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Finance (MSc 2-year programme)

Course Description

This two-year taught Masters provides you with an opportunity to study a portfolio of courses in the first year, designed to bring you up to the entry standard for the Master's degree; it gives the student the opportunity to strengthen their economics, finance and quantitative knowledge during the first year. Subject to performance pre-requisites, at the end of the first year you will progress to the 1-year MSc in Finance

You will be provided with rigorous training in the analysis of issues in finance and corporate policy while improving your analytical and technical expertise. The programme is ideal for those whose career objectives lie broadly with the financial services and banking sectors. You will have the opportunity to gain an in depth grounding with core courses such as Foundations in Finance, Corporate Finance and Quantitative Methods in Finance, and subsequently tailor your programme to match your end goals through the range of optional courses on offer. These include Fixed Income Securities and Derivatives, Investment and Portfolio Management and Decision Theory and Behaviour amongst others.

You will be taught by a top-ranking Department of Economics with expertise in a broad range of areas, including people who have worked and are still working in the finance industry in the broad areas of asset allocation and risk, as well as algorithmic trading.

With a relatively small intake each year you will benefit from a strong sense of group identity and will enjoy close contact with the academic staff of the department. The course director and course coordinators serve as your personal advisors up until the spring, when you will then be assigned a personal dissertation supervisor.

The MSc Finance is an excellent preparation both for a career in the financial services, banking and business sectors and policy making, as well further academic study.

See the website https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/economics/coursefinder/mscfinance2yearprog.aspx

Why choose this course?

- The course is ideal if you have graduated from a discipline other than Economics and quantitative courses, or wish to deepen your understanding of the discipline.

- The course offers an excellent opportunity to get a strong grounding in core areas of Economics and Financial Economics and to specialise your knowledge further through the wide range of optional courses on offer.

- You will be taught by academics who produce world leading research. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise we were ranked among the top 10 Economics Departments in the UK.

- Our graduates are highly employable; 90% of graduates from the Department of Economics were in full-time employment or further study within 6 months of graduation.

- Our courses are small and select, thus ensuring that you will receive individual attention from the academic staff

Department research and industry highlights

- Economics is among the top departments in the UK for Research Excellence. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), 80% of the Department's research submitted was ranked as world-leading or internationally excellent (rated 3* and 4*).

- A recent analysis of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) shows that the Economics Department at Royal Holloway is the third best department in the UK for publications. The study by Jim Taylor and Ian Walker provides further insight into the research standing of UK economics departments. Previous rankings from the data already showed the Department in the top 10 in the UK.

- The Department produces top research across the main fields of the discipline and has particular strength in applied work.

- We run a weekly Internal Seminar which provides a lively forum for work at an early stage of development. Our External Seminar Series runs weekly during term and welcomed over 20 external speakers from prominent places during last academic year. Invitees are the usual mixture of established names and newer entrants to the profession thought to be doing exciting work.

Course content and structure

The duration of the course is two years. In year one you will study for nine months (September to May), then start year two in in the following September. Year two begins with a compulsory two week mathematics refresher course prior to lectures and seminars starting. The dissertation is written over the summer.

In year one you will take core courses at undergraduate level that will prepare you for year two.

On completion of the programme you will have the following skills:
- advanced training in the principles of economics and finance and their application appropriate to postgraduate level

- developed the ability to apply the advanced knowledge, research methods and skills they have acquired to the solution of theoretical and/or applied problems in financial policy and investment

- the ability to evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline

- analytical skills and an ability to develop simplifying frameworks for studying the real world and to be able to appreciate what would

- be an appropriate level of abstraction for a range of financial issues

- a range of transferable skills that will be of value in employment and self-employment

- the skills base from which you can proceed to research in finance and related areas.


Assessment is carried out by a variety of methods including coursework, examinations and a dissertation.

Employability & career opportunities

90% of graduates from the Economics Department at Royal Holloway University were in full time employment or further study within six months of graduation.

Our graduates are highly employable and, in recent years, have entered many different Economic-related areas, including working in the Public Sector (Government Economic Service), journalism, and business analysis. Our graduates are currently working for firms such as Accenture, Barclays, TNS, Bloomberg, Citigroup, Royal Bank of Scotland, Credit Suisse, Pricewaterhouse Cooper and Baker and Mackenzie. This course also equips you with the subject knowledge and a foundation for continued PhD studies.

You career ambitions are supported by our Careers Executive, Dr. Melanie Luhrmann as well as the College Careers Service, located right next door to the economics department. They offer application and interview coaching, career strategy discussions, and the opportunity to network with major employers on campus. Our careers service is provided by the Careers Group, the main provider of graduate recruitment services in London. Thus you will have additional access to a wealth of presentations and networking opportunities.

How to apply

Applications for entry to all our full-time postgraduate degrees can be made online https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/studyhere/postgraduate/applying/howtoapply.aspx .

Visit the Finance (MSc 2-year programme) page on the Royal Holloway, University of London website for more details!

Entry Requirements

UK Upper Second Class Honours degree (2.1) or overseas equivalent in non-Economics focused and non-quantitative degrees. Applicants with a good Second Class Honours degree (2.2), or overseas equivalent, will be considered on an individual basis. IELTS 6.5 overall with 6.5 in writing and a minimum of 6.0 in all other sub-scores.

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