Our core courses sit at the heart of your Masters in Financial Analysis (MFA) experience.
Lay the ground work for your learning before term starts. LBS online modules in finance, accounting and data analytics prepare you for core courses. MFA Foundations include additional customised Excel and programming code modules to ensure you are up to speed on applications used in the core.
Pre-programme courses are mandatory and online test waivers are available.
Investment Fundamentals: This is a rigorous foundations course in investment analysis covering the basics of fixed income, equity and derivative securities as well as modern portfolio theory (how to invest across different securities/assets or asset classes). The focus is on understanding how to value securities, how to measure/manage the risk of these securities, the relationship between risk and return and the practical application of these concepts.
Asset Management: Consider how to allocate wealth into different asset classes and investment strategies. You’ll explore the contribution of fixed income in equity portfolios and the role of alternative investments. Focus on long-term investing with a coherent modelling of assets and liabilities, and performance evaluation; look into recent development of more complex investment products; and compare and contrast them with traditional fund structures. This will include the limits to arbitrage and the costs of implementing actual trading strategies.
Corporate Finance: Learn how to value companies, taking into account the incomplete information one often finds in real life. You’ll discuss the challenges analysts face when valuing a company, and how to better cope with them. Emphasis is put on the role of information in financial decisions and agency problems. You’ll also gain a detailed understanding of corporate governance, payout policy, IPOs, and SEOs.
Capital Structure: In the wake of the financial crisis, this course re-examines the fundamental linkages between valuation and financial structure. Develop an understanding of debt structure and related risk, and analyse the importance of illiquidity and its relation to benchmark asset pricing frameworks.
M&A: Study the market for corporate control and the key concepts of mergers and acquisitions: how to value a target, strategic behaviour, and different landscapes around the world. You’ll also discuss the merits of dispersed ownership versus block control and learn about shareholder activism, corporate re-organisations, workouts and bankruptcy.
Analysis of Financial Statements: Learn to interpret a financial story from any organisation, build your technical toolkit and develop an advanced understanding of revenue recognition, revaluations, foreign currency adjustments, deferred taxes, pension accounting and securitisation. Structured over 10 sessions, you’ll gain the skills to read and analyse company financial information.
Securities Valuation and Financial Modelling: Delve into issues like business strategy, the reformulation of financial statements, structured forecasting and residual income valuation. Develop a thorough understanding of company value drivers and gain the ability to apply fundamental security analysis and valuation.
World Economy: Never get caught out on the broad macro issues that drive markets and finance; understand how these impact growth in advanced and emerging markets, and how economic and financial cycles interact. You'll explore how key data tells a story, including the linkages and interplay between economic and financial variables and gain an understanding of institutional and theoretical frameworks.
Financial Institutions: Study the role of banks, insurance companies and investment funds, learning about their business models, assets and liabilities. Start with an overview of the recent financial crisis and, crucially, why banks fail. Analyse the impact of financial regulation; learn to evaluate current market trends and how our major financial institutions are managed. Understand the importance of responsible business, and the role of the investment industry in embedding responsibility into business.
Personal Finance: Understand and analyse the financial decisions that individuals/households (as opposed to corporations) make in their lifetime. This course is highly relevant for careers in asset management, private banking, wealth management and financial advising. Investigate the risks and constraints people face when deciding on optional savings, portfolio allocations, annuity products and credit decisions.
Private Equity: Introduce the concepts, techniques, institutions and dynamics involved in the private equity sector. Study real cases to gain familiarity with the private equity investment model and specific strategies including leveraged buyouts and venture capital. Discuss the key drivers behind the growth and success of private equity as an asset class and how it fits into institutional investors’ portfolios.
Learn how to identify the areas where data analytics add the most value using R and R Studio. Understand and quantify the accuracy of sample evidence to construct simple but powerful models that test your intuitive reasoning. Build regression models to describe and predict complicated outcomes. Communicate quantitative analysis and recommendations effectively.