Q&A with student Frederico Barros Diniz

29 January 2021

From his experience of online assessments to his advice for potential applicants, current course participant Frederico answers your top ten burning questions about studying MSc Global Central Banking & Financial Regulation.

1. Why did you choose Warwick?

The quality of the programme and the reputation of the University were the main reasons I chose Warwick. The programme was quite convenient for me, especially because it’s 100 per cent online. If I need any resources or anything, WBS has its base in London and I work only five minutes away from The Shard.

2. What attracted you to the course?

The course was relevant to my day-to-day work so its applicability was an important factor. My role involves a lot of travelling and it’s very important to be flexible. It’s a programme that brings additional content to my role and makes me grow in my career but it also provides the flexibility that I need to make it possible.

3. How have the skills you have learned translated into your current role so far?

In my role I go from bank to bank to build their financial risk models, with more focus on credit risk, and all of those things are related to a specific regulation from a central bank or from authorities or an institution. I therefore need to know and understand the processes and goals behind specific regulations. I believe that I am now more able to understand the impact of regulations in my credit risk models and the banks that I’m providing advisory service to.

Most importantly, I have further developed my critical thinking to solve problems and to be prepared for what I really need to do with the day-to-day issues I face within my job; I now have a wider picture from what I had prior to starting the course.

4. How interactive is the programme?

The interaction is really good; our modules are online and for every lesson we are able to submit comments. It’s common to see approximately 30-40 different comments from the class which could be questions or other interactions between individuals. Because the cohort is made up of professionals, most of whom work for central banks and have a financial background, the level of the discussion is always very good and brings great insights. It’s also possible to interact during the live class and raise any questions with the tutor. The interaction, in my opinion, is better than if you’re on site as you can make sure you understand and think when you have to make a question.

5. How many hours per week do you study?

It depends on my workflow and how things are going. My background is in the quantitative side of things, and I’ve been studying statistics my entire life, so the level of reading for me is more time consuming. For me, it can take around ten or eleven hours a week.

6. How do you find the online assessments?

The assessments are pretty fair but they involve a lot of discipline to make sure you can achieve them on time because it’s different from a day exam where you go onsite and you do a four or five hour exam. You have more time to do it; we’ve already had two different types of assignments, one across six weeks and the other gave us 48 hours to answer a few questions. You must be well organised as it’s not possible to leave it to the last minute. Overall, the quality of the assignments is really good and the questions cover the programme well so I’m pretty happy with the structure. 

7. Can you study more than one module at a time?

Yes, I’m currently doing this. It’s feasible, but as of now I’m finding that it’s really tough to keep up-to-date on both sides. My personal advice is not to do it. I do have a bit of regret, to be honest, but if you think that you can commit to two, and have the discipline to keep studying on both sides, it’s possible. I’m doing work on one module before I start work in the morning and then the other module after work so it kind of loses the part-time aspect of the course; it’s almost a full-time course. It’s feasible if you’re very keen to do it but I wouldn’t recommend it.

8. Does the curriculum include such a perspective that focuses on banking and regulation across the global, beyond the West?

Yes, absolutely. For pretty much all the modules that we’ve covered, it’s very common to apply an exercise to the central bank of your country; it’s very global. I, for example, live in London but I’m originally from Brazil so a lot of things I have done I’ve applied to the Central Bank of Brazil, just because of my interest. In the end, the financial regulation, the system and how it is, is kind of international. It’s very global and you can interact with many different cultures. Participants tend to do things from their own countries as well.

9. How challenging is it to juggle studying with working?

For my first assignment I was out of the country finalising a project and for some reason things didn’t go as expected and I was in need of one additional day to submit and come back to London. I contacted the admin team and I mentioned that I had an important meeting the next day and that I would need an extension to submit the assignment. They just asked for confirmation of the meeting from my manager, which he provided, and they then extended the assessment deadline. They understand that our roles consume a lot of our time and it’s very good to have this flexibility as well. As long as you can justify that there is something else happening.

10. What would you say to someone considering applying but is currently on the fence?

Look to the future; what are the benefits that this course can bring to you? In the next five years, if you do the course, where are you going to be and if you invest in your career will it bring more results? So just look into the future and take a look at the programme and see if it will bring you value in the long term.

Find out more about the MSc in Global Central Banking & Financial Regulation.