UCAS Code N300
The BSc (Hons) in Finance, Investment and Risk is a new programme designed for students who want a career in investment banking and related roles. It provides the opportunity to study for a directly relevant degree in a business-like environment that gives unique exposure to, and immersion in, the financial services industry.
The programme will enable you to develop a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the core elements of investment and financial analysis and risk management that underpin sound decision-making. It will provide you with opportunities to investigate and analyse a range of issues relating to financial markets and the financial services sector (particularly investment/corporate banking) and its national and international environment.
Alongside study of the broader environment in which investment banking operates, the programme will also develop your understanding of key aspects of equity markets and investments, security analysis, asset classes and bond and equity pricing as well as covering portfolio management, derivatives, and alternative investments.
Critically, the programme also provides you with the opportunity to evaluate the impact of changing regulatory and operating conditions and gain insights into and understanding of the local and global tensions in banking and financial services. Ethics and professional standards form a key component of the course and will be taught at each level of the programme.
View the programme specification.
View our full-time prospectus.
The BSc (Hons) in Finance, Investment and Risk is studied via a series of core and elective modules, giving you essential understanding of the industry as a whole and the ability to tailor your learning to subjects of interest and your career aspirations.
Each module is taught through a variety of lectures and tutorials by our lecturers. Throughout the programme, senior industry practitioners will give guest lectures and seminars and provide insight on the latest developments in the industry.
- Financial Markets and Risk
- Assessing Financial Performance
- Introduction to Financial Market Instruments
- Introduction to Quantitative Methods for Finance and Investment
- Financial Services: The Commercial Environment
- Interpretation of Financial Statements
- Corporate Finance
- Debt and Equity Investment and Valuation
- Fixed Income Markets
- Derivatives and Risk Management
- Final Year Project
You will be required to choose one out of three elective modules.
- Advanced Work-based Learning
- Wealth Management
- Globalisation of Financial Markets
Our qualifications are assessed in a variety of different ways that are appropriate to the subject and learning outcomes within the programme to assess knowledge and understanding. A range of assessment tools will be used including written assessments, reports and projects, case studies and business proposals; and, in the final year, dissertation. In addition, formative assessment occurs throughout the course off study set by the individual lecturers and can take a variety of forms including written tasks, peer and small group discussion, and presentations.
Advanced Work-based Learning
For this module student performance, as demonstrated in their final reflective report, will be assessed against the module learning outcomes and the assessment criteria published in the WBL guidelines.
Financial Markets and Risk (30 credits)
The module provides students with an overview of the monetary and financial system and its functions and looks at the importance of financial institutions, markets and instruments within this system. Included within this module are the processes of financial intermediation and disintermediation.
Assessing Financial Performance (30 credits)
The module examines the uses of financial information and the qualitative characteristics of useful information. The module closely considers the accounting system and the financial statements which evolve from this in order to measure business performance, position and liquidity. The module reviews the budgetary process in organisations, recognising that operational performance targets are most commonly communicated and monitored via this process. This review explicitly acknowledges that while many budgets are expressed in financial terms it is equally important to have budgets/targets based on key operational measures and to regularly monitor actual levels of achievement against those targets. The module concludes with a review of the ‘balanced scorecard’ approach to measuring performance and the use of performance indicators in the non-financial elements of the balanced scorecard approach.
Introduction to Financial Market Instruments (30 credits)
This module covers the main types of product used in the financial markets, including debt and equity instruments used in both retail and wholesale markets. It involves an initial familiarisation of the instrument types, before then proceeding to a full understanding of how the instruments are used and how one assesses them from a risk-reward perspective. The module develops a wide-ranging critical and theoretical approach to financing decisions and how the different financial instruments are employed to construct the full capital structure within the wider financial markets. The module also evaluates the risk-reward considerations of institutional investors and how these are met through the use of the different financial instrument types available.
Economics (15 credits)
This module introduces students to the broad economic concepts within macro and micro economics including: supply and demand; allocation of resources; trade; markets; market failure; government policy; national income; unemployment; inflation; economic growth; macroeconomic models; spending and taxation; money; interest rates; and macroeconomic control of the economy.
Introduction to Quantitative Methods for Finance and Investment (15 credits)
This module provides students with an understanding of the quantitative methods for finance and investment. This includes the ability to formulate problems into quantitative models, in order to aid the successful resolution of the problem. Students will learn how to apply statistical methods to analyse past data and infer future trends. Using output from mathematical and statistical models, students will learn to analyse, interpret and derive potential outcomes from quantitative information.
Financial Services: The Commercial Environment (30 credits)
This module is concerned with the external environment in which financial services organisations operate. The module maintains a focus on the economic environment, financial markets and institutions, competition, regulation and other ethical and social considerations that can impact on an organisation’s management and marketing strategies.
Interpretation of Financial Statements (30 credits)
This module covers the conceptual framework for financial reporting taking account of legal and regulatory requirements at an international level. It asks students to undertake a critical assessment of the key components of financial reporting statements and what this analysis reveals from a stakeholder point of view. Students will undertake valuations of business entities using appropriate concepts and methods for valuation and investment purposes.
Corporate Finance (30 credits)
This module will consider the practical application, sources, use and management of finance to understand the key financial decisions made by companies. Students will learn about debt and equity valuation; asset pricing models and their application, company dividend policies as well as how companies structure portfolios for short-term and long-term investment and the risk management approaches adopted by companies.
Debt and Equity Investments and Valuation (30 credits)
Building on the first year module ‘Introduction to Financial Market Instruments’, this module looks more specifically at debt and equity investment classes, and approaches to their valuation covering relevant theories and tools. The module examines the types, features and characteristics of debt and equity investments and their role in investment management. The module goes on to explore theories and tools for the analysis and valuation, including return concepts, of equity investments.
Fixed Income Markets (30 credits)
This module is an in-depth review of the bond markets and fixed income instruments. Students will study the description and analysis of fixed income products from an investor risk-reward and from a trader risk management point of view. The syllabus provides an initial familiarisation of the instrument types, before then proceeding to a full understanding of how the instruments are used and how one assesses them from a risk-reward perspective. The module develops a wide-ranging critical and theoretical approach to debt financing decisions and how the different bond instruments are used by borrowers in the wholesale markets. The module also evaluates the risk-reward considerations of institutional investors and how these are met through the use of the different bond instrument types available.
Derivatives and Risk Management (30 credits)
This module is an in-depth review of (i) the concept of financial risk management as undertaken by banks and (ii) the use of derivative instruments as part of this risk management process. Students will study the description and analysis of derivative products from a risk hedging point of view. The syllabus provides a detailed familiarisation of the instrument types, before then proceeding to a full understanding of how the instruments are used and how one assesses them from a risk-reward perspective. The module develops a wide-ranging critical and theoretical approach to risk hedging decisions and how the different derivative instruments are used by banks for differing risk exposures. The module also evaluates the risk exposure considerations of institutional investors and how these are met through the use of the different derivative instrument types available.
Final Year Project (30 credits)
This module will enable students to undertake and complete a piece of independent work which involves the collection, interpretation, analysis and presentation of information and data. It will provide the opportunity to present key findings within an evaluative and balanced argument. It will enable the development of a critical approach to undertaking and using research methodology and the interpretation of the outcomes.
Advanced Work-Based Learning (30 credits)
This module aims to provide an integrated approach to study and help students to enhance their subject-specific and generic skills through an iterative process of use and reflection as well as embed direct employment-related skills in the curriculum. Students will have opportunities to reflect upon their academic learning and gain relevant practical experience by applying this learning in a workplace setting, looking particularly at strategic issues and their impact upon the business environment.
Wealth Management (30 credits)
The module examines the core features of a typical wealth management division including investment services, brokerage and financial planning as well as international and private banking. Students will examine the various categories of client, identify and assess their needs, develop solutions and justify advice. Such advice will range from core financial planning (life cover / pension requirements), through to making investment recommendations from a range of financial products such as an equity/bond based portfolio, to hedge funds/private equity holdings. The module also provides relevant context by comparing alternative regulatory regimes an advisor could be working within, in particular this will focus on the details of what is required to become, and remain, authorised by the Financial Service Authority (FSA) within the UK. In addition students will evaluate contemporary issues that impact upon the wealth management service.
Globalisation of Financial Markets (30 credits)
This module provides an analysis of the global financial system in tandem with specific components from the theory of finance. It encourages the student to make use of finance theory and history to draw / develop conclusions about the future direction of the global financial system in general and individual markets in particular.
A tariff, normally of 320-340 UCAS points, to include at least one subject relevant qualification at A2 level or the International Baccalaureate (32 points) or equivalent; this can include up to 120 points gained from the ifs CeFS and DipFS qualifications.
Offers vary depending on the relevance of subjects studied at AS/A2 level, or equivalent.
Students are also required to hold:
- GCSE Mathematics at minimum grade B (or equivalent) and
- GCSE English Language at minimum grade C (or equivalent) or an IELTS score of 6.0 or above with no element below 5.5.
All students are required to join the ifs School of Finance as a student member when they enrol on an ifs Professional Higher Education programme.
Applicants for a full-time BSc (Hons) programme may be interviewed and will be required to submit a piece of written work (personal statement) as part of their UCAS application to enable an assessment to be made of their suitability for the programme.
If you hold the AAT Level 3 and/or Level 4 Diploma or the ACCA ‘Fundamentals’ papers F1-F6 (or part thereof), you may be eligible for entry/exemption to ifs undergraduate programmes. For further details, please contact the Student Services and Admissions Office on +44 (0) 1227 829499 or email us.
If you do not meet the entry requirements or you require any further information please call +44 (0) 1227 829 499 to speak to a Admission, Academic Management and Student Services Adviser or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are happy to consider applications from mature students.
Mature students who do not meet the entry requirements will be required to submit a CV supported by a 500 to 600 word statement indicating why they have chosen to undertake the programme and how it will support their career plans. If invited to progress, an interview may be held and a numeracy and verbal reasoning assessment may need to be passed.
All students are required to hold:
- GCSE Mathematics at minimum grade B (or equivalent) and
- GCSE English Language at minimum grade C (or equivalent) or an IELTS score of 6.0 or above with no element below 5.5
For more information, please visit our International students page or visit UCAS to apply.
Applications & fees
All applications must be made via UCAS:
BSc (Hons) in Finance, Investment and Risk UCAS Code N300.
For more information on how to apply, visit www.ucas.com/students/apply.
For more information on applying to study at the ifs and to view our admissions policy please visit our admissions page.
Home/EU tuition fees for 2013/14 are £6,000 per annum. International student fees are listed on the International student page.
For more information on fees and sources of funding please visit our Fees & Funding page.
Graduates of this course are likely to go on to careers in a wide range of investment banking roles as traders, fund and asset managers, analysts and brokers. Students will be supported throughout their studies to gain summer internships with leading investment banks to give their career a head start. The programme is also designed to be an excellent foundation for the CFA Institute’s globally recognised CFA award or further specialist studies in Finance at Masters Level.