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MSc Financial Decision Analysis


Course Description

Why take this course?

If you are from a non-financial background, this course provides a viable route to financial management roles in a variety of organisations.

It is a practically orientated course based on financial, computational and modelling studies related to financial decision making and analysis. You’ll apply your improved decision-making ability in a range of areas including investment, risk management, budgeting, planning and forecasting.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

Use the University’s Bloomberg terminals to monitor and analyse real-time financial market data movements and trade
Receive guided support and mentoring from staff through formal meetings and via our use of social media
Tap in to our Library’s vast selection of electronic resources, which can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection

What opportunities might it lead to?

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) offer exemption for their five Certificate level papers on successful completion of this course.

For the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), we currently have exemptions from Fundamentals Level papers F1 - F3.

The University is recognised as a centre of excellence for finance teaching by the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI).

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

Commercial banking
Corporate finance
Financial planning
Insurance
Investment banking
Money management
Real estate

Module Details

You will study a total of five units which incorporate a range of topics covering decision and risk analysis, strategic management accounting, investment strategies and business valuation. We will also guide you in applying sophisticated forecasting techniques to help you understand and anticipate business trends, and with our guidance you will learn how to design and deliver research to the highest standards. The course then concludes with your dissertation where you’ll engage in research on a topic of your choice.

Here are the units you will study:

Financial Analysis and Modelling: This will enable you to gain a critical awareness of the financial environment from both an accounting and finance perspective. You will learn to understand, analyse and interpret company reports, examine the role of the regulatory framework for corporate reporting and the stock market, and explore the pricing of securities. You will also cover the key areas of decision and risk analysis, alongside the process of decision making, key statistical concepts, and selecting and using appropriate analytical software tools as aids to decision making.

Strategic Business Planning and Control: You will start on this unit by considering the internal perspectives of the firm in areas such as business planning and control including issues such as budgeting, the design of management control systems and the development of spreadsheet-based decision support systems. You will then build on this foundation by developing a more strategic corporate perspective. You will explore the relationships between strategy, strategic management and strategic management accounting and set the latter in the context of the historical development of management accounting in general.

Managerial Finance and Financial Markets: You will be introduced to key theoretical issues relating to financial markets and institutions, investments and corporate financial management and their practical applications and limitations. The areas covered will encompass shareholder value and the goals of the firm and the process of shareholder value creation, project evaluation and the discounted cash flow model, capital market theories including the efficient markets hypotheses and the ideas of modern portfolio theory. From this core understanding you will move on to look at the psychological, institutional and agency theory factors that impact upon financial markets. You will consider key empirical research on the explanatory and predictive power of models in the context of implementing investment strategies. This will be assisted by guided critical analysis of research and analysis of live data.

Corporate Finance and Valuation: This unit will give you the opportunity to consider the primary financial decisions of the firm focussing on advanced capital budgeting techniques and the strategic analysis of capital investment decisions, capital structure theories and financing policy, and dividend policy. You will appraise theories in the context of empirical research to facilitate critical understanding of the issues. Advanced study in business valuation will give you a practical understanding and further enable you to apply key professional techniques, which is particularly relevant for mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings and private equity transactions.

Research Methods and Dissertation: This is a scheme of independent research. We offer comprehensive training via lectures and workshops throughout the year to develop skills commensurate with standards of good research practice. On completing this programme you will be ideally placed to develop your own research projects and work within professional research teams.

Programme Assessment

We use a combination of teaching methods from lectures, seminars and tutorials to student presentations, case studies and practical sessions in our Bloomberg Suite. We are committed to best practice in learning and encourage group participation promoting discussion and debate in a friendly, yet challenging class environment.

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 Destinations

This 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, financial consultancy and project management in financial institutions. Alternatively, this course is also beneficial if you are aiming for careers in corporate financial management in non-financial companies or consultancy firms, government departments and international agencies.

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

Commercial finance analyst
Bid pricing executive
Finance internship
Graduate econometrician
Hedge fund manager

Visit the MSc Financial Decision Analysis page on the University of Portsmouth website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Nicki Burridge

After completing an MSc in Financial Decision Analysis, Nicki is now working for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as an Assurance Associate.

‘I chose to study for my Master’s at Portsmouth because I had just completed an honours degree in languages at the University and wanted to continue my studies in a city I already knew and loved, and in a study environment that fitted my learning style.

I wanted to go into finance using my languages, but lacked general business understanding and this course provided me the opportunity to gain all round finance skills in key business areas through an intensive postgraduate course. The flexibility to choose two optional modules to study also appealed to me as I could tailor the course to my desired career.

The specific modules have given me an excellent grounding for Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and I have used the knowledge I gained from the course in my everyday dealings with client’s businesses. Having a detailed understanding of strategic management techniques and business valuation methods has also enabled me to progress more quickly into advanced roles at PwC.

I found the Portsmouth Business School well equipped with comfortable classrooms and plenty of self-study and relaxation areas which were really useful when preparing for exams. The tutors are always available to solve any problems and took a real interest in my studies which encouraged me to do better.

I love Portsmouth as a university city – it feels really compact and friendly, and you find yourself with so many friends by the end of your studies that you never want to leave.’


(Scholarship)

Portsmouth Business School Scholarship Programme - 20+ Awards

The Portsmouth Business School offers a scholarship programme for self-funding Home/EU students who are commencing postgraduate study at the Business School. The scholarship will be in the form of a 40% discount from any tuition fees.Additionally there is an International Student Bursaries scheme which can be found at http://www.port.ac.uk/international

Value of Scholarship(s)

40% discount from the tuition fees

Eligibility

Portsmouth Business School is delighted to offer a number of scholarships for students who have applied for a full-time or part-time (but not Distance Learning) taught Master's postgraduate degree. You can apply to be considered if you:- Are fully self-funding
- Have UK or EU nationality
- Have applied to, and been offered a place on, the postgraduate degree of your choice The scholarship will be in the form of a 40%discount from any tuition fees.

Application Procedure

Application form available via web link below

Further Information

http://www.port.ac.uk/pbsscholarships



Entry Requirements

A good second class honours degree (55% or above), 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.

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