Postgraduate Course

MSc Finance and Investment

MSc Finance and Investment

Overview

The details
Finance and Investment
October 2023
Full-time
1 year
Colchester Campus

Finance and investment are two sides of the same coin for portfolio managers who need to diversify and manage their exposure to risk to accurately value their assets. You will explore how psychological factors affect the financial behaviours of investors and finance practitioners on this specialist Masters degree.

Our professionally recognised MSc Finance and Investment builds on your existing knowledge of finance, economics or business to prepare you for a challenging and rewarding career in portfolio management and corporate finance.

You’ll explore how corporations deal with funding sources, capital structuring and investment decisions. You’ll investigate behavioural finance, financial planning strategies and fixed income markets and instruments.

You develop knowledge and skills in:

  • portfolio management
  • fixed-income securities
  • behavioural finance
  • corporate finance
  • financial derivatives

Our aim is to give you the best foundation for a career in investment or elsewhere in the finance sector. We want to help you understand the theory and put it into practice.

You’ll learn to use our Bloomberg Financial Markets Lab, which gives you access to the data and analytical tools found in financial institutions across the City of London and throughout the world. This will allow you to develop the skills needed in industry and gain an advantage in the graduate recruitment market.

The University of Essex is a member of the CFA® Institute University Affiliation Program and our MSc Finance and Investment covers more than 70% of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Program 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.

This course is taught at Essex Business School. Our students and staff join us from all over the world and our teaching is grounded in contemporary issues and professional practice

Essex has one of the largest groups of finance academics in the UK, providing a wide range of courses in banking, finance, investment, risk management and financial econometrics. This means you’ll also be able to choose from a huge range of optional modules to tailor your course to your interests and aspirations.

Discover our trading floor:

Professional accreditation

Recognised by the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute (CFA).

Why we're great.
  • Our Bloomberg Financial Market Labs gives you access to the data and analytical tools found in financial institutions across the City of London.
  • We cover more than 70% of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Programme Candidate Body of Knowledge making you well placed to sit your professional exams when you graduate.
  • You’ll be taught by our expert finance researchers, who work alongside the financial industry, regulators and policy-makers.

Our expert staff

Finance research at Essex Business School is world-leading in a number of areas, including:

  • banking
  • corporate finance
  • behavioural finance
  • financial econometrics
  • forecasting
  • commodities markets

Our expert finance researchers work alongside the financial industry, regulators and policy-makers both in the UK (for example at the Royal Bank of Scotland and the Bank of England) and internationally (such as the European Central Bank, the Federal Reserve and the Bank for International Settlements). This ensures their research is having a genuine impact on people’s everyday lives.

You’ll be taught by this team of experts, including Professor Ekaterini Panopoulou Head of the Finance Group at Essex Business School.

Ekaterini conducts world-class research on forecasting. She publishes widely in this area, as well as on financial econometrics and alternative investments. Professor Panopoulou has authored over 40 journal articles across a range of titles and five book chapters.

Another of our finance experts includes Dr Thanos Verousis, Reader in Finance at Essex Business School who specialises in the study of financial markets and market microstructure with a particular focus on understanding investor behaviour in the context of exchange market structures.

Thanos makes extensive use of his industry connections to invite a range of guest speakers into his modules; he recently published two blog posts outlining why this is such a beneficial approach for his students:

All our finance researchers are members of the Essex Finance Centre (EFiC), our research centre that promotes internationally renowned, high-quality academic research in areas such as asset pricing, banking, behavioural finance and financial modelling.

Finance academics are also members of the Essex Centre for Macro and Financial Econometrics, our interdisciplinary research centre established in partnership with the world-class Economics Department at Essex. The Centre aims to conduct and publish world-leading research in macro and financial econometrics.

The Centres run regular seminars that are open to all postgraduate students and which offer an opportunity for you to hear the very latest research and developments in the finance sector.

Specialist facilities

MSc Finance and Investment is based at our Colchester Campus.

You’ll be studying at Essex Business School, home to the first zero carbon business school in the UK – demonstrating our sustainable approach to business first-hand. Set around a lush winter garden, with shared spaces to encourage collaborative working, you’ll find a wealth of inspiring teaching and study zones:

  • a virtual trading floor with Bloomberg Financial Market Labs, where you’ll gain hands-on experience and learn how to model financial data in a practical setting
  • learn in modern lecture theatres with ‘listen again’ recording to aid your study
  • dynamic blended learning provision for uninterrupted study and engaging online lectures with virtual guest speakers
  • utilise study booths in our winter garden and versatile break out areas for group working throughout the building
  • study skills support provided by the Essex Business School Learning Team
  • networking opportunities with visiting businesses and careers events
  • Bonds café and adjacent foyer to enjoy on-site fresh food and drink

You'll also benefit from fantastic University facilities located close by, including our state-of-the-art Silberrad Student Centre, complete with an open-access 24-hour Learning Hub and a cutting-edge media centre. You benefit from access to a wide range of specialised banking and finance databases, textbooks and e-books and can book appointments with our subject librarian.

Essex Business School students also have access to quantitative analysis software, such as MatLab, Stata and Eviews which can be accessed remotely and from all university computer labs.

Our building is located on the Knowledge Gateway, home to some of the region’s most exciting enterprises in the science, technology and creative sectors. The Knowledge Gateway provides potential networking and career opportunities for students directly on campus.

Your future

MSc Finance and Investment provides you with the foundations for a rewarding career in finance and investment management, equipping you with the skills to lead at a global level.

Many of our graduates enjoy roles in a host of occupations, including financial analysis, management, public administration and accountancy. Read Andrew's story, and see how he benefited from his Masters degree. Our graduates work for high-profile organisations and innovative SMEs such as:

  • Deutsche Bank
  • Standard Chartered
  • GlobeOp Financial Services
  • Capital Markets Intelligence, a financial publisher
  • Credit Data Research, a business funder

Our Student Support team work closely with the University’s Employability and Careers service to help you with careers information and advice and CV support. They will help you find work experience, internships, placements and voluntary opportunities and provide access to employer talks on campus. We also work closely with the Essex Startups team to support our budding entrepreneurs get their business ideas off the ground.

“For anyone interested in a career in finance or investment, I highly recommend this degree. Be ready to learn a lot, work hard and have fun while at it. Trust me, there is so much to learn if you are willing. I'm currently working as an investment analyst at SFS Capital Nigeria and I particularly enjoyed modules in portfolio management, fixed income securities and modern banking. These modules prepared me for my CFA level 1 exams.”

Faith Oreoluwa Odekunle, MSc Finance and Investment (2019)

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

A 2:2 degree, or international equivalent, in a numerate discipline such as: Economics, Finance, Mathematics, Statistics, Science or Engineering.

Or a 2:2 degree, or international equivalent, in any other discipline, which includes at least two modules from the fields of either Quantitative Methods, or Economics, or Finance and/or Investment, or Banking.

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

Course structure

We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of core/compulsory modules, and optional modules chosen from lists. Please be aware that we are planning changes to our first year to make it more relevant to your chosen course.

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The following modules are based on the current course structure and may change in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.

We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision for you. We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities as described on our website. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to significant disruption, or in response to COVID-19, we’ll let our applicants and students know as soon as possible.

Components and modules explained

Components

Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.

Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.

Status What this means
Core
You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory
You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Compulsory with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Optional
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.

The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.

Modules

Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.

In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.

Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:

HR 100  4  FY

The department or school the module will be taught by.

In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.

The module number. 

The UK academic level of the module.

A standard undergraduate course will comprise of level 4, 5 and 6 modules - increasing as you progress through the course.

A standard postgraduate taught course will comprise of level 7 modules.

A postgraduate research degree is a level 8 qualification.

The term the module will be taught in.

  • AU: Autumn term
  • SP: Spring term
  • SU: Summer term
  • FY: Full year 
  • AP: Autumn and Spring terms
  • PS: Spring and Summer terms
  • AS: Autumn and Summer terms

COMPONENT 01: CORE

Dissertation
(40 CREDITS)

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.

View Dissertation on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 02: COMPULSORY

Corporate Finance
(20 CREDITS)

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

COMPONENT 03: CORE

Portfolio Management
(20 CREDITS)

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

COMPONENT 04: COMPULSORY

Behavioural Finance
(20 CREDITS)

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

COMPONENT 05: CORE

Research Methods in Finance
(20 CREDITS)

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 on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 06: OPTIONAL

EBS (Colchester Campus) option(s) from list
(20 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 07: COMPULSORY

Fixed Income Securities
(20 CREDITS)

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

COMPONENT 08: COMPULSORY

Derivative Securities
(20 CREDITS)

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

COMPONENT 09: COMPULSORY

Postgraduate Mathematics Preparation
(0 CREDITS)

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

Teaching

  • Tailor the content of your course to more closely fit your interests and aspirations
  • Optional modules will enable you to gain in-depth specialisation and understanding across several banking and finance topics
  • Courses focus on practical applications and links with industry
  • Our postgraduate students can attend conferences and seminars on campus and beyond

Assessment

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

Dissertation

  • You will undertake an individually supervised research project that involves the in-depth study of a specific finance problem or issue

Fees and funding

Home/UK fee

£13,650

International fee

£21,350

What's next

Open Days

Applying

You can apply for this postgraduate course online. Before you apply, please check our information about necessary documents that we’ll ask you to provide as part of your application.

We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

For information on our deadline to apply for this course, please see our ‘how to apply’ information.

Colchester Campus

Visit Colchester Campus

Home to 15,000 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.

Set within the 200-acre award-winning beautiful parkland - Wivenhoe Park and located two miles from the historic city centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded development. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.

Whether you are planning to visit us at one of our Open Days, or coming to an Applicant day. Our campus conveniently located and easy to reach by car, train or bus.

View from Square 2 outside the Rab Butler Building looking towards Square 3

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.

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.

At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.

Find out more

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification 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, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the 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 students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications. The University would inform and engage with you if your course was to be discontinued, and would provide you with options, where appropriate, in line with our Compensation and Refund Policy.

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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