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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 / Course details

Year of entry: 2019

Course unit details:
International Finance

Unit code BMAN71181
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Alliance Manchester Business School
Available as a free choice unit? No


Applied and theoretical papers on:

Trading activity and the operational and institutional structure of foreign exchange markets

The choice of exchange rate regime and macroeconomic performance

Market microstructure and structural approaches to exchange rate determination

Forecasting exchange rates

Foreign exchange market efficiency. Covered interest parity and the forward premium puzzle

Carry trades and other models of speculative activity in currency markets and empirical determinants of currency risk premium

Factors underpinning international financial market integration and the international transmission of financial crises


BMAN71181 Programme Req: BMAN71181 is only available as an elective to students on MSc Accounting & Finance and MSc Finance


This course undertakes a detailed analysis of recent developments in a select number of major international financial markets, with a major focus on the operation of, and information transmission mechanism in, the foreign exchange (FOREX) market. We consider at variety of  theories underlying the determination of exchange rates. To provide the requisite foundations, the course includes a critical appraisal of the major asset based/structural theories of exchange rate determination and also considers more recent market microstructure approaches.  Particular attention will be given to recent efforts to resolve several puzzles in international finance, namely: the exchange rate determination puzzle; the excess volatility puzzle and the forward premium bias puzzle. In the process we consider the factors underpinning FOREX market efficiency, time varying risk premium and the international transmission of financial crises.  The course incorporates both theoretical and applied material.

Learning outcomes

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

  • An understanding of the structure and operation of foreign exchange markets, including the nature and pattern of trading activity and the growth of algorithmic and high frequency trading in FOREX.
  • An understanding of, and ability to, critically evaluate the major existing theories of exchange rate determination and the empirical evidence relating to these theories.
  • Be able to critically evaluate the existing thinking and evidence relating to three major puzzles in the pattern of exchange rate dynamics: the determination, excess volatility and forward premium bias puzzles.
  • Be able to critically evaluate the existing thinking regarding the nature and causes of currency crises, and the potential for their transmission internationally

Assessment methods

Group Case Study - 1,500 words (30%)

Written Examination - 2 hours (70%)

Feedback methods

Informal advice and discussion during a lecture, seminar, workshop or lab.

Online exercises and quizzes delivered through the Blackboard course space.

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

Written and/or verbal comments on assessed and non-assessed formative coursework.

Written and/or verbal comments after students have given a group presentation.

Generic feedback posted on Blackboard regarding overall examination performance.

Recommended reading

There is not a single textbook which covers all the material on the course. The following book will familiarise students with the underpinnings of international finance theory at an intermediate (IFM) level. It contains much, but not all, of the basic course material.

G. Bekaert and R. Hodrick, International Financial Management, Prentice Hall, 3rd edition, 2018. (henceforth IFM)

Other useful sites for information, research and policy material include:

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 2
Lectures 33
Independent study hours
Independent study 115

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Michael Bowe Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Informal Contact Methods

Office Hours

Online Learning Activities (blogs, discussions, self assessment questions)

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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