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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:
Real Options in Corporate Finance

Unit code BMAN70192
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


  • Basic Real Options
  • Position Strategies
  • American Growth Options
  • Finding Enterprise Real Options
  • Incentive Collars
  • Switching Options
  • Debt & Equity Strategies
  • Real Options and Public Policy
  • Exam Tutorial


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Derivative Securities BMAN70141 Pre-Requisite Compulsory
BMAN70192 Pre-req: BMAN70141 Derivative Securities is a Pre-requisite for BMAN70192. BMAN70192 Programme Req: BMAN70192 is only available as an elective to students on MSc A&F, MSc Finance and MSc QF.

BMAN70141 Derivative Securities (or similar), Excel


The course is for students interested in evaluating strategy and value in energy, property, environment, R&D, sports, banking and consulting. These businesses will be studied in terms of the real options that practitioners have identified. The “expected outcome” is that students will understand the basics of real options, and the practical applications to business opportunities. Each session will generally involve lectures and application to an appropriate industry or enterprise.  There will be tutorials in connection with your case/report.  Relevant practical cases are in Real Option Value

Learning outcomes

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

•       An advanced knowledge and understanding of theoretical real option models

•       A knowledge and understanding of research skills in real option applications

•       Skills in collecting and analysing empirical data and in interpreting empirical results (for voluntary projects)             the ability to participate constructively in groups

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

Useful outcomes may be employment as investment banker, wealth manager/adviser or real option strategist for active enterprises, extending project work to reality.

Assessment methods

Coursework (50%) Written group report (max 4000 words), or individual case (max 2000 words)

Written Examination (50%)

Feedback methods

  • Informal advice and discussion during a lecture, seminar, workshop or lab.
  • In-class exercises and quizzes 
  • Verbal comments after students have given a group or individual presentation.
  • Formal Feedback on projects/cases two weeks after presentations, posted on BB and sent to project leaders.

Recommended reading

Dixit, A. and R. Pindyck (1994), Investments under Uncertainty, Princeton University Press, Princeton: ISBN 0 691 03410 9.


Howell, S., A. Stark, D. Newton, D. Paxson, M. Cavus, J. Pereira and K. Patel (2001), Real Options: Evaluating Corporate Investment Opportunities in a Dynamic World, Financial Times Prentice Hall, London: ISBN 0 273 65302 4.


Brach, M.A. (20), Real Options in Practice, Wiley Finance, Hoboken: ISBN 0 471 26308 7.


Paxson, Dean (2003), Real R&D Options, Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford. ISBN 075-0653329.


Patel, Kanak, Dean Paxson and Tien Foo Sing (2005), “Practical Uses of Real Property Options”, RICS Research Papers, London.


Paxson, Dean (2020), REAL OPTION VALUE, manuscript.


Additional materials such as cases and possibly reading materials will be posted on BB, periodically.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 1.5
Lectures 22.5
Independent study hours
Independent study 130

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Dean Paxson Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Informal Contact Method

Dean Paxson, AMBS 5.042, email for special office appointments,

Groups will schedule meetings after class, or special appointments

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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