Teaching and learning in 2020/21

In order to prioritise the safety of students and staff, we are planning to teach through a flexible combination of online and onsite learning. For more details on changes to this course, see our undergraduate course changes page or postgraduate course changes page.

Course Overview

UK/EU Fees £14,500 *
International Fees £15,000 *
Alumni Discount See details
Duration 1 year

* Price per academic year

Course summary

Attitudes to money management have changed since the credit crisis, the emphasis now is on understanding enterprise and broader risks, and managing these appropriately. With its practical focus, our MSc responds to the increased global demand for talent in both investment and risk management. You’ll develop a strong sense of market awareness from weekly updates on current market conditions drawn from the same commercial research used by several investment banks and hedge funds.

The course provides a thorough theoretical and practical grounding in the key aspects of investment and risk finance, developing sound analytical, numerical and technological skills. Suitable for experienced financial management practitioners who wish to advance their knowledge and those seeking front or middle office careers, the highly practical nature of the course, together with the unique access to professional insight and input, are key strengths.

In our state-of-the-art Financial Markets Suite (FMS), you will apply your knowledge to real-world problems facing the international financial services industry and the corporate financial management community. Using Bloomberg terminals, a leading source of economics and capital markets information available to the global professional financial community, this virtual trading floor allows you to monitor and analyse real-time financial market movements, company performance and financial data. You’ll learn how to use financial products to solve investment management problems or to mitigate financial risks.

Sharing their insight from over 30 years of experience in financial services, the teaching team produces a suite of dedicated learning resources, which includes:

  • Weekly Fintech Flash News to keep you abreast of the fast-moving world of financial technology
  • The Week Ahead reviews the last week’s capital market performance and predicts significant upcoming market events
  • SFA Explainer Videos break down complex Fintech related topics, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Big Data, into digestible five-minute chunks

The University of Westminster is located close to the City of London, the world-famous financial district where some of the largest global financial institutions and companies are based. Our status as a CISI (Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment) Centre of Excellence in Financial Markets provides eligibility for student membership, giving you access to free attendance at CPD events, industry news and online resources. Since our degree has been designed to align with CISI standard, on completion, you can sit the prestigious CISI L3 derivatives examination with little to no new study necessary.

Top reasons to study with us

  • Dedicated suite of financial learning resources from a teaching team with over 30 years of experience of financial services who remain actively engaged in research and consultancy
  • Unique access to insight on the City’s market performance from Course Leader Dave Coker’s Deep Opportunity research, which is sold to several Investment Banks and Hedge Funds
  • Opportunity to complete an in-course work placement with one of over 20 financial services partner organisations or undertake a research project to consolidate your learning
  • State-of-the-art Bloomberg-powered virtual trading floor, the largest of its kind in any London university
  • Guest lectures from industry practitioners: recent talks featured a senior business manager from Barclays and seasoned entrepreneur
  • Field trips to financial institutions: students had a guided tour of the new Bloomberg HQ in London

Course structure

During the course, you will take eight core modules and one option module. These will help you acquire the ability to perform quantitative investment and risk analyses on a variety of financial instruments and structured products. You'll also learn how to use capital market products in both investment and risk finance applications. As a result, you will develop good transferable skills and solve financial problems in a group setting.

Semester 1

The first semester is designed to build a strong foundation of knowledge of finance and finance risk management, including how to identify, measure and manage a broad range of financial risk types including operational risk, foreign exchange risk, liquidity risk and market risk. Receiving training in Bloomberg and Excel for Finance, you will learn to use mathematical and statistical analytical methods.

Semester 2

The second semester builds on this strong foundation, and a broad choice of electives helps you customise the MSC IRF qualification. The research and project modules are designed to develop your research abilities and create opportunities to explore finance subject areas of your own interest in more depth. This will enable you to apply the analytical and technical management skills you will encounter to real-life situations. You will conduct an intensive piece of research and prepare an 8,000 to 10,000-word dissertation. Previous students have investigated Bitcoin, Asset Correlations in times of Financial Crisis, Forecasting Equity Markets, Effective Risk Management, Managing Credit Risk and the performance of Pension Plans, to name but a few.

The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course.

Core modules

This module develops your theoretical understanding of financial derivatives markets. You will price and value financial derivatives from first principles and explore how financial derivative products can be used effectively in risk and investment management applications.

This module will give you the skills in financial mathematics and statistics that are necessary to pursue a career in either banking or international finance. You will cover topics such as matrix algebra, differential calculus, probability theory, descriptive statistics, hypothesis testing, regression analysis, forecasting and modelling volatility. Mastery of these topics will improve your employment chances post graduation.  

This module provides you with the fundamental ideas and tools for thinking about risk management.

You will develop your understanding of contemporary portfolio theory and investment management principles in order to actively manage a range of investment funds used by professional institutional investors and the private wealth management industry.

An 8,000-10,000-word dissertation in the area of finance.

This module aims to develop your knowledge and competence of the research process, and the application of research methods in the area of investment and risk finance.

Choose two or three of the following: 

Core elective modules

The study is grounded in the case study method and provides the basic numerical toolkit required to analyse a range of listed companies that are pursuing value-based growth strategies. Thus, students will be able to apply a range of equity valuation methods to contemporary stocks, including those companies where growth is focused on mergers, acquisitions and restructuring events.

This module offers detailed coverage and analysis of global financial markets and institutions. Theory delivered in class is underpinned by real-life case examples. Students will gain hands-on training and exposure to the Bloomberg system in the Financial Market Suite.

This module provides the fundamental ideas and tools for thinking about traditional fixed income securities.

This module explores advanced ideas and applications of econometrics in forecasting financial markets and risk modelling.

If you take two core elective modules, you then need to choose one option module.

Option modules

You will be able to prepare financial statements up to consolidation with consideration of some of the main accounting standards underlying international financial reports. This module also explores the issues, principles and theories underlying current developments in financial accounting and reporting.

You will develop an understanding of the fundamental concepts and practical skills required by finance professionals as users, evaluators, designers and managers of computer-based financial information systems.

This module will develop your systematic understanding of the principles underlying, and policy issues inherent in, the study of international financial reporting, with particular reference to multinational groups.

Through the exploration of practical applications, critical appraisal, contemporary approaches and international perspectives, this module explores the role of accounting in the management of organisations, and the development and application of managerial accounting concepts and techniques.

You will gain an overview of fundamental topics in the field of finance, including capital structure, corporate value, cost of capital, dividend policy, financial instruments, investment and modern portfolio theory.

You may also take another module from the postgraduate portfolio, at the course leader’s discretion.

Professional recognition

The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI)

CFA Institute University Affiliation Program

 

Programme Specification

For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the programme specification.

Careers

This course is designed to prepare you for a variety of roles and, as the end of your studies approaches, Course Leader and former Investment Banker Dave Coker will coach you in interviewing techniques via a one-to-one Interview Workshop.

Career choices include security and financial analysis, trading and fund management, capital market sales and administration. Our graduates go on to develop careers in treasury and front office positions in global financial institutions, investment banks and securities companies. They occupy management positions as financial analysts, finance, sales administrators and senior posts at S&P Dow Jones, United Bank for Africa Cameroon, HSBC, RBS, EY, Deloitte, Prudential, J.P Morgan, Fidelity International, Well Fargo, Deutsche Bank, Barclays, Standard Chartered, Citibank, and governmental agencies, such as the Central Bank of Nigeria, World Economic Forum and Taiwanese government.

Your exposure to simulated financial trading in the Financial Markets Suite will prepare you for professional practice. You’ll be able to demonstrate in-depth knowledge of core investment and finance principles, and the numerical and analytical skills to succeed in this rapidly changing complex environment. You will also graduate with a range of inter-personal, leadership, digital and analytical skills that employers want.

The University's Careers and Employability Service has built up a network of over 3,000 employers around the world, helping all our students explore and connect with exciting opportunities and careers.

Route between locations
Careers support

Postgraduate students have access to the University’s Careers and Employability Service for up to three years after graduation.

Social media connections
Kickstart your career

Learn how to use social media in your job hunt or LinkedIn to kickstart your career.

World
Develop your CQ

Develop your cultural intelligence – or ‘CQ’ – studying alongside students and staff representing more than 100 nationalities.

Industry links

We have excellent industry links with some of the top firms in the financial services, along with leading financial technology and data vendor services providers such as Bloomberg. Our course was designed with input from a range of industry professionals with expertise in financial markets, institutions and financial regulation. To retain currency and relevance, we receive ongoing feedback from the Business School’s Departmental Employability Board, whose members include representatives from Vanguard, JPMorgan and Global Structured Finance.

Staff who currently teach on this course also have extensive professional experience that includes the following professions: financial analyst; credit risk analyst; lending specialist in the banking sector; global entrepreneur; risk management; software development and management; research consultant; and financial consultant.

Job roles

This course will prepare you for roles such as:

  • Asset manager in a bank, corporation, hedge fund or insurance company.
  • Credit controller
  • Financial consultant/manager
  • International financial analyst
  • International financial manager
  • Investment analyst
  • Market analyst
  • Quantitative investment analyst
  • Quantitative risk analyst
  • Venture capitalist 

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course have found employment at organisations such as Vanguard, Blackrock, JP Morgan, to name but three.

Westminster Employability Award

Employers value graduates who have invested in their personal and professional development – and our Westminster Employability Award gives you the chance to formally document and demonstrate these activities and achievements.

The award is flexible and can be completed in your own time, comprising a set of core and optional extracurricular activities. 

Activities might include gaining experience through a part-time job or placement, signing up to a University-run scheme – such as mentoring or teaching in a school – or completing online exercises.

Westminster Employability Award

Teaching and assessment

Your learning experience is designed to provide both a practical and theoretical understanding of the structure, function and management of finance, investment and risk management. A series of welcome videos from former students of this course provides tips on how to make the most of your teaching and learning experience. A highlight for many are the social events organised throughout the course, which provide an opportunity for networking with fellow students and alumni.

To assist the learning experience, we provide reading lists, lecture and seminar materials in advance via Blackboard, our virtual learning environment. Where possible, lectures are recorded using specialist software and similar tools.

How you’ll be taught

Through a variety of teaching methods – from traditional lectures and seminars to case study analysis, project work and pop quizzes – we aim to bring study to life by incorporating real-world experience.

A course-specific extended induction event is available to students to provide tuition and basic grounding necessary to succeed in the programme. The induction covers: financial mathematics, statistics and numerical analysis; basic software skills development (EViews, Excel, etc); introduction to finance; accounting and interpretation of company accounts; and induction to the Bloomberg database and its analytical system.

As well as being taught by staff with their own experience of ‘skin in the game’ when it comes to trading, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to gain valuable insight from current practitioners. In the past, this has included guest lectures about current topics in finance and opportunities in the entrepreneurial finance landscape.

Our problem-based approach to learning means you’ll tackle real-life scenarios at every stage, whether it’s unpicking the situation that led to oil prices going negative in 2020 or assessing the risk associated with various investment options. We will encourage you to keep up-to-date with market trends and regularly review current events, using trade publications such as the Financial Times and the live news streams available in the FMS. Where practical, we also take you to visit and learn first-hand from various financial institutions and businesses. For example, our students were recently treated to a guided tour of the new Bloomberg Headquarters in London.

In the following graph you'll find examples of how study time has been distributed in the past (data from the academic year 2019/20). Changes to division of study time may be made in response to feedback and in accordance with our terms and conditions.

Semester (S1, S2)
S1
24%76%
S2
26%74%
Scheduled hours Independent study

How you’ll be assessed

We use a wide range of techniques, including time-constrained examinations, individual and team-based coursework and presentations.

We try to make assessments as practical and relevant as possible, incorporating the type of work required by future employers, for example, the need to write strategic reports or to collect, analyse and present financial data.

In the following graph you'll find examples of how marks have been calculated in the past (data from the academic year 2019/20). Changes to assessment weights may be made in response to feedback and in accordance with our terms and conditions.

Semester (S1, S2)
S1
48%1%51%
S2
47%53%
Written exams Practical Coursework

Why study this course?

Building
Outstanding facilities

State-of-the-art Bloomberg-powered Financial Markets Suite (FMS) featuring industry-leading technology and software.

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Combine theory and practice

Link theory to global practice through real-life case studies, guest lectures, field trips and insight from one of the world’s largest financial databases.

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Professional software

Free access to professional software including Bloomberg, Datastream, Fame, Factiva, EViews, Matlab, Nvivo, SPSS, Sage, Statista, EIU Viewswire, Mintel, Passport (Euromonitor), and LinkedIn Learning.

Online open evenings

Find out more about the University by visiting us at one of our open evenings.

 

Visit our open days page

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Entry Requirements

A minimum of a lower second class honours degree (2:2). Relevant degree disciplines include: business studies, economics, geography, management, and operations research. However, students with qualifications in other disciplines such as engineering, environmental sciences, the humanities and languages are also encouraged to apply. Alternative professional qualifications with at least three years’ relevant professional experience will also be considered. If your first language is not English you should have an IELTS 6.0 with at least 5.5 in each element. Applicants are required to submit one reference.

View more information about our entry requirements and the application process

A minimum of a lower second class honours degree (2:2). Relevant degree disciplines include: business studies, economics, geography, management, and operations research. However, students with qualifications in other disciplines such as engineering, environmental sciences, the humanities and languages are also encouraged to apply. Alternative professional qualifications with at least three years’ relevant professional experience will also be considered. If your first language is not English you should have an IELTS 6.0 with at least 5.5 in each element. Applicants are required to submit one reference.

More information

Student work

Students will learn how to analyse companies and forecast asset prices, the goal of which is, of course, to profit. You will quickly understand that skilled traders and make money no matter how markets are moving — up, down or sideways. Alternative investments will be considered at length, both for their diversifying and wealth generating properties.

screen of currency rates

Bloomberg terminals are used extensively throughout this course, allowing you to gain valuable and highly marketable skills from day one. You will be encouraged to use Bloomberg not only for Coursework where it may not be required, but also to informally review the job market, and insure key skills are acquired in a timely manner throughout the period of study.

Bloomberg Financial Markets Suite

Learn new skills

Line graph
Build analytical and statistical skills

Develop the strong analytical and statistical skills needed in the world of finance and banking.

books icon in turquoise
Enhance your digital literacy

Enhance your digital literacy, learning how to collect and use data from Bloomberg, Datastream and Fame.

Figure with connections
Improve your problem-solving skills

Improve your problem-solving skills to better understand and tackle issues facing the global financial markets.

Fees and Funding

UK and EU tuition fee: £14,500 (Price per academic year)

When you have enrolled with us, your annual tuition fees will remain the same throughout your studies with us. We do not increase your tuition fees each year.

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

Alumni discount

This course is eligible for an alumni discount. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply by visiting our Alumni discounts page.

Funding

As well as tuition fee loans, there is a range of funding available to help you fund your studies.

Find out about postgraduate student funding options.

Scholarships

The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible postgraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

Additional costs

See what you may need to pay for separately and what your tuition fees cover.

International tuition fee: £15,000 (Price per academic year)

When you have enrolled with us, your annual tuition fees will remain the same throughout your studies with us. We do not increase your tuition fees each year.

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

Alumni discount

This course is eligible for an alumni discount. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply by visiting our Alumni discounts page.

Funding

Find out about funding for international students.

Scholarships

The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible postgraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

Additional costs

See what you may need to pay for separately and what your tuition fees cover.

Westminster Business School blog

Read our blog and get an insight into life and studies at Westminster Business School.

Visit the WBS blog

Facilities

Supporting you

Our Student Hub is where you’ll find out about the services and support we offer, helping you get the best out of your time with us.

  • Study support — workshops, 1-2-1 support and online resources to help improve your academic and research skills
  • Personal tutors — support you in fulfilling your academic and personal potential
  • Student advice team — provide specialist advice on a range of issues including funding, benefits and visas
  • Extra-curricular activities — volunteering opportunities, sports and fitness activities, student events and more

visit our student hub

Illustration for the Student Hub

Course Location

Our Marylebone Campus has benefitted from a multi-million-pound refurbishment resulting in new workshops, digital studios and development of the Marylebone Library. The campus is home to Westminster Business School and our award-winning Architecture, Planning and Tourism courses. For more details, visit our Marylebone Campus page.

Westminster Business School

Westminster Business School is one of London’s leading centres for business education based in the heart of London and its political, media and financial services scene.

We are a Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) Centre of Excellence, recognised by professional bodies including the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and APMG International. 

Contact us

We have an FAQs page if you are applying this year.

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[email protected]

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