MSc Sustainable Finance Masters Degree (2024)

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  • Semester 1
  • Core classes

    Quantitative Methods for Finance

    This class aims to provide an introduction to statistical techniques that are commonly used in finance, a basic understanding of econometric analysis, and an appreciation of the general role of quantitative methods in finance. The class will focus on the application of statistical techniques to examine empirical issues in finance, such as corporate finance and stock price analysis.

    Find out more in the class outline forQuantitative Methods for Finance.

    Principles of Finance

    This class will provide an introduction to financial decision-making, and much of the relevant analysis will be developed from the standpoint of corporate finance. It'll explain how a company should decide on the investments to be undertaken to meet its objectives, generally assumed to be the maximisation of its value. It will be demonstrated that this will require a rate of return on its investments in excess of the return available in the capital market on equally risky financial investments. As a result, it will be necessary to develop an understanding of the capital market risk-return relationship. This will require an appreciation of the nature of risk and how this can be managed by the development of portfolios.

    Even though the focus of the class will be on corporate finance, it'll also require an appreciation of how the risk-return tradeoff is determined in the capital market.

    Find out more in the class outline for Principles of Finance.

    International Financial Markets & Banking

    The aim of the class is to provide you with an understanding of the financial system and the roles and functions of financial markets and institutions. A particular emphasis is placed on understanding the roles of intermediaries such as banks and investment firms.

    You'll develop an understanding of the various characteristics and roles of fixed income, equity, and foreign exchange markets. While some attention will be given to the UK financial markets, the global nature of financial markets will be widely discussed. This class aims to equip you with an awareness and understanding of financial markets and institutions in the context of the global economy. Particular emphasis will be placed on the role and contribution of the banking sector.

    This class covers the reasons for, and nature of, of financial markets and institutions with a particular focus on banking, the global nature of these markets and their regulation.

    Find out more in the course outline for.

    Sustainable Finance

    The main objective of this module is to provide students with the necessary foundation of theoretical and conceptual tools used in Sustainable Finance and the analysis of ESG Investing. Other learning objectives of the course include the review of diverse case studies within different industries to enable students to understand the subtle differences from the traditional Investing lens, and especially the challenges of quantifying ESG in the investment decision, since ESG is not a clear-cut and tangible concept that can be measured easily. An additional aim is for students to understand the importance of Sustainable finance and how it can be a force for shaping not only the markets but also society and the environment. By the end of the module, students will be able to better understand how markets behave within the new paradigm of sustainable finance and ESG investment.

  • Semester 2
  • Core classes

    Sustainable Finance and Technology

    This course uniquely encourages students to explore the nexus between sustainable finance and financial technology (FinTech). Students will be introduced to key concepts that define FinTech. The dynamic FinTech landscape will be navigated, outlining how a new ecosystem of financial services is evolving, with new innovative financial products and services being offered and new alternative markets being developed. Against the background of the global sustainability challenge and the critical need for mobilising sustainable finance, the role that FinTech can play as an enabler of this capital flow will be discussed.

    Across areas such as crowdfunding and peer-to-business lending, cryptoassets and blockchain, and wealth management and roboadvisors, students will synthesise academic and industry evidence to evaluate the levels of investment currently being directed through FinTech enabled channels to fund sustainable companies and projects. Particular attention will be given to the area of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing and Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) and how technology can support this activity. The challenges of ESG measurement will be considered and financial data science applied to the problem of ESG scoring. Portfolio management demonstrations will be provided to students under emerging portfolio construction frameworks that seek to optimise across risk, return and ESG.

    Sustainable Accounting: Theory & Practice

    The main aim of this class is to apply theoretical and conceptual frameworks to evaluate the effectiveness of sustainable accounting. In turn, students will practice reporting on sustainability and problematise the role of accounting to achieve the sustainability outcomes. In addition, students will analyse the role of accounting in standardisation techniques and evaluatory frameworks such as the GRI framework, ISSB, UN SDGs, TCFD, ESG matrix, debates on single/double materiality and the role of accounting in integrated reporting and achieving triple bottom line. By the end of the module, students will be able to develop analytical/evaluatory skills to identify relationships between the society, market and the environment.

    Applications of Sustainable Finance

    This course will consider different policies, regulations and supervisory expectations related to sustainable finance are evolving in different jurisdictions. In particular, the course will focus on the role of (financial) regulators in promoting sustainable finance (eg. EU Taxonomy, bank stress-testing), the role of ESG rating agencies and how they apply across different financial products (not just bonds/loans, but also emerging areas). Industry engagement to highlight the applications of sustainable finance will involve, focusing on practical situations and key parties in the sustainable finance ecosystem - eg.:- Strategy deployed by specific impact / ESG funds- Establishment of specific sustainable finance frameworks and debt issuance under it- ESG due diligence undertaken by specific investor/bank- Second party opinion provider explaining their role in assessing sustainable finance frameworks- ESG rating agency explaining their methodology, using case studies and the latest academic and professional research.

    Elective classes

    Choose 3 from the following:

    Portfolio Theory & Management

    The aim of this class is to examine the Markowitz (1952) approach to optimal portfolio selection. The class explores issues relating to optimal portfolio choice and issues in passive and active fund management through the lens of the nature of variance, covariance, risk and return. The class introduces practical applications and an extension of basic theory.

    Find out more in the class outline for.

    Empirical Methods in Finance

    This class aims to build on the knowledge, understanding, and skills acquired in the Quantitative Methods in Finance class and extends it further, especially in the context of time series and panel data analysis. It focuses on applications in finance of econometric techniques and is extended to incorporate panel data analysis methods with their application in finance.

    Find out more in the class outline forEmpirical Methods in Finance.

    Behavioural Finance

    The aim of the class is to provide you with an understanding of the main ideas of behavioural finance. A particular emphasis is placed on understanding the roles of non-rational actions and the development of new financial models that incorporate these ideas.

    You'll engage with up to date research and develop a critical view of existing and new finance theories and models. It aims to introduce you to the rapidly evolving area of behavioural finance. You'll develop an understanding of behavioural finance and an appreciation of its possible implications and applications.

    This class introduces you to behavioural finance and provides you with an understanding of the main flaws of 'traditional' finance theory from a behavioural finance viewpoint. It will allow you to develop the ability to discuss issues arising from violations of the rationality assumption and will enable you to evaluate new theoretical models based on research in psychology.

    The course will allow you to appreciate the role of new developments in finance and their possible implications for established views of the functioning of financial markets.

    Find out more in the class outline forBehavioural Finance.

    Equity Analysis

    This class focuses on equity valuation. The aim is to equip students with the knowledge and tools required for analysing the financial performance of firms and measuring their value. Students will be skilled in reviewing financial statements, estimating and assessing financial ratios and relevant accounting and economic data, and use this data for making forecasts and performing equity valuations. In addition, the module will cover the theoretical background for each valuation method and its application with real-life examples and case studies. Also, the module will examine the advantages and disadvantages of the main valuation models. Finally, the ultimate goal is for students to be able to perform and deliver an equity analysis report for any publicly listed firm.

    Find out more in the class outline for Equity Analysis class outline.

    Fixed Income Analysis

    While fixed income securities (bonds) have been traded for a far longer time than equities, it's only recently that the trading volume of these instruments has exceeded that of equities in many of the economies with highly developed capital markets. The bond markets for the last 25 years or so have been characterised by rapid innovation and the range of bonds now being traded is quite diverse. Any graduate of an MSc programme in Finance is expected to be familiar with the nature of the valuation of bonds.

    This class will put the MSc courses at Strathclyde in a position to provide students with the opportunity to analyse bonds and the markets in which they are traded in more depth than is possible at the moment.

    Find out more in the class outline for Fixed Income Analysis class outline.

    Management Accounting

    The course aims to give you a foundation in the theory and practice of management accounting. It emphasises the role of the management accountant in helping the owners and managers of a business to make decisions.

    Different accounting information is required for different purposes: conventional cost accounting emphasises product costs for the allocation of costs between the cost of goods sold and inventories; decision-relevant costs provide information to help managers make resource allocation decisions; and responsibility accounting, cost control and performance measurement focus on both financial and non-financial information.

    This course provides an introduction to the theory and practice of management accounting. It covers management accounting principles and their relevance to the business environment. It further involves a detailed exploration of the uses of management accounting information in the financial decision making process.

    Find out more in the course outline.

    Risk Management for Banks

    This is a core class for the MSc in International Banking & Finance. The aim is to develop further the analysis of risk introduced in the core finance class and to introduce you to some additional risk management techniques employed in practice.

    It provides an overall view of risk management, but will focus on the application of the analysis within the context of the banking sector. The class employs some of the basic principles of financial analysis to consider the application of risk analysis. It explores issues relating to risk management in the banking sector, with a particular focus on the regulatory requirements stemming from the Basel Accord.

    Find out more in the class outline forRisk Management for Banks.

    Derivatives

    This class will provide you with a strong grounding in derivatives that may be used to manage the financial risks faced by individuals, financial institutions and business corporations.

    Find out more in the course outline forDerivatives .

  • Semester 3
  • Core classes

    Empirical Research Project 1

    All members of the class will be supplied with data relating to some issue in finance or accounting, and a preliminary list of hypothesis or questions to be addressed. You will be expected to expand the range of hypotheses to be considered and ways in which the hypothesis can be tested. Whilst all members of the class will consider the same issue the data sets will differ from one person to another.

    By providing the data, and a broadly defined research agenda, the research project allows considerably more time to be spent on the analysis of the data and interpretation of results than is feasible in the context of a more conventional dissertation. While the challenge of identifying a research topic and the development of an appropriate data set are to a large extent eliminated it does allow the analytical work to be developed in more depth. The introductory class will review briefly the analysis and techniques that will be relevant for the research work to be undertaken.

    Empirical Research Project 2

    The educational aim is for students to be able to apply all the skills and knowledge acquired during their studies, leading to a comprehensive ESG analysis and evaluation of a potential investment proposition. Due to the ambiguity and inherently challenging nature of defining and measuring sustainability, the project will have a two prone approach. First, students will need to assess a listed company of their choosing (but approved by the supervisor) and assess its Sustainability performance based on established metrics as covered in the relevant modules in terms 1 and 2. Students will need to provide a quantitative analysis and discussion based on this analysis with regards to the past and current ESG performance. Ideally, students will need to cover the standard ESG metrics, provide ESG metrics from multiple providers and comment as to whey there is a deviation if any, and also look into alternative sources of data, e.g. outside Asset4 and Blomberg, that can relate to ESG issues and provide an opinion as to where the company stands as an investable proposition and with regards to its peers.

    The second part relates to a qualitative aspect and investigative research. For instance, students will need to demonstrate their understanding of material ESG issues and identify key opportunities and challenges that are not obvious from secondary data source providers. Overall, this second part of the analysis will resemble an in-depth research akin to an investigative report.

    Amplify Trading Boot Camp

    You can gain invaluable practical experience of the factors that drive today’s financial markets as part of your Master course. Amplify, a global financial trading and training company, in collaboration with Strathclyde Business School, delivers a week-long Boot Camp. This provides you with the opportunity to experience a real-life trading simulation, covering multiple roles in the process.

    Amplify is a leading provider of training programmes to the financial industry, and they offer our students the same analyst level practical training they deliver to their clients. Amplify’s clients include Bank of China, Goldman Sachs, HSBC and Bank of America.

    Note: the provider of this boot camp may be subject to change.

    Finance simulation boot camp

    MSc Sustainable Finance Masters Degree (1)

    Learning & teaching

    Core classes will be taught during semesters 1 and 2 with optional classes being offered in semester 2. Classes will be taught through a combination of lectures and workshops.

    Research projects are undertaken during the summer months.

    During your studies, you'll interact with the Bloomberg Trading Simulation Laboratory in the Business School and with Amplify Bootcamp. In addition, students that choose Derivatives as one of their electives will interact with Volcube, a Derivatives Trading Simulation from a market maker’s perspective.

    Assessment

    Class assessments will take the form of a class test and/or assignment for most classes. Each class will be examined at the end of the semester they are offered.

    As an enthusiast with a deep understanding of the field of finance and quantitative methods, I bring forth a wealth of knowledge to shed light on the concepts covered in the provided article outlining a Master's program in finance. My expertise lies in various areas of finance, including quantitative methods, corporate finance, financial markets, sustainable finance, financial technology (FinTech), accounting, risk management, and more.

    Let's delve into the key concepts outlined in the article:

    Semester 1: Core Classes

    1. Quantitative Methods for Finance:

      • Introduction to statistical techniques in finance.
      • Understanding of econometric analysis.
      • Application of statistical techniques in corporate finance and stock price analysis.
    2. Principles of Finance:

      • Financial decision-making from a corporate finance standpoint.
      • Maximization of company value through investment decisions.
      • Understanding the capital market risk-return relationship.
    3. International Financial Markets & Banking:

      • Understanding the financial system and roles of financial markets.
      • Emphasis on intermediaries like banks and investment firms.
      • Exploration of fixed income, equity, and foreign exchange markets globally.
    4. Sustainable Finance:

      • Foundation in theoretical and conceptual tools for Sustainable Finance and ESG Investing.
      • Review of case studies to understand differences from traditional investing.
      • Importance of Sustainable Finance in shaping markets, society, and the environment.

    Semester 2: Core Classes

    1. Sustainable Finance and Technology:

      • Exploration of the intersection between sustainable finance and FinTech.
      • Discussion on the role of FinTech in enabling sustainable capital flow.
      • Synthesis of academic and industry evidence in areas like crowdfunding, cryptoassets, and ESG investing.
    2. Sustainable Accounting: Theory & Practice:

      • Application of theoretical frameworks to evaluate sustainable accounting.
      • Analysis of the role of accounting in standardization techniques and evaluatory frameworks.
    3. Applications of Sustainable Finance:

      • Examination of policies, regulations, and supervisory expectations in sustainable finance.
      • Focus on the role of financial regulators, ESG rating agencies, and industry engagement.

    Elective Classes (Choose 3):

    1. Portfolio Theory & Management:

      • Examination of optimal portfolio selection.
      • Application of Markowitz's approach to portfolio choice.
      • Extension of basic theory in portfolio management.
    2. Empirical Methods in Finance:

      • Building on knowledge from Quantitative Methods in Finance.
      • Focus on time series and panel data analysis in finance.
    3. Behavioural Finance:

      • Understanding non-rational actions in finance.
      • Critical view of traditional finance theories.
      • Evaluation of new theoretical models based on research in psychology.
    4. Equity Analysis:

      • Focus on equity valuation and financial performance analysis.
      • Review of financial statements and estimation of financial ratios.
      • Application of theoretical background in equity valuation.
    5. Fixed Income Analysis:

      • In-depth analysis of bonds and bond markets.
      • Understanding the valuation of bonds in detail.
    6. Management Accounting:

      • Foundation in the theory and practice of management accounting.
      • Emphasis on the role of management accountants in decision-making.
    7. Risk Management for Banks:

      • Application of risk analysis principles in the banking sector.
      • Exploration of regulatory requirements from the Basel Accord.
    8. Derivatives:

      • Grounding in derivatives for managing financial risks.
      • Practical applications for individuals, financial institutions, and corporations.

    Semester 3: Core Classes

    1. Empirical Research Project 1:

      • Analysis of data related to finance or accounting.
      • Development of hypotheses and testing methodologies.
      • In-depth research work with a focus on data analysis and interpretation.
    2. Empirical Research Project 2:

      • Comprehensive ESG analysis and evaluation of a potential investment.
      • Assessment of a listed company's sustainability performance.
      • Qualitative investigation into material ESG issues.

    Amplify Trading Boot Camp:

    • Real-life trading simulation experience.
    • Collaboration with Amplify, a global financial trading and training company.
    • Practical training in financial markets.

    Learning & Teaching:

    • Core classes taught through lectures and workshops.
    • Interaction with Bloomberg Trading Simulation Laboratory and Amplify Bootcamp.

    Assessment:

    • Class assessments in the form of tests and assignments.
    • Examination at the end of each semester.

    This comprehensive program covers a wide range of topics, providing students with a solid foundation in quantitative methods, financial analysis, sustainable finance, and practical experience in trading simulations. The elective classes offer flexibility for students to tailor their learning experience to their interests and career goals.

    MSc Sustainable Finance Masters Degree (2024)

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