MSc
1 year full time
Starts September 2017

Financial Risk and Investment Analysis

This unique and challenging course has a focus on financial markets and is taught by faculty who are globally renowned for their teaching excellence and extensive industry experience.

As a graduate, you’ll be well prepared to:

I knew I would be taught by the best people in the industry.”Ajay Pankhania
Financial Risk and Investment Analysis MSc

Key facts

  • You benefit from a growing network of alumni who are successful in risk management, trading or product sales in major investment banks and hedge funds – networks are key for your career, in academia and the financial industry.
  • You can access our Industry Mentor Program, which offers advice and insights into financial markets from experienced industry professionals – helping you kick-start your career from the moment you start your degree.
  • Our class sizes are substantially smaller than for most finance degrees, allowing you to make your studies an interactive and personally rewarding learning experience. 

How will I study?

You’ll study core modules and options in the autumn and spring terms. In the summer term, you undertake work on your projects.

You’ll be assessed by a combination of mid-term tests, coursework, and a formal examination after teaching has finished. The two summer-term projects are assessed by a combination of presentations and written reports.

What will I study?

  • Module list

    Core modules

    Core modules are taken by all students on the course. They give you a solid grounding in your chosen subject and prepare you to explore the topics that interest you most.

    • Advanced Quantitative Finance

      15 credits
      Autumn Teaching, Year 1

      Following on from Essential Quantitative Finance, this module will provide further instruction on particular financial problems associated with risk analysis and portfolio construction, and a more in-depth knowledge of financial instruments, such as futures and options, laying the foundation for TB2 modules on the Financial Risk and Investment Analysis degree.

      All the main concepts will be illustrated by numerous examples and Excel spreadsheets.

      Further development of IT skills builds on the knowledge gained in Essential Quantitative Finance, now introducing Matlab programming and the use of Reuters data.

      The syllabus covers the following topics:

      1. Time Series and Statistical Volatility
      2. Modelling Linear Portfolios
      3. Newtonian and Stochastic Calculus
      4. Introduction to Financial Options
    • Equity Investments and Foreign Exchange

      15 credits
      Autumn Teaching, Year 1

      In this module, your weekly lectures cover the following topics:

      1. Introduction to international equities:
        • how equities are traded
        • foreign exchange risk
        • trading forex
        • asset management
        • investment companies.

      2. Risk and return:
        • risk aversion
        • diversification
        • capital allocation to risky assets
        • optimal risky portfolios.

      3. The capital asset pricing model (first lecture)
        • single index models
        • capital market equilibrium
        • capital market line
        • securities market line
        • market portfolio
        • equity beta.

      4. The capital asset pricing model (second lecture)
        • as above.

      5. Arbitrage pricing theory and multifactor models of risk and return
        • multifactor models
        • Fama-French factors
        • applications.

      6. Financial statement analysis
        • balance sheets
        • profit and loss reports
        • financial ratios.

      7. Fundamental analysis of equities
        • macroeconomic and industry analysis
        • price–earnings ratios
        • equity valuation models.

      8. Spot market for FX 
        • global economic balances
        • purchasing power parity
        • monetary and fiscal policy
        • coordination of government controls.

      9. Forward FX
        • the London market
        • FX dealing
        • types of orders
        • forward derivatives instruments
        • no-arbitrage pricing
        • relationship between interest rates and foreign exchange.

      10. Hedging FX risk
        • FX risk in international equities
        • FX risks arising for corporates.

      11. FX trading strategies
        • fundamental and technical trading strategies
        • high-frequency and algorithmic trading.
    • Interest-Rate Sensitive Instruments

      15 credits
      Autumn Teaching, Year 1

      In this module, you explore the fundamentals of fixed-income and floating-rate investments - one of the largest segments of global financial markets.

      You cover:

      • valuation of cash flows
      • bond price and yield
      • interest rate risk, duration and convexity
      • principle of no-arbitrage
      • spot and forward interest rates
      • bond futures
      • forward rate agreements
      • yield curves
      • London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR)
      • credit spreads
      • basic features and characteristics of interest-rate sensitive instruments and their associated interest rate risk and credit risk
      • present value of basis point
      • mapping portfolios to risk factors
      • securitization and asset (and mortgage) backed securities
      • credit rating
      • credit scoring.

      Your lectures in this module may follow the following structure - although this is to be confirmed:

      1. Characteristics of fixed and floating rate debt securities
      2. Principals of valuation: spot and forward interest rates
      3. Interest rate swaps and LIBOR
      4. Yield curves: term structure characteristics and credit spreads
      5. Interest rate risk and other risks associated with debt securities
      6. Cash flow mappings
      7. Securitization, asset and mortgage-backed securities
      8. Interest-rate-sensitive derivatives and their characteristics: interest rate futures, Forward Rate Agreements (FRAs), vanilla interest rate swaps
      9. Hedging interest rate risk
      10. General principals of credit risk

      Your lectures will also include one revision lecture at the end.

    • Portfolio Management

      30 credits
      Spring & Summer Teaching, Year 1

      Working in small teams (typically 4–6), you will be given a mandate to construct an investment portfolio. You will track its performance, write a report and make a presentation to a client (a panel with at least one faculty member and one associate tutor), as if you were already working in the fund management industry.

      Formal lectures during Spring term focus on:

      • Methods for integrating information, both objective and subjective (Treynor-Black, Black-Litterman, Least-discrimination approaches), for portfolio allocation
      • Understanding utility-based investment criteria (certainty equivalent, Generalized Sharpe and information ratios) for portfolio optimisation
      • Examining specific portfolio strategies (e.g., pension funds, hedge funds, portfolio insurance)
      1. Securities markets and institutions; modelling of returns
      2. Mean-variance analysis
      3. Factor models; market equilibrium; Treynor-Black method
      4. Performance measurement; Utility functions and certainty equivalents
      5. Black-Litterman and least-discrimination methods
      6. Technical and fundamental analyses for equities and bonds
      7. Derivatives for investing and hedging; portfolio insurance
      8. Special investment products and strategies (structured products, pension funds, hedge funds) 
      9. Cost effective trading, risk assessment, performance attribution and reporting


      Seminars will consist of:

      1. Introduction to the trading platform
      2. Interpretation of the management mandate
      3. Equity analysis and stock selection screens
      4. Implementation of Treynor-Black and Black-Litterman models
      5. Guidance for report preparation and presentation
    • Market and Credit Risk Project

      15 credits
      Summer Teaching, Year 1

    Options

    Alongside your core modules, you can choose options to broaden your horizons and tailor your course to your interests.

    • Bank Risk Management

      15 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      In this module, you study the different risk management techniques used to assess and control risk in the banking sector.

      You look at:

      • Value-at-Risk (VaR)
      • risk control techniques including limit setting and risk budgeting
      • Debit and Credit Value Adjustments (DVA and CVA)
      • credit risk assessment
      • credit lines
      • bank stress tests, which are designed to detect weak spots in the banking system so that preventative action can be taken.
    • Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility

      15 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      This module is aimed at students on the range of 'conversion' type of MSc programmes across the department and is delivered in the International Accounting and Governance programme as a core. The focus is on contemporary perspectives and practices within the broadly defined areas of Corporate Social Responsibility and Governance.

      The module starts from the premise that CSR is a contested, problematic and developing area of study. There is an acceptance that an understanding of ethical frameworks is required to inform debate on this subject and that research generated evidence and insights are necessary to substantiate assertion.

      The focus is also practical, and you will individually undertake research into an organisation's orientation and practice towards its stakeholders. A critical and questioning approach to this will be encouraged and required to 'see beyond' the often platitudinous veneer that can characterise this relationship.

      Throughout the module the emphasis will be on devloping your own coherent and informed view of matters such as corporate and governance, together with issues of professional ethics within a globalised context. In particular, we examine the extent to which corporate governance practices are moving towards convergence.

      The coursework requires you to work individually to produce a case study analysis of contemporary stakeholder issues and to thereby further your understanding and exercise research skills and judgement. Supporting and underpinning this is a week by week seminar programme requiring you to ascertain and appreciate your own and others' 'ethical profiles', locate and interpret research-based insights and undertake case study analysis of organisational practices and professional ethical dilemmas.

      An examination will test your grasp of relevant concepts, theory and ability to apply insights.

    • Corporate Governance

      15 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      This module aims to introduce you to the roles and functions of boards of directors as well as the organisational structure of different types of firms, such as those within extended family networks and those of an entrepreneurial nature. This will involve developing understanding of information management systems and accounting techniques that assist effective board-level decision making as well as in the assessment of board and CEO effectiveness. The relevance of different boards structures will be discussed through a comparison of split boards and supervisory boards and the module will cover contemporary issues such as shareholder activism, the role of family and corporate block-shareholder control. Equally, the importance of worldwide differences in legal and institutional settings and their impact on corporate structure and governance will be discussed. While you will gain appreciation into contemporary issues effecting management structure of major corporations you will also be expected to apply this in real-life topical settings.

    • Financial Derivatives

      15 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      This module provides up-to-date coverage of the main aspects of financial derivatives. Moreover, it gives an overview of the mechanics of futures markets, the hedging strategies using futures, the determination of forward and futures prices, the mechanics of options markets and the swaps, and the Greek letters. The module presents the corner stone of financial derivatives, namely the Black-Scholes-Merton Model and goes further to introduce Value at Risk.

    • Investment Risk Project

      15 credits
      Spring Teaching, Year 1

      Learn how to carry out original research and present your work as a project report on a range of topics, including: 

      • risk management
      • investment analysis
      • investment management. 

      You learn to use econometric software to implement and test financial models, and examine relevant theories and published findings.

      You also learn how to carry out literature reviews, data collection and referencing.

Find out about studying business and management at Sussex, including finance, banking, logistics and entrepreneurship

Entry requirements

An upper second-class (2.1) undergraduate honours degree or above (or equivalent) in a quantitative subject. Applicants with a degree in finance, economics, mathematics, physics or engineering are ideally suited to this course.

English language requirements

Standard level (IELTS 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each section)

Find out about other English language qualifications we accept.

English language support

Don’t have the English language level for your course? Find out more about our pre-sessional courses.

Additional information for international students

We welcome applications from all over the world. Find out about international qualifications suitable for our Masters courses.

Visas and immigration

Find out how to apply for a student visa


Fees and scholarships

How much does it cost?

Fees

Home: £10,250 per year

EU: £10,250 per year

Channel Islands and Isle of Man: £10,250 per year

Overseas: £19,000 per year

Note that your fees may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.

How can I fund my course?

Postgraduate Masters loans

Borrow up to £10,280 to contribute to your postgraduate study.

Find out more about Postgraduate Masters Loans

Scholarships

Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.

Chancellor’s Masters Scholarship (2017)

Open to students with a 1st class from a UK university or excellent grades from an EU university and offered a F/T place on a Sussex Masters in 2017

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Chancellor’s Masters Scholarship

Postgraduate Economics Scholarship for African students. (2017)

The scholarship is for a student from a sub-Saharan African country studying for either the Development Economics MSc or the Economics MSc

Application deadline:

1 July 2017

Find out more about the Postgraduate Economics Scholarship for African students.

SPRU 50th Anniversary Scholarship (2017)

Five £10,000 scholarships for outstanding applicants who have accepted a place on one of SPRU’s five MSc courses.

Application deadline:

1 July 2017

Find out more about the SPRU 50th Anniversary Scholarship

St. Kovachev Scholarship for International Marketing MSc (2017)

The scholarship is for a UK/EU student studying for the International Marketing MSc.

Application deadline:

1 July 2017

Find out more about the St. Kovachev Scholarship for International Marketing MSc

St. Kovachev Scholarship in Economics MSc or International Business Economics MSc (2017)

The scholarship is for a UK/EU student studying for the Economics MSc or International Business Economics MSc

Application deadline:

1 July 2017

Find out more about the St. Kovachev Scholarship in Economics MSc or International Business Economics MSc

Sussex Graduate Scholarship (2017)

Open to Sussex students who graduate with a first or upper second-class degree and offered a full-time place on a Sussex Masters course in 2017

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Graduate Scholarship

Sussex India Scholarships (2017)

Sussex India Scholarships are worth £3,500 and are for overseas fee paying students from India commencing Masters study in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex India Scholarships

Sussex Malaysia Scholarships (2017)

Sussex Malaysia Scholarships are worth £3,500 and are for overseas fee paying students from Malaysia commencing Masters study in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Malaysia Scholarships

Sussex MBA Scholarship (2017)

The Sussex MBA Scholarship is available on a competitive basis to UK, EU and international applicants who have been offered a place on The Sussex MBA.

Find out more about the Sussex MBA Scholarship

Sussex Nigeria Scholarships (2017)

Sussex Nigeria Scholarships are worth £3,500 or £5,000 and are for overseas fee paying students from Nigeria commencing a Masters in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Nigeria Scholarships

Sussex Pakistan Scholarships (2017)

Sussex Pakistan Scholarships are worth £3,500 and are for overseas fee paying students from Pakistan commencing Masters study in September 2017.

Application deadline:

1 August 2017

Find out more about the Sussex Pakistan Scholarships

The Hornsey Scholarship (2017)

A £10,000 award for an outstanding student on the MSc in International Accounting and Corporate Governance.

Application deadline:

31 July 2017

Find out more about the The Hornsey Scholarship

How Masters scholarships make studying more affordable

Living costs

Find out typical living costs for studying at Sussex.


Faculty

Meet the people teaching and supervising on your course.

  • Faculty profiles

    Prof Carol Alexander
    Professor of Finance
    C.Alexander@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Algebra, Applied Statistics, Decision Analysis, Evolutionary Game Theory, Exchange Trading, Finance, Financial Markets, Financial Mathematics, Financial Modelling, Game Theory, Hedge Funds, Mathematical Statistics, Mathematics, Real Options, Risk Analysis, Statistical Methodology, Statistical Modelling, Stochastic Analysis, Stochastic Processes, Volatility Analysis

    View profile

    Dr Ding Chen
    Lecturer in Finance
    Ding.Chen@sussex.ac.uk

    View profile

    Dr Michael Coulon
    Senior Lecturer in Finance
    M.Coulon@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Commodities, Energy, Environmental policy, Finance, Financial Mathematics, Financial Modelling

    View profile

    Dr Andreas Kaeck
    Reader In Finance
    A.Kaeck@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Asset Pricing, Derivatives, Finance, Financial Econometrics, Risk management, Volatility Analysis

    View profile

    Dr Nikolaos Karouzakis
    Lecturer in Finance
    N.Karouzakis@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Asset Pricing, Bayesian Inference, Derivatives, Finance, Financial Markets, Interest rates, Term Structure Models

    View profile

    Dr Nina Lange
    Lecturer in Finance
    N.Lange@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Commodities, Derivatives, Energy finance, Finance, Financial Mathematics, Financial Modelling, Shipping

    View profile

    Dr Johannes Rauch
    Lecturer in Finance
    J.Rauch@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Asset Pricing, Derivatives, Financial Econometrics, Financial Markets, Financial Mathematics, Financial Modelling, Quantitative methods, Risk management, Term Structure Models, Volatility Analysis

    View profile

As financial risk analysis and investment analysis come to the fore, it is in these areas that students on this MSc will develop excellent employability skills.”Professor Carol Alexander
Professor of Finance

Careers

Graduate destinations

95% of students from the Department of Business and Management were in work or further study six months after graduating. Our graduates have gone on to jobs including:

  • investment banking associate, BNP Parabis
  • risk management analyst, China Galaxy Securities
  • management information analyst, Credit Suisse.

(HESA EPI, Destinations of Post Graduate Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2015)

Your future career

Increased employment in risk management is set to continue as recent regulation changes put increased focus on improving risk management standards.

There is a strong demand for investment analysis – not only from pension funds and large corporations – as private equity continues to grow in the current global economic environment.

Our alumni mentoring scheme allows you to easily establish contacts among a network of our graduates who have gone on to successful careers in firms such as RBS, OSTC, Credit Suisse, Arbour Partners and JDX Consulting. To give you a significant head start in your future career, you'll be paired with a mentor whose career path matches your own ambitions, who will share their industry expertise with you and give you career guidance. 

On successful completion of this MSc you are qualified to apply for graduate training positions as 

  • a quantitative risk analyst
  • a quantitative investment analyst
  • an asset manager in a bank, corporation, hedge fund or insurance company.

Working while you study

Our Careers and Employability Centre can help you find part-time work while you study. Find out more about career development and part-time work

The MSc prepared me to embrace an exciting career within a fast-paced, ever-changing industry.”Geronimo Faria
Wealth Management
Jefferies, London