Whether you are just starting out or are an established professional keen to update your knowledge in the financial sector, the Master of Science in Finance offered by University College Dublin (UCD) at Kaplan in Singapore can help accelerate your career.
UCD is ranked among the top 1% of education institutions worldwide by Times Higher Education 2019 and is one of only a few elite business schools to hold the Triple Crown accreditation from AACSB in the US, AMBA in the UK and EQUIS in Europe.
The programme gives students a solid foundation in key areas of finance, simultaneously developing their technical and soft skills, and is continuously being redesigned to impart best practices for the evolving challenges faced by the industry.
Dr Cormac Mac Fhionnlaoich, academic director of the MSc in Finance programme at UCD, says: “Our MSc in Finance is designed with the view of serving the needs of incoming and existing financial professionals, giving them a background and perspective both in terms of theory and practice.”
He explains that the programme is geared towards three different types of students.
On one hand, it is suitable for those who have just completed their undergraduate studies and want to gain more specialist knowledge in the area of finance to help launch themselves in the sector.
At the same time, it attracts existing financial professionals who need to update their knowledge and skills as they progress through their careers.
This compelling programme also appeals to professionals who are working in the managerial space but have not been fully exposed to the world of finance.
“It gives them an opportunity to transition their careers into an area where there is significant demand and significant opportunity,” Dr Mac Fhionnlaoich says.
The programme is structured to provide students with a strong grounding in technical skills early on, which they will then utilise in practical modules.
Its core modules cover organisational behaviour, global strategic management and corporate financial management allowing students to then select different pathway modules in areas such as capital markets, strategic finance and portfolio and risk management.
Dr Mac Fhionnlaoich says: “Students get the opportunity to look both at the numbers and behind the numbers to get a sense of where finance theory and practice come together.”
The programme also places strong emphasis on helping students develop innovative problem-solving skills, particularly in the areas of valuation, project appraisals and portfolio management.
“These are areas where investment professionals need to build models, develop ideas, and find solutions to the challenges of managing risks in a global environment,” Dr Mac Fhionnlaoich says.
“It is this toolbox of skills that students acquire and apply to craft solutions for various challenges faced in the industry that makes them so valuable.”
Alongside technical skills, the programme focuses heavily on helping students develop their soft skills, including communication and presentation skills, and working collaboratively.
Murphy Choy, director of operations and technology at SSON Analytics, was already holding a senior position when he decided to do the MSc in Finance, but was keen to advance his skills.
He says: “It definitely benefitted my career tremendously. When I first did the programme, I was in the risk management profession.”
In fact, it was the Economics modules which helped Murphy move from risk management into a technology role, allowing him to put his knowledge to good use running startups and technology firms.
“The course covered financial engineering and financial planning, which were very useful to me in solving a lot of my routine tasks.”
Murphy was attracted to the programme by its impressive accreditation and robust syllabus, as well as the opportunity to study part-time from Singapore.
“Being able to study part-time was an important option for me because it allowed me to work while I studied. If I did not have this option, I would not have been able to afford a Master’s programme.”
He adds that studying part-time also enhanced his learning experience, as he was able to put his new knowledge into practice at work immediately.
“It made my learning a lot more interesting and effective because it wasn’t just about listening to the theory, I could also apply it in my real life.”
Aside from technical skills, Murphy says one of the most useful things he learned on the programme was the ability to think on his feet, which he had to do both during presentations and project work, often carried out against a tight deadline.
He also valued the experience he gained in learning how to work with different people and honing his communication skills.
“These skills have definitely helped me in my professional career. Being in management requires you to manage a lot of projects, and it is important for you to communicate well,” he says.
Murphy was highly impressed with the calibre of the programme’s lecturers, who came from a range of academic and industry backgrounds.
“Most of the lecturers had very rich life experiences which they would share with us in the course. This really livened up the class and helped us understand how the theory worked in practice.”
To anyone thinking of doing the MSc in Finance, Murphy says: “There is a lot of interesting knowledge that you can gain from the programme. It is a very affordable and worthwhile degree.”