Master of Science in Banking and Finance

Course content

The goal of this Master in Banking and Finance is to form experts who are able to perform analyses of financial problems and developments within a sound theoretical and quantitative framework. The MBF-programme should enable them to apply state-of-the-art techniques to problems in banks or other financial intermediaries and to formulate and implement innovative solutions.

The banking and economic crisis after the fall of Lehman Brothers fundamentally altered the financial landscape. Regulators devised new rules, of which Basel III are the most influential. Supervisors are organised at the European level and various mechanisms have been enacted in order to maintain the integrity of the financial system. Risk management is more important than ever before. The MBF programme integrates all these elements in a coherent study programme covering all the major fields of banking and finance. Graduates of the MBF are well equipped to tackle all relevant banking, asset management and risk management challenges in modern financial services firms. The financial sector needs economists with a thorough microand macrofinancial training and who have mastered quantitative management techniques for modern financial services companies. Young people with this focus will be the leading executives of the future.

Course structure

Thorough understanding of the complex relationships and dynamics of financial markets and institutions requires insight in many disciplines. Knowledge about the organisation of financial markets and the mechanics of the assets traded is not sufficient, if it is not supplemented by awareness of macroeconomic and monetary concepts. Moreover, the quantitative nature of finance also requires a sound command of econometrics and data processing skills.

It is precisely the need of the financial community for people who are able to combine these economic, financial and quantitative skills that led the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration at Ghent University to organise advanced studies in Banking and Finance. This Master programme draws heavily upon the expertise of the young team of teachers and researchers from the Department of Financial Economics. This department groups subfields such as monetary economics, banking, microeconomics of financial markets, investment analysis, financial econometrics, and risk management.

The mission statement of the MBF is:

  • Provide state-of-the-art advanced education in banking and finance to a selected group of master students with the necessary economic and quantitative background.
  • Analyse the interactions of banking and finance with risk management and with macroeconomic conditions.
  • Focus on the development of quantitative and econometric skills applied to banking, finance, risk and portfolio management.
  • Stimulate intellectual and research competences by promoting independent thinking and creative problem-solving.
  • Develop communication and presentation skills through interactive classes, group assignments and a real-world graduation project.
  • Link theory and practice by organising cases, business games and frequent interaction with the financial industry.  

 

Master's dissertation

During the last two months of the academic year (May and June) students will be given the opportunity to work in small teams on their dissertation in a financial institution. This will allow them to demonstrate their capacity to analyse real-world situations in a scientifically accurate way using the modelling techniques covered in the master courses. Often, they will be required to offer solutions to actual problems and to assess potential policy implications of such solutions. The master’s dissertation subjects are usually suggested by financial institutions or other companies. A team consisting of faculty members and employees of the company will supervise the students while working on the thesis. The findings will be presented by the end of June to the supervising team.

Career perspectives

The Master programme is intended for economists with a background in finance and who feel the need for a serious in-depth training in finance and banking. Students graduating from this programme will probably feel at ease in functions or departments such as:

  • investment analysis
  • risk management units of financial and corporate organisations
  • asset and liability management units of financial intermediaries
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  • pension funds, hedge funds
  • study department of a central bank or government agency
  • financial consulting firms, rating agencies
  • supervisory bodies for financial markets and institutions
  • university or research departments
  • ...