MSc in Finance and Investment1

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1 THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH PROGRAMME SPECIFICATION FOR MSc in Finance and Investment1 1) Awarding Institution: The University of Edinburgh 2) Teaching Institution: The University of Edinburgh (Business School) 3) Programme accredited by: n/a 4) Final Award: MSc / PG Diploma in Finance and Investment 5) Programme Title: MSc in Finance and Investment 6) UCAS Code: n/a Relevant QAA Subject Benchmarking Group(s): n/a 7) Postholder with overall responsibility for QA: Dr Inger Seiferheld 8) Date of production/revision: 2011/2012, revised August ) External Summary Background The MSc in Finance and Investment is a full-time degree lasting almost twelve months, involving a programme of taught courses followed by preparation of a dissertation. The programme aims to provide students with a specialist education in finance and investment. It will give a global perspective on investment markets and asset classes; provide knowledge of the practice and principles of investment, financial markets and company finance; introduce students to academic research in these areas; and build on students existing numerical skills so that they are able to understand and practice investment-related mathematics. The course benefits from close relationships with financial and accounting firms as well as its recognition by the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA ) Institute. What are the main programme aims (learning outcomes)? The main aims of the programme is to: Provide a rigorous theoretical and practical background in the tools and techniques of finance and investment Students will develop a critical understanding of theory in finance and investment and their applications to real life settings Train researchers with relevant research methodologies and techniques in order to contact research and enquiry 1 The information contained in this Programme Specification should be used as a guide to the content of a degree programme and should not be interpreted as a contract. 1

2 Provide an opportunity for advanced study of finance and investment suitable to a range of career development motivations 10) Educational aims of programme: The MSc in Finance and Investment is a full-time degree lasting almost twelve months, involving a programme of taught courses followed by preparation of a dissertation. The programme aims to provide students with a specialist education in finance and investment. It will give a global perspective on investment markets and asset classes; provide knowledge of the practice and principles of investment, financial markets and company finance; introduce students to academic research in these areas; and build on students existing numerical skills so that they are able to understand and practice investment-related mathematics. 11) Programme outcomes: 11a) Knowledge and understanding Explain and critically evaluate finance and investment theory with particular reference to the operation of global financial markets. Apply and critically evaluate methods of valuation of investments in global markets. Apply and critically evaluate the construction and analysis of portfolios of investments incorporating a range of asset classes. 11b) Graduate attributes: Skills and abilities in Research and Enquiry Identify, define and analyse problems and identify or create processes to solve them Exercise critical judgement in creating new understanding Critically assess existing understanding and recognise the need to regularly challenge all knowledge 11c) Graduate Attributes: Skills and abilities in Personal and Intellectual Autonomy Identify and apply new ideas, methods and ways of thinking Respond effectively to unfamiliar problems in unfamiliar contexts 11d) Graduate Attributes: Skills and abilities in Communication Advance reasoned and factually supported arguments effectively in written work and oral presentation 11e) Graduate Attributes: Skills and abilities in Personal Effectiveness Work effectively with others, capitalising on their different thinking, experience and skills Identify and evaluate social, cultural, global, ethical and environmental responsibilities and issues Demonstrate skills in time management 2

3 11f) Technical/practical skills These skills are covered under the headings above. 12) Programme structure and features Entry Requirements Minimum of a 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent, in a subject with a substantial component of finance, accounting or economics. Applicants for whom English is not their first language: a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 600 (250+ computer based) or an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 7 is preferred. Alternatively, a recent degree from a university in an English-speaking country may be acceptable. Degree Criteria MSc full-time (12 months), requires 120 credits from taught courses and 60 credits from the research dissertation. Diploma is full time for 9 months, 120 credits from taught courses. Programme structure All students attend and complete the five compulsory core courses (75 credits), four in semester 1 and one in semester 2. One further semester 2 course is chosen from a list of two. One or two elective courses are also taken in semester 2. Core Courses (all 15 credits) Corporate Finance and Accounting (Semester 1) Financial Markets (Semester 1) Investment Theory (Semester 1) Statistics for Finance (Semester 1) Research Methods in Finance (Semester 2) PLUS One or Two from: Derivatives (Semester 2) Investment Management (Semester 2) Elective Courses (one or two, to take total taught credits to 120)* All 15 credits, all offered in Semester 2: Advanced Finance Theory Accounting Planning & Strategy Advanced Corporate Finance Behavioural Finance & Market Anomalies Credit Risk Management Economics for Postgraduates Equity Valuation Financial Management for Public and Not for Profit Organisations * Not all elective courses will run in a particular year 3

4 Progression and Exit Awards Students must achieve at least 80 credits at 50% or above and an overall 120 credits with a weighted average of at least 50% to progress to the research dissertation MSc stage. Students who also achieve at least 50% in the dissertation will be awarded the MSc in Finance and Investment. A Diploma in Finance and Investment will be awarded if the student has 80 credits at 40% or above and an overall 120 credits with a weighted average of at least 40%. Research Dissertation (60 credits) Each student conducts an individual research project on a subject within the finance and investment field, chosen in consultation with an academic advisor. MSc candidates write up their work as a dissertation (maximum 15,000 words), which is submitted by the end of August. Some dissertation topics, around 30 per year, are offered that involve working with investment professionals in Edinburgh. 13) Teaching and Learning Methods and Strategies The Business School's strategy in learning and teaching is to deliver a dynamic, engaged, classroom experience that exposes our students to both practical and theoretical perspectives on business issues in ways that stretch and challenge them. The University of Edinburgh also maintains good relationships with a number of finance and investment professionals. There will be several guest lecturers from within the investment management industry, and there will be the opportunity for students to meet with practitioners to discuss issues related to research or career opportunities. At MSc level a substantial amount of independent study and pre-reading for lectures is also required of students. 14) Assessment Methods and Strategies The assessment strategy relies upon a combination of methods to meet the full range of aims and learning objectives and draw maximum advantage from the variety of teaching approaches employed. The assessment methods include individual and group essays, group presentations, mid-term exams, and formal degree exams at the end of a term. Most courses will contain a range of different assessment methods and students have an opportunity to receive marks and written feedback on coursework before the degree exams at the end of the term. 15) Career Opportunities The MSc in Finance and Investment prepares graduates for a range of finance-related professions. 50% of our graduates work in in the banking, finance and insurance sector, with others working in consultancy, asset management and professional services. Employers include Aberdeen Asset Management, Citigroup, PwC, JP Morgan and the European Commission. 16 Other Items The curriculum covers many aspects of the syllabus for the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) professional qualification. The CFA Institute is based in Charlottesville, Virginia, USA. The Institute has judged that the MSc in Finance and Investment covers at least 70% of the syllabus for the CFA 4

5 qualification, and the Business School has been recognised as a partner institution under the CFA Partner Program. The School is able to offer five scholarships (remissions of CFA fees) each year to students on the MSc, but the Institute does not offer any exemptions from its exams. It is possible to take some of the CFA exams at the same time as studying for the MSc. Most students who have done this in the past have sat the CFA exams in June rather than in December. The Business School has also been recognised as a centre of excellence by the Securities and Investment Institute (SII, now the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment), which is based in London. The SII, like the CFA Institute, offers a vocational qualification in investment membership of the SII. It offers full exemption from its examinations for graduates of the MSc in Finance and Investment. The School is pleased to have obtained recognition for the MSc from the CFA Institute and from the SII. However, the MSc degree does not replicate the curriculum of either CFA or SII. The degree places more emphasis on learning about research and on reflection about what is learned, and less on acquiring factual knowledge. In addition, the on-campus nature of the programme provides scope for interaction with fellow students, staff and practitioners in Edinburgh. In terms of pastoral care and student support, all students are assigned a Personal Tutor. The PT s function is to monitor your progress and provide advice on course choices. In addition, the PT will be a MSc student s first line of pastoral support and advice for any other academic or personal issues which may arise whilst on the MSc Programme. Course teaching will mainly be based in the University of Edinburgh Business School, 29 Buccleuch Place. In addition to 8 lecture rooms of varying size, the School offers sixteen syndicate rooms all with a dedicated PC and laptop hook-up and equipped with Smartboards or large LCD displays. Syndicate rooms are accessed by proximity card, are bookable in advance and have audio enhancement for hearing impaired. We offer two computing rooms and a computer teaching laboratory. The School hosts its own library and business information resources centre (The Hub), open from The associated website supports all the postgraduate courses taught at the School and provides extensive access to a wide range of electronic business information, business research databases and on-line journals. Access to the vast majority of these services is also available to students and staff from their place of work for part-time students and at home world-wide. The portal gives access through the intranet to a comprehensive collection of electronic links, including many specialized subscribed databases (e.g. Datastream, Thomson Research, Thompson One Banker, London Share Price Database, Center for Research Security Prices (CRSP), Compustat, WRDS), to support teaching and learning. MSc students have 24-hour access to the labs and syndicate rooms in 29 Buccleuch Place. More detailed information can be obtained from the Programme Director Professor Jens Hagendorff, University of Edinburgh Business School, 29 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9JS, Scotland, United Kingdom. He can be contacted through at: 5

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