Responsible Finance and Alternative Assets MSc

London, Stratford (UCL East)

The programme will emphasise the analytical and computational foundation of finance and digital finance, focusing on theory and methods, and making extensive use of relevant practical applications. The syllabus is structured so that you develop a global view of responsible finance.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
Applicants who require a visa: 08 Jan – 17 May 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Applicants who do not require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 30 Aug 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor’s degree from a UK university in a relevant subject, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2
Please note that other than UCL's Pre-Masters and Pre-sessional English courses, the only tests accepted for entry to the Institute of Finance and Technology are IELTS and TOEFL.

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level.

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

The Responsible Finance and Alternative Assets MSc will provide students with the tools and skills to grasp the underlying concepts and practical trade-offs involved in sustainable finance and impact and environmental investment and policy. The programme is highly applied and the teaching is research-driven, allowing you to develop an understanding of the most innovative aspects of sustainable finance.

Who this course is for

We encourage applications from prospective students with a background in an appropriate subject such as finance, banking, computer science, mathematics, economics or other quantitative disciplines. Applicants must show an interest in creative thinking and problem-solving skills. Relevant work experience in the finance industry is highly recommended but not essential. This includes (but is not limited to) experience as an analyst, risk or portfolio manager, trader, or as a business entrepreneur.

What this course will give you

Global demand is growing for financial impact and environmental asset managers capable of dealing with the interaction between finance and sustainable investment, such as natural capital assets. According to 2019 data from the World Bank, the world will need to make significant investment in infrastructure over the next 15 years to support a sustainable economy - around US$90 trillion by 2030 - but that investment can be recouped through new economic opportunities and jobs. In this context, investment must be managed skilfully and responsibly in order to mitigate not only the trends related to climate change but also demographic and social imbalances, the impact of disruptive events (both human-caused and natural), and issues arising due to poor management of energy and water resources.

The programme will draw on the Institute’s research in sustainable and impact finance (past grants include the EPSRC Plastic Waste Innovation Hub and the Horizon 2020 Circular Models for Investment in Cultural Heritage). Teaching will be delivered by academic staff actively engaged in this research, as well as industry professionals who actively participate in the development of the field. This teaching model gives you first-hand access to industry experts and ensures you receive the most current theoretical concepts, and understand their practical application.

The foundation of your career

Once they enter professional practice, graduates from this programme will be able to demonstrate knowledge, understanding and skills in the following areas:

  • asset allocation and portfolio construction
  • environmental economics
  • public finance and fiscal policy
  • ontology and ethics of finance
  • impact finance and social entrepreneurship

The best performing students from this programme are offered the opportunity to win internships with leading FinTech and finance firms. Student hopefuls receive mentoring, interview practice and comprehensive feedback on their performance, to support their opportunities and progression in the employment market.


The knowledge and skills gained from the programme can be applied to careers in businesses and social enterprise; financial institutions and investment banks; government and international agencies; consultancies and boutique firms; and NGOs.


UCL offers an enriching environment for networking and professional growth. Engage with peers, industry experts, and faculty members who shares your passion. Through collaborative group projects, seminars, workshops, and industry partnerships, you'll forge connections that extend beyond the classroom. 

These networking opportunities provide insights into real-world challenges, offer chances to learn from industry leaders, and pave the way for potential internships and job placements. Your interactions within this vibrant community will not only enrich your learning experience but also establish a valuable network that can shape your future in the arena.

Teaching and learning

The programme employs a comprehensive teaching methodology that integrates various learning avenues to ensure a robust educational experience. The curriculum includes a blend of formal lectures, interactive seminars, practical workshops, and both independent and group-based tasks. Leveraging the insights of industry experts in responsible finance and alternative assets, the programme's syllabus has been meticulously designed to incorporate cutting-edge perspectives. The teaching faculty is a fusion of accomplished UCL academic staff with renowned international research expertise in the field, ensuring a high-quality learning experience.

This programme will be delivered through a combination of formal lectures, seminars, workshop sessions, and independent or group work and will apply theoretical concepts to practical examples and case studies.

Students engaging in the programme can expect a workload of approximately 40 hours per week. This allocation encompasses a mix of structured learning and teaching activities, including lectures, seminars and tutorials.


The programme consists of 8 compulsory taught modules. These are delivered in the first two terms.

Term 1 modules focus on the fundamentals of company valuation, corporate finance, asset allocation, portfolio construction and how finance and economic issues influence the delivery of environmental initiatives.

In term 2, the focus will be on public finance and fiscal policy, the ontology and ethics of finance, financial strategies, risk analysis, impact finance and social entrepreneurship.

In the final term you will undertake independent research in a specific area of interest, culminating in a dissertation.

The programme structure for part-time students encompasses a total of 180 credits over the course of two years. This flexible structure allows part-time students to tailor their learning journey, ensuring a comprehensive education that suits their pace and aspirations.

The programme structure for modular/flexible students encompasses a total of 180 credits over the course of their studies. 

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Responsible Finance and Alternative Assets.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £41,000 £20,500
Tuition fees (2024/25) £41,000 £20,500

Additional costs

There are no additional costs for this programme.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Brown Family Bursary

Deadline: 20 June 2024
Value: £15,000 (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: UK

UCL East London Scholarship

Deadline: 20 June 2024
Value: Tuition fees plus £15,700 stipend ()
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: UK

Next steps

When we assess your application, we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Responsible Finance and Alternative Assets at graduate level
  • why you want to study Responsible Finance and Alternative Assets at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with the essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

We look for students with drive, intelligence, enthusiasm, and the right aptitude. Applicants should highlight any relevant work experience they have, including international exchanges, internships, and/or interest in major global challenges. These attributes would be advantageous because applicants are likely to be working in a highly diverse and international environment.

Please note that you are not allowed to defer your offer for this programme.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2024-2025

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.