Postgraduate Course

MSc Finance

MSc Finance

Overview

The details
Finance
October 2019
Full-time
1 year
Colchester Campus

How do you make optimal investment decisions? How are stocks priced? Why do markets crash?

In rapidly changing and often unstable money markets, the global economy demands financial professionals who can act rationally and ethically when under pressure. This course further develops your analytical and critical thinking skills so you can evaluate risk and make sound financial decisions in complex environments.

You gain a detailed understanding of the key financial drivers in an increasingly complex business world. We equip you with advanced knowledge of the latest theoretical and empirical developments in the industry, using case studies to apply theory to practice, so you can excel in a career in any aspect of finance.

Topics include:

  • asset pricing
  • portfolio management
  • derivative securities
  • advanced mathematics

Our MSc Finance is taught at Essex Business School, ranked 25th in the UK for research quality (TGUG 2019). Our students and staff join us from all over the world and we embed the latest academic thinking in our teaching to ensure you experience the cutting-edge of your discipline.

MSc Finance can also be studied part time and you may be eligible for scholarships and discounts provided by the University of Essex. Essex Business School also offers a limited number of scholarships for the CFA® level one exam to exceptional Masters students. The University of Essex is a member of the CFA Institute University Affiliation Program. CFA is a registered trademark owned by CFA Institute.

Postgraduate loans for Masters courses are now available from the Student Loans Company, worth up to £10,609, for students from the UK and EU.

Why we're great.
  • Our teaching combines academic and industry expertise with lectures from City experts
  • We are one of the largest and most respected finance departments in the UK
  • We are in the UK’s top 25 in the UK for research quality (TGUG 2019)
THE Awards 2018 - Winner University of the Year

Our expert staff

You join one of the UK’s largest finance groups, with a team of experts in wide ranging specialisms. This diversity ensures our course reflects the breadth of contemporary banking and finance issues facing organisations today.

Our lecturers have presented their work at the likes of the Bank of England, the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve and are recognised for being at the forefront of research in:

  • business ethics
  • corporate social responsibility
  • organisation studies
  • leadership and strategy
  • finance and banking
  • risk management
  • international management

Not only are you taught by experts with both academic and industry experience, but input from City-based industry leaders gives this course a thorough grounding in contemporary financial practice. Our school is also home to Essex Finance Centre.

Specialist facilities

Our commitment to excellence in teaching extends to our working environment, with our landmark Colchester building providing excellent facilities to learn and socialise, including:

  • an Eden-style dome and winter garden, which give the building its own micro-climate
  • a virtual trading floor with Bloomberg Financial Market Labs for analysing financial data
  • cutting-edge lecture theatres
  • study pods and innovation booths for group working
  • networking opportunities with visiting businesses
  • a fully-stocked café for meetings and socialising
  • study skills workshops

Your future

Essex Business School is helping to create the business leaders of the future; those who are creative, innovative and ethically aware. In 2016, 87% of our postgraduate taught students were in professional employment or further study within six months of graduating (DLHE 2016).

Many of our graduates enjoy careers in financial analysis, management, public administration and accountancy at some of the world’s most well-known organisations and exciting SMEs, including:

  • Groupon
  • KMG Group
  • Right Freight Pvt Ltc
  • Copal Partners
  • Capital Markets Intelligence, a financial publisher
  • Credit Data Research, a business funder

Many now also run their own growing businesses, including international business incubator 0100Ventures and entrepreneurship website SlovakSTARTUP.

During your time at Essex Business School, we provide plenty of help with finding and applying for work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities from our dedicated employability team and the University’s Employability and Careers Centre. There is also access to employer talks on campus.

“I’m Head of Planning at Groupon Malaysia. I decide on the products we sell, how long we sell them for and for what price point. My Masters taught me the importance of research. Throughout my dissertation, I developed skills in planning, time management and evaluating evidence to build a business case. I use these skills on a daily basis at work.”

Nikhil Khandelwal, MSc Finance

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

A 2:2 degree containing core modules relating to Economics or Finance (see also key modules) and (ideally) in the final two years of study. Mathematics (calculus), quantitative finance/methods or Econometrics (probability, statistics)

    Key modules

    Asset valuation/pricing, Introduction to banking, Behavioural finance, Corporate Finance, Derivative instruments / Futures / Options, Econometrics, Economics/Macroeconomics/Microeconomics, Empirical Finance, Exchange rates and FX markets, Finance (NOT Financial Reporting), Financial Econometrics, Financial Economics, Financial Intermediaries, Instruments and Markets, Financial Markets and Monetary Policy, Financial Modelling, Foundations of Finance, International Banking, International Trade/Finance, Investment and Securities, Mathematics, Pricing of Securities in Financial Markets, Operational Research, Political Economy, Portfolio Analysis, Risk Management, Statistics

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here.Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, we require IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5

Additional Notes

The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.

Structure

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.

Dissertation

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.

View Dissertation on our Module Directory

Research Methods in Finance: Empirical Methods in Finance

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.

View Research Methods in Finance: Empirical Methods in Finance on our Module Directory

Asset Pricing

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.

View Asset Pricing on our Module Directory

Derivative Securities

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.

View Derivative Securities on our Module Directory

Portfolio Management

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.

View Portfolio Management on our Module Directory

Postgraduate Mathematics Preparation

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.

View Postgraduate Mathematics Preparation on our Module Directory

Behavioural Finance

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.

View Behavioural Finance on our Module Directory

Industry Expert Lectures in Finance

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.

View Industry Expert Lectures in Finance on our Module Directory

Corporate Finance

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.

View Corporate Finance on our Module Directory

Exchange Rates and International Finance

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.

View Exchange Rates and International Finance on our Module Directory

Financial Modelling

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.

View Financial Modelling on our Module Directory

Fixed Income Securities

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.

View Fixed Income Securities on our Module Directory

Risk Management

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.

View Risk Management on our Module Directory

Trading Global Financial Markets

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.

View Trading Global Financial Markets on our Module Directory

Finance Research Techniques Using Matlab

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.

View Finance Research Techniques Using Matlab on our Module Directory

Modern Banking

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.

View Modern Banking on our Module Directory

Bank Strategy and Risk

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.

View Bank Strategy and Risk on our Module Directory

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

Fees and funding

Home/EU fee

£11,250

International fee

£17,560

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

What's next

Open Days

We hold 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.

2019 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

  • Saturday, September 21, 2019
  • Saturday, October 26, 2019

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.

Colchester Campus

Visit Colchester Campus

Home to over 13,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.

The Campus is set within 200 acres of beautiful parkland, located two miles from the historic town centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded town. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.

 

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.

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.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

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