BSc Finance and Investment Banking

UCAS Code: N302

This three-year honours degree (formerly the BSc International Securities, Investment and Banking) will provide students with thorough preparation for a career in the financial markets. Through a combination of academic rigour and practical skill-building, we aim to provide the most in-depth study of finance and investment banking.

The BSc Finance and Investment Banking is an official CFA program partner. In the words of the CFA Institute itself:

CFA partners with globally diverse, high profile institutions who cover a significant portion of the CFA Program Candidate Body of Knowledge and who embrace the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct in their degree programs. Recognition as a CFA Program Partner provides a signal to potential students, current students, and the marketplace that the university curriculum is closely tied to professional practice and is well suited to preparing students to sit for the CFA exams.[1] The partnership comes with a series of benefits to the ICMA Centre and its undergraduate students.

Careers

Here at the ICMA Centre, we recognise the importance of career development and have integrated specialist career management into the programme, thereby providing our students with a tool kit to help them achieve their career aspirations. Our graduates enter the market with knowledge and skills to enable them to gain excellent careers in areas such as sales and trading, asset management, operations and risk management. Our statistics show that typically more than 90% of graduates are in employment or further study within 6 months of graduating.

Internships

Through the duration of this course, students are expected to undertake an eight to ten week working internship throughout the summer vacation between the second and third year. This invaluable experience can provide students with excellent experience and skills to add to their CV, as well as the opportunity to network. The ICMA Centre provides assistance in identifying and applying for internships with CV grounding and honing interview techniques.

Visit our Career Development Unit pages for more information.

Course Content Year 1

Compulsory Modules


Introductory Securities and Markets



Introduces you to the key financial markets, exchange mechanisms and the investment banks and investment management houses that operate in these markets and their various functions.

Introductory Finance/Trading Simulation



Provides you with a knowledge of the key concepts that underlie the valuation of financial assets, including an examination of the pricing of stocks, bonds and options. The module also provides an introduction to modern portfolio theory, a discussion of how to measure risk and return, and an analysis of whether financial markets are efficient.

The trading simulation part of the module will introduce you to computer simulation of securities dealing and spreadsheet modelling. You will be taught the relevant theory and will experience how this theory works in a virtual dealing environment.


Introductory Financial Accounting


Examines the principal financial statements produced by companies. You will cover many areas including: the concepts of profit and capital; the balance sheet and profit and loss account; company accounts; and cash flow statements ? all are essential ingredients in corporate valuation.

Introductory Economics for Business and Finance


An introduction to economics for students of business and finance.  The module aims to provide an introduction to both microeconomics and macroeconomics sufficient to help students of business and finance understand the economic forces at play and economic framework that underpins their specific field.

Introductory Quantitative Techniques for Business and Finance


This module introduces students to a range of quantitative techniques that are commonly applied in business, finance and management.  The module will cover both introductory statistics and mathematical techniques that are necessary for a good understanding of financial theories and to be able to develop and understand the models used in business and finance.

Assurance, Governance and Ethics


This module aims to provide students with an understanding of the assurance process, specifically in relation to the assessment of internal controls and gathering of evidence on an assurance engagement. This module also aims to introduce students to the fundamental notions of governance, sustainability and corporate responsibility as they apply to the management of a business and to introduce the basic concepts of professional ethic.

Course Content Year 2

Compulsory Modules

Portfolio Management


Examines the issues involved in understanding the investment market and the process of financial intermediation, constructing an optimum investment portfolio, evaluating the performance of that portfolio, and adjusting its composition through time to ensure that its performance remains optimal.

Corporate Finance


Explores corporate financial decision-making, focusing on the analysis of investment, financing and payout decisions when firms face capital market imperfections such as taxes, conflicts of interest and informational problems.

Financial Modelling/Trading Simulation II/CMS

 

  • Financial Modelling and Trading Simulation II:
    Provides a rapid introduction to using MS Excel to solve a variety of practical problems related to finance. Many careers in banking and finance ow require candidates to possess a strong grounding in spreadsheet modelling and a working knowledge of Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). The module also extends and builds upon the computer simulation of securities dealing that was examined in the Part I module ?Introductory Finance/Trading Simulation I.?
  • Career Management Skills: Provides you with the opportunity to develop self-awareness in the context of career decision making, extends knowledge of the career opportunities that are available to you, and the skills to make effective applications.


Debt Markets and Instruments

 

There are two overall objectives to this module:

  1. To develop an appreciation of the ?fixed income? market by exploring traditional and innovative debt instruments and methods of pricing.
  2. Moving to a portfolio context, you will explore how different financial institutions use portfolios of debt instruments to achieve stated objectives.


Introductory Econometrics for Finance

 

This module introduces students to the econometric techniques that are used in the empirical finance literature. Building on Introductory Quantitative Techniques for Finance module, this module aims to give students a solid understanding of the econometric approaches that are commonly employed to test financial theories.

Optional Modules


Corporate Financial Reporting

 

This module aims to develop and add to the knowledge, understanding and skills of financial accounting and reporting acquired on the level 4 module Introductory Financial Accounting. The module focuses on the technical and conceptual requirements of the regulatory framework for financial reporting.

Institution Wide Language Programme (IWLP)

 

Choose from a variety of foreign languages (from beginner through to advanced). For more information please visit IWLP (Institute Wide Language Programme)

Course Content Year 3

Compulsory Modules

Derivative Securities/Trading Simulation III


Designed to combine the theoretical and practical approaches to derivatives pricing and trading. You will gain an overview of derivative securities and markets and a thorough understanding of derivatives pricing and trading. You will also be guided on the use of derivatives data and shown how to apply theoretical models and strategies presented in class through a number of case simulations in the dealing room. The trading cases involve both discrete and continuous time models and will require you to both trade and build hedging portfolios using put and call options.

Management of Risk

 

Introduces you to the latest techniques for measuring and managing market, credit and operational risk in financial institutions. Banks and other financial intermediaries invest considerable human and capital resources in trying to assess the risks in their day-to-day business and to increase the wareness of such risks among their employees and business associates. This module will help you to develop critical risk management skills that are now considered indispensable for anyone wanting to undertake a career in the financial sector.

Optional Modules

For the remaining modules you may choose four of the following:


Financial Engineering


Designed to combine theoretical and practical approaches to exotic derivatives in different markets: equity, FX, interest rates and credit. The objectives of the module include providing you with an overview of the exotic products in different markets, familiarising you with the different pricing approaches and models, highlighting the importance of engineering and innovations in financial products and showing how to apply the theoretical models and engineering strategies presented in class through a number of assignments.

Research Project

 

The aim of the dissertation 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.

Foreign Exchange and Money Markets

 

The basic aim of this module is to equip students with a firm understanding of the structure and operation of the foreign exchange and short-term interest rate markets. This will not only provide the technical knowledge required to trade in or use those markets, but will also introduce and illustrate a number of key financial concepts such as balance sheet constraints, liquidity, funding issues, no-arbitrage pricing and arbitrage. The module has a strong practical flavour. Students will be given the opportunity to trade various money market instruments on simulated electronic markets.

Private Equity and Venture Capital

 

Introduces the characteristics of private equity as an alternative asset class and the different strategies for establishing a private equity or venture capital fund. Students will learn how to prepare a business plan for the purpose of raising finance and to appraise it as an investment executive. Topics include selecting and approaching private equity and venture capital firms; venture capital and the venture capital investment process; management buyouts; the due diligence process; different strategies for investment; exit routes, including IPOs and trade sales.

Topics in Finance

 

Provides students with an understanding of finance and the ability to place financial innovations within a contemporary and historical framework. Modules will vary from year to year but may include: the history of finance; pensions and the cult of the equity; commodities; current issues in finance; asset pricing; corporate finance; and risk management.

The Practice of Entrepreneurship*

 

This dynamic and interactive module aims to inspire students and provide them with the entrepreneurial skills and confidence needed to put plans into action. Students will learn from the experience of successful entrepreneurs and are given a solid understanding of the realities of a business start-up. Topics include entrepreneurial forms and behaviour, creativity and innovation, idea development and feasibility testing, understanding market dynamics and satisfying customers, raising finance, intellectual property, networking, writing a business plan and pitching to investors.

Institution Wide Language Programme (IWLP)

 

Choose from a variety of foreign languages (from beginner through to advanced). For more information please visit IWLP (Institute Wide Language Programme)

*Please note that you cannot choose both a Language and the Practice of Entrepreneurship.