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This part-time course meets the requirements of the Senior Investment/Commercial Banking Professional (Level 7) Apprenticeship Standard. Eligible organisations are able to use £18,000 of their Apprenticeship Levy towards the £21,000 course tuition fees. View Fees and Funding information or find out more about Master's Apprenticeships

The Retail and Digital Banking MSc provides a unique opportunity for you to gain an advanced-level understanding of retail banking, digital business, management, organisation management, marketing and business strategy.

Drawing on faculty from across Cranfield School of Management, the programme is led by Cranfield’s Economic Policy and Performance Group, which has been consistently ranked top 10 in the Financial Times Global MBA Ranking for its teaching of economics in relation to our full-time MBA programme.

The course has been designed to meet the requirements of the Level 7 Senior Investment/Commercial Banking Professional Master’s Degree Apprenticeship Standard, enabling you to perform efficiently in the highly competitive and fast changing retail and digital banking sector.

Additionally, the Retail and Digital Banking MSc also provides employer organisations the ability to sponsor multiple high potential employees through this programme.

Overview

  • Start date22 March 2021
  • Duration2 years part-time
  • DeliveryTaught modules 65%, Organisation-based project 35%
  • QualificationMSc, PgDip
  • Study typePart-time
  • CampusCranfield campus, Online

Who is it for?

  • Self-motivated individuals with technical backgrounds (e.g. IT, mathematics, etc.) who wish to gain a good knowledge of finance, management and retail banking.
  • Experienced professionals with a background in finance, who wish to have a detailed understanding of the link between finance, management and technology in financial services.

Why this course?

  • You will learn advanced-level understanding of the various dimensions of retail banking (and product management) and several aspects of general management, e.g. analysis of the economic environment, organisational management, marketing and business strategy.
  • The programme will improve your critical awareness of management and organisations, and enhance your skills to successfully address financial and management challenges within your organisation.
  • A workplace-based project provides the opportunity for you to tackle a substantial product management task within your organisation, under the guidance of academic supervisors.
  • You will benefit from a combination of online and face-to-face teaching, providing you with the flexibility to work around existing commitments.
  • Not only will this MSc broaden and deepen your professional network, you'll also join Cranfield’s active alumni network of 65,000 managers and leaders across the globe.
  • This MSc incorporates School of Management’s experiences and learning from our top 10 ranked Master in Finance and Management, top five ranked MSc in Management and highly ranked Executive MBA.

Informed by Industry

This course has been designed in consultation with senior banking practitioners, academic experts and the Chartered Banker Institute, reinforcing its relevance to the modern financial world. Our faculty are also supported by a team of international visiting industry speakers and professors who bring the latest thinking and best practice into the classroom.

Course details

This MSc course comprises of 12 intensive taught modules and an organisation-based project. You will attend Cranfield for two face-to-face delivery blocks at the start and half way through the programme each year, alongside a mix of online and face-to-face learning, delivered via Canvas, to support and augment classroom learning.

You will undertake both a group consulting project and an organisation-based project and will be expected to present your findings to senior managers from the organisation involved.

Upon completion of the programme, you will be ready to advance your career within the retail and digital banking sector and contribute to the enhancement of your organisation's performance.

The aims of this course are:

  • To prepare students to tackle the world of retail and digital banking, partly through a strong balanced focus between theoretical perspectives and application. The learning objectives are based on those set out in the Senior Investment/Commercial Banking Professional apprenticeship standard and will be applied in practice during simulations, case study discussions, role plays within the taught part and in the workplace-based project.
  • To deliver advanced level study of retail and digital banking, the analysis of changing external context (particularly the digital environment) in which retail banks operate as well as the general management of banks
  • To develop a range of business knowledge and skills, including ethical behaviour and an ethical approach to business, together with self-awareness and personal development appropriate for career progression
  • To develop the ability to apply concepts and theories to complex management issues, both systematically and creatively, to advance the effectiveness and competitiveness of the employing organisation
  • To enhance lifelong learning through the development of transferable intellectual and study skills, personal development to enable self-direction and creativity, in order to contribute to business, the economy and society at large.

Course delivery

Taught modules 65%, Organisation-based project 35%

Organisation-based project

You will undertake an organisation-based project which involves tackling a substantial banking task within your organisation, under the guidance of an academic supervisor. You will present your findings to senior managers from the organisation involved.

Course modules

Compulsory modules
All the modules in the following list need to be taken as part of this course.

Economics of Financial Services

Module Leader
  • Professor Catarina Figueira
Aim

    To introduce the  concepts and techniques of Microeconomics (e.g. market analysis, price theory, rationality)  and Macroeconomics (e.g. inflation, exchange rates and interest rates) in a way which provides a core foundation for later applied financial analysis in a range of other courses on the MSc in Retail and Digital Banking.

    In the Context of the Financial markets, it is important that you are aware of the fundamental principles and concepts pertaining to Economic Theory per se. Studying economics not only provides knowledge for making decisions but it also offers a tool with which to approach questions such as the desirability of a particular financial investment opportunity, the benefits and costs of alternative choices, or the likely impacts of public policies in a particular sector and business.

Syllabus

    Initially, time is spent on discussion of a wide range of concepts relevant when examining micro and macro structures, particularly with respect to financial markets. In the next few sessions, an understanding of choice theory and rational economic decision making as it applies to a broad range of financial markets/services. Finally, the remaining sessions are devoted to the discussion of the concepts and ideas in macroeconomics which have a direct relevance to the financial sector.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should gain:

  1. An awareness of the concept of equilibrium as it applies to the micro and macro structures of a broad range of financial markets.
  2. An understanding of choice theory and rational economic decision making as it applies to the levels and structure of prices of assets in a broad range of financial markets.
  3. An understanding of monetary economics and the institutional context to which it applies.
  4. An ability to use economic theory.
  5. An ability to apply economic theory to real world problems, e.g. via case study analysis.

Accounting

Module Leader
  • Dr Matthias Nnadi
Aim

    The key objective for this course is that you develop a clear understanding of the basics of accounting.  By the end of the course, you will be able to interpret accounting information with confidence and use it to make decisions and be able to communicate accounting numbers to others.

Syllabus
    • The course is split approximately 50/50 between Financial Accounting and Management Accounting.
    • Financial Accounting covers the preparation and presentation of accounts by firms for outside parties such as shareholders or creditors.  
    • Such preparation is governed by certain fundamental principles and various rules.  
    • Over the first five sessions you will cover these principles and rules in order to understand how the key financial statements (income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement) are prepared. 
    • The module also covers the interpretation of financial statements.  This involves learning financial ratio analysis and interpreting the information contained in a full set of annual accounts.
    • The last five sessions are devoted to Management Accounting that covers internal accounting by managers for planning and control.  
    • You will cover the nature and classification of costs, break-even analysis, allocation of overheads; preparing and using budgets, variance analysis.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  1. Understand the fundamental principles of financial accounting.
  2. Prepare key financial statements from basic information.
  3. Analyse and interpret company accounts.
  4. Classify different types of costs and conduct break even analysis.
  5. Understand the different ways in which overheads can be allocated.
  6. Prepare budgets and interpret variances from budget.
  7. With this knowledge, be able to identify the financial information relevant to a wide range of business issues, using this information effectively for decision making, and also recognise the limitations of such information.

Financial Markets, Regulation and Ethics

Module Leader
  • Dr Walter Gontarek
Aim

    The course begins in Part I with an overview of the international financial markets, the major financial institution participants and product types. You will understand the roles, motivations and behaviours of market players including the importance of risk-taking. The role of regulation will be highlighted and examined in Part II. This will include the aims and structures of regulation. In Part III, you will examine, using a seminal textbook on business ethics the role and limitations of ethics in financial markets, ethical decision-making frameworks, and evaluate real world cases of lapses in culture and impact upon society and the markets. The challenge of identifying and promoting ethical behaviour will be acknowledged. 

Syllabus
    • This module will identify key financial intermediaries including banks and non-banks (i.e., FinTech firms, finance companies, mutual banks, multilateral banks, insurers, pensions, hedge funds, retail investors, shadow banks).
    • Financial products overview includes equity, subordinated debt (notably issued by financial institutions including their motivation), senior debt (including loans, bonds) as well as the role and consequences of deposit-taking/money market activities for financial institutions given the regulatory context of this module.
    • The role, advantages and dis-advantages and recent market developments associated with cash versus derivative markets will be identified and discussed.  Lastly, simple securitisations of credit portfolios will be examined both as a funding tool but how it was misused before the crisis in sub-prime markets.
    • Product types identified will include equity and debt (including loans and debt securities), investment banking/advisory, and asset/wealth management. Recent controversies will be looked at in market practice including the scope for market abuse, conflicts of interest, moral hazard, and financial institution misconduct.  Various stakeholders will be identified for the key market types.
    • You will investigate criticisms of financial market policies and shortcomings of supervision and review the response by regulators, notably in the banking sector for greater capital, more conservative liquidity provisions, and improved risk governance. Key corporate governance theories will be identified. While regulation presents a legal means to mitigate misconduct by institutions and individuals operating in the financial markets, ethical decision-making and an effective risk culture can offer greater hope over time when conventional supervision and law fail to live up to their promise. Two ethical-decision making frameworks will be introduced in a case study format, one from Jennings (2013) and the other via Ferrell et al. (2011).
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  1. Understand different financial market structures, players including their roles and respective stakeholders
  2. Develop a basic knowledge of key financial markets, major product types, and the scope for misconduct, agency failures and moral hazard
  3. Identify the aims, role and structures to provide financial markets supervision including their limitations and recent criticisms
  4. Identify the key theories for corporate governance and risk governance practices for financial institutions, and how governance mechanism may interact to impact performance or risk-taking
  5. Examine the potential for ethical behaviour and improved conduct to fill the void where law and regulations fail to succeed

Digital Banking

Aim

    The aim of the module is to enable you to critically evaluate the rapidly changing field of digital technology as it applies to the worlds of banking and financial services more generally. This will be achieved through the course participants developing a critical understanding of:

    • IT in historical perspective: from the 1970s to today.
    • Foundations: how the internet works. Networks, protocols, basic HTML and CSS, and how you get data from one place to another.
    • Consumer Impact: where have we come from and how is the future of banking being shaped by new technology paradigms. Focus on customer experience, key trends that are driving this.
    • Organisation: what does the digital megatrend mean for how you organise internally? Skills sets are less delineated, agile ways of working etc.
    • Future: what emerging trends promise the next wave of innovation (e.g. blockchain, AI)? What disruption is this likely to cause?

    The module aims to equip you with the knowledge and understanding to better manage digital technology-related decision-making within a banking context.

Syllabus
    • Digital 101: This part of the module deals with the fundamentals of how all digital products and services are created, regardless of industry.
    • Digital disruption in banking and financial services: This part of the module will look at how new digital technologies are changing banks and financial services.
    • Deeper dive on the dominant new technologies reshaping the industry: This part of the module looks in detail at the new technologies fast changing the banking industry so that you understand both what they are and also the strategic implications for the industry.
    • Response strategies: This part of the module explores how banks can respond to the rise of digital technologies and the best strategies to compete with new fintechs
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  • Ability to critically appraise the impact of new digital technologies on the operations of banking.
  • Ability to critically appraise the impact of new market entrants on the business model and competitive position of traditional banks.
  • Enhanced knowledge of how digital products and services are built and how this relates to underlying IT architecture.
  • Ability to be a ‘knowledgeable consumer’ of information related to new technologies such as blockchain and machine learning.
  • Ability to understand the avenues of organisational development and change open to banks to respond to market changes brought about by digital technology.

Financial Management

Module Leader
  • Dr Nemanja Radic
Aim

    The aim of the course is to equip you with effective financial tools but at the same time to develop your ability to evaluate and understand the reasons for resistance that the application of these tools may bring about from within the organisation and beyond. Handling such resistance requires awareness of the societal environment as well as leadership and management skills.

    To achieve these goals first part of the course is devoted to linking the finance function to the overall objectives of the firm.

    Another important challenge the course tackles is linking the theoretical issues to be covered with real life management and practice. We aim to achieve that by integrating the following aspects into the course:

    • Highlighting the practical application of theoretical financial models in the corporate context.
    • Presenting evidence on financial related practices in the corporate world and how these practices link to the material discussed in class.
    • Working through case studies to strengthen the link between practice and theory.
    • Analysing articles in the financial media using concepts and theories discussed in class.
Syllabus
    • Appraising capital investment projects.
    • Financing a business.
    • Corporate finance, including the cost of capital, sources of finance, capital structure and dividend policy.
    • Valuation.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  1. Acknowledge the conflicts of interests that may arise between the firm’s various stakeholders and have a handle on how these may be mitigated.
  2. Compare and contrast of alternative capital budgeting techniques and the underlying factors that determine their usage in practice by various types of organisation.
  3. Examine key concepts in finance including the time value of money, risk and return and the opportunity cost of capital.
  4. Analyse the factors that need to be considered in making financing decisions including those related to borrowing and dividend policy.
  5. Organise data for capital investment project appraisals and analyse the results, including the preparation and interpretation of cash forecasts
  6. Analyse investment risk.
  7. Be able to deal with complications in capital budgeting that arise due to factors such as inflation, taxation or capital rationing.
  8. Estimate the cost of equity, cost of debt and the weighted average cost of capital assess financial leverage using both income and capital measures.
  9. Carry out simple valuations of shares, bonds and whole companies.

Organisational Behaviour for Managers

Module Leader
  • Professor Emma Parry
  • Professor Richard Kwiatkowski
Aim
    • To provide an introduction to the individual and the group in the organisation – how and why people differ - and to introduce frameworks that aid interpersonal understanding, ethical thinking, communication and relationships.
    • To introduce the notion of personality and its application.
    • To consider the importance of relationships at work.
    • To introduce the concept of effective teams.
    • To explore the concept of leadership style.
    • To provide an introduction to power, politics and influence in organisations.
Syllabus
    • Overview of organisational behaviour theory.
    • Individual and team characteristics, using Myers-Briggs.
    • Leadership and management.
    • Ethical leadership
    • Organisational power and politics.
    • Negotiation skills.
    • Presentation skills.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  1. Identify the factors that affect peoples (including their own) behaviour within teams and organisations.
  2. Evaluate their own behaviours, showing knowledge of personal strengths and weaknesses.
  3. Use appropriate tools to demonstrate understanding of how individual differences affect interpersonal behaviours/interactions between people.
  4. Present organisational information in persuasive and interesting ways.
  5. Apply a range of leadership and management theories to real-life organisational settings.
  6. Discuss the nature and role of power, ethics and politics within organisations.
  7. Apply negotiation skills within organisations.

Retail Banking and Product Management

Aim

    The aims of this double module are to equip you with the skills, techniques and knowledge to:

    • Manage retail banking products in a way that is compliant with regulation, commensurate with good customer outcomes and able to deliver sound financial returns to the bank.
    • Develop new products and services, including strategy development, market entry analysis, and partnership creation capabilities. The module will draw on the subject coverage of other modules on the MSc, most notably Finance and Project Management modules.
    • Gain an understanding of product management best practise from a range of industries
    • Explain the importance of having access to and the regular synthesis of a range of data points to determine immediate and longer term priorities / allocation of resources.
    • To understand the role of risk management in retail banking and the role a product manager has in recognising risk, developing appropriate mitigating strategies and applying a suitable control framework to monitor key risk areas.
Syllabus
    • Introduction to the Product Lifecycle
    • New Product Development and Strategy
    • Product Management
    • Change Management and Products
    • Risk Management and Regulatory Compliance
    • Product Pricing and Product Financial Management
    • Finding and Negotiating Product and Services Partnerships
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  • Recognise the product management lifecycle, to enable them to be an effective product manager in a retail bank setting.
  • Lead new product development work inside the bank.
  • Pursue product changes within an organisational context.
  • Monitor, mitigate and control risks.
  • Balance economic profit with good customer, colleague and organisational outcomes.
  • Understand the role of Partnerships in modern product management, including how the next generation of partnerships are likely to work (e.g. be API-enabled).
  • Recognise the role of customer journeys in managing and improving products, how to optimise and best practise to avoid product silos.

Group Project Challenge and Action Learning

Aim

    To integrate the knowledge, and skills covered in other modules and apply it to your own organisational context as a learning group co-operating on a common project/s agreed with the company.

Syllabus

    Action learning is a methodology which relies on you to bring real life situations to your working group and receive support and challenge to encourage you to deepen knowledge and understanding, and improve skills.  It is not a taught syllabus but a form of collaborative inquiry.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate the integration of knowledge and skills by application of aspects of the certificate year to an organisational project.
  2. Examine and critique the development of a learning practice as an individual and as a group.
  3. Practice and critique the development of skills relating to team development, communication, problem solving, and emotional competence.

Programme and Project Management

Module Leader
  • Stephen Carver
Aim

    It is our contention that programmes and projects are the building blocks of strategy delivery and are therefore critical to any company’s success. Fundamentally project management requires a team of individuals with varied skills to come together to manage a project from start to finish. As the project lifecycle progresses new imperatives arise which must be dealt with. PPM provides a low risk learning environment for students to experience the difficulties and joys of successfully managing a project from start to finish and in addition PPM provides additional opportunities to practice personal development and increased confidence and self-awareness.

Syllabus

    It is our contention that programmes and projects are the building blocks of strategy delivery and are therefore critical to any company’s success. Fundamentally project management requires a team of individuals with varied skills to come together to manage a project from start to finish. As the project lifecycle progresses new imperatives arise which must be dealt with. PPM provides a low risk learning environment for students to experience the difficulties and joys of successfully managing a project from start to finish and in addition PPM provides additional opportunities to practice personal development and increased confidence and self-awareness.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to undertake programme and project management:

  1. Analysis: You will have worked on your own and in a team to dissect the information provided and then define, scope and schedule a project.
  2. Synthesis: Based on your analysis you will create/formulate a project management plan to execute the project through the simulation with your team.
  3. Evaluation: As a result of this module, you will improve your abilities at team building, identifying a project, evaluating the most appropriate approach for your team, monitoring and tracking your performance, and finally, bring the project to completion.
  4. Evaluation: Evaluate and assess your team’s performance, describe issues that contributed to the outcome you achieved and interpret your outcome.
  5. Overall: Through these activities you should feel more aware of what is involved in a project from start to finish and be better able to judge what is important and what is not to your project outputs. Project management has very little clear information and our aim is to help you develop confidence in the level of your competence to make important project related decisions correctly most of the time.

New Product and Service Development

Module Leader
  • Dr Abdelkader Aoufi
Aim

    Every organisation needs to develop innovative products, services and business models. As crucial (and often overlooked), is the need to develop innovative ways to deliver such products and services Operational excellence and improvement refers to achieving high performance of operations to reduce costs, and improve quality. To meet these challenges and stay ahead of the competition, successful organisations must adopt innovation and operational excellence that consistently strives to set new standards, with entirely new ways of executing operational activities, to increase efficiency (doing things the right way) and improve effectiveness (doing the right things)

    This module will help you to be equipped with the knowledge, skills and behavioural competencies required to innovate new products and services and support operational excellence and contribute significantly to the bottom line of your organisation.

Syllabus
    • Strategic role of NPSD.
    • Understanding, classifying and prioritising customer needs and business process strategies.
    • Tools and techniques for operational excellence.
    • Analysis and design of business models using techniques such as the business model canvas.
    • Analysis and design of services using techniques such as service blueprints.
    • Management of the new product development process.
    • SCRUM Model: Experience, gain valuable insights and reflect upon using an agile approach to NPD.
    • Design for Six Sigma (DFSS), Innovation, teamwork and continuous improvement.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  • Analyse and improve processes and ensure all operational improvement activities are linked to the achievement of an organisation’s strategic objectives.
  • Apply the simple, robust, structured and proven tools and techniques to operational excellence.
  • Examine the key capabilities, and their interrelationships, that underpin an organisational capability in new product and service development.
  • Critically apply and review the theoretical underpinning of innovation management to the process through which innovative technologies, services and business models are developed.
  • Review factors affecting choice of a NPD (New Product Development) / NSD (New Service Development) process.
  • Learn proven concepts, methodology and frameworks for innovating new product and service.

Marketing Management

Aim

    A crucial competence for general managers is an understanding of marketing strategy: in simple terms, analysing how a marketplace of customers can be divided into segments, which of these segments are key targets for the firm, determining the firm’s optimal value proposition for each segment is, and what financial results can be expected over a planning period of typically one to three years. This module teaches Cranfield’s world-leading step-by-step process for developing such a marketing strategy and documenting it in a marketing plan.

Syllabus
    • Strategic marketing in context.
    • 10 steps of the strategic marketing planning process.
    • Mission statements and organisational objectives.
    • The marketing audit and analytical tools.
    • Market maps and market segmentation.
    • SWOT analysis.
    • The Directional Policy Matrix.
    • Marketing objectives and strategies.
    • Product and pricing strategy.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  1. Understand the evolution and role of marketing and be able to describe the characteristics of a customer-centric organisation.
  2. Appreciate a series of marketing strategy tools and techniques and their application in practice.
  3. Recognise a successful marketing planning process including the importance of including managers from across functional areas of the business in the marketing planning process.
  4. Understand how to structure and prepare a comprehensive written strategic marketing plan for a senior management audience.
  5. Evaluate the quality of marketing analyses and strategies prepared by others.

Modelling and Analysis for Management

Module Leader
  • Dr Andrew Angus
Aim

    In the current competitive environment, it is vital that managers are able to understand the relationships between different business variables in order to appreciate the risks associated with their actions. It is also important that they are able to forecast business trends and to optimise their business strategies, given the level of uncertainty and time constraints they continuously face.

    This course aims to provide you with the ability to critically examine existing literature which can underpin the decision-making process and also to provide you with the skills to collect, process, analyse and present relevant data that will support your decisions. In addition, the module will also provide a platform which will help you engage with internal or external “clients”, undertake a project and, consequently, be able to make coherent and compelling recommendations to senior managers.

Syllabus
    • The principles of management research
    • The nature of quantitative analysis
    • The nature of qualitative analysis
    • Key stages in writing up a management project and presenting recommendations.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  1. Select and make use of appropriate quantitative and/or qualitative techniques for the analysis of business issues.
  2. Use frameworks and analytical tools to structure analysis and recommendations which are supported by data in a consultancy engagement.
  3. Locate, interpret and critically appraise and use research evidence.
  4. Understand how to build effective internal and/or external “client” relationships.
  5. Present key findings effectively to senior managers; ensuring that substantive recommendations are developed as a result of competent data collection and analysis.

Modules

Keeping our courses up-to-date and current requires constant innovation and change. The modules we offer reflect the needs of business and industry and the research interests of our staff. As a result, they may change or be withdrawn due to research developments, legislation changes or for a variety of other reasons. Changes may also be designed to improve the student learning experience or to respond to feedback from students, external examiners, accreditation bodies and industrial advisory panels.

To give you a taster, we have listed above the compulsory and elective (where applicable) modules which are currently affiliated with this course. All modules are indicative only, and may be subject to change for your year of entry.


Accreditation

Accredited by the Chartered Banker Institute, with successful completion of this MSc leading to the additional award of the Chartered Banker Diploma Professional qualification and Chartered Banker status.

Chartered Banker Accreditation

Cranfield School of Management is one of an elite group of business schools worldwide to hold triple accreditations from:

Triple Accreditation


How to apply

To apply you will need to register to use our online system. Once you have set up an account you will be able to create, save and amend your application form before submitting it.

Once your online application has been submitted together with your supporting documentation, it will be processed by our admissions team. You will then be advised by email if you are successful, unsuccessful, or whether the course director would like to interview you before a decision is made. Applicants based outside of the UK may be interviewed either by telephone or video conference.

Deadline date for applications: Monday 15 February 2021.