Ulster University Business School deal with CISI gives graduates competitive edge in financial services jobs market

By Lora Benson | Nov 01, 2017

A new partnership between Ulster University Business School’s (UUBS) BSc Hons Finance and Investment Management programme and the global professional body Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) will offer students a competitive edge in the financial services graduate recruitment market. 

CISI is the leading professional body for securities, investment, wealth and financial planning professionals and has a global membership of circa 45,000 members in 116 countries.  Last year more than 40,000 CISI exams were sat in 80 countries, 15,000 taken outside the UK.

The UUBS BSc Hons Finance and Investment Management’s CISI Partner University status is unique in Ireland.  The UUBS-CISI degree programme offers students the opportunity to study for and sit key CISI professional qualifications, before finishing their degrees.  This will offer these Ulster University Business School students the opportunity to bridge the gap between academia and employment, ensuring that they stand out from the crowd in a competitive recruitment market place.

Following a bespoke selection process, successful students on the UUBS BSc Hons Finance and Investment programme will be funded by local employer PwC Augment to sit, at a discounted fee, two CISI Level 3 professional qualifications: Introduction to Securities and Investment and Risk in Financial Services.

Kevin Moore, Chartered FCSI and CISI Global Business Development Director said: “This partnership between a professional body and a higher education institution is exactly the support these students need to gain an edge for their career in our exciting financial services profession.

“Our CISI membership benefits in particular will give the students a unique opportunity to network and learn from practitioners.

“We are unified in our commitment to enhancing employability, to equip the next generation of talented graduates for work in the ever evolving, fast paced world of financial services”

Recognising this exciting, new opportunity the PwC Augment Accelerate Awards are being launched in an 11 October 2017 visit of BSc Hons Finance and Investment Management first-year students to the PwC Augment Belfast offices.  PwC Augment specialises in providing multi-disciplinary resources to global banking and financial services clients.  PwC Augment support these clients on a wide range of challenging projects, such as acquisitions and mergers, compliance and regulatory change, redress and remediation programmes, operational / finance transformations, research and technology implementations. 

PwC Augment, through these Accelerate Awards, offer up to 20 BSc Hons Finance and Investment Management students a scholarship, to complete without fee the two CISI examinations: the ‘Introduction to Securities and Investment’ and ‘Risk in Financial Services’.  This includes CISI student membership and CISI learning material.  CISI student membership will mean that these students are eligible to attend CISI local continuing professional development (CPD) workshops, which will offer them a unique opportunity to learn about current topics alongside local CISI members already working in the profession.

Jonathan Williamson, Director, PwC, said: "We are delighted to be working with Ulster University and sponsoring students through these CISI qualifications.  These qualifications alongside their undergraduate degree, will make these students well-placed to secure exciting jobs within the financial services sector as many of our clients looking for people with these skills.  The students receiving sponsorship are truly being accelerated as often these qualifications are only obtained once an individual has graduated and entered the work place.  These students will therefore leave university with a distinct competitive advantage."

Claire McCann, Lecturer in Finance, Ulster University said: “The BSc Hons Finance and Investment Management seeks to prepare its students for employment in the global financial services sector through providing added value on top of their degree.  This added value will certainly happen through the programme’s partnership with the CISI and PwC Augment’s sponsorship of students to complete two of the CISI’s qualifications.  We are delighted that these students will have a significant edge when competing in the graduate job market”.