MSc in Economics and Business Administration - Finance and Investments
About the programme
Financial instruments and investments
You will be trained in analysing stocks, bonds, and derivative securities using prevalent models for pricing and risk management. Investors form portfolios of different securities, and you will learn analytical tools for selecting portfolios optimally. The risk-return trade-off is essential to investments, and modern finance focuses on identifying relevant risk measures and the risk premia investors can obtain by exposing themselves to the various sources of risk. You will see theoretical models of the risk-return trade-off, but also empirical studies of the observed risk-return relation.
Financial industry and markets
You will obtain a solid knowledge of the different players in financial markets. Companies use financial markets for raising capital, for short-term liquidity and risk management, and as a source of information for internal decisions related to capital budgeting and corporate governance. Households interact with financial markets when saving and investing for retirement or other purposes and when taking mortgages and other loans. Banks and other financial institutions act as intermediaries facilitating transactions and the efficient allocation of capital among corporations and households, but they also act in their own behalf as large profit-seeking and risk-taking market players and are therefore heavily regulated by society. You will learn about the financial decisions of companies, households, and financial institutions and the influence these decisions have on financial markets.
Analytical and communicative skills
The understanding and applications of both theoretical models and empirical methods in finance require specialized skills in mathematics, statistics, and IT. By nature, financial models build on tools and concepts from probability theory and statistics in order to represent the uncertainty which is so crucial for financial decisions. Computer-based quantitative software is wide-spread in the financial industry as it expedites the applications of the often quite complex models. The programme provides you with sufficient training of the necessary abilities both in a dedicated first-semester course and integrated in other courses whenever relevant. Communicative skills are developed through shorter assignments and longer written reports, as well as both oral and written exams.
Customise your programme
During the programme, you have various opportunities to create your own academic profile.
On the 3rd semester, you can choose to study courses of your specific interest. CBS offers a large number of electives within a wide range of topics. You can also choose to take electives at other Danish universities. The electives you choose have to be relevant for your programme.
See the current selection of CBS electives on Single courses and electives - Master
On the 3rd semester, you can also choose to study a so-called minor. A minor is a package of electives within a specific academic area. Typically, it consists of 3 courses. By taking a minor, you strengthen your competences within a specific area of interest, and you can use it to qualify for specific jobs or industries.
See the current selection of CBS minors on Minors
Many students choose to go on exchange on their 3rd semester; usually at one of CBS’ more than 300 partner universities. When you go on exchange through CBS, you do not have to pay for the teaching at the foreign university (with a few exceptions), and you can bring your SU (student grant).
Find a list of all CBS partner universities here
CEMS - Master in International Management programme
On FIN, you can apply for the CEMS - Master in International Management programme. CEMS MIM is a double degree programme, which gives you the opportunity to add a second degree in international management to your CBS degree. This means that you will get both the MSc degree and the CEMS in International Management degree.
CEMS is a 1-year programme, which you study in combination with your CBS degree in your 3rd and 4th semester. Part of it takes place at one of the other CEMS universities abroad.
Learn more about CEMS / Master in International Management
Your 2nd year is completed with a master's thesis. You choose the topic you want to write about, which allows you to focus on a specific topic of your interest. Typically, you write your master's thesis with a fellow student.
What to consider
Finance is a quantitative discipline
Compared to most other areas in business and social sciences, finance is a quantitative discipline drawing upon economics, mathematics, statistics, and IT. This is necessarily so. Simply stated, the price of a financial security depends on its future cash flow, and this cash flow is typically unknown. Therefore, potential investors need to consider both the timing and the riskiness of the future cash flows. To quantify the risks, we need probabilities. We need economic arguments to choose the appropriate discount rates in order to determine the present value. To learn from historical data and test our models, we need statistics, and to work on large data sets we need IT.
More generally, companies and households making financing and investment decisions have to determine and maximize the values of different choices. Financial institutions and companies have to understand and price complex financial products and assess their riskiness. These key tasks require quantitative methods and the use of computer programs, such as Excel.
Have a strong interest in finance and investments
To be a good match for this programme, you should have a strong interest in finance and investments, but also be prepared to use mathematics, statistics, and IT tools extensively. Your background in these fields should correspond to that of a BSc. degree in business administration from CBS and you should be willing to apply and strengthen those quantitative skills during the Finance and Investments programme. However, we emphasize that the focus is on analysing and modelling concrete financial problems and finding and understanding the solution. The focus is not on the abstract mathematics behind the solution method.
The economic intuition supporting the derived results is developed, and real-life applications are illustrated and discussed throughout.
Furthermore, the programme provides a solid understanding of financial markets, financial institutions and their regulatory environment, households and non-financial companies, as well as financial accounting rules and practices. The programme is therefore distinctively different from specialized programmes in mathematical or quantitative finance/economics offered by other business schools and universities.
Studying in English
If you do not have a bachelor’s degree taught in English, we recommend that you read more about what to consider before applying for an English taught programme.
Student life at CBS
Studying at CBS is much more than just preparing for and going to classes.
At CBS, there are more than 20,000 students with different backgrounds and nationalities. Teamwork is an essential part of studying at CBS both in classes and in extracurricular activities.
With more than 100 student organisations, you also have plenty of opportunities to engage and connect with students across programmes and classes.
Learn more about the vibrant student life at CBS, the student organisations, and the international environment on Student life
If you are an international student, we have gathered a lot of information about what it is like to be an international student at CBS and how you can prepare for life in Denmark.
Read more on For internationals
The programme uses a variety of teaching methods and evaluation formats. Most courses consist of both lectures and supporting exercise classes in which students are divided into smaller groups to facilitate student-teacher interaction and class discussions. Students are expected to meet well-prepared for all classes and to participate actively in discussions.
The course in Quantitative Methods focuses on hands-on financial problem solving using Excel and related computational tools with background lectures being available online. Quantitative analysis and the use of computer software tools will be integrated in the individual courses wherever meaningful.
Some courses involve assignments where students write short reports based on their analysis of concrete problems with subsequent feedback from a professor or teaching assistant.
In some courses guest lecturers are invited to give perspectives on a given topic from a relevant company or industry.
The business project and the master’s thesis train the student in analysing specific, complex finance problems of practical interest using a scientific approach and the concepts and methods introduced in the courses, as well as presenting and communicating the results of such an analysis in the form of a written report.
Read more about Teaching and working methods on Student life
Most exams are four-hour written open-book exams with access to a computer, but there is also an individual oral exam based on a 72-hour take-home group assignment.
Read more about Exams and exams types on Student life
You should know that it is demanding to study in a graduate programme, and both the curriculum and workload is significantly higher than at bachelor level.
If you are studying on a full-time graduate programme, you should expect spending approximately 37 hours on average on your studies each week. The workload will vary during the year.
The time leading up to assignment submissions and exams can be hectic, and you can easily work more than 40 hours a week in this period. Preparing for oral exams can be especially time consuming, because you have to be able to explain and discuss the covered concepts and theories and learn things by heart.
Read more about Time consumption on Student Life
Most programmes are quite flexible in terms of combining studies with a student job. Most students work a maximum of 15 hours a week in order to have sufficient time for their studies.
Studying in Denmark - for internationals
If this is your first time studying in Denmark, you may find teaching and exam formats, the grading scale and the academic calendar very different from what you are used to.
Read about everything you need to know as an international student studying at CBS on For internationals > Academic information
What gets you the job?
As a graduate from FIN you will have a strong understanding of the securities traded in financial markets, how companies and households interact with financial markets, and how financial institutions operate and are regulated.
You will know state-of-the-art models for asset pricing, company valuation, and investment decisions, as well as statistical methods for estimating inputs to models and for testing the validity of theories. You will be capable of implementing relevant models and methods on computers.
In short, you will be able to competently analyse and solve real-life problems pertaining to finance and investments and also able to clearly communicate the results of your analysis.
We expect most graduates from FIN to find employment in banks, pension funds, mutual funds, insurance companies, and other companies and institutions operating in financial markets.
The graduates are particularly qualified for positions demanding both excellent analytical skills and a solid understanding of the securities and players in financial markets. This is the case for many jobs in financial market analysis, capital management, risk management, investment banking, and financial asset trading.
The graduates should also be attractive for central banks, regulatory authorities, and international organisations within finance and economics such as the International Monetary Fund, the Bank for International Settlements, or the European Union.
In the competence profile you can find more information about the various competences you achieve on the programme:
Electives / Exchange / CEMS
You can read more about the programme, academic content and exams in the programme regulations for Finance and Investments.