MSc Financial Analysis and Fund Management

Duration Full time 1 year
  • Finance
LocationExeter (Streatham)
Start date September


The MSc in Financial Analysis and Fund Management is a very challenging programme that offers students the opportunity to study for the level I and level II CFA exams at the same time as the MSc Financial Analysis and Fund Management.

The MSc in Financial Analysis and Fund Management is one of a limited number of programmes globally which has been awarded ‘Program Partner’ Status by the CFA institute, this means that the programme covers at least 70% of the CFA level I and II syllabus.

Run by the Xfi Centre for Finance and Investment, it is a twelve month full-time programme, and is designed for those wishing to learn fundamental and advanced theory in investment analysis.

Students on this programme will have access to a dedicated Thomson Reuters lab and in addition to Data stream and other financial databases and software systems.

All of the following are included in the fees for this programme:

  • MSc Financial Analysis and Fund Management programme
  • The three-week induction and foundation programme
  • Four weekend CFA dedicated training sessions
  • The cost of enrolment and registration for two CFA exams
  • The CFA level I and II text books
  • A CFA approved calculator

CFA® Track
The MSc in Financial Analysis and Fund Management with CFA® Track enables you to take Levels I and II of the Chartered Financial Analyst qualification, while also continuing to study Financial Analysis and Fund Management. We provide extensive additional training for the CFA® level I and II professional examinations in December and June.

MSc Only Track
With the MSc Only Track, you are not required to register for the CFA® exams, or attend the workshops organised for those on the CFA® Track.

CFA® is a trademark owned by the CFA Institute.

MSc Financial Analysis and Fund Management in global top 50

Our MSc Financial Analysis and Fund Management (FAFM) has been ranked in the global top 50 in the latest Financial Times (FT) rankings.

The programme entered the FT Masters in Finance league table at 43rd in the world, 14th in UK. It is also one of a limited number of programmes globally which has been awarded ‘Program Partner’ Status by the CFA institute.

Read the full Masters in Finance rankings 2015.

My dream is to work as a financial analyst and the UK is the best place to gain the knowledge in this field. So I decided to come here after graduating in Finance and Economics at Shandong University in China.

Shilu Zhang - MSc Financial Analysis and Fund Management.

Study abroad and gain a second Masters qualification

The double degree option enables you to gain a second Masters qualification by studying for a year with one of our prestigious partner universities. For more information on this and other postgraduate study abroad opportunities, visit the Business School’s Study Abroad webpages.

Current available funding

Programme structure

This programme is a 12 month full-time programme, studied over three terms. It is based at the Exeter campus of the University throughout this time.

The programme begins with a three week full-time, compulsory, induction and foundation course. The induction includes an introduction to several of the subject areas covered in the programme, in particular accounting. It also includes a week of preparation for the CFA® exams, delivered by a dedicated CFA® trainer.

The taught components of the programme are delivered in the first two terms, with the third term, and most of the summer, spent researching and writing a dissertation.

During the first two terms, we also provide four weekend sessions delivered by CFA® trainers. The purpose of which is to provided specific help and training for students sitting the CFA® exams.

Start date: September

The programme in its entirety, including the mandatory foundation course, runs from September to September.

In 2015, the intensive mandatory foundation course will commence three weeks before formal teaching begins.


During the programme you will study modules (including the dissertation) totalling 180 credits. Please note that modules are subject to change. To ensure a high level of coverage of the CFA® syllabus all of the modules on this programme are compulsory.

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

Learning and teaching

Our postgraduate taught programmes utilise a range of teaching methods including lectures, seminars and tutorials.


The aim of lectures is to give you information on ideas that are central to the module and to help you in developing your understanding of complex ideas. Many of the teaching materials for lectures are made available to you electronically to accompany the notes you take during the lecture. Lectures are given by a range of staff members, including leading professors, who integrate their latest research findings into the teaching that you receive. Guest lecturers, including members of industry, also contribute to some modules.

Seminars and tutorials

Seminars and tutorials involve an in-depth exploration of the issues covered in lectures as well as giving you the opportunity to discuss various concepts and theories and receive feedback on your written assignments.


Modules are assessed through a mixture of group work, coursework, project work and examinations; the weighting of each of these components will vary according to the academic requirements of the module. Examinations are normally held at the end of the module, in January and May/June.


After obtaining your MSc Financial Analysis and Fund Management you will be able to look at these two main areas for roles and careers you may want to pursue: Investment Banking and Financial Services.

Investment Banking

Although investment bankers come from a relatively diverse range of academic disciplines, the best place to start is with a finance or economics degree. Banks will teach you what you need to know about the industry but finance related degrees tend to be the most likely to get you through the door.

When working in investment banking you could find your ambition is to work in the “front office”, e.g. in Mergers and Acquisitions, Capital markets or Sales and Trading; you could opt for “middle office” functions such as IT, Accounting, Finance and Risk management; or settle for the “back office”, which means ‘Operations’. 

As competition in these sectors can be tough, our MSc FAFM graduates tend to complete an internship at an investment bank to begin with, as this has proven to enhance chances of securing a full-time role. Goldman and Sachs, for instance, offers full-time roles to around 60-70% of its interns; at Morgan Stanley this figure rises to 65-75%.  

Roles and salaries vary according to the division that you will end up working in but the usual career path in Investment Banking will more likely take you through the following steps:

  • Analyst - entry level – 1-3 years then move up to:
  • Associate – for 3 years then move up to:
  • Vice President (VP)
  • Director/Executive Director
  • Managing Director

Please click on the links below to find out who the key players are and what the different divisions have to offer in terms of career opportunities and salaries to an MSc FAFM graduate (data correct in 2012-2014):

Financial Services

“The graduates we hire have often already sat one or more CFA papers and had relevant work experience” (Alex Griffiths, Senior Director, Corporates rating team, Fitch Ratings – Careers in Financial Markets 2014, efc)

If investment banks advise clients on trading or funding decisions, working in the Financial Services industry is more about making decisions on their behalf once they have entrusted you with their money.

Although some of the jobs in the Financial Services industry may not be immediately available to graduates, a couple of years’ experience in private banking will allow moving across to private equity, front-facing global custody roles or private client brokerage.

It might be also worth considering that jobs in this sector may be offered by smaller transnational organisations such as the IFC, which could offer greater opportunities.

It’s worth noting that while the large investment banks hire hundreds of graduates each year, the big players in the fund and wealth management world recruit tens annually. The competition has intensified in recent years and graduate recruits in these areas are expected to be more prepared for the job market than ever, as they will be entrusted with a high level of responsibility even at junior level. All firms will run their own in-house training schemes and larger firms will offer graduate training courses in wealth management for junior broker positions; however an understanding of financial markets before starting in the role is a distinct advantage.

This is where your MSc FAFM may make you stand out from the crowd and give you a competitive advantage and you will also find that large accountancy firms will demand a finance-related degree as a first step onto their ladder.

Careers in the Financial Services Industry are less structured and span across areas such as: Fund Management, Hedge and Private Equity Funds, Global Custody, Interdealer Broking, Wealth Management, Corporate Banking, Data Providers and Rating Agencies, Insurance, Accounting. 
Examples of career paths available in this sector are:  research (modeller or analyst), idea generation, portfolio management, distribution, sales, marketing, trading, compliance, technology, operations, performance measurement, fund administration, fund accounting, settlements, corporate actions, private client brokerage or banking, corporate banking, business development, relationship management, risk and credit assessment, rating, etc.

More information about roles, salaries and what it takes to make it in the Financial Services Industry can be found by clicking on the links below (data correct in 2012-2014):

Main Source: Careers in Financial Markets 2014 by eFinancialCareers
Other useful readings: CFA Careers Guide 2011

Recent graduate destinations

2013-14 Cohort

Mei Yao Auditor at PriceWaterHouseCooper in China 
(previous: Internship at Ernst & Young and EY Consulting Ltd in Dongguan, Guangdong, China)
Kexiang Si Investment Assistant in the department of Aggregate Asset Management for Changan Fund Management Co. Ltd.
Xin Yuan Clerk of Regulatory Reporting Department for The Bank of East Asia (China) Ltd in Shanghai (start date 11th November 2014)
Dicky Parengkuan Investment Analyst at Inspired Asset Management, 22 Grosvenor Square, Mayfair, London (real estate/property management)
Zhongyuan Xu Overseas Real Estate Investment and Finance for Ping'An group (a fortune 500 Chinese company)
Tawanda Chetse Technology Analyst for Markit Group Limited (a financial information services company) as part of Markit Analytics, their Enterprise Software Solutions division. Tawanda works in a team that develops risk analytics software for clients (start date: 20th October 2014).
Zi Sang PE fund analyst at Port and Shipping Fund Management Co., Shanghai, China (Operating models, Investment proposals, Market Research in the Shipping area) 
(previous: Strategy and Investment Department Intern, Fosun International Limited, Shanghai, China (property investment projects)
Chatprae Hall Trithepvilai Assistant to CEO, Double A (1191) Public Company Limited, Bangkok, Thailand (co-operate with investment team to follow the progress of overseas projects and push them complete within the targeted timeline)
Danny (Dongjun) Liu Treasury Specialist - Finance Department - COFCO Corporation, Beijing, China
Bo Shen Intern for an investment company for a risk management position in Guangzhou, China.
Ivan Pang Received offers as Financial Manager for the Bank of China and Auditor for Lixin Certified Public.

Other 2013-14 students are currently employed as interns in Private Equity, Security, Trust Fund and Industry research

2012-13 Cohort

Allan Tandhyka Gemiarto Financial Analyst in Operation Finance at PT HM Sampoerna Tbk, Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia (Investment Banking)
Xiaoqing Peng Senior Clerk/Branch Accountant, Bank of China, Macao, China
Yu Wang Management Trainee in Financial Services at UOB (United Overseas Bank Limited), Pudongxin District, Shanghai, China (Previous: graduate trainee intern at China Everbright Bank, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China)
Fangyi Cai Industry Analyst at Cangjiang Securities Co. Ltd, Wuhan, Hubei, China
I-Ling Fu Customer Service Executive at, Shanghai, China
Jianfei Shen Project Manager at Guizhou Equity & Financial Asset Exchange, Guiyang City, Guizhou, China 
(previous: Project Manager at HuaChuang Securities Co. Ltd in the Asset Management Department)
Xige Jiao Consultant at KPMG, Beijing, China
Shimin Zhou Employee in the Corporate Finance Management Department, Bank of Nanjing, Wuxi, Jiangsu, China (previous: Trainee Lobby Manager, Bank of Nanjing)
Kai Zheng Associate at PwC Hongkong and Mainland China, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China 
(previous: Investment Analyst at Cinda International Capital Limited, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China)
Sixin Chen Financial Assistant at COFCO Agricultural Industrial Investment Fund, Chaoyang Men, Beijing, China - (He was previously employed as an Analyst for the same company)

The Financial European Tour*

The University of Exeter Business School organises a 9-day formative trip to Europe, exclusively designed and open to all of the students on the MSc Financial Analysis and Fund Management programme. The purpose of this bespoke initiative is to allow the students to attend lectures delivered by European experts in their chosen field of study and to visit companies abroad that operate in the financial industry - all of this, whilst walking down the Seine, or dining by a beautiful lake, on some of the “sightseeing” days.

In June 2014/15 the European Financial Tour takes the MSc FAFM student to the two beautiful European destinations of Zurich and Paris.

In Zurich, the students will spend the first four days of the trip, hosted by the ZHAW School of Management and Law. Here they will be able to take advantage of a 2-day programme that will introduce them to the Swiss Private Banking structure and products and will delve into Hedge Funds strategies and Investment policies.

The second half of the trip, instead, will take place in Paris, where the focus will be on visiting two of the most prestigious transnational organizations: the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development) and IFC (International Finance Corporation – a member of the World Bank Group and the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector in developing countries). 

The Financial European Tour programme structure may vary from year to year, depending on the hosting institution’s availability and countries of interest, but it’s definitely an opportunity not to be missed that comes exclusively with the MSc Financial Analysis and Fund Management.

Please note that charges may apply and that the running of this programme is not guaranteed every year.

Entry requirements 2016

A good honours degree in a related discipline from a recognised university. The majority of our candidates will be expecting a First or 2:1 degree, however, we do consider all applications where there is evidence of exceptional performance in modules relevant to the programme of study, significant relevant work experience or professional qualifications such as CFA, ACCA, ICAEW, ICAS and CIMA.

This programme is an intensive 12 month programme and gives students the opportunity to study for the CFA(r) Level I and Level II exams at the same time as the MSc Financial Analysis and Fund Management.


In order to apply for the MSc Financial Analysis and Fund Management candidates must be able to demonstrate strengths in: Finance, Accounting, Economics, Mathematics.

Mathematics modules may include, for example, Algebra, Calculus, Econometrics, Statistics, Probability or Optimisation.

Offer conditions

The deadline for meeting any outstanding offer conditions for the MSc Financial Analysis and Fund Management will be 24 July 2015 for entry in September 2015.

Requirements for international students

If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

At least 7.0 overall and no less than 6.0 in any other section.


At least 100 with minimum scores of 21 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.

Pearson Test of English (Academic)

65 with no less than 55 in all skills.

Other accepted tests

Information about other acceptable tests of linguistic ability can be found on our English language requirements page.

Pre-sessional English

Applicants with lower English language test scores may be able to take pre-sessional English at INTO University of Exeter prior to commencing their programme. See our English language requirements page for more information.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees per year 2016/17

  • UK/EU: £12,700 full-time*
  • International: £24,000 full-time*

These fees include registration and enrolment fees for two exams of the CFA® professional qualification and core textbooks for the CFA® syllabus. Students who do not wish to undertake the CFA® professional qualification should contact the School for the latest fee information.

Fee information

Fees can normally be paid by two termly instalments and may be paid online. You will also be required to pay a tuition fee deposit to secure your offer of a place, unless you qualify for exemption. For further information about paying fees see our Student Fees pages.

Current available funding

Contact us

Postgraduate Admissions Team

For queries on entry requirements, eligibility and how to apply please contact the University of Exeter Postgraduate Admissions team

Business School Postgraduate Admissions Officer

For queries relating to Business School programmes please contact the Postgraduate Admissions Officer
Phone: +44 (0) 1392 723246