Two students studying with laptops in Imperial courtyard
Administrative label
Pre study module

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 assumes no prior knowledge and covers the key accounting principles needed before starting the programme. The Accounting Primer module is assessed by a one-hour multiple choice test before the programme begins. The marks will not count towards your final grade but it is a programme requirement that you pass it.

Career Primer

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 the 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 also 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 before the start of the autumn term.

Study Skills

These optional interactive courses 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 Risk Management & Financial Engineering

By the end of this module you will:
• Be confident with the basics of programming in R
• Have developed an understanding of the main financial instruments including debt, equity and financial derivatives and of the concepts of market efficiency, portfolio risk and diversification.
• Be able to master the most important techniques of statistics and probability, tailored to applications in finance, risk management and financial engineering.
• Be able to use the basics of data management systems using Python with finance applications
• Appreciate and understand the various ways to adjust project financing

Administrative label
Core Modules

Core modules

Develop a solid financial knowledge base

You’ll study six core modules, an additional VBA module which will provide you with comprehensive and systematic training in the mechanisms and techniques involved in quantitative financial modelling and an online module in Ethics and Professional Standards in Finance. The core modules are taught through lectures, interspersed with quantitative case studies allowing students to work on real-world problems faced by financial firms, using extensive data sets and computer programs.

Financial Statistics

Technical work in financial institutions frequently involves the analysis of data. This core module will ensure you have a solid foundation in statistical inference and econometrics, with particular emphasis on the special features that are prevalent in finance and in the management of financial risks.

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.

Risk Management and Valuation

This module covers the identification of categories of risk faced by financial institutions such as credit, market, liquidity, operational, reputational risks.

Stochastic Calculus

Quantitative finance is based on the mathematical analysis of stochastic processes. This module offers a practice-oriented introduction into the body of mathematical theory that is used to analyse the dynamics of asset prices. By the end of the module you will have a solid grounding in the field.

Empirical Finance: Methods and Applications

This module introduces you to more complex econometric techniques which are an essential part of modern advanced empirical research. You will be able to analyse data from any source using a wide variety of techniques.

Financial Engineering

This module will cover financial engineering – the use of mathematical and computational methods to make trading, hedging and investment decisions.

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.

Visual Basic for Applications (VBA)

This module will introduce you to the programming language Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) for Microsoft Excel. It covers introductory and intermediate topics to equip students with the basic skills necessary to create VBA projects and more advanced topics of data manipulation and visual interfaces. The module assumes little or no programming language experience.

My favourite module has been Financial Engineering, a core module in the spring semester. It provides comprehensive knowledge in valuation across asset classes and risk modelling in the backdrop of CDS-bond and cryptocurrencies, all of which are helpful in my career path to be an asset manager. Moreover, Dr Enrico Biffis is so passionate and knowledgeable that I am never distracted in his lectures.
MSc Risk Management & Financial Engineering 2021
Pattie Zhang, MSc Risk Management & Financial Engineering 2020-21, student at Imperial College Business School