The MSc in Financial Communication is offered jointly by the Faculty of Economics, and the Faculty of Communication Sciences. This full-time study program of the Università della Svizzera Italiana is held in Lugano - Switzerland comprises 120 ECTS spread over 4 semesters (usual duration 2 years) and is entirely offered in English.
The Master's program in financial communication offers students the unique opportunity to acquire an integrated set of competencies, including financial, communicative and legal knowledge, strongly and increasingly required in the financial sector. The recent financial crisis has created new challenges for banks, business companies, and market operators, who are expected to master, besides a solid financial background, also strong capacities in communicating with clients and investors and a mature awareness of the legal framework in which financial services and products are promoted and transactions are negotiated.
The aim of the Master in Financial Communication is to form specialists operating in the banking sector and in capital markets being able to bridge the information and knowledge gaps between financial experts and lay investors and entrepreneurs. Moreover, such specialists will be asked to manage strategically the huge quantity of information so that it can be put "at work" to foster sound investment decisions.
The primary job market for candidates earning this degree are:
- The private banking and wealth management sector, where the integration of solid financial knowledge with communicative and legal skills will constitute a competitive advantage;
- The financial communication area of business enterprises, where in-depth expertise is needed to organize and manage numerous strategic communications (investor relations, roadshow marketing, financial reporting, media relations support);
- Consultancy firms in investors relations and other financial communications, where a wide array of services is offered especially to listed companies, like consultancy and coaching, market transaction communications (M&A, IPO, etc.), shareholders engagement solutions (proxy solicitations, capital raising support, institutional investors canvassing, etc.).
Structure and contents
Financial communication is communication to investors. More precisely, financial communication is oriented to investment decisions. The actors of financial communication are numerous, the most important being at least the following: managers and directors of listed companies and enterprises, wealth managers and private banking advisors, mutual funds, pension funds, activists, etc., rating agencies, buy-side, and sell-side analysts, financial journalists, financial regulators, and market supervisory authorities.
Goals and contents
The aim of the Master in Financial Communication is to form specialists of communication with a deep knowledge of the fundamental mechanisms of finance so that they will be able to bridge the gap between finance professionals and the other financial market participants, especially investors. To this purpose, the Master also provides students with the legal background that financial communication specialist needs in order to effectively deal with important issues recently emerging in the financial sector, such as money laundering, terrorism financing, and fiscal matters.
The recent financial crises brought to light the critical role of reliable, fair and relevant communication and the consequent need for experts able to handle these issues in their many dimensions. This is well explained by Giovanni Barone-Adesi, members of the Advisory Board and of the Faculty of the Master
"In this period of troubled waters, handling with finance is not easy [...]. The classical model of a financial expert as "master of the universe", who uses formulae that most people cannot understand, cannot work anymore. We are in a moment in which financial professionals must be in tune - linguistically and communicatively, with a wide range of public, whose very existence they formerly almost ignored. A successful professional must be capable - besides doing well is a job - of practicing the art of meditation and listening, being typical elements of the discipline of communication" (USI Square 2012 (7), p. 17)
By emphasizing the role of communication in finance - a domain pre-eminently quantitative, yet fundamentally relying on human interaction - the Master in Financial Communication represents a Europe-wide unique initiative within the University offer of this level. Its cross-disciplinary educational approach opens the way and puts a new name to a profession as old as the financial system itself, which is the financial communicator.
The primary job market for candidates earning this degree are:
- the private banking and wealth management sector, where the integration of solid financial knowledge with communicative and legal skills will constitute a competitive advantage;
- the financial communication area of business enterprises, where in-depth expertise is needed to organize and manage numerous strategic communications (investor relations, roadshow marketing, financial reporting, media relations support);
- consultancy firms in investors relations and other financial communications, where a wide array of services is offered especially to listed companies, like consultancy and coaching, market transaction communications (M&A, IPO, etc.), shareholders engagement solutions (proxy solicitations, capital raising support, institutional investors canvassing, etc.).
The formal requirement for admission to the Master's degree in Financial Communication is a Bachelor's degree granted by a recognized university. Bachelor's degree granted by a recognized university in Economics, Communication Sciences, or related disciplines.
Candidates with a Bachelor's degree of a recognized University of Applied Sciences may be admitted with 30-60 additional ECTS to be earned during or before the beginning of the program, with Bachelor or Master courses according to a study program defined by the scientific director. Admissions will be treated on a case by case basis.
The admission to English-language Master programs at USI requires a good command of English. Non-native English speakers applying to the Master’s or whose previous degree was obtained in another language, are required to provide an internationally acknowledged language certificate equal to the B2 level as defined by the Common European Framework of Reference for language learning (CEFR) or equivalent (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS, etc.).
The B2 level on the CEFR corresponds to the following scores in internationally acknowledged exams:
|Cambridge English||FCE (First Certificate English)|
|TOEIC||Listening & Reading: 785
Students admitted under the above-mentioned condition must achieve a C1 competence in English within the maximum time required to obtain the Master's degree.
The level can be certified either by attending a language course offered at USI during the Fall and Spring semester, and by taking the final exam, or by providing an internationally acknowledged language certificate*.
* The C1 level on the CEFR corresponds to the following scores in internationally acknowledged exams:
|Cambridge English||CAE (Advanced certificate), grade C or above
BEC (Business English), grade C or above
|TOEIC||Listening & Reading: 945
As Lugano is located in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, students might be interested in acquiring the basics in Italian.
The Università della Svizzera Italiana offers a free of charge Italian language course.
To submit your application, please refer to the indications for filling out the online form available here: http://application.lu.usi.ch.
How to apply for a Master's program in Economics
Applications to the Master program can also be submitted with the application form and required paper documents (email or fax submissions will be rejected) to the following address:
Università della Svizzera Italiana
Faculty of Economics
Via G. Buffi 13
Applications by email or by fax are not accepted.
The following pieces of documentation have to be sent in paper form:
- The completed application form (you may download it in pdf format)
- Photocopy of past diplomas (Bachelor, licentiate, four-year degree, maturity);
- Official transcript of results of university examinations;
- Certified translation of any diplomas written in a language other than Italian, German, French, English, or Spanish;
- Curriculum vitae (Resume)
- Personal letter of motivation drafted by the candidate;
- Official certification of proficiency in English;
- Photocopy of an identity card or other documents;
- Photocopy of residence permit for foreign nationals already domiciled in Switzerland.
Photocopy of past degree certificates
Where a candidate has not fulfilled all the requirements for the Bachelor's degree, licentiate or other, copy of the diploma may be sent at a later stage, but in any case no later than the beginning of the matriculation period. If so, please indicate the expected date of the award and enclose an official document issued by the awarding institution confirming these terms.
Letter of motivation
Candidates are required to draft a letter (not more than one page) introducing themselves and explaining their particular interest and reasons for seeking admission to a given Master's degree.
The Lisbon convention regulates the recognition of university degrees between signatory countries and considerably simplifies the administration of admission procedures. For this reason, candidates whose previous degree studies were completed in countries outside this Convention (see list below) are invited to pay an application fee of SFr. 100 accounting for the higher administrative costs of processing more complex files. If the candidate is admitted, the fee will be deducted from the amount of the tuition fee for the first semester. The administrative fee is not refundable in other cases: if admission is not granted, or if the candidate decides to withdraw or fails to matriculate.
- Applications will be accepted starting from mid-November.
- The application deadline is August 31.
- The application deadline for candidates who need a visa is May 31.
- Late applications will be considered only in case of available places.
Tuition fees for the Master's degrees amount to CHF 4,000 per semester. Applicants whose official residence was in Switzerland or Liechtenstein at the time of the final high school exam (Maturità) pay a reduced semester fee of CHF 2,000.
Tuition fees are payable at the beginning of each term, by the deadline indicated on the invoice; fee payment is an essential condition for matriculating or renewing one's enrolment.
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