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MSc Corporate finance

Masters in Corporate Finance

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

Overview

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.

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

Part 1 Modules

Compulsory modules Credits

This module focuses on cash securities evaluation (fixed income, equity, and FX) and the use of these securities for investments (derivatives and portfolio theory).

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

Part II of the module provides an in-depth introduction to financial derivatives (futures and options) and their evaluation. Part III of the module analyses the main framework behind portfolio theory and optimum asset allocation, followed by the introduction of the main pricing models, their applications and limitation.

Equity and FX trading simulations sessions (INVEST sessions) are paired with the modules. Exercises based on Eikon, and Bloomberg data will be used.

The module deals with the valuation of fixed income and equity securities. It focuses on the basic characteristics of each security and the strategies used for approximating 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. The module also develops ways of optimally selecting portfolios of assets and develops models of how these portfolios may be priced in financial markets. Through a detailed overview of derivatives instruments, their characteristics and valuation, it is shown how they can enhance portfolio returns and help in the management of investment risk. The analytical techniques introduced in this module are widely applied in other elements of the programme.

Academic authors
Miriam Marra
Dr Miriam Marra
30

This module provides an introduction to international financial markets and an overview of financial institutions. 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.

To provide an economic framework for understanding global financial markets, financial institutions, market players and the importance of liquidity and price efficiency. Participants will gain an understanding of commercial and investment banks, mutual funds, central banks, stock, bond and repo markets. Also, participants will learn about specific characteristics and risks of foreign exchange markets as well as futures markets and commodity markets.

Students will become familiar with different firms in the industry, how they differ from each other and the various careers available within the industry as an aid to their own career development.

Academic authors
Alfonso Dufour
Dr Alfonso Dufour
10

The module explains the role of financial reports in communicating with a range of stakeholders and providing data which can be used to measure performance over time and relative to other companies. It also introduces the subject of valuation, illustrating how free cash flow is measured and forecast and how accounting and market data can be used together to estimate value.

The module aims to increase students’ confidence in using financial reports and statements to comment on performance and value. In so doing it encourages students to consider the different ways in which firms communicate as well as introducing them to the valuation techniques used in part 2 modules.

Academic authors
Linda Arch
Dr Linda Arch
10

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
Michael Clements
Professor Michael Clements
20

Part 2 Modules

Compulsory 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
Dina
Dina Ghanma
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 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

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

This module introduces students to the theory and practice of governance with a particular emphasis on corporate governance. The module then focuses on a critical discussion of power and accountability, with a particular focus on corporate power and corporate accountability to societal stakeholders

The module aims to expose students to key discussions of governance, power and accountability with a focus on corporate governance, corporate power and corporate accountability. Students will explore how governance systems are conceived, how requirements vary across jurisdictions and explore the potential and actual relationships between governance mechanisms and accountability to a range of stakeholders.

Academic authors
Deepa Govindarajan
Dr. Deepa Govindarajan Driver
20

Students of the 12-month (9-month) programme choose 10 (30) credits from a selection of electives :

Optional modules Credits

This module examines the steps involved in carrying out a PhD at the ICMA centre.

Academic authors
Alfonso Dufour
Dr Alfonso Dufour
0

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.

Academic authors
Vu Tran
Dr Vu Tran
10

This module provides you with the foundation necessary to successfully understand and apply the quantitative techniques commonly used in the finance industry. The lecture covers the theory and key concepts. The seminars and workshop provide the opportunity to emphasise the practical applications of the techniques in the global financial markets.

The objective of the module is to give students the quantitative tools so that they understand the analytical 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. The module also aims to encourage the development of IT skills and in particular the manipulation of data using statistical software packages. Students will also improve their ability to translate abstract theoretical concepts into practical solutions to financial problems.

Academic authors
Gitanjali Persand
Dr Gita Persand
0

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 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

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
Yueting Cui
Dr Yueting Cui
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

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

Regulation is often seen as an obstacle to innovation, or innovation as a way of avoiding regulations. However, successful Fintech products and services must comply with the letter and spirit of financial regulations, and effective regulation of Fintech is essential to protect wider public interests. This module will place the relationship between financial innovation and regulation at the centre of students' understanding of Fintech.

This course starts by introducing how financial regulation seeks to protect consumers and markets, looking at the rationales for regulation, national and international organisational structures, and approaches to regulation. Each of these will be linked to the impact that it may have on new financial technologies, recognising that Fintech is a broad term that covers a wide variety of products and services, each of which may be subject to regulation by different regulators and in different ways. Fintech innovations are often seen as a form of regulatory arbitrage. But the relationship between regulators and innovators need not be adversarial, and this module will also explore how regulators are engaging pro-actively with Fintech developers to encourage innovation and provide advice on compliance with regulation. It will also investigate the emerging potential of 'RegTech', namely the use of new technologies to facilitate the delivery of regulatory requirements. The module will then consider how financial and Fintech firms collect and manage data, the role of data monetisation in Fintech business models, and the challenges presented by the General Data Protection Regulation and by cyber-crime. Cyber-security is a key concern today and the module will examine the sources of cyber-vulnerability and the importance of instilling a strong cyber-security culture within an organisation.

Academic authors
Tony Moore
Dr Tony Moore
10

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

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.

Successful completion of the research project requires students to define and execute a piece of research in finance. Students will improve their report-writing skills, learning how to structure their study, and how to place their findings in the wider context.

The self-directed nature of study for this module 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.

Research projects can be based on any area of finance. They may take one of a variety of forms, but usually involve an empirical analysis.

Academic authors
Charles Sutcliffe
Professor Charles Sutcliffe
20

This investment portfolio management module covers key topics, techniques and discussions, including investment styles, in relation to constructing and maintaining an optimal investment portfolio. The teaching approaches all topics from academic and market, practical perspectives. More detailed aims and learning outcomes are included below.

The module aims to build on the investment management foundation that has been introduced in the Securities, Futures and Options module. This investment portfolio management module covers the issues involved in understanding the investment management industry, constructing and maintaining an optimal investment portfolio (active, passive or smart beta investment styles), diversification, evaluating portfolio performance, risk management and portfolio rebalancing. The module will also introduce you to the world of alternative investments - the hedge fund industry, in particular. The compulsory, practical group project of the course will provide students with hands-on experience in constructing and managing a realistic investment portfolio.

20

Part 3 (9-month only)

Students of the 9-month programme have a compulsory 10 credit applied project to be submitted by the end of June ( Applied Project).

Compulsory modules Credits

To develop the skills of finding the available information on their chosen topic, and then analysing, synthesising and summarising this information in a way that is both sensible and clear to the reader. This will be done with a fixed time constraint. Students will improve their analytical and report-writing skills, learn how to structure their study, and how to place their findings in a wider context.

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

10

Part 3 Modules (12-month only)

Students of the 12-month programme choose 30 credits from a selection of electives :

Optional modules Credits

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

Industry participants estimate that 70-80% of equity trades are executed through computers. Market-makers in fixed income and currency markets use algorithms to automatically adjust their quotes. This module reviews the current state of the trading industry and identifies aims, features, regulations, and limitations of three main groups of algorithmic trading strategies: market making, trade execution and statistical arbitrage. Practical seminars are used to demonstrate how to apply trading algorithms to high-frequency data.

By the end of the module, it is expected that the student will be able to:

• explain the concepts of high frequency trading and algorithmic trading

• identify the characteristic elements of alternative algorithmic trading strategies

• solve simple trade execution problems and develop effective execution strategies

Academic authors
Alfonso Dufour
Dr Alfonso Dufour
10

An applied, innovative approach to the structured product market from a practical point of view. Topical issues are addressed in a systematic way to discuss the principles of financial engineering and application to structured products.

This module aims to introduce the key principles and techniques of financial engineering used in structured product design.

By the end of the module, students will be able to

- Apply key concepts of financial engineering to structured product design

- Understand and analyse different types of structured products currently available in the global capital markets.

- Solve a large variety of financial problems by designing and valuing one or more structured solutions.

Academic authors
Marcel Prokopczuk
Professor Marcel Prokopczuk
10

In this module, alternative forms of financial investments are discussed. In particular, the following topics are covered:

· Introduction to Alternative Investments: Hedge Funds: Market Structure, Strategies and Performance Evaluation

· Macro and Managed Futures Funds

· Funds of Hedge Funds

· Commodities: Physical and Financial Markets. Energy, Agricultural, Metals.

· Real Estate: Investment Types. Commercial and Residential markets. Valuation Approaches

· Collectables: Art, Wine and other Special Forms of Investments

This module aims to provide students with an understanding of financial decision making in the context of alternative investments.

Academic authors
Marcel Prokopczuk
Professor Marcel Prokopczuk
10

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.

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)

Chartered Institute of Securities & Investment (CISI)

National Development and Reform Commission Training Center (NDRCTC)

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 programmes in 2021 (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 mins 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.

“When I joined I was immediately impressed by the high-end facilities and the fact that that renowned practitioners and academics in the sector are involved from day one in the teaching as well as our career development.”
Elena-Anna Gkermpesioti, MSc International Shipping & Finance

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