Full time 1 Year(s)
This one-year MSc in Advanced Financial Analysis is designed to give you the specialist knowledge and skills that you will need for a career in investment management or financial analysis and to help you acquire the prestigious Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Level 2 qualification.
The programme consists of two elements. The first comprises eight taught modules, spread over the first and second terms. These modules, delivered jointly by Lancaster faculty and Fitch Learning’s professional instructors, are designed to cover the material you will need for the core CFA Level 2 syllabus relating to investments and financial analysis. Additionally, you will take the Personal Development for Careers in Finance module.
The second element of the programme is a specialist CFA dissertation stream which runs in the third term and through to September and includes:
an intensive CFA training module preparing for the CFA Level 2 exam in June
a dissertation project focusing on investment management
You will study a range of modules as part of your course, some examples of which are listed below.
The failure of numerous financial institutions and the spectacular losses in the financial markets in recent years have had a profound and extremely significant impact on the thinking and innovations in risk management. In addition, the proliferation of new derivatives products has raised concerns, both in the management of financial institutions and in the regulatory authorities assessing and monitoring the risks.
The lessons learnt from the fallout of the global financial crisis provides a contextual reminder for the urgent need to understand and evaluate the potential of the tools employed to monitor the inherent risks involved. This intensive course provides that understanding. It outlines, illustrates and demonstrates how to generate the types of measures that align with current regulatory recommendations.
The module focuses on contemporary risk management procedures and processes within investment management. It begins with a review of the risk management process and then drills down into those key areas practitioners must understand. Investment, operational and execution risks are then reviewed. We will also review different type of risks (e.g., market risk, interest rate risk, operational risk, credit risk, liquidity risk, sovereign risk, and insolvency risk), discuss risk attribution, introduce the concept of Value at Risk, and discuss the role of stress tests.
The module will use contemporary case studies to illustrate the topic and shed light on the key management issues.
The purpose of this module is to give students a very solid grounding in the quantitative empirical research skills that are necessary in producing high quality research, both in the academic as well as in the applied context, in the areas of empirical asset pricing and portfolio allocation.
The first part of the module (CFA Level II training) aims to prepare students to take the CFA Level II examination.
The second part of the module (capstone project) is aimed at providing the knowledge and skills necessary to conduct empirical investigation of key current financial issues. The main aims are to:
The aim of the course is to provide a thorough understanding of the issues that are relevant to the asset management industry with special emphasis on understanding and measuring investment performance. Our discussions will focus on mutual funds, hedge funds and exchange traded funds with less emphasis given to other fund management vehicles. The course will not cover security analysis.
This module looks at the core tool set of the buy-side analyst, and emphasises that the key to adding value is in understanding where to find the ‘raw materials’ to include within the calculations, and the impact accounting policy choices have on the outcome. Estimation of intrinsic valuation is obtained by the application of valuation techniques. These techniques will determine the value based on assumptions of future performance and several other judgements. The base of these forecasts will be derived from the current financial position of a company. As what happened in the past is not necessarily what will happen in the future, an integrated financial model will allow research analysts to predict key indicators of performance and value by forecasting key financial drivers. It will further their ability to explore the potential developments of a company in the future. In addition to basic valuation techniques, insights are provided into how to use best practice to construct a good, professional model.
This module consists of three parts: communication, client management as well as leadership and development. It addresses concerns of the insufficient set of "soft skills", which is raised on various occasions by employers. Students will receive training and guidance on how to present themselves to employers, how to build rapport and make a lasting impression of themselves; receive training and guidance on how to interact with many different types of personalities and to achieve a positive outcome whilst remaining compliant and providing excellent client service; receive training and guidance on how to build awareness of their brand, to develop an understanding of others, to apply the correct level of assertiveness and to adapt their communication style to varying situations.
The module aims to equip students with a good background in software packages and programming languages commonly used in the finance industry, such as Excel/VBA and R. In addition, it will provide training in advanced features of Bloomberg to retrieve and manage financial data and create reports.
The financial markets and the world of investment management has undergone significant change since the global financial crisis. Investment managers need to keep abreast of these developments and take advantage of such changes. This module introduces the key changes in market condition, including high frequency trading, dark pools and the move to bring off exchange instruments such as credit derivatives, on exchange. Within the world of investment management we look at developments in liability-driven investment, alternative investments and new approaches to diversification.
The key objectives are to
Endow students with an understanding of today’s financial markets, trading processes and decision making (also on a high-frequency level)
Endow students with the concepts and ideas of advanced portfolio analysis
Endow students with an understanding of the subtleties of investment decisions and dealing with clients
Endow students with the relevant quantitative skills in this area for further advanced studies
The module aims to address advanced financial reporting issues from both conceptual and technical angles within the context of International Financial Reporting Standards and US GAAP. It assesses the impact of accounting theory in resolving major reporting issues and examines the importance of relevant academic research to the area. Additionally, it examines the importance of financial reporting for business analysis.
The Regulation and Compliance online module is based on the syllabus of the Investment Management Certificate (IMC), a professional qualification administered by the CFA Society of the UK. In particular, it focuses on IMC Unit 1: The Investment Environment, which explores regulatory issues affecting investment professionals in the UK. The online module will prepare students for an assessed mock exam, based on the IMC Unit 1 syllabus. They are strongly encouraged to earn the qualification itself outside of the programme. In conjunction with CFA Level I, the IMC leads to compliance with the UK regulatory requirements for advising private clients.
Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research.
Undergraduate Degree: 2:1 (UK Hons) degree or equivalent in Finance or Accounting. If CFA level I qualified: Economics, Business Studies, Mathematics, or another business-related or quantitative subject such as Engineering and Computing.
Professionally qualified accountants with good examination results can also be considered.
If you have studied outside of the UK, you can check your qualifications here: http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/international-qualifications/
IELTS: Overall score of at least 7.0, with no individual element below 6.0. We consider tests from other providers, which can be found here: http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/study/international-students/english-requirements/requirements-p2/
If your score is below our requirements we may consider you for one of our pre-sessional English language programmes.
Pre-sessional English language programmes available:
10 Week – Overall score of at least 6.0, with no individual element below 5.5 http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/study/international-students/pre-sessional-english-language/faq/
4 Week – Overall score of at least 6.5, with no individual element below 6.0 http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/linguistics/study/summer-schools/english-for-academic-purposes/
Further information: http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/lums/our-departments/accounting-and-finance/masters/msc-advanced-financial-analysis/
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If you are studying on a programme of more than one year's duration, the tuition fees for subsequent years
of your programme are likely to increase each year. The way in which continuing students' fee rates are
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