Master International Finance and Economics (M.Sc.)

The highly international Master in International Finance and Economics (MIFE) is tailored towards above average graduates from all over the world with a first academic degree in business and previous work experience in either Finance or Economics. 

The 3-semesters, full-time English-language program provides you with an in-depth understanding of the principles and practices of international Finance and Economics. The  program allows for specialization by choosing special electives in Finance and Economics.   Furthermore, the program  offers both practical and international experience and prepares students for a wide range of career opportunities, e.g. in the global financial industry.

Group of international students studying together in a class room.

Degree:

Master of Science (M.Sc.)

Program duration:

3 semesters (90 ECTS)

Language of instruction:

English
Students can choose some electives in German.

Special features:

MIFE offers a comprehensive, integrated curriculum in Finance and Economics based on core modules and electives to choose from. The program is entirely taught in English.  

Lectures tend to be in a participative lecture-style with a strong involvement of students. Classes frequently incorporate case analyses and group discussions. There will also be joint work sessions and opportunities for supervised project work, field investigations and company visits, as well as individual research. Small classes allow for close personal contacts.  

We are committed to an academic, yet practice-oriented approach. Our experienced professors have an extensive academic as well as strong practical background in Finance/Economics. We are all working together to deliver a professional and internationally-oriented education which enables students to cope with a vast, continuously changing global environment.  

Furthermore, students may broaden their horizon by spending a semester at one of our 80+ partner universities or by doing an internship abroad.

Facts and figures:

  • Only around 40 new students per year     
  • Small classes of around 20–30 students     
  • approx. 80 % of students are non-Germans from around 30 different countries worldwide. The multi-cultural study environment is a true highlight of the program for many.    
  • the vast majority would recommend the study program (recent years' Alumni surveys: 100 %)


Admission semester:

Winter semester or summer semester

Application period:

For the winter semester which starts 1 October: 2 May - 15 June
For the summer semester which starts on 15 March: 15 November - 15 December

Accredited:

Yes

A specialization in one of both fields - finance or economics - is possible by selecting respective elective modules.

A student can for instance choose from 6 to a maximum of 24 ECTS in finance electives in addition to the compulsory ones. The same is possible for a specialization in economics.Students also have the chance to spend one semester abroad.

For detailed course descriptions, please see our Module Catalogue.

Modules

International Financial Accounting

Learning Objectives and Skills

The module provides advanced knowledge and analytical capabilities in International Accounting for consolidated entities based on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). One of the main learning outcomes of the course is to enable students to understand and to apply IFRS in group accounting. On the other hand this understanding should help them to interpret financial numbers in consolidated financial statements of international corporations. For these purposes, students learn about the initial and subsequent consolidation process and alternative approaches to goodwill accounting. They learn how to look at and analyze a company from a group perspective, getting to know the fundamentals of debt and earnings consolidation. Accounting for joint ventures and associated companies helps them to understand the alternatives to full consolidation in order to make economically advantageous decisions in later professional life. Understanding the principles of segment reporting in a group prepares the students for in-depth analysis of both the entire company and its individual operating segments. Course participants are able to analyze consolidated financial statements and can draw practice oriented conclusions from their analysis. They can present and evaluate relevant infor-mation in written form. They are able to answer questions on this matter comprehensively and can explain relevant interrela-tionships.

Module Content

The course covers the amongst other the following topics:

  • Essentials of Accounting & Summary of IFRS Basics
  • IFRS Financial Statements (IAS 1/IAS 7)
  • Consolidated Financial Statements (IFRS 10)
  • Joint Arrangement (IFRS 11)
  • Investments in Associates (IAS 28)
  • Operating Segements (IFRS 8)
  • Income taxes (IAS 12)
  • The effects of changes in foreign exchange rates (IAS 21)

 

Business Ethics

Learning Objectives and Skills

Students learn to understand moral and ethical concepts and conduct options. The module aims to improve the quality of (business) decisions and to enhance long-term business success through understanding ethical dilemma, moral philosophy, social responsibility, organizational culture, and special issues in a global economy. Students acquire basic knowledge on ethics and business eth-ics. Students will be able to recognize and (re-)evaluate the ethical dimensions of business decisions in our competitive global business world. By applying various ethical theories and pro-cesses of decision making, students are able to understand, structure and to evaluate the complexity of typical ethical dilemmas in business decisions of our global and multicultural business world. Students are trained to present and evaluate complex topics and sophisticated theories in oral presentation and in written form. They are able to answer questions on this matter comprehensively and can explain relevant interrelationships. They will learn how to address the challenges that organizations are confronted with when trying to do business ethically, to be a good corporate citizen, and to appropriately deal with stake-holder demands.

Module Content

The course covers the following topics:

  • Introduction to Business Ethics
  • Framing Business Ethics
    - Corporate Social Responsibility
    - Sustainability
    - Corporate Citizenship
    - Stakeholders
    - Accountability
  • Evaluating Business Ethics – Normative Ethical Theories
  • Making Decisions in Business Ethics – Descriptive Ethical Theories
  • Managing Business Ethics
    - Tools & techniques of BE Management
    - International Standards of ethical behavior
    - Stakeholder management
    - Assessment of Ethical Performance
Learning Objectives and Skills

One of the main qualification targets of the course is to enable students to analyze the generation of value in enterprises for a single period (Value Based Management), leading as an accumulation to the enterprise value (Corporate Valuation). In order to generate a structured and detailed approach students are able to use value drivers and to separate between current and future value to structure the evaluation tools. Therefore, students learn to develop and apply comprehensive excel tools with high sophisticated value driver analysis on several companies from different industries supported with a company specific comprehensive research reports, allowing students to deeply understand and perform the process themselves. They are able to answer questions on this matter comprehensively and can explain the value generating process with a periodical and an accumulated view on value of companies.

Module Content

The course covers the following topics:

  • Analysis and evaluation of shareholder and stakeholder approaches
  • Description and differentiation of corporate valuation and value based management
  • Foundation of the theoretical background of valuation
  • Foundation of the theoretical background of financial planning for valuation and its practical application
  • Theoretical and practical determination of cost of capital incl. risk and taxes
  • Comparison of the different valuation approaches and their obstacles in applying on different kind of companies
  • Application of value based management on practical exam-ples and their limits with the extension of future potentials
  • Application of corporate valuation on practical examples
  • Cases
    Learning Objectives and Skills

    After successful participation in this module the students can:

    • describe the institutional framework of international capital market.
    • name different the different investor and debtor types on in-ternational capital markets and explain their different goals.
    • develop valuation formulas based on arbitrage principles in order to determine the fair value of derivatives (especially exchange rate derivatives).
    • interpret the most popular formulas for option pricing men-tioned below.
    • apply the CAPM using real life data in order to calculate fair market prices for securities.
    • develop solutions to problems arising from the application of the CAPM in an international context.
    • describe the most important heuristics occurring in financial decision making in order to explain mispricing on international capital markets.
    • explain herd behavior using different theoretical models in order to understand market bubbles on international capital markets.
    Module Content

    The course covers the following topics:

    • International capital market participants
    • The banking system
    • Exchange rate risk, political risk and cultural aspects on in-ternational capital markets
    • Valuation of foreign exchange derivatives
    • Garman-Kohlhagen formula
    • Risk neutral valuation
    • Black-Scholes formula
    • Valuation of interest rate options using binomial trees
    • Portfolio Theory and the CAPM
    • The International CAPM
    • Application of the CAPM in an international context
    • Information efficiency on capital markets and behavioural finance
    • Heuristics and their impact on financial decision making
    • Informational cascades
    Learning Objectives and Skills

    The main learning outcomes of the course are to enable students to analyze and assess types and business models of global financial institutions, with a particular focus on investment banking activities, and to evaluate regulatory requirements for banks and insurance companies. Seminar participants are able to analyze drivers, critical factors and risks of the most important types and business models of global financial institutions such as banks, insurance companies and asset managers. They understand the institutional setup, and evaluate purposes and challenges of these global financial institutions. Students assess opportunities, constraints and problems regarding each single business model. In particular, students explain and evaluate the areas of investment banking and capital markets activities of banks. Furthermore, seminar participants distinguish between different capital concepts for fi-nancial institutions, and they evaluate respective impacts on business decisions. In particular, students analyze and apply regulatory requirements for banks under Basel III. Furthermore, they discuss and evaluate the capital requirements for insurance companies under Solvency II.

    Module Content

    The course covers the following topics:

    • Banking business: retail banking, commercial banking and investment banking
    • Insurance business: life insurance and non-life insurance
    • Asset management business
    • Capital concepts: IFRS accounting capital versus regula-tory capital
    • Bank capital requirements under Basel III and capital requirements for insurance companies
    • Equity & Debt Capital Markets
    • Financial Advisory: M&A and Corporate Restructuring
    • Sales & Trading
    Learning Objectives and Skills

    The major focus of this course is to enable students to analyze quantitative data and to interpret results derived from the appli-cation of quantitative analytical methods. Quantitative data analysis has become the backbone of much what is being done in economics as well as in finance as much of decision making in these fields is based on the results generated by applying quantitative analytical tools. Emphasis in this course is therefore placed on inferential methods as commonly applied in modern micro-, macro-, and financial economics. Students construct quantitative models and apply each analytical approach discussed using the statistical software package Stata. In addition, students will discuss crucial underlying assumptions involved in the models applied. Students are thus enabled to critically assess the reliability of the results they have generated and apply appropriate solutions. For this, a solid theoretical background is provided in the course necessary for the critical evaluation of the generated results. By applying the quantitative tools using Stata, students demonstrate and test effects of and causes leading to violations of underlying assumptions. In the exam, students need to demonstrate their capability to identify and solve problems using the approaches they have been working on throughout the course.

    Module Content

    The course covers the following topics:

    • Introduction to Stata
    • Simple and multiple regression
    • Hypothesis testing
    • Model building
    • ARIMA
    • GARCH
    • Limited dependent variables
    Learning Objectives and Skills

    This module provides of advanced knowledge and analytical capabilities in international economics, with a particular focus on international finance. Students will assess the institutional framework of international financial markets. They will be able to compare and contrast different exchange rate regimes and methods for exchange rate determination. Students will also evaluate country and political risk of international investments and identify opportunities and risks of investment strategies. Finally, students will learn to analyze financial instruments from the perspective of hedging, arbitrage and speculation.

    Module Content

    The course covers the following topics:

    • The international financial environment
    • Exchange rate behavior
    • Interest rate parity
    • Relationship among inflation, interest rates and exchange rates
    • Forecasting exchange rates
    • Foreign direct investment
    • Country risk analysis
    • Financing international trade
    • Short-term financing
      Learning Objectives and Skills

      Provision of applied research capabilities in international finance and economics. Develop skills on how to search for, evaluate and analyse primary and secondary information with the aim of arriving at meaningful, objective results for a realistic project, with a focus on finance and economics. Students work in small teams, with an emphasis on understanding how to structure and carry out the project within the team, including managing their own deadlines. Students understand the meaning of combination of academic theory and practical application in real case research projects with companies (their diverse functions in business operations) and/or academic research projects. Students apply their research and academic knowledge with current topics and real cases and/or theoretical topics. During that course they analyse the current process and/or status of operations and research and evaluate their findings with the optimum in theory and real case operations. Therefore students carry out paper research and/or interviews and/or process analyses in the companies or the academic environment of the applied research topics. In this aspect they create an added value for the applied research projects with the companies or the research in theory.

      Module Content

      Students carry out independent and applied research on a specific topic in the area of international finance and economics. The exact contents depend on the specific research stream selected but will include a critical review of the state of art information/literature sources on the chosen topic.

      Finance (at least 6 ECTS)
      • Mergers & Acquisitions
      • Equity Financing and Venture Capital
      • Equity and Bond Investments
      • Case Studies in Finance and Capital Markets
      • Financial Risk Management
      • Portfolio Management and Risk
      • Bank and Credit Risk Management
      • Derivatives
      Economics (at least 6 ECTS)
      • Economics of Emerging Markets and Development
      • Environmental Economics: Theory and Policy
      • Public Sector Economics
      • Behavioral Economics
      General Management (max. 6 ECTS) 
      • Strategic Management in a Global Context
      • Negotiation Strategy:
        a) Basis and application of negotiation strategies
        b) Cross-cultural Negotiations and Relationship Management
      • Management Accounting (Controlling)
      Learning Objectives and Skills

      Students are able to perform academic work and research related to a specific and complex academic or practical problem related to international finance or economics. They apply appropriate research methods and draw their own conclusions within a limited time period. Students relate and apply their acquired academic understanding to a practical and/or academic issue.

      After successfully completing the thesis, students gain the following competences:

      • Plan, organize and structure a scientific research project related to a complex topic.
      • Acquire specialized knowledge in the student´s chosen focus area.
      • Independently conduct high-quality scientific research.
      • Employ appropriate research methods and analytics.
      • Apply academic writing skills.
      • Finalize a scientific document including correct citations, adherence to formal requirements and fulfilling high standards of academic writing.
      Module Content

      In-depth analysis of a specific research topic to be assigned to the student by the thesis supervisor. The topic must be related to the area of international finance or economics. The thesis can also be prepared in co-operation with a company

      Sample study plan (flexible scheduling possible)

      Fields of work, Job profiles

      The mandatory and elective modules of the Finance and Economics Master program allow students to focus on segments in Finance and Economics which interest them most .Our alumni are employed at finance departments of companies, financial institutions (banks, insurance companies, asset management) as well as public entities (i.e. organizations for economic development). They work in various areas like corporate finance, trading, risk management, advisory, M&A or similar at companies such as Bosch, Siemens, Eurex, BNP Paribas, Unicredit, KfW or in organisations specialized in financial and economic policy.

      Academic options after you've earned your master’s degree

      Although not being the main focus of the MIFE program, in general the M.Sc. enables students to continue their studies in a Ph.D. program of German universities. A few of our alumni continue their studies in qualified Ph.D. programs.

      As demand for the MIFE program exceeds supply, applicants first have to pass through a rather competitive admission process which selects candidates based on their academic profile, achievements and suitability. 

      A detailed descriptions of the admission process can be found here.

      The most important prerequisites are your Bachelor's degree and English language skills. 

      In fact, no matter which nationality you hold, in order to apply you need a business/economics Bachelor of 210 ECTS with a focus on finance/economics. In case, your Bachelor degree earned you just 180 ECTS (3 years of study) you may have to take additional courses at our university to bring your ECTS points up to 210. 

      1) Bachelor's degree

      Bachelor's degree completed:

      We require a first Diploma/Bachelor degree from a full business or economics program (focus on Finance/ Economics) with an average of 2.0 or better (according to the German grading system; we are using the Bavarian formula to convert your grade.) 

      If your average is between 2.1 and 2.5 in the German grading system you have to participate and pass the General Management Admission Test (min. GMAT score 600), equivalent GRE or our own Master Admission Test. 

      You are only allowed to take our Master Admission Test if you are residing in Germany. This test usually takes place two weeks after the application deadline. Information on the test can be obtained upon request or found in the FAQ section

      Bachelor's degree not yet completed (min. 85% must be completed)

      We require a first Diploma/Bachelor degree from a full business or economics program (focus on Finance/ Economics) with an average of 1.7 or better (according to the German grading system; we are using the Bavarian formula to convert your grade.)  

      If your average is between 1.8 and 2.5 in the German grading system you have to participate and pass the General Management Admission Test (min. GMAT score 600), equivalent GRE or our own Master Admission Test. 

      You are only allowed to take our Master Admission Test if you are residing in Germany. This test usually takes place two weeks after the application deadline. Information on the test can be obtained upon request or found in the FAQ section

      2) English proficiency

      Each student has to submit (independent of the educational background) a sufficient test result obtained in one of the internationally accepted English language tests mentioned below: 

      • TOEFL (paper-based test): score 600
      • TOEFL (computer test): score 250
      • TOEFL (internet-based test): score 100
      • TOEIC: score 820
      • IELTS 7.0 (min. 6.0 in each test component)
      • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English Cambridge CAE Grade C or min. Cambridge English Scale score 180 / CEFR Level C1 or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) 
      • A GMAT test does not waive the requirement for an English certificate!

      3) Basic German language skills

      We require a level that is equivalent to the A1  level of the Goethe-Institute (~at least 120 hours of lessons attended). 

      4) Relevant practical experience

      An internship in finance/economics of at least 20 weeks or practical work experience in finance/economics of at least 6 months needs to be proven. 

      5) In addition, you may submit:

      • Two personal references providing information about your academic qualifications and personal suitability (e.g. job references, recommendation letters)
      • Motivation letter
      • Copies (e.g. confirmation letters, if available) of professional or academic training/experience abroad

      All documents have to be submitted together with a completed and signed online application form via postal mail (NO email!). Please make sure to submit officially certified copies, e.g. legalized by the German embassy/ public notary. 

      You can only apply within the application periods.  The application period is from 02 May till 15 June (winter semester) and 15 Nov till 15 Dec (summer semester).       

      Please also pay attention to our FAQs which might answer additional questions!  

      Do you have any questions about your application, admission or the degree program? Feel free to get in touch with us!

      We offer advice on the recognition of (foreign) academic certificates, your application, the admission process or the curriculum of the degree program.

      International Business Office:

      Phone: +49 911/5880-2721
      Email: IB-master-ife@th-nuernberg.de
      www.th-nuernberg.de/ib

      Academic Advisor