Finance MSc 2021

Develop your understanding of corporate finance, asset valuation, investment management and risk management techniques. Enhance your analytical and quantitative skills and you’ll gain valuable experience using industry-leading software in our state-of-the-art trading room.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type

Full-time

Course format

Duration

1 Year

UCAS code(s)

N/A

Start date

Course outline and modules

Study MSc Finance at Aston University to equip yourself with the financial knowledge and technical skills to kick-start a successful and rewarding career in the financial sector.

This challenging and exciting programme will advance your knowledge and understanding of finance, whilst helping you to develop a wide range of analytical and technical skills, which are in strong demand from employers in the finance and banking sector. By the end of your studies, you’ll be well-equipped to fulfil a variety of financial roles, both in private and public sector organisations.

Our teaching staff are committed to delivering an educational experience of the highest standard. You’ll be taught by leading academics who benefit from industry experience and a unique understanding of how the financial world works in practice. They will bring the course to life through a variety of inspiring and practical teaching methods, with all sessions being delivered in a friendly, supportive atmosphere.
During the summer term you will also have the opportunity to attend a workshop designed to help students taking the CFA® (Chartered Financial Analyst) Level I examination.

How will my knowledge and skills develop?

Our MSc Finance covers a broad range of stimulating topics, including financial derivatives, investment management, asset valuation, financial econometrics and corporate finance. You’ll learn to appreciate the complex environment organisations operate within as well as how this can impact businesses financially. We’ll help you to develop a critical awareness and understanding of contemporary issues and theories relating to investments, financial instruments and corporate finance.

You’ll enhance your quantitative skills throughout the course. We teach you how to apply appropriate mathematical and statistical tools to aid financial decision-making.

You’ll also develop a wide range of transferable skills which will help to further enhance your employability. Thanks to the diverse background of our students, you’ll work alongside people from across the world. This will develop your communication, teamwork, organisation and management skills in a multicultural context. These are highly regarded competences for graduate employers.

Practical experience

This programme has a strong practical element. You’ll gain hands-on experience working with real-time financial, accounting and economic data, thanks to our dedicated trading room facility and industry leading software. Your exposure to these practical tools and techniques will give you the confidence and technical capability to gain a competitive advantage over other graduates in the job market.

You’ll study The Aston Global Advantage module which focuses on professional development and employability, helping you to apply the key skills that you will gain throughout the year.

You’ll also have the opportunity to study abroad with one of our international partners, undertake an internship placement in the UK or overseas or get involved in a global business challenge simulation.

Our courses offer a range of opportunities to gain practical experience through things such as consultancy projects and entrepreneurial opportunities. Find out more here.

How will this course help my career?

This course is designed to enhance your employability prospects. As well as being developed with industry experts through our advisory board, we also ensure you gain exposure to opportunities throughout your studies. In your third term you’ll have the choice of studying abroad or pursuing an internship.

The course concludes with a Business Project or Dissertation, giving you the opportunity to analyse a business problem and practically apply the knowledge and skills developed during the course to outline your recommendations. This will also help to show prospective employers how you are able to impact their business.

This course offers an opportunity to study a second degree at one of our international partner institutions once you have completed your year at Aston. Find out more here.

Modules

Core modules
  • Advanced Corporate Finance -This module provides you with the opportunity to acknowledge a wide range of well-established finance theories, techniques, and frameworks through which firms optimize corporate finance decisions. Whenever possible, you will also learn about the key finance variables to consider in the evaluation of typical corporate finance decisions and their effect on firm value and financial performance.
  • Derivatives - During this module you will gain an understanding of derivative markets and the pricing of contingent claims. You’ll be exposed to the pricing of forwards/futures standard and exotic option contracts, using discrete and continuous time models. This will help you to develop a clear understanding of how futures and option markets operate gaining practical experience applying various pricing techniques to future and options.
  • Fixed Income Securities - This module provides coverage of the products and analytical techniques used for valuing bonds and quantifying their exposure to changes in interest rates, and portfolio strategies for achieving a client/investor's objectives. The cell-based and multi-factor approach is covered to identify the sources of risk of a portfolio.
  • Quantitative Methods for Finance - This module will bring you up to speed with the key statistical analysis techniques used for analysing data. The skills set you will develop will not only be relevant to draw inferences from various types of data for making policy recommendations or investment decisions, but will also lay the foundations for studying advanced econometric techniques.
  • Financial Econometrics
  • Finance Theory - The module provides a framework of conceptual knowledge, enabling you to understand what the literature on financial theory is trying to do and how it all fits together. This module aims to give you critical knowledge and understanding of finance theories and the key issues in corporate finance.
  • Trading in Securities Markets - This module provides a thorough understanding of market microstructure issues and how they influence security market prices. You’ll develop a detailed knowledge of how different trading mechanisms work and the main factors that can influence security prices. Several microstructure models will be examined to show how trading costs depend on liquidity, inventory costs and adverse selection.
  • Ethics in Academic Practice -This module provides an introduction to the Academic Offence framework. By completing the resources you will understand the key principles underpinning the submission of academic assignments. These principles can then be applied to the rest of the modules studied at the university.
  • The Aston Global Advantage - The Aston Global Advantage is our professional development programme that runs throughout all MSc programmes at Aston Business School. Focusing on professional development and employability, this integrated module gives you the opportunity to identify, develop and apply the key transferrable skills you will gain throughout the year.
  • Business Project or Dissertation - The Business Project/Dissertation is a chance for you to carry out an original piece of work applying material that you have learnt in the taught element of your degree. Specific requirements will be explained relating to different degree programmes but in summary you must demonstrate both theoretical and practical knowledge of your chosen area of specialism.

 

Optional modules
  • Trading Techniques - We provide you with a detailed understanding of how financial markets work in practise and examine what affects market prices. You’ll learn how to interpret real-time news and macroeconomic data to assess the potential impacts on the prices of foreign exchange rates, stock market indices and commodities. Then using critical reasoning, identify the performance of financial assets.
  • International Finance -This module explores current challenges and issues faced by organisations in the global market place. We look at how the international financial environment can affect firms and their strategies, specifically what steps they take to negate these risks. For example, firms hedging against currency fluctuations.
  • Investment Banking -This module deals with primary performance and evaluation methods used in the investment banking industry. The underlying methods form the cornerstone for valuing companies on a standalone basis, including an assessment of whether a given public company is overvalued or undervalued.

Entry requirements

UK/EU students

One of the following:

A good UK honours degree (minimum lower second class) Equivalent overseas degree recognised by Aston University
  • An official academic transcript of your university grades to date
  • A completed application form.

Applicants must demonstrate a good level of quantitative and analytical skills gained from a degree in finance or economics.

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.
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.
  • Postgraduate masters students enrolling to Aston Business School with a 5.5 in one of the four IELTS sections will be required to engage with English language tuition as part of our professional development programme, The Aston Global Advantage. There will be no extra cost to the student.
  • For students who do not meet our minimum academic and English language requirements for this course, we offer an alternative pathway to an Aston Master’s with Kaplan International College, London.
  • For more information about qualifications, view our Aston in your country webpage.
Extensive work experience

We recognise the value of extensive professional experience. If you do not have the academic qualifications, but have extensive and relevant professional experience and a proven ability to succeed, we would welcome your application.

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.

Learning, teaching and assessment

We use a variety of engaging teaching methods to ensure you get the most out of your studies.

Learning and teaching

There’s a mix of lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials, which provide you with key concepts in investments, assets valuation and risk management techniques. The use of case studies will allow you apply your knowledge to various real-world scenarios, helping to deepen your understanding of the subject. We also focus on helping you to develop the applied skills needed for a career in corporate finance or investment banking. For example, you’ll take part in various workshops where you’ll gain experience working with trading software used in the banking sector. This will allow you to access real-time economic and financial data and gain hands-on experience in trading.

Our innovative online learning platform will also support you in your studies. It has all the digital resources you need when revising, including lecture slides, access to e-books and online journals, as well as video recordings of teaching sessions. Your lecturers will also be on hand to offer one-to-one support with any topics you have difficulty with.

  • Trading Room – As part of the Derivatives module, you’ll get the chance to utilise our state-of-the-art trading room facility. You’ll gain hands-on experience working with software used in the banking sector to access real-time financial and economic data. You can observe market fluctuations as well as understand how to measure and manage financial risk.
  • Case studies – We use real-life case studies across the programme to give you a better idea of the challenges faced when dealing with financial markets. The cases demonstrate contemporary and common issues in corporate finance or relating to financial markets, such as factors affecting securities prices, decisions relating to investment strategies, as well as the management of risk.


Assessment

We use a variety of assessment methods as part of this course. There’s a mix of exams, course work, presentations and group work. You’ll also undertake a Dissertation or Business Project at the end of the academic year, which involves significant research into a topic of your choice.

Student experience and employability

International students

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our postgraduate programmes. Students from over 120 different countries chose to study with us every year and Aston is not only a great place to study, based in the centre of Birmingham it’s also a great place to live.

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new immigration route which will enable international students to remain in the UK for two years after they have completed their studies to find work. The new post-study work visa will apply to international students starting undergraduate and postgraduate courses from 2020. Click here for more information on post-work visas.

Overseas opportunities

We benefit from an extensive network of partner institutions, including some of the highest ranked business schools in the world.

Placements

As part of this course you’ll have the opportunity to undertake a work placement and gain valuable professional experience.

You can go on a work placement for as little as one month or as long as a year. You’ll spend your time with a company of your choice, either in the UK or overseas. A work placement is incredibly beneficial for your future career prospects, it can enhance your CV and help you stand out from the competition when applying for graduate roles. It’s also fantastic opportunity to develop your understanding of your subject area by applying what you’ve learnt in the classroom to a professional context.

Our students have been successful in gaining work placements in a wide variety of organisations, both in the UK and internationally. They’ve worked for accountancy firms, financial institutions in the UK and overseas, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as well as small businesses.

You’ll also be given the opportunity to support start-up businesses and SMEs with business projects through our Aston Business Clinic. Working with other students, you’ll collaborate to solve a strategic problem and make a real difference for a growing business.

 Our careers team will be on hand to support you finding work placements and graduate positions.

Trips and visits

We have a range of networking opportunities and guest speakers on campus throughout the year. Industry professionals working in a variety of positions including financial functions, will give you with an insight into their roles, responsibilities and challenges.

Graduate employers regularly visit campus throughout the year. You’ll be able to chat to companies about their graduate opportunities and get an insight into their selection process.

There’s also a number of field-trips and leisure activities that take place throughout the year, led by various University schools, societies and sports clubs.

Fees and Scholarships

Fees

UK students (2021/22): £10,900

International/EU students (2021/22): £19,250

Scholarships

At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs. Find out more about our scholarships here.

Careers Prospects

A postgraduate qualification in this subject prepares you for many different careers within business including economics and the financial sector.
Our graduates have secured employment in a wide range of roles such as Analysts, Consultants and Investment Risk Officers. This has involved working for organisations including Goldman Sachs (UK), EY (France) and BNP Paribas (Luxembourg).


International students

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our postgraduate programmes. Students from over 120 different countries chose to study with us every year and Aston is not only a great place to study, based in the centre of Birmingham it’s also a great place to live.

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new immigration route which will enable international students to remain in the UK for two years after they have completed their studies to find work. The new post-study work visa will apply to international students starting undergraduate and postgraduate courses from 2020. Click here for more information on post-work visas.

 

Frequently asked questions

Why study Finance at Aston?

As well as a strong understanding of the methods and models in finance, you’ll get to develop skills in high demand in the financial sector and more broadly in business with practical experiences and applying your learning to real world situations.

You’ll gain a breadth of practical learning and professional experience, whether that’s providing support to live projects, undertaking an internship or a study abroad opportunity. Not only does this bring your learning to life, it will really help you to progress to your next step once you complete the course.

What kind of career will I develop with a masters in Finance?

You’ll be equipped with the necessary knowledge, skills and applied experiences for a rewarding career in the financial sector. The Bloomberg Trading Room at Aston Business School gives you a taste of working on a real trading floor.

The Trading Room consists of 21 Bloomberg Terminals, allowing you to access Bloomberg market data, analytics and information. It provides simulation of what it is like to work in the financial industry and provide experience of a real life trading floor environment.

Graduates from this programme have secured employment in a wide range of roles such as Analysts, Consultants and Investment Risk Officers. This has involved working for organisations including Goldman Sachs (UK), EY (France) and BNP Paribas (Luxembourg).

Why choose to study with Aston Business School?

Aston Business School is part of an elite group of business schools thanks to our triple accreditation from AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA. We can help to enhance your career prospects, boost your earning potential and set you on the path to a successful, and rewarding career.  

Aston University is renowned for its excellence in teaching and research and the employability of our graduates. At Aston Business School we are committed to innovative approaches to teaching and education. We are dedicated to providing students with a competitive advantage in the jobs market by delivering the knowledge students need to pursue the many career tracks available to them with a background in international business. Teaching on the course is informed by our world-class scholars and provides you with a deep understanding and skills for conducting business on a global scale. At Aston University, we aim to prepare students for the real world challenges. There are plenty of opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience and apply their knowledge in real-life situations by engaging in live projects and internships.

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