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Finance (2 year course)

Finance (2 year course)

MSc

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The deadline to apply for this course is 1 June 2023. Find out more

This programme is currently under development and may be subject to change

Course options

Key information

Duration: 2 years full time

Institution code: R72

Campus: Egham

Fee type Year 1 Year 2
UK £8,400 £12,600
International/EU £13,800 £20,700

Key information

Duration: 1 year full time

Institution code: R72

Campus: Egham

UK fees*: £12,600

International / EU fees**: £20,700

View this course

The course

Finance (2 year course) (MSc)

Our MSc Finance course is ideal if you would like a career in the financial sector. Through your studies you will gain a strong grounding in core areas of finance and have the flexibility to specialise in areas such as fixed income securities and derivatives, investment and portfolio management, private equity and entrepreneurship finance, all skills that are essential for a career in finance. We will provide you with intensive training in the analysis of issues in finance and corporate policy while improving your analytical and technical expertise.

This two-year course is designed for students who would like to study finance but earned their first degree in a different subject than economics. The first year consists of undergraduate-level modules which provide the foundations of microeconomics, macroeconomics and quantitative methods, as well as some optional modules. The second year consists of the regular MSc Economics modules, subject to progression.

Studying in the Department of Economics within the School of Law and Social Sciences at Royal Holloway means that you will learn from internationally renowned experts at one of the UK’s top ten teaching and research Economics departments. Our balanced approach to research and teaching guarantees high quality teaching from subject leaders, cutting edge materials and intellectually challenging debates. You will have close contact with the academic staff teaching on the course and you will receive individual support from the course director. You will be taught by a mixture of academics, some of whom have been veteran financial practitioners and have close links with the financial industry in the City of London and will hear from guest speakers. Please read more here.

During your time here you will study core modules essential to a MSc Finance and with our optional modules you will be able to tailor your degree to your interests.

Our facilities include access to Bloomberg terminals, which are used by financial traders and investment banks globally. These give you access to live financial and economic data, portfolio construction and optimisation tools, information and analytics to support your studies. We are also equipped with state-of-the-art software packages such R and Python.

On graduation you will be skilled in financial analysis techniques, understand mathematical statistics and theories and have the tools to analyse how financial markets function. Consequently, you will be in a strong position to forge a career in the financial services, business and banking sectors.

A two-week pre-sessional and a term long mathematical methods course are offered to bring you up to speed on your quantitative skills.

  • Graduate with excellent career prospects, with economics graduates having an impressive employment record and starting salaries amongst the highest in the country.
  • After successfully having completed the degree, you will have already prepared for large sections of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) level 1 exam.

From time to time, we make changes to our courses to improve the student and learning experience. If we make a significant change to your chosen course, we’ll let you know as soon as possible.

Core Modules

Year 1
  • The module introduces analytical tools for studying the behaviour of individuals and firms in a variety of economic settings. Topics include consumer and firm optimisation problems, strategic interactions between firms in different non-competitive environments, choice under uncertainty, intertemporal decisions and general equilibrium theory. For each topic, real world applications are used to show how models are used to examine complex issues, to make predictions and policy prescriptions. The features of economies that give rise to desirable market outcomes under different welfare criteria are studied in conjunction with situations that result in market failures.

  • This module covers macroeconomics at the intermediate level and introduces an integrated framework for thinking about the determinants of aggregate variables like unemployment, investment, consumption, interest rates, inflation, exchange rates and the balance of trade (net exports). The Autumn Term covers the core theory, developing an integrated model of goods, financial and labour markets. We focus on the three central variables of macroeconomics - output, unemployment, and inflation - and examine what factors may cause changes in these variables. The course introduces a unified framework for understanding the role of macroeconomic policy. In the Spring Term, we examine the dynamic elements of the economy, focusing on growth, consumption and investment. We will first study the process of economic growth over the long-run with a special emphasis on the recent economic catch-up of China and East Asia.

  • The aim of this module is to provide you with a solid understanding of the essentials of empirical research techniques (i.e. econometrics) used by applied economists. The module will cover core econometric topics that are needed by all wishing to undertake econometric analysis, with a particular focus on topics in both time series and cross section econometrics that can be used by students of industrial, business and finance.

  • The aim of this module is to extend your knowledge of the essentials of empirical research techniques (i.e. econometrics) used by applied economists. The module will build on the topics covered in Econometrics 1.

Year 2
  • In this module you will develop an understanding of basic mathematical methods that are used in the study of Economics and Finance, including basic matrix analysis, topology, statistics, and probability theory. You will look at differentiation and integration of standard functions, and basic manipulations of vectors and matrices. You will also examine various optimisation problems and theorems leading to certain basic results in calculus.

  • In this module, you will develop an understanding of the technical, analytical and quantitative methods used for analysing financial and equity markets. You will look at the theory of choice under uncertainty, and the modern theories of asset pricing and asset valuation, with consideration for the concepts of arbitrage pricing and the notion of market completeness.
  • Students will first be introduced to the principles and assumptions underlying Ordinary Least Squares estimation and the consequences of departures from these assumptions. The module will then develop an understanding of the methods used in the analysis of macro and financial time series data.  You will analyse and critically evaluate empirical research in finance and macroeconomics, looking at linear and non-linear time series. You will consider the methodologies for large sample modelling of financial and economic data.

  • You will attend a set of preparatory classes to equip you with the necessary skills required for research, including a hands-on approach to using statistical packages and reading peer-reviewed articles. You will be expected to use either econometric or statistical techniques and apply your knowledge and skills from the other quantitative methods and theory modules taken during your studies, to produce your own piece of research around 10,000 words in length.

  • The aims of this module in corporate finance are to introduce students to the techniques used in financial decision making in the modern corporation. It describes how the corporation in the business environment appraises investment opportunities, how it should raise finance to fund such projects and increases shareholder wealth via sound management and planning. The concepts developed in this course form the foundation of most elective finance courses.

  • This module will describe the key principles of academic integrity, focusing on university assignments. Plagiarism, collusion and commissioning will be described as activities that undermine academic integrity, and the possible consequences of engaging in such activities will be described. Activities, with feedback, will provide you with opportunities to reflect and develop your understanding of academic integrity principles.

     

  • The aim of the course is to give guidance to students who want to work in the financial industry. The level of this course is mostly for third year or MSc students, but it does not require pre-existing knowledge so first and second year students can follow this course. This course aims to bridge the gap between finance studies at university and what finance industry professional expect from graduates. The course explains precisely what existing finance jobs entail, what is required from the people working in those jobs, what the perspectives of these jobs are. This course will also prepare students for the professional interview of such a job.

Optional Modules

There are a number of optional course modules available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course modules that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new modules may be offered or existing modules may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

Year 1
  • This module will analyse the economic issues of behaviour and outcomes in labour markets. It will focus on topics relating to labour supply and demand, wage formation and earnings inequalities, e.g.: Labour Demand; Labour Supply; Human Capital and Compensating Wage Differentials; Inequality in Earnings; Labour Mobility; Discrimination; Unemployment.

  • In this module you will develop an understanding of advanced topics in industrial organisation, with a special focus on the role that information plays in markets. You will explore topics such as collusion, mergers, product differentiation, and asymmetric information, and become familiar with a broad range of methods and models applied by economists in the analysis of firms and industries.

  • In this module you will develop an understanding of economic inequality. You will look at the factors that determine wage differentials among workers from a theoretical and empirical point of view. You will consider why similar workers are paid differently and examine how labour mobility can improve the allocation of workers to firms, enhance aggregate productivity, and reduce inequality.

  • This module equips students with the fundamental theoretical tools for the analysis of the banking sector and will be useful for anyone considering further study or a career in this area. Topics covered include perfectly competitive and oligopolistic models of banking, moral hazard and adverse selection in the loan market, the macroeconomic implications of the credit market, the money multiplier, fractional reserve banking, bank runs, financial fragility and contagion. The module’s textbook will be Freixas and Rochet “Microeconomics of Banking”, but will also use "Understanding Financial Crises", Clarendon Lectures in Finance by Franklin Allen and Douglas Gale.

  • The module aims to introduce the student to what factors affect corporate financial decisions. Particular emphasis is given to the concepts of Net Present Value and Risk. The learning outcomes include: Understand what the goals of a firm are; Understand how investments are valued (Internal rate of returns) in order to help with good financial planning); Understand the concepts of risk, agency costs and how they feed into financial decision making; Understand the process of price formation in financial markets; Understand venture capital and different types of debt finance and debt valuation, including leverage.

  • In this module you will develop an understanding of both theoretical and empirical issues in Development Economics, such as the behaviour of credit and insurance markets in developing economies, the existence of poverty traps and the role of income, ethnicity, gender and caste in the development process.

Year 2
  • In this module you will develop an understanding of some of the key topics in macroeconomics, notably the roles of technological change, monetary policy, and fiscal policy in macroeconomic fluctuations. You will look at models of economic growth, resource allocation, and technological change, evaluating empirical evidence of these, and you become familiar with techniques such as dynamic optimisation, log-linearisation and difference equations for general economic analysis.

  • The aim of this module is to give a more in-depth look at corporate finance issues related to company evaluation and with the main user of those evaluations e.g. private equity and Venture Capitalist (VC). It also aims at giving a practical approach to key aspects of corporate valuation, for example, leverage. Finally, this module will detail the dynamic and the valuation specificity for the different stages of the company from the start up, to the IPO to the mature company doing merger and acquisition.

  • This module provides an overview of a very significant area of the contemporary financial world. The first part gives a coverage of the important elements of the default-free fixed income securities market, and the second part covers the derivatives market. The module focuses on the analytical tools used in portfolio management and risk management. For bond portfolios, these tools include yield curve construction, duration, convexity and formal term structure models. For derivatives, the emphasis will be on valuation, trading mechanisms and management of credit risk.

  • In this module you will be introduced to the underlying theory and empirical evidence in portfolio management and its practice in the financial sector. Portfolio theory is blended with practical issues encountered in the investment process, and you will cover topics which include identifying investor objectives and constraints, recognizing risk and return characteristics of investment vehicles, developing strategic asset allocations among equity, managing portfolio risk, increasing portfolio return, and evaluating portfolio and manager performance relative to investment objectives and other appropriate benchmarks. You will develop an understanding of how funds are allocated in portfolio construction, and look at security analysis, optimal portfolio selection and delegated portfolio management.
  • This module aims to analyse how corporate governance structures influence the behaviour of the relevant actors inside and outside of organisations. As both internal and external systems of corporate governance are explored, the module builds on the student's knowledge gained during their previous studies.

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

2:2

2:2 in Economics, Business, Finance, Management or any degree with evidence of some quantitative background. Candidates with professional qualifications in an associated area and/or relevant industry experience may be considered.

International & EU requirements

A Finance masters degree at Royal Holloway will equip you with an enviable range of transferable skills and can lead into a variety of career paths as well as the knowledge and a solid foundation for continued PhD studies. Employers recognise and reward the real knowledge and skills developed in an Economics degree. 

We will help students to recognise their own strengths, skills and abilities so that they can make strong applications for their chosen job or further study.  We also provide careers support including application and interview coaching, career strategy discussions and the opportunity to network with major employes.

  • Our graduates are highly employable and, in recent years, have entered many different economics-related areas, including careers as economists, financial analysts, accountants, bankers, journalists and business analysts. 
  • Our graduates are currently working for firms such as Accenture, TNS, Bloomberg, Citigroup, Royal Bank of Scotland, Credit Suisse, PwC, and Baker and Mackenzie.

UK students tuition fees*

  • Year 1: £8,400
  • Year 2: £12,600

International/EU students tuition fees**:

  • Year 1: £13,800
  • Year 2: £20,700

Other essential costs***: There are no single associated costs greater than £50 per item on this course.

How do I pay for it? Find out more about funding options, including loans, grants, scholarships and bursaries.

* and ** These tuition fees apply to students enrolled on a full-time basis. Students studying on the standard part-time course structure over two years are charged 50% of the full-time applicable fee for each study year.

All postgraduate fees are subject to inflationary increases. This means that the overall cost of studying the course via part-time mode is slightly higher than studying it full-time in one year. Royal Holloway's policy is that any increases in fees will not exceed 5% for continuing students. For further information, please see our terms and conditions. Please note that for research courses, we adopt the minimum fee level recommended by the UK Research Councils for the Home tuition fee. Each year, the fee level is adjusted in line with inflation (currently, the measure used is the Treasury GDP deflator). Fees displayed here are therefore subject to change and are usually confirmed in the spring of the year of entry. For more information on the Research Council Indicative Fee please see the RCUK website.

** The UK Government has confirmed that EU nationals are no longer eligible to pay the same fees as UK students, nor be eligible for funding from the Student Loans Company. This means you will be classified as an international student. At Royal Holloway, we wish to support those students affected by this change in status through this transition. For eligible EU students starting their course with us during the academic year 2023/24, we will award a fee reduction scholarship equivalent to 30% of the difference between the UK and international fee for your course. This will apply for the duration of your course. Find out more

*** These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree at Royal Holloway during the 2022/23 academic year, and are included as a guide. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing, have not been included.

Economics Postgraduate Admissions

7th

Ranking the UK for economics research excellence

Source: THE REF institutions ranked by subject, 2014

Top 4

University of London economics department

Source: THE REF institutions ranked by subject, 2014

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