Projects are a central feature of the Cambridge Master of Finance. They enable direct contact with the practitioner client and provide the opportunity for students to apply what they've learnt in the taught programmes to real world situations and problems.
There are two compulsory and one optional project on the MFin:
Equity Research Project
In groups, students select a quoted company and produce an equity research report with a valuation, recommendation and analysis of risk. The report is designed to advise on the investment potential of that company and make an active recommendation to buy or sell shares in this company. The team presents their recommendation and analysis to a group of actual investment managers and equity analysts. Equity research is a multi-skilled activity combining financial, accounting, strategic, economic and communication skills. It is an ideal vehicle to put learning from the core courses to use.
A series of workshops will be delivered in the second half of Michaelmas Term. The aim of these workshops is to provide a broader introduction to equity research/valuation/modelling and the project as a whole.
Assessment: Combination of report and presentation.
Group Consulting Project
The Group Consulting Project provides a chance for students to work on a real assignment for a host company or organisation. The project offers a great opportunity to put into practice new ideas that students have encountered on the MFin, and to get experience in sectors and roles they are interested in.
Each group is assigned a faculty supervisor and a host company manager. The project takes about five weeks, including pre-planning, mostly during the Easter vacation.
Every year we have one or two projects that take place outside UK (China, Hong Kong, Portugal, and Mongolia) and going forward we aim to expand the international projects we offer.
In previous years, GCPs were hosted by such companies as Citi, Schroders, 3i, Blackrock, Capital Generation Partners, Newton Investment, Warburg Pincus, Macquarie, Amadeus Capital Partners, Philips, Ecofin, Bluestone and SG Securities.
While the MFin Office sources the client companies, we also welcome student-sourced projects.
Assessment: Presentation to client.
Optional Individual Project
This is an optional project spent working for a financial institution or completing a research dissertation. This project is deliberately flexible to accommodate the varying needs of students. Those who are starting a new job in the summer, or are returning to their previous employer may not wish to undertake this project.
The project is an opportunity to do a reasonably long and substantial piece of research of around 12,000 words. Options include doing a purely academic piece of research, doing a piece of research based on external interviews and/or other data, or doing a piece of research linked to an internship for a host organisation. The last option can be used as a device to network and interview people in any area of finance that would be useful for job-seeking. While you're a student of Cambridge University, you can request an interview of all sorts of people as part of a research project.
All students must have an academic supervisor to mark and provide guidance on the project. The supervisor must be a faculty member of the University, or an external person who is a fellow or associate of Cambridge Judge Business School. The Individual Project will be marked by the supervisor, however this mark will not be included in the overall mark for the MFin.
Sheryl-Lee Walters, MFin 2011
"The Equity Research project took place over Christmas. We had to analyse a company to come up with an active buy or sell recommendation. Our group had Tate & Lyle, so we had to do some fundamental analysis on the company to come up with this recommendation. The experience was fantastic. My team got everything together, we spent a lot of time in the library and it was a very intense but very rewarding experience."
Wendy Qiu, MFin 2011
"My favourite part of the Group Consulting Project was the opportunity to go overseas to Mongolia. It was very exciting, dynamic, unexpected, and full of surprises. It was such an exciting opportunity to be able to carry the Cambridge name overseas and speak to people. It is surprising how many doors that opens."