Centre for Actuarial Science, Risk and Investment

MSc Finance, Investment & Risk
An overview and FAQs

Logo reading CFA® Recognised Program

This unique programme provides the essential knowledge base in quantitative finance, investment analysis and portfolio management with financial risk analysis playing an important role.

The content of the programme will provide a sound understanding of the theories that underpin modern techniques in investment and risk management. The application of the theories is demonstrated in our finance lab with the aid of Bloomberg and via case studies and the use of online databases.

The finance elements of the programme provide the essential knowledge of the principles and applications of finance as well as practical experience of quantitative techniques used in finance.

Through the investment aspect of the programme students gain a sound knowledge of the theoretical underpinnings of current investment techniques including modern portfolio theory and applications, asset pricing models, security analysis and investment process.

Within the risk management part of the programme, students learn the principles and applications of Enterprise Risk Management and Financial Risk Management and gain a sound understanding of how to define, measure and manage risk within financial institutions.

By virtue of our CFA® Recognised Programme status, five student Scholarships per year for the CFA® programme are awarded to eligible students on the MSc in Finance, Investment and Risk.

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Why is this programme offered in a mathematics department?

In the past ten years financial markets and financial products have become increasingly sophisticated. Practitioners and researchers in finance need to understand how the capital markets work, the nature of the structured finance products and the effect of changes in key financial indicators on financial markets, using a variety of mathematical models. To understand and work with these models some mathematical ability is needed. The School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science has members of staff who have experience both in teaching quantitative courses and as practitioners in industry so is well placed to provide the necessary training.

How much maths do I need to know?

If your first degree is in a Science subject, you will have the required quantitative background for the course. If you have studied a Social Science subject with some quantitative content, depending on the courses that you have studied, you may be eligible to start the programme. If you have a good class of degree but your mathematical skills need to be topped up, we will ask you to enrol in our maths and stats induction course before the start of the course, or in some cases we will ask you to carry out some reading before the start of the course.

How flexible is the structure of the programme?

The core modules will provide the main body of knowledge required for a finance practitioner. Elective modules allow specialisation in particular areas of finance depending on your interest and background. More about the modules

I have ACCA qualifications. Would that help in securing a place on the programme?

Yes, if you are ACCA qualified, it will support your application.

What are the term dates?

We follow the usual University of Kent academic calendar which in 2013-14 will be:

Autumn term: 29 September - 19 December 2014

Spring term: 19 January - 10 April 2015

Summer term: 11 May - 19 June 2015 (this is the time of year when students sit examinations)

Is work experience necessary for this programme?

Work experience is not necessary but if you have relevant work experience, it will help your application.

Do I get exemptions from professional qualifications when I graduate?

One of the main professional qualifications for the finance industry is the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). However the CFA Institute, which awards the qualification, does not grant accreditation or exemption for its examinations to universities and so all those who wish to be CFA qualified have to take the CFA examinations with the CFA Institute itself.

However, the FIR programme has been designed in line with the CFA syllabus and revision classes are offered within the programme to prepare students for the CFA exams. The classes are led by CFA qualified professionals who train industry practitioners for the CFA exams.

The programme is in the process of applying for accreditation to the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments (CISI) for the CISI Diploma.

Reaching the required standard in examination for some courses within the programme will lead to exemptions for subjects (CT2, CT7, CT8) examined by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, UK (IFA).

Do I have to pay for the CFA revision classes?

No, the CFA revision classes are offered to all who wish to take them free of change.

Is there a thesis to be completed as part of the programme?

The Case Studies in Finance module (MA939) provides students with an opportunity to learn about and explore in more depth particular areas of finance. This will provide a deeper insight into specific issues as well as initiating an interest in possible further research.

If you would like to find out more about the MSc in Finance, Investment and Risk please email us at l...@kent.ac.uk.


The MSc Finance, Investment and Risk programme draws on specialisations within the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science in the areas of Finance, Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science. The School has an excellent research reputation (RAE 2008) and many members of staff are professionally qualified with practitioner experience.

Academic Staff

The key courses in the programme are taught by CFA qualified members of staff with extensive investment banking experience. Programme director Loba van der Bijl trained at the London School of Economics, later specialising in finance before joining industry.

Loba van der Bijl (programme director)

Dr Antonis Alexandridis
Roger Bevan IFA
Andrew Jackson, IFA
Andrew James IFA
Dr Jaideep Oberoi
Dr Pradip Tapadar IFA
Jane Vessey CFA
Cristiano Villa ACCA
Dr Huamao Wang
Nick Wood IFA

Centre for Actuarial Science, Risk and Investment (CASRI), School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science (SMSAS), Sibson Building, Parkwood Road, Canterbury, CT2 7FS

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Last Updated: 31/03/2015