2020 applicants
Postgraduate Course

MSc Finance and Data Analytics

MSc Finance and Data Analytics

Overview

The details
Finance and Data Analytics
October 2020
Full-time
1 year
Colchester Campus

Big data streams influence financial and statistical modelling daily and on an ever-increasing scale. It’s not just financial data that impacts investment decisions, even data streams from social networks and search engine analytics can change how an investment matures.

The finance and investments industry needs practitioners who have a fundamental understanding of financial markets who can also apply statistical modelling in the context of the growing, and increasingly complex, data available to financial firms.

This course is perfect for those with an interest in big data and data analysis who want to work in specialist roles within the finance and investments sector.

Our MSc Finance and Data Analytics prepares you for the financial services sector by equipping you with the quantitative, statistical and technical skills needed in a world powered by big data.

You master areas including:

  • big data
  • portfolio analysis
  • empirical financial methods
  • data analytics
  • trading global markets

The University of Essex is uniquely placed to offer a Masters in Finance and Data Analytics. The University is home to the ESRC Business and Local Government Data Research Centre, which helps local authorities and businesses across the UK to leverage data more effectively, as well as the UK Data Service who provide access to quality economic and social data to organisations across the UK.

Studying MSc Finance and Data Analytics at Essex Business School, where this course is taught, means that you have access to some of the most unique financial research in the UK, supported by these two large big data centres of excellence.

Our virtual trading floor ensures you gain practical experience of using industry-standard terminals and real-world business information.

Why we're great.
  • As this course handles various big data streams, you benefit from our partnership with the ESRC Business and Local Government Data Research Centre, which leads the way in cutting-edge research into big data
  • Our Financial Market Labs give you access to market-leading Bloomberg business data where you will be able to test your financial models against real-time business data
  • We are home to one of the biggest and most diverse Finance groups in the UK and you will benefit from exposure to this wealth of experience
THE Awards 2018 - Winner University of the Year

Our expert staff

By joining MSc Finance and Data Analytics you join one of the UK’s largest finance groups, with a team of experts in an enormous range specialisms. You will be exposed to disciplines including: data analytics, global trading, risk management, investment banking, financial management, and more. Even if these are not part of your core programme, you will benefit from the diversity of interests that reflect 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
  • financial data analytics
  • 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, 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
  • being in close proximity to the Parkside Office Village, offering potential networking opportunities with innovative Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)
  • a fully-stocked café for meetings and socialising
  • study skills workshops

You benefit from a truly international experience and learn in the company of academics and students from across the globe; our current Masters students join us from more than 40 countries.

Your future

93% of our Essex Business School students are in employment or further study (Graduate Outcomes 2020).

Our graduates can analyse complex data and use this to make effective business decisions. Many work for global employers and dynamic SMEs in financial analysis, management, public administration and accountancy, such as:

  • KPMG
  • Grant Thornton LLP
  • Inter-American Development Bank
  • European Central Bank
  • HP
  • Groupon
  • 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.

MSc Finance and Data Analytics students can also take advantage of the services offered by the Student Development Team, including: careers advice; work experience; internships; placements; and voluntary opportunities.

“Big data is becoming increasingly important to businesses, so I chose this course so I can work in data analysis after graduation. I’ve also joined the University’s swimming team and hold the men’s record for the 4 x100 relay.”

Zhou Wei, MSc Finance and Data Analytics (2016)

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.

Your Degree should contain at least one module relating to Economics or Finance for example: Mathematics (calculus), quantitative finance/methods or Econometrics (probability, statistics). With a score of 50% in this module.

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.

The example structure below is representative of this course if taken full-time. If you choose to study part-time, the modules will be split across 2 years.

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

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

Data Analytics in Finance

Big data - where datasets are so large they cannot be processed using traditional techniques – is useful to financial organisations. This module explores how to analyse big data and covers areas such as predictive analytics, risk modelling and corporate finance. You also learn about the application of data analytics in high frequency finance, fraud and personal finance.

View Data Analytics in Finance 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

MSc Finance and Investment: Dissertation

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 MSc Finance and Investment: Dissertation 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 10,000 word dissertation

Fees and funding

Home/UK fee

£11,820

International fee

£18,460

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.

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.

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.

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 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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