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MSc International Finance

Why we're great

  • We're an international community, exploring global financial issues affecting the world today
  • We're ranked in the top 25 in the UK for research excellence (REF 2014)
  • Our work is often cited in the Bank of England, the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve

Course options2017-18

Duration: 1 year
Start month: October
Location: Colchester Campus
Based in: Essex Business School
Fee (Home/EU): £10,200
Fee (International): £15,950
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
PGT fees information

Duration: 2 years
Start month: October
Location: Colchester Campus
Based in: Essex Business School
Fee (Home/EU): £5,100
Fee (International): £7,975
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
PGT fees information

Course enquiries

Telephone 01206 872719
Email pgadmit@essex.ac.uk
Live chat

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About the course

How do financial markets differ across the globe? How do international trading blocs (such as the EU) impact finance?

On this course, you develop a broad vision and understanding of the changing role and nature of finance and investments within the context of a global marketplace. You can become highly competent in dealing with exchange rates and portfolio management and develop advanced mathematical skills.

Essex Business School, where this course is taught, is ranked in the UK’s top 25 for research excellence (REF 2014) and is a truly international place to study. More than half of our staff and students come from overseas and our current Masters students join us from more than 40 different countries. Our global team of academics and practitioners ensure this course is informed by the very latest insights and financial issues from around the world.

Our MSc International Finance ensures you’re well-placed to secure a position in an international organisation, in areas such as corporate finance, investment management or trading.

You can study this course either full-time or part-time and you may be able to take advantage of University of Essex scholarships and discounts, including those for students joining us from overseas. Essex Business School also offers a limited number of scholarships for the CFA level one exam to exceptional Masters students. Essex Business School is a Recognised Partner of the CFA.

Postgraduate loans for Masters courses are now available from the Student Loans Company, worth up to £10,000, for students from the UK and EU.

“I’m a Microfinance Consultant at Innpact in Luxembourg. My Masters gave me the skills and knowledge to assess a fund’s portfolio exposure to different types of risks. Studying and socialising with my international classmates has also helped me settle in to work life quickly - I was already used to collaborating with people from different nationalities.”

David Gorjon, MSc International Finance

Our expert staff

We have one of the largest finance groups in the UK, ensuring this course focuses on a wide range of contemporary issues in finance. Our work seeks to make a difference to the world we live in; our research has been presented to the Bank of England, the European Central Bank, and the Federal Reserve.

Our expert staff have backgrounds in both social science theory and industry practice and excel in areas including: business ethics and corporate social responsibility; organisation studies; leadership and strategy; finance and banking; risk management; and international management.

Essex Business School is also home to Essex Finance Centre, which organises seminars and conferences that our Masters students have the opportunity to attend.

Specialist facilities

Essex Business School in Colchester is a vibrant place to study with excellent learning and social facilities, including study skills support.

Make use of our industry-standard trading floor, complete with Bloomberg Financial Market Labs, and enjoy learning in our modern lecture theatres. There are plenty of spaces for networking and group work, such as our freely-available study pods and innovation booths and Bonds café.

Your future

Deutsche Bank, ANZN Bank and IndisInd Bank Ltd are just some of the leading companies who employ Essex Business School graduates. Our alumni also secure exciting roles in fast-growing SMEs, such as financial publisher Capital Markets Intelligence and business funder Credit Data Research.

Our courses lay the foundations for roles in financial analysis, management, public administration and accountancy and inspire many of our students to start their own business ventures. Recent examples include international business incubator 0100Ventures and entrepreneurship website SlovakSTARTUP.

We provide support to help you secure your dream job, internship or placement. In addition to our dedicated employability team, you can also seek advice from the University’s Employability and Careers Centre. You can also access employer talks on campus.

In 2015, 78% of our postgraduate taught students were in work or further study (DLHE).

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Example structure

Most of our courses combine compulsory and optional modules, giving you freedom to pursue your own interests. All of the modules listed below provide an example of what is on offer from the current academic year. Our Programme Specification provides further details of the course structure for the current academic year.

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.

Year 1

Gain an understanding of international arbitrage relationships, models of exchange rate determination, and recent issues and debates in the international finance literature. Learn to describe the basic international parity relationships, to outline some of the basic models of exchange rate determination, and have a good grasp of issues such as the international debt crisis, capital mobility, and the advent of the European single currency.

Your dissertation is the culmination of your Masters programme, where you apply the knowledge gained on your course to produce an extended 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 are assigned a supervisor for the duration of your project.

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.

Master the pricing of financial derivatives and their use for hedging financial risks. You study the basics of futures and options, analyse the Black-Scholes and binomial option pricing models, and consider various numerical techniques for pricing financial derivatives. Futures and options are then utilised in the context of hedging financial risks, and you are introduced to the concept of volatility trading and the treatment of volatility as an asset class.

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 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.

The recent financial crisis and credit crunch have demonstrated that risk management was too narrowly defined. In this course you examine the Value at Risk (VAR) measure of financial risk developed in the 1990s, before discussing the new post-crisis Regulatory environment.

Gain theoretical knowledge and a practical understanding of financial markets, trading strategies, risk and money management and trader analytics at the highest level. You study a mix of classroom-based instruction, case studies and practical trading exercises where you trade on real-time simulated global markets through the use of industry-strength proprietary trading software in the trading lab.

Analyse the changing practices and theorization of management accounting and control in emerging and less-developed countries in the context of environmental change, institutional and socio-economic factors. You examine traditional management control systems in the context of different cultural, political, and socio-economic contexts.

Develop a critical understanding of current issues in international financial reporting. You analyse the development of national accounting systems, the role of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and its impact on financial reporting internationally, and the particular financial reporting needs of developing countries.

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.

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.

Consider the use of modern econometric techniques in the analysis of financial time series. You cover multivariate models for stationary and non-stationary processes, such as Vector Autoregressive models, consider appropriate models for volatility, and study Markov processes and simulation methods used for financial modelling.

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.

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 introduces Matlab, software commonly used in financial organisations and academia to model portfolio construction and solve banking and finance challenges. You learn how to use Matlab programming language to solve financial problems. These may include finding optimal portfolio weights, calculating and simulating derivative prices and implied volatilities, and estimating and simulating GARCH models, amongst others.

Explore the basics of the structure and environment of banking, and selected aspects of the applied economics of the modern banking firm. You study structure-conduct-performance, competition, bank efficiency, regulation, international banking and bank failures and crises.

Analyse the key strategic developments in banking and the main aspects of risk management in modern banks. You are introduced to the concept of shareholder value in banking, the main banking strategies to create shareholder value, the key risks in banking, and the most important tools required to manage bank risks.

Taught exclusively by leading industry experts, this module offers you a unique opportunity to appreciate the latest developments and issues faced by leading practitioners in the areas of quantitative finance and risk management.

Teaching

  • 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

Assessment

  • Regular assessment is by coursework, presentations, case studies, group work, tests and examinations

Dissertation

  • You submit a 15,000 word dissertation

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Qualifications

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. Email pgadmit@essex.ac.uk 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.

English language 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.

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Applying

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.

Visit us

Open days

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 tours@essex.ac.uk and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

Virtual tours

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.

Exhibitions

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.

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The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its course finder is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep prospective students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

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