Investment portfolio

Master's in Investment Management

This degree programme prepares students for entry into the fast growing and exciting investment industry. It provides a practical knowledge of portfolio management and quantitative finance, together with an applied set of courses looking at industry structure and trends.

At a glance

  • Study for one of the most recognised Masters courses within the asset management sector and one of the few in the UK affiliated with the CFA Institute
  • Enhance your career prospects by studying CFA level 1 as part of the programme
  • Focus on highly specialised topics such as portfolio management, advanced financial analysis and other investment management related modules
  • Benefit from professional exam exemptions from the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment (CISI) and the Corporate Finance Consultant Certificate (CFC) Programme
  • Experience a practice-centred learning approach including distinguished guest speakers and bespoke simulations
Level
Master's
Award
MSc
Duration
9 months / 12 months
Attendance
Full-time
Locations
Whiteknights campus (Reading)
Programme Director
Michael smith
Dr Michael Smith

CFA UAP Logo CMYK

During the course you will develop expertise in a range of specialised areas such as trading strategies, portfolio and fund management, alternative investments, ethics in investment management and risk management, among others. You will also have the opportunity to apply this knowledge in practice through the use of simulations, the latest financial software, case-based learningand take part in the portfolio management challenge designed for MSc Investment Management students. Students benefit from professional guest speakers drawn from the the global investment industry in the City of London.

Integral to the academic course is the parallel study of the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA® ) programme, level 1. The two programmes support and reinforce each other, ensuring that graduates acquire both the academic and professional knowledge and qualifications required to succeed in the investment management industry.

The tuition for this programme includes the candidate’s registration in the June CFA Level I exam that is written just after the end of the academic year. The tuition also includes substantial CFA teaching outside of the academic teaching.

The ICMA Centre is a CFA University Affiliate; this is in recognition that this degree covers at least 70% of the CFA Program Candidate Body of Knowledge, the CFA Institute Ethical and Professional Standards, and other requirements.

Part 1 Modules

Compulsory modules Credits

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.

Teaching Staff
Brian Scott Quinn
Emeritus Professor Brian Scott-Quinn
Alfonso Dufour
Dr Alfonso Dufour

20

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.

Teaching Staff
Chardin medium 1
Dr Chardin Wese Simen

20

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).

Teaching Staff
Nadia Kappou
Dr Konstantina Kappou

20

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.

Teaching Staff
Miriam Marra
Dr Miriam Marra
Christos Mavis

20

Part 2 Modules

Compulsory modules Credits

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.

20

Current Topics in Investment Management is an applied debate on the issues and trends affecting the investment management industry and as such the topics may vary and/or be updated on a year- to-year basis. The purpose is to give the student a clear overview on industry structure and the forces of change – something that has been identified as a key information need by investment management firms in regard to their future management hires. Although stand-alone topics, they will be integrated by usage of an industry model for competition such as that advanced by Michael Porter to show the interaction between the various financial players, underlying trends in demographics and government regulation. The student will be exposed to guest speakers in the form of industry practitioners and have the chance to debate current trends.

Teaching Staff
Alan Pendleton
Mr Alan Pendleton

10

Ethics in Investment Management offers a series of lectures that explore the main ethical conflicts encountered by investment professionals as they invest other people’s money. It will examine the causes and consequences of both ethical and unethical behaviour, giving students the chance to see how individuals’ decisions affect a range of stakeholders. Some of the topics covered in this module feature in the CFA ethics syllabus, but this module is not a substitute for the specialist training for the CFA exams.

10

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.

Teaching Staff
Paul Von der Heyde

10

Students on the 9-month (12-month) programme can select 50 (30) credits from the following modules:

Optional modules Credits

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.

Teaching Staff
Michael smith
Dr Michael Smith

20

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.

Teaching Staff
Charles Sutcliffe
Professor Charles Sutcliffe

20

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)

Teaching Staff
Gail Rolland

20

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 financial management decisions of the firm pertaining to investments, financing and payout and how they affect its value. It deals with how corporations are governed, their financing structures, payout policies, the processes involved in the issuance of public and private equity, as well growing through inorganic investment (mergers and acquisitions).

Teaching Staff
George Alexandridis
Professor George Alexandridis

20

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.

Teaching Staff
Nadia Kappou
Dr Konstantina Kappou

10

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.

Teaching Staff
Michael Clements
Professor Michael Clements

20

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.

Teaching Staff
Deepa Govindarajan
Ms Deepa Govindarajan Driver

20

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.

Teaching Staff
Alfonso Dufour
Dr Alfonso Dufour

20

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.

10

Bond and Money Markets explores the economic drivers and relationships between bond, money markets and central bank monetary policies. The module offers students the opportunity to gain an understanding of how these connections affect funding liquidity management, trading strategies and the challenges faced by practitioners as well as regulators/policy makers. The course also covers the overall functions, structure and operation of the money market.

The main aims of the module are to provide the tools for understanding the functioning of money markets, their connection with bond markets and central bank interventions, the fundamental determinants of interest rate markets and the commonly used trading strategies.

Teaching Staff
Sangiorgi Ivan 204
Dr Ivan Sangiorgi

20

Part 3 Modules (12-month only)

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

Optional modules Credits

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.

Teaching Staff
Marcel Prokopczuk
Professor Marcel Prokopczuk

20

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.

Teaching Staff
Marcel Prokopczuk
Professor Marcel Prokopczuk

20

The module is less quantitative option open to all MSc students that builds on the coverage of futures contracts from term 1. By the end of the module it is expected that students will be aware of the different ways of constructing stock market indices and the implications of these differences, how futures contracts are traded and the identity of some of the close substitutes for trading index futures, how futures can be priced using an arbitrage relationship, how futures can be used for hedging the price risk of the underlying, and the various uses that fund managers make of these instruments.

Teaching Staff
Charles Sutcliffe
Professor Charles Sutcliffe

20

This module gives students the opportunity to pursue a work placement with an external organisation broadly related to the general sphere of their degree studies. The aim of the module is to allow participants to gain work experience in a career path of interest, develop a wide range of employability skills, build their network and enhance market awareness. The maximum duration of the placement is 3 months and it takes place during the summer vacation period (June-August). Placements should be secured by students independently. The Centre’s career development office can support students in their search and application process. Placements secured by students are subject to the approval of the module convenor. The module is assessed by a 3,000-word project based on the work experience gained.

Teaching Staff
Michael smith
Dr Michael Smith

20

Careers

After completion, our graduates are qualified to work in a variety of investment functions, including as portfolio managers, hedge fund managers and traders, within a diverse range of organisations such as investment banks, regulators, fund management firms and consultants.

The wide recognition of the programme contributes to the majority of our graduates securing employment offers within 6 months of graduation.

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

Professional accreditation

CFA Institute

The ICMA Centre is part of the CFA Institute University Affiliation Program. This partnership signals to potential students, employers, and the marketplace that the university curriculum is closely linked with professional practice and is well-suited to preparing students to sit for the three levels of CFA exams.

The CFA recognises that MSc Investment Management students cover more than 75% of the CFA level 1 curriculum over the course of their degree. Participants of this programme also have the chance to study for the CFA exam alongside their studies and sit for the CFA level 1 exam in June. Tuition fees of MSc IM include registration, tuition and support for the CFA level 1 exams. For more information regarding the CFA institute, visit www.cfainstitute.org/

CFA Institute

Chartered Institute of Securities & Investment (CISI)

The ICMA Centre is an accredited Centre of Excellence of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI), and only one of eight Universities in the UK to hold this status. 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 on MSc Capital Markets, Regulation and Compliance, MSc Corporate Finance, MSc Finance (formerly known as the MSc in International Securities, Investment and Banking), MSc Financial Risk Management and MSc Investment Management 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).

Chartered Institute of Securities & Investment (CISI)

ICMA Fixed Income Certificate

To obtain the requisite knowledge to pass the rigorous FIC exam, students are required to take the ICMA Centre Fixed Income Cash and Derivatives Markets module at Part 2. In order to receive the FIC certificate, students will need to register and pass the FIC exam through ICMA.

ICMA Fixed Income Certificate

Corporate Finance Consultant Certificate (CFC) Programme

This programme is accredited by the National Development and Reform Commission Training Centre (NDRCTC) of China and benefits from a partial exemption from their CFC qualification.

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. Please note that the January Exams will start 1 week before the official start of the Spring Term.
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

Speak to a current student

The opportunity to learn from experts along with meeting and networking with a diverse group of students from all over the world has been an amazing experience!

Kedar Kashid Director of Business

The global reputation and trading facilities allow students to use their academic knowledge in practical settings (e.g. trading simulations). Also, many lecturers have many years of financial industry experience meaning classes include a good balance of academic knowledge and industry…

Arik Matevosyan Director of Business