MSc Finance & Accounting
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Online pre-study modules & Foundation modules

Online pre-study modules

Before the programme begins you will be expected to complete some online pre-study modules which are delivered through The Hub, Imperial College Business School’s virtual learning environment. These modules will be available to students who have accepted an offer of admission from July onwards, and are designed to give you a basic knowledge of areas which will be covered by the programme throughout the academic year.

Accounting Primer

This module introduces the basic financial statements, namely the balance sheet, the income statement and the cash flow statement. The basic pro-forma of these statements, how they are prepared, and their limitations are explained. It is imperative for business people to be able to interpret and analyse this information to support good decision-making. The Accounting Primer module is assessed by a multiple choice test in October. The marks will not count towards your final grade but it is a programme requirement that you pass it.

Career and Professional Development

Complete the first stage of your career journey whilst at the Business School: the careers pre-course work.

This online module will take you through the process of identifying what career might be right for you and ensure you are best placed to start working with the careers team as soon as you start the programme.

Note: you will not be able to access Imperial College Business School Careers until you have completed this course.

Finance Careers Primer

This online module requires you to refine and upload your CV in line with the Imperial College template through the CV development process.

A webinar will provide an overview of roles in the financial services industry and cover aspects of the recruitment process.

Introduction to Finance

This online learning module introduces you to basic concepts in finance and financial valuation models.

When you have completed the module you will be able to:

  • Use the time value of money to value assets
  • Understand how risky cash flows are valued
  • Calculate spot and forward rates
  • Understand how a yield curve is obtained
  • Understand how portfolio selection problem is solved
  • Implement the CAPM equation to estimate the rate of return on risky assets

Introduction to Maths

This module reviews mathematical techniques that you will generally have encountered in your earlier studies.

When you have completed the online module, you’ll be able to:

  • Take derivatives and integrate simple commonly encountered functions
  • Employ product and chain rules and integrate by parts
  • Understand and manipulate simple equations involving vectors and matrices
  • Be familiar with commonly encountered matrix functions such as determinants and eigenvectors
  • Understand simple properties of linear ordinary differential equations

Plagiarism Awareness

In this short module, we will explain the key academic issues relating to deliberate and accidental plagiarism including what it is, the different types of plagiarism and the notion of academic integrity, as well as providing advice on how to avoid plagiarism in your work. You are required to complete and pass the online plagiarism awareness test during the autumn term.

Study Skills

These optional interactive modules provide practical advice on working in groups, delivering presentations, and time management. They contain videos of recent students describing their experiences of studying at the Business School, some of the challenges they faced, and suggestions on how to overcome these.

An English Language Development section is also available for non-native speakers of English who wish to practice their skills and develop subject-specific vocabulary. You can upload your writing for detailed feedback from a language tutor.

Foundation modules

You will study one foundation module in September that introduces the tools of modern finance and enhances your career development skills.

Foundations in Finance & Accounting

This module develops your confidence with the basics of programming in R and the most important techniques of statistics and probability, tailored to applications in finance, risk management and financial engineering.

It also provides you with  the understanding of the main financial instruments including debt, equity and financial derivatives and of the concepts of market efficiency, portfolio risk and diversification.

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MSc Finance & Accounting - core modules

Core modules

Core modules build rapidly on previous experience while introducing new and challenging disciplines. Three modules comprise 18 hours of lectures, the rest 27 hours of lectures.

Advanced Corporate Finance

This module will develop the ideas introduced in the earlier module Corporate Finance. Particular emphasis will be placed on linking the conceptual tools taught earlier to real business decisions through the use of case studies.

Applied Econometrics

This module will acquaint you with the range of econometrics techniques which are an essential part of modern advanced empirical research. The model will be taught through a series of formal lectures, classes and computer based experiences. You will learn to analyse data from any source using a wide variety of techniques.

Corporate Finance

Corporate finance is at the heart of investment banking and crucial to running a successful business in any sector. In this module you cover all the key elements of company finance, valuation and risk management.  You will learn to understand how to assess individual investment projects, value companies, and evaluate the sources of finance available to companies.

Ethics and Professional Standards in Finance (Online Module)

This online module aims to introduce you to corporate responsibility and professional standards for financial analysts. You will be taken through a review of the key factors and responsibilities for ethical practice in finance. At the end of the module, you will have a compulsory test, which must be passed before you can be awarded the MSc.

Financial Accounting

This module emphasises accounting from the perspective of a user of financial reports. The “user perspective” requires us to consider the uses to which that financial reporting information can and cannot be put, which, in turn, requires an understanding of how accountants prepare corporate financial reports. You will gain a solid understanding of the fundamental concepts underlying financial reporting systems, the role of judgments and estimates in the preparation and interpretation of financial reports, how to read, analyse and interpret financial reports and how to forecast future financial statements and free cash flows.

Fundamentals of Derivatives

In this module you will learn to develop and apply the techniques learnt in the Investments and Portfolio Management module to the pricing of a range of financial derivatives and to the determination of interest rates at different maturities. By the end of the module you will have an in-depth understanding of valuation techniques applicable in a variety of financial markets and sought after by prospective employers.

Investments and Portfolio Management

This module provides you with a critical understanding of techniques used for investments and portfolio management. The module is accompanied by case studies and realistic practical examples that you will solve each week using R. By the end of the module you will be able to implement trading strategies and portfolio construction methods in a wide range of assets.

Management Accounting

This is a cutting-edge module that includes some of the latest thinking and tools to address modern management accounting issues. Modern management accounting comprises techniques for the analysis and improvement of firm performance in four general areas: financial performance, process performance, customer performance, and learning performance. This module will look at methods of performance analysis in all four areas.

Imperial College Business School reserves the right to alter modules whenever they need to be amended or improved. Faculty may also change as and when required.

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MSc Finance & Accounting - core modules CTA
The vast module selection is one of the best things Imperial College Business School has to offer. You are constantly driven to strike a balance between the academic approach and practical applications. The programme allows for nurturing of this invaluable skill and, alongside world-leading expertise on the subjects you are studying, allows for immense growth potential.
MSc Finance & Accounting 2020
Darya Zakharova, MSc Finance & Accounting 2019-20, student at Imperial College Business School