Cass MSc Admissions

Advice and Information from the MSc Admissions team

Spotlight on MSc Investment Management

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Welcome to the first of a new series of blog posts focussing on our Specialist Masters degree courses. Over the coming months the Admissions Officers will be profiling all our courses, giving you more information about the content, typical career progression, teaching staff and life on each course.

We kick-start with the MSc in Investment Management. Read on…

Why choose MSc Investment Management?

Founded more than 20 years ago, the MSc in Investment Management provides a solid background in the principles of investment and risk management. By the end of the course, students will have a comprehensive understanding of the modern portfolio theory and investment management process, and be able to identify and analyse the complex investment or risk management problems of multinational institutions; measure and manage various risk related to investment management and banking; apply modern strategies to enhance the risk-return profile of large financial corporations; and contribute to the shaping and implementation of a corporation’s investment management strategy.

Take a look at the core modules and typical electives that are on offer. Some of our electives are taught in a block format overseas, which is a great way to make the most of travel opportunities whilst studying.

What employment opportunities are there?

The course sets students up with a strong foundation to gain employment in roles including portfolio managers, hedge fund specialists, traders, risk managers, consultants, security analysts, brokers and corporate treasurers. However, the course does not limit graduates to those roles – in fact, the breadth of the course and flexibility of the qualification allow students to perform a wide variety of functions. Typical companies that our graduates go on to work for are BlackRock, Nomura, HSBC, JP Morgan, Deloitte, Bloomberg, Moody’s, Threadneedle, Credit Suisse and RBS. Our careers team offer invaluable services to our students to help prepare them for the world of work. You can read more here.

Who will my classmates be?

Most students on MSc Investment Management will come from finance, business, engineering or other quantitative backgrounds. Work experience is not a compulsory entry requirement, although most students have at least a few summer internships under their belt before they arrive. The average age is 23, and the female to male ratio is typically 40:60. As with all of our courses, the nationality mix is very diverse, with around 65% being international students, 20% hailing from the EU, and the remainder from the UK. Normally at least 40 nationalities are represented on the course. A handful of students will have taken CFA Level 1 prior to starting the course. Despite the varied backgrounds, all students are united by their passion for asset management and high ambitions to work in this industry.

Who will be teaching me?

The staff who teach on MSc Investment Management have substantial experience of working within the financial services sector, and are also active researchers in their fields. The Research Excellence Framework 2014 rated 84% of Cass Business and Management research as within the top two categories of ‘world-leading’ (4-star) or ‘internationally excellent’ (3-star). This places Cass in the top six in the UK and highlights the world-class quality of Cass research.

Teaching methods include interactive lectures, case studies, guest speakers and group work. The course director is Dr Elena Kalotychou, and other module leaders include Dr Nick Motson, Dr Sotiris Staikouras, and Dr Natasha Todorovic. Click on their names to find out more about their background, areas of interest, research and publications. Why not check out some of the videos featuring Investment Management lecturers and other Cass academics talking about hot topics in finance and business?

What’s a typical day for an Investment Management student?

As a student of MSc Investment Management you would typically have one three-hour lecture per weekday (lectures normally start at 9am, 12pm or 3pm), along with occasional workshops. As group coursework is a key part of some modules, you will also be expected to be on campus to collaborate with your classmates. Weekends are free for you to study and, of course, to explore London and its many attractions and events.

Outside of the classroom, there are many opportunities to get involved in clubs and societies. Amongst the most relevant societies to MSc Investment Management students are the Investment Management and Private Equity Society, Finance Society, Investment Research Club, Trading Society, M&A Society, Insurance and Risk Management Society, Banking Society… the list goes on! See our clubs and societies page for further details.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the entry requirements for MSc Investment Management?

We are normally looking for a good degree (usually at least a good 2.1 or overseas equivalent) in a finance-based or other quantitative background. In terms of the mathematical content of the course, knowledge of optimisation, linear algebra and some probability theory is very useful for applicants whose undergraduate degrees may not be very quantitative. We consider all applications on a case-by-case basis, so please feel free to submit an application along with your transcript and supporting documents so that the admissions panel can make an informed decision. There is no application fee so you have nothing to lose.

What about the GMAT – do I need to take it?

The GMAT is not a compulsory entry requirement, although a high score can enhance an application. If the admissions panel feel that an applicant has potential but they would like to see more evidence of their quantitative skills they might make the GMAT a condition of an offer. If you do not have a lot of quantitative modules in your degree you may wish to consider taking the GMAT or CFA Level 1 exam before applying. We usually look for at least 600 in the GMAT, with a high score in the quantitative sub-section. Last year the average GMAT score for MSc Investment Management students who had taken the exam was 690.

I’ve also noticed your MSc in Finance. Which course should I take, MSc Investment Management or MSc Finance?

The MSc Finance covers all aspects of the finance industry, including corporate finance, banking, accounting, wealth and fund management and insurance. The MSc Investment Management focuses mainly on wealth management and fund management. If you know that this is the industry you wish to enter, MSc Investment Management is the course for you.

Should I choose to write the Business Research Project or take the five electives in Term 3?

We find that roughly the same amount of students opt to write the Business Research Project as take the electives. The electives are a good way of either narrowing down your field of interest within the investment industry, or of broadening your knowledge to include other areas of finance. Some of the most popular electives available to Investment Management students that have run in the past include Corporate Restructuring; Hedge Funds; Mergers and Acquisitions; Trading and Market Microstructure; Visual Basics in Finance; and Ethics, Society and the Finance Sector. Please note that the electives for each academic year are announced while students are in their second term, so it is not possible to advise in advance what electives will be running each year until students are on the course.

The Business Research Project allows students to develop skills that are very useful for their career, such as writing reports and articles, collecting data and resources, and conducting empirical research. These skills are essential if you want to work in investment banking as an analyst or consultant, in the research department of an investment bank, at a regulatory body, central bank or international organisation.

Students choose whether to take the Business Research Project or electives in their second term at Cass.

Are there any scholarships available for MSc Investment Management students?

We do offer a number of scholarships – the criteria are often based on the course of study and country of citizenship of the applicant. Please see our scholarships webpage for further details on the awards on offer. We also offer course bursaries to outstanding applicants. Sometimes there are prizes available to students whilst they are on the course, and external scholarships to fund the CAIA or CFA exams.

What distinguishes the MSc Investment Management course at Cass Business School from similar courses at other universities?

Many things! Our MSc in Investment Management is a well-established course that is updated and reviewed annually to reflect changes in the world of finance. Our academics, many of whom have substantial experience within the finance industry, ensure that students are always studying the most up-to-date topics and case studies.

Accreditations – The course is a CFA Program Partner, which means that the CFA recognises the course as being a strong foundation from which to sit the CFA exams. Optional classes in Term 2 allow students to prepare for the CFA exams. The course is also accredited by CISI, CAIA and CII. Cass Business School is among the global elite of business schools that hold the gold standard of the triple-crown accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the Association of MBAs (AMBA) and the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS).

Location – Studying at Cass means studying in the financial capital of Europe! Our location in the City of London means that we are on the doorstep of leading global financial institutions, making it incredibly easy for practitioners to come onto campus and impart their knowledge to students in the classroom or in workshops. We are also very close to London’s Tech City (also known as Silicon Roundabout), which is a key area in London for technology companies and start-ups. Transport links are excellent, and many of London’s key attractions, including St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London are within easy walking distance.

Facilities – Our facilities are top-class, including the Bloomberg and Reuters Trading rooms, a well-stocked library and resource centre, excellent IT facilities, a Careers Centre and much more. City University London is a short walk away, as is the new Sports Centre.

If that is not enough, take it from our students:

“The MSc in Investment Management not only provided me with the knowledge and skills to start working in the investment management industry but also turned out to be a very fun year in which I built a great network” – Investment Management student, The Netherlands

 

I hope that this has whetted your appetite to study our MSc Investment Management. If you have any questions about the course or application process please do not hesitate to contact Christine Woolley on c.a.woolley@city.ac.uk or +44 (0)20 7040 8641.

Last updated 31 January 2017.

4 Comments

  1. Hello,
    I have recently finished my Bachelors in Mass media with my core electives being Business and Journalism. I want to know which subjects would be considered as quantitative subjects and would a Mass-media related background put me at a disadvantage for a course like Investment Management or Real estate investment.

    • Hi Vishaka
      Thanks for your question! Quantitative subjects would normally include modules such as statistics, econometrics, derivatives, financial modules such as financial analysis or financial reporting, micro- and macroeconomics, risk management, quantitative methods, risk management, taxation-related modules etc. For our finance group of courses some level of previous study or evidence of skills in finance or quantitative methods is essential. The best thing to do would be to submit an application so that the admissions panel can review your degree transcript, CV, personal statement and any other documents you upload. They can then make an informed decision as to whether your background is suitable for the course.
      I hope this helps!
      Kind regards
      MSc Admissions Team

      • Hello.
        Thank you for the help.
        I have submitted my application, but need to change one of my referees. How can I do so?

        • Hi Vishaka
          Thanks for your question! If you would like to change your referee, please contact your admissions officer directly (https://www.cass.city.ac.uk/study/masters/contact-us), and give them the email address of the new referee. You will also need to let them know which of your previous referees you wish to replace. They will then send a reference request email to the new referee.
          I hope this helps!
          Kind regards
          MSc Admissions Team

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