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Course content

Over the past two or three decades or so, Islamic banking and finance has emerged as another viable way of financial intermediation. It has gained credibility and has spread worldwide and is the preferred way of banking for one fifth of the world’s population. This taught MA offers an opportunity to study the structure of the Islamic banking and finance industry, including its theoretical foundations, products, performance, Islamic financial instruments and risk management issues. These and other topics will be studied within the wider context of the banking and finance industry worldwide. There is also an MSc version of this MA programme, and whilst the MSc is more suitable for candidates with some previous background in mathematics, statistics or econometrics, this MA is more suitable for candidates who prefer a less quantitative approach to their studies.

Course structure

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.

Compulsory modules:

Research Methods: This module develops knowledge of intermediate and advanced research methods, and provides a basis in research methodology for those who may eventually wish to pursue research degrees.

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.

Islamic Finance: This module provides an insight into topical issues relating to Islamic financial instruments and related risk management issues. The first part of the module examines issues relating to financial contracting, instruments and various intermediation issues. The second part focuses on the role of the capital market in providing Islamic financing, and highlights financial engineering and risk management features of this type of business.

Islamic Banking: This module provides an insight into the key features of Islamic banking business. The first part of the course outlines the theoretical foundations and development of Islamic banking practices. In particular, the main characteristics of various types of Islamic banking products are discussed. The second part of the course examines the operational features of Islamic banks, focusing on their performance and how they compete with conventional interest-based banks. The final part of the course outlines contemporary challenges to Islamic banking business.

International Banking: This module examines the origins of international banking, the activities of international banks, the markets in which they participate, and the sources of risk. You will investigate the determinants of the efficiency of international banks, and evaluate the implications for banks’ strategic decision-making.

Financial Crises and Bank Regulation: This module examines why banks and financial markets are inherently vulnerable to crises, and analyses the role of policy makers and institutions. The roles of monetary policy, bank supervision and regulation, corporate governance and ratings agencies in mitigating or exacerbating crises are considered.

Optional modules (choose 2):

Islamic Accounting and Financial Reporting: This module develops a critical awareness of theoretical and practical approaches to Islamic accounting and financial reporting. Islamic accounting standards are compared with IFRS, and the content and impact of academic research in this area is examined.

Corporate Risk Management: This module provides an analysis of pure risk and its management.

Bank Financial Management: This module provides a grounding in the nature, strategic context and managerial functions of financial management in banks and other financial services firms. Three key themes are: identification and management of the trade-off between risk and return; improvement of a bank’s value using market models; and external market-based tests of bank performance.

Financial Institutions Strategic Management: This module examines the main theoretical and practical issues concerning banking business. You will develop a critical awareness of the theory of the banking firm, the motives for international banking, and regulatory and structural issues impacting on bank behaviour.

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.

Islamic Insurance: This module analyses the nature and principles of Islamic insurance, and examines the operational modes and practice of Islamic insurance. The structure of Islamic insurance markets is described, and constraints and opportunities are highlighted.


Visit the Islamic Banking and Finance (MA/MSc) page on the Bangor University website for more details!

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