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Finance (2 year course)

Finance (2 year course)

MSc

  • Option 2 years full time
  • Year of entry 2021
  • Campus Egham

The course

Our MSc Finance degree 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 degree is ideal if you have graduated from disciplines other than Economics, Finance or other quantitative disciplines but wish to work in a finance-related area. During the first year you will study advanced undergraduate-level modules and the second year consists of the MSc Finance 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 Stata, Matlab and Python. Matlab is the language of choice for the MSc Finance.

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.

Core Modules

Year 1
  • This module will develop your understanding of the basics of modern microeconomic analysis. You will become familiar with the tools that economists use to analyse problems of resource allocation in market settings, beginning with a formal analysis of the optimising behaviour of consumers and producers. You will be introduced to markets and the notion of competitive equilibrium, in both partial and general equilibrium settings. You will then look at how individual market participants can affect prices, analysing the problem of a monopolist. Finally, you will consider static game theory to analyse markets where a small number of firms compete with each other (oligopolies).
  • This module will provide you with an introduction to modern intertemporal macroeconomics. You will learn about the tools used for dynamic economic analysis and apply them to topics such as economic fluctuations, unemployment, long-run growth, consumption decisions by households and investment decisions by firms. You will develop an understanding of dynamic macroeconomic models of economic behaviour, the main theories of economic fluctuations, the modern theory of unemployment, the principal determinants of consumption and investment decisions, and look at the process of economic growth.
  • 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.

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.
  • This module will provide you with an introduction to the basic mathematical and statistical methods used in Economics and Finance, with a particular emphasis on optimisation and basic matrix analysis. You will develop your ability to carry out differentiation and integration of standard functions, manipulate vectors and matrices, and understand and solve various optimisation problems, both constrained and unconstrained with equality or inequality constraints. You will look at probability and distribution theory, becoming familiar with estimation and inference, and be able to use the main theorems of the large sample distribution theory.
  • In this module you will develop an understanding of the techniques used in financial decision making in the modern corporation. You will look at how corporations appraise investment opportunities, raise finance to fund such projects, and increase shareholder wealth via sound management and planning. You will examine the discounting methods used to value financial assets, the processes firms go through to raise funds from share issue, and the factors that affect the optimal capital structure of the firm.
  • In his module you will 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, and undertake a quantitative research project applying testing procedures on time-series data.

  • 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. You will also learn about market microstructure, gaining practical experience in trading using simulation software.
  • In his module you will 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, and undertake a quantitative research project applying testing procedures on time-series 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.

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 provide you with an insight into the nature of financial markets and how they are used by investors and corporations. You will start by looking at the equity market, considering issues of optimal asset allocation, asset pricing theory, market efficiency and market microstructure. You will then concentrates on fixed income securities and the uses and applications of derivative financial instruments, covering pricing of fixed-income securities, futures, options and swaps and hedging.

  • In this module you will develop an understanding of the mathematical models used to study and analyse strategic interactions between agents. You will look at the fundamental concepts in game theory as applied to economics in general and microeconomics in particular. You will become familiar with basic equilibrium concepts such as Nash equilibrium and subgame perfect equilibrium, and be able to find equilibrium outcomes of simple games including the use of backward induction.

Year 2
  • In this module you will develop an understanding of the rational decision-making paradigm in economics, as well as its shortcomings over the past few decades. You will explore behavioural models, their formalisation and scope, including applications to finance, becoming familiar with both theoretical and experimental methods for research in decision theory and behavioural economics.
  • 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.
  • In this module you will develop an understanding of the most important elements of the default-free fixed income securities market, and the derivatives market. You will look at the analytical tools used in portfolio management and risk management. For bond portfolios, these will include yield curve construction, duration, convexity and formal term structure models. For derivatives, you will focus on valuation, trading mechanisms and management of credit risk.
  • In this module you will develop an understanding of the economic meaning of the terms liquidity and solvency in the context of financial intermediaries. You will look at simplified frameworks for analysing the fragility of the financial system and consider its relevance to financial crisis including models of bank runs and the theory of optimal financial regulation. You will examine the implications of asset price bubbles for financial stability and the implications of imposing capital structure controls and liquidity controls on financial intermediaries.

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

2:1

Your undergraduate degree should be in non-Economics related subject. Applicants must show that they have completed or be studying at least one year's worth of Mathematics or Statistics modules in which a 2.2 or above is achieved.

Normally we require a UK 2:1 (Honours) or equivalent in a non-Economics related subject. Applicants must show that they have completed or be studying at least one year's worth of Mathematics or Statistics modules in which a 2.2 or above is achieved. We will also consider a high 2:2 and/or relevant industry experience. Candidates with professional qualifications in an associated area may be considered. Where a ‘good 2:2’ is considered, we would normally define this as reflecting a profile of 57% or above.

International & EU requirements

English language requirements

All teaching at Royal Holloway (apart from some language courses) is in English. You will therefore need to have good enough written and spoken English to cope with your studies right from the start.

The scores we require
  • IELTS: 6.5 overall. 6.5 in Writing. No subscore lower than 6.0.
  • Pearson Test of English: 61 overall. Writing 61. No other subscore lower than 54.
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE): ISE III.
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) grade C.

Country-specific requirements

For more information about country-specific entry requirements for your country please see here.

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.

Home and EU students tuition fees*:

  • Year 1: £7,935
  • Year 2: £11,900

International students tuition fees**:

  • Year 1: £13,000
  • Year 2: £19,500

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 programme 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 see tuition fees see our terms and conditions. Please note that for research programmes, 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.

** For EU nationals starting a degree in 2021/22, the UK Government has recently confirmed that you will not be eligible to pay the same fees as UK students. 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 in September 2021, we will award an automatic fee reduction which brings your fee into line with the fee paid by UK students. This will apply for the duration of your course.

*** These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree programme at Royal Holloway. 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

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Source: THE REF institutions ranked by subject, 2014

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