Fastest Growing Resource for Fresher Career development
University of Reading

ICMA Centre
The University of Reading

About the courses

MSc International Securities, Investment and Banking (full-time)
This is widely regarded as one of the leading applied finance programmes in Europe. Specially designed with the support of industry practitioners this degree equips you with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the challenging field of investment banking. The full-time programme has produced over 2000 highly qualified graduates since it began in 1994, many of whom are pursuing successful careers with leading institutions in all the major financial centres around the world.

MSc International Securities, Investment and Banking (by distance learning)
The aim of the distance learning programme is to replicate as far as possible the full-time ICMA Centre experience. The Internet is used as a tool to build a global community of learners. Traditional print-based materials are supported by e-lectures and a learning management system (LMS). The e-lectures, delivered on DVD-ROM, provide a multi-media solution to lectures at a distance. NEW for 2006 – In addition to the e-lectures provided on DVD, all participants on the Distance Learning programme will receive a free iPod pre-loaded with all of the Part 1 lectures.

MSc International Securities, Investment and Banking (by flexible learning)
Flexible learning is a combination of distance learning and residential full-time study.

MSc Capital Markets, Regulation and Compliance (full-time)
Covering a wide range of European, US and international issues, the MSc Capital Markets, Regulation and Compliance will focus on building expertise in markets and instruments, market mechanics, dealing knowledge and practical market regulation and compliance. After covering traditional market and investment coursework students will then explore distinctive subjects designed to prepare them for careers with investment banks, regulatory organisations and other financial institutions in areas including compliance, product control and market regulation in the capital markets.

MSc Financial Risk Management (full-time)
We have strong links with the Professional Risk Managers’ International Association (PRMIA). In this capacity we are a leader in education for financial risk managers and our innovative MSc will set the standards for graduate programmes in financial risk management all over the globe. Many courses are linked to the PRM™ Handbook and our students will be trained with a view to preparing for the PRM™ examinations.

MSc Investment Management (full-time)
This degree programme prepares students for entry into the fast growing and exciting investment industry. It provides a theoretical knowledge of portfolio management and quantitative finance, together with an applied set of courses looking at industry structure and trends. Integral to the academic course is the parallel study of the Chartered Financial Analyst® program, Level 1.


For entry in 2006, the ICMA Centre has two optional specialisms that can be taken as part of the MSc International Securities, Investment and Banking.

    1. Trading & Asset Management*
    Trading & Asset Management are the life blood of the finance industry. Students will be preparing for jobs in derivatives sales and trading, fund management and corporate treasury roles.

    2. Quantitative Finance*
    Derivative products and structured products have been – and will continue to be – the most rapidly growing financial markets. Students will be preparing for jobs in the design, pricing, hedging and trading of these products.

    * Please note that students who wish to choose these specialisms may be subject to additional entry criteria. Not all specialisms may be available

Postgraduate Scholarships

The ICMA Centre (formerly the ISMA Centre) was founded in 1991 through a grant from the International Capital Market Association as a financially autonomous part of the University. The Centre occupies a striking, purpose-designed building, constructed with a £3 million donation from ICMA (formerly ISMA) based in Zurich. The Centre began offering degree programmes 12 years ago and is now one of the larger specialist university finance departments in Europe. It is principally a postgraduate school with around 200 Masters students taking the MSc programmes (including a growing number of participants on the distance-learning version) and around 40 undergraduates in each of three years. The ICMA Centre currently has a faculty complement of 17, enhanced by a number of visiting professors, all of whom contribute to the Centre’s teaching and research. The Centre’s research is focused mainly on applied problems of relevance to the finance industry – current research topics include: market regulation, pensions, volatility analysis, quantitative finance, derivative pricing, credit risk, and fixed income valuation.

Scholarships for the PhD Programme
PhD studentships are available for research into any areas relating to the Centre’s activities, including research in Corporate Finance, Corporate Governance, Credit Risk, High Frequency Econometrics, Market Microstructure, Portfolio Management and Performance Assessment, Hedging Strategies, Equity and Futures Markets, Pension Schemes, Hedge Funds and Quantitative Finance.

We seek highly motivated individuals with an appropriate academic background (generally a Distinction at MSc level in a finance-related subject) from a good university. We encourage applied and relevant research and our strong connections with many financial firms allow students to gain industry experience during their doctoral research, if they wish.

The first year of the programme combines taught courses, ‘research topics’ seminars, and independent research. The ‘research topics’ seminar continues throughout the programme with a change in emphasis in the second year, when the focus moves from training towards workshop style discussion of research in progress, both of students and visiting faculty.

Every year we offer funding for (approximately) 8 PhD studentships, of full fees plus up to £10,000 living allowance.

Scholarships are normally for three years, subject to progress. Successful candidates will be required to provide approximately 60-70 hours of teaching assistance on our MSc and/or BSc degrees annually, always working closely with appropriate faculty. The opportunity also exists to study and gain credit for some modules on the MSc programmes.

Scholarships for MSc Programmes
MSc Academic Scholarships are available for all taught MSc programme at the ICMA Centre. We offer several awards of up to £10,000 to support students on these programmes, with preference given to those in need of financial assistance.

Our links with financial markets and employers together with our specialised careers advisors, facilitate contacts with many prospective industry employers, and guide individuals through the choice of career path and the job applications process. Over the last five years, more than half of our students obtained jobs in the areas of Trading and Asset Management, Risk Management and Quantitative Finance, with others making careers in Corporate Finance, Research Analysis and Banking Operations Management.

Application procedure
Full application instructions and forms for both taught and research programmes are available at Completed application form, together with your curriculum vitae, research proposal (PhD only), copies of relevant academic transcripts, application fee (MSc programmes only) and two confidential letters of recommendation to:
Samantha Heslop,
Admissions Officer,
ICMA Centre.
Tel: +44 (0) 118 378 6299.

About the University

The University of Reading has been teaching banking and finance for over 30 years and the ICMA Centre, established in 1991 has built on that reputation. With over 15,000 students, Reading is one of the UK's largest traditional universities providing excellence in teaching and research. The ICMA Centre, as part of The University of Reading’s Business School, was awarded a rating of 5 in the most recent RAE, placing the group in 4th equal position out of 100 UK universities in this field of research.

The ICMA Centre’s dealing rooms have always been an integral part of our teaching and learning style making our technology and facilities comparable with those used on Wall Street and in The City of London.

The Centre is on the main university campus which is based on a beautifully landscaped 300 acre site on the outskirts of Reading. The town of Reading is 25 minutes by train from Central London and within easy reach of Oxford, Henley, Ascot and Windsor.

The ICMA Centre is supported by the International Capital Market Association (ICMA), the market regulator and trade association which is based in Zurich and represents some 430 investment banks and securities houses world-wide.

ICMA has recently donated an additional £5 million to The University of Reading to fund further development of the ICMA Centre, the Business School for Financial Markets. The money will finance a three-year building project to expand teaching facilities and add new dealing rooms, seminar rooms and staff offices. The new building is expected to be open for students in 2008. This most recent contribution brings the total of ICMA’s investment in The University of Reading to over £10 million, making it the largest single corporate investment in any European business school.

Address Information

Address Whiteknights, P.O. Box 242 Reading,
RG6 6BA, England
Tel. No. +44 (0) 118 378 8239
Fax No. +44 (0) 118 931 4741
E-mail address
Programme Manager Hilary Feltham
ICMA Centre Director Professor John Board
Course Titles MSc International Securities, Investment and Banking
NEW full-time programmes for 2006:
MSc Capital Markets, Regulation and Compliance
MSc Financial Risk Management
MSc Investment Management
Type of courses Full-time, Flexible and Distance Learning.
Length of courses Full-time: 10 months
Flexible: 18 months
Distance: 24 months
Date of commencement September
Class size Full-time: 180 students
Flexible and Distance Learning: 30 students
Accommodation High quality university accommodation is available throughout the campus.
Fees Full-time: £14,500 GBP (for 10 months)
(MSc Investment Management: £15,250)
Flexible: £13.100 GBP (for 18 months)
Distance: £11,000 GBP (for 24 months)
Admission requirements
  • 2:1 Honours degree from a UK university or the overseas equivalent. All disciplines considered. Some evidence of numerical ability required.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English will normally be expected to take, or have taken, either:
    1. IELTS (British Council International English Language Test) - average score of 7 (with no significant weakness in any component of the test) or
    2. TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) 600 (Computer Based 250)
  • GMAT - around 600. For the full-time programme GMAT is not mandatory. For the flexible and distance learning programmes, those who graduated more than five years ago are strongly advised to provide a score.
  • National / Overseas students Full-Time Programme:
    Ratio of EU/International students: 1/3.5
    Number of countries represented : 37
    Men / Women 1/1.7
    Age range 21 - 45
    Contact person for application Samantha Heslop, Admissions Officer

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