MSc Finance admissions
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Online pre-study 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.

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

Foundations for Career Success

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.

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 before the start of 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 module

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

Foundations in Finance

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 - Core modules

Core modules

Core modules build rapidly on previous experience while introducing new and challenging disciplines. Each module comprises 27 hours of lectures.

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.


In this module you’ll 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’ll have an in-depth understanding of valuation techniques applicable in a variety of financial markets and sought after by prospective employers.

Ethics & Professional Standards in Finance (online module)

This online module aims to introduce students 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 Econometrics

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

International Experience Trip

The aim and learning outcomes of this study trip is to provide students with international experience within an EU centre of business, and to facilitate the current and future alumni networks of the student cohort.

The first day will likely comprise company visits, panel discussions and/or guest speaker presentations from within the financial and investment sectors. The second day will comprise a team-building activity with emphasis on developing personal skills and networking.

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’ll be able to implement trading strategies and portfolio construction methods in a wide range of assets.

Languages (online module)

As part of our commitment to diversity, you are expected to enrich your experience and gain new cultural insights by studying a language such as Spanish, French, German, Mandarin, Japanese, Russian or Arabic, using a technology-driven approach. You will have access to language classes on campus and premium access to an innovative app.

Macro Finance

This module looks at the link between the real economy and financial valuations, known as macro-finance. You will learn to understand macroeconomic fluctuations and the implications for different asset prices with particular emphasis given to the role of monetary and fiscal policy in determining the macroeconomic environment and asset prices.

Mathematics for Finance

Success in modern finance requires a solid grasp of mathematics. This module introduces you to a range of essential mathematical tools and their financial applications. By the end of the module you’ll be ready to excel in any area of finance.

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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CTA MSc Finance
The Investments and Portfolio Management (IPM) and Derivatives modules are great. The IPM module is very good at creating a big picture and lets you see how different market participants interact. Derivatives is a module that really makes you think, but once you get a grasp of it, you learn a lot. Both professors that lead the modules make the lectures very interesting to listen to.
MSc Finance 2020
Anastasia Malakhova, MSc Finance 2019-20, student at Imperial College Business School