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Electives on the Cambridge Master of Finance

The Master of Finance electives at Cambridge Judge Business School cover a wide range of topics across the finance industry. They 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.

Elective options

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. It analyses International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (US GAAP).

Advanced Interest Rates Derivatives

The course focuses on understanding the nature, pricing, risk management and usage of these instruments. It will naturally cover swaps in all forms including fx swaps as well as money market derivatives and swaptions. It will look at the massive benefits that IRD have introduced in the modern world of Finance but also look at the dangers and crises it has helped generate. It will touch upon the significant regulation changes and how it has affected the current environment.

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 and Exchange Rates

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.

Private Equity

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

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.

Risk Management

This course will provide practical insight into Financial Risk Management. Understanding the fundamentals of Risk Management is of increasing value to any role in financial services, whether in the front-office, or a control function, audit, or regulation. The course will include a combination of real-life examples of risk management failures, lectures, quizzes, and practical exercises, with an emphasis on risk management for traded risk.

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.

It 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

The course provides a unique opportunity to understand how the theory of Finance, Statistics and Econometrics can be applied to making concrete and scientifically based investment decisions in the financial markets. The course will build a practical bridge between abstract concepts and everyday practice.

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.

Blockchain and Digital Assets

This course will provide a foundational knowledge of the blockchain technology and go over a number of its key applications, providing students with a solid understanding of what blockchain is, how it works, and how it can be applied in the financial services industry and beyond.

Financial Entrepreneurial Acquisitions

This course will be of interest to students interested in Investing, Finance and Deal making.

In this course we will profound the financing aspects of the various forms of EA. Where appropriate we will also discuss strategy, entrepreneurship, culture, operations… In good companies all these are integrated and strengthen one another.

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.

International Finance and Exchange Rates

The aim of this course is to provide 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.

The emphasis is on the implications for exchange rate forecasting and for the trading decisions of asset managers and other agents engaging in the currency market.

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.

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.

Principles of Financial Regulation

The course will introduce 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.

Sustainable Finance

The aim of this course is to describe, understand and discuss current developments and trends in the area of sustainable finance, with a special focus on climate risk and ESG.

With the help of expert guest speakers, we shall look to distinguish between different types of sustainable finance products and relevant eligibility criteria. The course looks at how various ESG scoring and assessment approaches have been applied to real life case studies. It also explores how sustainable finance is evolving in emerging markets, with a special focus on Latin America.

Understanding the International Economy and Financial System

This 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, with some speculative thoughts about the longer-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Venture Capital and the Entrepreneurial World

The course will aim to describe as accurately as possible the job of a Venture Capitalist and strive to give students the tools and reasoning to be successful as a VC and hit the ground running. It will cover the life of an investment from sourcing to exit and also the life of a fund (including first-time funds, from the perspective of LPs like fund of funds). The course will naturally cover the various valuation methods and the legalese of a term sheet from a practical standpoint but will go further by giving concrete examples of how start-ups may fail and how they can grow. It will strive to be as useful and applied as possible by giving students inside tips from a practitioner’s standpoint and sharing some of the current themes that VCs look at (including a more thorough look at AI).


Financial Innovation in Emerging 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 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, the 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.

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.

Guidance on elective groupings and topic clusters

The MFin electives cover a wide range of topics spanning investment management, corporate finance, quantitative finance and asset pricing, AI and cryptocurrency, and a full spectrum of asset classes.

Electives are designed to allow students to tailor the course to their own needs and cover specific product areas, techniques, and advanced quantitative skills. 

There are three broad categories that elective courses fall in to, although there is some cross-over within the three categories and these groupings are by no means entirely mutually exclusive.

Some courses do not fall directly in the three categories below, but provide wider understanding of the workings of financial markets; Understanding the International Economy and Financial System and the Purpose of Finance.

The categories are solely a reference to guide for students’ elective choices and students are not required to choose electives in these groupings. We recommend that students select those courses of most relevance for their chosen career path.

Individual advice is available to students who wish to discuss their specific elective choices in line with their career aspirations and aims on a one-to-one basis.

Corporate Finance/Valuation Path

Courses that would be suitable for those pursuing careers in a corporate finance advisory, M&A, PE, Equity Research, VC, or similar roles where strong understanding of corporate valuation metrics is key.

  • Advanced Corporate Finance
  • Private Equity
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Advanced Financial Accounting
  • New Venture Finance

Quantitative Finance/Analytics Path

Courses that would be suggested for those pursuing a more quantitatively focused or highly analytical role of finance e.g. risk management, sales/trading, hedge funds, quantitative asset selection/optimisation, some global markets roles and fintech broadly speaking etc.        

  • Further Econometrics Time Series
  • Liquid Alternatives and Hedge Funds
  • Quantitative Asset Allocation
  • Algorithmic Trading
  • Blockchain and Digital Assets
  • International Finance and Exchange Rates
  • Advanced Interest Rates Derivatives

Buy-side/Investment Management Path

A selection of courses that are aimed at developing an investment management skill set for portfolio construction, valuation and to help students grasp the fundamentals of different asset classes.

  • Topics in Investment Management
  • Fixed Income Analysis
  • Behavioural Finance
  • Asian Capital Markets
  • Quantitative Asset Allocation
  • Algorithmic Trading
  • Sustainable Finance
  • Infrastructure Finance
  • Advanced Credit