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.

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
  • Opportunity to study CFA Level One and gain full CISI membership
  • Aston is ranked inside the Top 50 in the World for Masters in Finance 2015

This high quality teaching programme blends finance theory with practical applications and research tools. The knowledge and the skills developed enable students to complete a research-led dissertation on a specialist topic in the field of finance. In the summer term, students have the option of attending preparation and revision classes for the CFA Level One programme.

The programme is recognised as having equivalence to the CISI Diploma and Aston Business School supports students in gaining full membership of the CISI as part of their studies. The facilities and equipment used on the programme are of the highest standard, giving you access to the most innovative tools available. These include a dedicated Reuters trading 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.

Core Modules:

Optional Modules (Choose one):

The programme then concludes with a dissertation project

Professional Development Programme Module

Business skills for life: the essential Aston Professional Development Programme

The Aston Professional Development Programme (PDP) is an integral module that forms part of your MSc taught course from day one.This compulsory module runs throughout the academic year. We have designed it around knowledge through practice - to enhance your employability as you customise the PDP experience to suit your own learning goals and skills development needs.

We take a multidimensional, qualitative and individually tailored approach. Using reflective models, we integrate a competency-based framework into our existing academic programmes.  You will engage with different kinds of experiential learning, such as skills workshops, work-based experience, study abroad and develop your own unique skillset.  

This pathway between theory and the world of work brings together Aston’s faculty, careers practitioners and business and academic partnerships teams to help you step into your future careers as culturally aware, global professionals.

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 Leonidas Tsiaras
BA, MSc, PhD 

Leonidas joined Aston Business School as a Lecturer in Finance in June 2011. Prior to this,  he was a PhD student at Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus University. During his PhD studies he also became affiliated with the Center for Research in Econometric Analysis of TimE Series (CREATES), as a Junior Fellow, and with Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, as a Visiting Research Scholar. His research interests currently lie in the field of Financial Econometrics.

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.

The MSc Finance and Investment at Aston has been recognised as having equivalence to the CISI Diploma; Aston Business School supports students in gaining full membership of the CISI as part of their studies. The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) is the largest and most widely respected professional body for those who work in the securities and investment industry both in the UK and in a growing number of financial centres globally.

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:

  • 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.

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)  

Scholarships for 2015/6 entry are now closed. 

Contact details:

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

Career & personal development

Career & personal development

Funding your study

Funding your study

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