MSc Finance and Investments

This programme provides the skills, knowledge and understanding for students who want careers to the financial and insurance sector. The programme blends finance theory with practical applications and research tools.

MSc Finance and Investments

Why choose this course?

  • Provides you with knowledge, understanding and skills appropriate to careers to the financial and insurance sectors
  • Access to the most innovative tools available, including a dedicated Reuters dealing room facility, asset market trading simulations and a range of databases
  • Excellent employment opportunities, Aston Business School is ranked in the top 10 in the world for careers  (FT Masters in Management 2013)

This programme will provide students with knowledge, understanding and skills appropriate to careers to the financial and insurance sectors, such as in financial analysis, stockbroking, market trading, investment and commercial banking, investment regulation and corporate finance.  Through a high quality teaching programme we blend finance theory with practical applications and research tools.

The facilities and equipment used on the programme are of the highest standard, giving MSc finance students access to the most innovative tools available.  This includes a dedicated Reuters dealing room facility, asset market trading simulations and a range of databases.

The specific objectives of this programme are to develop:

  • An understanding of the main decision making areas in finance and investments

  • A knowledge of financial market structures and to explore these in a ‘dealing room’ environment

  • An understanding of the main research tools used in finance and investments

  • The ability to apply the main mathematical and statistical techniques used in financial decision-making

  • The ability to critically evaluate contemporary finance

  • An appreciation of the international dimensions in finance and how to apply appropriate risk management techniques

  • Completion of the Reuters Certification programme.

In addition to your Aston degree, you will have the opportunity to participate in our international study exchange programme. Studying with one of our partner institutions, the programme will enhance your international experience and communication skills, preparing you for a career in the international business environment.

Candidates must have a good level of quantitative and analytical skills.  While it is anticipated that most applicants will have studied finance or economics at undergraduate level, this programme is also appropriate for students with good first degrees in mathematics, statistics, computing, engineering or the sciences.

Plus one of the following:

  • A good UK honours degree (minimum lower second class)

  • Equivalent overseas degree recognised by Aston University.

As well as:

  • Two professional references – at least one must be from an academic referee

  • An official academic transcript of your university grades to date

  • A completed application form.

For International Students:

  • An official academic transcript, with an official English translation, of your university grades to date

  • Students whose native language is not English will also need to satisfy our English language requirements Pre-sessional English language programmes are available for good applicants whose English qualification falls just short of these requirements.

Duration of programme: Full-time - 12 months 
Start date:

UK/EU:          £11,650 (2015 fee)
International:  £17,000 (2015 fee)  

If you are among ‘the brightest and the best’, we have a range of generous scholarships which can open the way for you to study with us. Find out more >>

The seven taught modules are assessed by examinations and coursework.  The taught element of the programme is complemented by a substantial piece of research leading to the completion of a dissertation.

Personal development

Students will acquire skills in the following areas: giving presentations; team working; report writing; negotiation and IT skills.

Modules taught on this MSc will enable you to develop a wide range of technical and transferable skills and knowledge demanded by graduate employers in banking and finance.  Specialist knowledge areas developed on this programme include:

  • Understanding of investment valuation and portfolio management, focusing on fixed income securities, pricing of futures and options contracts, performance and risk management
  • Application of option pricing models and understanding of trading and hedging strategies
  • Understanding of market microstructures including auction and dealer trading systems and the influence of liquidity, inventory and adverse selection on trading costs
  • Understanding of key mathematical and statistical techniques underpinning finance and investment models including use of sampling and estimation theory, multiple regression analysis and approximation techniques
  • Application of econometric techniques (including time series methods, smoothing techniques, principal components techniques) to modelling financial markets
  • Multi-cultural teamwork and presentation skills developed through group-work
  • Analytical skills developed through research dissertation

Course director

Dr Antonios Kassanis 
BA, MSc, PhD 
Antonios joined Aston Business School in September 2012, having previously taught at the University of Birmingham for a number of years. His teaching experience within the Finance curriculum includes courses in International Finance, Foreign Exchange Markets, International Investments and Econometrics with Financial Applications. His research interests currently lie in the fields of Financial Economics and International Finance.

Teaching staff

Many of the academics teaching on the programme have previously worked in the finance industry such as in hedge funds, in portfolio management, at The Bank of England or undertaking financial consultancy.

Dr Alfonsina Iona
Laurea in Economics, MSc, PhD
Alfonsina's research in Finance is carried out both at the theoretical and empirical levels.  In particular, she studies and develops models of investment where the effects of capital market imperfections contribute to shape the firm’s investment; where corporate investment is affected by the public investment and where capital market imperfections effects may be relaxed by some macroeconomic variables.  In this research area she also analyses how corporate governance characteristics affect the firm's financing policies and how these affect the firm's value.

Her research on innovation, instead, focuses on the main determinants of the adoption of innovations by firms and the impact of product, process, technological and managerial innovations on firm performance.

Dr Neophytos Lambertides 
BSc, MSc, PhD
My research interests are mainly on the area of asset pricing, credit risk and bankruptcy prediction, option pricing theory, real options and payout policy.  My research articles appeared in the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis (forthcoming), Journal of Accounting Auditing and Finance (forthcoming), Abacus, The British Account Review, Managerial Finance.  I am on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Accounting.

Professor Nathan L Joseph
I am an Associate of Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (ACMA) and a Member of the EURO Working Group on Financial Model.  I am also Associate Editor for the International Journal of Applied Decision Sciences, and on the Editorial board for International Quarterly Journal in Finance, Finance Letter, and Journal of International Business and Finance.

My current research interests include: Modelling asset pricing; Risk management and asset pricing; Market efficiency and stock price overreaction; Corporate governance and share price impacts.

Professor Jim Steeley
My research is in the area of investments.  I have worked mainly on the estimation and dynamic modelling of the UK term structure of interest rates, but I have also published papers on portfolio theory, stock market volatility, equity market integration, stock market seasonality, futures pricing and implied density functions from options.  I am on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Bond Trading and Management, and Studies in Economics and Finance.   

This specialised programme is designed to prepare you for a career in a wide range of banking, finance and insurance organisations.

Potential employers include investment and retail banks, specialist finance houses, investment management companies, business services consultancies, insurance/ reinsurance companies, pension funds, regulatory bodies and specialist actuarial and underwriting practices.

For information on sector opportunities see the Banking, Investment and Insurance overview on the Prospects website.

Examples of jobs taken up by our recent graduates include:

  • Investment Banker – Bualuang Securities PCL

  • Management Trainee - Bank of China (Beijing)

  • Asset Manager - Dexia Asset Management

  • Stock broker - Capital Group

  • Risk Analyst - N.Power

  • Analyst - Euromax Capital Global Finance (UK)

  • Junior Financial Analyst – IATCO (Saudi Arabia)

  • Accountant - KPMG (Paris)

  • Auditor - Deloitte (Paris)

  • Financial Economist - The French Treasury

  • Risk Analyst - Barclaycard.

This programme is also appropriate for those intending to pursue a PhD in a finance or related area.

Aston Business School has a network of ‘Career Champions’ - MSc alumni who are working in a range of sectors globally or running their own business. To find out more about Career Champions click here.

Aston Business School's outstanding student facilities include:

  • A purpose-built suite which is accessible exclusively to Masters students 

  • 24 hours access

  • Free Wi-Fi connection

  • Modern lecture/tutorial rooms

  • Computer labs

  • Lounge area

  • IT equipment and packages and use of Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)

  • In 2010 an investment of £150,000 was made to provide an interactive "Reuters" dealing room

  • Training in the use of leading financial databases such as Datastream, Reuters, Fame, Trade and Quotes, Compustat and CRSP

  • Participation in bespoke asset market trading simulations.

Contact details:

Aston Business School postgraduate admissions office
Tel: +44 (0) 121 204 3200
Email: abspgenquiry@aston.ac.uk

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research