Overview

Intake: September only
Duration: 18-24 months part-time
Fees: £24,000 
Financial support: Bursaries may be available - please contact your Admissions Officer
Application deadline: None - rolling admissions for a September start

This part-time MSc course is highly relevant to professionals already working in the financial services sector. In particular, it will be highly attractive to those looking to either extend the scope of their current responsibilities or to make a career change into an area such as portfolio management, security analysis, risk management, M & A, or financial consultancy.

The innovative structure allows students to tailor the core courses as well as the electives to their individual interests.

Students are offered the opportunity to take extra electives in the first year and complete the taught part of the degree in a shorter period. Please speak to the Admissions Officer for details.

The structure of the part-time programme is specifically designed to fit around the busy working lives of professionals working in the finance sector. It meets on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and offers a teaching and learning environment that fully complements the demands of working life*.

The course is also accredited by a number of professional bodies, including the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute (CFA) and the Chartered Institute of Securities & Investment (CISI). Please see the Accreditations tab for more information on how you can benefit from these partnerships.

*Students should note that some elective modules or additional tutorial workshops may take place outside of these times.

'The School is very career orientated. This comes through from the lecturers that teach here as well as the Careers Service'
Graham Taylor, MSc in Finance & Investment

Graham 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 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. Therefore, there may be some change to the detailed content of the modules and occasionally to module titles.

Induction to The Finance & Investments course starts with an induction programme, mainly dedicated to a refresher course of basic financial mathematics, statistics, computing and electronic databases.

International elective

All MSc in Finance & Investment students are given the opportunity to attend an international elective in the third term of year one and year two. In May 2013 students took part in a Monetary Policy elective delivered in Singapore in partnership with Singapore Management University (SMU). Full story.

This elective is an important networking opportunity given Singapore's huge financial importance. There's a possibility that we could be making money in this region or even working here which is why it's good to get to meet new contacts and exchange information and ideas.
Dominic Loureda, MSc in Finance and Investment

Year 1 - Term 1

Two core modules (30 hours each)

Theory of finance

In this module students are introduced to some of the most important concepts in finance. Knowledge of these concepts and ideas are essential for any student of finance. Students will learn about the issues involved in measuring returns and risks for individual assets and for portfolios of assets. They will also benchmark models of risk, such as CAPM and the important decisions surrounding the choice that a firm must make regarding its financial structure and dividend policy. These issues will arise in other modules in the programme and therefore constitute the foundations of the course.

Quantitative methods for Finance

This module will provide students with a review of the classical linear regression model and a discussion of how econometric models can be validly estimated. Both univariate time-series and multivariate structural models will be considered. Emphasis is placed on the practical applications of methods. The module also involves an extensive investigation of VaR as a way of quantifying risk.

Year 1 - Term 2

Two core modules (30 hours each)

Securities (compulsory)

The purpose of this module is to introduce students to the two most important cash asset classes: bonds and equities. However, emphasis is placed not only on the cash instruments themselves, but also on some of the derivative contracts which are based on these securities. By bringing fixed income together with equities in one module students will also be able to appreciate both the differences between these two asset classes, but just as importantly the similarities too.

Financial statement analysis

This module will provide students with a clear understanding of how users of financial information interpret accounting reports when making business decisions. The emphasis is on the valuation of both equity and debt instruments. Coverage includes a broad discussion of measurement issues and is based on international accounting standards.

Year 1 - Term 3

Students choose two electives, over the two years of study, and a Business Research Project or five electives and no project.

Electives that were offered in 2013 were:

  • Credit Risk Management
  • Fixed Income Securities and Derivatives
  • Global Macro Strategy
  • Islamic Finance
  • 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)
  • Monetary Policy (Taught in a block format in Singapore)
  • Private Equity Investment
  • Technical Analysis and Trading Systems
  • Advanced Options Trading
  • Trading and Hedging in the Forex Market
  • Behavioural Finance

In addition all students will also study a Research Project Management Skills module. This 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.

Year 2 - Term 1

Two core modules (30 hours each)

Financial risk management

The purpose of this module is to analyze the most important approaches to financial (market) and credit risk management for banks and financial institutions. This module analyzes the best practice techniques used to measure and manage these risks. Students will also cover the role of risk management to guide business strategy and achieve shareholder value. Risk management will also be set in the context of the international prudential regulation of financial markets' activity.

Portfolio management

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. Includes practical case studies in portfolio construction and performance and asset allocation. Students use software packages to gain practical experience.

Year 2 - Term 2

Two core modules (30 hours each)

Structured products

The aim of the course is to develop students' understanding of swaps, options, exotic options and embedded options and their application risk management situations. There will be practical trading simulations and the students will be using the dealing room to gain practical experience.

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.

Year 2 - Term 3

Students choose two electives, over the two years of study, and a Business Research Project or five electives and no project.

Electives that were offered in 2013 were:

  • Credit Risk Management
  • Fixed Income Securities and Derivatives
  • Global Macro Strategy
  • Islamic Finance
  • 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)
  • Monetary Policy (Taught in a block format in Singapore)
  • Private Equity Investment
  • Technical Analysis and Trading Systems
  • Advanced Options Trading
  • Trading and Hedging in the Forex Market
  • Behavioural Finance

In addition all students will also study a Research Project Management Skills module. This 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.

Teaching staff

The teaching staff on the MSc in Finance & Investment 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 & Investment.

Course Director

Dr Nick Motson

Other Module Leaders include:

Teaching staff on Cass Talks

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

Prof. Richard Payne discusses whether the computer-based trading industry should be regulated.

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

Dr. Dirk Nitzsche discusses the mutual fund industry and explains that success is often merely a matter of luck

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 Investment 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 Banking and International 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.

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 & Investment will also be eligible for the award of the CISI Diploma without having to take any of the CISI exams.

MSc Research Project

The project will be of approximately 8,000 words. This offers an opportunity to specialise in a contemporary finance topic related to students' 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. The majority of students on part time programmes complete a project in conjunction with their employer. A member of academic staff with expertise in the particular area the student wishes to research will be allocated to supervise the project. This is an excellent opportunity for students' employers to gain immediate benefit from their employee's studies.

Some recent projects:

  • Aftermarket performance of BRIC IPOs
  • Calibration of Jump Models
  • An analysis into the effect of Age of Hedge Funds and their risk and return characteristics
  • Behavioural Finance behind the Rationale of M&A transactions
  • Using higher order moments in asset pricing models
  • Do long/short term Hedge Fund Strategies outperform traditional long only strategies over time.
  • Modelling tactical asset allocation decisions using a game based approach
  • Arbitrage opportunities and intra-day trading models in the selected CEE economies
  • Islamic finance and conventional corporate capital structure
  • The relationship between dividend announcement and share price during the time of the recent financial crisis
  • Analysis of Publicly Traded Private Equity
  • How do firms react around the ex-split date - trend analysis in an emerging market
  • Value investing in emerging markets
  • Lead-lag relationships between asset classes
  • Interest rate risk and the equity exposure of bank institutions
  • An empirical investigation of the asset pricing theory: US stock market
  • Identifying overvalued and undervalued securities using fundamental analysis
  • Private Equity - backed delistings - The evidence from the UK AIM market
  • Do multi-manager and fund-of-fund managers provide value for money for UK retail investors?
  • An empirical study of the APT and the UK stock market
  • Debenhams: A public to private buy-out study and its refloating 2003 -2006
  • Skill or luck or high risk in hedge fund management
  • Lag-lead relationship between spot and future markets
  • Proposed changes to refulation of the UK banking industry
  • Simulation of Tactical Asset Allocation for Equity Portfolios
  • The reasons behind a number of AIM companies delisting from the market
     

Entry requirements

Documents required for decision-making

  • Transcript/interim transcript
  • CV
  • Personal statement (500-600 words)
  • Evidence of employment

Documents also required (may follow at later date)

  • IELTS/TOEFL/GMAT, if reports available
  • Confirmation of professional qualification examinations/exemptions/passes, if applicable
  • Two professional references

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Degree Level

To be accepted on to the Cass MSc in Finance and Investment you will need a good Bachelors degree. This usually means 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.

Work experience

The programme is designed for working professionals and students are expected to be in full time employment in the UK during the course of the programme. Most students on the course work in a financial role or for a financial services company. While this is not a requirement, a basic understanding of financial services is recommended. Candidates may be asked to attend an interview as part of the admissions process.

References

Applicants will need to submit two professional references.

GMAT

Applicants to the MSc in Finance and Investment are encouraged to take the GMAT test. We look for a well-balanced score in the range of 600-800 and a good GMAT score will considerably strengthen your application. Please add the MSc programme at Cass Business School to your list of institutions, and then email us a scanned copy of your GMAT test result, so we can then access and verify your score results online as we no longer receive paper copies by post.

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

Our GMAT code is 2C2-R0-84.

'I work in the Financial Sales Department, where every day I have the opportunity to extend my practical experience. I decided that the part-time Masters would provide me with the solid theoretical background to increase the understanding of my clients' needs, as well as opening up new opportunities for me. I found the freedom the course offers particularly useful. By providing a wide selection of core modules and electives, I can tailor my degree towards my personal needs and career goals. I am also keen to take advantage of the fact I can finish my course within the shorter timeframe of 18 months.'

Anastasja Orlova, MSc in Finance and Investment, also works as a Private Client Account Executive for GFT Global Markets

English Requirements

It is essential that all students have an excellent command of English in order to participate fully in the collaborative learning process at Cass. We therefore require all students who have not previously studied in English to sit an IELTS or TOEFL exam. If you are not a native English speaker but have been working in the UK for the last three years it is unlikely you will need to take the test. Please contact the Admissions Officer for details.

If required, you will need to have an overall IELTS score of at least 7.0 (with a minimum of 6.5 in writing). For TOEFL we require, 107 (internet based test) / 263 (computer based test) / 627 (paper based test). Our TOEFL code is 7650.

Tuition fees and term dates

Tuition fees for 2014/15 entry

Application fee: Nil

Tuition fees: £24,000 (payable over two years) Currency Converter

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

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

Third instalment: Quarter of fees less deposit (paid at registration of 2nd year)
Fourth instalment: Quarter of fees (paid in January following start 2nd year of programme)

Term dates 2014/15

This course is a part time course studied over 18 - 24 months.

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

At the end of your time at Cass, we aim to ensure that you have a highly regarded qualification - and a clear vision of where you want it to take you. Like many of our part time students, you may be using your MSc to enhance your prospects with your current employer. Or perhaps you see it as an opportunity to change your career direction. Either way, you can rest assured that our Careers Service will be there to advise and support you.

MSc in Finance & Investment Employability

Our Graduate Destination Survey (pdf) of last year's MSc in Finance & Investment cohort shows that 95% of graduates are now in work.

Some examples of where graduates from the MSc in Finance & Investment are working are:

  • BNY Mellon - Asset Manager - Client Portfolio Manager
  • Newton Investment Management - Investment Management - Senior Analyst
  • Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation - Structured Finance - Manager
  • Bloomberg - Electronic Trading - Senior Account Manager
  • Deutsche Bank AG - Emerging Markets, Global Structured Credit Exotics - Associate

*Based on 2012 survey respondents

Cass Careers Service

'I chose to study the MSc to further my specific financial knowledge. I've enjoyed the aspects of the course which relate specifically to current business trends and issues and I have been able to focus on some specific finance and investment subjects which interested me the most. I am an ambitious person and my future goal is to utilise the skills and expertise gained at Cass to support a career change within the investment/wealth business area.'
Giedre Drake, MSc in Finance and Investment