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MSc Corporate finance

Masters in Corporate Finance

This highly specialised degree will provide you a practical understanding of a wide range of corporate finance services and corporate transactions.

At a glance

  • Study one of the most in-demand topics in the Finance Industry
  • Gain knowledge and skills required by major corporate employers and investment banks
  • Delve into highly specialised topics such as private equity, corporate governance and mergers and acquisitions and chose from over 15 other elective modules in a wide array of finance topics
  • Experience a practice-centred delivery approach including hands-on workshops, case study based learning, financial analysis and trading simulations and programming sessions.
  • Benefit from professional exam exemptions from the Corporate Finance Consultant Certificate (CFC) Programme and the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI)
Level
Masters
Subject area(s)
Finance (ICMA Centre)
Award
MSc
Duration
9 months / 12 months
Attendance
Full-time
Locations
Whiteknights campus (Reading)
Programme Director
Carol Padgett
Professor Carol Padgett

Corporate financial management and investment banking is at the core of this Masters programme and the skills acquired are sought after in the City of London. In this MSc course, you will learn through hands-on sessions and extensive use of case-study based learning and financial analysis simulations. You'll be fascinated by the exciting world of investment banking, venture capital, private equity, corporate governance and mergers and acquisitions. You will specialise in corporate investment and capital budgeting decisions, IPOs, payout policy, capital structure, financial analysis, valuation and modelling, as well as risk management. You will also gain an in-depth understanding of financial markets, securities trading and quantitative techniques. You will also be able to further specialise on a wide range of additional elective topics.

As a MSc Corporate Finance graduate, you will have the advantage of exemption from the Corporate Investment exam of its CFC qualification.

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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.

Academic authors
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.

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).

Academic authors
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.

Academic authors
Miriam Marra
Dr Miriam Marra
Christos Mavis
20

Part 2 Modules

Compulsory modules Credits

The main aim of the course 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).

This course also deals with advanced financial analysis and enterprise valuation methods employed by financial advisors/investment banks as part of providing advice to corporations.

Students on this course take part in a bespoke investment banking pitch-book simulation challenge whereby they work with their team to produce a real life pitch-book including financial analysis on a real transaction as part of assessing the company’s strategic alternatives. In addition to lectures and case study based seminars the module also includes a 2-day financial modelling and valuation training by Financial Edge, the company responsible for training the analysts of the top-3 investment banks.

Academic authors
George Alexandridis
Professor George Alexandridis
20

Part 2 Modules

Students select a minimum of 40 credits and a maximum of 60 credits from the following list.

Optional modules Credits

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.

To enable students to understand why companies decide to expand through acquisition, how they find and value targets, decide how to pay for their acquisitions and then integrate them into the organisation. By the end of the module students will be able to value companies using discounted cash flow and multiples. They will also understand how to conduct event studies and to interpret the findings of empirical research on M&A.

Academic authors
Carol Padgett
Professor Carol Padgett
10

In order to raise capital from financiers or secure funding via government grants it is always necessary to produce a robust financial plan. This plan will then be used as a yardstick by all parties to monitor the performance of the business. Typically a detailed twelve month plan is required in addition to a summary level five year plan. Typically these plans will include comprehensive sections on revenue forecasts, profit and loss, cash flows, balance sheet, capex, financing and a commentary with further detail to help explain the figures. The aim of the module is to introduce students to the practicalities of developing and utilising financial models with a view to achieving the overall strategic objectives of an organisation. Students will also gain a thorough understanding of the interaction between the separate statements within a financial model.

Academic authors
Linda Arch
Dr Linda Arch
10

The objective of the module is to introduce students to the concept of corporate governance, to explain how governance varies around the world and to explore the potential and actual relationships between corporate governance and performance.

The module aims to expose students to the key concepts in the theory corporate governance, to explore how corporate governance varies around the world and to explore the potential and actual relationships between corporate governance mechanisms and accountability to a range of stakeholders.

Academic authors
Deepa Govindarajan
Dr. Deepa Govindarajan Driver
20

This course will deepen students’ understanding of published Financial Statements. It highlights how the choices made when preparing Financial Statements can impact upon reported company performance and position and thus investment decisions.

The primary aim of this course is to deepen students’ understanding of published Financial Statements and how the choices made when preparing Financial Statements can impact upon reported company performance and position and thus investment decisions.

Academic authors
Linda Arch
Dr Linda Arch
10

The objective of the module is to develop students’ appreciation of the practical aspects of raising venture capital finance for a private company, working with the venture capital investor in growing the business and achieving a successful exit. The focus of the module is on venture capital and high-growth ventures from the viewpoints of both the entrepreneur or management team and of the investing institution (general partner), although private equity as a whole is covered as well as the relationship between the private equity or venture capital firm and its own investors (limited partner institutions). Extensive use will be made of case studies and a business plan project in addition to guest lectures from invited experienced practitioners.

Academic authors
Keith Arundale
Dr Keith Arundale
10

Students on the 9-month programme select a minimum of 20 credits and a maximum of 40 credits from the following list. Students on the 12-month programme choose 20 credits.

Optional 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

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.

Academic authors
Michael Clements
Professor Michael Clements
20

The purpose of the module is to provide an understanding of the latest developments in banking regulations that are the main driving force behind changes in our approaches to risk measurement. It focuses on the foundations of market risk analysis and the basic models for assessing market risk. Participants utilise market risk measurement techniques that are used daily in the front and middle offices of banks; particular emphasis is placed on the appraisal of the covariance matrices that are used to measure the market risk of portfolios. They also learn to build various Value-at-Risk (VaR) models for market risk for international portfolios of equities, FX, interest rate products, commodities, derivatives etc. The module has a significant practical component with computer-based workshops that are designed to support the lecture material.

Academic authors
Emese Lazar
Dr Emese Lazar
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

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.

Academic authors
Michael smith
Dr Michael Smith
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)

Academic authors
Gail Rolland
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.

Academic authors
Sangiorgi Ivan 204
Dr Ivan Sangiorgi
20

Financial theories have traditionally assumed that rational, risk-averse investors trade in efficient and free-flowing asset markets. Academic research and practitioner experience have cast doubt on this paradigm, instead proposing that investors may not be utility maximisers, and that there may be impediments to the functioning of markets. This module will describe recent developments in the application of principles drawn from psychology to financial issues.

This course is positioned in the cross-section of Finance and Psychology. It provides an alternative framework to that of traditional neo-classical finance principles in explaining market behaviour and interpreting stylised characteristics. A variety of psychological principles and well-established cognitive biases are examined and connections are made with the influence they have on the investment (and corporate) decision making process. Market anomalies and puzzles are interpreted based on these connections.

Academic authors
Ioannis Oikonomou
Dr Ioannis Oikonomou
20

In this course you will learn how big data techniques can be used to solve problems in finance. We will first explore issues related to the collection, organisation and visualisation of large sets of structured and unstructured data. We will then look at methods for storage and computation of big data sets by distributed computing (Hadoop). The module will also explore the use of cloud computing platforms with a focus on the Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

The course focuses on (1) issues facing big data handling (2) retrieval, organisation and cleaning of structured and unstructured data (3) a high level description of a system for the distributed storage and processing of big data (Hadoop) (4) cloud computing with a focus on the Google Cloud Platform (5) finance applications.

Academic authors
Mr Mininder Sethi
10

Part 3 Modules (12-month only)

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

Optional modules Credits

This course 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.

Academic authors
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.

Academic authors
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.

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 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.

Academic authors
Michael smith
Dr Michael Smith
20

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, practicing 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

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

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

Professional accreditations

Chartered Institute of Securities & Investment (CISI)

The ICMA Centre is an accredited Centre of Excellence of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI). It is 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, 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)

National Development and Reform Commission Training Center (NDRCTC)

MSc Corporate Finance graduates are granted exemption from the Corporate Investment exam of its CFC qualification. The CFC qualification comprises 3 exams: Overview and fundamentals of corporate finance; Corporate investment; Corporate Financing.

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

Contact us

For any questions of academic nature about this programme you are welcome to contact directly the Programme Director, Professor Carol Padgett at c.padgett@icmacentre.ac.uk

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

Besides the career support provided by both the ICMA Centre and Henley Business School, I also enjoyed the networking events that provided opportunities to meet interesting people and connect with people from the other side of the world.

Lee Yi Wen MSc Economics and Finance Masters in Economics and Finance

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 MSc in International Securities, Investment and Banking Masters in Finance
An image of Case study: Ahmed Tarek

Case study: Ahmed Tarek

My name is Ahmed Tarek, I'm 27 years old from Egypt and I studied MSc Corporate Finance at the ICMA Centre, Henley Business School.