Master in Finance Modules

Lectures

The General Course provide a solid base for the entire degree program, while the Specialization Courses focus on specific expertise in one of the key areas of modern finance. The elective courses combine and deepen previously learned contents.

In addition to the mandatory courses Ethics in Finance and Global Asset Allocation (Financial Technology Management) or Applied Credit Risk Management (Risk Management & Regulation), students can choose between various elective courses.

Master Thesis

The master thesis (14 weeks) is a student's original research project in written format, based upon the acquired skills and knowledge gained in the general and specialization courses (three semesters).

Module Descriptions

The required general courses for the Master in Finance program are described below. Since electives will vary from year to year, their descriptions are not included.

A summary of electives offered to precedent cohorts as well as detailed course desriptions are available upon request.

General Courses

This course covers the markets for different kinds of assets and pricing of these assets. In particular, we consider fixed-income markets and stock markets. To understand how securities are priced, we discuss also the effects of credit and liquidity risk on asset prices. Their importance has become very clear during the recent financial crisis. The course also covers the issue of how to optimally choose a portfolio. The models studied in the course are the capital asset pricing model (CAPM), arbitrage pricing theory (APT), and state pricing, among others.

This course examines important issues in corporate finance from the perspective of financial managers who are responsible for making significant financing and investment decisions. You will learn how investment and financing decisions interact to affect the value of the firm and how management can evaluate operating decisions, taking into account taxes, uncertainty, flexibility, and strategic concerns.

Economics is about the complex global economic environment in which managers and firms operate. This environment is shaped, on the one hand, by the general forces of demand and supply and the level of aggregate economic activity; and on the other, by the responses of policy makers and regulators to economic developments. We examine the behavior of aggregate output, exports and imports, exchange rates and interest rates, consumption and investment, inflation and unemployment, and how these are influenced by monetary and fiscal policies, and by changes in the regulatory framework.

The course focuses on the analysis of financial statements, footnotes and other corporate disclosures, as well as interpreting articles from business publications and understanding analyst reports. A secondary goal is to ensure that you are comfortable with the mechanics of financial accounting. The course presumes a background in the fundamentals of financial statement preparation; by the end of the course, you should be able to prepare financial statements reflecting a wide range of economic transactions. While you are not likely to become practicing accountants, understanding the impact of transactions on the financial statements is central to preparing business plans, forecasting financial performance, budgeting and assessing the implications of proposed transactions on the financial statements.

Management control is an essential function within management to make sure that a firm’s employees carry out objectives and strategies appropriately. We will discuss different types of control instruments, focusing on financial performance measures as a means of results control. We will analyze market-based vs. accounting-based approaches for performance evaluation and link them via ratio and financial analysis to a company’s strategies and desired course of action. We will also explore control-related challenges for the presentation of performance results, e.g., uncontrollable factors, ethical issues, or matters in corporate governance. The goal is for students to learn how to use financial performance measures in such a way that the gap between the firm’s strategy (‘what is desired’) and the employees’ chosen course of action (‘what is likely to happen’) is closed.

This course is about statistics and how it can help us make well-grounded decisions. We start with descriptive statistics as the basics and then turn to probability distributions which allow us to discuss the concepts of hypothesis testing and estimation. The course has an applied character and tries to visualize every concept with applications and exercises. The availability of a computer device is a key requirement of the course. The course should enhance the managerial skills of the participants in the way that it allows them to analyze relevant data sets in order to understand the underlying economics and finally reach the right decisions.

This course covers the valuation of derivative securities like options and futures and their use in investment and hedging strategies. In particular, we will discuss the binomial model and the Black-Scholes model for option valuation. Further topics are implied volatility, interest rate risk, and credit risk. The students will acquire practical experience with models via the use of spreadsheets.

The course examines the two main forms of alternative investment vehicles, namely private equity and hedge funds, which have played an increasing role in international financial markets but also in the financing of firms. In the public debate these funds have been accused as „locusts“- a claim which we will thoroughly investigate. Furthermore, we will shed light on the difference between private equity and hedge funds but also on the different varieties in each fund family (such as venture capital and leveraged buy-outs). The aim of the course is to provide students with a better understanding of the functioning of private equity and hedge funds activities, their strategies as well as their organizational design and their performance. Building on a combination of case studies and lecture we will discuss the main aspects in which private equity and hedge funds differ with respect to conventional investment and financing vehicles (such as mutual funds or the provision of capital for firms via public exchanges).

The Master in Finance program at Goethe Business School provides multiple learning opportunities to broaden horizons for the fascinating world of finance.

1:/user_upload/walz.jpg.jpg Prof. Dr. Uwe WalzAcademic Director, Master in Finance
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