Investment Analysis MSc

Course overview

  • Course level
    Postgraduate
  • Course type
    Full-time
  • Duration
    1 year
  • Course options
    Internship / overseas study
  • School

Entry requirements

  • One of the following:
    A good UK honours degree (minimum lower second class) or equivalent overseas degree recognised by Aston University. Applicants must have studied finance, economics or other quantitative modules at undergraduate level to demonstrate quantitative and analytical skills.
  • For International students:
    An official academic transcript, with official English translation, of your university grades to date, students whose native language is not English also need to satisfy our English language requirements.
  • Applicants with extensive work experience:
    We recognise the value of extensive professional experience. If you do not have the academic qualifications, but have extensive and relevant professional experience and a proven ability to succeed, we would welcome your application.
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Key Dates

Course summary

Discover how to undertake security valuation and portfolio management by studying equity, debt andderivative markets in domestic and international sectors, and learn about the key techniques used by financial traders. This course has a strong focus on the practical application of finance within a trading or corporate setting. Your studies will culminate in a financial analyst evaluation of a UK listed company for your final project. During the summer term you will also have the opportunity to attend a workshop designed to help students taking the CFA® (Chartered Financial Analyst) Level I examination. CFA® is a registered trademark owned by CFA Institute.

You will practice your skills with a dedicated on-campus Bloomberg trading room facility, to get experience of real-term investment analysis software.

The course concludes with a Business Project; a substantial piece of work designed to provide you with an opportunity to analyse a business problem and practically apply the knowledge and skills developed during the course.

You can choose to study this course as part of our double degree programme. 

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

In addition to the standard MSc entry requirements, you must demonstrate quantitative and analytical skills, by having studied some finance, economics or other quantitative modules at undergraduate level.

Plus one of the following:

  • A good UK honours degree (minimum lower second class)
  • Equivalent overseas degree recognised by Aston University.

As well as:

  • Two professional references – at least one must be from an academic referee
  • An official academic transcript of your university grades to date
  • A completed application form.

For International students:

  • An official academic transcript, with an official English translation, of your university grades to date.
  • Students whose native language is not English will also need to satisfy our English language requirements. Pre-sessional English language programmes are available for good applicants whose English qualification falls just short of these requirements.
  • Postgraduate masters students enrolling with Aston Business School with a 5.5 in one of the four IELTS sections will be required to engage with English language tuition as part of our professional development programme, The Aston Global Advantage.  There will be no extra cost to the student.

  • For students who do not meet our minimum academic and English language requirements for this course, we offer an alternative pathway to an Aston Master’s with Kaplan International College, London.
  • For more information about qualifications, view our Aston in your country webpage.

Applicants with extensive work experience:

We recognise the value of extensive professional experience. If you do not have the academic qualifications, but have extensive and relevant professional experience and a proven ability to succeed, we would welcome your application.

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.

Why choose us?

We’re recognised for the quality of our teaching and excellent research.

Being part of just 1% of business schools in the world, thanks to our AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA accreditation, we can help you to kick-start your career.

We have a track-record for graduate employability. Recent graduates have gone onto to secure positions with leading international companies, including Ernst & Young, Deutsche Bank and Volkswagen. We equip you with the knowledge required for roles within the financial industry. You’ll also develop the skills and understanding to fulfil a wide range of roles in other areas of business. Our students have embarked on careers in areas such as marketing or general management, thanks to the transferable skills they’ve acquired on this course. This focus on developing well-rounded, highly skilled graduates gives our students the competitive advantage in the job market.

Our MSc Investment Analysis programme is recognised as an affiliated degree by CFA Institute through their University Affiliation Program. As a result, our MSc Investment Analysis programme has been acknowledged as incorporating at least 70 percent of the CFA Program Candidate Body of Knowledge (CBOK) and placing emphasis on the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. This recognition signals to potential students, employers, and the marketplace that our curriculum is closely tied to professional practice and is well-suited to preparing students to achieve the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation, which has become the most respected and recognized investment credential in the world. Through this partnership, Aston University has the ability to offer up to seven scholarships each year for students taking the CFA exams. The affiliation with CFA Institute adds value to the MSc Investment Analysis programme and demonstrates Aston University’s commitment to promote finance education and practice at the highest standards.

Our courses offer a range of opportunities to gain practical experience through things such as, consultancy projects and entrepreneurial opportunities. Find out more here. 

Course outline

This exciting masters programme is a fantastic platform to launch your career. You’ll benefit from a detailed insight into business finance, investment management and gain technical skills and first-hand experience in trading. We’ll develop your practical quantitative skills and enhance your employability by equipping you with a range of transferable skills crucial for securing graduate roles. By the end of the course, you’ll be well-placed to fulfil roles in the financial sector or pursue a career in other areas of business.

The course covers a wide range of stimulating subjects, including the valuation of investments, trading techniques, portfolio management and corporate finance from a broad as well as an international perspective. You’ll learn key theories to give you thorough grounding in these areas but also develop a practical understanding of how these various concepts and models are applied in real-life business scenarios.

We will ensure you have a clear understanding of the fundamentals relating to investments and what you should be looking for when making investment decisions. We explore equity, debt and derivative markets in domestic and international sectors. You’ll undertake security valuation and financial distress exercises and we explain various other techniques used by financial traders.

What sets this programme apart from other courses is our strong focus on the practical application of technical skills in a trading or corporate financial setting. You’ll get the chance to gain hands on experience working with real-time financial and economic data, thanks to our dedicated trading room facility and industry software. Your exposure to these practical tools and techniques will make you stand out to employers and give you the competitive advantage over other graduates.

Our teaching staff are committed to sharing their knowledge and expertise in order to provide you with a high-quality education. You’ll be taught by leading academics with a variety of specialisms in the field of finance, economics and investments. The School is also made up of chartered financial analysts and you’ll benefit from their experience of how investment management works in real-life.  

We use a variety of teaching methods to enable you to get the most from the course. There are practical activities, including simulation exercises, reflective case studies, collaborative group work, thought-provoking class discussion as well as inspiring lectures and tutorials. This allows you to explore, test and apply what you’ve learnt and gives you a deeper understanding of your subject.

During the summer term, you will have the opportunity to attend a CFA® (Chartered Financial Analyst) workshop conducted by the university and designed to help students taking or intending to take the CFA Level I examination. “CFA Institute is the premier global association for investment management professionals” - www.cfainstitute.org 

CFA® is a registered trademark owned by CFA Institute.

Fees and scholarships

Fees 2020/21

UK/EU: £10,550
International: £20,350

Scholarships
Find out more about our scholarships here.  

Subject guide and modules
  • Valuation of Investments (A)
    This module covers fixed income and focuses on bonds. The topics covered in the module have close resemblance to those in the CFA Program and this module should benefit you, especially if you are preparing to take the CFA exams. There is a focus on both theoretical and practical knowledge.
  • Valuation of Investments (B)
    During this module you will build on your knowledge of stocks and fixed-income assets, and you will develop an understanding of how option and future markets operate in practice. We will explore various trading and hedging strategies with derivatives and you will learn how to apply option-pricing models.
  • Quantitative Methods for Finance 
    We will bring you up to speed with the key statistical analysis techniques used for analysing data. The skills set you will develop will not only be relevant to draw inferences from various types of data for making policy recommendations or investment decisions but will also lay the foundations for studying advanced econometric techniques.
  • Trading Techniques
    This module provides you with a detailed understanding of how financial markets work in practise and examine what affects market prices. You’ll learn how to interpret real-time news and macroeconomic data to assess the potential impacts on the prices of foreign exchange rates, stock market indices and commodities. Then using critical reasoning, identify the performance of financial assets.
  • Security Analysis
    This module is concerned with the determination of the fair value of financial securities by using the appropriate technical tools. The focus is on the fundamental analysis of firm earnings with a view of analysing and explaining how business value is created.
  • Investment Management
    This module deals with major issues currently of concern to individual and institutional investors. It provides investment management fundamentals and techniques within the finance industry. Capital markets, portfolio theory and applied portfolio management used by practitioners and professionals are examined.
  • Business Finance
    In this module you will learn the key principles and challenges of financial management decisions, develop an understanding of the characteristics influencing factors and the advantages and disadvantages of different forms of financing. You'll also apply mathematical techniques to support a range of business decisions such as the valuation of shares and the evaluation of investment opportunities.
  • International Finance
    This module explores current challenges and issues faced by organisations in the global market place. We look at how the international financial environment can affect firms and their strategies, specifically what steps they take to negate these risks. For example, firms hedging against currency fluctuations.
  • The Aston Global Advantage
    The Aston Global Advantage is our professional development programme that runs throughout all MSc programmes at Aston Business School. Focusing on professional development and employability, this integrated module gives you the opportunity to identify, develop and apply the key transferrable skills you will gain throughout the year. 
  • Business Project or Dissertation
    The business project/dissertation is a chance for you to carry out an original piece of work applying material that you have learnt in the taught element of your degree. Specific requirements will be explained relating to different degree programmes but in summary you must demonstrate both theoretical and practical knowledge of your chosen area of specialism.The course concludes with an investment analysis project. Using the skills you’ve learnt during the programme, you’ll conduct a detailed research project to identify whether a real-life FTSE firm is a good investment opportunity or not. You’ll review the financial performance of the firm, its competitors and its business activities and make recommendations based on your findings.
Learning, teaching and assessment

We’re committed to helping you get the most out of your studies and use a range of modern and engaging teaching methods to ensure this.

There’s a mix of lectures and tutorials, which provide you with key concepts in finance, investments and economics. Case studies allow you apply your knowledge to various scenarios. We also focus on helping you develop the practical skills needed for roles in corporate finance or investment banking. For example, you’ll take part in various workshops where you’ll gain experience working with trading software used in the banking sector. This will allow you to access real-time economic and financial data and gain hands-on experience in trading.

An innovative teaching approach used as part of this programme is the ‘flipped classroom’. You’ll be able to watch pre-recorded lectures online using our digital learning platform. Then weekly workshops focus on discussing the key aspects of the material and participating in activities to test and apply what you’ve learnt. This approach helps to enhance your knowledge and understanding of your subject.

We use a variety of assessment methods for this course. There’s a mix of exams, coursework, and simulation.

Classroom activities

Flipped classroom – This innovative approach allows students to access pre-recorded lecture content and reading materials from our online learning platform. You will then attend weekly workshops to discuss the key aspects of the material and participate in group activities that helps you to apply your knowledge. You will also have opportunities to put theories into practice using case studies and present your ideas to your classmates. This innovative approach provides greater interaction and engagement with the module content and helps to enhance your knowledge, understanding and practical skills.

Gamification - Here we use an inventive approach for exploring the reasons for anomalies in financial markets. An experiment takes place where groups of students are asked a question requiring a numeric answer. Subliminal techniques are then used to try to prompt students to give wildly incorrect responses. You’ll see how it’s possible for investors to be unknowingly influenced when making decisions and how you can try to prevent this.

 

 

The Aston Global Advantage

More than a Masters

The Aston Global Advantage is an integrated module which runs throughout your course. Focusing on professional development and employability, this module gives you the opportunity to identify, develop and apply the key skills you will gain throughout the year. You'll have the opportunity to:

  • Develop your academic skills
  • Build a portfolio of professional business skills
  • Study abroad with one of our international partners, undertake an internship placement in the UK or overseas or get involved in a global business challenge simulation.
Student experience and employability

Overseas opportunities 

Our extensive network of university partners includes some of the highest ranked business schools in the Europe, such as EDHEC Business School in France, as well as other highly regarded universities across the world. You can study in Australia, China, Singapore, USA and a host of other countries. Recent MSc Investment Analysis students spent time at Copenhagen Business School and at the University of South Africa.

All of our overseas study programmes are all tuition-free and lectures and assessments are in English.

Placements

A work placement taken as part of your masters programme can be hugely beneficial to your career prospects. It will enhance your CV and can give you a competitive advantage when applying for graduate roles.

As part of this course you’ll have the opportunity to undertake a work placement. Choose a company of your choice, in the UK or overseas, and spend from one month up to 12 months gaining valuable work experience.

MSc Investment Analysis students have been successful in gaining work placements for leading companies in the financial sector. One of our students recently spent time with global investment giants, Rothschild and Co whilst others spent time with established financial services companies, including Wesleyan, based in Birmingham.  

There’s also the unique opportunity for you to support start-up businesses and local SMEs with real-life business projects through our Aston Business Clinic. You’ll work to solve strategic problems and make a real positive impact to growing businesses.

Our careers team will be on hand to help you find work placements and graduate positions. The team are also available to assist you with your CV and interview technique.

Trips and visits

In recent years our students have benefitted from insightful educational visits. For example, we’ve visited the London Stock Exchange enabling students to gain a deeper understanding of who the key industry players are, from the investors to the regulators. It’s also a chance to appreciate the current challenges facing the sector.

A number of guest speakers will help to deliver your lecture programme. This will give you with the chance to learn from investment bankers and other professionals in the financial sector. You’ll gain a key insight into their roles and responsibilities and further enhance your understanding of the field.

A large number of graduate employers visit campus during the year. There are careers fairs, networking events and much more. You’ll have the chance to discover a wide range of graduate opportunities and speak with companies to see where’s the best place for you to start your career.

Erasmus+

Study or work in another country

The University has secured Erasmus+ mobility funding for students going on placement during the academic year 2019/20.  For students planning their placement in the academic year 2020/21, Erasmus+ mobility funding will be dependent on the Exit date and whether a Withdrawal deal is agreed. The University’s Brexit information page is regularly being updated and will have the latest information.

Bloomberg Trading Room

The Bloomberg Trading Room at Aston Business School gives you a taste of working on a real trading floor. The Trading Room consists of 21 Bloomberg Terminals, allowing you to access Bloomberg market data, analytics and information. It provides simulation of what it is like to work in the financial industry and provide experience of a real life trading floor environment.

Here at Aston we continue to invest in facilities to enhance student experience and employability.

What's it like to study at Aston?

Our MSc in Investment Analysis helped Antoine secure his dream job working in mergers and acquisitions in Paris.

What's it like to study at Aston?

Aston has a unique position: its walking distance from the centre of the second largest city in the UK and simultaneously a small campus where you can get to lectures in five minutes.

Maria Stoyneva 
Asset Wealth Management, Deutsche Bank
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