Who is it for?
You are a business-focused individual with a high-performing career in global shipping and its associated industries as your ultimate goal. Equally at home with practical subjects and academic theory, you thrive on solving tough challenges under time constraints. You want to acquire or sharpen the skills necessary to operate at an executive level in areas ranging from shipping, supply chain and commodities, to finance, investment, trading, banking and related sectors and industries.
The course is offered through the Costas Grammenos Centre for Shipping, Trade and Finance. The Centre is widely recognised and valued by practitioners and academics.
Since its launch in 1983, its three primary aims remain the same:
- Offer high quality teaching in its three interlinked disciplines of shipping, trade and finance
- Produce high quality research in these areas
- Create a forum for international dialogue between academia, industry and government and to link decision makers.
The combination of the three disciplines of shipping, trade and finance was pioneering at the time but also remains current and relevant in today’s economic and financial environment. This multi-disciplinary approach ensures that you are equipped with competitive skills and knowledge not only in the core area of shipping but also in the areas of commodity trade, ship finance, banking and investment.
What will you learn
- Acquire a comprehensive grasp of the interlocking disciplines of shipping, trade and finance
- Develop your range of hard and soft skills as an international decision maker
- Develop your understanding of a wide range of economic issues that affect the shipping industry and all who work within it
- Network with your peers and business leaders from the global business community
- Gain a highly valuable international perspective on the challenges facing executives in shipping, finance, banking and international trade
- Acquire a flexible qualification suitable for a wide range of roles in global shipping, commodity trade, investment and finance, from operations to strategy.
Introduces the principles of accounting and finance in business and the main techniques in management accounting, planning and control. Covers the interpretation and use of annual reports and accounts, financial and ratio analysis, and their use for managerial decision-making, and budgetary control systems.
Principles of Finance
Covers essential skills and knowledge in financial econmics that will assist you in gaining an in-depth knowledge in the subject area as it is later taught in Corporate Finance. The aim of this module is to provide an introduction to the area of corporate finance. This will be achieved through the development of a common vocabulary and a set of tools that will assist students in gaining a basic understanding of what is corporate finance and it will lay the foundations for further study in this area.
Following the induction course, it covers descriptive and inferential statistics, as well as regression analysis techniques. Develops skills that are essential for other modules and the dissertation and is designed to ensure relevance to everyday business problems.
Research Methods for Trade and Finance Professionals
Strong research is a key element of development strategy for companies and institutions, large and small. This module aims to provide a grounding in financial research, particularly financial modelling and information gathering which you will be able to use to support your learning on the rest of your course.
The module will utilise specific training in a financial modelling package in order to provide a strong foundation for the in-depth and specialist teaching and learning of terms two and three of your course. You will also learn how to gather information through database research, which you will be able to use to support your learning, substantiate your arguments and make assessments about the nature of the evidence you are using. Finally, you will bring these skills together by working in small groups for the preparation and presentation of a business plan proposal.
Explores the economic relationships between nations; international trade relations and benefits; the effects of barriers to trade and income distribution; trade policy; and international monetary relations. The significance of external influences on fiscal and monetary policy, the balance of payments and the theory and evidence of exchange rate determination all form part of this module, which also looks at the response of the exchange rate to monetary and other shocks, and how these affect international trade.
Focuses on the operational environment of the bulk-shipping sector. Subsequently discusses extensively the microeconomic structure of the four main markets (freight, second-hand, shipbuilding and demolition) in dry bulk and tanker shipping, together with the operational characteristics, international regulations and policies which affect these highly competitive, volatile, but nevertheless exciting industries. Continues with an introduction to liner and container shipping economics and concludes with a discussion of the principles of modern supply chain logistics, of which bulk shipping forms an integral part.
Advanced Quantitative Methods
Builds on the knowledge acquired in Quantitative Methods in Part one and focuses on skills required for advanced analysis in areas such as risk management and forecasting.
The aim of the course is to develop an understanding of modern corporate finance so that the corporate manager, the investment banker and the financial analyst will have the conceptual foundations for making informed corporate assessments of key financial decisions. Issues such as company valuation, dividend policy, raising equity and deby capital, capital structure and corporate governance are discussed in depth in class and are covered through case studies and presentations
International Business and Financial Markets
Covers the global economic and financial environment within which business corporations operate. Globalisation and integration of markets for debt, equity and risk management have created new opportunities in the capital formation process, but pose great difficulties in navigating successfully. Where should capital be raised? How does one manage the risks from certain currencies and certain sovereign regions?
International Commodity Trade
Discusses the theory and practice behind the development of modern patterns of trade, focusing on the world's major bulk commodities, such as grains, petroleum, and ferrous and non-ferrous ores. Considers in depth the distinctive microeconomic characteristics of key commodities, such as storability, perishability and seasonality; pricing mechanisms and methods of adjustment; the role derivatives in price determination; and the role of key producers and key markets in shaping market conditions.
Shipping Investment and Finance
The skills developed in both Principles of Finance and Corporate Finance are applied to the shipping industry while introducing several new and important concepts to develop the ability and the analytical tools to make rational shipping investment and finance decisions. Making extensive use of case studies, areas covered include the fundamental principles of shipping investment and finance; vessel investment and disposal markets; investment feasibility studies; bank credit policy, bank credit analysis and proposals; raising equity and debt capital for shipping companies; tapping the public equity and debt markets; other sources of shipping finance such as leasing, export credit agencies and shipyard credit; and risk management in shipping.
Option 1: Students can take five specialist elective modules (5 x 10 credits).
Option 2: Students can opt to write a 10,000-word Business Research Project (40 credits) and take one specialist elective module (1 x 10 credits).
Option 3: Students can opt to write a 5,000-word Applied Research Project (20 credits) and take three specialist elective modules (3 x 10 credits)
Business Research Project
It is important for aspiring professionals to demonstrate, on an individual basis, their ability to apply concepts and techniques they have learned in an in-depth study of a topic of their choice and to organise their findings in a report, all conducted within a given time limit. To train you to undertake individual research and provide you with an opportunity to specialise in a contemporary business or finance topic related to your future career aspirations. You are required to submit a project of approximately 10,000 words on any subject area covered in the rest of the programme. Typical projects can involve any of the following: extracting data from electronic databases or by hand; statistical analysis of large or small populations; interviews; case studies of an industry or a sector or of a business / finance issue in a particular country setting.
Applied Research Project
The aim of this module is to enable you to demonstrate how to integrate your learning in core and elective modules and then apply this to the formulation and completion of an applied research project. You will be required to demonstrate the skills and knowledge that you have acquired throughout your MSc study. You will undertake a short piece of applied research on a question of academic and/or practical relevance. Guidelines will be provided in order to help you identify the research question. Based on your chosen topic, you must write a report of around 3,000–5,000 words that summarises and critically evaluates your method and your findings.
We review all our courses regularly to keep them up-to-date on issues of both theory and practice.
To satisfy the requirements of the degree course students must complete:
- eight core courses (5 - 25 credits each) and five electives (10 credits each)
- three electives (10 credits each) and an Applied Research Project (20 credits) or
- one elective (10 credits) and a Business Research Project (40 credits)
Assessment of modules on the MSc in Shipping, Trade & Finance, in most cases, is by means of coursework and unseen examination.
Coursework may consist of standard essays, individual and group presentations, group reports, classwork, unseen tests and problem sets. Please note that any group work may include an element of peer assessment.
The course starts with two compulsory induction weeks, focused mainly on:
- 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 dates 2018/19
In-Person ID-Checks (all students must attend): Commences 17 September 2018
Compulsory Induction: 18 - 29 September 2018
1 October 2018 - 7 December 2018
Term I exams
7 January 2019 - 18 January 2019
21 January 2019 - 29 March 2019
Term II exams
22 April 2019 - 3 May 2019
6 May 2019 - 28 June 2019
Term III exams
1 July 2019 - 12 July 2019
Students who are required to resit an examination or invigilated test will do so in the period:
12 - 30 August 2019
Submission deadline for Business Research Project or Applied Research Project
1 September 2019
Official Course End Date
30 September 2019
The teaching staff on these MSc programmes have many years of practical experience working in industry and are also active researchers in their fields
This knowledge and experience inform the highly interactive lectures that make up these MSc programmes.
Module Leaders include:
How to apply
Documents required for decision-making
- Transcript/interim transcript
- Current module list if still studying
- Personal statement (500-600 words)
Documents which may follow at a later date
- IELTS result
- Confirmation of professional qualification examinations/exemptions/passes, if applicable
- Two references
- Work experience is not a requirement of this course
- For a successful application to receive an unconditional status all documents must be verified, so an original or certified copy of the degree transcript must be sent by post to Specialist Masters Programme Office, 106 Bunhill Row, London, EC1Y 8TZ, UK
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.
If you would like to visit us to discuss your application please do arrange an individual appointment.
- A UK upper second class degree or above, or the equivalent from an overseas institution.
- Some level of previous study in finance or quantitative methods is preferred
English language 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.
The required IELTS level is an average of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in the writing section and no less than 6.0 in any other sectio
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.
Application fee: Nil
Deposit: £2,000 (paid within 1 month of receiving offer and non-refundable unless conditions of offer are not met)
First installment: Half fees less deposit (payable during on-line registration which should be completed at least 5 days before the in-person ID–checks)
Second installment: Half fees (paid in January following start of course)
The wide curriculum of the MSc STF provides a range of employment opportunities for our graduates. Many hold key positions and have eminent careers in over 70 countries in fields including:
- investment banking and shipping finance
- commodity trading
- shipping management
- logistics and supply chain
- management consultancy
- governmental positions
Course information and statistics
The MSc in Shipping, Trade and Finance is validated by the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (ICS)
See accreditation details
Students successful in the courses of:
- International Commodity Trade
- Shipping Economics and Policies
- Shipping Investment and Finance
will be granted exemption from three of the following examinations of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers:
- Economics of Sea Transport and International Trade
- Introduction to Shipping
- Shipping Finance