About This Course
The ever-changing nature of financial markets, financial institutions and business firms, has made it increasingly important for finance experts including financial managers in multinational companies, investment analysts in securities firms, lending officers in banks and other financial institutions and traders in capital markets and dealing rooms - to have a clear understanding of the theory and practice relating to financial market operations and corporate financial strategy. Familiarity with the most recent developments in risk appraisal, portfolio analysis, the engineering of synthetic products, modelling techniques, financial analysis and valuation are essential requirements for all those involved directly in financial activities or who wish to gain a deeper understanding of this important area of business management.
The MSc and MA Finance programmes at Bangor offer you a unique opportunity to develop an appreciation of the causes and significance of current developments in the financial and corporate sectors, and to study advanced theory and practice relating to financial markets and the financial management of business firms.
Issues you will tackle as part of your MSc or MA Finance degree programme include:
- What are the relationships between risk and return governing investment in company shares and other derivative instruments?
- Can market risk be priced accurately?
- Can credit risk be priced accurately?
- Which factors are most likely to influence the evaluation and implementation of international investment projects?
- How can we calculate a suitable cost of capital to appraise the capital investment decision?
- How should institutional investors go about constructing a portfolio of assets to maximise returns on behalf of investors?
- How can we assess the investment performance of pension funds, insurance companies and unit trusts?
- How are futures, options, derivatives and swaps used to manage balance sheet and off-balance sheet risks?
- What are the key principles of international portfolio management in a world of fast and unpredictable movements in exchange rates?
- How can spreadsheets be used to develop financial models, and what techniques are required to obtain computational solutions to finance problems?
- What are the main features of financial engineering, and how can one asset be transformed into another?
- What are the design features of synthetic assets, and how do they help us to develop strategies for hedging risks?
- How can financial forecasts be used in business valuation, and what techniques should be used to improve trend analysis and interfirm comparison?
With these needs in mind, the MSc and MA Finance programmes at Bangor are designed to develop participants’ existing skills through a scheme of specialist advanced study. An important objective is to provide participants with relevant analytical training so that they are familiar with the latest theoretical and practical developments relating to corporate finance and the capital markets. These programmes provide a coherent theoretical framework for the various subject areas, but the emphasis throughout is on advanced practical application of financial techniques in a real-world setting.
The availability of parallel MSc and MA degrees in Finance allows you to choose between registering for a more technical MSc degree (including a compulsory element in Financial Econometrics), and a less technical MA degree (for which Financial Econometrics is optional). The MSc degree may be more suitable for applicants with some previous background in mathematics, statistics or econometrics, while the MA degree is more suitable for applicants who prefer to adopt a predominantly non-quantitative approach to their studies. However, both degrees include a compulsory module in Research Methods, which includes coverage of both quantitative and non-quantitative research techniques. Provided you are registered for the correct modules for your chosen degree, it is normally possible to transfer between the MSc and MA degrees during the first few weeks following your initial registration.
January intake: Taught modules are undertaken in the period of January to June and September to January and will involve the study of 120 credits. The dissertation (or equivalent) is valued at 60 credits and is undertaken during the period of June to September.
September intake: Taught modules are undertaken in the period of September to June and will involve the study of 120 credits. The dissertation (or equivalent) is valued at 60 credits and is undertaken during the period of June to September.
12 months (January and September start dates). A 10 month version also available (September start only). Students on the 10 month course will study 5 modules in the Autumn and 5 in the Spring.
Chartered Financial Analyst Pathway
Many of our degree programmes provide the opportunity to follow the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) specialist pathway and acquire the skills to complete the CFA Level 1 examination (for both September-intake and January-intake students). The CFA has become the most respected and recognised professional qualification in finance in the world.
Students undertaking this pathway will take a new module titled Financial Research & CFA Series during the summer period. Students will attend research seminars in June to be followed by specialist training for the Level 1 CFA exam provided by Fitch Learning, who are a well-recognised and accredited provider of CFA education. The teaching will include two days of Research Seminars in June and five two-day blocks of training, plus an additional two-block of revision provided across July and August. Assessments will follow the seminars and the CFA training.
No additional fees are charged for students undertaking this pathway.
However, students will be required to enrol with the CFA Institute and register for the exam. Payment of enrolment and examination fees is to the CFA Institute.
What will you study on this course?
Research Methods: This module equips students with knowledge of intermediate and advanced research methods, which they will encounter in other modules and in their dissertation.
International Financial Markets: This module provides an overview of financial instruments in a multi-currency world, taking account of insights from portfolio theory concerning the relationship between risk and return, the diversification of risk, and the pricing of assets.
Credit Risk Analytics: This module examines the theory and practice of credit risk analytics and decision science in financial institutions. Particular emphasis will be placed on topical areas within quantitative methods and regulatory requirements.
Market Risk Analytics: The module looks at how financial engineering can be used for speculative, hedging, and arbitrage strategies, how derivatives are priced, and how they can be used to manage risk
Financial Econometrics: This module provides advanced coverage of econometric methods and practices that are used to model financial and business data.
Investment Strategy and Portfolio Management: This module evaluates the development of investment strategies for bonds, equities and derivatives that are designed to achieve optimal risk-return outcomes, and examines the measurement and evaluation of the performance of a portfolio of investments.
Plus choose 1 of the following:
- MSc Dissertation
- Financial Seminar Series
- Applied Financial Projects (30 credits)*
- Financial Research & CFA Series (CFA pathway only)
*Students on the 10 month programme must take this option.
Optional Modules (MSc) - choose 2:
- Corporate Risk Management
- International Financial Management
- Financial Analysis
- Merger and Acquisition
- New Venture Creation
Modules for the current academic year
Module listings are for guide purposes only and are subject to change. Find out what our students are currently studying on the Finance Modules page.
Course content is for guidance purposes only and may be subject to change.
Entry to the MSc Finance requires a 2(ii) undergraduate degree in a relevant subject, e.g. economics, finance, accounting or management from a university, or a similar qualification from any other institution. Alternatively, possession of a suitable professional qualification and relevant practical experience may also be accepted. In general, however, applicants are judged on their individual merits and age, work experience and other factors are also considered. Bangor University also offers International Incorporated Masters Degrees for International students whose academic credentials are different from those outlined above. The first year is studied at the Bangor International College , an embedded College on our University campus and delivered by Oxford International Education Group.
If your native language is not English, you must provide satisfactory evidence that you have an adequate knowledge and understanding of written and spoken English.
- IELTS: 6.0 (with no element below 5.5)
- Pearson PTE: a score of 56 (with no element lower than 51)
- Cambridge English Test – Advanced: 169 (with no element lower than 162)
It may be necessary for applicants falling short of this minimum standard to attend an intensive English Language course before registering for the academic programme. Such a course is available at Bangor, and full details and an application form may be obtained here.
The course will be of interest to the following people:
- Graduates who wish to develop advanced analytical skills in finance
- Science graduates with the relevant technical skills who wish to undertake advanced study in the finance area
- Graduates who wish to pursue a career in investment banking and other capital markets related areas
- Employees in public and private organisations who wish to develop their finance
- Managers employed in central banks, development banks and other banking and financial services firms who wish to advance their finance skills
- Graduates contemplating a career in the investment banking sector and also in other financial service firms
- Graduates who have relevant practical experience and wish to enhance their skills in the areas of finance