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Masters in Climate Change, Sustainable Business and Green Finance

At a glance

  • Study how climate change is transforming the finance industry and businesses
  • Understand how green finance can contribute to a better and sustainable future
  • Learn how to measure and manage physical and transition risks with real climate data
  • Explore how companies and investors are mitigating and adapting to changing climatic conditions
  • Benefit from the combined expertise of staff at the triple accredited Henley Business School and the top ranked Meteorology Department at the University of Reading, part of the largest cluster of weather and climate scientists in the world
  • Enhance your employability skills by undertaking a summer work placement as part of your study
Locations
Whiteknights campus (Reading)
Subject area(s)
Finance (ICMA Centre)
Start Date
September 2024
Duration
12 months
Attendance
Full-time
Programme Directors
Simone Varotto small
Professor Simone Varotto
Lisa 1 002
Dr Lisa Schopohl

Overview

Climate change is the most pressing challenge facing humanity today. Governments and businesses are called into action to cut carbon emissions and mitigate global warming. The finance industry has an important role to play to accelerate the transition to net zero and to build more resilient and sustainable societies and economies.

The aim of the new MSc Climate Change, Sustainable Business and Green Finance is to develop graduates with specific competencies in climate change management, sustainability in business practices and green financing which are in high demand in both the private and public sectors. You will be introduced to the science of climate change and learn quantitative techniques and new business models to manage climate risk. You will explore in detail sustainable investments, energy, carbon and commodity markets.

This programme is taught using a hands-on, practice-centred approach. You will benefit from interactive teaching with our distinguished academics and industry guest speakers, applied training, case-study based projects and experiential learning.

SCR Academic Partner RGB

MSc Climate Change, Sustainable Business and Green Finance has been recognised by the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP) as a Sustainability and Climate Risk (SCR®) Certificate Academic Partner. This is a recognition that our MSc programme covers at least 60% of the body of knowledge required for the SCR examination, as well as coverage of industry relevant professional ethics.

Students of this programme will have the opportunity to access the industry-led course on 'Introduction to Sustainable Bonds' offered by the International Capital Market Association (ICMA) Group. You will also have the opportunity to undertake a summer work placement anywhere in the world as part of your studies.

Graduates of the new programme will benefit from access to Henley careers services for up to four years after graduation. This, alongside alumni-led networking events run in many locations around the world, will enhance your employability and career progression.

No.7 in the UK (no.40 in the World)
for Masters in Finance
(Financial Times 2023)
No.7 in the UK
For average salary percentage increase after graduating from Masters in Finance
(Financial Times 2023)

The Henley pre-study course suite

Exclusively available to Henley Business School offer holders, the Pre-study course suite comprises of innovative short courses designed and developed by Henley faculty on the Futurelearn platform, one of the leading online learning platforms.

An innovative short course designed and developed by Henley faculty on the Futurelearn platform, one of the leading online learning platforms.

This pre-study interactive course is designed by ICMA Centre faculty to prepare you for your learning journey at Henley if you are undertaking postgraduate study in any finance-oriented subject. Through the course, you will appreciate the purpose of finance and investment, the main types of investment and financial markets, as well as the process of valuing investments and the role of risk and return in investment performance. These are all important fundamentals in understanding the workings of financial markets and being able to apply them to real and practical problems as part of your course. We encourage you to take the course even if you have studied finance before. The course is delivered online, requires around 15 hours of study and can be completed at your own pace.

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This pre-study interactive course is designed by ICMA Centre faculty to prepare you for your learning journey at Henley if you are undertaking postgraduate study in any finance-oriented subject.

Quantitative techniques and statistics are among the main tools finance and investment professionals utilise in analysing data linked to financial markets and securities. This interactive pre-study course is designed to deliver these essential building blocks in maths and quants and prepare you for a Finance Master’s if you don’t have a finance, maths, or quants background. For those with a relevant background, it can serve as a refresher of this essential knowledge.

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A course delivered online by Henley faculty and you will receive online support from one of our teaching staff members and be able to interact with other prospective students in your course.

This pre-study interactive course is designed by Henley Business School faculty to introduce you to the world of coding in Python. According to recent employer surveys, coding is a top 5 employability skill in the new world of work. The World Economic forum includes technology design and programming in the top 10 skills of 2025. Coding is an extremely powerful skill to have going forward in all areas of business and finance. Due to the importance of coding skills in your future, you will be using coding in some of your courses depending on your choice of programme at Henley Business School. So, this pre-study course can be seen as a stepping stone in your learning journey. Even if coding is not directly utilised as a part of your programme, completing this course, earning the certificate and complementing this with some further independent learning, could set you apart in an increasingly competitive job market. Python is the most utilised programming language in the world and so the purpose of this course is for you to learn the fundamentals of Python, and how to use it to solve practical problems in your area of interest.

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This course will provide building blocks of knowledge to help you prepare for your learning journey in the area of your choice as well as equip you with key employability and study skills for successfully navigating your studies and professional career.

This pre-study interactive course is designed by Henley Business School faculty, the University of Reading Study Advice Team and the International Study and Language Institute. The course aims to prepare you for your learning journey at Henley and focuses on helping you build important study skills to succeed in your Masters and beyond. Skills such as curiosity and independent thinking, effective communication and collaboration, digital capabilities, storytelling, empathy and professional integrity are not only important in your course itself but are also sought after by employers in all areas of business. Therefore, they are instrumental in succeeding in your professional career. The learning journey of our Masters programmes is designed in a way that allows you to build such skills and this course intends to demonstrate exactly how, and therefore help you to make the most of your Masters.

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Offer holders of this degree will also be given open access to the FutureLearn module “Using Systems Thinking to Tackle the Climate and Biodiversity Crisis”. The module, which gives an introduction to some of the themes covered in the degree, is presented by Tom Oliver, Professor in Ecology and Research Dean for Environment at the University of Reading. Tom regularly advises the UK Government and the European Commission on environmental topics.

Below is a list of programme modules that will be available in 2024/25, please note that some of these modules are new for the academic year. For any other modules which are available for both this academic year and next, follow the “More Information” link to see more.

Semester 1

Compulsory modules Credits

The aim of this module is to make students familiar with the effects of climate change on individuals, governments, businesses, and financial institutions. Students will be introduced to the main climate analytics. The module helps students understand the complex relationship between climate change, businesses, and financial decisions. Furthermore, students will learn about the relevant international regulations and agreements.

20

This module equips you with the quantitative tools used by market participants. The module uses a mixture of (1) lectures where the theory and concepts are introduced and (2) seminars and workshops where we apply the knowledge to practical cases.

It is an introductory applied econometrics module with an emphasis on finance.

The aims and objectives of the module are to give students an introduction to econometrics so that they might understand the econometric techniques used in the finance research literature. 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. The module aims to encourage the development of IT and data handling skills: in particular, the use of Python as the software to apply the econometric techniques to data from Eikon and Bloomberg.

Academic authors
Lisa 1 002
Dr Lisa Schopohl
Michael Clements
Professor Michael P. Clements
20

This module provides an introduction to the science of climate change, aimed at students who do not necessarily have a scientific background. It provides the background for a deep and informed understanding of one of today’s key global challenges. Why is climate changing, and how will it change in the future? How can we predict future climate? What is a “dangerous” climate change? And how can we construct and use knowledge of climate change to inform adaptation and mitigation?

20

This module focuses on fixed income and equity securities evaluation and provides an introduction to international financial markets and an overview of financial institutions.

Part I of the module applies general valuation methods to specific financial instruments: fixed income and equity securities. It describes the basic characteristics of each security and develops practical strategies for finding its value and assessing its risk.

In Part II, the main characteristics and risks of a range of financial markets are presented: equity, fixed income, foreign exchange, futures and commodity markets. A series of interactive workshops are used to learn about ethical investing and alternative trading systems. The aim of part II is to provide an economic framework for understanding global financial markets, financial institutions, market players and the importance of liquidity and price efficiency.

This module is core for several financial programmes. It provides a rigorous academic framework for assessing security values, interpreting changes in the price of financial instruments, managing risks, and comparing alternative market structures. Also, it provides a practical group project and trading simulation sessions, where students will gain hands-on experience with trading in alternative market structures.

Academic authors
Miriam Marra
Dr Miriam Marra
Alfonso Dufour
Dr Alfonso Dufour
20

Semester 2

Compulsory modules Credits

The aim of this module is to make students familiar with the types of climate risk factors that affect businesses and the financial industry. Students will learn about the various ways in which these risks can be measured, hedged, and managed in the corporate and financial sector.

Academic authors
Simone Varotto small
Professor Simone Varotto
20

The aim of this module is to familiarise students with the workings of global energy and commodity markets and their role in the transition to a net-zero economy. The module helps students to understand key renewable energy technologies as well as the opportunities and challenges that arise from a transition to such technologies on a broad scale.

20

The aim of the module is to familiarise students with the main strategies employed in sustainable investments and the role that sustainable investment can play in addressing societal challenges such as climate change. Using real-world examples and ESG data, students will learn about the key challenges and opportunities that investors incorporating ESG criteria face.

Academic authors
Lisa 1 002
Dr Lisa Schopohl
20

Students select 20 credits from the following;

Optional modules Credits

The main aim of the module is to enable students to understand and critically evaluate the mapping between underlying economic events and the information in sustainability reports, and how this mapping affects inferences about the economic activities and position of the firm. The curriculum puts strong emphasis on the wider social and political implications of sustainability reporting practice.

20

This module aims for cross-disciplinary learning of a current corporate social responsibility (CSR) theory and practice and an exposure to the ethical issues involved from the perspective of the individual (manager), and stakeholders beyond shareholders, through an integration of research-led and experiential teaching/learning.

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.

The self-directed nature of study for this model should encourage students to be resourceful in their search for relevant literature and data, and to manage the various stages involved effectively, leading to timely submission of the finished piece.

Academic authors
Charles Sutcliffe
Professor Charles Sutcliffe
20

This module prepares students for careers in finance. It is also useful for those considering careers in government or in multilateral organisations.

The module encourages the development of critical perspectives on whether and why ethics matter. Students will explore why ethical decision-making in finance matters, given the extent of power that is moderated by global finance.

Students will study the effects of financialization, globalisation and privatisation. They will draw upon real world experiences to examine contemporaneous case studies that cover key instances of ethical failure across a range of sectors including the financial sector.

Interdisciplinary, international and cross-sector perspectives will inform discussion of the key risk and issues. We will focus on risks that the community is exposed to, when untrammelled power is exerted by a small financial elite and their private and professional networks.

Students will also study how institutional safeguards, state interventions, governance, culture and whistleblowing, can help ensure that power is exercised responsibly, so as to protect stakeholders.

Academic authors
Deepa Driver photo
Dr. Deepa Govindarajan Driver
20

Summer Semester

Students 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 alternative investments.

Academic authors
Alfonso Dufour
Dr Alfonso Dufour
10

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.

Academic authors
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 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.

Academic authors
Michael smith
Dr Michael Smith
20

Sustainability is becoming a priority not only in government policy but also in business strategy. The role of the private sector in achieving sustainable production and consumption models is key to preserve fast depleting natural resources, improve social justice and reduce inequalities, address climate change and loss of biodiversity. This module explores how sustainability can be incorporated in business practices and balanced with corporate growth objectives.

You will look at how to implement sustainability objectives in a corporate environment and how governments can facilitate corporate sustainability with the right incentives and policies. This module aims to give students a thorough understanding of how sustainability goals are shaping the corporate world and how this transformative process is involving a wide range of stakeholders.

Academic authors
Simone Varotto small
Professor Simone Varotto
20

*The module or course content descriptions set out on this page are correct for those being taught in the current academic year. Modules or course content marked as optional are indicative and may be subject to change. Please note, constraints in timetable scheduling may mean you are unable to take some optional modules at the same time as others.

Our master's in finance courses are available only on a full-time basis.

Learning options

Full-time: 12 months
Students will be resident and undertake full-time study in the UK.

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: Part 3

August/September: Part 3 Coursework deadlines


Fees
2024 entry £15,300

Scholarships

Scholarships are available to support high-potential students. All applications are automatically considered for a scholarship. No separate scholarship application is necessary. Simply submit your application for a Masters programme starting in 2024 and you will be automatically notified if you are successful. Shortlisting and selection are based on academic merit and the candidate’s potential as demonstrated in the application form. For more details, visit our scholarships webpage.

Fees
2024 entry £27,500

Scholarships

Scholarships are available to support high-potential students. All applications are automatically considered for a scholarship. No separate scholarship application is necessary. Simply submit your application for a Masters programme starting in 2024 and you will be automatically notified if you are successful. Shortlisting and selection are based on academic merit and the candidate’s potential as demonstrated in the application form. For more details, visit our scholarships webpage.

  • 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 and have basic knowledge of Mathematics and Statistics.

Building Blocks of Maths and Stats for Finance course – We may ask you to complete and pass the free online 2-week Building Blocks of Maths and Stats for Finance course developed by the ICMA Centre on the FutureLearn platform, if we think it is 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.

* 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

Studying in a second language can be challenging. If your English language ability is below the minimum requirement, we may ask for evidence of proficiency. Alternatively, we may ask you to attend an English language course before you begin your studies with us.

Requirement Criteria
IELTS 6.5 with no component below 6.0 in any sub-skills
IELTS with pre-sessional English 6.5 with no component below 5.5 in each of the four sub-skills

Pre-sessional English Programme

The Pre-sessional English Programme is for international students who need to meet their degree programme English language requirements. Our courses equip you with the skills and language needed for academic success, including critical thinking, self-reflection, learner autonomy, research skills and integrating sources. The Pre-sessional English Programme is accredited by the global association of Lecturers in English for Academic Purposes, which guarantees you will receive a high-quality student experience.

Find out about our comprehensive range of Pre-Sessional English courses

Acceptance of LanguageCert Online and DuoLingo English qualifications

We appreciate the difficulties that some students are having with the availability of English Language tests, as the impact of the global pandemic continues. As a result of this, we are pleased to announce that we can now accept the non-SELT version of LanguageCert (which includes the online version) and DuoLingo as suitable English language qualifications. These can be accepted for direct entry onto Undergraduate (except Speech and Language Therapy), Postgraduate Taught (except Speech and Language Therapy) and Postgraduate Research programmes.

For information on individual programme requirements and other English language qualifications, please visit our English requirement equivalent page.

If you require specific advice on your qualification please contact admissions directly by e-mail  or telephone on +44 (0) 118 378 5289.

UK visa requirements

If you are not a national of the European Union (EU), you may need to obtain a UK visa. This visa will allow to live and study in the UK. See the  UK Border Agency website. Contact the University's International Office with any questions:  intoff@reading.ac.uk.

Graduate Route

The UK's Graduate Route post-study work visa allows you to apply to stay in the UK for up to two years after you graduate, with the opportunity to undertake skilled work. Visit the University website for the latest information.

Where are our 2021 graduates now?

97% employed post graduation
Masters Careers Survey 2022
94% of students would recommend their programme
Masters Careers Survey 2022
£38,712 average salary one year post-graduation
Masters Careers Survey 2022
91% said the careers team had a positive impact on their career
Masters Careers Survey 2022

2021 graduates in this area are working at the following organisations:

Morgan Stanley
Fidelity
Bank New York Mellon
Deutsche Bank
ICBC
S&P Global
Bangkok Bank
AIG
PwC
Erst & Young
L'Oreal
State Street Bank
Bank of East Asia
Metlife Investment Management
BlueBay Asset Management
Santander Bank

23 UPM 041 PGT Pie ICMA p
22 MIS 036 ICMA map

Please note the above statistics are based on respondents to our Masters Outcomes Survey in 2022, which was completed by our 2021 graduates, 12 months after graduation.

Respondents are from the following programmes: MSc Behavioural Finance, MSc Corporate Finance, MSc Finance, MSc Finance and Financial Technology, MSc Financial Risk Management, MSc Investment Management.

A recent search for relevant vacancies on ‘Totaljobs’ and ‘Indeed’ highlighted that organisations are eager to recruit staff who have a knowledge of sustainability, climate risk and green finance. Specific roles such as Junior Consultant (Carbon), ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) Research Analyst, Sustainable Development Officer, ESG Risk Advisory Manager, Analyst (Renewable Energy Solutions), and Finance Advisor (Renewable Energy Trading) were listed.

How can Henley Careers work with you?

Here at Henley we have an award-winning careers team here to support you through your time here and four years after graduating from us.

Here is how Henley Careers can help you:

  • Careers Consultant appointments - Our Careers Consultant are here to help and support you with any careers related concern that you might have. Whether it’s advice on your CV, practising for an interview, looking at possible reasons why applications aren't being successful or support planning your career goals, we’re here to help empower you to progress in your career.
  • Events - Henley Careers organise numerous events aimed to help you build your confidence, develop the skills employers are looking for, network with employers and expand your industry knowledge.
  • Alumni support - You can continue to book one-to-one appointments with your Careers Consultant and use our online resources for up to four years after you graduate to get help and support in your career.
  • Career Smart - Get a head start in securing a graduate job by taking part in our online course, Career Smart. You can expect to learn about the graduate recruitment cycle in the UK, where to look and how to start applying to jobs, and the different types of roles available to you.

For more information please see our Careers page.

Continuing your career

The ICMA Centre is a pioneer in finance education and renowned for its strong links with the financial services industry. If you plan to work elsewhere, acquiring this Masters qualification will impress potential employers.

Professional Partnerships

MSc Climate Change, Sustainable Business and Green Finance has been recognised by the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP) as a Sustainability and Climate Risk (SCR®) Certificate Academic Partner. This is a recognition that our MSc programme covers at least 60% of the body of knowledge required for the SCR examination, as well as coverage of industry relevant professional ethics.

SCR Academic Partner RGB

Developed with the guidance of senior risk practitioners, climate experts, and sustainability professionals, the SCR Certificate offers a comprehensive curriculum covering the science of climate change, climate policy and regulation, sustainability and net zero, climate driven financial risks, reporting frameworks, and scenario analysis. By aligning a rigorous academic program with the practitioner-oriented SCR curriculum, students are better prepared to apply knowledge and succeed in the rapidly evolving fields of sustainability and climate risk.

Apply for 2024 entry now

Apply online now through the University of Reading’s online application service.

The online application service allows you to complete your application information, and attach electronic copies of your academic transcripts, certificates and other supporting information. It also provides a facility for an email request to be sent to your referees. This enables the referees to send your supporting references directly to us.

When to apply

We operate a rolling admissions system and it is recommended that you apply early to secure your place. There is no specific deadline and applications will be considered until the programme is full. However, to allow us time to process your application we recommend that you apply by the following dates:

UK/Home applicants International applicants
1 August 1 July

After you apply

You will receive a confirmation email when we receive your application form. Your application is then reviewed by a member of staff. If successful, you will receive a formal offer letter outlining any necessary entry criteria you will need to meet. You'll then be asked to confirm your acceptance of this offer.

If you require a Certificate of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) for your visa, details will be sent by email once all conditions of the offer have been met.

Throughout the admissions process we will keep you updated with key information via email. We also provide opportunities to interact with faculty and staff online.

Find us on Facebook  and keep up-to-date with news and events at Henley or ask us a question. In addition, you can speak to a current student, our students are always happy to share their Henley experience.

The ICMA Centre is among the pioneers in finance education and renowned for its strong links with the financial services industry. The Centre was ranked number 7 in the UK for its Masters in Finance programme in 2023 (Financial Times Masters in Finance Ranking). It is also part of Henley Business School – among an elite group of 75 business schools in the world to hold triple-accredited status from the leading UK, European and US accrediting bodies: AMBA, EQUIS and AACSB.

The Centre’s unique practice centred approach includes a number of finance education innovations. These will provide you with a solid grounding for a career in the industry. The approach aims to equip you with a skill set that sets you apart from graduates of other finance programmes. Your employability track record is also bolstered by an in-house comprehensive career development programme.

Reading has proximity to the world’s top financial centre (25 minutes from London Paddington). Several leading professional bodies including the CFA, CISI, GARP and ICS validate our programmes and offer exam exemptions to our students.

Joining one of the top schools of finance in Europe, you will benefit from state-of-the-art facilities. You will have access to the latest technology and will be taught by world-renowned faculty and industry experts. Our innovative teaching and learning environment includes trading and financial analysis simulations. We also have the latest financial data and programming software. Our three dealing rooms are one of the largest facilities of its kind in the world. They provide an ideal setting for understanding how businesses and markets function in practice.

Our students’ learning experience is a top priority for academic faculty and administrative staff at the ICMA Centre. This is reflected in the latest student satisfaction rates in the PTES and NSS student surveys.

Speak to a current student

Contact us

Admissions

If you have any questions about admissions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Email: admissions@icmacentre.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)118 378 6497

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