Financial Sector Management (PG Dip)

Overview

Gain a respected Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Sector Management by distance learning

The Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Sector Management is designed to give a strong foundation for a career in banks or other financial institutions. The programme can also provide a suitable route towards entering the MSc Finance (major: Financial Sector Management).

Programme aims

The programme will enable you to deepen your understanding of the principles, applications, and context underlying decision making in financial sector management.

Programme details

  You study Study period Cost (2014-15)
Postgraduate Diploma 4 modules 1-5 years £5,040
Individual Professional Awards You can take up to three individual modules from this distance learning programme. Each module lasts eight weeks and you are registered for two years. The fee per module is £1,260.

Prestige

The programme has been developed by academics at the Centre for Financial and Management Studies (CeFiMS), a postgraduate research and teaching department within SOAS, University of London. Staff at CeFiMS have international reputations and are involved in researching their subjects at the very limits of current knowledge.

Career progression

As a graduate of this programme you will be prepared for a management career in deposit banks, investment banks, fund management, consultancy, central banks and international bodies.

Comprehensive study materials and support

You will be given all of the learning materials that you need to complete each course. These will typically include:

  • The Study Guide, a core text specially written for the course. This takes the form of a looseleaf binder containing eight ‘course units’. The units are carefully structured to provide the main teaching of the course, defining and exploring the main concepts and issues, locating these within current debate and introducing and linking the further assigned readings.
  • Textbooks and collections of key journal articles and book extracts.
  • Online and multimedia tools. You will have access to the Online Learning Environment (OLE), which is a web-accessed learning environment. Via the OLE, you can communicate with your assigned academic tutor, administrators and other students on the course using discussion forums. The OLE also provides access to the course Study Guide and assignments, as well as a selection of electronic journals available on the University of London Online Library. In addition, some course material will also include video lectures on DVD, CDs of case studies, and econometric software.
  • A Welcome Pack is available online, which provides you with resources and tips on effective distance learning. We will also send you a Study Skills textbook to help you manage your studies.

Your time commitment

This will depend partly on choices you make, but most students take two years to complete Postgraduate Diploma. The study calendar consists of five sessions per year. Each session is devoted to a specific course and lasts eight weeks (with the exception of the first session which runs for 10 weeks). During each session you will need to allocate between 15-20 hours per week to complete the programme.

Summary of key dates

Application deadline 8 September 2014 10 November 2014 26 January 2015 23 March 2015 25 May 2015
Enrolment deadline 22 September 2014 24 November 2014 9 February 2015 6 April 2015 8 June 2015
Start date 10 November 2014 26 January 2015 30 March 2015 1 June 2015 27 July 2015
Examinations October 2015

 

Structure

Structure and syllabus

The PG Dip Financial Sector Management comprises 4 modules.

Four modules from the following

Corporate finance

This course enables you to relate principles and practice to the financing decisions of enterprises in modern economies. The course analyses the decisions firms make about financing their investments in productive capital.

Unit 1: Perspectives on Corporate Finance
Unit 2: Net Present Value and Capital Budgeting Decisions
Unit 3: Risk, Capital Market Equilibrium and Capital Budgeting Decisions
Unit 4: Efficiency of Capital Markets and Implications for Corporate Financing Decisions
Unit 5: Dividend Policy
Unit 6: Capital Structure I
Unit 7: Capital Structure II: Information Asymmetries and Agency Costs
Unit 8: Mergers

Banking and capital markets

This course examines the underlying principles and characteristics of banking and financial markets that are the foundation for understanding both their normal role in economies and the headline events. It concentrates on the theoretical and empirical scientific knowledge produced by modern research on banking. Since such knowledge is never fully established or ‘proven’, it enables the student to examine opposing points of view and to discuss the published studies.

Unit 1: Bank-Based vs Market-Based Financial Systems
Unit 2: Why do Banks Exist?
Unit 3: Why Banks Exist: Explanations Based on their Lending
Unit 4: Banks vs Capital Markets
Unit 5: Credit Rationing and Overlending
Unit 6: Bank Runs and Regulatory Responses
Unit 7: Financial Crisis
Unit 8: Portfolio Analysis

Banking strategy

The module examines bank strategy in the global economy. This module deals with the strategic (as opposed to operational) side of international banking, such issues as how banks are funded, how they acquire loan books, how they enter new markets and how they deal with international regulatory requirements.

Finance in the global market

The main objective of the course is to enable you to understand some of the main characteristics of that globalised financial world. Because of the centrality of foreign exchange markets to international finance, we regard understanding foreign exchange markets as the core of that objective.

Unit 1: The International context of finance
Unit 2: The markets for foreign exchange
Unit 3: Exchange rates and prices
Unit 4: Exchange rates and interest rates
Unit 5: Managing foreign exchange exposure
Unit 6: International corporate financing and project finance
Unit 7: Capital structure and cost of capital in international financing
Unit 8: Corporate finance and currency crises

Banking regulation and resolution of banking crises

The recent banking crisis has motivated heightened discussion of the merits of bank regulations used to minimise the risk of bank distress and intervention tools to mitigate its effects. In this course you will study technical aspects of bank regulation, supervision and intervention to resolve crises.

Unit 1: Principles of Bank Regulation
Unit 2: Banking Supervision & Regulation
Unit 3: The Prudential Supervision of Banks
Unit 4: Banking Crises: Weak Banks and Lender of Last Resort Support
Unit 5: Restructuring Failed Banks and Protecting Depositors
Unit 6: The Institutional Structure of Financial Regulation
Unit 7: Regulation, Supervision and Financial Stability
Unit 8: Issues in International Supervision and Regulation

Bank financial management

This course concentrates on the principles of bank management of assets and liabilities. You will learn about the principles of bank balance sheet management and money market operations as well as liquidity ratios and capital adequacy ratios. You will also study issues of bank supervision and regulation.

Unit 1: Banking Innovations and Risk
Unit 2: Bank Accounts: A Useful Tool if Handled with Care
Unit 3: Bank Valuation
Unit 4: Bank Risk Management - Liquidity Management
Unit 5: Bank Risk Management - Interest Rate Risk Management
Unit 6: Cost of Funds and the Funding of Operations
Unit 7: Bank Risk Management - Credit Risk
Unit 8: Capital Management

Study materials

How you study

Without leaving your job or home you can study, write and submit assignments, receive expert guidance from your CeFiMS tutor and advice from the student support team. In addition to printed study materials, the Online Learning Environment (OLE) allows students to work with course materials, send queries to tutors and submit assignments via the Internet.

When you take a CeFiMS distance learning course you will be sent everything you need to complete your studies. A typical set of course learning materials would include:

  • The Study Guide, a core text specially written for the course. This takes the form of a looseleaf binder containing eight ‘course units’. The units are carefully structured to provide the main teaching of the course, defining and exploring the main concepts and issues, locating these within current debate and introducing and linking the further assigned readings.
  • Textbooks and collections of key journal articles and book extracts.
  • Online and multimedia tools. You will have access to the OLE, which is a web-accessed learning environment. Via the OLE, you can communicate with your assigned academic tutor, administrators and other students on the course using discussion forums. The OLEalso provides access to the course Study Guide and assignments, as well as a selection of electronic journals available on the University of London Online Library. In addition, some courses materials will also include video lectures on DVD, CDs of case studies, and econometric software.
  • A Welcome Pack is available online, which provides you with resources and tips on effective distance learning. We will also send you a Study Skills textbook to help you manage your studies.

Online Learning Environment
Created by CefiMS to provide additional resources and support, the OLE allows you to:

  • access study materials that complement printed texts
  • submit assignments
  • communicate with tutors
  • contact support staff regarding administrative queries
  • access online resources provided by the Univeristy of London Library including full-text journal databases of JSTOR and EBSCO.

Note: Students who are eligible to use the OLE are automatically contacted by CeFiMS staff and given information about how to access the system for their course.

Fees

Fees

Fees may be paid in one of two ways:

Either, pay the total fee on registration by making a single payment for all the module fees;
 
Or, if you prefer to spread out your payments, pay the fee for each module you want to take in the first year, and then in subsequent years pay the fee for each new module you take.
 
Fees are subject to annual review. The 2014-2015 fees take effect from 1 August 2014.
2014-15
Fee per module£ 1,260
Total Postgraduate Diploma£ 5,040
ConvertGBP x 1

Disclaimer: the currency conversion tool is provided to you for convenience only and does not constitute an endorsement or approval by the University of London; the exchange rates are provided dynamically via a third-party source, consequently, the University of London International Programmes is not responsible for their accuracy.

Other costs

In addition to the fees payable to the University, you should also budget for
  • the fee charged to your local examination centre to cover its costs; this fee will vary
  • customs duties/taxes where these are payable on educational materials, including educational USB stick/CDs. We recommend that you check the status of imported educational materials with your country’s customs authorities.

Note 

The University reserves the right to amend previously announced fees, if necessary. For a full list fees that may be applicable, please see the fee schedule.
Assessment

Assessment

With the exception of the Dissertation, all modules are assessed by one three-hour unseen written examination and two assignments of 2,500 words each. The Dissertation (available as an option for MSc programmes only) is assessed by the submission of a written dissertation of not more than 10,000 words, excluding the bibliography and appendices.

The grade awarded on each individual module will be based on the mark obtained in the written examination and on the combined mark for the assignments. The examination mark and the combined mark of the assignments will be weighted on the scale 70:30. If you fail an examination at the first sitting, you will be allowed one further attempt after which your registration will cease.

Exams, both overseas and in the UK, take place once a year in September/October. They are normally held in a student's country of residence, using the existing system of overseas examinations authorities which the University of London operates for all its External students. Exams for students in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland are normally held in London.

Requirements

Academic Requirements

In order to be considered for registration applicants must have:

Either 

(a) a bachelor's degree in finance, economics, or other appropriate discipline, from a UK university or other institution acceptable to the University or an equivalent international qualification (qualifications in other subjects will be assessed on their merits)

Or 
(b) previous education and experience without a UK bachelor’s degree, or international equivalent that satisfies the University as a qualification on the same level as a UK bachelor's degree approved under (a) for this purpose, and which has included suitable preliminary training.

Please visit the EduGarage website [external link] to find out which browsers, plugins and operating systems best support Blackboard 8.0 for the Online Study Centre.

Language Requirements

All applicants must have a high level of English language ability in reading, writing and study skills equivalent to a score of 7.0 in the IELTS test, or 7 in both reading and writing; or a score of 600+ in the TOEFL paper-based test of English, with at least 5.0 in the test of written English; and in the TOEFL internet-based test, you will need  a score of 100+, with 25+ in the written English test. Applicants may be asked to provide evidence of language ability as tested by the British Council or another registered body.

Computer Requirements

All students must have regular access to a computer and the internet. This may be for accessing the Student Portal, downloading course materials from the virtual learning environment or accessing resources from the Online Library. You will also need suitable hardware capacity on your computer for document storage as well as basic software such as a PDF reader.

We recommend that you use the latest version of Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome and that your screen resolution is 1024 x 768 or greater. JavaScript and cookies must be enabled to access particular online services such as the Student Portal.

Some programmes have courses or modules that use additional software. Where this is the case, information is given with the relevant course descriptions.

Academic leaders

Academic leadership - CeFiMS

Lead College

The Centre for Financial & Management Studies (CeFiMS) is a postgraduate research and teaching department at SOAS, University of London.

Our programmes give students a strong academic foundation to their professional skills. Other students study for a degree with us because of their love of learning and their desire to widen their understanding of the world. The programmes are available in a range of flexible options, so you can choose the speed, depth and even the location of your postgraduate study.

As one of our graduates, you will become part of an exclusive network of alumni based in leading private and public sector organisations throughout the world.

Academic staff

In total, more than eighty academics act as online tutors. In addition, there is a dedicated team of student advisers. For more information, please visit the CeFiMS website [external link].