MSc Investment Management


Has anybody taken this degree run at Henley Business School, Reading University?

As the areas of specialisms grow this degree run at such a prestigious school has its attractions. The rules concerning investments as set up by the FSA mean that today there are two areas of knowledge you must in principal have:
a) Investment Theory
b) Legal and application knowledge
The degree provides a theoretical knowledge of portfolio management and quantitative finance, together with an applied set of courses looking at industry structure and trends. The degree seems to have good content and also benefits from guest speakers who are specialists in this field from The City, reflecting the quality of the faculty.
The faculty also runs a MSc in International Securities and Banking in which quantitative skills are developed, including the use of statistical and econometrics software, that are so much in demand in the financial sector, but are readily transferable to other business and organisational contexts.
To support both of these degrees there is an MSc Capital Markets, Regulation and Compliance. This focuses on Regulation, compliance and risk management with stress on honing your decision-making skills in respect of risk and regulatory issues as well as on improving analytical skills and technical expertise. The degree prepares you for a role as a practitioner, auditor, consultant or regulator in the financial services sector.
It seems to me that Henley Business School is offering some challenging options and that the quality of the school is such that these degrees will set people out on a career path.
Is there any postgraduate who can comment on any of these options?


I am not a postgraduate but I have daily contact with them as I am the head of a university faculty that focuses on finance and management. We all know the problems of the past few years and the fact that they are continuing. The number of postgraduates who are wanting to look at studying in specialised areas is on the increase as the demand for them in the employment sectors increase. There is a constant review by faculties across the whole university sector regarding how we can develop degrees that will allow for the development of programmes that will better support the finance and banking world as a whole.
Specialist business schools are strengthening their position in universities and indeed are gaining in co-operation with foreign universities. The financial world is no longer a UK institution but something that is world wide and thus the degrees that have been pointed out in Wise Old Head’s post are of great use to the student and the country as a whole and should be carefully considered as post graduate options.


I was talking today to a retired investment banker and this particular issue came up. It was for the very reason that the world of investment banking had now moved outside of the simple areas such as hedging, and that rules and regulations had created such an atmosphere that he felt it necessary to retire early.
I discussed the contents of an Investment Management degree with him and wisely he suggested that this degree does not even go half way to solving the issues. He quoted the need for an investment banker to be skilled in econometrics as almost a prerequisite. The way in which funds are now managed means that statistics and econometrics are a prime part within the decision making process.
He is in favour of investment banking splitting itself into two halves. One is the actual act of banking and looking at risks, whilst the other is that of regulations. This would mean that this particular degree has value but limited value. There is of course no utopian answer to the issue of how to study for investment banking, but it is fair to say that this degree does not even give half of the answers in my view.


Although I have no real knowledge of Henley Business School I find your question fascinating so I’ve gone and had a bit more of a look at the options. I must add that my econometric skills are very limited so anything that requires statistics at Masters level really doesn’t appeal but I do think it is a great selling point for those who can turn themselves to this area of study.
I have noticed, in doing my research on Henley that The Economist has rated it as number one particularly with reference to its alumni and this is a really positive factor if you ask me. Links with those who are in the industry is fundamentally important particularly in the current climate where jobs are few and far between. The site advertises (and I think this is very instrumental): ““We are proud of the calibre of our MBAs and of the strong international community of alumni. Henley has an international reputation for developing responsible leaders. On our MBA programmes we encourage participants to reflect on their growth and development through continuous assessment which culminates in a one-week international study trip to work with NGOs in South Africa.”
I would personally say that it is these links that would attract me to the school rather than the statistics and the value of these statistics to future employers but that may just be me because I’m not so good at the science element!