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Course content

About the course

The MSc in Business Finance with professional placement is designed to enhance students' understanding of the operation of firms, with a special focus on the financing decisions they must make. This requires an evaluation of the firm’s relationship to financial markets. It also requires an understanding of the theory and practice underlying corporate finance and investment decisions. By studying the operation and design of corporate financial systems, and analysing business financing and investment decisions, this masters programme should enable students to find a role within the finance department of large firms or in government bodies, as well as provide them with tools to help organise smaller businesses.

The objective of the Business Finance MSc is to produce graduates with a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of business finance and company valuation within the context of modern financial markets, without necessarily requiring a high level of mathematical or statistical knowledge as a prerequisite. The key transferable research skills acquired will enable students to proceed to PhD study. In addition, the programme will equip students with the key skills required to undertake further professional development and seek career opportunities within financial management.

Aims

You will be provided with a rigorous treatment of the theory of corporate finance

You will be taught the econometric and mathematical techniques necessary to understand the literature and undertake empirical investigations in the area of finance

Through a selection of optional modules the course will offer you a broader perspective on the subject matter and willl allow you to cover specific areas in accounting and finance that are of specific interest to you

Course Content

The MSc consists of both compulsory and optional modules, a typical selection can be found below. Modules can vary from year to year, but these offer a good idea of what we teach.

The full-time Business Finance MSc programme is designed with four equally weighted modules in each of the first two terms, with three being compulsory and one an option from a list. The dissertation carries one third of the marks for the course and is undertaken after the modules have been completed. The part-time option is designed with two modules in each of four terms. The compulsory modules give an excellent coverage of core material in finance designed in a way to be applicable to business. The Business Finance MSc analyses the theory and practice of business finance, focusing on financial decision making within firms and how they interact with the financial markets and institutions.

Through the optional modules the course is also designed to offer a broader perspective on the subject matter and allows you to cover specific areas in accounting and finance that is of particular interest to you.

Compulsory Modules

Essentials of Mathematics and Statistics
Quantitative Methods for Business Finance
Foundations of Finance
Business Economics
Company Valuation
Business Finance
Business Finance Workshop
Dissertation

Optional Modules

Students must choose two optional modules from the following:

Either Financial Reporting in Capital Markets
Or International Finance

Either International Accounting Standards and Policy
Or Investment Valuation Models

Part-time option

Level 1

Essentials of Mathematics and Statistics
Foundations of Finance
Quantitative Methods for Business Finance
Business Finance Workshop
Business Finance

Level 2

Business Economics
Company Valuation

Students must choose two optional modules from the following:

Financial Reporting in Capital Markets
International Finance
International Accounting Standards and Policy
Investment Valuation Models
The Dissertation must be submitted in the spring term of the third year.

Special Features

A key feature of this course that distinguishes it from other finance masters programmes is that it emphasises the applied aspects of business finance and financial decision making within firms. As such, there is more focus on real-life, up-to-date analysis of business decisions and less emphasis on the theoretical foundations and mathematical underpinnings of finance. This is particularly suited to students who would like to enhance their knowledge of finance within a business context but who have backgrounds in a wider business or management field.

Now full-time students have the opportunity to spend time in industry with the Professional Practice placement. This allows you to not only apply what you learn in real-world situations, but will significantly enhance your employability prospects upon graduating.
Another feature is that the emphasis on the applied nature of financial decision making is reinforced through the Business Finance Workshop. This is a series of presentations and discussions of cutting-edge topics led by industry leaders and practitioners.

The course is one of four specialist masters programmes developed by leading experts in the Economics and Finance Department at Brunel. As a student here you will be part of a long standing and thriving environment for research and study with many advantages and benefits such as:

Outstanding academic expertise and research-led teaching
95% of our academics are nationally and internationally recognised for their work in economics and econometrics in the latest Research Assessment Exercise (2008)
As a result, you will benefit from up-to-the-minute research-led teaching by academic staff who regularly publish in international peer-reviewed journals, have an impact on international regulatory design and obtain significant research grants.

Professional training facilities
You will have access to a variety of professional databases used in business and the finance industry which include Datastream, Bloomberg, Bank Scope, Osiris, Reuters 3000 Xtra and Thomson One Banker
We hold regular training sessions and external visits with Bloomberg, which will enhance your research and expose you to real-world factors that will be important in future finance related employment.

Scholarships
Brunel offers a number of scholarships for UK, EU and international students.

Excellent links with leading organisations
We have excellent links with business and the finance industry, which will help you to network with organisations and get ahead in your career.

Industry talks, guest lectures and research seminars
A number of industry talks with professionals from the private sector will be invited to teach part of the programme and will provide you with further practical experience
There is a wide range of events on offer, such as guest lectures and research seminars to keep you up-to-date on the latest developments and will help build your contacts.

Teaching

Effective learning is achieved through a combination of lectures, seminars, directed independent study, workshops, oral presentations, and varied assessment patterns. Use of appropriate IT resources is expected (e.g. electronic resources to access data, and relevant software programmes used in research methods). Dissertation research will give you the opportunity to integrate your knowledge of important themes, frameworks and research findings in business finance obtained via lectures, seminars, and workshops.
Students who successfully complete a professional placement will be invited to attend a tutorial day to give a presentation about their experience. An optional reflective journal during the placement may assist in preparation for the presentation and dissertation.

Assessment

All modules are assessed by a combination of coursework and final examinations. Students who successfully complete the taught part of the course can proceed to the dissertation stage. Students who do not follow the pathway with Professional Practice are expected to work on their dissertation in the summer and to submit the final draft in mid-September. Students who follow the Professional Practice pathway will complete their placement during the summer and work on their dissertation afterwards, submitting in January.

Professional Placement

All students who enrol on the full-time Business Finance MSc will have the opportunity to complete a placement. A placement can significantly improve your employability and expose you to real-world situations in the Banking and Finance industry, and importantly, allow you to network with industry professionals.

Students completing the work placement option will have a competitive edge in pursuing careers as high-level analysts, economists and managers in financial institutions, governments, financial regulators, business companies and central banks, as well as international organisations.

The placement option is available to full-time applicants and will last for 12-15 weeks during the summer of your course. Placements will begin at the earliest in the last week of May and will finish by September Some employers may also provide a salary.

For students who complete the placement, their dissertation will be completed after the placement has finished. Students who do not find a placement will do their dissertation throughout the summer and submit in September.

Visit the Business Finance - MSc page on the Brunel University London website for more details!

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