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Finance MSc

UCAS code
Year of entry 2017
View 2018 entry »
Course Length
1 year full time
Department Economics »


Studying Finance Masters Degree at Royal Holloway means that you will learn from internationally renowned experts at one of the UK’s top ten teaching and research centres. This programme will provide you with intensive training in the analysis of issues in finance and corporate policy while improving your analytical and technical expertise. On graduation you will be in a strong position to start a career in the financial services, business and banking sectors; we have an impressive employment record, 90% of economics students have jobs in six months.

This is a challenging degree and to ensure all students are ready we hold a two week pre-sessional course. 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 and decision theory and behaviour. On graduation you will be skilled in financial analysis techniques; understand mathematical statistics and theories that are applied in financial econometrics and have the tools to analyse how the financial markets function.

Our balanced approach to research and teaching guarantees high quality teaching from subject leaders, cutting edge materials and intellectually challenging debates. You will be taught by people who have worked and are still working in the finance industry in the broad areas of asset allocation and risk, as well as algorithmic trading. 

Excellent career prospects; economics has an impressive employment record and graduates’ starting salaries are amongst the highest in the country.

Small groups with individual support; being part of a small group means you’ll feel part of a team and have close contact with the academic staff, you’ll also receive the individual support from the course director.

Quality research and teaching;one of only economics departments in the country placed in the top ten for both research and student satisfaction (Research Assessment Exercise, 2014 and National Student Survey 2015).

One of the few Departments in the UK to have an in-house economics experiments laboratory, used by staff and students.

Pre-course preparation

Two week pre-sessional mathematics refresher course

You will revisit the mathematical tools and methods which are neccessary for studying and working in economics, covering the basic analytical methods, with particular emphasis on optimisation and basic matrix analysis.

Core modules

Corporate Finance

This module will provide you with an introduction to 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 develop an understanding of discounting methods used in the valuation of 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.

Financial Econometrics

This module will introduce you to the current econometrics method used in the analysis of macro and financial time series. You will develop your ability to analyse and critically evaluate empirical research in finance and macroeconomics, undertaking a quantitative research project using time-series data.

Foundations of Finance

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 avout market microstructure, gaining practical experience in trading using simulation software.

Mathematical Methods

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.

Quantitative Methods for Finance

This module will develop your understanding of the basic tools of quantitative analysis used in both economics and finance. You will cover the linear regression model and non-linar regression functions, focussing on estimation by ordinary least squares (OLS). You will indentify potential sources of bias and inconsistency, and become familar with methods for testing hypotheses by examining restrictions placed on models by econometric theory. You also will consider the advantages and limitations of the procedures and methods that you apply when completing problem sets.

Dissertation

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

Decision Theory and Behaviour

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, becming familiar with both theoretical and experimental methods for research in decision theory and behavioural economics.

Investment and Portfolio Management

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.

Fixed Income Securities and Derivatives

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.

Private Equity

In this module you will develop an understanding of corporate finance issues related to company evaluation, and the main users of those evaluations, such private equity firms and venture capitalists (VCs). You will look at the key aspects of corporate valuation, for example leveraging, and how valuations differ according to the maturity of the company, from start up, to making an Initial Public Offering (IPO), to established business engaging in mergers and acquisitions. You will become familiar with leverage buyout and private equity technics, and be able to analyse and critically evaluate the motivation for mergers and acquisitions.

The Theory of Financial Crises

In this module you will analyse the fragility of the financial system and its revelance to the current financial crisis, including models of bank runs and the theory of optimal financial regulation, considering the implications of asset price bubbles for financial stability. 

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

Entry criteria:

Upper Second Class 2:1 (Honours) or overseas equivalent in Economics, Management, Mathematics, or other maths-based disciplines. .

Applicants with a good Lower Second Class 2.2 (Honours) degree or overseas equivalent will be considered on an individual basis.  

Applicants with a degree in Management will need to have studied sufficient maths modules as part of their degree. 

Relevant professional qualifications and relevant experience in an associated area may be considered.

Students with a good undergraduate degree in a subject not listed above should apply for our MSc Finance Two Year programme

English language requirements:

IELTS 6.5 overall with 6.5 in writing and a minimum of 6.0 in all other subscores. For equivalencies, please see here.


If you require Royal Holloway to sponsor your study in the UK, your IELTS must be a UK government-approved Secure English Language Test (SELT).

International and EU entry requirements

Please select your country from the drop-down list below




Students from overseas should visit the International pages for information on the entry requirements from their country and further information on English language requirements. Royal Holloway offers a Pre-Master’s Diploma for International Students and English language pre-sessional courses, allowing students the opportunity to develop their study skills and English language before starting their postgraduate degree.

 

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, Pricewaterhouse Cooper and Baker and Mackenzie.

Home and EU students tuition fee per year 2017/18*: £10,050

Overseas students tuition fee per year 2017/18*: £17,000

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.

* These tuition fees apply to students enrolled on a full-time basis. Students studying part-time are charged a pro-rata tuition fee, usually equivalent to approximately half the full-time fee. Please email student-fees@royalholloway.ac.uk for further information on part-time fees. All postgraduate fees are subject to inflationary increases. Royal Holloway's policy is that any increases in fees will not exceed 5 per cent for continuing students. For further information see tuition fees and our terms and conditions.

** 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.

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