MSc International Shipping and Finance

More than 90% of our MSc ISF 2014 graduates are in work or further education 6 months after graduation

Course overview

Highlights

  • Experience a practice-centred teaching approach that includes specialised workshops, distinguished guest speakers, bespoke simulations and company visits.
  • Receive a Dual Degree Award, with two full time MSc degrees in International Shipping and Finance from both the ICMA Centre and ALBA
  • Gain international experience with one month’s study at ALBA in Greece, a country with a long-standing tradition in shipping and the largest merchant fleet in the world
  • Utilise our industry links to access unique work-experience placement opportunities, whilst benefitting from our in-house career development programme and partnership with leading shipping recruitment company Spinnaker Global
  • Benefit from professional exam exemptions from the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (ICS)

Course overview

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

For any questions of academic nature regarding this programme please contact the Shipping programmes assistant Mr Satya Sahoo at s.r.sahoo@pgr.icmacentre.ac.uk

Fees & funding

Full-time course fees: £21,900

Fees are the same for both EU and overseas students.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.

Scholarships

If you are an EU/UK applicant with a minimum  2:1 or equivalent from an overseas institution for your bachelor’s degree you might be eligible for a 50% scholarship. We also offer a range of other scholarships for international students, as well as programme-specific awards for MSc International Securities, Investment and Banking, and MSc International Shipping and Finance. 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.

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.

Careers & professional accreditation

Careers in International Shipping and Finance

After completion of the programme you will be well equipped with the knowledge for a successful career in the shipping/ transportation industries, as well as in the wider finance sector.

On average more than 90% of our graduates are in work or further education 6 months after graduation.

Indicative career paths for our graduates are ship-owning and transportation companies, ship-broking/chartering firms, shipping divisions of investment banks, shipping analysis/consulting firms, ship-finance arrangers, port operators, and shipping-related investment funds, among others. The wide curriculum of the programme will also enable you to consider careers in the global investment banking and securities markets.

Some of our 2013-15 Graduates have taken up full-time opportunities at:

ALBA Business School & travel info

About ALBA Business School 

MSc ISF is delivered jointly with ALBA Graduate Business School at the American College of Greece, our partner institution in Greece. ALBA is a leading European Business School founded by, and operating under, the auspices of the Greek business community. The strategic alliance between ALBA Graduate Business School and the American College of Greece, formed in 2011, established a leading academic organisation that has set new standards for higher education in Southeast Europe. ALBA currently has 91 institutional and corporate members, including major banks, industrial, retailing and shipping companies.

The school’s faculty includes world-renowned academics with a strong track record in research, leading visiting scholars from top business schools worldwide, and distinguished industry practitioners. ALBA specialises in postgraduate business education and is also among the leaders in high quality executive education in Southeast Europe, accommodating the needs of several large corporate clients. Its MSc in Finance is the only CFA Programme Partner in Greece and is accredited by EFMD/EPAS. In addition, its very successful AMBA-accredited MBA in Shipping is one of the few in the world and is validated by the Institute of Chartered shipbrokers (ICS), while the school’s MBA students have won the largest number of awards in the ‘European Business Plan of the Year Competition’ since 2001.

www.alba.edu.gr

Accommodation in Greece

About 20-25 days of study as part of this programme takes place at ALBA Graduate Business School is Athens, Greece. Arrangements for accommodation for this part of the programme are facilitated by the ICMA Centre and ALBA Graduate Business Schoolat the American College of Greece during the Autumn term. Accommodation in Greece comes at an additional cost (over and above the full 40-week fee for accommodation in Reading or private accommodation) of  €30 (approx £22) per day and includes:

  • Single occupancy bedroom in a shared 2 or 3 bedroom fully equipped apartments at the American College of Greece (ACG)
  • Fully equipped kitchen (with dishes, cooking utensils etc)
  • Continental style breakfast food supply in apartments
  • Complimentary laundry facilities in residence
  • Free wireless Internet access
  • Two sets of bed linen and towels upon arrival
  • Resident assistant support in residence
  • Guided tour of campus
  • Temporary ACG student identification cards
  • Scheduled shuttle bus service to metro station
  • Use of ACG athletic facilities, pool, student labs and library
  •  Welcome guide/info and maps
  • Study abroad office staff support

For photos and information of the facilities please visit: http://www.acg.edu/housing

Students that do not wish to pay the full 40-week University of Reading accommodation fee (given that they will not be in Reading for one month) may also consider private student accommodation options in Reading.

Visas

For non-EU students, in addition to a UK student Visa, a Schengen Visa may be required for travel to Greece. For a list of countries subject to additional visa requirement please visit the Greek Embassy website.

Schengen Visa applications shall be lodged during the first term whilst at Reading. The ICMA Centre and the faculty office at the Henley Business School will provide all necessary guidance and necessary supporting documentation.

For detailed Schengen Visa requirements please visit the Greek Embassy website.

Support from the Shipping Industry

Business Advisory Committee

The Business Advisory Committee (BAC) consists of an international group of select senior professionals that support the programme and help ensure that its content is in line with the most recent developments in the shipping industry.

Committee members:

Philippe Van Den Abeele
CIO, Consortium Maritime Trading

George Achniotis
CFO, Navios Maritime Holdings

Filimon Antonopoulos
Partner, Talon Trading AG

Nikolaos Arachovas
Vice President, Finance, Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd.

Philip Bailey
Managing Director, Theisen Securities Ltd

Guy Campbell
General Manager (Atlantic) at The China Navigation Co Pte Ltd
Chairman of the Baltic Exchange

Testimonials

Having just graduated from MSc ISF I can honestly say it has been one of the most sensible choices I have made and absolutely worth the investment required given the payoff one can get in the end. The programme has been a life changing experience for me. It offered more than promised and it is truly fascinating because of its focus on networking with the shipping world and careers development. From the tremendously informative and valuable field trip to Greece, to the visits to leading organizations and companies, the world class professors and module content, the industry guest speakers and the excellent facilities, I felt very privileged throughout the year. The career support has been a highlight and I felt that the collaboration with Spinnaker Global and the frequent workshops significantly enhanced my competitiveness, boosted my confidence and networking skills and, as a result, helped me perform in job interviews. Having been chosen among hundreds by one of the most prominent shipping firms in the world, I believe I owe a lot to MSc ISF.

Huiduo Zhu, 2014/15 graduate
Maritime Asset Management & Newbuilding/Offshore Broker Trainee
Maersk Broker, Shanghai

Shipping market resources

Enriching the market awareness of the programme’s participants is a building block of our practice centred teaching approach. Possessing relevant market knowledge not only enhances the candidates’ learning experience but also improves their potential of securing quality jobs or work experience in the shipping industry following graduation.  Along with comprehensive career development and support, building market awareness is at the core of the MSc in International Shipping and Finance. In addition to practice based teaching, guest speeches by senior practitioners and field trips, this is largely achieved through access to the most important and relevant industry information. Our students can access the following specialised shipping resources (either paper or online format) within the ICMA Centre:

Clarksons Shipping Intelligence Network
Comprehensive shipping database and market information including publications, time series and charts, orderbook, fleet and vessel details

Baltic Exchange Information
Daily freight market information (indices, fixtures, FFAs, reports) by the world’s leading source of independent maritime data.

Lloyds List
The leading daily newspaper for the maritime industry covering all sectors of the shipping world including tankers, containers, ports and dry bulk

TradeWinds
The world’s biggest shipping news provider covering tankers, dry bulk, shipbuilding, containers, ship finance, offshore, insurance, ship casualties

ISF Director’s Monthly News Digest
The most important news about employers, careers, networking events and industry news from various sources made available to our shipping students through a monthly e-email digest

Weekly Shipping Analyst Reports Digest
Selected shipping analyst market and company reports  

Spinnaker Changing Course
Global Shipping News from Spinnaker Consulting, the leading shipping recruitment consultancy

Shipping Network
Institute of Chartered Ship-brokers magazine, the Shipping Network

Our students also have access to shipping and finance related data/news through:

Financial Times
Financial information through Financial Times. A paper copy is distributed daily to each of our students (subject to special price subscription)

Bloomberg Terminals
Shipping company information and transportation sector news through the 10 Bloomberg terminals within the Centre

Thomson Reuters Eikon
Vessel Data (satellite and shore-based) and commodity information through the Thomson Returns Eikon Terminals in our Dealing Rooms

Datastream
Economic, Company and Commodity data through our Datastream Terminal

Compulsory modules

Sea transportation is a crucial catalyst for world trade and economic growth. The globalization of the world economy, increased competition and rapid technological changes have resulted in lower transportation costs. Price volatility, uncertainty, capital concentration and global competition within the shipping markets make economic skills essential for the success of shipping organizations. The aim of this module is to provide an understanding of the structure of the shipping business entity, sectors and organisations and the maritime economic principles and policies related to the effective management of shipping companies operating within the global competitive environment. The course focuses particularly on the relevant shipping markets, supply and demand conditions and decision making based on the structure of the cash flows that shipping companies generate.
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This module is the building block of the programme's maritime component in Term 1. The focus is on the global patterns in international trade, the characteristics of the main commodities carried by sea, and the geography of maritime trade (including main producers, exporting/importing countries and flows, routes, ports and choke-points). The module provides an in depth understanding of basic resources, agricultural and energy commodities such as oil and petroleum products, gas, iron ore, coal and grains. General merchandise carried in containers and patterns in liner trade are broadly covered. Participants also explore transportation mechanisms along with vessel types employed for different commodities and shipping routes. IMT is delivered by the Director of Shipping programmes along with senior select practitioners from the dry bulk, tanker and container sectors.
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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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The objective of the module is to provide an overview of econometrics and in particular the analytical techniques used in finance. Via case studies and computer modelling exercises, students then 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 series of masterclasses is part of the shipping specific careers development programme available to MSc ISF participants. The welcome careers masterclass (in October) aims to provide an overview of the different careers roles within the shipping markets with particular emphasis on shore based commercial roles such as Ship-broking, Chartering, Operations, Ship Finance/Banking and Law/Insurance as well as their inter-relations. The workshop focuses on the qualities required, networking skills, personality profiling, internship opportunities and major employers and how Spinnaker Global can help. Participants have the opportunity to discuss about their career prospects and receive advice from one of the most experienced shipping recruitment specialists in the world. Two further shipping career workshops on CVs and bio profiles, practical networking skills, market awareness and job-hunting strategies will be led by the director of shipping programmes. The ICMA Centre careers development team also runs several general careers workshops as part of our career development programme available to all ICMA centre students.
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This one-day masterclass aims to provide an introduction to the shipping industry; its main markets and participants, various vessel classes, types of commodities carried by sea as well as the main risks and sources of capital in the industry. The session also focuses on the current developments and outlook of the global shipping industry. A renowned guest speaker is often invited to this event which takes place during the first week of the Autumn Term.
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This one-day masterclass aims to provide an overview of some very important technical aspects of ships and cargoes. The issues and terminology introduced here are pre-requisites for the understanding of topics in ship management and chartering. It will cover, among others, types of commercial ships, load-lines, ship construction, engine room layouts, ship surveys, dry docking, cargoes, stowage and cargo handling equipment. The Masterclass is delivered by a renowned Maritime Technology/Engineering Specialist
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Compulsory modules

The module deals with the most common economic techniques used in the analysis of shipping markets. The aim is to provide participants with the business modeling research tools and skills necessary to conduct empirical analysis in shipping. It follows a “hands-on” approach, where participants use real shipping market data and apply empirical assessment methods through case studies. Emphasis is placed on practical applications of the research techniques employed in international shipping markets.  
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This 30-credit module  focuses on the evaluation and selection of alternative shipping related investment decisions under uncertainty and the different sources of financing available to shipping organizations. The module deals with the process and types of traditional bank financing, as well as alternative sources, such as public equity and bond issuance, private equity and ship leasing, among others. It also provides a rigorous grounding on the long-term investment decisions that shipping businesses make to grow organically or through acquisitions, the valuation tools and analysis used to make these decisions and the factors that affect them.
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This 2 day masterclass aims to provide an understanding of the practical aspects associated with the ship-broking profession.  The session will focus on the role of ship-brokers, the qualities required, and activities they are involved, voyage process and estimations, charter-parties, negotiations and vessel employment options. The majority of the sessions are interactive and require active participation. Students will be required to work in groups as part of some sessions and participate in the “Chartering Negotiations Game”, a simulation designed to provide hands-on exposure. The workshop is delivered by a renowned chartering/ship-broking training practitioner.
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This one-day masterclass aims to provide an understanding of the theory and practice of strategy as applicable to the global shipping industry. It introduces some of the theoretical concepts, tools and techniques commonly used to help formulate a business strategy and also examine how these have been applied by shipping companies. In doing so, the students will critique the strategies which are currently being deployed by a number of leading shipping companies and the moderator will draw on his experience as head of strategy at a major shipping services group. The session will also afford students the opportunity to test their own ideas via participation in a strategy workshop. Each group will prepare a high-level market entry strategy and present their ideas to the other groups. The Masterclass is delivered by a senior shipping strategy consultant with more than 35 years experience.
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Optional modules

Students on the 9-month (12-month) programme can select 40 (20) credits from the following modules:

The module provides a solid grounding in risk management and derivatives products in shipping. It builds upon some of the finance concepts introduced in Term 1 modules and applies those concepts within the shipping industry. Risk management is constantly evolving and has become an essential tool within the modern corporation. The cyclical and volatile nature of the shipping business that tends to result in extensive fluctuations in rates and prices associated with shipping operations makes risk management crucially important to shipping companies. As a result, shipping derivatives have been developed in order to more efficiently manage risks, emanating from fluctuations in freight rates, bunker prices, vessel prices, interest rates and foreign exchange rates, amongst others. The module’s main aim is to provide a critical understanding on how all main types of shipping derivatives can be applied in the day-to-day practice of risk management in shipping.
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The module focuses on the current developments and practices in logistics and supply chain management within the global maritime industry (i.e., shipping and ports). It also aims to provide an understanding of the challenges involved in the management of systems for the transportation of goods by sea as well as the optimization of maritime transportation and distribution systems. The module covers the importance of the maritime industry within global logistics and supply chain, the impact of current business patterns in logistics and supply chain within the maritime sector, the strategic approach of shipping companies in the globalised market place, as well as the logistics related challenges faced by global port operators.  
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The module provides an introduction to the principal issues of Maritime law. It has particular focus on the private law areas of Admiralty law and practice and Carriage of Goods by Sea; including ownership and registration of ships, shipbuilding contracts, salvage, collision, freight, laytime and demurrage. It considers the main clauses in time charters. The module also aims to provide some understanding of the marine insurance market, products and claims processes.  
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This module aims to provide students with a detailed knowledge of the commodity derivatives markets. It examines the aspects of pricing and trading physical derivatives, with emphasis on the energy and shipping (freight) sectors. The course is designed using real-life trading examples, stimulating students, who wish to follow a sales and trading career,  to approach derivatives pricing from first principles.
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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 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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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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Compulsory modules

The module provides an in-depth understanding on the various activities related to the commercial exploitation of merchant ships and their different chartering methods and practices. Content includes the procedure and practices relating to the sale and purchase of vessels, their commercial employment under various forms of chartering and the detailed calculation of financial performance including port operations. The module further provides a critical overview of niche cargo markets such as dry bulk, oil and chemical tanker, container, liner, passenger, short sea and inland waters. Where appropriate, the impact of national, EU and International sea transport policies are examined, together with International Maritime Organisation (IMO) regulations that guide the future terms of trade and developments in the design and specifications of ships.
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The purpose of this one-day masterclass is to provide an overview of the accounting practices commonly employed within the maritime industry. The masterclass is delivered by a maritime accounting specialist and focuses on the critical evaluation of accounting methods used in modern shipping practice. Its ultimate goal is to provide students with the necessary tools to perform accounting analysis within a maritime organization. 
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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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