MSc Banking, Finance and Risk Management

#1

One of my sons is foolishly wanting to follow me into finance and for some unknown reason wants to be involved in banking and risk management. Now I have told him that today banking is risk management on both an internal and external basis but he needs to understand this degree. if anybody can help it would be appreciated.
The degree is run by Glasgow Caledonian University at its London Spitafields site and thus is centrally located.
The course gives you knowledge in all areas of bank operations and risk management – providing excellent opportunities in all areas of banking especially in credit, market and operational risk departments. It is in my view an excellent choice for a career in investment banking and global operations. Internationals banks demand graduates with holistic knowledge.
The MSc Banking, Finance and Risk Management covers finance in more depth and is designed for those with a background in economics/finance or accounting.
Apparently potential students must hold a UK Honours degree 2:2 or equivalent in either banking, actuarial studies, economics, finance, accounting or investment. It seems to draw from a broad pool of students and the only thing that worries me is the 2:2 entry level, which for this type of specialist degree seems a tad low. My son who is in his first year at Coutts will be sponsored by the bank following a 1st from Queens Belfast, so any guidance would be appreciated.

#2

I think that this degree has a lot to offer in a banking world that is clearly still finding its feet after the crisis and with the proposed changes in splitting the banking world as proposed by the UK government.
The combination of the three topics will in my view give a balanced degree and will also allow for the development of the individual. Risk management is now high on the agenda in a lot of industries and if the student who studies this degree feels that banking is not for him then this specialisation will stand him in good stead.
I would have a concern for your son in that Coutts is an elite bank and thus the customer base will not give all the exposure he requires to banking, but then I suppose that a short time spent with Nat West may serve to assist in rounding of his education.
I would share the concern over the entry level and I do wonder why this should be. The degree should have a good appeal and thus I cannot see why the catchment group is centred so broadly. I would be concerned that if not careful the teaching maybe aimed at the lowest rather than the highest student and thus I would ask if that may depreciate the value of the degree.
Having been a little negative I would say I see value in the degree and would suggest that the combination offers a good grounding should your son decide that banking is not for him, although the privilege of working for Coutts is worth more than a feather in his cap.

#3

I can see great benefit in this degree. Banking and Finance have increasing risk elements in them and indeed are integral. For long it has been said that business equals risk, but the financial crisis of 2008 fwd. has certainly increased the risk factor.
These are in my view subjects that do not fit well at graduate level and indeed I would suggest that this degree is best undertaken either with work experience or at least whilst you are working in one of these areas.
I note the concern that has been quoted over the level of the graduate degree but I do not share that. A masters degree is not an automatic degree and thus there are interviews that will allow the tutors to understand if the student has the ability to work on their own and undertake research. The element of work experience will also allow for the student to see that degrees need application.
Risk Management may be see as a subject on its own as it stretches across so many areas today and thus once this degree is obtained the width of the employment fields you may enter will have added a few feet.