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Masters in Finance

BSc Finance

A flexible Finance degree with pathways that include FinTech and Sustainability. Combine finance theory with highly relevant practical skills to become a valuable asset to companies from your first day.

At a glance

  • New course for 2021/22
  • A practically orientated degree, preparing you for a wide range of career destinations within the financial markets or the broader corporate world
  • Focus your degree further and choose one our pathways, including FinTech and Sustainable Finance
  • Diverse ways of learning from small group seminars to trading simulations taught by academics and market practitioners
Level
Undergraduate
Award
BSc
Duration
3 years (4 years with placement year)
Attendance
Full-time
Locations
Whiteknights campus (Reading)
UCAS Code
N300/N301
Programme Director
Carol Padgett
Dr Carol Padgett

This course offers integrated theory and practice that will empower you to find your dream job whether that be working in investment banking, asset management, corporate finance and a wide range of other career destinations within the financial markets or the broader corporate world.

You also have the opportunity to choose one of our four finance pathways in year two of the course to further focus your studies. Our pathways allow you to delve deeper into your specific interests and specialise your knowledge to equip you with the right skills for your future career goals.

You can choose from:

During your studies, you'll have the opportunity to put the theory you have been learning into practice. Our three dealing rooms are equipped by Thomson Reuters and use the latest high-frequency trading simulation software. You will experience the thrill of a live market – take positions, quote two-way prices and manage the risk of a $50-100-million trading book. This first-hand practical experience is a unique learning opportunity and will give you an advantage over other job applicants.

Year 1

Compulsory modules Credits

Introduces you to the key financial markets, types of money including cryptocurrencies, and sustainable finance focussed on the role of the finance industry in mitigating climate change impact, Exchange mechanisms and the investment banks and investment management houses that operate in these markets and their various functions.

Teaching Staff
Brian Scott Quinn
Emeritus Professor Brian Scott-Quinn
20

This module aims to provide the student with an overview of the financial system. This will include an overview of the role that the financial system plays in the economy, a discussion of some of the main players in the system, the instruments they trade, and the trading prices. Part of the module will focus on capital markets and the private and public financial institutions participating in these markets. The remainder of the module covers the time value of money, longer-term securities like bonds, risky securities like stocks, and the way in which returns and the values of real and financial assets relate to each other. The purpose of the trading simulation part of the module is to introduce students to computer simulation of securities dealing and spreadsheet modelling. Students are taught the relevant theory and will experience how this theory works in a virtual dealing environment.

Teaching Staff
Gitanjali Persand
Dr Gita Persand
20
Examines the principal financial statements produced by companies. You will cover many areas including the concepts of profit and capital; the balance sheet and profit and loss account; company accounts; and cash flow statements which are all essential ingredients in corporate valuation.
10+10

An introduction to economics for students of business and finance. The module aims to provide an introduction to both microeconomics and macroeconomics sufficient to help students of business and finance understand the economic forces at play and economic framework that underpins their specific field.

20

This module introduces students to a range of quantitative techniques that are commonly applied in business, finance and management. The module will cover both introductory statistics and mathematical techniques that are necessary for a good understanding of financial theories and to be able to develop and understand the models used in business and finance.

20

To introduce students to the ethical difficulties encountered by investment professionals as they invest other people’s money. By the end of the course students will appreciate the ethical standards imposed by professional bodies and financial regulators. They will be able to identify the ethical dimension involved in the decision-making process, and be able to discuss the conflicts between economic efficiency and ethical behaviour. It will examine the causes and consequences of both ethical and unethical behaviour, giving students the chance to see how individuals’ decisions affect trading partners, clients and the market as a whole.

Teaching Staff
Schopohl Lisa 201
Dr Lisa Schopohl
20

Year 2

Compulsory modules Credits

This module focuses on corporate value, considering how it is measured and how companies can create value through their strategies, financial decisions and governance practices. The module aims to offer students a good grounding in corporate finance theory and an appreciation of the related empirical evidence. There will be a focus on shareholder value maximisation and alternative corporate objectives, including a consideration of the impact of ownership and control on those objectives.

20

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.

Teaching Staff
Antypas Nikolaos
Dr Nikolaos Antypas
20
  • Financial Modelling: Provides a rapid introduction to using MS Excel to solve a variety of practical problems related to finance. Many careers in banking and finance now require candidates to possess a strong grounding in spreadsheet modelling and a working knowledge of Visual Basic for Applications (VBA).
  • Career Management Skills: Provides you with the opportunity to develop self-awareness in the context of career decision making, extends knowledge of the career opportunities that are available to you, and the skills to make effective applications.
Teaching Staff
Gitanjali Persand
Dr Gita Persand
Schopohl Lisa 201
Dr Lisa Schopohl
20

Work Placement

Optional modules Credits

This module provides insight into the practical application of Accountancy, Business Management and/or Finance Skills.

This modules Aims:

1. To gain relevant work experience in order to provide a practical context for the academic material studied in the first, second and final year.

2. To enhance employability through being able to demonstrate 12 months relevant work experience.

3. To extend knowledge and learning of degree discipline modules, to help identify future career path(s).

4. To further develop ‘soft skills’ (team-work, communication, time management, planning, leadership skills etc)

Teaching Staff
120

Year 3

Compulsory modules Credits

Introduces you to current techniques for measuring and managing risk in financial institutions. This module will help you to develop critical risk management skills that are now considered indispensable for anyone wanting to undertake a career in the financial sector. Topics include: types of financial risks, bank capital regulation, value-at-risk and expected shortfall, back-testing, variance forecasting, VaR decomposition and minimisation, credit rating systems and credit risk modelling.

Teaching Staff
Sangiorgi Ivan 204
Dr Ivan Sangiorgi
20

Designed to combine the theoretical and practical approaches to derivatives pricing and trading. You will gain an overview of derivative securities and markets and a thorough understanding of derivatives pricing and trading. You will also be guided on the use of derivatives data and shown how to apply theoretical models and strategies presented in class through a number of case simulations in the dealing room. The trading cases involve both discrete and continuous time models and will require you to both trade and build hedging portfolios using put and call options.

Teaching Staff
Michael smith
Dr Michael Smith
20

Careers

Here at the ICMA Centre, we recognise the importance of career development and have integrated specialist career management into the programme, thereby providing our students with a tool kit to help them achieve their career aspirations. Our graduates enter the market with knowledge and skills to enable them to gain excellent careers in areas such as sales and trading, asset management, operations and risk management. Our statistics show that typically more than 90% of graduates are in employment or further study within 6 months of graduating

Internships

Through the duration of this course, students are expected to undertake an eight to ten week working internship throughout the summer vacation between the second and third year. This invaluable experience can provide students with excellent experience and skills to add to their CV, as well as the opportunity to network. The ICMA Centre provides assistance in identifying and applying for internships with CV grounding and honing interview techniques.

“National league tables show that Henley Business School consistently provides one of the most satisfying and rewarding student experiences in the UK.” Professor John Board, Dean.

Part of the University of Reading and the triple-accredited Henley Business School, the ICMA Centre has a global reputation for its excellence in undergraduate, postgraduate and executive education in finance, as well as professional and policy development research and consultancy.

Based in University of Reading’s award-winning Whiteknights campus – a short train ride from London, the financial capital of the world – the ICMA Centre is the product of the first active collaboration between the securities industry and a university finance department.

Find out more about:

Our pathways have been designed to allow you to focus your degree even further and tailor it to your specific interests. Here is a guide to help you understand them.

In year one of your studies you will focus on gaining core knowledge in Finance and the financial services industry. The content of the first year will be the same for all pathways as well as the general BSc Finance degree. At the end year one you will be able to transfer to a pathway of your choice or continue general programme. You are not tied to a specific pathway at this point.

Year of study % weight of modules
Year 1 100% compulsory modules (all pathways)

In year two you will gain a more in-depth understanding of Finance. You will now start to focus your degree further with modules that are specific to the pathway of your choice, as well as choose optional modules. At the end of the second year, you will not be able to choose a different pathway again, although you will have the opportunity to transfer back to the general programme.

Year of study % weight of modules
Year 2 50% compulsory modules (all pathways)
33.3% compulsory modules (pathway dependent)
16.6% optional modules

Between your second and final year you will have the option to do a work placement or study abroad year. Opting for the year can be beneficial for your career prospects and considerably enhance your CV, setting you on the right path for a successful career.

Year of study
Study Abroad/Placement Year

In your final year you will consolidate your knowledge, ready for you entering the world of work. You will have more flexibility with optional modules, with compulsory modules still relevant to the pathway you have chosen.

Year of study % weight of modules
Final year 33.3% compulsory modules (all pathways)
33.3% compulsory modules (pathway dependent)
33.3% optional modules

The thing which sets ICMA apart: the uncontested access to practical study facilities. Having three separate dealing rooms and access to Bloomberg and Reuters terminals has enriched my learning experience here more than I could have imagined.

Ellis Murley BSc Finance and Investment Banking

The support from the staff is invaluable. No problem is too big or small, the staff endeavour to give the best support to students, everyone from the lecturers, admin staff to the careers staff.

Nick Pilkington BSc Finance and Investment Banking