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GRADUATE STUDIES OFFICE

5 September 2011

DR RICHARD HAYNES Director of Graduate Studies Office University of Stirling Stirling FK9 4LR Scotland UK T: +44 (0) 1786 467971 F: +44 (0)1786 466855

Dear Postgraduate

r.b.haynes@stir.ac.uk

MSc/Diploma/Certificate in Financial Journalism In preparation for you joining the above Masters programme in September 2011, I include details of the structure and content of the programme and some further information which I hope you will find useful. The outline of modules for Autumn and Spring semesters indicates the interdisciplinary nature of this degree and its academic rather than vocational emphasis. Please consider these study modules carefully. A few brief induction events for Financial Journalism students will take place week commencing Monday 12 September 2011. Where relevant to your offer of a place on the Financial Journalism programme, you are required to attend an initial advisory meeting time and place to be confirmed. If you have any further enquiries or would like to arrange to pay a visit to the Division ahead of registration week, please get in touch.

TUESDAY 13 SEPTEMBER 2011

LOCATION

1300 – 1400 Induction Meeting

Pathfoot Room G18

1400 – 1500 Essential Guide to Library and IT Services,

Logie Lecture Theatre Cottrell

I look forward to meeting you then. Yours Sincerely Prof Neil Blain

Director, MSc/Dip/Cert Financial Journalism Programme


MSc in Financial Journalism Programme Director: Prof Neil Blain Email: n.a.blainj@stir.ac.uk Philosophy and Objectives This programme is design for those who want to work in the field of financial journalism. It has both theoretical and practical elements, allowing students to develop an understanding of the financial world while also learning journalistic skills associated with news gathering ad reporting. The MSc/PG Diploma in Financial Journalism is delivered in conjunction with the departments of Film, Media & Journalism and Accounting and Finance. Both of which provide leading expertise and are regarded by the industry as centres of excellence. The Masters in Financial Journalism offers a 'hands-on' professional curriculum designed to produce top journalists in the field. Students will not only learn about how companies operate and how financial markets function, but they will also understand how to produce news articles regarding finance and business for media outlets. Indeed, on completion of the course, students will be equipped with analytical and critical knowledge together with practical and vocational skills required in many areas of journalism and finance. Programme Structure The teaching year at Stirling is divided into two semesters, which run from mid-September to December and from mid-February to the end of May. Each semester, you will take two core modules and one option; all candidates also complete a dissertation of approximately 12,000 words. Semester One: FJNP01 - Financial Journalism MMAP12/MERP08 - Research Methods 1 INVP01- Corporate Finance INVP02- Financial Reporting

Semester Two: FJNP02 – Investigative News Reporting MMAP14 - Media Regulation and Policy INVP05 – Law of Investment Regulation and one from: Option Modules INVP07 – Financial Statement Analysis INVP10 – Derivatives INVP11 – Investments and Portfolio Management FINP14 – Mergers and Acquisitions

Summer: FJNP05 Dissertation

Dissertation A detailed dissertation proposal must be submitted by the end of the Autumn semester and students will be expected to stay within the areas of current staff interest and expertise. Supervisors will be allocated at the beginning of the Spring semester and each student will be required to make substantial progress on preparatory chapters of their thesis during the Spring semester. Each dissertation will be 12,000 words in length and might take the form of a written publishable academic article and will focus on a Financial Journalism theme. Dissertations must be submitted by end of August or the nearest working day in advance of this date.


Progression and Awards At the end of the Autumn semester, students must have grade 3C or better in all modules to progress as a candidate for the Diploma or MSc. At the end of the Spring semester, in order to progress to the MSc dissertation, students must have grade 3C or better in all modules. A student who fails any of the modules in one semester may be required by the Admissions, Progress and Awards Committee to withdraw from the programme. For the award of the Certificate a student must complete 60 SCQF credits and comply with existing programme regulations. For the award of the Diploma a student must complete 120 credits (passing all modules) and comply with existing programme regulations. For the award of the MSc a student must successfully complete the Diploma programme and achieve a passing grade in the dissertation (at least 180 SCQF credits in total). *Students achieving a marginal fail in any module (Grades 4A-4C) will be allowed to resit the assessment for that module. Resit assessments will be capped at Grade 3C. Students who fail a resit assessment may, at the discretion of the examiners, be allowed to repeat a maximum of one module on the programme. Students failing more than one resit assessment, or students with a clear fail in any module (Grades 5A-5C) may be required by the Admissions, Progress and Academic Awards Committee to withdraw from the programme. In Postgraduate modules, a student having grade 4A (at level 11) after resit may, at the discretion of the examiners, be awarded a grade QP. This is a Qualified Pass - a pass at level 10 but a fail at level 11. It carries credits at level 10 but not at level 11.

Autumn Semester Modules FINANCIAL JOURNALISM (FJNP01) This module aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to cover and report about the world of finance in general and financial institutions and organisations in particular. This module will offer a 'hands-on' approach, which will allow students to understand how companies and financial markets function, while producing news articles and features articles about finance and business for different media outlets. RESEARCH METHODS (FJNP03) This module aims to develop in students an understanding of the approaches, techniques and skills required in conducting research and to examine the various techniques used to collect, analyse and interpret data. Topics will include library research skills, approaches to research, sources, qualitative and quantitative research methods in media and communications, research ethics and presentation of results. CORPORATE FINANCE (INVP01) The primary aim is to provide an understanding of the major decision areas of corporate finance and how these impact the value of the firm. A secondary aim is to develop analytical skills and apply them to financial problems. The module will involve an examination of both the theory and the practice of corporate financial decision-making. Most of the advances in corporate finance are based on the interaction between corporate decision-making and capital market behaviour. FINANCIAL REPORTING (INVP02) The module covers both the principles of accounting and the interpretation of company reports and accounts. It assumes no prior knowledge of accounting. The module aims to provide students with an understanding of the underlying assumptions, and limitations of accounting information. Measurement and reporting problems involved in financial accounting ‘solutions’ adopted by accounting regulators are discussed. Methods available for interpretation of reported accounting information are explored and applied to in the context of multinational companies. Spring Semester Modules INVESTIGATING NEWS REPORTING (FJNP02) This module is design to provide students with the ability to do investigative journalism. The module covers the use of resources and techniques related to journalistic investigation of possible news stories. It aims to develop a theoretical awareness as well as practical skills such as interview techniques, data reading, investigative reporting research strategies, among other techniques. Students who undertake this module will be able to develop


journalistic research skills. They will be able to produce news stories based on original investigative agenda. They will also learn how to produce feature articles to a high standard. THE MEDIA ENVIRONMENT (FJNP04) By examining the media industries in their social, political and economic contexts, this module aims to provide students with an understanding of the structure of the media industries and their relationship to society. The course will take an international perspective but the UK situation will provide many illustrative examples MEDIA RIGHTS AND POLICY (FJNP06) This module introduces students to the key issues affecting media rights management with regard to acquisition, protection and exploitation. The module provides an understanding of the importance of copyright in media economics and media regulation. Students will critically analyse issues on international film and television rights; music and performing rights; digital property and the Internet; sports rights; and media piracy. FINANCIAL STATEMENT ANALYSIS (INVP07) The major aims of this module are to enable students to undertake the financial analysis of listed companies in a systematic and rigorous manner, to examine issues involved in applying fundamental models of share valuation and particularly in the use of financial statement information. The module is based largely on case studies and emphasis is placed on group presentation and participation. The coursework element of assessment requires working within a team to present and write an investment analysis report on a UK quoted company based on its financial statements and other publicly-available information. DERIVATIVES (INVP10) This module focuses on valuation and use of derivative securities, such as futures, options and swaps. It will illustrate the functioning of the forward and futures markets, pricing of forward and futures contracts and swaps, and various trading strategies involving these instruments. A particular emphasis is placed on the use of derivatives in risk management. The second part of the course discusses option pricing models and the use of options and option-like securities. The module also provides an introduction to the working of the foreign exchange market and instruments traded thereon. INVESTMENTMENTS AND PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT (INVP11) This module provides an understanding of portfolio management and of the valuation of equities and bonds. The first part of the module is on the basic principles which underpin modern portfolio theory and models of asset pricing. These principles are then applied to issues such as asset allocation and performance measurement. The second part of the module covers fixed-income securities. It explains the principles of bond valuation and introduces the concepts underlying the term structure of interest rates. In addition, the management of bond portfolios is discussed. MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS (FINP14) This module examines the motives for, and consequences of, merger and acquisition (M&A) activity against the background of corporate finance theory and practice. It will also entail an examination of other corporate restructuring activities, including spin-offs, carve-outs and sell-offs. Extra curricular activities The attendance of lectures, seminars and workshops is paramount in your progression during the programme. However, equally important is to try to also attend extra curricular activities organised by the department. University life is far more than formal education; it is about creating an environment of learning and research. Because of this we have put together as a University a series of activities to which you are encouraged to attend. Nevertheless, none of them are compulsory and you might want to prioritise one over the other, given your own commitments. In any case, you are welcome to attend all and take full advantage of what is a rich and dynamic learning environment. A full list of activities will be made available on the first day of class. Some activities will take place outside timetable and even Saturdays. Given the busy schedule of some guest speakers we are unable to guarantee the times of all talks and in some circumstances they will change.


The University of StirlingTeaching Timetable Autumn 2011Final Draft

9:00

9:30

10:00 10:30 11:00 11:30 12:00 12:30 13:00 13:30 14:00 14:30 15:00

16:00

INVP02.L#(IAF) C.LT2V1 2-6, 8-12

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d

15:30

MMAP12/PREP64.L# P.LTA96 2-6, 8-12 INVP02.DIS#(IAF) C.LTB4 1-6, 8-11

FJNP01.L# D6 1-6, 8-11 INVP01.L#(IAF&BF) C.LTA4 1-6, 8-11

INVP01.DIS# C.LTLogie 1-6, 8-11

FJNP01.P# D6 1-6, 8-11

INVP01.L#(IAF&BF) INVP01.PSL C.LTA3 C.LT 1-6, 8-11 1-6, 8


MSc Financial Journalism_Induction Information_Setp 2011