From Dubai to Dublin, students all over the world can log in and take the online, part-time, MSc in Global Finance at the highly regarded Cass Business School.
There’s no need to take a career break or struggle to make it to lectures in London. Everything is available online, and it’s the same material, faculty and qualification as a full-time master’s course.
“I looked into other masters in Switzerland, but none could offer me the flexibility of the Global Finance course at Cass,” says Patrick Spichiger, who works as a risk manager at Berner Kantonalbank AG, a regional Swiss bank, and will complete his MSc in the summer. “I can do all my university work in the evenings and at weekends.”
The fact that there are students all over the world doing the same and learning from each other is one of the key benefits for Spichiger. “The variety of backgrounds and opinions is incredible. We’ve had discussions with people from the Gulf Region, where banking is very different to what we know in Europe and the US. For example, interest is banned in the Islamic world, so the products they offer are completely different. It’s fascinating.”
The weekly webinars take place every Friday at 10.00 and 18.00 (UK time), so that students can join the sessions from wherever they’re based. “The students and tutors use these webinars to discuss the latest readings and tasks in the course, as well as debate key issues impacting the finance sector,” explains Spichiger.
The online MSc in Global Finance is structured to be completed within two years of part-time study, and covers topics including bond and equity analysis, investment strategy, international finance, corporate finance, international banking, asset management, and much more.
It is designed by top Cass faculty, each a leader in their field. Modules are broken down into bite-sized weekly topics. The first module provides a good grounding in all you need to know about key financial matters, such as equity and fund analysis. The second module goes into more detail, looking in-depth at subjects like investment strategy and analysis, financial statements, derivatives, and risk management.
For the third stage, there’s a focus on specific industries. This is where you can apply the analysis you’ve learned to specific sectors such as real estate, insurance, and banking. By the final stage of the course, where Spichiger currently is, students master how to write an investment appraisal for a company or project and adapt it to each of these sectors.
The skills that students learn can be directly adapted to resolve real-life corporate problems. “Risk is one of the key elements of finance and is a key component of both the course and the work that I do,” says Spichiger. “We have to write a lot of case studies on things like risk management on the course, and I can directly transfer those skills into practice at my work.”
Students dedicate about 20 hours each week to the course, split between lectures, webinars, studying and course work. Each topic features video lectures made exclusively for the course, online readings and materials, class discussions, activities where you test and apply your new knowledge, and the webinars.
Each module is assessed by coursework, which you receive and submit online, so there’s no need to travel for exams. There’s also a dedicated course officer on hand to provide practical support.“Other schools can take a while to respond,” says Spichiger. “But at Cass, all technical issues are solved the same day, and if I have a question about the course, I can email and get a response within a day or two.”
Many of the Cass professors have worked in industry before teaching, so they bring practical experience to the table, and know what is required to achieve. “The course is tailored to meet market needs and developments, whether it’s the effects of the financial crisis or the current impact of Brexit,” adds Spichiger.
“When I’m in London, I always head to Cass to get involved in the school’s events and activities,” says Spichiger. “There are so many opportunities to learn and network with likeminded people, whether it’s the equity society or corporate finance society. Experts and senior figures from the largest financial institutions also come to the school on a regular basis for discussion panels to share career learnings and sector trends with students.
“The fact that the school is right on the doorstep of the City is a huge plus point. The connections are great, and if I were to move to London, I’d already have an advantage.”
When he graduates, Spichiger is keen to put his new knowledge and skills to good use and accelerate his career internally at the Swiss bank. “I’ll also try to stay in touch with my fellow students.”
To find out more about the online MSc in Global Finance, please visit: www.cass.city.ac.uk/msc-global-finance