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Masters (MSc) in Finance

Learn the finance essentials; from derivatives and investments, to mergers and acquisitions and global markets.

This master's in finance enables you to work with our award-winning finance experts to build in-demand quantitative skills. You will gain the essential information needed to pursue a range of exciting finance careers at an international level.

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This course is ranked 7th in the UK and 22nd globally (QS Business Masters Rankings 2019)

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The MSc Finance course has both CFA Institute Affiliate status and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) status which positions you to progress to a research degree. It is also linked to The Manchester Accounting and Finance Group – one of the leading accounting and finance units in Europe.

Find out more about studying Accounting and Finance at Alliance MBS >>

Read about other business Master's degree courses at Alliance MBS >>

MSc Finance

Year of entry: 2019

Course unit details:
Current Issues in Empirical Finance

Unit code BMAN70162
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Alliance Manchester Business School
Available as a free choice unit? No


The course currently covers the following eight topics


·         Proxy variables

·         Event study analysis and assignment discussion

·         Predictive models

·         Qualitative research in finance

·         Causation, endogeneity, and instrumental variable estimation

·         Difference-in differences estimations and regressions discontinuity design

·         Controlling for self-selection

·         Panel data methods and matching estimators



BMAN70162 Programme Requirement: BMAN70162 is only available as an elective to students on MSc A&F and MSc Finance


This course explains key research methods in empirical finance, using academic finance papers as illustrations. Each lecture examines a different research technique in current finance research, e.g., event study analysis, qualitative research, instrumental variables, self-selection problems, etc. The course material comprises a set of carefully selected, recent papers in finance from top journals, covering a wide range of topics (mergers and acquisitions, securities issues, investment banking, etc.). The course also gives you a chance to conduct your own empirical analysis, through teamwork focusing on a corporate finance related question. The course therefore gives you crucial skills for conducting your MSc dissertation. For the longer term, the course enhances your employability by teaching you how to interpret research findings, use important financial databases, and handle data-related problems, and by making you aware of the most recent advances and findings in finance research.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit successful students will have achieved the following learning outcomes:

•        A knowledge and understanding of research techniques in finance and financial econometrics

•        A knowledge and understanding of selected empirical issues in finance

•        A critical awareness of research issues, methodologies, and methods in finance

•        Skills in collecting and analyzing empirical data and interpreting empirical results

•        An enhanced ability to participate constructively in groups

•        The methods of assessment for this unit allow students to demonstrate achievement of all intended learning                         outcomes.


Assessment methods

Group Project (30%)

Written Examination (70%) 1.5 hours

Feedback methods

Informal advice and discussion during a lecture.

Responses to student emails and questions from a member of staff including feedback provided to a group via an online discussion forum.

Specific course related feedback sessions.

Written comments on assessed coursework.

Generic feedback on Blackboard regarding overall examination performance.

Recommended reading

Reading for the course consists of selected journal articles from top finance journals, which we will post on Blackboard. Two examples are,

Bennedsen, M., Nielsen, K., Perez-Gonzalez, F., Wolfenzon, D., 2007. Inside the family firm: The role of families in succession decisions and performance. Quarterly Journal of Economics 122, 647-691.

Malmendier, U., Tate, G. 2009. Superstar CEOs. Quarterly Journal of Economics 124, 1593–1638.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 1.5
Lectures 30
Independent study hours
Independent study 118.5

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Norman Strong Unit coordinator
Marie Dutordoir Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Informal Contact Method

Online Learning Activities (discussion boards)

Students can email the course lecturers to arrange an "office hour" meeting. Email addresses are in the course outline and on course slides. But we encourage students to post questions to relevant discussion boards.


Return to course details

Lala Jafarli, Azerbaijan, MSc Finance student

"Alliance MBS provides the opportunity to meet experts from your field of interest. You feel secure around the friendly environment and consistently feel the support of everybody. This year I lived everything to a maximum level; having fun with international friends and studying really hard. In a word, I would say that it was amazing!"

Lala Jafarli, Azerbaijan

MSc Finance, Class of 2015


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