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Study Guide to Masters and Bachelors Degree Courses

ICMA Centre
Henley Business School, University of Reading

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Address ICMA Centre, Henley Business School, University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading, RG6 6BA, England
Tel. No. +44 (0) 118 378 8239
Fax No. +44 (0) 118 931 4741
E-mail address
Programme Manager Hilary Feltham
ICMA Centre Director Professor John Board
Course Titles BSc Finance and Investment Banking
MSc International Securities, Investment and Banking
MSc Investment Management
MSc Financial Risk Management
MSc Capital Markets, Regulation and Compliance
MSc Corporate Finance
MSc Financial Engineering
MSc International Shipping and Finance
MSc Investment Banking and Islamic Finance
Type of courses Full-time, Flexible and Distance Learning
Length of courses Full-time: 9 months
Flexible: 18 months
Distance: 24 months
Date of commencement September / October
Class size Full-time: 300 students
Flexible and Distance Learning: 30 students
Accommodation High quality university accommodation is available throughout the campus
Fees Full-time: £18,000 GBP (for 9 months)
Flexible: £17.000 GBP (for 18 months)
Distance: £15,000 GBP (for 24 months)
Admission requirements
  • 2:1 Honours degree from a UK university or the overseas equivalent. All disciplines considered. Some evidence of numerical ability required.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English will normally be expected to take, or have taken, either:
    1. IELTS (British Council International English Language Test) - average score of 6.5 (with no significant weakness in any component of the test) or
    2. TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Overall score of 88 for the internet based test, with no less than 22 in Reading, 21 in Listening, 23 in Speaking and 21 in Writing.
  • GMAT - around 600. For the full-time programme GMAT is not mandatory. For the flexible and distance learning programmes, those who graduated more than five years ago are strongly advised to provide a score.
  • National / Overseas students Full-Time Programme:
    Ratio of EU/International students: 1/4
    Number of countries represented : 42
    Men / Women 1/1
    Age range 21 - 45
    Contact for application Admissions Office, ICMA Centre


    About the Courses at ICMA Centre

    BSc Finance and Investment Banking

    This three year honours degree has been enhanced to meet the needs of the global finance industry. It will provide you with a thorough preparation for a career in the financial markets through a combination of academic rigour and practical skill building. Graduates of the course continue to be highly sought after by international securities houses, including Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch.

    MSc International Securities, Investment and Banking

    This is widely regarded as one of the leading applied finance programmes in Europe. Specially designed with the support of industry practitioners this degree equips you with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the challenging field of investment banking. The full-time programme has produced over 2500 highly qualified graduates since it began in 1994, many of whom are pursuing successful careers with leading institutions in all the major financial centres around the world.

    MSc Capital Markets, Regulation and Compliance

    Covering a wide range of European, US and international issues, the MSc Capital Markets, Regulation and Compliance will focus on building expertise in markets and instruments, market mechanics, dealing knowledge and practical market regulation and compliance. After covering traditional market and investment coursework students will then explore distinctive subjects designed to prepare them for careers with investment banks, regulatory organisations and other financial institutions in areas including compliance, product control and market regulation in the capital markets.

    MSc Corporate Finance

    This degree offers students understanding of a wide range of corporate finance services and corporate transactions businesses face. Through hands-on sessions and extensive use of case studies, students will be fascinated by the exciting world of venture capital, private equity, corporate governance and mergers and acquisitions. Students will develop the necessities in the areas of investment and capital budgeting decisions, IPOs, dividend policy and capital structure, enterprise valuation and risk management.

    MSc Financial Engineering

    The ICMA Centre’s financial engineering degree is highly respected by quantitative analysts and their employers. The credit crunch and subsequent events have emphasised the need to develop better pricing and better hedging models for all complex products. The practical and quantitative skills that you will develop on the ICMA Centre’s Financial Engineering MSc will equip you to meet this challenge. Our compulsory modules provide a firm grounding in probability theory, stochastic calculus, derivatives pricing, quantitative and numerical methods, structuring products, volatility analysis, and the modelling of credit, equity, foreign exchange and interest rate derivatives. We also provide a thorough training in C++ and other programming tools. Optional modules will allow you to focus on risk analysis, portfolio management, designing trading strategies or econometric analysis.

    MSc Financial Risk Management

    We have strong links with the Professional Risk Managers’ International Association (PRMIA). In this capacity we are a leader in education for financial risk managers and our innovative MSc sets the standards for graduate programmes in financial risk management all over the globe. Many courses are linked to the PRM™ Handbook and our students will be trained with a view to preparing for the PRM™ examinations.

    MSc International Shipping and Finance

    Advancing globalisation and the sustainable expansion of seaborne trade constantly create new opportunities and challenges within the sector that require regular corporate strategy adjustments. The MSc in International Shipping and Finance is designed to address these needs in the rapidly evolving, highly competitive and capital-intensive shipping industry. The degree is delivered at the ICMA Centre in the UK and ALBA Graduate Business School in Athens, Greece and is designed to provide a unique educational experience that combines research-led teaching and technically advanced training by world-renowned academic faculty and selected industry practitioners.

    MSc Investment Banking and Islamic Finance This degree is a first in the UK and aims to respond to the growing interest in Islamic Finance, which is evidenced by a continuous increase in Islamic Banking services, Islamic Investment and other financial services based on Islamic principles. The degree is taught jointly with INCEIF (International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance), Kuala Lumpur. IBIF graduates benefit from a thorough understanding of Western banking practices allied to the principles of Islamic Finance. There is a growing demand from financial institutions worldwide for specialist professionals trained in the techniques of Islamic Finance. We expect our graduates will pursue rewarding careers with investment banks in a diverse range of fields, including corporate and project finance, specialist structured products and derivatives, trade finance, sales and trading.

    MSc Investment Management

    This degree programme prepares students for entry into the fast growing and exciting investment industry. It provides a theoretical knowledge of portfolio management and quantitative finance, together with an applied set of courses looking at industry structure and trends. Integral to the academic course is the parallel study of the Chartered Financial Analyst® programme, Level 1.

    Distance learning

    The aim of the distance learning programme is to replicate as far as possible the full-time ICMA Centre experience. The Internet is used as a tool to build a global community of learners. Traditional print-based materials are supported by e-lectures and a learning management system (LMS). The e-lectures, delivered on DVD-ROM, provide a multi-media solution to lectures at a distance. In addition to the e-lectures provided on DVD, all participants on the Distance Learning programme will receive a free iPod pre-loaded with all of the Part 1 lectures.

    Flexible learning

    Flexible learning is a combination of distance learning and residential full-time study.


    Scholarships for the PhD Programme

    PhD studentships are available for research into any areas relating to the Centre’s activities, including research in Corporate Finance, Corporate Governance, Credit Risk, High Frequency Econometrics, Market Microstructure, Portfolio Management and Performance Assessment, Hedging Strategies, Equity and Futures Markets, Pension Schemes, Hedge Funds and Quantitative Finance.

    We seek highly motivated individuals with an appropriate academic background (generally a Distinction at MSc level in a finance-related subject) from a good university. We encourage applied and relevant research and our strong connections with many financial firms allow students to gain industry experience during their doctoral research, if they wish.

    The first year of the programme combines taught courses, ‘research topics’ seminars, and independent research. The ‘research topics’ seminar continues throughout the programme with a change in emphasis in the second year, when the focus moves from training towards workshop style discussion of research in progress, both of students and visiting faculty.

    Every year we offer funding for (approximately) 8 PhD studentships, of full fees plus up to £15,000 living allowance.

    Scholarships are normally for three years, subject to progress. Successful candidates will be required to provide approximately 60-70 hours of teaching assistance on our MSc and/or BSc degrees annually, always working closely with appropriate faculty. The opportunity also exists to study and gain credit for some modules on the MSc programmes. For more information on the range of scholarships the ICMA Centre has on offer to our students, visit our scholarships and prizes page on our website.

    Application procedure

    Full application instructions and forms for both taught and research programmes are available at Completed application form, together with your curriculum vitae, research proposal (PhD only), copies of relevant academic transcripts, application fee (MSc programmes only) and two confidential letters of recommendation to:
    Admissions Officer,
    ICMA Centre.
    Tel: +44 (0) 118 378 8239

    About the University

    The University of Reading has been teaching banking and finance for over 30 years and the ICMA Centre, founded in 1991 through a grant from the International Capital Market Association, has built on that reputation. The Centre occupies a striking, purpose-designed building, constructed with a £9 million donation from ICMA based in Zurich.

    The Centre is now one of the larger specialist university finance departments in Europe. It is principally a postgraduate school with around 350 Masters students taking the MSc programmes and around 50 undergraduates in each of three years.

    The Centre’s research is focused mainly on applied problems of relevance to the finance industry – current research topics include: market regulation, pensions, volatility analysis, quantitative finance, derivative pricing, credit risk, and fixed income valuation.

    With over 15,000 students, Reading is one of the UK's largest traditional universities providing excellence in teaching and research. The ICMA Centre, is now part of the triple accredited Henley Business School, making it part of the largest and most prestigious business schools in Europe.

    The ICMA Centre’s dealing rooms have always been an integral part of our teaching and learning style making our technology and facilities comparable with those used on Wall Street and in The City of London.

    Our links with financial markets and employers together with our specialised careers advisors, facilitate contacts with many prospective industry employers, and guide individuals through the choice of career path and the job applications process. Over the last five years, more than half of our students obtained jobs in the areas of Trading and Asset Management, Risk Management and Quantitative Finance, with others making careers in Corporate Finance, Research Analysis and Banking Operations Management.

    The Centre is on the main university campus which is based on a beautifully landscaped 300 acre site on the outskirts of Reading. The town of Reading is 25 minutes by train from Central London and within easy reach of Oxford, Henley, Ascot and Windsor.


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