Applied Alternative Investments

Institute of Banking

Applied Alternative Investments

Increasingly, alternative assets which includes hedge funds, commodities, private equity, structured products and real asset investments such as infrastructure investments, are becoming mainstream investments which are predicted to grow significantly.

Who is it for

The international investment fund industry faces the challenge of upskilling to meet this wave of new investment structures. Given the breadth of alternative assets the programme will appeal to professionals working in the funds industry who want to develop expertise in alternative investments.

It is critical for long term success that those who work in the industry understand how the move to alternatives demands a broader understanding of the investment landscape and the choice of asset type available to investors.

Professional Diploma in Applied Altenative Investments from UCD.
This is a level 9 qualification on the National Framework of Qualifications and carries 30 ECTS.

Subjects taught

Modules and learning outcomes
Investment Valuation and Risk - (NFQ level 9, 10 ECTS)
The module introduces the principles underpinning asset valuation and risk analysis to provide a foundation for exploring fund valuation drivers relevant to alternative investment funds. It presents a range of alternative investments available to investors and explains their drivers of market performance. It also explores the key economic variables impacting returns in conjunction with performance evaluation methodologies relevant to alternative investment funds. The module concludes with an analysis of the empirical evidence identifying trends for alternative investments and the structural drivers of the predicted increase in long-term demand.

Applied Alternative Investment Strategies - (NFQ level 9, 10 ECTS)
This module builds upon investment valuation and risk to develop a deeper understanding of available alternative investments including private equity, hedge funds and managed funds, commodities, real assets and structured products. Next, it considers key issues in relation to asset allocation and portfolio management and develops an understanding of alternative fund management and issues of illiquidity risk which has important implications for endowment and foundation portfolios and pension fund portfolio management. This module concludes with an analysis of risk management, manager selection and due diligence.

Legal and Regulatory Aspects of Alternative Investments - (NFQ level 9, 10 ECTS)
This module introduces the rationale and structure of regulatory regimes for investment funds domiciled and operation in Ireland, examining the basis for regulation and the institutions responsible for regulation at domestic and EU levels. It develops students’ ability to critically analyse a piece of regulatory legislation and identify the legal and regulatory obligations imposed by the regulation. It will also examine the preparation of a memorandum in relation to a new piece of regulation, highlighting the obligations it imposes and the competencies necessary to discharge those obligations and the tools available to the regulator to enforce such regulation.

Entry requirements

Students seeking admission to the MSc Pathway or its constituent programmes must possess:

An Honours degree (min. 2.2 L8 NFQ)
Admission many also be considered for experienced professionals who do not meet the admission requirements as set out above, where they can demonstrate knowledge through their work i.e. they have more than 5 years’ experience in a management role (to be considered on a case by case basis).

Professional body membership
You must be a current member of IOB, or become a member, to undertake this programme.

Assessment Info

Assessment is a combination of continuous assessment and written exams.

The pass mark is 40% in all modules in line with UCD academic policy.


Duration: Varies
Delivery is online



Investment Valuation and Risk;

•IFS Skillnet member: €950*

•Non-member: €1,300

Applied Alternative Investment Strategies;
•IFS Skillnet member: €950*
•Non-member: €1,300

Legal and Regulatory Aspects of Alternative Investments;
•IFS Skillnet member: €475*
•Non-member: €650

Fees will be reviewed annually.

*IFS Skillnet funding is available for the Professional Diploma in Applied Alternative Investments. IFS Skillnet is part of the Finuas Skillnet Programme. Its objective is to support Ireland's position as a leading international financial services centre through investment in the development of the skills and expertise of its work force.

2019 modules are eligible for IFS Skillnet funding for a limited number of places on a first come first served basis.

** The availability of funding for modules in future trimesters will be confirmed in advance of their commencement.

Tax relief may be available to candidates who are paying fees in a personal capacity. Further information is available from

Enrolment dates

Contact Provider for next start date.

Post Course Info

Continuous Professional Development
If you hold an IOB designation or a designation managed by IOB, CPD hours may be awarded on successful completion of this programme.

More details
  • Qualifications

    Special Purpose Diploma (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Part time

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    Course provider