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Study information

Programme Specification for the 2023/4 academic year

MSc Financial Analysis and Fund Management

1. Programme Details

Programme nameMSc Financial Analysis and Fund Management Programme codePTS1SBESBE11
Study mode(s)Full Time
Academic year2023/4
Campus(es)Streatham (Exeter)
NQF Level of the Final Award7 (Masters)

2. Description of the Programme


The MSc Financial Analysis and Fund Management programme provides students with a rigorous academic curriculum in advanced finance theory combined with practical application. The programme is one of a limited number of programmes globally to be awarded CFA®‘University Affiliation Program’ status.  This means that at least 70% of CFA topics will be covered in the programme study materials. Students on the programme will have the opportunity to undertake both CFA Level I and II exams while studying for their Master's degree with support from the business school. 

Ranked amongst the world’s best finance programmes in the 2018 Financial Times and QS Masters in Finance Rankings 2020, the MSc Financial Analysis and Fund Management programme is ideal for anyone wishing to study advanced financial theory and looking to acquire expertise in investment analysis and fund management. 

This is a full-time programme, completed over a twelve-month period. In semesters one and two, you will gain a firm foundation in quantitative research methods for investment and finance, financial statement analysis, principles of finance, equity valuation models and issues, derivatives and credit instruments, financial modelling using Excel and VBA, and alternative investments. In the third semester, you will have the opportunity to undertake an empirical finance dissertation, or an applied finance project that is jointly supervised by an academic and a practitioner from the finance industry. To support your learning, non-assessed intensive training covering Thomson Reuters Eikon+DFO, Bloomberg, Capital IQ Platform and other financial databases and software systems are incorporated into relevant modules. 

In addition, students on this programme receive a three-week induction course, five CFA® training weekends and the opportunity to participate in the CFA’s Investment Research Challenge, the University of Exeter Business School’s Ethics Challenge, the University of Exeter Business School’s Bloomberg Investment Ideas Challenge, MSc FAFM guest speaker seminars and the FAFM Europe Study Trip. A tailored Professional Development and Standards module that aims to enhance students’ employability and establish professionalism and integrity has also been built into the programme.

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

1. provide you with an in-depth teaching and training in the skills and knowledge necessary to analyse problems arising in the field of investments and finance, in order to enable you to reach reasoned solutions to these
2. provide you with current evidence and issues arising in academic research in finance, especially in areas such as investment analysis, portfolio management, equity valuation, derivatives and fixed income investment instruments.
3. provide you, through practical sessions, with the additional skills necessary to apply your knowledge to complex situations arising currently in financial markets and to offer research backed solutions to complex investment problems.
4. equip you to follow careers such as investment analysts, fund managers or portfolio managers, or enter further study and research programmes.

The programme is intended to

4. Programme Structure

The MSc Financial Analysis and Fund Management (FAFM) programme is a 12-month programme of study at National Qualification Framework (NQF) level 7 (as confirmed against the FHEQ). The programme is divided into units of study called ‘modules’ which are assigned a number of ‘credits’. The credit value of a module is proportional to the total workload, with 1 credit being nominally equivalent to 10 hours of work.

5. Programme Modules

The following tables describe the programme and constituent modules. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced as a consequence of the annual programme review of this programme.

The following tables describe the programme and constituent modules. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced as a consequence of the annual programme review of this programme. Details of the modules currently offered may be obtained from the College web site

Stage 1

Compulsory Modules

135 credits of compulsory modules

a You must choose one of the following modules BEFM025, BEFM027, BEAM101 or BEMM392

b BEFM028 is compulsory for those wishing to sit the CFA examinations

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
BEFM024 Professional Standards and Development 15No
BEAM046 Financial Modelling 15No
BEAM072 Principles of Finance 15No
BEFM011 Financial Statement Analysis 15No
BEFM022 Quantitative Research Methods 15No
BEFM016 Equity Valuation Models and Issues 15No
BEFM015 Portfolio Management and Asset Allocation 15No
BEFM028 CFA Training and Development [See note b above]0No
FAFM Dissertation 23-34 [See note a above]
BEFM027 Dissertation 30 No
BEFM025 Applied Project 30 No
BEAM101 Sustainable Finance Project 30 No
BEMM392 Summer School 30 No

Optional Modules

45 credits of optional modules:

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
BEFM017 Credit Instruments and Derivatives 15No
BEAM031 Financial Instruments 15No
BEAM050 Advanced Corporate Finance 15No
BEAM052 Corporate Governance and Finance 15No
BEAM053 Mergers, Management Buyouts and Other Corporate Reorganisations 15No
BEAM065 Bank Management 15No
BEAM079 Coding Analytics for Accounting and Finance 30No
BEEM061 Fundamentals of Financial Technology 15No
BEA3028 Sustainable and Responsible Finance 15No

6. Programme Outcomes Linked to Teaching, Learning and Assessment Methods

Intended Learning Outcomes
A: Specialised Subject Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

1. explain complex finance theories
2. an ability to critically analyse problems arising in the areas of financial theory, derivatives, debt instruments, investment analysis and portfolio management (including where appropriate international issues)
3. an ability to support their conclusions by reference to current research, where appropriate
4. the dissertation requires students to have demonstrated further skills in finance and complete a finance-related dissertation

Teaching is by lectures, classes and supervision meetings (A1): BEFM027/BEFM025 introduction lecture and supervision meetings

Learning takes place through assigned reading of the research literature, assigned problem solution, which may be either individual or group work (A2): BEFM027/BEFM025  individual research dissertation (ILOs 2 – 4)


and by completion of a supervised dissertation (A3 – A4): BEFM027/BEFM025  (ILOs 1, 5), dissertation proposal 800 words + final dissertation of 9,000 words

Assessment takes place though written examination, by written assignment (A1- A2): BEFM027/BEFM025  (ILOs 1-12) written dissertation (100%)

and, where appropriate, by personal presentation, and through the assessed dissertation (A1- A4): BEFM027/BEFM025 (ILOs 1-12), proposal and the draft dissertation to be presented to the supervisor for feedback

Intended Learning Outcomes
B: Academic Discipline Core Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

5. the ability rigorously to analyse problems in finance;
6. the ability to interpret financial data and problems in the light of established theories;
7. the ability to access a wide body of empirical research literature and critically appraise it;
8. the ability to use relevant databases, existing research literature and techniques to conduct a detailed investigation of problems arising in financial markets and models.
9. demonstrate presentational skills

Classes, assigned exercises, practical classes, research supervision (B5): BEFM027/BEFM025, individual 5hrs contact hours supervision + proposal and finial project feedback


preparation and presentation of reports requiring critical analysis of finance literature (B6-B8):BEFM027/BEFM025 (ILOs 6-8): proposal + final project reports


presentation of group practical exercises or /and individual work (B9): BEFM027/BEFM025 (ILOs 9-10)

Assessment through examination (B4-7), written reports (B5-B9): BEFM027 (ILOs 1-12)


individual or group presentation (B9): BEFM027/BEFM025  (ILOs 1,6,9-12): proposal to be presented and discussed with supervisor on individual basis


where appropriate.  Case studies are assessed formatively (B5 – B8) where appropriate,

Intended Learning Outcomes
C: Personal/Transferable/Employment Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

10. CONFIDENT COMMUNICATOR: Able to adapt and adjust both written and verbal communication styles, to meet the needs of diverse audiences.
11. INNOVATIVE PROBLEM-SOLVER: Able to confidently explore challenges from different perspectives, to creatively offer practical and timely solutions.
12. PROACTIVE COLLABORATOR: Able to actively build strong working relationships with others to have positive outcomes.
13. DIGITALLY FLUENT: Able to embrace a variety of digital technologies to critically source, process andcommunicate information.
14. RESILIENT SELF-ADVOCATE: Able to develop self-awareness through a commitment to learning from experiences and taking responsibility for personal growth.
15. CRITICAL THINKER: Able to proactively analyse and evaluate information from a variety of sources to draw independent and well-founded conclusions.
16. GLOBALLY ENGAGED: Able to recognise diverse individual and cultural perspectives, in order to communicate on interconnected world issues and sustainable decisions


BEFM024 assesses students’ ability to adapt communication in job applications to meet the needs of recruiters

BEFM011 and BEAM046 prepares students to effectively present results and work in a group setting of diverse members

• BEFM025 is designed to develop students’ analytical, communication, consultancy and other transferable skills through an industry project, on completion, students are expected to be able to clearly communicate and discuss complex ideas verbally and in writing, and manage the relationship with the company effectively through constructive communication


• Assessed through portfolio from BEFM024 via individual career plan - overcoming personal obstacles and developing self-awareness, committing to personal goals. The course also assesses students problem-solving skills through a group case study using the CFA decision making framework.

• BEFM025 prepares students to work innovatively with their supervisory team to explore solutions to a real-world challenge faced by our industry partners.

• BEAM046 requires that students collaborate on a group assignment to evaluate investment portfolios
• BEFM011 asks students to demonstrate the ability to present effectively results and achievements of collaborative projects through group projects.
• BEFM015 assesses the student’s understanding of the subject by a 15-minute group presentation and report

• BEAM046 instructs students in the advanced use of Excel and Visual Basic for Applications (VBA)

• BEFM015 ensures students learn how to work with portfolios, using data from Bloomberg and Datastream.

• BEFM011 requires the ability to assess the financial position and performance of a company under different accounting systems and relevant databases

• BEFM017 relies on the student’s ability to use the University of Exeter Business School Approved Financial Calculator and MS Excel.

• BEFM025 gives students the opportunity to work on a clearly defined project addressing a real world issue set by an investment company under the joint supervision of an academic and a practitioner. It incorporates a practical experience element designed to help
develop a set of transferable skills such as intellectual skills, communication skills, organizational skills and interpersonal skills.

• BEFM024 is designed to prepare students for success in the finance industry through guidance in careers management skills, delivered through seminars, lectures, interactive electronic resources and personal guidance. Students will develop a set of transferable skills and raise self-awareness of the key skills and competencies in seeking jobs.

• BEAM072 requires students to develop theoretical arguments based on analytical reasoning as well as critically analyse problems arising in both academic and practical contexts
• BEAM046 emphasises real world application of finance theory using practical case studies delivered in a computer room following lectures. The module covers the implementation of quantitative financial models including portfolio optimization, portfolio management, risk measurement and yield curves
• BEFM015 teaches students how to work with portfolios, using data from Bloomberg and Datastream, and asks them to resolve some practical problems arising in complex 'real' environments
• BEFM011 asks students to demonstrate the ability to review critically the tools available for financial statement analysis and evaluate the usefulness of relevant financial reporting information.
• BEFM022 requires the students to develop rigorous theoretical arguments based on mathematical and analytical economic reasoning, to analyse quantitative problems, interpret financial data, and critically appraise empirical research literature using fundamental quantitative techniques that are essential for a financial analyst, such as basic statistics, probability theory and regression analysis
• BEFM017 requires students to rigorously analyse problems, develop rigorous theoretical arguments based on mathematical and analytical reasoning, evaluate credit instruments and financial derivative instruments in the stock, equity, FX and interest rate markets.
• BEFM016 requires students to take the accounting concepts and techniques developed and appraised in Financial Statement Analysis and to apply them to the valuation of equities in major industrial sectors. This involves developing and appraising critically a set of competing models of corporate valuation.
• BEFM027 requires students to independently formulate and undertake original and rigorous research in the field of finance. In particular, students are expected to form an original research proposal that extends the existing academic literature, develop a number of testable hypotheses, obtain the appropriate data to test those hypotheses, undertake an empirical analysis of the data using appropriate quantitative techniques, and to present the results of their research in an appropriate scientific format.

BEAM046 addresses the international aspects of finance through the estimation of the fair value of exchange rates
• BEFM011 uses International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) which apply to more than 100 countries around the world, as well as USA Accounting Standards
• BEAM072 focuses on financial economics topics relevant across countries and uses many international examples for discussion in lectures.
• BEFM022 teaches technical tools for financial research applicable across countries and incorporates new research on investment from various countries.
• BEFM017 aids students to build an online professional profile to connect with former students and potential employers internationally in over 60 countries and hundreds of banks across the globe. Many examples used for discussion are from American, European and Asian models.
• BEFM016 expects students to Be able to understand and respond creatively to cross-border financial analysis in industrial sectors.
• BEFM015 aims to develop skills based on format modelling of asset price procedures and empirical research findings in an international setting
• BEFM027 focuses on finance in an international setting, topics are concerned with theory and empirical evidence that is applicable to global financial markets, some topics dealing specifically international aspects of finance
• BEMM392 provides students the opportunity to engage with other students from across the globe in an intensive further study period with one of our international education patterner.

• BEFM024 – Mock Interview, and Personal Branding (ILOs 1,2, 6,7, 9, 11)
• BEFM011 – Group assignment (ILOs 1-11)
• BEAM046 – Group assignment (ILOs 1-20)
• BEFM025 – Individual project and presentation (ILOs 5 – 12)


• BEFM024 – Mock Internview, and Personal Branding (ILOs 1,2, 6,7, 9, 11)
• BEFM024 – CFA Ethical Challenge Case Study (ILOs 3,5,8,10,11)
• BEFM025 – Individual project and presentation (ILOs 5 – 12)

• BEAM046 – Group assignment (Module ILO 17)
• BEFM011 – Group assignment (ILOs 7 and 10)
• BEFM015- Group Project

• BEAM046 – Individual assignment and group assignment (ILOs 2, 18 and 19)
• BEFM015 – Coursework (ILO 10)
• BEFM011 – Group assignment and Examination (ILOs 1, 4, 6)
• BEFM017 – Individual project (ILOs 7-10, 14) in-class tests (ILO 1), Examination (ILO 1)
• BEAM046 – Individual assignment and group assignment (ILOs 2, 18 and 19)
• BEFM015 – Coursework (ILO 10)
• BEFM011 – Group assignment and Examination (ILOs 1, 4, 6)
• BEFM017 – Individual project (ILOs 7-10, 14)
• BEFM024 – Individual presentation (ILO 1- 9)
• BEFM025 – Individual project and presentation (ILO5-12)

• BEAM072 – Examination (ILOs 1, 2, 5 & 6)
• BEAM046 - Individual assignment and group assignment (ILOs 10-15)
• BEFM011 – Examination and Group Assignment (ILO 5)
• BEAM029 – In-class test and Examination (ILOs 7-11)
• BEFM022 – Mid-term exam (ILOs 8-9) and Final Exam (ILOs 8-11)
• BEFM017 –7-10 in-class tests (ILOs 6-11), and Examination (ILOs 6-11)
• BEFM016 – Examination (ILOs 1-3, 5-8, 13)
• BEFM015 – Group Project and Examination (ILOs 1-10)
• BEFM027 – Dissertation (ILOs 1-8)

• BEAM046 – Practical exam and group assignment (ILO 9)
• BEFM011 – Examination and assignment (ILO 2)
• BEFM016 – Examination (ILO 3)
• BEFM022 – Mid-term exam and Final Exam
• BEFM017 – Individual Project, 7-10 in-class tests, Examination
• BEFM015 – Group Project and Examination (ILO 1)
• BEFM027 – Dissertation


7. Programme Regulations


Postgraduate (PG) Programmes: The programme consists of 180 credits. The pass mark for award of credit in PG modules (NQF level 7) is 50%.


Full details of assessment regulations for all taught programmes can be found in the TQA Manual, specifically in the Credit and Qualifications Framework, and the Assessment, Progression and Awarding: Taught Programmes Handbook. Additional information, including Generic Marking Criteria, can be found in the Learning and Teaching Support Handbook.

8. College Support for Students and Students' Learning

Personal and Academic tutoring: It is University policy that all Colleges should have in place a system of academic and personal tutors. The role of academic tutors is to support you on individual modules; the role of personal tutors is to provide you with advice and support for the duration of the programme and extends to providing you with details of how to obtain support and guidance on personal difficulties such as accommodation, financial difficulties and sickness. You can also make an appointment to see individual teaching staff.


Student/Staff Liaison Committee enables students & staff to jointly participate in the management and review of the teaching and learning provision.


The Postgraduate Student Handbook can be accessed via ELE at the following address:

9. University Support for Students and Students' Learning

Please refer to the University Academic Policy and Standards guidelines regarding support for students and students' learning.

10. Admissions Criteria

Undergraduate applicants must satisfy the Undergraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Postgraduate applicants must satisfy the Postgraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Specific requirements required to enrol on this programme are available at the respective Undergraduate or Postgraduate Study Site webpages.

11. Regulation of Assessment and Academic Standards

Each academic programme in the University is subject to an agreed College assessment and marking strategy, underpinned by institution-wide assessment procedures.

The security of assessment and academic standards is further supported through the appointment of External Examiners for each programme. External Examiners have access to draft papers, course work and examination scripts. They are required to attend the Board of Examiners and to provide an annual report. Annual External Examiner reports are monitored at both College and University level. Their responsibilities are described in the University's code of practice. See the University's TQA Manual for details.

(Certain programmes are subject to accreditation and/or review by professional and statutory regulatory bodies (PSRBs).

This programme is reviewed by the CFA Programme Partner Annual Review.

13. Methods for Evaluating and Improving Quality and Standards

The University and its constituent Colleges review the quality and standard of teaching and learning in all taught programmes against a range of criteria through the procedures outlined in the Teaching Quality Assurance (TQA) Manual Quality Review Framework.

14. Awarding Institution

University of Exeter

15. Lead College / Teaching Institution

Faculty of Environment, Science and Economy (ESE)

16. Partner College / Institution

Partner College(s)

Not applicable to this programme

Partner Institution

Not applicable to this programme.

17. Programme Accredited / Validated by


18. Final Award

MSc Financial Analysis and Fund Management

19. UCAS Code


20. NQF Level of Final Award

7 (Masters)

21. Credit

CATS credits


ECTS credits


22. QAA Subject Benchmarking Group

23. Dates

Origin Date


Date of last revision