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Birkbeck's MSc Finance with Advanced Pathways combines academic rigour with a solid grounding in the practical, problem-solving skills that employers value. The course will give you excellent, specialist knowledge and training in finance and financial economics, including basic portfolio theory, corporate finance, and pricing theory applied to derivatives and government bond markets. You will also learn the latest econometrics and numerical analysis skills. All of these skills are increasingly valued in the marketplace, banks, commercial firms and government, so this course could help you stand out in a competitive job market.
A distinctive feature of this course is its pathways, which allow you to specialise in accounting, banking, commodities or risk
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A second-class honours degree, or its equivalent, in either a directly relevant or a quantitative subject, or the Birkbeck Graduate Diploma in Finance.
In some circumstances, students will be admitted with a degree at less than second-class honours level, provided that their subsequent work experience and/or education and training is deemed to have brought them to an equivalent standard.
Students are expected to pass the pre-sessional modules on quantitative techniques and introductory finance in September.
We also offer an MSc Finance, which is ideal if you don't have any prior knowledge of economics, finance or related fields.
Flonia has always had an ambition to complete a Master's programme, but couldn’t give up her job to study. Once she began looking into what was available, Flonia quickly decided that Birkbeck, University of London's MSc Finance, taught in the evenings was an excellent option. She says: 'I wanted to do a programme to increase my employability, and the fact that the course content was relevant and applicable to the finance world, combined with the reputation of the university was a key factor in deciding to study at Birkbeck.'
The other key factor for Flonia was the flexibility that studying in the evenings gave her. She comments: 'I was able to maintain my full-time job, as well as get my Master's, and that flexibility was very important. It works around your lifestyle, and allows you to have variety – a professional challenge in the day, and an intellectual challenge in the evening.'
As an international student, Flonia was pleased to discover that her classmates were from a wide variety of different backgrounds. She said: 'Studying with people of different ages and nationalities you get to learn from other people's lifestyles and experience. I'm happy that I made the choice to study at Birkbeck, it's given me a different perspective on working life and studying.'
Although studying alongside full-time work can be challenging, Flonia said that her lecturers and tutors understand this: 'I really appreciate being given plenty of time and support to prepare for assignments. The staff make a real effort to make things clear and easy to understand. All students get worried from time to time, but the lecturers at Birkbeck are very approachable and will support you.'
Careful planning, along with the support from lecturers have been key to managing the workload. Flonia explains: 'We were given a really useful presentation which helped me to plan timeframes for researching and writing my dissertation. I also have to plan time for attending lectures and reading the materials beforehand. It's helpful that the staff also make the lectures available on-line as well.'
Gaining a Master's while working full-time shows employers that you can handle pressure; and that's definitely a plus. Considering the friends that I've made, the support I've been given, the knowledge and the skills that I've gained, I would definitely recommend Birkbeck to others'
Paraguayan student Maria Veronica Porro won a Chevening scholarship to come and study at Birkbeck. She had already studied for her undergraduate degree in the United States and explains: ‘I wanted to diversify my academic experience and try a different system. As I was studying an MSc Financial Economics, it made sense to study in a financial hub like London. Furthermore, the fact that Birkbeck classes are taught in the evening meant that many of my fellow classmates were already working in financial economics during the daytime and studying with me in the evening. It provided me with a good opportunity to interact and network with people working in my field. By talking to my classmates I was able to get a good insight into the everyday life of a full-time financial economist. That was helpful in deciding what career path to take after my studies.’
‘Birkbeck gives students access to top lecturers and guest speakers. I decided to become an economist because of Muhammad Yunus and his book Banker to the Poor. While I was at Birkbeck I had the opportunity to attend a conference where my role model Yunus was speaking. It was a wonderful experience to be able to meet him and listen to his views about microfinance and his experience as the founder of the Grameen Bank. A city like London can provide you with the possibility of meeting outstanding leaders not only in economics but in many other fields.’
‘I am currently working at the newly re-opened British Embassy in my city, Asuncion, as Prosperity and Project Officer. Two decisive factors that UK diplomats took into account when hiring me were: my studies at Birkbeck and my experience as a Chevening scholar.’
‘My studies at Birkbeck have also been instrumental in helping me with my current job. Courses such as econometrics and research work like my dissertation provided me with analytical skills. Leading on economic reporting and analysis of business and investment climate in Paraguay is a pivotal part of my job. For example, I am now able to write economic reports describing the trends in terms of the trade balance between my country and the UK. More importantly, I am able to analyse the components of this trend and to predict them.’
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