Finance and Investment MSc


Fact file

MSc Finance and Investment
1 year full-time
Entry requirements
2.1 (international equivalent) in accounting, business studies, economics, finance or management; outstanding degrees in any quantitative discipline also considered
Other requirements
Personal statement and a list of modules being studied in the final year (for applicants who have not yet completed their undergraduate degree)
6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
Jubilee Campus
Tuition fees
You can find fee information on our fees table.


This course provides a solid foundation in modern finance and investment, covering topics in corporate finance, capital markets and financial security valuation, and is recognised by the Chartered Financial Analysts (CFA) Institute.
Read full overview

The MSc Finance and Investment has been accepted into the CFA Institute University Recognition Programme. This status is granted to institutions whose degree programme incorporates at least 70% of the CFA Programme Candidate Body of Knowledge (CBOK) which will provide you with a solid grounding in the CBOK and prepares you to take the CFA exams.

This course has a distinct quantitative focus and includes both theoretical concepts as well as their applications. Many parts of the course require you to download data from databases and to analyse data using software packages.

The Business School has one of the largest groups of finance experts in the UK, bringing you up to date knowledge and techniques from leaders in their fields.

Presessional English for Academic Purposes

The Centre for English Language Education (CELE) runs 10-week and 5-week business and management English language and study skills courses. These courses are designed in collaboration with Nottingham University Business School and prepare students going on to programmes in business and management.

If you are close to the English language level you need to go on to the Business School's MSc course and you meet the entry requirements for the relevant CELE course, you may be eligible for a joint offer. This means that:

  • you only need one TIER 4 visa and CAS
  • you take a 10 or 5-week English Language and Academic Skills preparation course, and then go onto your MSc course
  • you have a guaranteed place on the MSc course
  • your progression to the MSc is automatic, provided you attend and complete all the coursework

For more details, please visit the CELE website

Students who enter via the CELE route are exempt from paying the school's £1,000 reservation fee. For more details, please contact us.

Key facts

  • The Business School, across all three campuses (UK, China and Malaysia), is EQUIS accredited by the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) - one of the world's leading accrediting bodies for business schools
  • In the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF) we ranked 6th for research power out of 101 UK business and management institutions
  • We are ranked 12th in the UK for accounting and finance in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016 (top 100 worldwide)
  • The course is 13th in The Financial Times Masters in Finance 2015 (42nd worldwide)
    Master in Finance
  • It is recognised by the CFA (Chartered Financial Analysts) Institute

Course details

You must accumulate 180 credits to qualify for the award of MSc; 120 from modules taught and examined during two 15-week semesters.

Each taught module typically consists of ten 2-3 hour sessions. Assessment is a combination of individual essays or group projects and written exams.

The remaining 60 credits of this course are allocated to a 12,000-15,000-word individual dissertation on an approved, relevant subject, which is completed over the summer period for submission in September.



Semester one


Capital Market Analysis

The module examines the equity asset class as an example of a long term, generally risky, financial security. Since semester two specialist modules in fixed interest securities, and derivatives are available this module provides only a basic introduction to these other classes of financial instruments. The module looks at the way performance of an investment in equities is characterised, and how such investments have performed in the past. The processes of equity portfolio construction, management and performance measurement are then examined. The perspective adopted is that of the purchaser, not the issuer, of equity.

The module aims to introduce students to the characteristics of the equity asset class, to identify relevant data sources for returns from individual equities and equity markets, to explain how pattern in returns can be investigated, to show how equities can be combined in portfolios, and to show how the performance of portfolios and portfolio managers can be measured.

Corporate Finance

The module covers the traditional content of a Corporate Finance course:

  • Investment, Capital structure, and Dividend decisions from a Shareholder Value Perspective
  • Capital Market Behaviour (background)
  • Mergers
  • Real Option

The module aims to highlight the key aspects of corporate finance and to identify current research issues and approaches.

Quantitative Techniques for Finance

Provide students with a good understanding of econometrics tools covering topics such as time series, qualitative response and panel data models with finance-related applications.

The module aims to provide a good training in applied econometrics techniques as relevant to finance.

Research Methods for Finance and Investment

Part 1: Introduction to quantitative methods (compulsory). This part of the module will teach students concepts in Matrix Algebra, Optimisation, Statistical Distribution Theory and Regression Analysis.

Part 2: Introduction to qualitative research (compulsory). This part of the module will be concerned with epistemological issues as well as the collection and analysis of qualitative data.

The module aims to:

  • instil familiarity with and understanding of key techniques of quantitative and qualitative analysis
  • improve accessibility of research material such as journal articles
  • provide basic skills in support of both other modules taught on the MSc programme and dissertation research involving quantitative and qualitative analysis

Semester two


Derivative Investment

The module covers the following:

  • Forward and futures contracts, how they are traded and used for hedging
  • Stock price modelling
  • Derivatives – European and American styles
  • Derivative valuation - Binomial trees, Trinomial trees, Monte-Carlo, Black-Scholes
  • Stock indices, futures on stock indices, options on futures
  • Compound options and real options

The module aims to understand valuation models for derivative securities and the markets in which derivatives are traded. The use of derivative securities in financial risk management is also examined.

Fixed Interest Investment

The module covers the following:

  • Institutional framework of international and UK bond markets
  • Bond yield and pricing models
  • Interest rate determination
  • Bond market strategies and portfolio decision making

The module aims to:

  • give students a sound and up-to-date understanding of the basics of fixed-interest investment and the management of fixed-interest portfolios
  • develop students' ability to carry out relevant calculations with confidence on a spreadsheet
  • inculcate an awareness of the richness of the subject, going beyond traditional bond theory to cover fixed-interest derivatives, value-at-risk, and recent modelling techniques


At least one from the following list: 

Behavioural Economics and Finance

In this module, the aim is to provide students with an understanding of methods, results and models of behavioural economics and behavioural finance. We will talk about experiments and their importance in several fields. Within this context we will cover topic such as: how to design an experiment, asset markets, labour markets, social dilemmas, bargaining, contests, behavioural finance, market structure and risk. You will learn how to design your own experiment and how to interpret empirical results.

Studying this module should contribute to your knowledge and understanding of markets. How humans behave in markets will be the major topic. Further, the module will help to develop the ability to think critically and be creative, the ability to solve complex problems and make decisions, the ability to use information and knowledge effectively as well as quantitative skills. In addition, the module should develop practical skills such as the ability to conduct research into business and management issues through research design, synthesis and reporting and key transferrable skills including listening, effective oral and written communication of complex ideas and arguments, critical self-reflection, self-management and time management.  

Computational Finance

The module provides students with a knowledge and understanding of key practical applications of finance using standard computer software. Students taking the module are assumed to have prior background knowledge of financial markets and financial econometrics. It equips students with computational and programming skills, allowing them to analyse financial data, build financial models and solve complex financial problems. The course will also integrate application areas in finance which have already been introduced to the student, or which are being introduced to students concurrently.

Topics include: Basic R and/or Python commands, analysing and visualising financial data, modelling and forecasting financial time-series, applications relevant to asset pricing and portfolio analysis, etc.

The module aims to provide students with the skills and ideas necessary to implement computational and programming approaches to financial data analysis and financial modelling.

Financial Econometrics

The module will provide an introduction to modern econometric techniques for modelling financial data. It covers relatively advanced econometric techniques such as dynamic panel data modelling, generalised methods of moments, multinomial models, selection models GARCH, risk measurement and continuous time models.

The module aims to introduce students to modern theory and practice of financial econometrics.

Financial Reporting

The module covers: financial reports, regulation of financial reporting; creative accounting; techniques of accounting analysis; standard setting; relationship to capital; auditing and accounting research.

The module aims to:

  • provide a detailed examination of the principles of financial reporting and accounting theory and highlight their links to corporate governance
  • introduce techniques of financial appraisal of accounting data
  • provide a foundation of knowledge and skills as a basis for further in-depth study of financial modules or the dissertation
Industrial Economics

The module uses a game-theoretic approach to analyse strategic firm-behaviour. It intends to cover topics like static and dynamic models of imperfect competition, product differentiantion, market entry, merger and acquisition, verticle relations, privatisation and foreign direct investment.

The module aims to provide students with a background for analysing various forms of strategic interactions in imperfectly competitive markets, and to establish knowledge abouth the field that may motivate students to pursue further research in the field of Industrial Economics.

International Finance

This module examines contemporary developments in the theory and practice of international financial management. It includes analysis of foreign exchange markets and international financial markets, including international banking and the Euromarkets. Emphasis is placed on discussion of risk management techniques to protect against both currency and political risks. Both long term international investment and financing decisions and short-term exporting decisions form part of the course.

The module aims to:

  • develop an in-depth understanding of international finance and financial markets
  • analyse risks that exist in international finance including foreign exchange, foreign trade and investment risks and to select and use appropriate techniques to manage such risks
Monetary and Financial Economics

The module will cover the behaviour, and term structure of interest rates and their link with financial instruments; the definitions of money and determinants of the money supply; tools and conduct of monetary policy; the role of the central bank in monetary policy and the role of the banking sector; bank reserves and monetary policy; the use of financial instruments by the central bank including Tbills and Gilt Repos; exchange rates and banking; ISLM.

The aim of this module is to provide students with the ability to:

  • examine present value and the mechanics of calculating interest rates, interest rate determination and the supply and demand causes of interest rate changes
  • understand and critically comment on interest rates and their relationship with financial instruments/pricing
  • define and critically examine the role of money and how the money supply is determined
  • fully understand the role of bank reserves in monetary policy
  • define and critically analyse the conduct of monetary policy
  • critically understand the role played by the central bank in both bank operations and monetary policy
  • understand how the Central Bank manipulates the money supply via open market operation using Tbills and Gilt Repos
  • analyse exchange rates in bank operations
  • have a critical knowledge of ISLM
Quantitative Risk Management

The module covers the following:

  • The development of quantitative risk management and its use by firms to measure and manage their risk
  • Measures of risk: value at risk, expected shortfall, and other risk measures
  • Uses of quantitative risk measures: Estimating risk measures: historical simulation approaches, parametric approaches and Monte Carlo simulation approaches
  • Volatility forecasting
  • Estimating liquidity risks
  • Backtesting risk models
  • Risk measurement using Extreme Value Theory
  • Model and parameter risk

The module aims to provide students with a conceptual introduction to the basic principles and practices of modern quantitative financial risk management, and to give them experience of carrying out the calculations involved using appropriate software.

Risk Management in Financial Institutions

Risks specific to financial institutions (including liquidity, credit, market, and operational); techniques for managing such risks; the organisation of the risk management process in financial institutions. Financial institutions include banks, other deposit-taking institutions, life and general insurance companies. Content complements that covered in modules such as Corporate Risk and Quantitative Risk Management.

The module aims to develop students' knowledge and understanding of the risks faced by financial institutions, the techniques used to manage such risks, and the problems and issues faced in this process.

Venture Capital and Private Equity

Business start-ups, second stage financing and management buy-outs are all encompassed by Venture Capital and Private Equity. The module looks at the variety of uses of this type of finance and the growing number of sources available. Structures of deals, analysis and preparation of business plans, exit rates and assessing the entrepreneur are all covered in this module.

The module aims to:

  • provide an understanding of the operation of venture capital from the perspectives of both the lender and the borrower
  • consider the issues relating to venture capital for both new start-ups and established businesses
  • give first hand experience in development of a business plan, formulating a proposal and analyse the proposition through case studies and worked examples


The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.



Funding may be available through the Business School. Funding information can also be found on the Graduate School website.

International and EU students

The University of Nottingham offers a range of masters scholarships for international and EU students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study.

Applicants must receive an offer of study before applying for our scholarships. Applications for 2017 entry scholarships will open in late 2016. Please note the closing dates of any scholarships you are interested in and make sure you submit your masters course application in good time so that you have the opportunity to apply for them.

The International Office also provides information and advice for international and EU students on financing your degree, living costs, external sources of funding and working during your studies.

Find out more on our scholarships, fees and finance webpages for international applicants.



Postgraduate careers team

As a postgraduate student in Nottingham University Business School you will have access to our specialist in-house postgraduate careers team to help you develop your career management skills and explore your career options. Through a combination of your academic studies and the careers support on offer you will be in an excellent position to enhance your career prospects.

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2015, 97% of postgraduates in the Nottingham University Business School who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £29,221 with the highest being £55,700.*

Career destinations for our graduates include accountants, finance and investment analysts, higher education teaching professionals, investment bankers, IT business analysts, management consultants, marketing professionals, public relations professionals and university researchers.

* Known destinations of full-time home higher degree postgraduates 2014/15. Salaries are calculated based on those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career prospects and employability

The acquisition of a masters degree demonstrates a high level of knowledge in a specific field. Whether you are using it to enhance your employability, as preparation for further academic research or as a means of vocational training, you may benefit from careers advice as to how you can use your new found skills to their full potential.

Our Careers and Employability Service will help you do this, working with you to explore your options and inviting you to attend recruitment events where you can meet potential employers, as well as suggesting further development opportunities, such as relevant work experience placements and skills workshops.

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