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Investment and Risk Finance (MSc)

Course Description

This course provides a thorough theoretical and practical grounding in the key aspects of investment and risk finance, delivered in an intensive learning environment. You will learn how to apply the knowledge and theory you have gained in class to real-world problems facing the international financial services industry and the corporate financial management community. This practical application of investment and risk principles is one of the main strengths of this programme. The learning and skills development is integrated with resources available in our Financial Markets Suite (FMS), a state-of-the-art virtual trading room environment. The FMS is interfaced with the Bloomberg system, a leading source of economics and capital markets information available to the global professional financial community. Provision of this Bloomberg resource, along with the academic and professional career development opportunities are the main reasons why our students prefer to select this programme.

Students on the Investment and Risk Finance MSc are automatically registered for a student membership of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI) – a financial services professional body. Some of the benefits include free attendance at CPD events, accessibility to industry news and online resources.

Course content

The course has been in existence since 1999 and has continued to evolve to meet the changing educational needs of the investment and risk finance professional. It's delivered by qualified academics and professionals who have worked many years in the industry and are actively engaged in research and consultancy. The course consists of core modules which help you acquire the ability to perform quantitative investment and risk analyses on a variety of financial instruments and structured products. You'll also learn how to use capital market products in both investment and risk finance applications. As a result you will develop good transferable skills and solve financial problems in a group setting. Integrated within the course is a research module and a project that provides skills for development in research, creating opportunities for students to explore finance subject areas of their own interest in more depth. This study will enable you to apply the analytical and technical management skills you will encounter to real-life situations.

Core modules

- Data Analysis
Through this module you will cover a range of data analysis methods and concepts.

- Financial Derivatives
This module develops your theoretical understanding of financial derivatives markets. You will price and value financial derivatives from first principles and explore how financial derivative products can be used effectively in risk and investment management applications.

- Modern Portfolio Management
You will develop your understanding of contemporary portfolio theory and investment management principles in order to actively manage a range of investment funds used by professional institutional investors and the private wealth management industry.

- Project
An 8,000-10,000-word dissertation in the area of finance.

- Research Methods in Finance and Accounting
This module aims to develop your knowledge and competence of the research process, and the application of research methods in the area of investment and risk finance.

- International Risk Management
This module provides you with the fundamental ideas and tools for thinking about risk management.

Sub-core modules

Choose two or three of the following:

- Contemporary International Financial Management
- Financial Markets and Institutions
- Fixed Income Analysis
- Forecasting Financial Markets

Option modules

If you take two sub-core modules, you then need to choose one from the following:

- Financial Accounting Policy
- Financial Information Systems
- International Financial Reporting
- Managerial Accounting
- Modern Finance

Accredited internship

All students on our full-time business Masters courses can apply to undertake the PG/MBA Internship Programme Reflective Practitioner Module. This is an 8 week unpaid accredited internship, which can be taken in addition to option modules and will help students to gain invaluable work experience. The internships, which are with London-based organisations, take place during the summer period. To apply, students must submit a completed application form and a copy of their updated CV to the Business Experience Team; the team then shortlist from the applications and conduct group meetings with the applicants.

Ultimately it is up to our internship employers to decide whether they would like to interview the candidate(s) and offer him/her an internship. We have received very positive feedback from both postgraduate students and employers and expect that the internship programme will continue to remain popular amongst our students.

Associated careers

This course is designed to prepare you for a variety of roles. Career choices include security and financial analysis, trading and fund management, capital market sales and administration. The skills you will acquire through the teaching and learning experiences combined with a post-graduate qualification in this area of finance will allow you to expand your career in a dynamic and rapidly evolving global industry. Our graduates go on to develop careers in treasury and front office positions in investment banks and securities companies. They occupy management positions as financial analysts, finance and sales administrators or similar jobs in the global financial services sector and the corporate finance world.

Visit the Investment and Risk Finance (MSc) page on the University of Westminster website for more details!

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Student Profiles

Entry Requirements

Applicants should normally hold a first degree from a recognised institution (minimum Lower Second Class Honours or international equivalent) and demonstrate interest and motivation in the subject area. Alternative professional qualifications with at least three years' relevant professional experience will also be considered. Directly relevant degree disciplines include business studies, economics, geography, management, and operations research. However students with qualifications in other disciplines such as engineering, environmental sciences, the humanities and languages are also encouraged to apply.

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