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MSc Financial Risk Management

Masters in Financial Risk Management

At a glance

  • Enhance your career prospects in one of the most sought after areas of finance
  • Study one of the most recognised risk management Masters courses in the UK
  • Develop your professional skills by studying for GARP FRM Part I as part of the course and benefit from the programme’s accreditation by GARP
  • Focus on highly specialised topics such as market risk, financial instruments and credit risk
  • Benefit from additional professional exam exemptions from PRMIA and 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
Nadia Kappou
Dr Konstantina Kappou

Overview

This Masters course is tailored to the needs of the rapidly evolving financial markets, providing you with an insight into new innovations in the area of risk management. The financial system has undergone major restructuring in preparation for the new regulatory frameworks, affecting existing roles and creating different skillset requirements within risk management divisions of financial institutions.

Through our long-term academic partnerships and accreditations by leading professional bodies, the MSc Financial Risk Management offers a relevant learning experience, combining a practice focused approach and current market intelligence. You will also benefit from exemptions to professional certifications from leading professional bodies worldwide.

The MSc Financial Risk Management is accredited by the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP). The degree syllabus is enhanced with the most up to date professional practices in the area of risk management. This course integrates applied academic knowledge to industry needs and provides you a competitive advantage. Integral to the academic course is the parallel study of the GARP FRM Part I certificate. Upon successful completion of this degree, you will be registered to take the FRM Part I examination.

Below is a list of programme modules that will be available in 2022/23. Please note that some of these modules are new for 2022/23, and full module descriptions will be released in March 2022. For any other modules which are available for both this academic year (2021/22) and next (2022/23), follow the “More Information” link to see more.

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

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 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

Having established the theoretical basis for security valuation in Part I, this module extends students’ understanding to the valuation of financial instruments and their applications. The module has a significant practical component with seminars that are designed to support the lecture material. Students will be introduced to all types of risks that are embedded in listed and OTC derivatives across all asset classes. They will become familiar with exotic equity options, understand their pay-offs and some simple analytic pricing approximations. They will value some of the most popular swap varieties, and understand how they may be used for managing risk. They will value caps, floors and swaptions, convertible bonds and understand the interplay between market and credit risk factors. They will outline the basic credit derivatives, including total return swaps, default swaps and collateralized debt obligations.

Academic authors
Nadia Kappou
Dr Konstantina Kappou
20

This course introduces students to a set of newly developed techniques to measure and manage credit risk in bank portfolios. In recent years financial institutions have been looking at ways to quantify risk in their corporate loan and mortgage books. The lack of market prices for these types of illiquid assets implies that standard risk assessment procedures can not be employed.

The course focuses on (1) risk management lessons from past financial crises (2) alternative risk metrics (value-at-risk vs expected shortfall) (3) default, migration and recovery risk, (4) credit ratings, credit scoring models, spread implied ratings and default probability models, (5) how to measure portfolio credit risk using contingent claim and credit rating based approaches (6) credit risk management tools (7) credit risk capital regulation (Basel II and Basel III) and (8) stress testing.

Academic authors
Simone Varotto small
Professor Simone Varotto
20

Students of the 12-month (9-month) programme select 20 (40) 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

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 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

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

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

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

This module develops a fundamental understanding of and critical perspectives on the rationales, purpose, design, application and consequences of financial regulation globally.

This module aims to

  • provide an overview of the purpose of financial regulation and its relationship to the real economy and the financial economy
  • discuss how purpose can affect design and application in the context of other factors such as political pressure, regulatory capture, revolving doors and lobbying
  • examine the consequences of financial regulation and financial sector reform for different markets and jurisdictions, including that of the students’ home countries.
Academic authors
Deepa Govindarajan
Dr. Deepa Govindarajan Driver
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 Modules (12-month only)

Students on the 12-months programme should take 40 credits from the following:

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

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

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.

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

Part 3 Modules (9-month only)

Students of the 9-month programme would have below module as compulsory to be submitted by the end of June and going to run from the autumn to the summer term :

Compulsory modules Credits

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

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.

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 module(s) between June and August, which would also mean a 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 (9 month students only): Project/Research Study due

June – August (12 month programme only): Part 3

August/Sep (12 month programme only): Part 3 Coursework deadlines


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

After completion of this programme, you will be well-prepared to follow a career in the challenging fields of risk management, or risk analysis with banks, regulators, portfolio managers, corporate treasuries, risk management software houses, specialist financial boutiques and hedge funds. Regulators, governments, advisors and commentators are unanimously endorsing the call for more and better qualified risk managers and analysts to join the financial industry.

Professional accreditations

Global Association of Risk (GARP)

Global Association of Risk (GARP)

Professional Risk Managers’ Association (PRMIA)

Professional Risk Managers’ Association (PRMIA)

Chartered Institute of Securities & Investment (CISI)

Chartered Institute of Securities & Investment (CISI)

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, Dr Nadia Kappou at k.kappou@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