Advice for prospective student of MSc finance (Quantitative finance)

Yash Deo

New Member
I hold a bachelors degree in actuarial studies, and an mba general. I want to enter the banking sector, and I am considering to enrol for an Msc Quantitative finance at the university of london (distance learning). I am actually confused between CFA and the msc.
Any advice for me? Also, does anybody know how is the msc course at the univ. of london? i mean the student support, the exams and content?

Thank you very much for your help.


Well-Known Member

I am a CFA charterholder. The following are from the respective programs' websites. This should give you some idea of the differences between the two credentials. In my opinion, neither is really a quant training course.

CFA Candidate Body of Knowledge (CBOK)

The Candidate Body Of Knowledge (CBOK) represents the core knowledge, skills, and abilities generally accepted and applied by investment professionals globally. The CBOK is grounded in practice, meaning that panels and surveys of thousands of investment professionals have had input into the curriculum through our practice analysis.

CBOK Topic Areas

I. Ethical and Professional Standards
  1. Professional Standards of Practice
  2. Ethical Practices
II. Quantitative Methods
  1. Time Value of Money
  2. Probability
  3. Probability Distributions and Descriptive Statistics
  4. Sampling and Estimation
  5. Hypothesis Testing
  6. Correlation Analysis and Regression
  7. Time-Series Analysis
  8. Simulation Analysis
  9. Technical Analysis
III. Economics
  1. Market Forces of Supply and Demand
  2. The Firm and Industry Organization
  3. Measuring National Income and Growth
  4. Business Cycles
  5. The Monetary System
  6. Inflation
  7. International Trade and Capital Flows
  8. Currency Exchange Rates
  9. Monetary and Fiscal Policy
  10. Economic Growth and Development
  11. Effects of Government Regulation
  12. Impact of Economic Factors on Investment Markets
IV. Financial Reporting and Analysis
  1. Financial Reporting System (with an emphasis on IFRS)
  2. Analysis of Principal Financial Statements
  3. Financial Reporting Quality
  4. Analysis of Inventories and Long-Lived Assets
  5. Analysis of Taxes
  6. Analysis of Debt
  7. Analysis of Off-Balance-Sheet Assets and Liabilities
  8. Analysis of Pensions, Stock Compensation, and Other Employee Benefits
  9. Analysis of Inter-Corporate Investments
  10. Analysis of Business Combinations
  11. Analysis of Global Operations
  12. Ratio and Financial Analysis
V. Corporate Finance
  1. Corporate Governance
  2. Dividend Policy
  3. Capital Investment Decisions
  4. Business and Financial Risk
  5. Capital Structure Decisions
  6. Working Capital Management
  7. Mergers and Acquisitions and Corporate Restructuring
VI. Equity Investments
  1. Types of Equity Securities and Their Characteristics
  2. Equity Markets: Characteristics and Institutions
  3. Valuation of Individual Equity Securities
  4. Fundamental Analysis (Sector, Industry, Company)
  5. Equity Market Valuation and Return Analysis
  6. Equity Portfolio Management Strategies
VII. Fixed Income
  1. Types of Fixed-Income Securities and Their Characteristics
  2. Fixed-Income Markets: Characteristics & Institutions
  3. Fixed-Income Valuation (Sector, Industry, Company) and Return Analysis
  4. Term Structure Determination and Yield Spreads
  5. Analysis of Interest Rate Risk
  6. Analysis of Credit Risk
  7. Valuing Bonds with Embedded Options
  8. Structured Products
  9. Fixed-Income Portfolio Management Strategies
VIII. Derivatives
  1. Types of Derivative Instruments and Their Characteristics
  2. Markets and Valuation of Forwards and Futures Contracts
  3. Options Markets and Valuation of Option Contracts
  4. Swaps Markets and Valuation of Swap Contracts
  5. Credit Derivatives Markets and Instruments
  6. Uses of Derivatives in Portfolio Management
IX. Alternative Investments
  1. Types of Alternative Investments and Their Characteristics
  2. Real Estate Valuation
  3. Investment Vehicles and Valuation
  4. Private Equity/Venture Capital and Valuation
  5. Hedge Fund Strategies and Valuation
  6. Commodities
  7. Asset Allocation to Alternative Investments
X. Portfolio Management and Wealth Planning
  1. The Investment Policy Statement
  2. Modern Portfolio Management Concepts
  3. Behavioral Finance
  4. Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Investing
  5. Management of Individual/Family Investor Portfolios
  6. Management of Institutional Investor Portfolios
  7. Investment Manager Selection
  8. Economic Analysis and Setting Capital Market Expectations
  9. Tax Impact of Investment Decisions
  10. Asset Allocation
  11. Portfolio Construction and Revision
  12. Risk Management
  13. Execution of Portfolio Decisions (Trading)
  14. Performance Evaluation
  15. Presentation of Performance Results

Finance (Major: Quantitative Finance)

Finance (Major: Quantitative Finance)

You study six modules (four core, two electives).

Core modules

Econometric principles and data analysis (M430)
This module provides an introduction to econometric methods.
Can also be studied as an individual course

Econometric analysis and applications (M432)
Econometric Analysis and Applications is the second, more advanced, econometrics module offered to those wanting to broaden their understanding.
Can also be studied as an individual course

Financial econometrics (M459)
We define financial econometrics as 'the application of statistical techniques to problems in finance'.
Can also be studied as an individual course

Risk management: principles and applications (M423)
This module examines the techniques and the foundation of risk management in corporations.
Can also be studied as an individual course

Derivatives (M433)
In this course you learn the application of financial principles to the valuation of derivatives.
Can also be studied as an individual course

Modelling firms and markets (M458)
Modelling Firms and Markets is an introduction to the economics of information and uncertainty.
Can also be studied as an individual course

Elective Modules

Macroeconomic policy and financial markets (M425)
This module has been specially designed to increase the depth of your understanding of macroeconomics by focusing on the relationship with financial markets.
Can also be studied as an individual course

Microeconomic principles and policy (M457)
This module looks at the principles economists use to model the behaviour of individual agents and the ways in which they interact in a market economy.
Can also be studied as an individual course

Corporate finance (M421)
In this module you will study the main issues in modern corporate finance.
Can also be studied as an individual course

Corporate governance (M444)
This module is designed to increase the depth of your understanding of corporate government issues.
Can also be studied as an individual course

International finance (M429)
This module is concerned with the institutions of international finance and the key policy problems that have arisen in recent decades.
Can also be studied as an individual course

The international monetary fund and economic policy (M413)
The module examines the changing roles of the IMF, the nature of economic policies and some of the effects these policies have on the economic environment.
Can also be studied as an individual course

Finance in the global market (M442)
This module engages with one of the most prominent features of modern finance: its globalisation.
Can also be studied as an individual course

Bank regulation and resolution of banking crises (M456)
In this course you will study technical aspects of bank regulation, supervision and intervention to resolve crises.
Can also be studied as an individual course

Banking and capital markets (M426)
This module examines the underlying principles and characteristics of banking and financial markets.
Can also be studied as an individual course

Dissertation - finance (M454)