Wondering what you might expect as an MSc Finance student at Cass Business School? Read on…
Why choose MSc Finance ?
Founded more than 20 years ago, the MSc in Finance provides a solid background in the principles and applications of finance. By the end of the course, students will have a broad-ranging experience of quantitative techniques relevant to finance with a focus on financial issues in all industry sectors. There is a genuinely international, multicultural perspective with a global focus. It is a highly flexible qualification suitable for a wide range of career openings in the financial sector.
In 2016 the Financial Times ranked the course 5th in the UK for pre-experience Masters in Finance.
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 investment banking, securities sales and trading, foreign exchange, hedge funds, private banking, credit products, financial and credit risk management and consultancy. 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 Nomura, Lazard Asset Management, PwC, Renaissance Capita, HSBC, JP Morgan, 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 Finance 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, 27% hailing from the EU, and the remainder from the UK. Normally at least 25 nationalities are represented on the course. A handful of students will have taken CFA Level 1 prior to starting the course.
Who will be teaching me?
The staff who teach on MSc Finance 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 Sonia Falconieri, and other module leaders include Dr Aneel Keswani, Dr Ivana Raonic and Prof Ian Marsh. 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 Finance lecturers and other Cass academics talking about hot topics in finance and business?
What’s a typical day for a Finance student?
As a student of MSc Finance 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 Finance 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 Finance?
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. You must have achieved a good standard in mathematics, economics, and statistics/econometrics at undergraduate level. In terms of the mathematical content of the course, mathematics, probability theory and econometrics, calculus, matrix algebra and real analysis other subject areas that demonstrate strong analytical and quantitative skills e.g. statistics, maths, physics or engineering.
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 Finance students who had taken the exam was 680.
Should I choose to write the Business Research Project or take the five electives in Term 3?
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 Finance 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 elective options are only published during term 2 while students are on the course, and it is therefore not possible to advise in advance which electives will be running each year.
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 Finance 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 scholarships to outstanding applicants. Sometimes there are prizes available to students whilst they are on the course.
What distinguishes the MSc Finance course at Cass Business School from similar courses at other universities?
Many things! Our MSc in Finance 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 and CIMA and students successfully completing the MSc in Finance will be awarded exemptions from certain ACCA modules. 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 brand new Sports Centre.
If that is not enough, take it from our students:
“Before starting at Cass I had studied for a BSc in Mathematics and Economics. The Masters is a specialist programme which is practical and useful for my future finance based career.” Finance student, China
I hope that this has whetted your appetite to study our MSc Finance. If you have any questions about the course or application process please do not hesitate to contact Sarah Woodley on Sarah.Woodley@city.ac.uk or +44 (0)20 7040 8611.
Last updated 31 January 2017.