Alliance Manchester Business School - AMBS

MSc Financial Management

Are you looking to build more financial management knowledge or move into the financial sector while you work full-time? Our MSc Financial Management will equip you with a broader understanding of finance to help you gain confidence in any role or industry.
Applications are now open.

On the MSc Financial Management you will

Study online from anywhere in the world

Attend workshops in Dubai, Hong Kong, Manchester, Shanghai or Singapore (6 days)

Learn from one of the best Accounting and Finance departments globally

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The MSc Financial Management was perfect for my situation because it consisted of flexible self-study and interactive workshops where I met students from around the world.

Julia Olberz, Controller for Guerlain, MSc Financial Management Class of 2022.

Whatever function you work in, skills and knowledge in areas such as corporate finance, financial markets and financial accounting will build your credibility and ability to see the big picture for your organisation.

The MSc in Financial Management will equip you with the financial acumen you need to succeed and solve business challenges in any sector. It is designed for professionals based anywhere in the world who:

  • Have no finance experience and seek a career change into the financial services sector
  • Need to build more substantial skills and knowledge in finance to further your career (in any sector)
  • Are looking to build on existing finance experience to progress your career in financial services (or a related industry)
Fees:
£21,000 paid in instalments (bursaries available)
Duration:
Part-time blended learning for 2 years
Start dates:
2024 September
Delivery:
Blended (online with face-to-face workshops)
Location:
Dubai, Hong Kong, Manchester, Shanghai, Singapore

Course units

What does a typical course unit look like?

  • Delivered online + three-day face-to-face workshop (either at the start or around the middle of the teaching period)
  • Studied over a five-month period (total of 150 hours of study per unit)
  • Taught from an applied perspective using practical elements, such as problem-solving, case studies, interactive activities and online quizzes, so you can apply your learnings immediately
  • Assessed by ongoing coursework with no exams (you will typically complete two individual/group assessments per unit)
  • Informed by the latest cutting-edge research in finance
  • Taught by academics with extensive financial expertise and significant finance teaching experience

Foundations of Accounting (15 credits)
  • Introduction to accounting
  • Accounting conventions and techniques to support organisational decision-making
  • Foundations and principles of management and financial accounting

The course begins by outlining different conceptions of strategy and describes how strategic management accounting tools can support organisations achieve their objectives throughout their life-cycles (for example, by supporting value chain costs through effective quality management).

It progresses to explain the relationship between costs, volumes and profits, and how different organisational structures (e.g. old versus new economy businesses) influence the management of this relationship.

The course also explains how strategic management accounting tools help organisations achieve their short and long-term objectives and the role of strategy and cultural factors in building management control systems.

The financial accounting element of the course provides an understanding of key accounting conventions relating to cash, profit and equity to enable students to influence firm value through the cash budget, income statement and statement of financial position.

Even for those who have studied finance before, this course will be a good opportunity to reconnect with some of the most important principles and methodologies that underpin corporate finance.

Foundations of Finance (15 credits)
  • Introduction to finance
  • Time value of money and asset valuation
  • Cost of capital and capital budgeting technique

The unit introduces some of the basic techniques of finance. The main focus of the unit is on problem-solving in particular finance contexts, with some consideration of discursive material. The following topics will be covered in the unit:

  • Introduction to finance
  • The time value of money
  • Valuation of securities
  • Financing a firm & the cost of capital
  • Capital budgeting
  • Risk and returns
  • Share price behaviour & informational efficiency
  • The aim of the unit is to introduce students to finance, giving a foundation for subsequent finance courses in the programme. The approach is conceptual, emphasising general principles. The intention is that students can apply the general principles to analyse new financial management issues as they arise.

Even for those who have studied finance before, this course will be a good opportunity to reconnect with some of the most important principles and methodologies that underpin corporate finance.

Corporate Finance (15 credits)
  • Introduction to corporate finance
  • Cost of capital estimation and advanced capital budgeting techniques
  • The choice between equity capital and debt capital

The main objective of this unit is to allow students to acquire an understanding of corporate finance and to equip them with practical tools and techniques that finance practitioners regularly exploit in their profession. Corporate finance is mainly concerned with the activities of a corporation’s financial managers, which are linked with three overarching financial policies: investment, financing and payout policy. The ultimate goal of a financial manager’s actions should be the maximization of firm value. Throughout the course, students will improve their understanding of how corporate finance policies affect firm value and of practical tools and techniques practitioners use to pursue such policies.

Global financial markets and institutions (15 credits)
  • Overview of the global financial system
  • Banking and financial regulation, investment banking and private equity
  • Risk management and hedging strategies

This unit aims to provide an understanding of financial markets and institutions within a global context. It emphasises the role of the financial system, the parts played by the different financial institutions and the operation of key financial markets, their interaction and how they impact on business. Students will learn about the financial products traded in each of the financial markets (equity, money and bond markets). The module also explores issues surrounding the cause of the global financial crisis and the regulation of financial markets. The teaching adopts a comparative perspective with the adoption of real-world case studies throughout.

Data analysis and Statistical Techniques
  • Basic econometric tools to estimate relationships between variables
  • Formulation of empirical hypotheses to be tested
  • Interpretation of results from statistical and econometric outputs

This unit is designed to allow students to acquire an understanding of the statistical and econometric techniques that finance practitioners regularly exploit in their profession. Finance involves the regular analysis of data to establish empirical relationships between variables that are of interest to firms such as whether to use equity or debt and what may drive the choice between them, how a company’s stock price or how the stock market might react to information about the economy and so forth. The course will equip students with the basic techniques to undertake research on questions of interest in finance, examining the behaviour of variables such as stock returns for firms and markets, exchange rates, financial information and their interaction and any relationships between them.

The unit aims to equip students with:

  • the basic statistical techniques necessary to analyse financial data;
  • systematic knowledge and understanding of the basic econometric tools necessary to estimate relationships between variables, particularly linear regression analysis
  • an understanding of how to formulate hypotheses to be tested
  • an understanding of how to test empirical hypotheses formulated from research questions
  • an understanding of how to interpret the results from models estimated using linear regression analysis
  • an understanding of how to interpret results from hypothesis tests
Financial Statement Analysis (15 Credits)
  • Strengths, limitations and developments in contemporary financial reporting
  • Interpretation and assessment of firm performance
  • Credit and debt analysis to predict the likelihood of financial distress

The aim of the module is to prepare students to understand strengths, limitations and developments in contemporary financial reporting practice. In undertaking the course, students will be able to understand the factors influencing accounting quality, differentiate between legitimate and real earnings management and behavioural factors influencing organisational and analysts in their representation of organisational value. Specific themes include an understanding of the common distortions that can overstate assets and fair value, the different reporting needs of various stakeholder groups and predicting corporate distress. Students will develop an awareness of methods, trends and perspectives in contemporary (integrated) reporting practice to more accurately influence their organization’s responsibilities, and their accountability.

The course comprises of five stages:

  • Stage one (strategic analysis) sets the strategic context behind financial statements to probe the economics of the firm. Later in the course, they will use this to analyse how effective their financial reports are in reflecting organisational realities.
  • Stage two (financial analysis) introduces students to financial statement analysis tools to interpret and assess firm performance in the context of organisational strategies. Students will develop skills in cash flow analysis to interrogate operating, investing and financing policies. In doing so, they can discriminate between organic and inorganic growth. By considering performance from the perspective of different stakeholders, they will pressure-test the credibility of performance announcements and the viability of future forecasts.
  • Stage three (accounting analysis) explains the different types of earnings management, the factors influencing the quality of financial statements and areas where there is accounting flexibility. Students will learn how they can ‘undo’ accounting distortions by adjusting accounting numbers using cash flow information & notes to financial statements (i.e. accounting analysis) to improve the reliability and conclusions from financial analysis.
  • Stage four (credit analysis) will introduce students to the considerations underpinning credit and debt analysis to predict the likelihood of financial distress.
  • The course culminates in an opportunity to engage in contemporary debates to address the limitations of quantitative financial analysis by embracing narrative and non-mandatory accounting information. Students will be introduced to Institutional theoretical lenses to help structure their thinking around corporate illegality and to consider the potential of integrated reporting practice to more accurately reflect organisational responsibilities and accountability.
International Financial Management (15 credits)
  • Principles underlying financial decision-making by multinational corporations
  • Foreign direct investment decisions, exchange risk and hedging techniques
  • Political risk measurement and management

The unit focuses on the principles underlying international financial decisions making. The unit first discusses foreign exchange markets and introduces the parity relationships amongst expected inflation, interest rates, and exchange rates. Finance directors of multinational corporations make a number of major types of decisions, foreign direct investment decisions and how to finance the investments and foreign exchange risk hedging decisions. Regarding foreign direct investment decisions, the unit reviews the determination of the weighted average cost of capital taking into account the cost of each source of finance and the currency risk. In terms of foreign exchange risk hedging, the unit introduces the parity conditions and how inflation and interest rates affect currency values. In addition, the unit introduces the three different types of exchange rate exposure (translation, transaction and economic) and analyse how each of these exposures can be hedged (e.g., forward market, money market, use of futures and options). The unit also introduces currency and interest rate swaps. Finally, the unit discusses how political risk can be measured and managed.

The unit aims to equip students with the knowledge that enable them to make managerial decisions in the context of a multinational corporation, where companies are exposed to foreign exchange risk and political risk. The unit should provide students with a good understanding of foreign direct investment decisions and financing decisions. The unit aims to emphasise the practical application and implications of international financial management.

Quantitative Methods for Financial Management (15 credits)
  • Sophisticated statistical tools for finance practitioners
  • Analysis and forecasts of time series data
  • Empirical interactions between stock returns, exchange rates and other variables

This unit aims to build on and develop the foundations laid in the “Data Analysis and Statistical Techniques” module by equipping students with knowledge of

  • time-series analysis, examining the behaviour of a variable of interest such as stock returns, over time;
  • forecasting with univariate (single-variable) time series models;
  • the importance of trends and how to deal with trends in data;
  • an understanding of how to model dynamic interactions between two or more variables;
  • an understanding of simple volatility models

It introduces students to more sophisticated tools and techniques that finance practitioners regularly exploit in their profession. The focus of this course will be on time series analysis, examining how variables of interest such as stock returns and exchange rate movements behave over time individually, and how two or more variables of interest interact dynamically together over time, for example, how the stock market and the Macroeconomy move in relation to each other. The course will equip students with the techniques to undertake research on questions of interest in finance, examining the behaviour of variables such as stock returns for firms and markets, exchange rates, financial information and their interaction and any relationships between them and how these relationships evolve over time.

Venture Capital and Private Equity (15 Credits)
  • Introduction to venture capital and private equity
  • Fundraising activities by private equity investors
  • Identification of capital investment opportunities and capital allocation, and management of investments to maximise returns

The concepts of Venture Capital and Private Equity are at the core of the free enterprise capitalist system. They include raising funds from savings institutions, identifying capital investment opportunities, and allocating risk capital to the most promising. The process continues with management of the investment to maximise the return, and successfully crystallizing the return with a liquidity event, such as the sale of the company or flotation on a stock market. Key to successful transactions is a sound understanding of capital asset pricing, in this case, valuation of real company equity.

The unit aims to provide a practitioner-led view of both Venture Capital and Private Equity (VCPE), and its place in the successful operation of today’s model of financialised capitalism. The material will provide students with a theoretical framework, including the key relevant financial concepts, which drive the investment process, to enable them to understand the stakeholders' motivations and strategies within a competitive framework. Students will then be expected to apply this knowledge to a number of real case studies, in which they will play the role of private equity investors, investee company management, and professional advisors seeking the best option for sale or realisation of venture capital or private equity investment.

Business Models and Financial Strategy (15 credits)
  • Evaluation of alternative business models to create and capture value
  • Short- and long-term financial decisions over the lifecycle of the firm
  • Fintech and other innovative sources of finance

The unit aims to equip students with the knowledge enabling them to set up and grow new business ventures and to take strategic decisions to ensure long-term business success and survival. The unit will provide students with a good understanding of fintech both as an example of a novel business model and as a component of innovative financial strategies. The unit aims to emphasise the practical application and implications of (financial) management and strategy in the context of alternative business models.

The course will draw on approaches and concepts in corporate strategy and entrepreneurial finance, and related areas, to provide student with an understanding of how to set up and grow new business ventures and how to take strategic decisions to ensure long-term business success and survival. Students will learn to identify and evaluate alternative business models and to make strategic choices aimed at ensuring that their business creates and captures value. They will gain an understanding of business strategy in terms of choosing and analyzing industries and product markets; deciding how to interact with suppliers, customers and competitors, as well as internal decisions dealing with managing resources, particularly financial resources. Students will gain an understanding of short- and long-term financial decisions focusing on managing internal cash-flow and on selecting sources of funding to finance start-up and growth of new ventures, as well as corporate investment after the business matures. Complementing the companion course unit “Venture Capital and Private Equity”, this course will focus mainly on internal and debt financing, including venture debt and private debt, and other innovative sources of finance such as provided by online-enabled financial services (‘fintech’). The course will examine fintech both as an example of a novel business model and as a component of innovative financial strategies, e.g., through peer-to-peer lending, crowd-funding and online invoice factoring.

Group Project (30 credits)
  • Identification of topic and formulation of plan to collect information and data
  • Selection of suitable methods and analysis of information
  • Dissemination of the results of the study

This 30-credit group research report is the final part of the group project. The report should take the form of an 8,000-10,000 words assignment, produced following the accepted academic standards of the University in terms of presentation, structure and source material. The students are required to choose from a pool of potential supervisors, also in relation to their disclosed academic interests. The students can propose one or more specific topics to their supervisors. However, the topic they ultimately focus on needs to be agreed with their supervisors. The resulting group project can be used by the students as an opportunity to highlight and demonstrate the skillset (e.g., subject-specific, writing, referencing, sources review and critical thinking skills) they have acquired during the course.

The unit aims to:

  • Provide students with the opportunity to undertake a major independent project working in groups;
  • Allow students to identify a topic to study, formulate a plan to collect information and data on the topic and select suitable methods;
  • Provide students with the opportunity to disseminate, in appropriate academic writing, both the rationale and the results of their study;
  • Let students show and use several transferable skills, including teamwork skills;

Offer students an opportunity to demonstrate the skillset and breadth of knowledge they have acquired during their time on the course.

Course structure

This Master's degree in Financial Management is delivered through a part-time blended learning format. The majority of the teaching is online, so you can study flexibly at a pace that suits your own requirements and lifestyle. You will also get the opportunity to learn and share experiences with classmates from across the globe at face-to-face workshops.

A Manchester experience, online

Every aspect of our MSc in Financial Management is developed and delivered by The University of Manchester. This ensures you get the best quality learning experience, wherever in the world you are based. Throughout your studies, you will also have access to a dedicated study advisor, wellbeing support and digital services to support your learning, including libraries and financial databases.

The Finance Zone

From the moment you start the course you will have access to Alliance Manchester Business School's Finance Zone. This is one of the UK's most comprehensive collections of specialist financial and business databases. These resources are used by top researchers around the world and include Bloomberg, Datastream, Thomson ONE, Compustat, WRDS, Capital IQ plus many more. (Please note this is available onsite at the Manchester campus only).

Workshop schedule

You will attend one workshop per semester (four in total) in Manchester or at one of our global centres:  Dubai, Hong Kong, Shanghai or Singapore. Your workshop location will depend on your country of residence (please see below).

Workshop location

Region

Manchester

Africa (Sub Saharan)

North America

South America

UK & Ireland

Dubai

Middle East

North Africa

India

Hong Kong

East Asia

Shanghai

China

Singapore

Australasia

South East Asia

Workshop timings

Year one
2 x 3-day workshops in September
2 x 3-day workshops in May

Year two
2 x 3-day workshops in November
2 x 3-day workshops in May

Fees and funding

The tuition fee for the 2024 intake is £21,000 payable in four instalments before the start of each semester.

The tuition fee covers your tuition. It does not cover your accommodation and flight costs when travelling to the face-to-face workshops. Please see below for further discounts and scholarships for your region.

Please note that:

Students registered with the Middle East Centre are required to pay 5% VAT on top of the tuition fee, which is a mandatory requirement of the government of the UAE. The VAT will be added to the tuition fee payable and is applicable regardless of the student's nationality or residency.

Bursaries

All applicants will receive a 15% discount off their course fees.

These bursaries are worth £3,150.

Alumni discount

All University of Manchester alumni will receive a 15% tuition fee discount.

Corporate discount

Corporate partners with 3 or more students enrolled on the programme will receive a 15% tuition fee discount for each student.

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During the lectures, the relatively small size of the class makes it possible to interact more directly with the professors.

Tianshu Zhang, Programme Management Support Officer, United Nations, Class of 2023

Admissions

For information on the application process please read through the following steps.

Academic criteria
  • Normally, a 1st or 2:1 UK Bachelor's honours degree or international equivalent from an institution recognised by NARIC.

Or

  • A Master's degree or international equivalent from an institution recognised by NARIC.
  • Excellent candidates with a 2:2 UK Bachelor's honours degree or international equivalent (with at least one year of relevant professional experience), who can demonstrate their suitability and motivation for this Master's course. The degree should be in a relevant subject with good grades in quantitative subjects. An interview may be required.

We expect that most candidates interested in this Master's will have a degree in engineering, mathematics, business, economics, science or other related subjects. However, your degree can be in any discipline if you can demonstrate that you have good numeracy and analytical skills.

English Language Competence

All our degree programmes, require a high level of competency in all aspects of English language - speaking, writing, listening and reading. You will need to provide evidence that your English language ability meets the University of Manchester minimum requirements and is sufficient to enable you to fully participate and be successful in the programme. In some cases, we may also arrange an interview.

You are not required to provide evidence of English language competence if you are a citizen of a country where English is the official or primary language. All other candidates are required to provide evidence of English Language competence. Below are the details of the qualifications we accept, exemptions that we can consider and the official evidence that you will need to provide.

University of Manchester standard English language test requirements

We normally expect candidates to take an official English language test and accept the tests below. We need to verify your English result using the test organisations online verification systems. If you have not already made your official test score report available to us, please arrange to do so.

The minimum requirements for this programme are:

IELTS: 6.5 overall with 6.0 in listening, writing, reading and speaking.

  • The test date must be no more than 2 years prior to the start of the programme
  • Make your test score available to The University of Manchester through the IELTS Results Verification Service, so that we can validate your score online
  • When you book your test, you can nominate up to five organisations to be sent your IELTS test results on your behalf - see here for details
  • See the IELTS website for further information about this test

TOEFL (iBT): 90 overall with 20 in listening, writing, reading and speaking.

  • The test date must be no more than 2 years prior to the start of the programme
  • Make your test score available to the University of Manchester so that we can validate your score. The University of Manchester institution code is 0757
  • When you book your test, you can nominate up to four institutions to be sent your TOEFL test results on your behalf.
  • Click to view instructions on the TOEFL website

PTE Academic: 59-65 overall with 59 in listening, writing, reading and speaking.

  • The test date must be no more than 2 years prior to the start of the programme
  • Make your test score available to the University of Manchester so that we can validate your score online
  • Click to view instructions on the PTE website

CPE or CAE (Cambridge): Minimum grade 176-184

  • Email us your Candidate ID and Candidate Secret Number (printed on your Confirmation of Entry) and then we can verify your result online.

Pearson Versant English Placement Test (VEPT), supplemented with a University of Manchester short written test administered by the University Language Centre: Minimum VEPT overall score: 56, with at least 51 in each of the four components (listening, writing, reading and speaking) and the equivalent of IELTS 6.0 in the University of Manchester written test.

  • If you would like to take this test you should contact the admissions team for your personal University of Manchester VEPT Test Identification number (TIN)
  • Please do not register for this test before receiving your VEPT test identification number
  • After confirming that your VEPT score is satisfactory we will then arrange for you to take a 45-minute written test administered by the University of Manchester English Language Centre

Alternative qualifications

We can also accept the following qualifications. You will need to submit proof of your qualification with your application.

  • India Standard XII Examination: 65% in English
  • IGCSE English Language grade C
  • International Baccalaureate English (Higher or Standard Level)
  • If you hold and other qualification please email official evidence, which specifically shows the English element and the grade achieved to financialmgmt.admissions@manchester.ac.uk. We will then consider whether we can accept it.

English test exemptions

As an alternative to taking a standard English Language Test, we can consider one or a combination of the following:

You have successfully completed a degree level qualification (recognised by UK NARIC as equivalent to a UK bachelor degree or higher), which was fully taught in English

  • You will need to submit your application your degree documents, which officially confirm that your degree was fully taught in English.

Is English the main business language in your place of work?

  • Many candidates to Alliance MBS programmes are working in international companies and organisations. If English is the main business language of the company/organisation where you are currently working and you predominately use English in your role, we can consider this when assessing your English language competency. You will need to submit official evidence from your company/organisation that states the percentage of your work communication that is in English and the level of your competency. We will then consider whether we can give an exemption from taking an official English test.
  • Please click here to download the form for your company to complete. You should upload this with your application or email to: financialmgmt.admissions@manchester.ac.uk

An interview will also be required.

Review application deadlines, tuition fees and scholarships

Please see the Fees and Funding section above to review information on fees, discounts and scholarships.

Next intake: September 2024

Final application deadline: TBC

Prepare the required application documents

We will review your application when it is complete, including the online application form and the required supporting documents. Before applying and to have the best chance of a successful application, please review the application checklist below and upload the mandatory documents when submitting your online application. Your application will not be reviewed until it is complete.

If you are unable to upload the documents when submitting your application form, email your documents to: financialmgmt.admissions@manchester.ac.uk

Application checklist

Complete and submit the online application form and upload the following documents (further information on how to complete each in the following drop-downs):

  1. Statement of purpose (max. 500 words)
  2. Academic qualification documents
  3. CV
  4. One reference (academic reference or professional reference)

Evidence of English language proficiency (if applicable).

 

Statement of purpose (essay)

You will need to upload your Statement of Purpose. The statement is your opportunity to tell us about yourself and your achievements and why you are a good 'fit' for the course. Please ensure your statement answers these two questions.

  1. What attracts you to apply to the MSc Financial Management course?
  2. What do you hope to gain from this course and how will it help you achieve your aspirations?

 

Academic qualification documents

You will need to upload a scanned copy of your official degree transcript(s) and certificate(s). If your original document is not in English, you must provide a translation from a certified translator.

  • If your degree is not from the UK, you need to provide the grading scale from the university where you are studying.

Your transcript(s) should show:

  • The type of degree awarded
  • Date of enrolment and date your degree was conferred (date of graduation)
  • The courses you took; the marks you achieved
  • Your final result, GPA or average grade

We reserve the right to contact your degree awarding institutions and/or professional associations for further information in connection with your application if required.

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Your CV is an important part of our assessment and should also be uploaded with your application. Your CV/résumé should have a simple clear well-formatted layout, no more than two pages in length. Please make sure your CV includes the following information.

Academic credentials

  • Details of all your qualifications; including your Bachelor's degree, any Master's degree, postgraduate diplomas/specialisations and professional qualifications.
  • Any academic distinctions, honours or awards.

Professional experience

If you have work experience, please include the following:

  • Each job you have taken since graduating from your undergraduate degree in reverse chronological order, starting with your current position.
  • Include the month/year start and end date, company name and job title for each position undertaken.
  • If you have worked in more than one position for the same company please show each position separately to highlight your career progression.
  • For each position, include bullet points of your key responsibilities and achievements; and if relevant include information about any management experience and reporting levels.

It is good practice to include a one- or two-line description of the context in which each company operates, for example: Global investment advisory firm with operations in 8 countries and $36B USD AUM.

 

Reference (one required)

We do not need to receive your reference at the same time as you submit your application, however we will normally need to receive at least one reference before making an offer.

In the application form please provide the details of two people (referees) who have knowledge of your academic or professional ability and contact them to provide a reference for your application that you can upload with your application. The references should be on letter head paper and contain the signature and contact details of your referees.

  • If you do not have professional experience, choose two lecturers or professors at your last University who can provide an academic reference.
  • If you have professional experience you can select both referees from your area of work, or provide one academic and one work-related reference.

If you are unable to provide a reference when submitting your application form we will send a reference template to your referees directly.

 

Evidence of English language competence

Please review the entry requirements above for details of our English language requirements for this programme and ensure that you submit the evidence required with your application. This is an important element of your application.

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The MSc Financial Management provides the tools and skills that today's managers require and will help you build a successful career in any industry that requires financial acumen.

Dr Amedeo De Cesari, Senior Lecturer in Finance

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