The MSc in Finance is a Masters programme designed for aspiring financial services professionals from non-finance backgrounds.
Here are the key details about the course and some insights from Dr. Dirk Nitzsche.
About the MSc in Finance at Cass
Length: 12 months
Best suited to: Graduates with a bachelor degree (minimum 2:1 or equivalent) with a strong numerical component, such as science, economics, engineering, science or mathematics.
Meet the professor
Dr. Dirk Nitzsche teaches on the MSc in Finance at Cass Business School, City University of London and he is the Programme Director on the MSc Quantitative Finance.
Why should I choose Cass for my Masters?
Cass consistently ranks among the top business schools in Europe. But what really sets us apart from similar institutions is our strong relationships with the UK’s leading business and finance employers.
The Cass graduate school is located in the City of London, a stone’s throw from where the major investment banks, asset management companies, other financial institutions as well as consultancy companies run their UK operations. We’ve developed strong links with these employers, and many come on campus to recruit our students throughout the year.
Another of our USPs is the breadth of our course offering. We offer over 20 Masters courses; some of these (such as the MSc in Finance) are generalist in nature, whereas others (such as the MSc in Quantitative Finance or MSc in Energy, Trade & Finance and MSc in Investment Management) focus on a specific area of business or finance.
All of our courses have a strong practical element and a real world focus; we make sure that our curriculum remains relevant and in tune with new developments in the financial sector and that it provides the set of skills employers need. We also offer the flexibility to write a dissertation or an applied research project.
It means that we have an excellent track record of our graduates going on to work in rewarding roles in the City or similar industries.
Can you introduce the MSc in Finance?
The Cass MSc in Finance is a year-long course for undergraduates looking to build a career in the financial sector.
The course provides students with a solid foundation in financial theory and financial instruments and equips them with a broad portfolio of skills relevant to the investment and risk management business, as well as corporate finance.
It also provides a thorough grounding in the practical skills required to work in the financial markets. The course is a Chartered Financial Analyst Institute (CFA) Partner Programme. CFA Programme Partner status is awarded to a select number of universities around the world whose degree courses incorporate at least 70% of the CFA Program Candidate Body of Knowledge.
Our students complete the course with a clear understanding of what’s required to be a modern finance professional, and are well equipped to succeed in an increasingly competitive job market.
What does the MSc in Finance cover?
The MSc in Finance encompasses a broad range of topics, giving students a robust understanding of key financial theory, corporate finance, asset management and financial markets in general. M&A and a wide range of other areas are also covered in the core modules and electives.
Students can also expect to develop essential practical skills around using statistics and working with Excel, and have the opportunities to learn about programming (i.e. VBA), which are directly applicable across many entry-level finance roles.
The degree is structured so that students build up a comprehensive understanding of the basic concepts of statistics, accountancy, corporate finance and financial markets in Term 1; they then build on those foundations in Term 2 with core modules in asset management or derivatives and risk management. This helps to develop a more in-depth understanding of key areas in finance as well as some practical skills.
In Term 3 students focus on specific topics of their choosing. All course participants can choose to undertake an applied research project, a dissertation or complete the Masters by selecting only taught elective modules – often delivered by practitioners. There is a broad range of electives to choose from: you could find yourself exploring Energy Markets, Hedge Funds, Advanced Company Valuation or Technical Analysis, for example.
What’s special about the MSc in Finance?
Unlike most finance courses, the Cass Masters in Finance is specifically geared towards understanding different aspects of financial concepts in a modern, real-world context.
Scan the list of recipients of the Nobel Prize for Economics of the past century and you’ll find their influence directly within the course syllabus – if you aren’t already familiar with the Sharp Ratio or Markowitz’s modern portfolio theory, or the Black-Scholes model to price options at the start of the course, you certainly will be by the end.
Significantly, we teach this theory in the context of recent developments and the issues that are affecting the financial industry today. So you may find yourself learning about the 2008 financial crisis and its aftermath, or the implications of Brexit and Trump’s presidency for the financial sector.
Students also have the opportunity to update their technical skills to reflect the direct needs of finance employers. For example, this year we are offering a Python programming elective module in Term 3 – we’re noting significant interest in the City for graduates possessing this particular skill.
Graduates from the course are ready to go straight into the workforce and to hit the ground running in roles such in banking, investment management or financial consulting.
How do I know if the MSc in Finance is the right programme for me?
This particular Masters course is designed for students with a keen interest in finance, but who haven’t had the opportunity to study the subject in depth at undergraduate level.
We attract students from a wide range of backgrounds – including business studies and economics, but also (computer) scientists, and students with an engineering, maths or physics background. Being comfortable with numbers is essential for most financial roles, so applicants need to have a strong grasp of mathematics.
Each year we have some people joining the course with some work experience. That could be internship or graduates who started their career in the technology or consulting area coming from a non-finance background. These are typically individuals looking to retrain and deepen their financial understanding with a view to transitioning to a City role.
Students who have studied finance at undergraduate level, or who have worked in financial markets tend to opt for one of our specialist Masters programmes such as the MSc in Quantitative Finance, the MSc in Energy, Trade and Finance, the MSc Mathematical Trading & Finance or the MSc in Investment Management.
How can I find out more about the MSc in Finance?
A full breakdown of the course content and what it involves can be found on the Cass website.
We also run a number of postgraduate online and on campus information sessions and Masterclasses throughout the year, where prospective students have the chance to speak to academics to see what’s involved and whether a particular course is right for them.