Our philosophy of education is based on the belief that a solid foundation of academic theory, empirical research and practical applications are all crucial for long-term success in a career in Finance. Our faculty consists of high-level academics, who regularly publish cutting-edge research, and practitioners with long experience in the industry. We believe that risk is a multifaceted topic and must be approached from many different perspectives. Accordingly, the programme enables students to take courses in several areas related to Risk and Finance.
A solid foundation on the topic of risk from the perspective of financial institutions and regulation is provided in the core course (FM403 - Management and Regulation of Risk), where a sound theoretical basis is given to students on the topic of risk management in financial institutions. The course is taught by leading academics and practitioners and supported by contributions from high-level risk professionals from Deutsche Bank through seminar participation. In addition, students develop a foundation on Capital Markets and/or Corporate Finance and can choose from a wide variety of electives to deepen their knowledge in their area of specialisation.
We also believe that research skills and experience are critical, and students are required to produce a lengthy piece of original work in the form of a dissertation as part of their programme.
Teaching and learning
Courses in the programme usually have two elements, lectures and seminars. The lecture format allows for the development of core theoretical concepts, familiarisation with academic research. Seminars are conducted with smaller groups in which class teachers can have a closer relationship with individual students, which makes it easier to use alternative teaching methods such as case studies and discussions and conduct empirical exercises that enable the student to gain deeper practical understanding of the course material.
Many courses also use alternative methods of instruction and assessment. Students are often required to work in groups during their courses, in order to complete group presentations or projects. Active class participation is expected and constitutes part of the final course mark in the core course of the programme. In addition, students are expected to undertake a significant amount of reading and independent study throughout the year.
You can view indicative details for how teaching is conducted in each course in the programme in the relevant course guide.
Course work and exams
There are two types of course work at LSE, formative and summative. Formative coursework does not count towards your final mark, whereas summative coursework does. An indication of the formative coursework and summative assessment for each course can be found in the relevant course guide.
Formative coursework enables students to develop a sense for how well they are doing in terms of understanding course material. In many courses weekly problem sets are assigned which you are expected to complete before the following week’s class, where the teacher will work through solutions and answer questions. Many of the courses in the programme also contain summative assessments. These can take various forms, such as group presentations, individual or group projects, empirical or programming exercises, class participation, or in-class assessments under exam-style conditions.
Exams for most courses will take place during the Summer Term exam period, which runs from late April until mid-June. The exam timetable is confirmed during Lent Term. The majority of the courses that students usually take have an exam in Summer Term that accounts for a high percentage of the final course mark. The exams for a few Michaelmas Term courses are conducted in January, and some courses do not involve a final exam at all.
We have a broad range of resources to support students in their learning. Faculty are usually accessible and can be approached with questions or discussions during breaks in lectures. In addition, all faculty schedule weekly office hours in which any student may visit them to discuss academic issues. Students are also able to arrange a time to meet with a member of faculty outside of their office hours.
The team dedicated to the programme consists of:
- the Programme Director who is responsible for the academic content of the core course and coordinates the content of the programme
- the Programme Co-Director who acts as the main academic and pastoral mentor for all students on the programme. He is also the lead faculty for some of the courses available to students in the programme, and usually serves as their dissertation advisor. The programme Co-Director has also worked extensively in the finance industry, and is able to provide students with career advice
- the Programme Manager who is responsible for coordinating all logistical aspects of the programme and assisting students with logistical matters
There are also many opportunities to extend your learning outside the classroom and complement your academic studies at LSE. LSE LIFE is the School’s centre for academic, personal and professional development. Some of the services on offer include:
How to read effectively
Academic writing and critical thinking
Developing leadership skills
Preparing for the world of work
Cross-cultural communication and teamwork
Finally, LSE is committed to enabling all students to achieve their full potential and the School’s Disability and Wellbeing Service provides a free, confidential service to all LSE students and is a first point of contact for students with specific disabilities.