Sustainable Finance MSc/PGDip/PGCert

Study level: Postgraduate
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Sustainable Finance MSc gives you the opportunity to learn how to evaluate financial problems in ways that address sustainable concerns. The course is concerned with financial decision-making that has implications for the environment and society, and the way firms operate.

Year of entry

2024-25

Location

Coventry University (Coventry)

Study mode

Full-time
Part-time

Duration

1 year full-time
2 years part-time (UK only)

Course code

FBLT143

Start date

September 2024


Course overview

This MSc in Sustainable Finance provides the opportunity for you to learn and develop skills to enable you to resolve financial problems in ways that mitigate harm to the environment and society.

  • The course will enhance your career by helping you develop analytical and quantitative tools to resolve financial problems that relate to Sustainable Finance
  • The course is of interest to those concerned with mitigating the harm of economic activity on the environment and society
  • The course is interdisciplinary and draws on environmental economics, governance, finance and risk management, law and regulation and carbon accounting.
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Joint Top Modern University for Career Prospects

Guardian University Guide 2021 and 2022

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5 QS Stars for Teaching and Facilities

QS Stars University Ratings

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Top 5 UK Student City in England (Coventry)

QS Best Student Cities Index 2024

Why you should study this course

  • The full course allows you to pursue one of two Pathways for more in-depth study
  • It aims to provide you with the skills needed to understand and help resolve some of the problems facing the national and global economy in meeting sustainable development goals
  • You can register for: i) the Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Finance; ii) the Postgraduate Diploma in Sustainable Finance; or, iii) the full MSc in Sustainable Finance
  • The course can be taken part-time or full-time to suit your employment situation.

What you'll study

The adverse effects of human activity on the climate and society are now matters of grave concern. There is also the recognition that graduates are insufficiently trained to meet the challenges of mitigating the harmful effects of economic activities.

This new MSc in Sustainable Finance aims to help you develop the financial and analytical tools to bridge the gap between the traditional approaches to financial decision-making and the concept of financial sustainability, where Sustainable Finance is the main pillar of the course.

The course is interdisciplinary and draws on environmental economics, governance, finance and risk management, law and regulation and carbon accounting. It aims to provide you with the skills needed to understand and help resolve some of the problems facing the national and global economy in meeting sustainable development goals. The course is flexible depending on which classification you wish to take, such that you can enrol for the Certificate, Diploma or the full MSc degree.

If you pursue the full MSc, you will be able to choose one of two distinct Pathways that emphasises: i) Socially Responsible Investment and Carbon Reporting (Pathway A); and ii) Islamic Portfolio Management and Islamic Sustainable Finance (Pathway B). You will also be able to undertake your dissertation in Sustainable Finance at The Institute of Responsible Business Economics and Society, under the supervision of established academic researchers at the Centre for Financial and Corporate Integrity. The aims of the course are in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Semester 1 introduces you to the core areas of Sustainable Finance. You will also cover material on qualitative and quantitative Research Methods, to help you understand the techniques used to evaluate financial problems relating to Sustainable Finance.

Semester 2 covers more advanced material on Sustainable Risk Management, and Law, Ethics and Sustainability, in addition to material on Social Responsible Investment and Carbon Accounting, or Islamic Portfolio Management and Islamic Sustainable Finance, depending on your choice of Pathways. Together, both semesters will prepare you for your Dissertation in Semester 3.

Modules

  • This module provides an in-depth understanding of sustainable finance especially in the areas of sustainable development goals (SDGs), inclusion, access to finance, social and economic justice, human welfare, impact investing and economic growth. Sustainable finance can provide a model for social responsibility and, sustainable changes in the financial system. In addition, this module provides an in-depth understanding of the social and environmental pressures facing the current financial system and explores how sustainable financial strategies can create long-term value for business and society.

    Compulsory

  • This module will enable you to identify and reflect on a range of skills and issues relating to postgraduate learning in business and management research, with specific reference to Sustainable Finance. The module will cover research methods, research design, hypothesis testing, estimation techniques and methods, and the interpretation of statistical results, so that you are familiarised with the standard research approaches when undertaking their dissertation. The aims of this module are twofold: i) to enable you to produce a workable research proposal; and ii) to develop the research skills needed to undertake a research project. The distinctive features for this module are: i) it provides a conceptual understanding of business and management research, especially in the context of Sustainable Finance; ii) it enables you to prepare a research proposal foryour dissertation; iii) it allows you to be familiar with the research methods and techniques that will enable you to complete your dissertation.

    Compulsory

  • This module provides an in-depth understanding of the key issues relating to sustainability and governance. It provides a critical understanding of the influences of national and global regulation to achieve sustainable financial outcomes. The module takes a global perspective and incorporates the concept of a shared global economy, where national, global and social values are prioritised over the excesses of particular groups, countries or individuals. The module considers prevailing corporate governance norms and managerial power, and how they impinge on financial markets and society. It reflects the growing awareness in society of the need to creating long-term shareholder value, while balancing conflicting social and economic interests.

    Compulsory

  • Debates on environmental problems and what to do about them are increasingly taking centre stage in society. Governments are enacting environmental laws and regulations. Businesses are trying to rise to the challenge of not only complying with laws and regulations but are also going ‘beyond compliance’ as part of their purported social agenda. This module aims to explore the uses of economic and financial analysis to investigate the causes, consequences and possible solutions to problems of environmental degradation. The module also focuses on the use of an economic lens to critically investigate the concept of sustainability and its practical implications for businesses and national economies.

    Compulsory

  • A firm operating today faces important risks relating to the environment including climate change. The purpose of this module is to provide in-depth understanding of the key risks facing the firm and how these risks are linked to economic activity. Specific consideration will be given to the different types of risks, their measurement, assessment and mitigation, and the role of internal control systems. The role of governance and regulation, and how financial markets facilitate the pricing of certain risks will be considered. The contribution of both theoretical and empirical works in enhancing understanding will be emphasized, as well as risks relating to operations, regulation and reputation, and the effects of climate change.

    Compulsory

  • Legal rules on ethics and sustainability are important requirements that business enterprises must abide by. At the global, national, and transnational levels, various ethics and sustainability laws have emerged to govern the behaviour of businesses in relation to their customers, their staff, the environment, and other stakeholders. In areas where binding legal standards have not yet developed, so-called ‘soft-law’ standards are emerging that, although not formally binding, increasingly command compliance in the corporate world. This module focuses on the role of law with respect to ethical and sustainability issues. The issues that will be closely investigated include the fight against financial crime, environmental sustainability, and human rights protection. The aim of the module is to help you appraise the various globally recognized legal principles, standards, and frameworks governing ethical and sustainability issues in corporate practice. You will examine relevant international treaties, UN documents, industry self-governance instruments, and landmark national legislation from different countries with respect to the substantive issues. You will also identify existing legal gaps and challenges in ensuring corporate compliance with ethics and sustainability laws, using case studies.

    Compulsory

  • Either both Pathway A modules, OR both Pathway B modules 

    Carbon Accounting and Reporting - 15 credits
    This module provides an in-depth understanding of the key issues associated with carbon accounting and reporting. It provides a critical understanding of the how climate change has engaged policy makers, legislators and communities to drive the agenda for carbon accounting and reporting. The module addresses the challenges facing economists and accounting standard setters to reliably measure carbon emissions and the convergence of approaches across countries. Different approaches to carbon accounting and how they influence carbon reporting, sustainable finance, and accommodate social and global interests are considered.

    Sustainability and Socially Responsible Investment - 15 credits
    With the UN’s sustainable development goals been highly ranked in the global corporate and social agenda, an increasing number of investors require such principles to be incorporated within companies’ investment practices. This has led to the emergence of a new financial industry, that of Sustainable and Responsible Investment funds (SRIFs) which aims to create positive impact investing and support the most sustainable companies across the globe. The aim of this module is to familiarise students with the key principles, theoretical and technical aspects of sustainable and responsible investing. Students will examine a variety of different approaches to socially responsible and sustainable investment management including strategic allocation, evaluation of investment performance, Ethical, Social and Environmental (ESG) portfolio diversification, etc. Your learning is facilitated in this module by initially examining the underlying theories and how the theoretical concepts are applied in practice through the use of case studies and problem-based learning.

    Compulsory

  • Either both Pathway A modules, OR both Pathway B modules 

    Islamic Portfolio & Asset Management - 15 credits
    The aim of this module is to familiarise you with the key principles, theoretical and technical aspects of Islamic asset management as well as the effects of the Sharī'ah board, hedging funds, and capital markets. It also aims to explore and analyse the differences between conventional and Islamic asset and portfolio management. This module also aims to provide an in-depth understanding of Islamic asset and portfolio management, including the types of funds offered and their operational procedures. You will examine a variety of different approaches to managing Shari'ah-compliant financial assets, such as mutual funds, equity, Sukuk, Ijarah, and commodity funds and whether they are an attractive alternative for investors. Your learning is facilitated in this module by initially examining the underlying theories and how these theoretical concepts are applied in practice through the use of case studies and problem-based learning.

    Islamic Sustainable Finance - 15 credits
    This module is concerned with issues in Islamic sustainable and green finance. Traditional economic theory is contrasted with Islamic economic theory and concepts of ownership and wealth. The relationship between prosperity and Islamic economic theory is explored. At the same time, this module provides an in-depth understanding of Islamic sustainable finance especially in the areas of sustainable development goals (SDGs), inclusion, access to finance, social and economic justice, human welfare, impact investing, and economic growth. In addition, through the Maqasid al Sharia – Islamic moral economy values - the use of Islamic finance to support “green” investments/Sukuk to finance green sustainable projects will be also explored. Regardless of religious considerations, Islamic finance microcosm provides a contemplative model for serious ethical reform. The influences of socially responsible, sustainable changes in the financial system on Islamic markets are also explored.

    Compulsory

  • A 10, 000-word individual research-based dissertation on an approved topic relating to an area covered in the course. Yous will formulate and develop the relevant research questions, hypotheses and research design, and use appropriate software (Stata, Nvivo) to test your hypotheses.

    Compulsory

  • 3,500 word individual report providing critical analysis of a live organisation. 

    Compulsory

We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.


How you'll learn

While details vary somewhat from module to module, the learning and teaching strategy involves a series of lectures and seminars/workshops/tutorials.

Lectures chart the main theories, concepts controversies and empirical findings on a particular topic. You will be encouraged to have done the required readings and actively engage in the discussions during the lectures. The seminars/workshops/tutorials are generally interactive. In some cases, the sessions can be focused on case studies and literature that you are expected to engage beforehand and deliberate on in-class in various formats.

In others, the sessions provide you with the opportunity to raise, discuss and clarify issues raised in lectures and/or associated with their own research plans. Often the workshops will take the form of blended learning, combining expository online content with in-class discussion.

This course can be offered on a part-time basis for home students only. Whilst we would like to give you all the information about our part-time offering here, it is tailored for each course each year depending on the number of part-time applicants. Therefore, the part-time teaching arrangements vary. Request further information about part-time study.


Teaching contact hours

The number of full-time contact hours may vary from semester to semester, however, on average, it is likely to be around 12 contact hours per week in the taught terms.

Additionally, you will be expected to undertake significant self-drected study of approximately 12 hours a week, depending on the demands of individual modules.

The contact hours may be made up of a combination of face-to-face teaching, individual and group tutorials, and online classes and tutorials.

As an innovative and enterprising institution, the University may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the University may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.

Since COVID-19, we have delivered our courses in a variety of forms, in line with public authority guidance, decisions, or orders and we will continue to adapt our delivery as appropriate. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.


Assessment

This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will vary depending upon the module.

Assessment methods include:

  • Formal examinations
  • Phase tests
  • Essays
  • Group work
  • Presentations
  • Reports
  • Projects
  • Coursework
  • Exams
  • Individual Assignments

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards achieving the intended learning outcomes.


Entry requirements

Typical offer for 2024/25 entry.

A minimum of a second-class honours undergraduate degree (minimum of 2:2) or equivalent with an appropriate business or finance background.

Appropriate work experience in the financial sector together with relevant professional qualification(s). Where necessary, applicants are interviewed, especially those that do not appear to meet the standard admission criteria. Where deemed appropriate, a written exercise may be administered to establish suitability.

We recognise a breadth of qualifications, speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.

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Select your region to find detailed information about entry requirements:

You can view our full list of country specific entry requirements on our Entry requirements page.

Alternatively, visit our International hub for further advice and guidance on finding in-country agents and representatives, joining our in-country events and how to apply.

Typical entry requirements

A minimum of a second-class honours undergraduate degree (minimum of 2:2) or equivalent with an appropriate business or finance background.

Appropriate work experience in the financial sector together with relevant professional qualifications. Where necessary, applicants are interviewed, especially those that do not appear to meet standard admission criteria. Where deemed appropriate, a written exercise may be administered to establish suitability.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 7 overall, with no component lower than 6.5.

If you don't meet the English language requirements, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course. 

For more information on our approved English language tests visit our English language requirements page.

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Fees and funding

2024/25 tuition fees.

Student Full-time Part-time
UK, Ireland*, Channel Islands or Isle of Man £15,400   Request fee information
EU £15,400 per year with EU support bursary**
£20,050 per year without EU support bursary**
Not available
International £20,050   Not available

For advice and guidance on tuition fees3 and student loans visit our Postgraduate Finance page and see the university's Tuition Fee and Refund Terms and Conditions.

We offer a range of International scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationery, printing and re-assessments should you need them.

The following are additional costs not included in the tuition fees:

  • Any optional overseas field trips or visits: £400+ per trip.
  • Any costs associated with securing, attending or completing a placement (whether in the UK or abroad).

*Irish student fees

The rights of Irish residents to study in the UK are preserved under the Common Travel Area arrangement. If you are an Irish student and meet the residency criteria, you can study in England, pay the same level of tuition fees as English students and utilise the Tuition Fee Loan.

**EU support bursary

Following the UK's exit from the European Union, we are offering financial support to all eligible EU students who wish to study an undergraduate or a postgraduate degree with us full-time. This bursary will be used to offset the cost of your tuition fees to bring them in line with that of UK students. Students studying a degree with a foundation year with us are not eligible for the bursary.

  • We carry out an initial fee status assessment based on the information you provide in your application. Your fee status determines your tuition fees, and what financial support and scholarships may be available to you. The rules about who pays UK (home) or international (overseas) fees for higher education courses in England are set by the government's Department for Education. The regulations identify all the different categories of student who can insist on paying the home rate. The regulations can be difficult to understand, so the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) has provided fee status guidance to help you identify whether you are eligible to pay the home or overseas rate.

    If you meet all the criteria required by any one category, including any residence requirements, your institution must charge you the home rate. You only need to find one category that you fit into.


Facilities

We have a range of facilities4 available to support you in putting the theories you are taught into practice, such as:

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The Trading Floor

The Trading Floor is an invaluable facility that allows you to get hands-on with industry-standard software. Featuring contemporary dual-screen Bloomberg terminals, the facility can add a dynamic practical element to your course.

 

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Talent Team

Employability is at the forefront of all our economics courses. You will have access to our dedicated employability service, the Talent Team, from the first day of your course, to graduation and beyond.

 

 

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sigma Centre

The sigma Centre is housed in our Lanchester Library, and offers maths and statistics support through drop-in sessions and bookable appointments, the ideal place to help you navigate any issues you might have while studying an accounting and finance degree.


Careers and opportunities

This master’s course aims to provide you with the skill and knowledge needed to pursue a career in sustainable finance.

Upon completion of this course, you are expected to:

  • Develop analytical and quantitative tools to resolve financial problems.
  • Understand the social and environmental pressures facing the current financial system and explores how sustainable financial strategies can create long-term value for business and society.
  • Understand how law and ethics interacts with sustainable finance, having developed your understanding of financial crime.

The course is suitable for those wishing to pursue a career in Sustainable Finance where decision-making and the allocation of resources have implications for sustainability and society. The course will enhance your prospects if you wish to pursue a career in commercial firms, national governments, local authorities, international organisations, and non-for-profit making organisations.

Further study

This is an advanced course in Sustainable Finance and will be suitable for doctoral studies.


How to apply

  • Coventry University together with Coventry University London, Coventry University Wrocław, CU Coventry, CU London, CU Scarborough, and Coventry University Online come together to form part of the Coventry University Group (the University) with all degrees awarded by Coventry University.

    1Accreditations

    The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.

    2UK and international opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or international opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be unpaid and/or subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel, public authority guidance, decisions or orders and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand any visa requirements, please contact the International Office.

    3Tuition fees

    The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For UK (home) students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation.

    For international students, we may increase fees each year, but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.

    4Facilities

    Facilities are subject to availability. Access to some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) may vary from those advertised and/or may have reduced availability or restrictions where the university is following public authority guidance, decisions or orders.

    Student Contract

    By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. A copy of the current 2023/2024 contract is available on the website for information purposes however the 2024/25 Contract is currently being updated so please revisit this page before submitting your application. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.