Investment and Risk Finance MSc
Alternative attendance modes for this course
Courses start in September, unless otherwise stated
View course-specific entry requirements
Applicants should normally hold a first degree from a recognised institution (minimum Lower Second Class Honours or international equivalent) and demonstrate interest and motivation in the subject area. Alternative professional qualifications with at least three years' relevant professional experience will also be considered. Directly 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.
If English is not your first language, you will need an IELTS score of 6.5, with a minimum score of 6 in each element.
This course provides a thorough theoretical and practical grounding in the key aspects of investment and risk finance, delivered in an intensive learning environment. You will learn how to apply the knowledge and theory you have gained in class to real-world problems facing the international financial services industry and the corporate financial management community. This practical application of investment and risk principles is one of the main strengths of this programme.
The learning and skills development is integrated with resources available in our Financial Markets Suite (FMS), a state-of-the-art virtual trading room environment. The FMS is interfaced with the Bloomberg system, a leading source of economics and capital markets information available to the global professional financial community. Provision of this Bloomberg resource, along with the academic and professional career development opportunities are the main reasons why our students prefer to select this programme.
Upon successful completion of the course, you are eligible for a student membership of Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI) – a financial services professional body. Some of the benefits include free attendance at CPD events, accessibility to industry news and online resources.
The course has been in existence since 1999 and has continued to evolve to meet the changing educational needs of the investment and risk finance professional. It's delivered by qualified academics and professionals who have worked many years in the industry and are actively engaged in research and consultancy.
The course consists of core modules which 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.
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.
A highlight for many students are the social events organised throughout the course which provide an opportunity for networking with fellow students and alumni. Students on this course also benefit from free access to part of the material on the course reading list.
The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course. For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the full course document.
Through this module you will cover a range of data analysis methods and concepts.
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.
Modern Portfolio 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.
Research Methods in Finance and Accounting
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.
International Risk Management
This module provides you with the fundamental ideas and tools for thinking about risk management.
Choose two or three of the following:
Contemporary International Financial Management
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.
Financial Markets and Institutions
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.
Fixed Income Analysis and Trading
This module provides the fundamental ideas and tools for thinking about traditional fixed income securities.
Forecasting Markets and Risk Modelling
This module explores advanced ideas and applications of econometrics in forecasting financial markets and risk modelling.
If you take two sub-core modules, you then need to choose one from the following:
Financial Accounting Policy
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.
Financial Information Systems
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.
International Financial Reporting
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.
All students on our full-time business Masters courses can apply to undertake the PG/MBA Internship Programme Reflective Practitioner Module. This is an 8 week unpaid accredited internship, which can be taken in addition to option modules and will help students to gain invaluable work experience. The internships, which are with London-based organisations, take place during the summer period. To apply, students must submit a completed application form and a copy of their updated CV to the Business Experience Team; the team then shortlist from the applications and conduct group meetings with the applicants.
Ultimately it is up to our internship employers to decide whether they would like to interview the candidate(s) and offer him/her an internship. We have received very positive feedback from both postgraduate students and employers and expect that the internship programme will continue to remain popular amongst our students.
This course is designed to prepare you for a variety of roles. Career choices include security and financial analysis, trading and fund management, capital market sales and administration. The skills you will acquire through the teaching and learning experiences combined with a post-graduate qualification in this area of finance will allow you to expand your career in a dynamic and rapidly evolving global industry. Our graduates go on to develop careers in treasury and front office positions in investment banks and securities companies. They occupy management positions as financial analysts, finance and sales administrators or similar jobs in the global financial services sector and the corporate finance world.
Additional costs information
To check what your tuition fees cover and what you may need to pay for separately, see our What tuition fees cover page.
As an investment and risk finance postgraduate, you can look forward to excellent career prospects in treasury and front office positions in investment banks and securities companies, as well as analyst or money management positions in the global financial services sector.
Your exposure to the Financial Markets Suite simulated financial trading facility will mean you will be equipped in both the theory and practice of investment and risk finance.
All Full-time postgraduate (MA, MSC and MBA) students at Westminster Business School have the opportunity to undertake a 2 month part-time unpaid internship in local organisations, so as to further enhance their academic experience. Our internships take place during the Summer and are in various fields including Marketing, Project Management, Retail, Marketing Communications, Finance, HR and the charity sector.
In order to apply, students must complete an application form (along with a copy of their updated CV) and submit this to the Business Experience Team (BET). Subsequently we then shortlist from the applications received and conduct group meetings with the students, which provides them with an opportunity to understand more about the internship programme and for the BET to better understand their internship aspirations. Ultimately it is up to our internship employers to decide whether they would like to interview the candidate(s) and offer him/her an internship.
We have received very positive feedback from both our Postgraduate students and employers and expect that the Internship Programme will continue to remain popular amongst our students.
The Business Experience Team also offers full-time overseas postgraduate (MA, MSc, MBA) students the opportunity to take part in our WBS Mentoring Programme. We will match students with a senior professional (mentor) from their field of expertise to give them an exact insight into British working practices and policies. Experienced professionals in any business field share their career experiences and knowledge with students who may wish to venture down a similar path in the near future. Our mentors come from a wide range of backgrounds, including Marketing, General Management, Finance and Entrepreneurship. In addition, our mentors typically offer 3 hours of their time over a 3 month period to the mentee (student). In addition, to one-to-one meetings, students are encouraged to keep in touch with their mentor over email and telephone.
Our dedicated Career Development Centre is actively working with an ever-expanding network of over 3,000 employers to provide you with exceptional employability support and guidance. As a result we were nominated as finalists for a significant industry award – the NUE Awards Most Improved Commitment to Employability 2016.
We provide our students with work placements and international opportunities to support them in becoming highly employable, globally engaged graduates, and with one million businesses operating within 20 miles of the University of Westminster, over 84% of our students are in work or further study six months after graduation. Our graduates work in a variety of sectors and organisations, from small/medium-sized companies and start-ups to large not-for-profit organisations and corporates.
During your time at Westminster you will be able to use our comprehensive online vacancy service and meet with our experienced careers consultants, providing you with thorough training and support on CV writing, application forms, interview preparation and assessment centres.
In addition to this, you will receive careers support from academic staff and faculty work placement teams, offering targeted course-specific careers advice and assistance in securing a work placement during your time at Westminster. You can find out more about course-specific career opportunities by visiting the Prospects website.
For more details, visit the employability section on our site.
Career Development Centre
Our Career Development Centre can help and support you throughout your study and after graduation.
We can help you to:
- find part-time/vacation, placement and graduate jobs, including voluntary experience
- explore how to develop the skills that employers are looking for
- plan your career development
- identify your career options
- market yourself effectively in CVs, application forms and at interviews
- develop your enterprise skills
We also organise a range of presentations and networking events with employers, professional bodies, alumni and other organisations throughout the year to help you with career planning.
Find out more about the Career Development Centre.
Our Work Placement Teams are based in your Faculty Registry Office and can help you find a suitable placement, as well as support you in making applications, writing CVs and improving your interview technique.
More details on work placements can be found on our Work placements page.
Career options in your subject area
Our team of careers consultants work closely with Faculty departments to deliver tailored employability support, including subject-specific workshops, employer events and careers information, advice and guidance.
Study in the city
If you study at the University of Westminster, everything that London has to offer is on your doorstep.
Our central London campuses are ideally located for the city's fantastic learning institutions including libraries, archives and museums, as well as opportunities for shopping, eating out, enjoying London's nightlife or just simply relaxing.
After choosing your course, one of your biggest decisions will be where to live, and we aim to make that choice as easy as possible. Whether you want to apply for our Halls of Residence or live in private housing, we can help you to find the right accommodation.
Fees, funding, bursaries and scholarships
In recent years the University of Westminster's scholarship scheme has been the largest university scholarships scheme in the UK, and our Scholarships Department won the Times Higher Education inaugural Award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students.
All students on courses of a year or more and who are registered for more than three modules will be allocated a personal tutor.
Your personal tutor will be there to support you from induction onwards, helping you to integrate into the University, academically and socially, at an early stage. They will be able to give you advice and support on academic and personal matters affecting your study, as well as developmental advice through regular individual and group tutorials.
Polylang is a University-wide programme through which you can study a language as a free choice module.
Personal advice and counselling
While most students overcome any problems with help from friends, family or a personal tutor, the University's free counselling and advice services are there if you need them.
With one of the UK's largest international student populations, the University of Westminster has plenty of experience in giving you the help and support you need to make the most of your time with us.
Study Abroad and Summer School programmes
Westminster's Study Abroad programme has been running for more than 15 years, and is one of the largest in the UK – each year we welcome hundreds of visiting students from universities all over the world.
If you are already studying outside the UK, the programme offers you the opportunity to study with us for one or two semesters, or for a period in the summer.
Sport and recreation
The University has extensive sport and recreation facilities, with a sports hall and gym at Harrow, a state-of-the-art gym at Regent Campus, and the University sports ground by the River Thames at Chiswick.
University of Westminster Students' Union (UWSU) aims to make sure you have the best university experience possible by providing a range of activities and support, from sports clubs to society groups, educational advice and social events.
Accounting, Finance and Economics - why Westminster?
Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment, CISI
In a bid to provide invaluable work experience to our full-time postgraduate business students we are giving you the opportunity to apply to undertake an 8-week unpaid accredited internship with a London organisation.