2 August 2021

Two recent cohorts of students from the University of Edinburgh have achieved outstanding results with a 100% pass rate in a professional finance exam.
Business School building front

The 21 students were studying the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI): International Introduction to Securities and Investment exam as part of Introduction to Financial Markets, a first-year core course, taught to Finance specialist programmes, by the University of Edinburgh Business School. These two groups of students studied the CISI exam in 2019/20 and 2020/21, all passing successfully, 10 of them passing with merit.

The course organiser, Senior Lecturer in Finance Dr Maria Michou, explained some of the secrets behind the students’ success:

"The CISI examination has been carefully mapped against the Introduction to Financial Markets course and there is a close match of its curriculum. An enormous amount of effort has been invested in the teaching, with the support of our teaching assistants, to ensure that students cover the material for the CISI exam, in addition to the requirements of the University of Edinburgh course. We worked hard to ensure that the materials for both requirements were linked appropriately.

"The University of Edinburgh Business School is highly selective in the type of students it puts forward for this opportunity, contributing significantly to this success. We look at the opportunity to sit the CISI examination: International Introduction to Securities and Investment, as a privilege for students who perform exceptionally well on the course: Introduction to Financial Markets. We almost see it as a prize for these students and for this reason we fund all three elements 100% for our students — registration, workbooks, and examination.

"But very importantly we should emphasise the strong teamwork in supporting the students, administratively as they prepare for their examination — Karolina Galera and Rachel Blythe, from University of Edinburgh Business School’s Quality and Accreditation Team."

Students have received both excellent teaching and excellent academic support.

Their feedback was very positive. They commented that they found the course to be incredibly insightful and intriguing, as it goes through a very thorough and in depth analysis about financial markets and so much more, with the study materials easy to follow.

Additionally, the students take on 80 hours of self-study towards the examination and some coaching by the CISI Client Relationship Manager for Scotland and Northern Ireland, Colin Anderson, in February and October.

The session in February promotes the opportunity and the benefits of taking the CISI examination, and the two sessions taking place in October discuss study and exam techniques, as well as going through the whole CISI workbook. Students also form study groups and rehearse with practice examinations.

We are delighted to be partnering with the University of Edinburgh Business School on this important programme. Their finance students’ exemplary 100% exam success is testament to both their hard work, and their lecturer Dr Michou and her team. Leaving university with a professional qualification will give these students a competitive edge in our fast moving and exciting financial services profession.
Colin Anderson, CISI Client Relationship Manager, Scotland and Northern Ireland

Students Laiba Mahfooz Abuzar commented:

"Being able to take part in the activity has allowed me to learn about the key concepts of the financial world and gain a better understanding of the financial industry. In addition, the knowledge you gain while preparing for the exam gives you advantage in the competitive job market. I believe whether you are starting your career, or you are a professional, CISI qualifications will always benefit your career and development."

Student Mazen Hammad commented:

"For me, undertaking the CISI program has proven to have many benefits. Since I am studying Finance and Business at university, the wide range of knowledge I comprehended for the exam had many similarities with my undergraduate curriculum. In addition, I believe the differentiation from having scored top marks on a respected institutional exam was key to securing my summer investment banking internship."

And student Jad Nasser commented:

"The overall experience was great. The content was kept up to date and relevant to things that were occurring throughout the world and the exam being online allowed me the opportunity to take it from the comfort of my own home. Meeting new people who were also in the same programme was also enjoyable."