Investment Management - MSc
- Mode of study
- Full time, Part time
- Start date
- October 2021, January 2022
- Duration of Study
- 1 year / up to 20 months with entrepreneurship or placement pathway 2 years part-time / up to 24 to 36 months depending on pathway
- Subject Area
- Business and Management
- FEES (2021/22 academic year)
- UK - FT £9,750 / PT £5,370
- EU/International - £18,000
The unpredictability of the global economy and challenges of finding the right investment, then generating the highest returns on behalf of clients mean that a career in wealth management is definitely not for the faint hearted. There’s a reason why investment management offers some of the highest salaries in the financial services sector and why there’s always demand for talented and ambitious individuals. So, if you’ve an analytical mind, thrive on pushing the boundaries and the thought of high pressure financial decisions excites you, our MSc Investment Management will prepare you to make your mark in this fast-paced, fast-growing profession.
- Keele is ranked 3rd in the UK for business by the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES 2019).
- Curriculum has been designed to match over two-thirds of the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute (CFA) syllabus and on successful completion you can sit the Level 1 exam.
- Access to our Bloomberg Suite with all its economic, financial and business real-time data, world news, analyses and reports from the world’s biggest financial organisations.
- Option to complete the Bloomberg Market Concepts (BMC) certificate free of charge.
- Large choice of optional modules allows you to tailor your studies to match your interests.
- Gain substantial practical experience through a consultancy project or work placement.*
- Get paid to work alongside an academic expert on a ‘live’ research project to help local SMEs bring innovative products and services to market quicker through Keele Research and Innovation Support Programme (KRISP).
*Please note that our students’ health and wellbeing is paramount, therefore contact and work-based activities have been suspended due to the global pandemic.
About the course
Fee pressures, margin compression, changing investor preferences and higher customer expectations are driving competition within the world’s financial markets, increasing the demand for highly-skilled professionals able to develop innovative, sophisticated investment management strategies which mitigate risk and maximise returns.
On our MSc, you’ll learn about the principles, tools and techniques of investment management, experiencing first-hand how to apply them in real-life financial situations, analysing case studies and working with real-world data in our state-of-the-art Bloomberg Suite. In doing so, you’ll develop the skills needed to tackle the challenges in 21st century capital markets.
You will gain an in-depth understanding of financial and management accounting, economics, international financial markets, statistical analysis, financial modelling, investment and portfolio management and derivatives and financial risk management.
Suited to graduates in finance-related subjects and those working within investment banking, financial services or the financial function of global corporations, this programme is designed to nurture future leaders in the financial services sectors, occupying key roles such as analysts, fund managers and bankers.
Course content has been purposefully designed to track the syllabus of the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute (CFA), the premier global association for investment management professionals. It will prepare you take the CFA Level 1 exam to qualify as an analyst: we will even contribute towards your entrance fee. It is our intention to apply to become part of the CFA Institute’s University Affiliation Program to gain formal recognition as soon as the conditions to do so have been met.*
You will be taught by faculty with experience of the real world of finance and business, studying alongside a diverse international body of students from a wide range of national and social backgrounds. You’ll develop as a global citizen, vital in today’s globalised world of work, expanding your professional networks and learning to appreciate different cultural backgrounds and personalities.
* Courses must run for at least one year (full-time) and two years (part-time) before an institution can apply for CFA accreditation.
What you’ll learn:
The programme is designed to build a rigorous understanding of core finance and investment theories together with solid training in quantitative analysis. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to make extensive use of industry-standard software like STATA and other data sources, such as Bloomberg Professional Services Platforms and DataStream.
You will gain an in-depth knowledge of the nature of the modern firm and the critical differences in the capital structure between modern firms and banks, as well as the complex challenges facing the global investment management industry. We’ll also consider how to manage some of the ethical dilemmas facing the fund management industry, such as conflicts of interests, professionalism, duty to clients and employers.
While completing your MSc, you will be encouraged to prepare for and take level one of the CFA exams, so that by the time you graduate, you have the potential to achieve not only MSc, but also one-third of the training to become a qualified CFA analyst.
You wil study a mixture of core and optional taught modules during semesters 1 and 2. After you have completed the taught modules of the course, you will undertake a large project in semester 3 to further develop your knowledge in a specific area.
- Economics for Investment Analysis and Business. You’ll gain an understanding of the fundamental economic forces that shape the global economic order and global trade, exploring both micro and macroeconomics from the perspective of the investment industry. You will learn the importance of the currency market in ensuring successful capital markets, and the impact of human labour on economic growth and government policies to ensure economic growth and investments.
- Financial Ethics and Regulations. We consider the importance of ethics and trust which sit at the core of the financial services sector. You’ll develop insight and the skills required to critically analyse the pre-requisite ethical standards, alongside a solid understanding of the legal and regulatory requirements that forms the basis of the industry.
- Portfolio Management and Investment Analysis. You will learn to apply modern portfolio theory, starting with a background to the portfolio industry and the basic building blocks of modern portfolio theory. You’ll examine the performance of single and multi-factor investment models, learning to assess the performance of portfolio managers in the context of market risk. Finally, you’ll be introduced to modern behavioural finance and briefly explore hedge fund strategies.
- Corporate Finance. Studying this module provides key insights into the modern corporate firm. We begin with the fundamentals of capital budgeting in which you’ll will learn how to value successful investment projects. This will be followed by an analysis of the capital structure of the modern firm and the role that debt and equity in different proportions play in the success of firms. You’ll go on to explore the reasons why firms pay dividends and the factors that lead to mergers of firms or acquisition of one firm by another. This module also prepares you to sit for the CFA exam.
- Research Methods
- Derivative Instruments. Introducing you to the modern multi-trillion-dollar derivative markets, you’ll learn about the different types of derivative instruments widely traded in the derivatives markets, including futures and option contracts, as well as those developed for specific needs, such forward and swaps contracts. You will explore the complex valuation techniques which have been developed to manage derivatives. Finally, you’ll learn how derivative instruments can be used to manage complex market positions and the catastrophic losses that may occur if they are misunderstood and misapplied.
- Fixed Income Securities and Credit Risk. This module tracks the CFA syllabus on fixed income securities. It provides in-depth insight into the valuation and management of the fixed income market, preparing you to sit for the CFA professional exam. Moreover, it also explores the latest methodologies to assess and measure credit risk. Finally, you’ll develop an in-depth understanding of the potential losses that can accrue due to the failures in the fixed income market.
- Research Methods
You will choose two of the following:
- Multinational Accounting and Control
- Contemporary Issues in Accounting
- International Financial Reporting
- Bank Risk Management. This module examines the risks facing banks from different angles and consider the cultural environment in which banks operate in. You will explore risk both from a qualitative and a quantitative perspective, together with the in-depth calculations which need to be performed by banks to meet their regulatory risk management requirements.
- FinTech and Mobile Banking. Designed to provide insight into the current digital revolution and how it is radically changing the financial services of the future, this module starts by examining the underlying technology, namely the Blockchain and how this is used for digital currencies and digital banking. You will also gain an appreciation of how cybersecurity challenges lie at the heart of digital banking and digital finance.
- Green Finance. Studying this module will provide you with key insights into the key roles that will be played by the capital markets and financial services firms, such as banks and insurance companies, in transitioning to a sustainable world. You will examine key scientific evidence and core factors behind climate change, going on to consider some of the unique financial products developed to mitigate its impact, such as green bonds.
After you have completed the taught modules, you will undertake an independent project to further develop your knowledge in a specific area of management or to tackle a specific management issue within an organisation, all of which is designed to enhance your employability and research skills. You will choose one of the options below:
The dissertation is a formal written academic project of between 15,000 and 20,000 words, making it ideal preparation for future academic research at MPhil or PhD level or for the report-writing and scrutiny expected of senior management professionals. Taking inspiration from your own interests, and with support throughout from a highly experienced supervisor with relevant expertise, you’ll choose an important and emerging topic to conduct either quantitative or qualitative research in the area of investment management, for example, portfolio choice, asset pricing, financial forecasting, international or corporate finance.
During June and September, you will spend eight to 12 weeks undertaking a management research project on behalf of an organisation (chosen by Keele Business School). You’ll put into practice what you’ve learned, developing and applying your skills to solve a business problem, issue or focus on a specific project. As part of the eventual assessment, you’ll present your findings to the host organisation, exactly as you would do within the workplace.
Please note that participation in the Consultancy Project is only available after a comprehensive selection process. Please view our terms and conditions to find out more.
Entrepreneurship pathway (UK students)
An excellent opportunity if you have an idea for a new business venture, this module will provide you with the time, space and expertise to develop it. For between six to 12 months, you’ll be given the option of a base within the University’s incubator and have access to workshops and guidance from a network of entrepreneurs and business advisers. During this time, you’ll complete a portfolio of evidence on your idea and present this to an external stakeholder.
Places are also limited, and you will be required to undertake an interview prior to acceptance on this module. The Entrepreneurship Pathway is only available to UK students due to visa restrictions. Please view our terms and conditions to find out more.
In an increasingly competitive job market, employers are looking to recruit employees who have high-level knowledge, skills and workplace experience. With support from the School’s Placement Officer, you will gain first-hand professional experience on a suitable, paid work placement for between six to 12 months. During your placement, you will be required to complete an extended project on behalf of the organisation. As part of the eventual assessment, you’ll present your findings to the host organisation, exactly as you would do within the workplace.
It may be possible for students who require a visa to study in the UK to add a work placement to their programme. Please view our terms and conditions to find out more.
How the course is taught
Our teaching and learning strategy is wide-ranging and innovative, seeking to give you a rich learning environment that draws actively upon leading edge research, as well as current business practice. It includes traditional lectures, workshops and small group tutorials and innovative approach of flipped classes which, through debate, discussion and case study, will encourage you to become a socially responsible business thinker.
A key strength of our programme is our commitment to developing your critical thinking and practical skills, whether you are preparing for an academic or professional career. The carefully designed modules combined with research and other placement-related projects will give you valuable insight into the interface between theory and real-world accounting practice
You’ll gain hands-on experience of terminal function and portfolio management, practising some of the core financial concepts, such as economic indicators, currencies, fixed income and equities, in the Bloomberg Suite, with the option to gain the Bloomberg Marketing Concepts (BMC) certificate. Bloomberg experience is important if you wish to pursue a career such as a fund manager, investment analyst, consultant or academic. Bloomberg’s professional service is a powerful platform for financial professionals that delivers real-time data and news and contains a wide range of analytical tools for asset valuation and portfolio and risk management. This platform is used by banks and other financial services organisations in their daily operations.
Our Grand Challenges lecture series invites speakers to provide fresh perspectives on the political, ethical and intellectual problems we face as a world today, while our Lunchtime Lectures centre on leadership in the context of complexity and inclusion
Teaching takes place over the first two semesters. There are no formal group classes during Semester 3, but you consult with supervisors and access the University’s learning and teaching facilities and support services.
- Semester 1 runs from the end of September to the end of January, with an assessment period in January.
- Semester 2 runs from the last week of January to the middle of June, with the assessment period in June.
- Semester 3 runs from June to the end of September.
How you'll be assessed
Assessment is varied and includes the use of group and individual essays, reports, presentations, exams and practical projects. Most modules combine multiple forms of assessment.
Where possible, assessment is designed to reflect skills and practices in the workplace, including team working, idea generation, critical thinking, problem solving, meeting deadlines and so on, so you get a feel for the pressures of everyday working life. You may, for example, be tasked with preparing a report and presentation on how to measure the performance of a real company by accessing financial and non-financial data from Bloomberg.
Academic entry requirements
Undergraduate degree in accounting, finance, economics or other business-related subject area, with at least a Second-Class Honours degree (2.2).
Students who have appropriate professional qualifications (e.g., ACCA, CIMA) or relevant work experience may also be considered.
Students with a good 2.2 (55% and above or overseas equivalent) with backgrounds outside of these areas (e.g., History or Pharmacy) may also be considered and are encouraged to contact the course Director.
English Language Entry Requirement for International Students
IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component . The University also accepts a range of internationally recognised English tests.
The University also accepts a range of internationally recognised English tests.
If you do not meet the English language requirements, the University offers a range of English language preparation programmes.
During your degree programme you can study additional english language courses. This means you can continue to improve your English language skills and gain a higher level of English.
Fees and scholarships
Fees (2021/22 academic year)
UK students FT £9,750 / PT £5,370 per year
EU/International students £18,000 per year
Keele University is located on a beautiful campus and has all the facilities of a small town. Student accommodation, shops, restaurants and cafes are all within walking distance of the teaching buildings. This is a very cost effective way to live and to reduce your living costs.
Scholarships and funding
The University is committed to rewarding excellence and potential. Each year we offer a range of prestigious scholarships;
UK/EU students - more information on scholarships and funding
International students - more information on scholarships and funding
KBS staff have extensive teaching, research and industrial experience in a variety of fields both in the UK and internationally. The School maintains a strong commitment to excellence and innovation in teaching and research. Our staff members have substantial teaching experience and are committed to continuing professional development; some are members (Fellows/Senior Fellows) of the Higher Education Academy. All of our lecturers have PhDs or equivalent, and hold professional qualifications.
The programme team maintains a strong commitment to excellence, innovation and multi-culture in teaching and research. Teaching is informed by research with all teaching staff presenting and publishing academic papers at national and international conferences, in books and in internationally ranked accounting, economics, finance and management journals.
• Dr Alena Audzeyeva
• Tracy Clewlow
• Dr Thanamas Kungwal
• Dr Akrum Helfaya
• Dr Gabriella Legrenzi
• Dr Jian Liu
• Eiman Mohamed El-Sayed
• Dr Shiva Sikdar
• Professor Ghulam Sorwar
• Dr Panos Sousounis
• Dr Christopher Tsoukis
• Dr Chaowei Wang
• Dr Shirley Geyi Xu
• Dr Xinyu Yu
The course is run from Keele Business School’s new home – the Denise Coates Foundation Building – a state-of-the-art facility complete with 220-seat lecture theatre, a ‘think lab’ study space, data laboratory, cafe and business lounge.
Home to our accounting, business management, economics, finance, HRM, international business, management and marketing programmes, our Business School is the first to be located on a Science Park. As well as new teaching spaces, our building is unique in that it is also home to the Smart Innovation Hub, a project part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which includes space and support programmes for innovation-led businesses, providing opportunities for students and staff to work collaboratively with entrepreneurs and business owners, gaining invaluable networks and experience.
You’ll have access to the Bloomberg Suite with all its economic, financial and business real-time data, world news, analyses and reports from the world’s biggest financial organisations. You can choose to complete the Bloomberg Market Concepts (BMC) certificate free of charge, an eight-hour e-learning, self-paced course which covers economic Indicators, currencies, fixed income and equities.
Based in the heart of England, Keele University is easily accessible by motorway and public transport. You’ll find everything’s on your doorstep, with the most important facilities gathered together at the centre of campus, which, at over 600 acres, is the biggest in the UK.
Recognised for the highest quality teaching, the University was awarded Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), while 97% of our research is classed as world-leading or of international importance (REF 2014). In the global top 20 for campus sustainability, environmental and corporate responsibility underpin the running of our own business and these themes are embedded into our teaching of future professionals and leaders.
Career options with specialist investment management are broad and varied – you could pursue roles in banks, brokerage firms, credit unions, insurance companies and well-known financial institutions like Vanguard, JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, HSBC, Merrill Lynch, to name just a few.
As a graduate of this programme, you will be well prepared for senior positions in investment banking, asset management and financial analysis. Graduates from Keele Business School work for major employers including the Bank of England, Campus Group, Grant Thornton and Eastern International University Vietnam.
Our educational programmes and the learning environment at Keele is designed to help you to develop further as a well-rounded postgraduate and a critical thinker who is capable of making a positive and valued contribution in a complex and rapidly changing global world, whichever spheres of life you engage in during and after your studies at Keele.
Team building, group work, research, presentations and projects will help you develop essential skills, such as business planning, decision-making, problem-solving, communication, delegation and time management.
Should you wish to continue your studies, you’ll be placed to pursue further postgraduate studies at MPhil or PhD level. You will also be prepared for a career in research in economics, finance and banking.
Our graduates obtained positions as:
- Alternative investment analyst
- Financial analyst
- Fund manager
- Hedge fund manager
- Portfolio manager
- Private equity associate
- Risk manager