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HSE Launches Master of Finance Programme on Coursera with CFA-Based Curriculum

HSE Launches Master of Finance Programme on Coursera with CFA-Based Curriculum

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The HSE Banking Institute is launching a new Master of Finance programme on Coursera. The online programme is English-taught and based on the CFA certification requirements. Professor Vasily Solodkov, the director of the Banking Institute and the academic supervisor of the programme is discussing the programme features.

More and more young people around the world are choosing to pursue their education remotely, saving time on travel. The pandemic has amplified this trend. So, we had the idea to supplement the existing educational programmes at the HSE Banking Institute with another one—a global one, taught entirely online, in English, and designed for students from all over the world. The idea was supported by Coursera, which has been partnering with HSE University since 2013.

Vasily Solodkov
© HSE University

The new Master of Finance programme comprises basic courses covering economics, finance, quantitative methods, areas of specialization (Financial Reporting and Analysis, Quantitative Methods in Finance, Corporate Finance, Portfolio Management, CFA Ethics & Professional Standards and others), as well as elective disciplines. In addition to HSE lecturers, the classes will be taught by practitioners holding key positions in the financial companies. Among them are Alexander Kudrin, chief strategist, managing director of ATON, Dmitry Ryabykh, general director of Alt-Invest, and Sergey Zakharov, director of the Corporate Finance Department of Gazprombank.

The content of the courses is based on the syllabus of the CFA Institute (Chartered Financial Analyst). The HSE Banking Institute has been cooperating with this reputable international organization for many years. Our teachers are holders of CFA certificates, and, for example, Dmitry Ryabykh is on the Board of Directors of the CFA-Russia Association. The CFA syllabus is designed with a set of competencies required by financial analysts and is updated annually based on a survey of leading employers. Therefore, all over the world, employers are confident that a graduate of a programme affiliated with the CFA Institute has a certain set of knowledge and skills.

Now we are at the final stage of obtaining the status of a CFA Institute University Affiliation Program. Thanks to this status, our students will be able to pass the CFA qualifying exams of all three levels while paying for them with a 75% discount. These are exams for professionals in the field of financial asset management—a mark of quality for a specialist, confirming not only broad knowledge in the field of financial analytics, but also compliance with high requirements of professional ethics. CFA Certification holders benefit from employment opportunities in countries all over the world.

Despite the fact that the programme is taught entirely online, it includes the same forms of work as our full-time on-campus programs do. In addition to video lectures (which are, in fact, a visual textbook), there are webinars in which teachers work with a group of students in an interactive mode, and there are chats where students discuss the topics of the course. Intensive project work will also be organized in small groups online with the subsequent project defenses. We believe that communication between teachers and students is fundamental to any degree programme, and we aim to ensure that the online format does not hinder this communication.

The Master of Finance programme is designed for recent undergraduate students and aspiring professionals who want to become leaders in finance—consultants and financiers, economists, managers, lawyers working in related fields, strategic managers evaluating investment decisions, or startup owners. To enroll, applicants must participate in a portfolio competition. Applicants must also have a strong command of English.

Prospective students from a range of countries in the CIS, the Persian Gulf, as well as India, China, Mexico, and others have expressed interest in our program. Applicants with a strong knowledge of mathematics will be especially successful. Obviously, it will be easier for those who have received a Bachelor’s degree in economics or finance, but this is not a prerequisite for admission. Preference in the admissions process is given to those who have experience in the financial sector; hold a CFA, FRM, or other certificates; have academic publications; and have additional education related to finance (such as confirmation of completing the open specialization ‘Quantitative Finance’ on Coursera).

The Master of Finance programme prepares first-rate financiers for careers anywhere in the world. At the same time, the tuition costs for our programme are more competitive than that of similar programs in leading foreign universities. Students from developing and post-Soviet countries are eligible for tuition fee discounts.

Often, while studying for a Master’s degree, students do not have the opportunity to work full-time. In some cases, they are forced to quit their jobs, and then start their careers anew. In our case, combining work with study is not only allowed, but encouraged, and this is an indisputable advantage of online education. Students can immediately put the knowledge they gain from their studies into practice at the workplace.

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