MSc Corporate Finance

Explore the exciting world of venture capital, private equity, corporate governance and mergers & acquisitions with hands-on sessions and extensive case-studies

Course overview

Highlights

  • Study one of the most reputable Masters within the investment banking community
  • Focus on highly specialised topics such as private equity, corporate governance and mergers and acquisitions.
  • Experience a practice-centred delivery approach including hands-on sessions, case studies, financial analysis simulations and programming sessions.
  • Benefit from professional exam exemptions from the CFC qualification.
  • Choose from over 15 elective modules to gain specialisation in a wide array of finance topics

Course overview

This highly specialised degree is designed to provide a practical understanding of a wide range of corporate finance services and corporate transactions. Both, corporate financial management and investment banking is at the core of the programme which is highly regarded in the City of London. 

If you have any questions, please contact us by email at admissions@icmacentre.ac.uk or by phone on +44 (0)118 378 6497

Fees & funding

Full-time course fees (2016/17): £21,900

Full-time course fees (2017/18): £22,500

Fees are the same for both EU and overseas students but we have a number of scholarships aimed at candidates with excellent academic performance and/or work experience that cover part of the tuition cost. Please note there is a one-off £30 application fee (one charge regardless of how many courses you apply for). You can pay this by credit/debit card at this link (please contact us if you require details of alternative payment methods).

Living expenses are in addition to the above fees. Overseas full-time participants can expect to spend approximately £9,400 on additional living expenses during the course of their studies. Home/EU full-time participants can expect to spend approximately £8,000 on additional living expenses during the course of their studies.

Please note that a non-refundable deposit is payable when confirming your acceptance of an offer of a place. This is part of your tuition fee and will be deducted from the total amount upon enrolment.

Scholarships

We offer a number of scholarships for EU/UK and international applicants with excellent academic performance as well as for international applicants with work experience, covering from £5,000 to 60% of the cost of the programme.

For a full list of scholarships, visit our scholarships webpage.

UK/European Union Postgraduate Loans

The UK Government has confirmed that non-means tested loans of up to £10,000 will be available to students studying for postgraduate masters courses from the 2016-2017 Academic year. To be eligible, students will need to be English domiciled.  EU students, and individuals falling within certain specified categories, may also be eligible.

Full details of the loan, including how to apply, are due to be published this year.  You read more at Introduction of loans for postgraduate students and Government response to the Consultation on Support for Postgraduate Study.

Careers and professional accreditation

Careers

There is a demand for professionals who combine an understanding of the financial markets with knowledge of the financial decisions facing companies in their day-to-day operations. Such professionals also need a clear insight into related fields including accounting, risk management, capital budgeting, debt and equity finance, financial planning, venture capital and mergers and acquisitions.

As a MSc Corporate Finance graduate, you will be well equipped to join careers in investment banks in the City of London and other international financial centres, professional services firms, including management consultancies and accountancy practices, and small, entrepreneurial ventures where an in-depth knowledge of finance will be of direct benefit to the owner/managers seeking to build their business.

Find out more about graduate destinations and career opportunities on our Henley Careers page

Professional accreditation

CISI Diploma
The ICMA Centre is a Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment (CISI) Centre of Excellence. Centres of Excellence are a select group of UK universities, recognised by the CISI as offering leadership in academic education on financial markets. Students who are on a financially-related masters course recognised by the CISI are eligible for exemptions and membership. 

ICMA Centre students who register and successfully complete two CISI Diploma in Capital Markets modules (Securities and Bonds & Fixed Interest Markets) are eligible for an exemption from the third module (Financial Markets).

NDRCTC CFC Certificate
Students are eligible for exemption from the Corporate Investment exam. This will apply to graduates from 2011 entry onwards. (The CFC qualification comprises 3 exams: Overview and fundamentals of corporate finance; Corporate investment; Corporate financing)

Visit our professional qualifications and accreditation page for more information.

Learning options

Our master’s in finance courses are available only  on a full-time basis with the option of studying for 9 or 12 months.

Learning options

Full-time: 9 months
Full-time: 12 months
Students will be resident and undertake full-time study in the UK.  Under both, the 9 and 12-month programmes students take compulsory and/or elective modules in Part 2.
The 12 month option involves taking an elective 20 credit module between July and August, which would also mean a 20 credit reduction in the number of taught modules taken in the spring term.

Course structure

October – December: Part 1 Autumn Term
January: Part 1 Exams
January-April: Part 2 Spring Term
May – June: Part 2 Exams
June – August (12 month programme only): Part 3
August/Sep (12 month programme only): Part 3 Coursework deadlines

Entry requirements

  • Undergraduate Degree – Minimum 2:1 or the equivalent from an overseas institution*
  • Degree Discipline – Any degree discipline, but must have a satisfactory existing level of numeracy
  • GMAT – We may ask you to submit a GMAT score if we think it appropriate in your individual case. For example, if you have been out of education for more than a few years or have little evidence of any numerical ability.For information on the GMAT and the location of test centres worldwide, please visit www.mba.com

* Please note that due to increasing competition for places on our Masters programmes our entry requirements may change.

We operate a rolling admissions system and you are therefore advised to apply early in order to be sure of your place on our programmes. We experience high levels of demand, and it is possible we might have to close applications to some programmes once places are filled.

English requirements

If English is not your first language, you may be required to take one of the following:

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a foreign language): Overall score of 100 with no less than 20 in Listening, Writing and Reading and 21 in Speaking
  • IELTS (British Council International English Language Test): Score of 6.5 overall with no component less than 6 when attending the 6-week pre-sessional English course offered by the University of Reading. Entry to this pre-sessional course with a score of 6.5 fulfils your English language requirement.

Please note that students not attending a Pre-Sessional course will need to pass IELTS with an overall score of 7 and no component less than 6.0. For more options please see the International Study and Language Website or email a member of the Postgraduate Admissions team.

Why study at the ICMA Centre?

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“National league tables show that Henley Business School consistently provides one of the most satisfying and rewarding student experiences in the UK.” Professor John Board, Dean.

Part of the triple-accredited Henley Business School and top 1% University of Reading, the ICMA Centre has a global reputation for its excellence in undergraduate, postgraduate and executive education in finance, as well as professional and policy development research and consultancy.

Based in University of Reading’s award-winning Whiteknights campus – a short train ride from London, the financial capital of the world – the ICMA Centre is the product of the first active collaboration between the securities industry and a university finance department.

Find out more about:

Compulsory modules

The module provides the economic framework for understanding the global financial system and financial markets, financial institutions, market players and the importance of liquidity and price efficiency. Participants will gain an understanding of the international stock and bond markets, ‘repo’ markets (for borrowing/ lending on a secured basis). The module also introduces foreign exchange, money markets and futures markets (which are developed in more detail in optional Part 2 modules) and also focuses on specific markets for commodity and energy.  
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The module covers the building blocks of econometrics and analytical techniques used in finance.  Via case studies and computer modelling exercises, students learn how to apply these techniques to real data. Emphasis is placed on practical applications of the techniques in the global financial markets.
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This module provides an overview of the key building blocks in modern finance theory and introduces techniques for analysing and valuing different classes of risky assets such as equities and derivatives contracts. It also develops ways of optimally selecting portfolios of such assets and develops models of how these portfolios can be priced in financial markets. The techniques introduced in this module are widely applied in other elements of the programme. The module includes simulated trading sessions in our state of the art dealing rooms, where participants are introduced to real world pricing and trading strategies (INVEST sessions).
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Fixed Income and Equity Investments deals with the valuation of fixed income and equity securities. The module focuses on the basic characteristics of these securities and the strategies used for estimating their fundamental value and assessing their risk. Its primary aim is to discuss how certain characteristics and relationships can affect the value of fixed income and equity securities and how can they be exploited to form optimal investment strategies or for the purpose of conducting financial analysis. The analytical techniques introduced in this module are widely applied in other elements of the programme.
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Compulsory modules

The main aim of the module is to provide a rigorous grounding of the theory and practice of corporate finance and more specifically the long-term managerial decisions associated with investments, financing and payout and how they affect the value of the firm. It deals with how corporations are governed and structured, the financing alternatives, structures and processes involved (IPOs, SEOs, Private Equity, Bank Debt and Corporate Bonds), the payout policy of the firm (dividends and repurchases) as well growing through mergers and acquisitions. The module also extensively deals with advanced financial analysis and enterprise valuation methods employed by investment professionals and investment banks. Students are involved in a bespoke investment banking pitch-book simulation whereby they have to work on a team and produce financial analysis on a real transaction and assess the company’s strategic alternatives.
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Optional modules

Students on the 9-month (12-month) programme can select 80 (60) credits of electives from the following list

The module aims to build on the techniques for portfolio selection that have been introduced in the Securities, Futures and Options module. The module examines the issues involved in understanding the investment market, constructing a competitive investment portfolio (of an active, passive or smart beta style), evaluating the performance of that portfolio, and adjusting its composition through time. It will also consider issues revolving around the management of risk. The compulsory, practical project of the course will provide students with hands-on experience in constructing and managing a realistic investment portfolio.
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Building on the material introduced in Quantitative Methods for Finance, this module covers a number of more advanced techniques that are relevant for financial applications, and in particular for modelling and forecasting financial time series. These include an introduction to maximum likelihood estimation and two-stage least squares, models of volatility, simulation techniques, and multivariate models. Case studies from the academic finance literature are employed to demonstrate potential uses of each approach. Extensive use is also made of financial econometrics software to demonstrate how the techniques are applied in practice.
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The purpose of the module is to provide an understanding of the latest developments in banking regulations that are the main driving force behind changes in our approaches to risk measurement. It focuses on the foundations of market risk analysis and the basic models for assessing market risk. Participants utilise market risk measurement techniques that are used daily in the front and middle offices of banks; particular emphasis is placed on the appraisal of the covariance matrices that are used to measure the market risk of portfolios. They also learn to build various Value-at-Risk (VaR) models for market risk for international portfolios of equities, FX, interest rate products, commodities, derivatives etc. The module has a significant practical component with computer-based workshops that are designed to support the lecture material.
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The aim of the research project is to allow students to define and execute a piece of research in finance on a topic of their choice, with direction from an academic supervisor and with assistance from a doctoral student support supervisor.
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The module objective is to give students a practical working knowledge of the pricing, hedging and trading of derivative securities, in particular options, via the use of trading simulations and pricing case studies/software. The emphasis of the module is on practical application and it is expected that by the end of the module students will understand and be able to analyse the time/risk dynamics of derivatives in a trading environment. Trading sessions are delivered in our state-of-the-art dealing rooms and utilising our bespoke trading simulation software ICTrader, offering exposure into real trading environment and the price formation process. Students will learn how to “think on their feet”, an essential skill in the investment banking industry.
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This module aims to provide students with an understanding of the origins of Financial Markets, and with a broader appreciation of the early development of products and innovations in Finance - which many assume are recent twentieth century inventions.
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Fixed Income Cash and Derivative Markets applies more advanced valuation and risk assessment methods that build on the knowledge introduced in the fixed income component of the first term Fixed Income and Equity Investments module: It describes the basic characteristics of fixed income derivatives, structured products and credit sensitive securities and develops practical strategies for valuation and risk assessment. It also considers how the markets for these securities are related and begins the task of showing how these relationships can be exploited for trading or investment. The module is designed not only for students wanting a more advanced knowledge of the fixed income markets, but also for students wishing to take the exam for the ICMA Fixed Income Certificate (ICMA FIC)
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The course is a natural extension to the modules currently taught on bond mathematics, credit risk and the pricing of derivative instruments. It aims to supplement quantitative skills with the knowledge of the economics of interest rates necessary to formulate trading strategy, utilising practical real-world examples. The main aims of the module are to identify the fundamental determinants of short- and long-term interest rates, learn how to monitor developments in interest rate markets and employ commonly used trading strategies. The course will be based around the work of a research department in an investment bank or asset manager when formulating interest rate strategy. The lectures will provide: (1) the fundamentals of market pricing, (2) practical examples of current market situations, and (3) identification of trading and portfolio strategies. Seminars will focus on market pricing conventions and worked examples.

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The module provides an introduction to the basic techniques employed in Financial Engineering. Students will understand how these methods can be applied to design securities with desired payoff characteristics. They will be able to evaluate complex security structures by means of reverse engineering and be aware of possible problems when these methods are applied to real world situations.
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This is an applied course with little quantitative content. It deals with one of the most important groups of institutional investors - pension schemes, focussing on occupational pension schemes. Pensions are in a state of crisis and change, and have become the subject of popular debate and controversy. They employ fund managers to invest many £trillions on their behalf. Developing countries, such as China and India, have the potential for an enormous expansion of their pension schemes. Therefore the assets under management of pension schemes globally are likely to increase considerably. The investment of pension funds requires an understanding of how pension schemes work, which is hard to acquire as it has not been taught by educational establishments. This module will provide a detailed knowledge of a major group of institutional investors (pension schemes) and the real would problems they face.
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This module provides an overview of the purpose and operation of financial regulation, and the consequences of financial sector reform for different markets, including those of the students’ home country. The module aims to deliver a broad insight into the key challenges for financial regulation particularly in the light of changes to the financial architecture in the aftermath of the global financial crisis of 2007.
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The evolution of algorithmic trading, the proliferation of alternative trading platforms for trading the same security and the development of new products and assets with limited liquidity have contributed to raising the awareness of academics and traders on the importance of understanding and properly managing liquidity and execution risks. The objective of this course is to give students an introduction to the concepts of market and asset liquidity, trade execution risk and an overview of the methods for managing these types of liquidity risk. This module will not discuss about funding liquidity and managing liquidity in a bank. The issues discussed in this course are important when developing trading strategies, valuing portfolios, liquidating large positions and transitioning assets to new investments.
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The module will enable students to interpret the main principles of corporate finance with an appropriate emphasis on real estate. It will also allow students to recognise the strategic importance of real estate to corporate financial decision making.
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The aim of this module is to equip students with a firm understanding of the overall function, structure and operation of the money market including FX. The course covers cash, forward and derivative instruments, and provides the technical knowledge to trade, hedge with, arbitrage and manage these instruments. The course introduces and illustrates a number of key practical trading parameters such as balance sheet, risk capital and other regulatory requirements, liquidity and funding risks and the legal basis of the various instruments, as well as concepts such as OTC markets, netting, fair v market value and basis risk. The course demonstrates that there is a simple body of arithmetic that underlies all money market instruments and that the different instruments are substitutes in liquidity and risk management.
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The objective is to introduce the students to programming and its usage for data processing and finance. It deals with how to write programming code, process files, receive input and provide output. Students who complete this course will be able to write programming code in Python, process files, input, output and manage data. Furthermore, students will be able to read and write to Excel and CSV files, connect to databases, obtain and process data from the Web, as well as use Python for Finance and Econometrics applications.
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A minimum of 40 of those credits must be chosen from the following:

The objective of the module is to introduce students to the technical and practical aspects of Mergers and Acquisitions. It focuses on several corporate valuation methods, how to identify and value synergies as well as the financing process of an acquisition. Selected case studies will help students become familiar with the practical aspects of the deal making process.
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In order to raise capital from financiers or secure funding via government grants it is always necessary to produce a robust financial plan. This plan will then be used as a yardstick by all parties to monitor the performance of the business. Typically a detailed twelve month plan is required in addition to a summary level five year plan. Typically these plans will include comprehensive sections on revenue forecasts, profit and loss, cash flows, balance sheet, capex, financing and a commentary with further detail to help explain the figures. The aim of the module is to introduce students to the practicalities of developing and utilising financial models with a view to achieving the overall strategic objectives of an organisation. Students will also gain a thorough understanding of the interaction between the separate statements within a financial model.
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The objective of the module is to develop students’ appreciation of the practical aspects of raising venture capital finance for a private company, working with the venture capital investor in growing the business and achieving a successful exit. The focus of the module is on venture capital and high-growth ventures from the viewpoints of both the entrepreneur or management team and of the investing institution (general partner), although private equity as a whole is covered as well as the relationship between the private equity or venture capital firm and its own investors (limited partner institutions). Extensive use will be made of case studies and a business plan project in addition to guest lectures from invited experienced practitioners.
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The objective of the module is to introduce students to the concept of corporate governance, to explain how governance varies around the world and to explore the potential and actual relationships between corporate governance and performance.
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Advanced Financial Analysis builds upon the material covered in Part I of Fixed Income and Equity Investments. The module focuses on the main pillars of fundamental top-down equity analysis: the primary aim is to provide an in-depth analysis of how the choices presented by financial standards can impact reported company performance and thus investment decisions. The analytical techniques introduced in this module are widely used in equity analysis by financial analysts and fund managers/traders.
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Optional modules

Students on the 12-months programme should take 20 credits from the following:

This module provides postgraduate students with an overview on alternative investment opportunities. It will critically engage students with the characteristics and issues of the main current alternatives investment opportunities being Commodities, Private Equity, and especially Hedge Funds. Beyond this, it will introduce students into newly emerging alternative investment markets, which include Carbon Finance, Microfinance, Islamic Investment and especially Responsible Investment. On this basis, the challenges of hand collecting original data and evaluating alternative investment portfolios’ performance are discussed.
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This module aims to provide students with an understanding of financial decision making in the context of the energy industry. The course will combine theoretical models with practical applications. It focuses on energy markets (products, companies, production and consumption), capital budgeting in energy companies, financing of energy companies, energy derivatives and trading in energy markets. A number of case studies in energy finances are utilised.
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This module is designed for advanced Master’s students and doctoral students. It has a very high technical content. It aims to equip the students with the foundations of theoretical asset pricing and with the relevant skills for performing empirical tests. Additionally, a few important corporate finance topics will be covered in the format of student presentations. The objective of the module is to prepare students to become independent and quality researchers.
 

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