Investment Analysis MSc 2021

Discover how to undertake security valuation and portfolio management by studying equity, debt and derivative markets in domestic and international sectors, and learn about the key techniques used by financial traders.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type

Full-time

Course format

Duration

1 year

UCAS code(s)

N/A

Start date

Overview
Explore Investment Analysis at Aston University
Maria Stoyneva

"Aston has a unique position: its walking distance from the centre of the second largest city in the UK and simultaneously a small campus where you can get to lectures in five minutes."

Maria Stoyneva

Asset Wealth Management, Deutsche Bank

Maria Stoyneva

"Aston has a unique position: its walking distance from the centre of the second largest city in the UK and simultaneously a small campus where you can get to lectures in five minutes."

Maria Stoyneva

Asset Wealth Management, Deutsche Bank

Course outline and modules

Our MSc Investment Analysis has a strong focus on the practical application of finance within a trading or corporate setting.

This exciting masters programme is a fantastic platform to launch your career. You’ll benefit from a detailed insight into business finance, investment management and gain technical skills and first-hand experience in trading, and coding, using Python programming.

You’ll evaluate a UK listed company as part of your final project, have the opportunity to attend a workshop helping students taking the CFA® (Chartered Financial Analyst) Level I examination, and practice your skills in our dedicated Bloomberg trading room facility.

What will I learn?

The course covers a wide range of stimulating subjects, including the valuation of investments, trading techniques, investment management and corporate finance from a broad as well as an international perspective. You’ll learn key theories to give you thorough grounding in these areas but also develop a practical understanding of how these various concepts and models are applied in real-life business scenarios.

We’ll ensure you have a clear understanding of the fundamentals relating to investments and what you should be looking for when making investment decisions. We explore equity, debt and derivative markets in domestic and international sectors. You’ll undertake security valuation and financial distress exercises and we explain various other techniques used by financial traders.

What sets this programme apart from others, is our strong focus on the practical application of technical skills in a trading or corporate financial setting.

Practical experience

You’ll gain hands-on experience working with real-time financial, accounting and economic data, thanks to our dedicated Bloomberg trading room facility and industry 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?

We’ll develop your practical quantitative skills and enhance your employability by equipping you with a range of transferable skills crucial for securing graduate roles. By the end of the course, you’ll be well-placed to fulfil roles in the financial sector or pursue a career in other areas of business.

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.

During the summer term, you will have the opportunity to attend a CFA® (Chartered Financial Analyst) workshop conducted by the university and designed to help students taking or intending to take the CFA Level I examination. “CFA Institute is the premier global association for investment management professionals” - www.cfainstitute.org CFA® is a registered trademark owned by CFA Institute.

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

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.

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

Quantitative Methods for Finance 

We 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.

Trading Techniques

This module provides 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.

Python for Finance

This module aims to provide finance students with the practical data analysis needed to address and solve financial problems using Python. Students will learn programming in Python, which is a well-established technology. The overarching goal is to develop Python skills that are applicable in the workplace and to prepare students for more advanced Python programming.

Investment Management

This module deals with major issues currently of concern to individual and institutional investors. It provides investment management fundamentals and techniques within the finance industry. Capital markets, portfolio theory and applied portfolio management used by practitioners and professionals are examined.

Business Finance

In this module you will learn the key principles and challenges of financial management decisions, develop an understanding of the characteristics influencing factors and the advantages and disadvantages of different forms of financing. You'll also apply mathematical techniques to support a range of business decisions such as the valuation of shares and the evaluation of investment opportunities.

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.

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. The course concludes with an investment analysis project. Using the skills you’ve learnt during the programme, you’ll conduct a detailed research project to identify whether a real-life FTSE firm is a good investment opportunity or not. You’ll review the financial performance of the firm, its competitors and its business activities and make recommendations based on your findings.

 

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

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’re committed to helping you get the most out of your studies and use a range of modern and engaging teaching methods to ensure this. Our teaching staff are committed to sharing their knowledge and expertise in order to provide you with a high-quality education. You’ll be taught by leading academics with a variety of specialisms in the field of finance, economics and investments. The Business School is also made up of chartered financial analysts and you’ll benefit from their experience of how investment management works in real-life.  

We use a variety of teaching methods to enable you to get the most from the course. There are practical activities, including simulation exercises, reflective case studies, collaborative group work, thought-provoking class discussion as well as inspiring lectures and tutorials. This allows you to explore, test and apply what you’ve learnt and gives you a deeper understanding of your subject.

There’s a mix of lectures and tutorials, which provide you with key concepts in finance, investments and economics. Case studies allow you apply your knowledge to various scenarios. We also focus on helping you develop the practical skills needed for roles 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 financial sector. This will allow you to access real-time economic and financial data and gain hands-on experience in trading.

We use a variety of assessment methods for this course. There’s a mix of exams, coursework and simulation.

Classroom activities

Flipped classroom – This innovative approach allows students to access pre-recorded lecture content and reading materials from our online learning platform. You will then attend weekly workshops to discuss the key aspects of the material and participate in group activities that helps you to apply your knowledge. You will also have opportunities to put theories into practice using case studies and present your ideas to your classmates. This innovative approach provides greater interaction and engagement with the module content and helps to enhance your knowledge, understanding and practical skills.

Gamification - Here we use an inventive approach for exploring the reasons for anomalies in financial markets. An experiment takes place where groups of students are asked a question requiring a numeric answer. Subliminal techniques are then used to try to prompt students to give wildly incorrect responses. You’ll see how it’s possible for investors to be unknowingly influenced when making decisions and how you can try to prevent this.

Student experience and employability

Overseas opportunities 

Our extensive network of university partners includes some of the highest ranked business schools in Europe, such as EDHEC Business School in France, as well as other highly regarded universities across the world. You can study in Australia, China, Singapore, USA and a host of other countries. Recent MSc Investment Analysis students spent time at Copenhagen Business School and at the University of South Africa.

All of our overseas study programmes are all tuition-free and lectures and assessments are in English.

Placements

A work placement taken as part of your masters programme can be hugely beneficial to your career prospects. It will enhance your CV and can give you a competitive advantage when applying for graduate roles.

As part of this course you’ll have the opportunity to undertake a work placement. Choose a company of your choice, in the UK or overseas, and spend from one month up to 12 months gaining valuable work experience.

MSc Investment Analysis students have been successful in gaining work placements for leading companies in the financial sector. One of our students recently spent time with global investment giants, Rothschild and Co whilst others spent time with established financial services companies, including Wesleyan, based in Birmingham.  

There’s also the unique opportunity for you to support start-up businesses and local SMEs with real-life business projects through our Aston Business Clinic. You’ll work to solve strategic problems and make a real positive impact to growing businesses.

Our careers team will be on hand to help you find work placements and graduate positions. The team are also available to assist you with your CV and interview technique.

Trips and visits

In recent years our students have benefitted from insightful educational visits. For example, we’ve visited the London Stock Exchange enabling students to gain a deeper understanding of who the key industry players are, from the investors to the regulators. It’s also a chance to appreciate the current challenges facing the sector.

A number of guest speakers will help to deliver your lecture programme. This will give you with the chance to learn from investment bankers and other professionals in the financial sector. You’ll gain a key insight into their roles and responsibilities and further enhance your understanding of the field.

A large number of graduate employers visit campus during the year. There are careers fairs, networking events and much more. You’ll have the chance to discover a wide range of graduate opportunities and speak with companies to see where’s the best place for you to start your career.

Fees and scholarships

Fees

UK students (2021/22): £10,900

International/EU students (2021/22): £20,800

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.

Career prospects

This specialised course is designed to prepare postgraduates for careers in a wide range of banking and finance organisations.

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

You’ll be encouraged to complete the Bloomberg Certification – an industry recognised professional qualification. During the summer term you will also have the opportunity to attend preparation and revision classes for the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst®) Level one programme. 

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.

Recent graduates

Our recent graduates have gone on to work in a breadth of roles within banking and finance organisations such as business analyst, financial management and banking roles. 

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

Our graduates have gone on to work at organisations including:

  • PwC
  • Ernst & Young
  • KPMG
  • ING (Hong Kong)
  • HSBC
  • Deutsche Bank
  • RBS.

Graduate roles have included Business Analyst, Investment Banking Analyst, Bank Manager, Investment Banker, Auditor, Investment Manager and Wealth Management Analyst.

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 Investment Analysis at Aston University?

You’ll benefit from a detailed insight into business finance, investment management and gain technical skills and first-hand experience in trading. 

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 Investment Analysis?

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

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

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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