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The Masters in Finance is an ideal preparation for careers in finance, financial management or higher education. The programme provides specialist study in financial markets, investments, financial instruments and risk management.
This course is ideal for graduates in quantitative subjects who wish to prepare for careers in the financial services sector, and it provides an advanced education in finance for good graduates from a wide range of disciplines.
For a list of modules you will study, please take a look at our course content section.
12-month full-time course, starts in October
Ranked 5th in the UK and 29th in the world in the FT 2018 rankings.
Average class size
Designed for recent graduates with quantitative backgrounds.
Many modules contribute widely to CFA study.
Some modules provide exemptions from ACCA examinations.
Discover the topics you will study on the MSc Finance course, and the ACCA Academic Professional Partnership Programme by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). If you wish to gain the prestigious CFA qualification, we offer extensive support and a specialist dissertation module to help you achieve this.
The Finance MSc and the Accounting and Financial Management MSc are very flexible, so you can switch between them at an early stage if you find your interests changing. Some of the MSc modules contribute to CFA qualifications at various levels. For details, please see the individual module descriptions.
In the first term, from October to December, you will take four introductory modules plus four assessed modules and a non-assessed two-week module one Financial Databases.
This module provides a review of basic concepts from mathematics, namely calculus, matrix algebra and probability, that need to be understood by all students of accounting and finance. The emphasis is on helping you to understand these concepts and how to apply them to a wide variety of mathematical problems.
Functions of one variable, including exponential functions and logarithms
Rules of differentiation
Rules of integration
Functions of two or more variables
Partial differentiation and stationary points
Matrix algebra and simultaneous equations
Rules of probability
Conditional probability and Bayes's theorem
Discrete random variables, including the binomial and Poisson distributions
Continuous random variables, including the exponential and normal distributions
Expectation, variance and standard deviation
The normal approximation to the binomial distribution
This short module acts as a primer for the Foundations of Finance module. It starts by introducing you to finance and corporate governance, and then applies time value of money to value perpetuities and annuities. It also looks at the concepts of net present value and internal rate of return and builds on these to address capital-budgeting aspects of investment decisions. Although the module seeks to do this with a minimum of financial maths, to understand these topics properly you will need to invest some time in learning a few relevant formulae.
The objective of this module is to ensure that you have grounding in basic accounting concepts before progressing to the programme’s main assessed modules.
It provides an overview of the context within which financial reporting occurs, the main components of a set of financial statements, concepts commonly accepted as underlying the production of financial statements and an introduction to basic techniques for analysing financial statements and valuing businesses.
The aim of this module is to provide students with an introduction to basic concepts related to financial markets, including key categories of market participants as well as main types of securities traded in these markets.
To enable students to understand key concepts and methods from applied statistics that are used in several more advanced modules in accounting and finance.
In this module you will cover the basic building-blocks of finance that are of primary concern to corporate managers, and look at all the considerations needed to make financial decisions, both inside and outside the firm. The time value of money is applied to value financial securities, and the module considers in depth the relationship between risk and return. The second part of the module introduces you to the theory and practice of financing and dividend decisions.
Through this module you will gain a good understanding of the following areas: valuation of financial securities, portfolio selection and diversification, capital asset pricing model, financing decisions and efficient capital markets, capital structure and valuation for the levered firm and dividend policy.
This module contributes to the following CFA syllabus areas:
Corporate Finance (CFA levels I and II)
Portfolio Management (CFA levels I, II and III)
Basic Valuation Concepts (CFA level II)
This module is designed to give you a better understanding of how professional accountants, working in a variety of environments in various countries, have attempted to use aspects of accounting theory to resolve major reporting issues. It also furthers your understanding of how academics have conceptualised and explained accounting choices.
Topics covered include the regulatory environment of financial reporting, international harmonisation of accounting standards, and contemporary issues in financial accounting.
Financial Statement Analysis (CFA levels I and II)
Providing you with a strong foundation for understanding both the economics of financial markets and the main types of securities traded in these markets, this module focuses on bonds, futures, swaps and options. It strikes a balance between the theory and practice as well as making important links between models and the real world. The emphasis is on both principles and problem solving.
Topics covered include bonds, the economics of derivatives markets, futures and forwards, swaps, and options.
Securities Markets (CFA level I)
Derivative Investments (CFA levels I and II)
Debt Investments (CFA levels I, II and III)
During your second term from January to March, you will take four assessed modules, comprising at least two from the first five listed below, and the other two from the remainder.
This module builds on and extends the concepts covered in the core financial management module in the first term. The major topics covered include capital budgeting, capital structure, corporate valuation, corporate restructuring, merger and acquisitions, dividend policies, and application of real options in corporate finance. The analytical tools and financial theories discussed in the module are brought together through in an assessed report for which you work in groups to undertake comprehensive corporate finance analyses on a real company.
In lectures we will use cases based on real companies to demonstrate the links between the various areas of corporate finance. A key objective of the module is to help you explore how the financing and investment policies of firms interact with each other and how the decisions have implications for corporate valuation.
The aim of this course is to equip students with the tools necessary to enable them to make the core investment management decisions that managers face on a daily basis as well as the knowledge as to where they can find the information necessary to apply those tools. This course covers fundamental concepts and key issues in asset pricing; modern portfolio theory and its applications; equilibrium theories of asset pricing; portfolio performance evaluation; mutual funds and hedge funds.
By the end of the course you should be able to:
In this module you will acquire the tools needed to analyse financial statement information, in particular for the purpose of valuing businesses. This module is heavily based on cases.
After introducing you to the basic framework of fundamental analysis, the module focuses on the form and content of financial statements, operating and financial activities in the reformulation of financial statements, and the analysis of profitability. We will also consider issues that arise in the forecasting of financial statements.
We will then look at common valuation techniques, with the attention to each technique’s advantages and disadvantages and the connections between them.
This module contributes to the following CFA syllabus areas:
Equity Investments (CFA levels I and II)
Financial Statement Analysis (CFA levels I and II)
This module explains how econometric methods can be used to learn about the future behaviour of the prices of financial assets by using the information in the history of asset prices and in the prices of derivative securities. It also gives you practical experience of analysing market prices.
It will help you to understand the important features of time series of market prices, appreciate the relevance of efficient market theory to predicting prices, and make you familiar with appropriate methods for forecasting price volatility. You will also learn how to use option prices to make statements about the distributions of future asset prices, gain experience of applying computational methods in Excel to stock market and currency prices, and develop your knowledge of a broad range of econometric methods that are applied in finance research.
Designed to develop your understanding of the principles governing the valuation of fixed income securities and their derivatives, this module examines the main problems and selected issues relevant in the management of interest rate risk, and the organisations and structure of debt markets. Topics covered include debt securities and markets, the measurement of interest rate risk, and embedded options and interest rate derivatives.
This module contributes to the following CFA syllabus areas:
This module examines the financial accounting issues that arise – from both conceptual and technical angles – for complex business entities operating within the context of International Accounting Standards, US and UK GAAP. It also assesses the impact of accounting theory in understanding and suggesting solutions to major reporting issues and examines the importance of relevant academic research to this area.
After introducing you to the nature and environment of complex entities, the module focuses on the following areas:
Reporting financial performance: calculating earnings per share, defining income and comprehensive income, using reported income for analysis purposes
Owner’s equity: accounting for share-based payments, reporting changes in owner’s equity
Assets and liabilities: for example, intangible assets (including research and development), accounting for financial instruments, hedging
Accounting for groups: business combinations, goodwill, non-controlling interests, different types of strategic relationships (associates and joint ventures), foreign currency translation
This module provides extensive coverage of methods used for valuing derivative securities in the investment banking industry, and includes an introduction to stochastic calculus.
Topics covered include:
Discrete-time vs. continuous-time finance
Stochastic calculus and Itô’s lemma
Investment in derivatives
Black and Scholes model
Interest rate derivatives
This module gives you a framework for analysing the governance of organisations. It covers a selection of contemporary issues in corporate governance, using accompanying cases and readings. The teaching style is very interactive, so you will be expected to contribute to class discussions.
Topics covered include the goals of the firm and corporate governance theory, boards of directors, executive compensation, internal control and review, identifying, assessing and controlling risk, and financial reporting and external audit.
Designed to develop your appreciation of the main approaches to measuring, analysing and reporting information to support management decisions, this module provides insights into planning, decision-making, performance evaluation and control. The decision-making part focuses on the techniques that enable a firm to find solutions for management accounting problems; the control part provides the insights and techniques that enable a firm to bring these solutions to fruition.
The module deals with techniques that facilitate planning and decision-making such as multi-stage cost allocation and activity-based costing. But it also deals with the effects of these techniques on managerial behaviour, and how to control these behavioural effects. The module is consistent with modern micro-economic theory, but any maths content is presented in an intuitive way. Since the module brings together management accounting and modern microeconomics it will be particularly valuable for those interested in pursuing a career in consulting.
This module examines how banking institutions generate earnings and the nature of risks assumed in their operations, and gives you the conceptual framework needed to analyse and comprehend the current problems confronting managers of commercial banks and other financial intermediaries. It is assumed that you already have a good understanding of the basic theoretical concepts of corporate finance, monetary theory and financial accounting.
After briefly revisiting the question of why financial intermediaries exist and the distinctive roles of depository institutions relative to non-depository institutions, we move to the main focus of the module: explaining the various types of risk that financial intermediaries are exposed to as well as the ways that they measure and manage risk. This includes an analysis of interest rate risk, credit risk (individual loan risk and portfolio risk), off-balance sheet risk, and liquidity risk. The risk management component includes liquid asset management and liability management, product and geographic diversification, and the use of loan sales and derivatives.
Other important aspects include prudential bank regulation such as minimum capital requirements (i.e., Basel I, II, and III), countercyclical loan loss provisions, deposit insurance and other explicit or implicit guarantees. All topics are discussed in relation to the recent financial crisis.
This module introduces you to the leading financial platforms used in the financial industry. In particular, it gives you a general understanding of the structure, type of data and functionality of the Bloomberg Professional platform.
The module has a strong practical component, as you will be using the Bloomberg Professional terminals in our Financial Markets Lab to extract, analyse and interpret data available within the platform in order to solve real-life financial problems. Through this, you will gain important insights into how financial platforms such as Bloomberg Professional are used for problem-solving within the industry.
This module focuses on the various codes of ethics and regulatory frameworks to which professionals in accounting and finance are subject. It examines the nature of ethics and its application in the workplace, looking at various types of ethical issues that may arise. By introducing you to current topics in ethics and governance, the module develops your understanding of the role that governance plays in the management of a business and the evolution of good governance practice, and also your awareness of the consequences of unethical behaviour.
This module looks at what can happen to the asset pricing in situations where market imperfections coincide with imperfections in investor rationality. It therefore explores the boundary between mispricing which can be exploited and that which cannot be exploited profitably.
The module lays foundations for arbitrage, investment and wealth management, investment banking, and corporate finance. The material covered is at the frontier of academic and industry research, forming a conceptually advanced body of knowledge (CFA level III) which is of relevance for theory, research and practice.
The efficient markets hypothesis and competing theories
Limits to arbitrage
Heuristics, biases and prospect theory: mental accounts and evidence in market prices
Myopic loss aversion, disposition effect and overtrading
Professional investors and analysts: over- and under-reaction
Bubbles: observational and experimental, rational and non-rational
Closed-end fund discounts, co-movement and sentiment
The equity premium puzzle and the volatility puzzle
Behavioural portfolio theory
From May to July you work solely on your Masters dissertation and progress report, with guidance from your academic supervisor. You will continue this work throughout the remainder of the summer, submitting your dissertation in September, at the end of the Masters programme.
There is a wide choice of dissertation topics.
This course has been designated an ACCA Academic Professional Partnership Programme by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).The globally-recognised ACCA qualification has been developed with employers, and provides you with the skills and knowledge to be work-ready, wherever you are in the world.
Provided you have the right qualifications on entry to the MSc, you can follow an ACCA pathway through the programme which provides a recognised level of tuition for two of the ACCA’s Professional-level papers: P2 (Strategic Business Reporting) and P4 (Advanced Financial Management).
To be accepted on to this ACCA pathway, you will need to have already passed ACCA’s Fundamentals exams F1–F9, or to have exemptions from the Fundamentals level. This is in addition to meeting the entry requirements for this course.
On this pathway you have the same module choice as all other Finance MSc students, except that in the second term you must take the following modules. In the summer term you have a free choice of dissertation topic.
For more details on information about this Partnership Programme, please contact the Finance MSc Director, Dr Sandra Nolte.
The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Program is the leading professional qualification in the global investment industry. As a CFA Affiliated University, our MSc Finance and MSc Accounting and Financial Management programmes are recognised for their strong connection to professional practice and ability to prepare students for the CFA exams. Only a handful of UK business schools have been granted this status by the CFA.
These Masters programmes include a special CFA dissertation aimed at suitably qualified students wishing to sit the June CFA Level I exam and gain this prestigious qualification. You will benefit from five weeks of professional teaching by specialist CFA tutors from Fitch Learning covering the entire CFA Level I syllabus, supplemented by online support, key resources and real-time feedback via the Fitch Learning CFA training portal.
On completion of the module, you will sit a 3-hour mock Level I examination and the results contribute 42% to your overall dissertation mark. The CFA dissertation is available at no charge to all MSc Finance and MSc Accounting and Financial Management students who meet minimum performance criteria during the first term. CFA scholarships are also available to help you gain CFA Level I, and details are automatically sent to eligible students during Summer term.
This programme is accredited by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). Some modules also provide exemptions from ACCA examinations at Fundamentals level to fast-track your progression.
If you are interested in studying to become a Chartered Financial Analyst, many of our modules contribute widely to CFA study sessions at Levels I, II and III
Most modules use more than one type of assessment including formal exams (normally January and March/April), individual coursework essays and assignments, group-based reports and case study analysis. To pass, you'll need an overall average of at least 50% with no more than three modules in the 40%–49% mark range (following resit exams). A minimum pass mark of 50% in the dissertation is also required for the award of the MSc degree.
Our programme-specific scholarship for 2019 entry include the Academic Excellence, UK-EU and International scholarships aimed at high-achieving students with a strong academic or personal profile. We'll automatically consider you for these scholarships when you apply and if you are shortlisted we'll be in touch with the next steps, so it's best to apply as soon as possible. We also offer LUMS Alumni scholarships - visit our Apply For Masters page to find out more.
For many students, the desire to boost their career prospects and move more quickly into senior roles is a key reason for acquiring a Masters degree. That's why we integrate careers support into our MSc programmes, and offer a range of facilities to help you in your career development and job search process.
Like all of the School’s Masters students, you will have access to guidance and support from the LUMS careers team. But to give you extra industry-specific job-hunting skills, we have partnered up with a financial markets specialist who has worked for several leading investment banks and also financial technology institutions. As a financial careers coach still working in the financial markets, his role is to make you aware of many different opportunities that exist within the sector, giving you a clear picture of the particular skills required – and, crucially, an insider view on what employers will be looking for.
To help you differentiate yourself in a fiercely competitive market, he provides guidance on writing CVs and cover letters for the financial market, interview skills, and performing well at assessment centres.
You will also be able to take part in the many workshops and other employer events provided throughout the year by the careers team at LUMS. Many of the workshops are run by major companies, allowing you to find out what companies look for when recruiting at this level, and to improve skills which employers regard as essential in good candidates.
Our MSc graduates go on to work for many different kinds of organisations, in roles such as financial analysts, investment managers, regulators and policymakers, treasury managers, or consultants, etc. Some have used their finance expertise to set up their own companies, and other have gone on to accounting- or finance-related academic careers.
Companies have recruited our Masters graduates in recent years include: Arthur D. Little, Bacon & Woodrow, Bank of Cyprus, Bank of New York, Bank of Thailand, BankOne, Barclays Capital, China Asset Management, Citibank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Deloitte, Deutsche Bank, EY, Goldman Sachs, Grant Thornton, HSBC, KPMG, Lazard, Lloyds TSB, Mazars, Nestlé, N M Rothschild, Norwich Union, PwC, Piraeus Bank, State Street Global Advisors, Standard Chartered Bank and Towers Perrin.
MSc Finance, 2017
MSc Finance, 2016
MSc Finance, 2013
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