The University of Southampton
Southampton Business SchoolPostgraduate study

MSc International Financial Markets (1 year)

Through in-depth study of topics such as financial risk management and stock market analysis, this highly specialised International Financial Markets Masters degree will give you the theoretical knowledge and practical experience to forge a successful career as a trader or financial manager anywhere in the world.

Book your placeVisit us at our Postgraduate Open Day on 22 November

Introducing your degree

This highly specialised MSc in International Financial Markets offers advanced study in the areas of international financial markets and portfolio management, with an emphasis on equity, bonds, foreign exchange and their various derivatives markets. You’ll examine effective strategies for managing portfolios of these assets and analyse the impact of world events on global financial markets. Innovative practical exercises, such as trading floor simulations and portfolio management assignments, will enhance your professional skills. And our academics’ research and sector expertise, combined with input from guest lecturers from leading financial institutions, will ensure you are up to date with the latest thinking in the sector. 

Overview

Southampton was one of the first UK universities to offer a specialised masters course in international financial markets, and remains at the leading edge of research and education in this field today. On this course you’ll gain an in-depth understanding of the workings of global financial markets and how they are affected by political and economic events worldwide.  

This course is ideal if you are looking to specialise following your undergraduate studies or gain expertise to further your career in the financial sector. It offers an advanced level of study and is therefore suitable for those who have already undertaken some quantitative study, or those with relevant professional experience.

Course structure and content

This is a one-year, full-time course. During the year you’ll study compulsory and optional modules as well as completing a dissertation.

The compulsory modules are designed to give you a thorough grounding in the way financial markets operate. There is a strong emphasis on equity, bonds, foreign exchange and their various derivatives markets, and you’ll learn about European and global markets. 

As well as covering theoretical principles, the course includes various interactive exercises that will prepare you for work in the financial markets or enhance your existing skills. For example:

  • We run annual simulation workshops led by experienced traders from London-based company Amplify Trading. You’ll make decisions on market prices in response to economic data and contemporary market trends, putting the theories you have learned into practice and gaining an insight into the trading floor environment. 
  • On the popular Introduction to Portfolio Management and Exchange Traded Derivatives module you’ll learn to analyse an equity portfolio in terms of risk and return and gain an understanding of hedging requirements and the role of exchange-funded derivative instruments.

During the year you’ll be able to choose two optional modules that suit your interests. You could specialise further in international finance, learn more about derivative securities, explore the behavioural aspects of financial decision-making and risk-taking, or study econometrics in more depth.

The dissertation is another opportunity to follow an area of interest or explore the impact of world events on international financial markets. Recent dissertation topics have included the impact of the global financial crisis on the world economy, financial uncertainty in the UK and EU stock markets following the Brexit vote, and issues relating to the stock markets in China and Dubai.

Learning informed by research and professional experience 

Our lecturers are active researchers and many have worked in financial sector organisations including trading companies and the Bank of England. This means they can pass on current sector information and bring your studies to life through real-world case studies.

For example: 

  • Before becoming an academic, Professor Frank McGroarty had a successful 13-year career in investment management in the City of London, managing funds worth several billion pounds. His research specialism is in electronic financial markets, and includes analysis of the foreign exchange, financial futures and online sports betting markets. 
  • Programme leader Professor Taufiq Choudhry is a specialist in stock market volatility and uncertainty; in a recent paper he investigated the relationship between stock market volatility and the business cycle in four major economies – the US, Canada, Japan and the UK. 
  • Dr Marta Degl'innocenti is a former consultant for KPMG; she has recently investigated bank productivity growth and convergence in the EU during the financial crisis.

You’ll benefit from our academics’ knowledge when it comes to selecting your dissertation topic. Their research expertise means they are well placed to advise on suitable themes and the latest methodologies, and to support you as your research progresses.

View the programme specification document for this course.

Key Facts

An advanced, highly specialised course that will prepare you for roles including financial analyst, stockbroker or portfolio manager.

Includes sophisticated trading simulation exercises – find out what it’s like to make decisions on the trading floor in response to live data and market trends.

One of the first masters degrees in the UK in this field, it is informed by academics’ research expertise and their professional experience in portfolio management and financial consultancy.

Graduates have gone on to work for PwC, Mackenzie, HSBC and Bank of Shanghai.

Programme Leader

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

Bachelors degree

2:1 classification UK bachelors degree or equivalent

Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Acceptable subjects: A wide range of subjects accepted in Business, Economics, Science, Engineering, IT, Management and Marketing, Communication, Education, Political Science, and Sociology

Required module areas: Evidence of quantitative study e.g. accounting, economics, finance, maths, management sciences or engineering. Other subjects considered if quantitative ability demonstrated at A levels.

Excluded subjects: English translation, Art/Performing Art, Vocational Studies

Work experience in a related field can compensate for degree subject/grades.

Selection process

The University’s Admissions Policy, available at www.southampton.ac.uk/admissions_policy, applies equally to all programmes of study. These are the typical entry criteria to be used for selecting candidates for admission. The University’s approved equivalencies for the requirements listed will also be acceptable. The entry criteria for our programmes are reviewed annually by the Faculty. Those stated were correct as of July 2015. Applicants should refer to their specific offer conditions on their offer letter.

International applicants

If English is not your first language, you will need to demonstrate that you have reached a satisfactory standard in an approved English language test.

The following scores are accepted for direct entry:

  • IELTS 6.5 overall with 6.5 in reading and writing, 6.0 in listening and speaking

All tests must be no more than two years old at the time of enrolment.

For more information visit a list of equivalent English language tests that are also accepted.

If you do not quite meet our English language requirements for direct entry, you may be eligible to apply for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. Please visit the Centre for Language Studies website for further information.

Visit our International Office website or the NARIC website for further information on qualifications.

Recognition of prior learning (RPL)

If you have professional experience, or credit through prior learning at another institution, you may be eligible to use this experience against some of the programme requirements for period of study. You will need to present evidence that you have met the learning outcomes of the programme. Read the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning Policy.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Modules

Typical course content

All Core and Compulsory modules must be taken.

You should choose Option modules totalling 30CATS/15 ECTS, including at least ONE Option in Semester 1. All Option modules are offered subject to availability and timetabling constraints.

 

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Fees for postgraduate taught courses vary across the University. All fees are listed for UK, EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course name.

View the full list of course fees

Funding

Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

TypeDescription
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items (eg pens, pencils, notebooks, etc). Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However, due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
Printing and copyingIn most cases, written coursework such as essays, projects and dissertations are submitted online and by hard copy. The costs of printing a hard copy for submission of such coursework will be the responsibility of the student. The cost of photocopying will also be the responsibility of the student. For more information about University printing costs, visit www.southampton.ac.uk/isolutions/students/printing
TravelSome modules may include optional visits. You will normally be expected to cover the cost of travel and admission, unless otherwise specified in the module profile.
OtherCandidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved models are Casio FX-570 and Casio FX-85GT Plus. These may be purchased from any source and no longer need to carry the University logo.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

Career Opportunities

This degree will prepare you for a career as a trader or financial manager in a wide range of settings. These include mutual funds, hedge funds, pension funds, insurance funds, investment analysis and advice, trading in equities, bond, foreign exchange, commodities and a wide variety of derivatives markets, investment banking, private equity, and private wealth management. You could become an investment consultant, corporate treasurer or rating agency analyst, or choose to work in financial journalism, policy, training or regulation. Alternatively, you could further your studies by doing a PhD and become a researcher in academia. 

Former students have gone on to work for PwC, Mackenzie, HSBC and Bank of Shanghai.

Learning & Assessment

Study locations

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