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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 that will be covered by the programme throughout the academic year.

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Foundation module

Foundation module

In September, you will study a foundation module that will introduce the tools of modern finance, enhance your programming knowledge and help you to develop your commercial awareness and career development skills. It is made up of the following parts: 

The module is designed for students with little programming experience and provides the foundations of programming in R. Variables, arrays, conditional statements, loops, and functions are explained. Furthermore, the module will focus on modelling, leveraging the skills of R that apply to modern financial markets, from simple linear regression and estimation to volatility modelling, asset pricing and other relevant topics in finance.

As big data problems are more and more prevalent for business, this module also looks at the practical usage of databases with the main emphasis on SQL and how to efficiently process large sets of data.

After a brief overview of the aims of financial intermediation, this component focuses on the principal user of capital; the corporation.  You will examine its legal and organisational structure, and discuss how it reports its activities in the annual accounts. Probably a company’s most important decision is which projects to invest in. After being introduced to the time value of money, you will discuss various investment or capital budgeting decision rules.

In the second half of the component, you will focus on techniques to value securities and in particular common shares, both theoretically and through a number of case examples. You will discuss how financial analysts might approach this problem, and techniques that are used to verify or corroborate their estimates of fair value. You will also examine the choice of project financing, how the capital is sourced and how it may an impact on the value of the project to the investors. This is referred to as the capital structure question.

This component provides a broad overview of key financial markets; Stocks, Bonds and Derivatives and introduces the concepts of risk and return and how diversification influences risk and return.

This component of the module will serve as an introduction to the Python programming language, with the goal of becoming proficient in organising and writing medium-sized programmes for practical problem-solving cover debugging and good programming practices.

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Core modules

Core modules

Throughout the autumn, spring and summer terms, you will study core modules across key areas to build on previous experience while introducing new and challenging disciplines.

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.

Over the past few years, there has been an explosion of interest in the use of large datasets and new empirical techniques to make financial decisions of all kinds. In this elective we examine how the combination of large datasets, empirical techniques including machine learning, and insights from behavioural finance are helping in making more efficient financial decisions. Two areas in which progress has been especially rapid are credit analytics (predicting default in personal loans, mortgages, and firms), and asset management. This elective focuses on these specific markets, considering them from supply, demand, and regulatory perspectives. You will build empirical models to illustrate important concepts throughout the elective.

Through this module, you will gain an understanding of the core value proposition of blockchain technology and how its etymology drives the new zeitgeist.
You will also learn the canonical technology (Bitcoin & Ethereum), their challenges along with current thinking about how to overcome them, while also gaining insight on raising capital from and valuing the token-based economy.

This module will 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. There are eight sections in total for students to complete. Each section will include video commentary, a web-based lecture, suggested readings, practical examples and discussion questions to test the key concepts learned in that section.

This module builds on the introductory module and introduces basic programming in R to perform statistical analysis using the R Studio editor. You will apply your skills to empirical finance applications like stock market predictability using different factors from the literature. The module will also build on basic programming skills in Python to perform similar analysis but also as applied to financial modelling like options pricing and financial modelling.

This module provides you with a critical understanding of techniques used for investments and portfolio management. The teaching is accompanied by case studies and realistic practical examples that you will solve each week using programming software such as 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.

The aim of this module is to introduce students to the theory of asset pricing and relevant mathematical tools. Throughout this module you will learn to demonstrate comprehensive knowledge of the fundamental concepts in asset pricing, such as state prices, arbitrage, payoff replication, and risk-neutral pricing. Furthermore, you will learn to evaluate the key concepts in individual decision-making and market equilibrium, as they relate and give rise to asset prices.

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.

"I would definitely recommend this programme for someone that is passionate in learning more about the field of fintech. The modules are a perfect blend of both finance as well as programming, big data, and tech-related learnings."
MSc Financial Technology 2021
Lakshmi Venkatesh, MSc Financial Technology 2020-21, student at Imperial College Business School