanced Company Valuation
  • Foreign Exchange
  • Technical Analysis and Trading Systems
  • Behavioural Finance
  • Visual Basics in Finance

Teaching staff

The teaching staff on the MSc in Investment Management 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 Investment Management.

Course Director

Dr. Elena Kalotychou

Other Module Leaders include:

Teaching staff on Cass Talks

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

Dr Nick Motson on the bank lending rate probe.

Dr. Nick Motson on whether hedge fund manager behaviour can be likened to casino gambling.

Prof. Andrew Clare on the importance of understanding international business.

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 Investment Management 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 Investment Management 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.

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 Investment Management will also be eligible for the award of the CISI Diploma without having to take any of the CISI exams. Please see the Education section of the CISI website for important information on how to take advantage of these benefits.

Member of CAIA Academic Partnership Programme

The Chartered Alternative Investment Analysts Association (CAIA) is an independent organisation committed to education in the field of alternative investments and is recognised globally as the hallmark of excellence.

The partnership recognises that the content of the MSc in Investment Management reflects the concepts, tools and practices required by investment professionals working with products ranging from hedge funds to commodities.

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. Cass Careers Service works to coordinate projects with organisations and students.

Some recent projects:

  • Active investment strategies on emerging markets
  • Active style management of fund of hedge funds: An empirical performance attribution study of alternative investment strategies in a dynamic portfolio context
  • An examination of the accuracy of Company Valuation Techniques
  • Credit spread and sovereign risk
  • Extreme correlation among equity markets
  • Globalisation of world stock markets
  • How should the risk premium on equities be modelled?
  • Performance characteristics for European buy-outs
  • The post-bubble European Private Equity Industry
  • Valuing credit default swaps, swaptrons and forwards

Entry requirements

Cass Business School operates on a rolling admissions basis. This means that candidates apply for and are admitted all year round to our programmes. Most of our applications are received early in the academic year. To maximise your chances of receiving a positive response, we strongly suggest you apply as early as possible. We aim to return a decision within 4 - 6 weeks of receiving your application.

Degree level

A good Bachelors degree is required to enter this course, usually 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.

If you have not yet completed your current course of study, your university should be able to provide an interim transcript showing your marks achieved to date. If you are still undertaking your Bachelors degree studies, you should provide a separate list of the modules that you are undertaking in your final year of study when you submit your application (if these are not listed on your degree transcripts).

Work Experience

No work experience is required for this programme although if you do have any relevant experience that will enhance your profile please give details of this.

GMAT

We highly recommend GMAT for applications to all our Finance related courses. It will greatly strengthen your application and will be a useful qualification to add to your CV when entering the work place following your postgraduate studies. We would look for a well-balanced score over 600 with all sections marked at a minimum of 50%. It would be advisable for candidates to submit a copy of the GMAT report with their application. Students who do not submit a GMAT with their application may be asked to sit the GMAT and achieve a score above a specified threshold as a condition of entry.

Please send us a paper copy of your GMAT report so we can verify this online as we no longer receive paper copies by post. You will need to add the MSc programme at Cass Business School to your list of institutions so we can access your score results online.

GMAT scores are valid for five years. Further information about GMAT, registration, fees and testing sites is available from www.gmat.com.

Our GMAT code is 2C2-R0-84

English Requirements

Every year we welcome students from around 100 different countries. It is essential that all students have an excellent command of English in order to participate fully in our collaborative learning process. If you are not a native English speaker but have been studying in English at a degree level for the last three years, please submit a copy of your most recent English language test scores/qualification along with your application and a decision will be made by the Admissions Panel. If you have done a 2+2 degree with two years in the UK you WILL be required to provide IELTS score and possibly to resit the test to meet our academic entry requirements.

Please note that we assess each application on its own merit and you can help us to make decision by providing all relevant documents at the time of application.

We require all Cass MSc students who are not nationals of a majority English-speaking country OR have not successfully completed an academic qualification, at least equivalent to a UK bachelor's degree, which was taught in a majority English-speaking country as defined by the UK Border Agency, to have an overall IELTS score of at least 7.0 (with a minimum of 6.5 in writing).

We do not offer nor accept a pre-sessional English class as an alternative to the listed English tests. Any pre-sessional course should be viewed as an aid to living and studying in the UK and not as a way of topping up an IELTS score.

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.

Documents required for decision-making

  • Transcript/interim transcript
  • Two references, one of which MUST be an academic reference
  • IELTS/TOEFL/GMAT, if reports available
  • Confirmation of professional qualification examinations/exemptions/passes, if applicable

Tuition fees and term dates

Tuition fees 2014/15

Application fee: Nil

Tuition fees: £24,000 Currency Converter

Deposit: £2,000 (paid within 1 month of receiving offer)

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

Term dates 2014/15

The programme starts with:

Compulsory Induction Period: 15 September 2014 - 26 September 2014

Term I
29 September 2014 - 5 December 2014
Term I exams
12 January 2015 - 23 January 2015

Term II
26 January 2015 - 3 April 2015
Term II exams
27 April 2015 - 8 May 2015

Term III
11 May 2015 - 26 June 2015
Term III exams
29 June 2015 - 10 July 2015

Submission deadline for Business Research Project 
1 September 2015

Official Course End Date
30 September 2015

Career opportunities

The MSc Investment Management has graduates working as portfolio managers, hedge-fund specialists, traders, risk managers, security analysts, brokers and corporate treasurers. The wide variety of functions that our graduates are able to perform reflects the breadth of the course and the flexibility of the qualification.

MSc in Investment Management employability

Our Graduate Destination Survey (pdf) of 2010/11's MSc in Investment Management cohort shows that 81% of graduates are now either in work (72%) or not job seeking as they are in further study, military service etc. (9%)*

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

  • Threadneedle - Equity Investments, Analyst - UK
  • BlackRock - Fundamental Equity, Analyst - UK
  • CNODC - Financial and Capital Operation, M&A Associate - China
  • Citigroup - Financial Services - Hedge Funds/Other Investments, Analyst - USA
  • Dutch Central Bank - Investment firms and collective investment schemes, Corporate Analyst - The Netherlands

*Based on 2012 survey respondents

Cass Careers Service