About the course
How should financial professionals react to increasing regulatory and technological change? What tools and skills must you possess for a successful career in finance and investment?
This professionally recognised course provides advanced knowledge of finance and investment.
We develop your analytical skills and use of quantitative tools through industry-standard Bloomberg software. You tackle real-world investment decisions in our virtual trading floor, designed with input from a practicing Hedge Funder Manager. Our trading floor replicates the professional setting you might find in the City, allowing you to develop the skills needed in industry and gain an advantage in the graduate recruitment market.
You embark on a broad educational programme, preparing you to face the challenges of managing and working in organisations operating in varying and complex economic, social, political and cultural conditions. Upon graduation, you may be suitable for employment in a host of finance and investment posts.
You develop knowledge and skills in:
- portfolio theory
- fixed-income securities
- behavioural finance
- corporate finance
MSc Finance and Investment is taught at Essex Business School. We’re ranked in the top 25 in the UK for research excellence (REF, 2014) and we embed the latest academic thinking in our teaching to ensure you experience the cutting-edge of contemporary finance. We’re an internationally diverse school, with our Masters students joining us from more than 40 countries.
Our MSc Finance and Investment covers more than 70% of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Programme Candidate Body of Knowledge.
Upon completing this course, you are well positioned to sit for the CFA exams, which are among the most widely-recognised and established qualifications in the UK.
Essex Business School offers a limited number of scholarships for the CFA level one exam and Investment Management Certificate (IMC) level one and two exams to exceptional Masters students. We are an IMC Advantage Partner and a Recognised Partner of the CFA.
This course is also available to study part time and the University of Essex offers scholarships and discounts that you may be able to take advantage of.
“I chose this course because it combines complex financial theory with practical application. My assignments are based on real-life issues, so I’m hoping this will give me the competitive edge in the graduate jobs market.”
Van Dinh Tung, MSc Finance and Investment (2016)
Our expert staff
Essex Business School has one of the largest finance groups in the UK and is home to Essex Finance Centre.
With both academic and industry experience, our expert team are at the forefront of the financial debate; their work has been discussed at the Bank of England, the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve.
We use a broad range of social science theories and concepts to explore:
- business ethics and corporate social responsibility
- organisation studies
- leadership and strategy
- finance and banking
- risk management
- international management
You benefit from a stunning work environment in our new zero carbon building, including facilities such as:
- a winter garden, which provides the building’s unique micro-climate
- light and spacious lecture theatres
- study pods and innovation booths for group working
- networking opportunities with visiting businesses
- Bonds café
- study skills services
By completing this course, you should understand the financial drivers of an increasingly complex business world and have the best foundation for your career in finance.
Many of our recent graduates work for high-profile organisations worldwide, including:
- Deutsche Bank
- Standard Chartered
- GlobeOp Financial Services
As well as enjoying careers in financial analysis, management, public administration and accountancy, many of our graduates are successful entrepreneurs.
Throughout your course, our dedicated employability team will help you find information about work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities. Advice and opportunities are also available from the University’s Employability and Careers Centre.
Postgraduate study is the chance to take your education to the next level. The combination of compulsory and optional modules means our courses help you develop extensive knowledge in your chosen discipline, whilst providing plenty of freedom to pursue your own interests. Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.
For many of our courses you’ll have a wide range of optional modules to choose from – those listed in this example structure are, in many instances, just a selection of those available. Our Programme Specification gives more detail about the structure available to our current postgraduate students, including details of all optional modules.
Your dissertation is the culmination of your Masters programme, where you apply the knowledge gained on your course to produce a 10,000 word independent piece of work. You generate an original idea, analyse literature and current knowledge and produce a coherent argument that shows your ability to relate theory to practice. Your dissertation will help you develop vital skills for the workplace, as well as the ability to analyse real problems through an academic lens. You're assigned a supervisor for the duration of your project.
Understand the process of portfolio management. You cover the main concepts such as efficient diversification, managing risk exposures, and the valuation of financial assets that are at the core of managing investment portfolios, and pay special attention to the practicalities of the implementation of these concepts.
This module equips you with the econometric tools and necessary experience to conduct empirical research in finance. You review statistical and basic econometric models and learn to apply econometric techniques in finance by considering topics such as (G)ARCH models, unit roots and cointegration.
Behavioural finance rejects crucial tenets of mainstream finance such as the Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH) on the basis that agents are less than fully rational, and that arbitrage fails to eliminate mispricing. Instead it identifies market anomalies or regularities such as holiday effects that are at odds with the EMH. You learn to use ideas from cognitive psychology, such as overconfidence, and aspects of imperfect arbitrage to explain these.
This module offers you a standard introduction of the field of corporate finance at postgraduate level. You consider the classical areas of Modigliani-Miller irrelevance, Taxes and capital structure, Trade-off theory and Pecking order theory of capital structure, before exploring the more modern areas, which are essentially based on contract theory.
Discover the concepts and tools that are useful to asset managers who want to use fixed income securities for investing, market-making or speculating. You first study fixed income markets and instruments, before going on to explore basic concepts of bond portfolio management and investigating the quantitative tools used to value bonds and manage bonds' portfolios.
This module covers topics in mathematics that are required in Masters-level finance courses at the University of Essex. You focus on the basics of linear algebra, differential calculus including optimisation and dynamics.
Gain a formal introduction to asset pricing theories and empirical findings. You review the fundamental theories of the expected utility, asset pricing kernels, and risk-neutral valuation, covering the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM), and linear factor models arising from the Arbitrage Pricing Theory (APT). You also discuss empirical asset pricing studies.
- Tailor the content of your course to more closely fit your interests and aspirations
- Courses focus on practical applications and links with industry
- We run an open seminar series
- Regular assessment is by coursework, presentations, case studies, group work, tests and examinations
- You submit a 15,000 word dissertation
UK entry requirements
A 1st, 2:1 or good 2:2 degree, or equivalent, in finance, economics or business. We also welcome applications from candidates with any science or engineering degree.
International and EU entry requirements
We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries.
for further details about the qualifications we accept. Include information in your email about the
undergraduate qualification you have already completed or are currently taking.
IELTS entry requirements
If English isn’t your first language, we require IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5
If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.
We hold postgraduate events in February/March and November, and open days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:
- tour our campus and accommodation
- find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
- meet our students and staff
If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.
If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.
Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.
You can apply for our postgraduate courses online. You’ll need to provide us with your academic qualifications, as well as supporting documents such as transcripts, English language qualifications and certificates. You can find a list of necessary documents online, but please note we won’t be able to process your application until we have everything we need.
There is no application deadline but we recommend that you apply before 1 July for our taught courses starting in October. We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.