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MSc in Finance

Course Description

MSc in Finance

The MSc in Finance is for individuals who want to develop as finance professionals. The scope of the knowledge, skills and applications covered in this qualification enables professional development and practice in wide-ranging roles in finance such as investment and portfolio management, corporate finance and treasury, consultancy and investment banking. Both early career finance professionals and those aspiring to enter a finance profession will find our MSc in Finance a professionally rewarding and intellectually challenging experience. It also offers an opportunity to acquire and develop research skills and techniques relevant to higher academic qualifications in finance.

This is a rigorous masters degree requiring aptitude for analytical and quantitative methods to engage with theories of finance and their applications. It will provide a grounding in finance discipline areas such as corporate finance, financial decision-making, portfolio management, financial and risk management, financial reporting, governance and an introduction to Islamic finance and behavioural finance.

The Open University MSc in Finance has been accepted into the CFA Institute University Recognition Program. This status is granted to institutions whose degree programme(s) incorporate at least 70% of the CFA Program Candidate Body of Knowledge (CBOK), which provide students with a solid grounding in the CBOK and positions them well to sit for the CFA exams.

Through the study of our MSc in Finance you will be able to:

- gain an up-to-date perspective on both theory and practice in national and international contexts
- estimate cost of capital, to evaluate company and project valuations
- apply the knowledge of financial risk management techniques
- appreciate the importance of corporate governance and ethical issues in finance and acquaint yourself with essential features of Islamic finance
- learn and apply the most important tools for financial analysis and decision support in corporations, financial institutions and other organisations
- learn to critically evaluate the rigour and validity of published research and assess its relevance to new situations
- learn to apply some of the research techniques to form your own views on the theory and its application in practice
- develop professional finance and investment management practice.

Compulsory modules:

Introduction to corporate finance

This module provides a grounding in the core areas of corporate finance and enables you to gain a basis on which to build the specialist financial expertise that you will develop through your MSc in Finance. You will examine financial statements and explore how these can be employed to measure the performance of organisations. You will then look at the business environment that organisations work within and its impact on their financial decision making. You will also explore how organisations finance themselves and the factors that determine their cost of funding.

Financial strategy: valuation, governance and ethics

The finance manager in modern organisations, in addition to financing decisions, is also required to undertake investment decisions. This module provides theoretical and analytical knowledge required in making financial policy decisions on what projects and other business activities a firm should invest finance in. Issues of corporate governance, ethics and disclosure of information are explored, and the emerging field of Islamic finance is introduced by tracing its origins, scope and implications for financial decisions in a global economy.

Research methods for finance

This module introduces students to the underlying principles of research in modern finance, its process, philosophy, methods and methodology. It aims to develop competences in applying statistical and econometric techniques to problems in finance. It will alert students to the assumptions and limitations that underpin these quantitative methods. At the end of the module students will be able to decide on which techniques to apply, and will be able to design and execute an empirical investigation of a problem in finance.

Optional modules:

Investment and portfolio management (B861)

The module covers investment strategies for bonds, equities, and the use of derivatives in managing risk. Measuring portfolio performance, portfolio optimisation and asset allocation are also covered.


Derivatives and risk management (B862)

This module introduces key tools such as derivatives and risk mapping and provides you with an understanding of how the various financial and non-financial risks faced by organisations can be managed.

Finally completing your MSc with:

Dissertation (B804)

Career relevance

This qualification offers knowledge in a wide range of finance areas that include corporate finance function, investments, banking and financial institutions and risk management. You will gain both theoretical and practical insights into the working of financial markets, valuation of securities, understanding financial statements, risk management and portfolio management. You will develop the skills and capabilities required by investment analysts, finance managers, finance directors and chief financial officers. Exploring issues related to ethics and corporate governance, reporting and disclosure, financing and investment in uncertain and global business environments will equip you to support decision making at the higher levels of organisations. Prudent practice of finance is relevant across all sectors – public, private and voluntary. This qualification will therefore prepare you to work in the corporate sector, financial services, banking industry, multinational organisations and other sectors where analytical and decision tools in treasury, investment and financing decisions are required. Through a carefully chosen dissertation you will be further able to analyse the financial issues in a particular context.

This qualification will also provide sound training in research and academic skills for those wishing to develop academic careers in finance.

Visit the MSc in Finance page on the Open University website for more details!

Student Profiles

Entry Requirements

All entrants to this MSc in Finance must hold a bachelors degree awarded by a recognised UK university, or equivalent.Your spoken and written English must be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. You should possess a good working knowledge of maths and be confident with spreadsheets.

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