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Corporate Finance

Corporate Finance

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The deadline to apply for this course is 1 June 2023. Find out more

This programme is currently under development and may be subject to change

Key information

Duration: 1 year full time

Institution code: R72

Campus: Egham

UK fees*: £12,600

International/EU fees**: £20,700

The course

Corporate Finance (MSc)

Studying a MSc Corporate Finance will give you the skills required to start a career in corporate finance, in the banking sectors or investment industry. During your studies you will be provided with intensive training in the analysis of issues in corporate finance and policy while improving your analytical skills.

This degree provides you with a critical understanding of corporate finance and entrepreneurship finance, as well as innovation research and the processes and practices of new venture finance. A particular focus will be on understanding the different roles and financial functions in venture capitalist and private equity firms, in entrepreneurship, consultancy and mergers and acquisitions.

Studying in the Department of Economics within the School of Law and Social Sciences at Royal Holloway means that you will learn from internationally renowned experts at one of the UK’s top ten teaching and research economics departments. Our balanced approach to research and teaching guarantees high quality teaching from subject leaders, cutting edge materials and intellectually challenging debates. You will have close contact with the academic staff teaching on the course and you will receive individual support from the course director. You will be taught by a mixture of academics, some of whom have been veteran financial practitioners and have close links with the financial industry in the City of London and will hear from guest speakers. Please read more here (Links to industry page).

During your time here you will study core modules essential to a MSc Corporate Finance degree and with our optional modules such as Investment and Portfolio Management, Fixed Income and Derivatives, and Private Equity you will be able to tailor your degree to your interests.

Our facilities include access to Bloomberg terminals, which are used by investment banks globally. We are also equipped with state-of-the-art software packages such as Stata, Matlab and Python. Matlab is the language of choice for the MSc Corporate Finance.

On graduation, there are excellent career prospects with our students having an impressive employment record and starting salaries amongst the highest in the country.

Our programme has been designed to help you prepare for the competitive Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exam.

A two-week pre-sessional and a term long mathematical methods course are offered to bring you up to speed on your quantitative skills.

  • Graduate with excellent career prospects, with economics graduates having an impressive employment record and starting salaries amongst the highest in the country
  • After successfully having completed the degree, you will have already prepared for large sections of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) level 1 exam.

From time to time, we make changes to our courses to improve the student and learning experience. If we make a significant change to your chosen course, we’ll let you know as soon as possible.

Core Modules

  • In this module you will develop an understanding of basic mathematical methods that are used in the study of Economics and Finance, including basic matrix analysis, topology, statistics, and probability theory. You will look at differentiation and integration of standard functions, and basic manipulations of vectors and matrices. You will also examine various optimisation problems and theorems leading to certain basic results in calculus.

  • In this module you will develop an understanding of 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 examine the discounting methods used to value 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.
  • The aim of the course is to give guidance to students who want to work in the financial industry. The level of this course is mostly for third year or MSc students, but it does not require pre-existing knowledge so first and second year students can follow this course. This course aims to bridge the gap between finance studies at university and what finance industry professional expect from graduates. The course explains precisely what existing finance jobs entail, what is required from the people working in those jobs, what the perspectives of these jobs are. This course will also prepare students for the professional interview of such a job.

  • This core module covers two of the most important aspects that influence important corporate finance choices i.e. risk and governance. The first aspect of risk influences many corporate finances decisions from a choice of a project within a company, dividend payment, to optimal leverage. The second aspect of governance is critical for corporate finances as it provides a context in which financial decisions are done within a company with respect to ethical behaviour. It also influences how decisions are done within a company, for example, a sound financial decision might not be taken because the governance incentivises the benefit of the manager at the expense of shareholders. The module cover two large sections of the Charted Financial Analyst (CFA) qualification so help student in achieving this qualification. The business ethics topic is also in demand among employers, and this is the only module covering this topic.

  • This is a module familiarises students with the principal methods of econometric analysis. The emphasis is on applied methods and will try to ensure that students are comfortable when reading and evaluating the econometric work of others and that they can also produce good quality applied econometric work of their own. The module is designed to ensure a sound understanding of estimation by ordinary least squares (OLS). Students will be introduced to the principles and assumptions underlying OLS and the consequences of any departure from these assumption.

  • 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.

  • This module will describe the key principles of academic integrity, focusing on university assignments. Plagiarism, collusion and commissioning will be described as activities that undermine academic integrity, and the possible consequences of engaging in such activities will be described. Activities, with feedback, will provide you with opportunities to reflect and develop your understanding of academic integrity principles.


Optional Modules

There are a number of optional course modules available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course modules that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new modules may be offered or existing modules may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

  • The aim of this module is to give a more in-depth look at corporate finance issues related to company evaluation and with the main user of those evaluations e.g. private equity and Venture Capitalist (VC). It also aims at giving a practical approach to key aspects of corporate valuation, for example, leverage. Finally, this module will detail the dynamic and the valuation specificity for the different stages of the company from the start up, to the IPO to the mature company doing merger and acquisition.

  • This module provides an overview of a very significant area of the contemporary financial world. The first part gives a coverage of the important elements of the default-free fixed income securities market, and the second part covers the derivatives market. The module focuses on the analytical tools used in portfolio management and risk management. For bond portfolios, these tools include yield curve construction, duration, convexity and formal term structure models. For derivatives, the emphasis will be on valuation, trading mechanisms and management of credit risk.

  • 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.
  • In this module you will develop an understanding of contemporary issues in the theory and practice of international financial accounting and reporting. You will look at the fundamental characteristics, aims, contents, and structures of the main financial reports through which organizations measure and report their financial performance and position. You will examine the usefulness of financial accounting reports, and the tools and techniques of financial analysis. You will consider issues related to the recognition and measurement of intangible assets, ways of valuing assets, key regulatory differences, the conceptual framework and differences between IFRS and US GAAP. You will also critically evaluate the reporting and the financial performance of companies.

  • In this module you will develop an understanding of some of the key topics in macroeconomics, notably the roles of technological change, monetary policy, and fiscal policy in macroeconomic fluctuations. You will look at models of economic growth, resource allocation, and technological change, evaluating empirical evidence of these, and you become familiar with techniques such as dynamic optimisation, log-linearisation and difference equations for general economic analysis.

  • Advance Macroeconomics
  • The module introduces you to the main econometrics techniques used to analyse time series data. The core knowledge embodied in the course will enable students to understand, and critically assess the extant literature in empirical time series econometrics.  At the end of the course, you will: have an understanding of linear and non-linear time series at a level that should make them able to read the relevant empirical literature and some theory articles; identify the appropriate methodology for large sample modelling of economic data collected over time; demonstrate ability to apply the correct testing procedures on time series data. The module will cover modelling, estimation and inference for univariate and multivariate linear time series as well as non-linear time series.

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


High 2:2 in Economics, Business, Finance, Management or any degree with evidence of some quantitative background. Candidates with professional qualifications in an associated area and/or relevant industry experience may be considered.

Normally, we require a UK 2:2 (Honours) or equivalent in Economics, Management, Mathematics, or other maths-based disciplines. Candidates with professional qualifications or relevant professional experience in an associated area will also be considered. Applicants with a degree in Management will need to have studied sufficient maths modules as part of their degree.

International & EU requirements

A Corporate Finance master’s degree at Royal Holloway will equip you with an excellent 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.

We will help students to recognise their strengths, skills and abilities so that they can make robust 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 employers.

Our graduates are highly employable and, in recent years, have entered many different areas, including careers as consultants, 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, PwC, and Baker and Mackenzie.

Home (UK) students tuition fee per year*: £12,600

EU and international students tuition fee per year**: £20,700

Other essential costs***: A subscription to a CFA training system cost £900.

How do I pay for it? Find out more about funding options, including loans, grants, scholarships and bursaries.

* and ** These tuition fees apply to students enrolled on a full-time basis. Students studying on the standard part-time course structure over two years are charged 50% of the full-time applicable fee for each study year.

All postgraduate fees are subject to inflationary increases. This means that the overall cost of studying the course via part-time mode is slightly higher than studying it full-time in one year. Royal Holloway's policy is that any increases in fees will not exceed 5% for continuing students. For further information, please see our terms and conditions. Please note that for research courses, we adopt the minimum fee level recommended by the UK Research Councils for the Home tuition fee. Each year, the fee level is adjusted in line with inflation (currently, the measure used is the Treasury GDP deflator). Fees displayed here are therefore subject to change and are usually confirmed in the spring of the year of entry. For more information on the Research Council Indicative Fee please see the RCUK website.

** The UK Government has confirmed that EU nationals are no longer eligible to pay the same fees as UK students, nor be eligible for funding from the Student Loans Company. This means you will be classified as an international student. At Royal Holloway, we wish to support those students affected by this change in status through this transition. For eligible EU students starting their course with us during the academic year 2023/24, we will award a fee reduction scholarship equivalent to 30% of the difference between the UK and international fee for your course. This will apply for the duration of your course. Find out more

*** These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree at Royal Holloway during the 2022/23 academic year, and are included as a guide. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing, have not been included.

Economics Postgraduate Admissions


in the UK for Research Excellence

Source: THE Research Excellence Framework 2014, institutions ranked by subject

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