The course provides a rigorous treatment of the theory of international finance and investment, and training in the techniques and practice relevant to the international financial setting. The course allows students whose career choices lie with financial institutions or in financial management with an international flavour to identify and apply the appropriate analytical techniques for financial decision-making in an international setting, and develop an understanding of the effects of market activity on the implementation of international financial strategies.Entry RequirementsA 2.1 degree in Economics; Finance; Mathematics; Statistics; Physics; Engineering; or an equivalent qualification from overseas. All applicants would be required to have a minimum background in mathematics or statistics and economics or finance. However a strong background in mathematics or statistics could be a substitute for the required background in economics and finance. Course AimsThe course provides a rigorous treatment of the theory of international finance and investment, and training in the techniques and practice relevant to the international financial setting. The course allows students whose career choices lie with financial institutions or in financial management with an international flavour to identify and apply the appropriate analytical techniques for financial decision-making in an international setting, and develop an understanding of the effects of market activity on the implementation of international financial strategies.
The course should also be of interest to applicants who are already practitioners in the financial field.Course ContentAll our MSc programmes operate on the academic year basis, commencing in September and ending in the following September. Each degree includes both core and optional taught modules, which are assessed by a combination of coursework and final examination. The taught units are followed by a dissertation if the appropriate standard is reached in the taught component. Students can opt to take only the taught units and graduate with a postgraduate diploma, or may initially register for the diploma, and if they do well in the taught units, may to proceed to the dissertation for the MSc.
The Finance and Investment MSc is designed to be a specialised degree course focusing on security/portfolio investment decision making and as such it is structured around the syllabus of the Institute of Investment Management Research. The emphasis of the course is on issues related to investment in capital markets, such as investment strategies, the evaluation of investment performance and the use of financial statement information in evaluating company performance.Core ModulesAll students take a one-week introductory course in mathematics and statistics.Modelling Financial Decisions and MarketsThis unit provides a firm foundation in the theory and practice of econometric modelling of financial decisions and markets. The first half of the course is mainly theoretical, with examples of academic and professional applications used to illustrate and elucidate; the second half reverses the emphasis. The emphasis throughout is on the rationale of the econometric methods analysed and their use in practical applications.Advanced Financial Theory and Corporate PolicyThis unit provides a rigorous grounding in the theory and practice of corporate finance. This is achieved by giving particular attention to testable propositions and to the literature which has developed empirical tests of fundamental elements of modern finance theory. In particular, this module provides a thorough understanding of the three major decisions of corporate finance: the capital investment decision, the capital structure/financing decision and the dividend decision, within the framework of an uncertain operating environment. Both normative and positive aspects of the theory are examined, together with the supporting descriptive and empirical evidence. The emphasis is upon applications of the principles.International FinanceThis unit analyses the international financial system. In particular, it considers the operation of foreign exchange markets, including forward, futures and option markets; the main theories of exchange rate determination and speculative attacks; and issues on foreign exchange risk management and international capital budgeting.Elective Two from Financial EngineeringThis unit covers the theory and practice of financial engineering, with an emphasis on the pricing and hedging of derivative securities. The contents will encompass the definitions of the major classes of derivative instruments (futures, options, swapts), their use in complex deal structuring, their uses in risk management, and the mathematical theory of their valuation. The course will include coverage of interest rate modelling and exotic options.Money and BankingThis unit explores the links between money, financial intermediaries and the economy. In particular, the unit seeks to address the following questions: Can monetary policy be used to affect real economic variables? What are the possible sources of non-neutrality of money? How do monetary authorities conduct monetary policy? Why do capital markets sometimes fail to allocate credit efficiently? Can banking institutions improve the efficient allocation of credit? The unit investigates whether, in the light of recent banking failures, there is scope for tighter regulation and/or supervision. The latest developments in international banking are also discussed.Financial AccountingThis unit provides a critical review of the principles that underpin accounting standards in the UK, at the Financial Accounting Standards Board in the US, and at the International Accounting Standards committee. It also examines the limitations of financial reporting in capturing all the aspects of company performance; the role of accounting information in the valuation of enterprises; and the role which a common set of accounting standards can play in international business.Development FinanceThis unit provides an in-depth examination of the finance-growth relationship. Theoretical models and empirical evidence relating to the role of financial factors on the growth process will be discussed. The concepts of financial repression / liberalisation and the role of financial sector policies in promoting the development of the financial sector itself as well as savings, investment and growth will be examined with particular emphasis on developing countries.DissertationRecent examples of dissertations by students taking this course include:
Capital flows and the stability of the financial system
Factors that affect interest rate swap spreads; evidence from the UK market
Testing the long run validity of purchasing power parity using black market exchange rates