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Electives

The Master of Finance electives cover a wide range of topics. They are designed to allow students to tailor the course to their own needs and cover specific product areas, techniques, and advanced quantitative skills.

Each MFin student must take at least seven electives. The electives offered may vary from year to year. The list below should therefore be regarded as illustrative.

Lent Term electives (January-March)

Advanced Corporate Finance

A case-study based elective going into more detail on topics covered in Principles of Finance, principally valuation.

Advanced Financial Accounting

This course is designed to enhance students' understanding of current advanced financial reporting issues through a detailed analysis of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (US GAAP).

The Circular Economy

In this course students will learn about the difference between a traditional economic model and circular economic model and how to establish the business and financial case for adopting a circular economy model at all levels in the economy.

Fixed Income Analysis

This elective covers the concepts and analytical tools used in analysing fixed-income securities and markets, bond portfolio management, and fixed-income trading and arbitrage. Key theories, basic quantitative skills and their applications in the bond markets will also be discussed.

International Finance

This course provides a thorough foundation of the key concepts and a solid understanding of selected topics in international finance. The course begins with an overview of the institutional characteristics of the foreign exchange market and proceeds to examine how exchange rates are related to capital flows, interest rates and the prices of goods and services across countries. It then reviews the theoretical models that describe the fundamental determinants of exchange rate dynamics, and the empirical evidence regarding exchange rate behaviour.

Further Derivatives

This elective builds on the core Derivatives course and covers theory and practice with an emphasis on developing working tools.

Private Equity

Taught by a private equity practitioner with a wide range of international experience, covering new ventures and buyouts, financing, valuation and management.

Risk Management

This course introduces the standard frameworks currently used for risk measurement and management in financial markets, but with an emphasis on practical skills and knowledge rather than the mathematical techniques. The discussion on banks will focus on the handling of market risk from a trading perspective. The course will look at risk from the viewpoint of different counterparty types: investment banks; corporates and supranationals/agencies; asset managers and hedge funds.

Topics in Investment Management

A comprehensive course on all aspects of investment management taught by a former investment manager and with guest practitioner speakers from leading investment management companies.

Mergers and Acquisitions

The aim of the course is to provide a basic framework for analysing corporate acquisitions, mergers and restructurings in an international setting; analysing the essential elements of the acquisition process including sourcing, bidding strategies, due diligence, deal structuring and financing, and post-merger integration. This course does not cover acquisitions by private equity firms, as this topic is covered in the Private Equity elective.

Easter Term electives (April-June)

Advanced Credit

This course will provide an opportunity to explore more complex cash flow modelling and analysis from a credit perspective via a range of case studies. The course will also investigate the interaction between credit and market risk and the concept of loss given default. We will also cover a number of timely topics including CVA, Basel and its implication on credit markets, and credit risk in project financing.

Algorithmic Trading

Details of the course will be available in due course

Alternative Channels of Finance

Over the last few years, information technology has disrupted a number of sectors including the entertainment, retail, and hotel and taxi businesses. This class provides an overview of how it is doing the same thing to finance.

Asian Capital Markets

An investor perspective on the key Asian financial markets taught by a principal in a hedge fund specialising in those markets with extensive experience of the Chinese markets in particular.

FinTech – Blockchain Applications

Details of the course will be available in due course.

Further Econometrics Time Series

Extends coverage to more advanced topics such as time series analysis including ARCH and GARCH models that are commonly used in applied financial econometrics. Assumes a good level of understanding of the core Econometrics course.

Please note: students who would like to take this course need to achieve a minimum mark of 60 in the Econometrics midterm test or in the overall course mark.

Infrastructure Finance

This course aims to bring students up to date with the fast moving and increasingly fashionable world of infrastructure finance: the funding, acquisition and management of investments in new and existing infrastructure across the sub-sectors of ports, airports, road, rail, power generation and transmission, gas pipelines, water and sewerage and social infrastructure such as hospitals and prisons. The course will emphasise the pace of change, the widening variety of financing techniques involved, but also the common risk profiles involved in financing these sectors.

Liquid Alternatives and Hedge Funds

This course comprises of a wide range of funds and investment managers ranging from hedge funds and 'alternative beta' through to commodities, risk parity and other multi-asset funds. The area is one of the fastest growing in investment management in terms of invested assets, product growth and recruitment.

The Purpose of Finance

This course begins with a question, "What is the purpose of the finance industry?". Unless we answer that question, it is unlikely we will build a purposeful industry to which professionals might wish to devote their careers. If we do, we discover that finance is essential for the effective operations of the economy. But we also discover that, as currently constituted, the evidence suggests it is inefficient. The course investigates why this might be.

Principles of Financial Regulation

The course will provide an introduction to the main principles and topics of financial regulation, which draws on recent regulatory and scholarly developments. The three major objectives of financial regulation – financial stability, investor protection and consumer protection – will be discussed throughout the course. Other topics covered include how market failure is a source of financial instability, the role of regulation in limiting moral hazard and externalities, and the evolution of financial regulation from a largely micro-prudential focus to a macro-prudential focus.

Specific regulatory reforms such as Basel III, central clearing of derivatives and bank resolution frameworks will be addressed.

Quantitative Asset Allocation

This course aims to provide students with an overview of quantitative techniques that are relevant to strategic asset allocation, whereby allocations are long-term, multi-asset, and institutional in nature. The module is organised by areas of asset management, and each case will be accompanied by related quantitative techniques including financial, mathematical, and statistical basics.

Understanding the International Economy and Financial System

The course will introduce some key concepts from international economics and finance to explore the world economy and the problems of the world financial system. Building on the national accounts framework introduced for the Financial Institutions and Markets course, we will examine the role of globalisation of trade and capital, against the backdrop of pressures in many countries to raise barriers to both. We will look at the difficulties of reforming the financial system, at a time when the global distribution of economic power away from the west towards developing Asia has made reform ever more necessary. Finally, we'll consider the politics of the international economy and why economic globalisation is under pressure in many rich countries.

Summer Term electives (June-September)

Innovation in Financial Markets

Financial innovation in emerging markets is a unique process. It is a challenging and exciting process that often goes from building the institutional framework for the new products, to developing the product, educating the user and constructing and stabilising a market. The innovator must be equipped with the skills to cover all the way from having an idea to reaching the stage of a fully functioning new market segment. This course offers scores of examples highlighting how this process of successful Financial Innovation has taken place in the Emerging Markets in the past two decades.

International Macroeconomics and Finance

Understanding the basic elements that shape macroeconomics and international finance can play a crucial role in a firm’s survival, growth and development. This course introduces the key parameters that shape the investment, financing and financial management decisions faced by firms in an international financial context by focusing on key macroeconomic and international finance concepts and indicators.

Mathematical Foundations of FinTech

This course offers a comprehensive tour from Mathematical Foundations, to their computational implementation and finally the business application. The purpose of the course is to introduce students to the Mathematical and Computational ideas and tools behind Fintech in order to better understand the potential and limitations of these new tools to a point where students can understand the opportunities and challenges of innovation in this field.

Wealth Management

The purpose of this course is to introduce MFin students to some of the important topics in Private Banking and Wealth Management. Discussions will revolve around the definition of Private Banking and Wealth Management, size and key drivers of the industry, its economics and profitability, and competitive landscape. It is a highly practical course that allows interaction with what is really happening in wealth management, as a niche of the global banking industry.

MBA Electives that MFin students can take

Behavioural Finance

This course will focus on the standard tools of corporate finance – firm valuation, stock valuation, etc. that you have covered in previous finance classes but examine these from a behavioural perspective. It will examine behavioural decision traps – obstacles that might stand in the way of the normative ideal of value maximization. It will also examine how the insights of behavioural finance complements the traditional paradigm and sheds light on the behaviour of asset prices, corporate finance, and various Wall Street institutions and practices.

Venture Capital

This course will focus on a series of cases covering: Sourcing, Due diligence, Monitoring and Exit, Valuation and Legal, Business models and Investment themes, VC, Growth Equity and LBO Mid-Market and CVC.

Real Estate Finance and Investments

The course is designed to provide essential background on how decisions are made in the real estate industry, drawing on standard financial techniques in doing so. Skill sets for the analysis of real estate transactions should be useful for those interested in real estate careers, as well as students in other career tracks who expect to add real estate investments to their financial asset portfolios.

Why the Cambridge MFin?

The Cambridge MFin focuses on the theory and practice of finance, drawing upon the University of Cambridge's long heritage of excellence in teaching and research. We are one of only a few Master of Finance programmes in which 100% of the class has existing work experience in finance.

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