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The MSc in Business Finance is designed to enhance students' understanding of the operation of the firm, with a special focus on the financing decisions it must make. This requires an evaluation of the firms relationship to financial markets. It also requires an understanding of the theory and practice underlying corporate finance and investment decisions. By studying the operation and design of corporate financial systems, and analysing business financing and investment decisions, this Masters programme should enable students to find a role within the finance department of large firms or in government bodies, as well as provide them with tools to help organise smaller businesses.
The objective of the Business Finance MSc is to produce graduates with a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of business finance and company valuation within the context of modern financial markets, without necessarily requiring a high level of mathematical or statistical knowledge as a prerequisite. The key transferable research skills acquired will enable students to proceed to PhD study. In addition, the programme will equip students with the key skills required to undertake further professional development and seek career opportunities within financial management.
The aim of the Masters in Business Finance programme is to provide a rigorous treatment of the theory of corporate finance as well as to provide students with the econometric and mathematical techniques necessary to understand the literature and undertake empirical investigations in the area of finance.
Through a selection of optional modules, this postgraduate programme is designed to offer you the opportunity to obtain more specialised knowledge through options such as Financial Reporting in Capital Markets or International Finance, and International Accounting Standards and Policy or Investment Valuation Models.
The full-time Business Finance Masters programme is designed with four equally weighted modules in each of the first two terms, with three being compulsory and one an option from a list. The dissertation carries one third of the marks for the course and is undertaken after the modules have been completed. The part-time option is designed with two modules in each of four terms. The compulsory modules give an excellent coverage of core material in finance designed in a way to be applicable to business. The Business Finance MSc analyses the theory and practice of business finance, focusing on financial decision making within the firm and how the firm interacts with the financial markets and institutions.
Through the compulsory modules, the course provides students with a rigorous treatment of the theory of corporate finance as well as to providing econometric and mathematical techniques necessary to understand the literature and undertake empirical investigations in the area of finance.
Through the optional modules the course is also designed to offer a broader perspective on the subject matter and allows you to cover specific areas in accounting and finance that is of particular interest to you.
Modules are subject to change.
Essentials of Mathematics and Statistics: This module ensures that students have a systematic comprehension of the required minimum knowledge of mathematics and statistics to successfully meet the learning outcomes at postgraduate level. This course covers all the preparatory technical material needed to undertake the MSc Business Finance programme, and feeds into all assessed modules.
Quantitative Methods for Business Finance: This module provides an introduction to statistical techniques needed in the study of business and finance. The materials and explanations that will be presented are suitable for an introductory course on quantitative methods or statistics. The module assumes no previous knowledge of econometrics and is designed to give a thorough understanding of core econometrics. In particular, students will learn how to (a) perform a statistical analysis and undertake hypothesis testing and (b) perform a simple and multiple regression analysis.
Foundations of Finance: On completion of this module students will have an understanding of various financial instruments, markets and concepts which are necessary when conducting the corporate investment decision. Topics include bond and equity markets and instruments, discounting, compounding and the time value of money, the decision rules relating to the capital budgeting techniques and their application, the incorporation of risk and uncertainty into an investment decision, including portfolio theory and the Capital Asset Pricing Model.
Business Economics: Students will develop a sound knowledge of the theory of business economics and its applications, as well as acquiring an understanding of (i) the relationship between government and business and (ii) the macroeconomic environment of business. Topics include fundamental economic problems, analysing market structure, business strategy in different market structures, business activity, employment and inflation, globalisation and multinational business.
Company Valuation: This module discusses the fundamental approach to company valuation and applies the fundamental analysis in different contexts, such as security valuation and credit risk. In addition, the module examines the limitations of corporate financial statements in the context of company valuation.
Business Finance: This module aims to provide students with an understanding of the financing decisions and policy of modern corporations.
Business Finance Workshop: Following successful completion of this module, students will be able to: demonstrate a sound knowledge of the operation of financial markets and the theory underpinning corporate finance policy; understand how theory and applications are linked in practice and be able to relate this to the techniques used to model financial decisions and markets. Students will see the methods that arise in other modules being applied to different types of financial data from different countries, and gain a better understanding of how they are used in a corporate environment.
Dissertation: The objective of the dissertation is to bring to bear the techniques and perspectives covered in the taught part of the course upon a specific issue of interest. The dissertation should provide an independent and critical appraisal of an issue, normally (although not always) involving an empirical analysis of the topic being investigated. Although the dissertation is likely to be empirical in nature and will probably involve the use of econometric modelling, it is not about econometrics. The dissertation sets out to investigate a question/issue/problem of interest, and in this context, econometrics is simply a tool that helps us address and answer the question of interest.
Students must choose two optional modules from the following.
Financial Reporting in Capital Markets: This module covers a variety of financial reporting issues related to the capital market: accounting for valuation with special emphasis on cash flows and revenue recognition; capital market efficiency related to financial statements announcement and financial analysts forecast; corporate disclosure and corporate governance (The Cadbury Report and The Combined Code on Corporate Governance); financial statements as the measurement of economic income and value.
International Finance: The aim of this module is to analyse the international financial system. In particular, it considers the operation of foreign exchange markets, including forward, futures and option markets. Special attention is paid to the use of currency derivatives for hedging and pricing decisions, discussing issues of foreign exchange risk management and international capital budgeting. In addition, the use of such instruments in speculation is assessed, relating them to key equilibrium notions. The main theories of exchange rate determination are analysed, discussing arguments in favour of fixed exchange rates/target zones and under which conditions these result in speculative attacks and/or currency crises.
International Accounting Standards and Policy: This module introduces and evaluates key accounting issues related to International Financial Reporting Standards required by investors. For example, the economic role of accounting standards, provisions and contingent liabilities, business combination, accounting for executive share options, financial instruments, pension accounting, and recent accounting topics in academic research e.g. accounting conservatism and accounting information environment.
Investment Valuation Models: This module analyses how financial market information (corporate, country-specific and global information) can be used to estimate the value of different investments. It covers a range of different models that are available to an analyst performing investment valuation, while presenting the common elements in these models to provide a framework that can be used to select the right model for any valuation scenario.
- Essentials of Mathematics and Statistics
- Foundations of Finance
- Quantitative Methods for Business Finance
- Business Finance Workshop
- Business Finance
- Business Economics
- Company Valuation
Students must choose two optional modules from the following:
- Financial Reporting in Capital Markets
- International Finance
- International Accounting Standards and Policy
- Investment Valuation Models
- The Dissertation must be submitted in the spring term of the third year.
The Brunel International Scholarships
The Brunel International Scholarship Programme is an annual award run by the Brunel International office that is open to all international students. Its goal is to provide financial support to exceptional students. Scholarship holders will go on to represent Brunel as ambassadors throughout their time at the University. The deadline for applying for the 2014/15 programme is 25 May 2014 and all applicants will be notified of the panel's decision by the middle of July.
For 2014/15, thanks to the generosity of Brunels alumni and supporters, we are pleased to be able to offer 37 awards, which will comprise a15% discountonthe cost of tuition fees. These awards are open to Undergraduate, Postgraduate and Research students who are classed as overseas for fee purposes.