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Finance & Investment (MSc)


Course Description

This programme is not currently accepting applications.

Programme description

Most business schools offer an MSc in Finance. Few offer an MSc with such a strong investment component. A powerful blend of academic rigour and vocational insight, the MSc in Finance and Investment will add considerably to the knowledge of those looking to further their career in this vital sector.

The School's location in the UK's second largest financial centre allows us to attract visiting speakers from the key financial institutions, fund management houses and a range of analysts. Students are able to interact with leading figures from many major companies; this is particularly evident in the dissertation, which offers an invaluable opportunity to collaborate on a topic that has real, of-the-minute industry relevance.

The practical, theoretical and numerical skills learnt through the programme, as well as the global perspective of investment markets and asset classes, will leave you well qualified for a range of finance related professions. We expect graduates to take up positions in investment analysis, portfolio management, financial statement analysis and evaluation, corporate finance, product development, client servicing and risk management.

The School is recognised a partner institution by the Chartered Financial Analysis (CFA) Institute. Equally the School is recognised as a Centre of Excellence in the provision of postgraduate education in finance and investment by the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI).

Programme structure

Learning will primarily be through lectures, set reading, class discussions, exercises, group-work assignments, problem solving in tutorials and case studies. Assessment methods include examinations, assignments, presentations or continuous assessment.

Learning outcomes

Students will learn about corporate finance, global financial markets, financial accounting statements, derivatives, portfolio management, investment analysis and investment mathematics. They will also learn about the use of software and sources of information in investment and risk management.

How to estimate the fair value for an investment, to test assumptions and sensitivities and to compare different investments are explored in depth. Students will also gain an understanding of the role of different asset classes, their behaviour in isolation and in relation to other asset classes, and an understanding of how portfolios of investments can be constructed and analysed.

Intellectual skills

Students will develop:

critical analysis – an ability to assimilate new knowledge in the field of finance and investment (and to analyse the information gained) and the operations and methods used in the financial sector
research skills – an ability to identify and define pertinent research questions, to review the relevant literature, to define a proper methodology and to conduct research in the context of data analysis or other suitable methods
discipline – a major difficulty in investment is removing emotion from the decision-making process; research in behavioural finance shows that the desire of investors to follow consensus, and the ease with which they can misinterpret data, are obstacles to sound decision making - the programme will seek to imbue students with the discipline required to make good investment decisions
analytical and numerical skills – an ability to analyse and solve investment problems, to handle large volumes of numerical data, to extract and manipulate relevant data in a meaningful manner, and to analyse accounting information

Subject-specific knowledge

Students will develop:

an understanding of investment and risk-management tools and databases such as Datastream, Osiris, WRDS and ThomsonOne Banker, through use of such products and demonstrations of their output and capabilities
an understanding of industry practice in risk management and general techniques such as value-at-risk and optimisation
an ability to understand, speak and write the language of finance and investment. An ability to analyse financial statements of companies, to evaluate earnings quality and firm performance
an understanding of analytical and problem-solving methods through the use of techniques such as discounted cash flow analysis, quadratic programming, sensitivity analysis, scenario analysis and Monte Carlo Simulation
an understanding of risk and its applicability beyond investment
a knowledge of the nature and findings of academic enquiry in the areas of finance and investment

Transferable skills

Students will develop an:

ability to understand, assess and present complex lines of argument
ability to work individually and with others in teams, often under time pressure
ability to communicate clearly on paper and in presentations
enhanced numerical skills and fluency in spreadsheet use, developed through problem solving in quantitative courses within the programme

Visit the Finance & Investment (MSc) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A UK first-class or 2:1 honours degree from a good university in one of the subjects below, or an equivalent overseas qualification. An undergraduate degree in finance, accounting or economics is normally required. Applicants with an Honours degree in a non-related subject will also be considered, but will need to demonstrate a high standard of ability and motivation for the programme.

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