About This Masters Degree
Why take this course?This course is aimed at graduates who are looking to pursue careers in investment analysis, stock broking, securities trading, fund management, banking and investment banking in financial institutions. It is also suitable for those who are aiming for careers in corporate financial management in large non-financial companies. The curriculum covers the three key areas of finance: investments, corporate finance, and financial markets and institutions, with a focus on financial investments.
What will I experience?Students are taught by academically qualified and enthusiastic staff with research and consultancy experience and links to industry. Access to extensive financial databases including Bloomberg, DataStream and Bank Scope is available along with excellent library facilities and with 24-hour internet access to leading databases.
On successful completion of your Bloomberg training you will be awarded the Bloomberg Certificate, an essential qualification for all city professionals.
What opportunities might it lead to?Our graduates have gained employment in a wide range of roles and industrial sectors. These include investment analysis, banking and investment banking in financial institutions as well as in accountancy and general management.
The University of Portsmouth is recognised as a centre of excellence for finance teaching by the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI). You will be eligible for student membership and this provides access to a range of networking and career opportunities. During the programme you will be prepared for CISI's Integrity Matters and Corporate Finance Technical Foundation examinations. Successfully completing these examinations allows you to achieve an industry-recognised professional qualification alongside your degree.
Module DetailsFinancial Econometrics
Econometrics is a core tool used in the study of finance. The aim of this unit is to give you a strong practical understanding of the econometric tools you will be using throughout your study of finance. The teaching philosophy is to take an applied approach, to provide you with a strong intuitive understanding of the most important statistical techniques, and how to apply them successfully to a wide variety of practical situations in finance using the main statistical packages, such as Eviews and SPSS. Many of the econometric techniques covered are used and applied in other units in the course, to help you gain a good practical understanding of how to apply them in the practice of financial management.
Derivatives: Options, Futures and Swaps Markets
In this unit you will study the main derivatives securities and markets, options, forwards, futures and swaps. The emphasis is on the study of derivatives pricing models and how these are applied in speculation, hedging, arbitrage and price discovery in financial investments as well as in the measurement and management of financial risks. In finance some models work better than others. The pricing models and techniques developed in derivatives work so well that all professionals working in derivatives markets use these models and techniques all the time, every day. In this unit you will acquire a high degree of theoretical understanding and practical competence in using and applying these techniques.
Corporate Finance and Business Valuation
In this unit you will study the primary financial decisions of the firm, working capital management, advanced capital budgeting techniques, the strategic analysis of capital investment decisions, capital structure theories, and the financing and dividend decisions. Theories will be appraised in the context of empirical research to facilitate critical understanding of the issues. In the second half of this unit you will move on to the advanced study of business valuation. The main focus is on providing a strong practical understanding, and on the application of the key professional techniques used in firm valuation, mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings and private equity transactions.
Portfolio Theory and Behavioural Finance
In the first half of this unit we look at stock markets and bond markets from the rational perspective. Here you will study the standard material of ‘modern portfolio theory’. In the second half of the unit we move on to behavioural finance, looking at the emotional, cognitive, institutional, and agency theory factors that impact upon financial markets. Topics include stock market booms and busts, financial crises, systematically irrational market behaviours, and the investment strategies that have been devised to exploit them. The unit has a strong practical philosophy. The theory, empirical research and analysis of real data that you will study are designed to help you to become a better investor.
Research Methods and Dissertation
This is a scheme of independent research. We offer comprehensive training through lectures and workshops throughout the year to develop skills commensurate with standards of good research practice. You will be assigned a Dissertation supervisor who will provide feedback, guidance and support on an individual basis.
Programme AssessmentTeaching methods include lectures, seminars, computer-based workshops, invited speakers and live case studies. Student participation is encouraged and classes are challenging but informal and friendly, which promotes discussion and debate. The course tutors are available to support your studies and you will also have a personal tutor to provide help and guidance for any problems that you might have.
You are assessed in a variety of ways to reflect the individual topics. Our approaches to learning, assessment and feedback are varied and constructive, to help you build the personal management and employability skills that are essential for a fulfilling career.
Student DestinationsThis course is designed to provide you with powerful analytical tools and methods to understand the complexities of modern financial markets. These skills are in high demand and you’ll be strongly placed to enter industry in the finance and industrial sectors. Previous graduates have gone on to secure roles in accountancy and general management as well as investment analysis, banking and investment banking in financial institutions. Alternatively, this course is also beneficial if you are aiming for careers in corporate financial management in large non-financial companies.
Roles our graduates have taken on include:
Commercial Finance Analyst
Bid Pricing Executive
Hedge Fund Manager
page on the University of Portsmouth website for more details!
A second-class honours degree in a relevant subject which includes some element of economics, mathematics or statistics, or equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.