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Course content

Description

Our MSc Finance programmes are designed to provide you with rigorous training at the frontier of research, as well as the advanced analytical and technical skills that are highly sought after by global employers and, if you wish to continue your studies, by world-leading PhD programmes.

Our MSc programmes have partnership status with the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute (CFA). The CFA is the world’s premier association for investment professionals and the accepted benchmark for technical excellence in financial markets. It guarantees you benefit from a curriculum of the highest standards and enables you to participate in the CFA Global Investment Research Challenge, as well as CFA employer network events and scholarships.

Core and elective modules

You will study:

  • Advanced Financial Theory
  • Derivative Markets
  • Portfolio Management
  • Financial Risk Management
  • Security Analysis

Based on your prior knowledge and experience you will be streamed to study one of the following module pairings:

  • Econometrics I and Econometrics II
  • Econometric Methods and Financial Modelling and Business Forecasting

You will then choose one elective modules. The list of modules may vary from year to year, but has typically included:

  • Auditing and Assurance Services
  • Behavioural Finance and Economics
  • Experimental Economics and Finance
  • Market Microstructure and Technology
  • Innovation and Economic Growth.

Dissertation or Business Project

In the third term, you will complete a dissertation which could be undertaken as a consultancy project within an organisation or with one of our international partner institutions. Supervised by a faculty member with relevant experience, you’ll investigate in greater detail a subject that you’ve already studied as part of your programme.

International Opportunities

We’re proud of our strong international connections. Helping you get an inside perspective on global business is a key part of the programme. That’s why we offer a range of opportunities to help you immerse yourself in a country’s business and academic environment, make new contacts and stand out in a competitive job market. These include:

  • Dissertation Abroad: If your ambitions lie beyond the UK, we offer a number of places on our unique Dissertation Abroad scheme. This will involve writing a dissertation at one of our international partner institutions in the period June to August. A number of scholarships are available.
  • International Study Tour: We organise an optional International Study Tour to a European destination, typically Switzerland. This intensive programme takes place over several days, normally in March/April, and offers you a great opportunity to get an ‘inside perspective’ on international business, and to network with key staff within organisations.

Trading Challenge

This challenge will give you the opportunity to monitor and analyse real-time financial market data movements to build a hypothetical portfolio with securities of your choice. This gives you hands on experience and the chance to improve your investment and security selection skills. It looks great on your CV, plus there is a cash prize for the winner.

Additional Resources

The School has made a significant investment in database resources to give you access to both live and historical data from providers which include Thomson Reuters, Datasteam and Orbis. These state-of-the-art databases give you the opportunity to interrogate the financial records of millions of companies worldwide and add valuable insight to your research.

Course Learning and Teaching

The programme is mainly delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars, and practicals. Lectures provide key contents of a particular topic. Some lectures are delivered by guest speakers who are internationally recognised academic experts or practitioners in their field. Students can also attend the Durham Speaker Series, providing the opportunity to network with senior business leaders, staff and alumni.

Seminars provide the opportunity for smaller groups of students to solve problems and discuss and debate issues based on knowledge gained through lectures and independent study outside the programme’s formal contact hours. Practicals are medium sized group sessions, where students practice computer software, applying topics from lectures and seminars.

Students study 5 core modules, and select 5 elective modules to study between January and May which enables them to undertake more in-depth study of particular topics. This is followed by a 12,000 word dissertation to allow students to carry out independent research and develop their skills in analysis and scholarly expression, using an appropriate theoretical framework. They are supported in writing their dissertation through the study of research methods, and attending individual meetings with an allocated supervisor, who monitors their progress and provides advice.

Students will typically attend 10 hours per week of lectures in Term 1 and 9 hours per week of lectures in Term 2, and undertake a 1 hour seminar every two weeks (per module).

Throughout the year, students have the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities, mentored by the Programme Director, such as the Investment Club, the StockTrak Trading Competition, the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Investment Research Challenge, and Employer Networking Events.

They also have the opportunity to attend an International Study Week at an overseas location at the end of Term 2, which gives students the opportunity to learn about the business, economy and culture of another country, gain an ‘insider perspective’ on international businesses and network with key business staff. 

Outside of timetabled contact hours, students are expected to undertake their own independent study in preparation for seminars, assignments and other forms of assessment including exams, and general background reading to broaden their subject knowledge. All members of teaching staff are also available to provide additional support on a one-to-one basis via weekly consultation hours.

Pre-sessional modules in Accounting, Economics, and Mathematics and Statistics, are offered in September/October.

Following the exam period in May/June, students have the opportunity to participate in a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Preparation Module. The module runs over two full days with emphasis on Ethics and Forensic Accounting. This is to prepare students for the CFA Level I exam.

English Language requirements

Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.

How to apply

http://www.durham.ac.uk/postgraduate/apply


Visit the MSc Finance (Finance and Investment) page on the Durham University website for more details!

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