Our Finance MSc is a top-ranked finance master's course. This postgraduate finance course (formerly Finance and Management MSc) is ranked as a UK top 10 and world top 50 Finance Master’s in International Business Rankings.

The course provides you with a solid grounding in finance and investment and offers extensive training in the relevant tools and techniques and how to apply them practically in the global finance workplace.


  • Start date30 September 2024
  • Duration1 year
  • DeliveryTaught modules 60%, Dissertation 40%
  • QualificationMSc
  • Study typeFull-time
  • CampusCranfield campus

Who is it for?

  • Graduates with a desire to develop their knowledge and skills in finance and investment before seeking their first professional role.
  • Professionals with work experience in finance or investment who are seeking to take their career to the next level.
  • Individuals who want to be taught by faculty who have experience of business and industry and can bring their knowledge to the programme.


This course is recognised in International Business Rankings, consistently ranking top 10 in the UK and top 50 in the world across them all. These include:

  • 7th in the UK and 49th in the world: Financial Times Masters in Finance 2024 Rankings
  • 2nd in the UK and 6th in the world: The Times Higher Education/Wall Street Journal World University Rankings 2019 – Master’s in Finance
  • 9th in the UK and 52nd in the world: QS World University Rankings: Masters in Finance ranking 2024

Class profile 2022/23*

Male 66% - Female 34%
Age range:
20 - 39 years
Average age:
Number of nationalities: 13
Nationality: UK/EU: 1% - International: 99%
Total number of students: 90
Average class size: 24

*The above data combines the 2022/23 class profiles for our Finance MSc (previously Finance and Management MSc) and Accounting and Finance MSc (previously Investment Management MSc).

Why this course?

  • Cranfield School of Management consistently performs well in international business rankings. We are ranked 8th in the UK and 37th in Europe in the Financial Times European Business School 2023 Rankings.
  • The course is distinctive in covering the principles, tools and techniques of both finance and investment, as well as how to apply them in real work situations.
  • You will gain an in-depth understanding of finance and investment, economics, international financial markets and ethics, statistical analysis, financial modelling and investment and portfolio management.
  • You will apply financial and investment management theories, tools and techniques in a variety of contexts including case studies, trading simulations and the individual thesis project.
  • Modules focus on real-world challenges, and include a combination of case studies, participative exercises, interactive lectures, and group projects.
  • You may also have the opportunity to take part in activities, including the CFA Institute UK Research Challenge.
  • You will be taught by faculty with experience of the real world of finance and business, as well as having the opportunity to listen to guest speakers.
  • You will have access to highly effective infrastructure including Bloomberg live financial data via our Bloomberg Suite.
  • You will have the opportunity to study within a truly international environment, with students and academics coming from over 50 countries.

I have been able to apply the skills and knowledge I learnt on the course in my current role. Prior to undertaking the course I wasn’t confident with financial concepts, but since completing the course I feel much more adept at solving problems, and understanding the basic and more complex situations I encounter at work.

Cranfield offers a unique mix of lecturers. We had theoretical courses with outstanding academic faculty, but also practical courses like financial markets taught by practitioners that gave us the perfect mixture of perspectives on a specific topic.

I was offered a full-time job at the company where I can explore my financial and quantitative knowledge in depth. The course really gave me the confidence by providing me with all the knowledge that I needed to push me forward.

Informed by Industry

An external advisory panel informs the design and development of the course, and comprises senior finance practitioners, 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

The course comprises ten core modules and two elective modules (choice out of five). This enables you to tailor the programme of study to suit your personal career plan.

Throughout the course you will have access to a comprehensive collection of resources including Bloomberg terminal, BoardEx, Capital IQ, CRSP, Datastream, Eikon, EBSCO, Factiva, FAME, Financial Times, ORBIS Bank Focus, ProQuest, Science Direct, and SDC Platinum. You will use real-world, international case studies to support your learning. The culmination of the learning process is your opportunity to undertake research for your individual thesis.

Course delivery

Taught modules 60%, Dissertation 40%

Orientation and Pre-session Programme

If you do not have a background in finance and accounting, you may be required to attend the Statistics and Basic Finance pre-session course.

Statistics and Basic Finance (compulsory for all students to attend)
The Statistics sessions will help you revise or update your understanding of some statistical concepts that you will use during the Finance and Management MSc and Investment Management MSc. These will cover:

  • Introduction to matrix algebra and descriptive statistics
  • Introduction to basic linear regression analysis

The Basic Finance sessions will introduce you to two essential concepts in finance. You will have the opportunity to update your understanding of how to value assets given forecasts of future cash flows. You will then explore the different sources of finance available to business and discuss their relative importance. The sessions cover:

  • Time value of money
  • Investment and financing


You will undertake research for your individual thesis, enabling you to apply the knowledge and skills you have learnt during the course. This provides the opportunity to work in an original way.

Course modules

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

Corporate Finance

Module Leader
  • Professor Yacine Belghitar

    This core module provides a foundation in the essentials of corporate financial management. The course focuses on three principal aspects of corporate finance: the investment decision; the cost of capital; and the financing and payout decisions. Based on recent theoretical and empirical developments, the course explores the framework in which corporations make their financial and investment decisions.

    • The Objective Function for Corporations
    • Corporate Governance
    • Making Investment Decisions with the NPV Rule
    • Valuing Bonds and Common Stocks
    • Introduction to Risk and Return
    • Portfolio Theory and the CAPM
    • How Corporations Issue Securities
    • Capital Structure
    • Payout Policy
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  1. Evaluate the impact of the separation of corporate ownership, management and control.
  2. Appreciate and incorporate risk in project appraisal and investment.
  3. Estimate and evaluate the capital structure and dividend policy of the company.
  4. Understand and appreciate the complexity and contradictions of the current academic literature in financial management and its implications for professional practice.

Statistical Analysis in Finance

Module Leader
  • Dr Nemanja Radic

    Finance is a highly quantitative subject and this core programme provides the relevant mathematical and statistical training necessary to be able to conduct appropriate empirical studies and apply theoretical financial models in practice.


    The module will cover probability theory, sampling and estimation, hypothesis testing, regression analysis, and panel analysis.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  1. Critically evaluate probability distributions and their properties.
  2. Assess various population parameters and their point and interval estimates.
  3. Formulate null and alternate hypotheses, and to conduct a test of hypothesis about a population mean as well as a population proportion.
  4. Critically assess and apply a variety of statistical techniques for data analysis (i.e., OLS, logistic regression and regression with panel data).
  5. Examine and asses financial theory and related empirical work covered in other subjects within the programme.


Module Leader
  • Dr Matthias Nnadi

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


    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.

    The first part of the lectures will cover accounting principles and provide understanding on 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 sessions are devoted to Management Accounting and cover internal accounting by managers for planning and control. Students 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 a student should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate understanding of the fundamental principles of financial accounting and prepare key financial statements from basic information.
  2. Critically analyse and interpret company accounts.
  3. Evaluate the different types of costs and conduct break even analysis.
  4. Critically discuss the different ways in which overheads can be allocated.
  5. Prepare budgets and interpret variances from budget.

Economics for Financial Markets

Module Leader
  • Professor Constantinos Alexiou

    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 core and elective courses on the MSc in Finance and Management and MSc in Investment Management. 

    In the Context of the Financial markets, it is imperative that students be aware of the fundamental principles and concepts pertaining to Economic Theory per se. Studying economics not only does it provide 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 careers, or the likely impacts of public policies.


    The initial few sessions are spent on discussion of the concept of equilibrium as it applies to the micro and macro structures of a broad range of financial markets. In the next four sessions, 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 is developed. Finally, remaining sessions are devoted to discussion of the concepts and ideas in macroeconomics which have a direct relevance to financial markets. Particularly, discussion is centered on understanding of monetary economics and the institutional context to which it applies. Discussion of structure of money and capital markets rounds up this module.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  1. Assess the concept of equilibrium as it applies to the micro and macro structures of a broad range of financial markets.
  2. Discuss and justify the rationale 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. Appraise the monetary institutional context as this is reflected by money and capital markets.
  4. Examine the use of relevant geometric and quantitative models to explain and analyse monetary and financial phenomena.
  5. Assess and effectively discuss real world problems that relate to global financial markets.

International Financial Markets and Ethics

Module Leader
  • Dr Nemanja Radic

    Part I of this module aims to provide an overview of the nature and operation of international financial markets and their traded instruments. Students are introduced to the organisation of the international financial system, the markets for foreign exchanges, stocks, bonds, commodities and derivatives, and the risks and opportunities offered in these markets and systems.

    The role of regulation and ethics will be highlighted and examined in Part II. This will include the aims and structures of regulation and will also provide topical focus on the role and limitations of ethics in financial markets, ethical decision-making frameworks, and cases of lapses in culture and impact upon society and the markets.

    • The organisation of the international financial system.
    • International banking and Eurocurrency market.
    • International foreign exchange markets.
    • International debt markets.
    • International equity markets.
    • International commodity markets and futures.
    • Current issues and research topics in context of: 1) ethics and regulation/or risk taking, 2) regulation and corporate governance, and 3) the role of governance within an ESG Framework.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  1. Critically analyse the organisation of the international financial system.
  2. Describe the organisation, structure, and instruments of international financial and commodity markets.
  3. Evaluate roles of the markets in domestic and global economy and discuss the risks and opportunities related to the international financial markets.
  4. Assess and justify the potential for ethical behaviour and improved conduct to fill the void where law and regulations fail to succeed.
  5. Identify and evaluate the role that corporate governance can play in determining the access to or cost of capital for firms and their performance.

Investing for Environmental and Social Impact

Module Leader
  • Dr Emmeline Cooper

    This module focuses on environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria into financial decisions. It provides students with insight into how impact investors seek to generate environmental and social impacts in addition to financial returns.

    Module targets students seeking careers in financial services who want to better understand the interaction of capital markets and policy issues.

    The class will draw upon principles of finance, public policy and investment management to evaluate specific cases and investment tools in areas such as environmental markets and climate change, public finance and sustainable development. Students will be exposed to both traditional and alternative risk management approaches and investment theory frameworks, as well as a range of case studies on the role and impact of institutional investors, banks, financial supervisory authorities and governments in aligning financial markets with ESG goals.

    • Environmental, social and governance (ESG) and finance in practice.
    • Climate finance and Impact investing.
    • Traditional vs. Alternative Investments in Environmental Finance (Stocks and Impact Funds; Green Bonds).
    • Investment Stewardship (Board of directors and its committees; Shareholder stewardship and engagement; Shareholder protection and agency issues).
    • Sustainable and responsible investments (SRI).
    • Responsible business and firm value.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  1. Define and describe environmental trends and judge the potential risks and opportunities they present to financial markets, with a particular emphasis on climate risks.
  2. Discuss the challenges arising from climate change for sustainable investing.
  3. Assess how green initiatives could be financed, introduce green finance instruments and their evolving regulatory framework.
  4. Evaluate how sustainability issues affect investment decisions made by institutional investors, corporate lenders, insurance companies, asset management funds, hedge funds, venture capitalists and retail investors, as well as business decisions made by corporate managers.
  5. Assess corporate sustainability risks and opportunities from a financial perspective and plan how to manage/mitigate those risks.

Valuation and Financial Modelling

Module Leader
  • Dr Vineet Agarwal

    A good understanding of techniques of valuation of firms as well as the different securities issued by firms is vital for managers and financial analysts. This understanding has a bearing on both financing decisions (issue of equity or debt) and investment decisions (identifying securities for inclusion in a portfolio, acquisitions, buy-backs, divestitures etc.). In addition, building sound financial models is critical for understanding and communicating valuations. This course provides the framework for valuing equity and firms as well as financial modelling to aid decision making.

    • Different valuation approaches: discounted cash flow, relative valuation, and residual income valuation framework.
    • Estimating the cost of capital using models like CAPM.
    • Estimating earnings, cash flows, growth and terminal value.
    • Issues in forecasting cashflows.
    • Building a robust financial model
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  1. Discuss the principles of corporate valuation.
  2. Estimate discount rates.
  3. Assess and compare a range of valuation methods.
  4. Assess and test assumptions and limitations of valuation models.
  5. Build valuation models and scenarios using Excel.

Applied Research Methods in Finance

Module Leader
  • Dr Vineet Agarwal

    This module is designed to provide participants with the required skills for structuring their research projects including conceptualising research questions and writing literature reviews. It uses the positivist approach to finance and introduces the need for and validity of empirical models. The module also imparts a greater understanding of the empirical methods in finance and develops important skills in the assessment, analysis and interpretation of published financial research.

    • Formulating research questions.
    • Critically reviewing the literature.
    • Asset pricing tests using cross-sectional and time-series regressions.
    • Time-series analysis (stationarity, unit roots, and cointegration).
    • Generalised Method of Moments.
    • Event study method.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  1. Conceptualise and formulate research questions.
  2. Identify, compile, and critically evaluate relevant literature.
  3. Select and assess a range of methodologies employed in empirical finance.
  4. Assess the limitations of empirical methodologies and draw robust conclusions from empirical studies.
  5. Design and conduct empirical research.

Investment and Portfolio Management

Module Leader
  • Professor Sunil Poshakwale

    This module is one of the key modules for the programme as it deals with foundations of investment and portfolio theory. The module aims to develop an understanding of portfolio construction, portfolio management and portfolio evaluation. The module will focus on imparting knowledge of the investment process, portfolio theory, efficient market hypotheses, asset pricing models, analysis and management of common stock portfolio, portfolio evaluation and basic understanding of equity options and futures and their application in management of portfolios.

    The module’s aim is to help students acquire knowledge of investment and portfolio management. The module introduces some of the principal ideas and concepts underpinning the theory and practice of investment. By the end of the module students will be able to understand the main issues involved in investment management and develop skills to construct equity portfolios and manage their risk.


    This module will provide opportunities for students for developing and/or enhancing the following transferrable skills:

    • Introduction to investments and asset allocation decisions.
    • The Efficient capital markets.
    • Portfolio theory.
    • Portfolio optimisation through case study.
    • The Capital Asset Pricing Model and other Multi Factor Models.
    • Portfolio Formation using real data.
    • Management of Equity portfolio.
    • Equity Derivatives and Portfolio Management.
    • Evaluation of Portfolio Performance.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  1. Discuss and question relevant ideas and theory of investment and portfolio management and practical considerations.
  2. Assess and evaluate the Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH) and main asset pricing models.
  3. Evaluate various equity management styles and strategies.
  4. Discuss and examine options and futures and evaluate how to use them in managing portfolios risk.
  5. Compare, select and justify various portfolio performance evaluation tools.

Derivatives and Financial Risk Management

Module Leader
  • Dr Peter Yallup

    Financial derivatives are now commonly used in many financial and non-financial companies and play an important role in financial risk management processes. A good understanding of the principles underlying derivative securities will enable students to appreciate the benefits and dangers associated with their use.

    This module examines the pricing and usage of derivative securities (forwards, futures, options, and swaps) in financial markets. It covers the conceptual and analytical aspects of derivatives as well as the practical applications of derivative securities in the areas of investments, portfolio insurance and risk management. Thus, valuation models as well as hedging strategies will be examined.


    Futures Markets

    • Mechanics of futures markets.
    • Pricing of futures contracts.
    • Hedging strategies using futures.

    Options Markets

    • Mechanics of options markets.
    • Pricing of option contracts.
    • Hedging and trading strategies using options.
    • Exotic options.

    • Value-at-Risk (VaR).
    • FRAs and Swaps.
    • Credit Risk and Credit Derivatives.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  1. Assess and examine the principles underlying derivative securities, the valuation of these securities and their use for risk management purposes.
  2. Critically discuss the mechanics of different types of derivative securities such as forwards, futures, swaps and options and the ability to price these derivatives.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of specific derivative instruments for managing interest rate risk, currency risk and credit risk.
  4. Evaluate the use of alternative derivative products as risk management tools and understand the dangers and risks arising from the use of derivative products.

Elective modules
One of the modules from the following list needs to be taken as part of this course

Private Equity

Module Leader
  • Dr Wasim Ahmad

    Private equity differs from public equity, which is generally the focus in corporate finance. Private equity has become a major source of capital for innovation, growth and corporate restructuring. To succeed as a PE professional, one needs to embrace and tackle various challenges relating to the financing of the company, its operations and the entrepreneurial and uncertain nature of business venturing. The module will cover the nature of and rationale for PE investing, the spectrum of PE activities and the potential conflicts among stakeholders. Another focus will be on value creation programmes to generate PE fund returns.

    • The PEQ cycle, from fund raising to investing and exiting.
    • Strategies to create firm value in private equity: due diligence, operational concept, exit strategies.
    • Measures to align interests among stakeholders in PE.
    • Consider the ethical implications of the PE model.
Intended learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, a student will be able to:

  1. Discuss the idiosyncrasies of PE investments from the perspective of investors in this asset class.
  2. Assess and contrast the various types of PE investment: venture capital, buyouts, restructuring, etc.
  3. Propose and justify practical measures through which private equity firms can enhance the value of their portfolio companies.
  4. Design a due diligence programme to critically assess the risks involved in a particular proposed PE transaction.

Mergers, Acquisitions and Restructuring

Module Leader
  • Professor Yacine Belghitar

    The module focuses on transactions significantly affecting the corporation’s assets, liabilities and/or equity claims and stresses the economic motives for undertaking them. Transactions are examined from the perspective of the corporation (e.g., firm managers), from the perspective of capital markets (e.g., investors, stockholders, creditors) as well as from the perspective of the society. The module integrates various technical skills learned earlier in the MSc programme such as accounting, corporate finance and strategy.

    • Theoretical rationale of mergers, acquisitions, and restructuring.
    • The range of restructuring choices.
    • Strategies for takeover, merger, corporate turnaround, and corporate renewal.
    • Corporate insolvency and reorganisation – insolvency and bankruptcy regimes in the UK, US, Continental Europe and other countries.
    • The role of competition and shareholder protection regulation in the mergers, acquisition and restructuring.
    • Financing strategies and tools.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  1. Assess the financial, strategic and political causes and motivations driving mergers, acquisitions and restructuring transactions.
  2. Evaluate the regulations on competition and shareholders’ protection and their impact on mergers and acquisitions.
  3. Assess the financial consequences of restructuring for various stakeholders such as different types of lenders, shareholders, the board of directors and managers and how they generate conflicts of interests among them.
  4. Justify and apply alternative valuation techniques to assess a deal.
  5. Examine and assess the strategic and managerial implications of methods of payment and the criteria for successful restructuring and re-organization of firms in bankruptcy/ administration.

Fixed Interest Securities and Credit Risk Modelling

Module Leader
  • Dr Vineet Agarwal

    The global bond market exceeds $100 trillion which is more than the world’s stock markets. The market has become increasingly quantitative due to the proliferation of new products. Combined with increased volatility of financial prices and exposure to new sources of risk, there are now greater risks and opportunities for fixed income portfolio management.

    This module provides the participants with a solid grounding in the mechanics of fixed income markets and introduces them to bond portfolio management techniques.


    The module will cover:

    • Pricing of fixed and floating rate bonds.
    • Measuring bond price volatility.
    • Yield curves and bond pricing.
    • Analysing callable and convertible bonds.
    • Analysing mortgage-backed securities.
    • Properties of interest rate derivatives and their use in altering portfolio characteristics.
    • Credit risk analysis.
    • Bond portfolio management
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  1. Assess the risks of investing in fixed interest securities.
  2. Examine and assess the role of yield curves in bond pricing.
  3. Assess the impact of embedded options on risk-return profile of bonds.
  4. Evaluate credit risk models and their application in fixed interest investing.
  5. Discuss and evaluate the bond portfolio management techniques using combination of bonds and interest rate derivatives.

FinTech, Start-Ups and Small Business Finance


    This module focuses on financing issues faced small business ventures, entrepreneurial firms as well as by very innovative and technological based start-ups. It explores the issues from the perspective of the entrepreneur, the investors and the providers of debt finance.

    The module aims to provide students with awareness and understanding of the risk incurred by investing in an entrepreneurial firm (entrepreneurs, providers of equity and providers of debt) as well as to explain how technology is revolutionising the financial strategy start-ups can pursue.

    Thus, it implies:

    • a thorough examination and evaluation of traditional alternative financing strategies that small/entrepreneurial ventures can pursue by exploring both the traditional financial tools (bootstrap finance, business angels, venture capital, as well as bank finance) and the relatively new ones such as crowdfunding;
    • the exploration of blockchain technology as a tool to finance high tech start-ups and the application of blockchain technology to smart contracts.
    • Overview of the entrepreneurial venture and its peculiarities;
    • Identification and valuation entrepreneurial opportunities and related risk;
    • Exploration of equity funding (entrepreneur’s finance, bootstrap finance, business angels, venture capital, etc.);
    • Exploration of debt finance (trade credit, short term finance, factoring, long term finance, leasing);
    • Examination of evolution of financial needs with growth and exit strategies;
    • Examination of innovative form of finance (tokens);
    • Smart contracts: structure and use.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  1. Discuss and contrast the peculiarities of entrepreneurial ventures and how they affect entrepreneurs’, investors’ and banks’ decision about financing entrepreneurial ventures;
  2. Value and relate to the critical role that traditional financing tools play in new venture creation (in terms of start-up survival and firm’s growth) as well as the risk and advantages of the use of blockchain technology;
  3. Formulate a deal structure for an entrepreneurial venture;
  4. Evaluate the benefits and risks of the use of smart contracts in finance;
  5. Select and assess different investment harvesting alternatives.

Investing in Emerging Markets and Alternative Investments

Module Leader
  • Professor Sunil Poshakwale

    The landscape of investing has been constantly evolving. Most institutional and high net worth individuals include international stocks and alternative investments. Growing role of emerging markets in the global economy and high growth rates offer huge investment opportunities. Investing in alternative investments such hedge funds, commodities, real estate, precious metals, currencies, fine art, wine, etc. offers diversification of portfolio risk and increases return potential. However, despite these trends, there is not enough known or understood about the opportunities and challenges that investors face while investing in emerging markets and alternatives. The aim of this elective is to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the types of investment avenues, their characteristics, and rewards and risks. The module aims to offer both academic research and practical guidance on investing in these asset classes.

    • The case for global investing and alternative assets.
    • Understanding characteristics of emerging markets, reasons for their growing role in international portfolios.
    • The risks and challenges of investing in emerging markets.
    • Boom to Bust: How, when, and why?
    • Long- and short-term perspectives of investing in emerging markets.
    • Introduction to Alternative Investments and their characteristics.
    • Hedge funds, their key features, types and role in portfolio diversification.
    • Real Estate investments.
    • Investing in commodities.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  1. Describe what characterises markets as emerging markets and alternative investments.
  2. Evaluate and justify the investment opportunities and benefits of investing in emerging markets and alternatives.
  3. Appraise risks and challenges related to investing in these asset classes
  4. Assess these assets and their attributes for diversification.
  5. Reflect and learn from analytical work through research on these asset classes.

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 detailed 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.


The course content covers much of the syllabus of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) qualification, giving you the opportunity to work towards an additional professional qualification while you are studying with us through the CFA Institute University Affiliation Program. If you choose this option, you will receive revision support from our faculty ahead of sitting the first examination in term three of your course. You can then sit parts two and three of the qualification after completing your course. More information about the CFA Institute University Affiliation Program and associated CFA Program Awareness Scholarships can be found on the CFA website.

CFA logo

Your career

The Careers and Employability Service offers a comprehensive service to help you develop a set of career management skills that will remain with you throughout your career.

During your course you will receive support and guidance to help you plan an effective strategy for your personal and professional development, whether you are looking to secure your first finance role, or wanting take your career to the next level.

Cranfield graduates are highly valued in the job market and aim for careers in investment banking, financial services or the financial function of a diverse range of global corporations. Our Finance MSc graduates have secured jobs with organisations including PricewaterhouseCoopers, Barclays Investment Bank, Bloomberg, Bank Indonesia, Lloyds Banking Group, Credit Agricole, Diageo, Ernst & Young, Thomson Reuters, Toyota, UBS and Morgan Stanley. Their roles have included Data Analyst, Financial Planner, Consultant, Private Equity Analyst and Financial Risk Manager.


How does the NEW Finance course differ from the Finance and Management MSc?

The Finance and Management has been rebranded into MSc Finance and the course ILOs have been updated to reflect the focus on the pure finance specialist programme. As such, the two generalist management modules have been replaced with two finance modules.

The rebranded specialist MSc Finance will mainly attract students with strong quantitative backgrounds who are looking to develop a career in the capital markets industry such as investment specialists, traders, fund managers, risk managers, analysts and brokers.

The following three modules have been withdrawn:

  • Organisational Management
  • Strategic Management
  • International Corporate Finance

Addition of two existing modules (absorbed from MSc Investment Management):

  • Investment and Portfolio Management
  • Derivatives and Financial Risk Management

Along with the following changes:

  • Restructure of the ‘Financial Markets, Regulations and Ethics’ module which has been retitled International Financial Markets and Ethics’.
  • The Investment Management MSc will be withdrawn for 23/24 academic year and the Title for the ‘Finance and Management’ course will change to ‘Finance’ from 2023.
  • There is a slight increase in the number of compulsory credits for the Finance MSc and a reduction in the number of elective credits. The course has 100 credits on core modules and 20 credits via electives.

Have the entry requirements changed?

The entry requirements have been amended to a minimum UK 2.1 degree for the Finance MSc and the Accounting and Finance MSc.

Will I get a professional certificate alongside my Finance MSc degree?

Yes. The course content covers much of the syllabus of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) qualification, giving you the opportunity to work towards an additional professional qualification while you are studying with us through the CFA Institute University Affiliation Program. If you choose this option, you will receive revision support from our faculty ahead of sitting the first examination in term three of your course. You can then sit parts two and three of the qualification after completing your course. More information about the CFA Institute University Affiliation Program and associated CFA Program Awareness Scholarships can be found on the CFA website.

Who is the Finance MSc degree aimed at?

  • Students with good numerate skills.
  • Young students seeking to develop their understanding of Finance.
  • Students seeking to work in finance-related services.
  • Professionals with work experience in finance or investment who are seeking to take their career to the next level.

What are the aims of the course?

  • To prepare students for a career in financial services and investment industry.
  • To provide students with a high level of financial skills.
  • To give students a rounded view of business and understanding of the investment sector.

How is the course taught?

Overall, the aim is to provide a varied, stimulating, and experiential learning environment. All taught modules consist of formal lectures, in-class discussions, group, and self-study. Group project work, reflective practice and class exercises are used to develop problem solving skills. The course will be supported by an electronic learning environment (VLE - Canvas) which will be the central repository for all information always relating to the course and available to the students.

This will be supplemented by online module case packs. Additional practical expertise will be provided by visiting fellows and guest speakers. Each core module comprises 20 hours of class contact time with a further 80 hours of study time to consolidate learning and carry out assignments, giving 100 notional learning hours per module. Each elective module also has 100 notional hours consisting of 20 class contact hours and a further 80 private study hours. The thesis component of the module is a total of 80 credits.

How are students supported with learning and development?

Students are supported with their learning and personal development by:

  • Personal development lectures delivered by the Head of the Careers and Employability Service.
  • Help with preparation of CVs.
  • Help through mock interviews.

Students will be supported in their learning and personal development by:

  • Two-week orientation program, that includes accounting and statistics online pre-sessional refresh material, and finance career bootcamp focusing on application and networking in workplace.
  • Library induction, referencing and plagiarism sessions.
  • PDP specifically supported through SOM careers development sessions.
  • Virtual internship opportunities in the form of company-based projects.
  • A Virtual Learning Environment.
  • Learning teams supported by an academic tutor.

How to apply

Our students do not always fit traditional academic or career paths. We consider this to be a positive aspect of diversity, not a hurdle. We are looking for a body of professional learners who have a wide range of experiences to share. If you are unsure of your suitability for our Finance MSc programme we are happy to review your details and give you feedback before you make a formal application.

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.

Application deadlines

There is a high demand for places on our courses and we recommend you submit your application as early as possible.

Entry for September 2024

  • Applications from international and European students requiring a visa to study in the UK must submit their application by Friday 12 July 2024.
  • There is no application deadline for UK applicants, but places are limited, so we recommend you submit your application as early as possible.

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.

Read our Application Guide for a step-by-step explanation of the application process from pre-application through to joining us at Cranfield.