A masters in finance is a postgraduate degree aimed at students who wish to further their education within finance, and develop a comprehensive understanding of the topic and its surrounding subjects. A masters in finance usually takes twelve months of full time study to complete, however it can also be taken as a part-time course which takes up to two years to complete.
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Types of Finance Degrees
A finance degree studied at postgraduate level is awarded as an MSc (Master of Science) and is most commonly studied full time over twelve months with courses starting in September.
At the postgraduate level it is fairly uncommon for students to study finance alone, and instead students choose to study finance paired with another subject. Some common courses include:
- Accounting & Finance
- Investment & Finance
- International Business & Finance
Students enrolled on a masters in finance will be required to undertake a range of modules that are taught and examined throughout the two or three semesters. To finish the degree students will also be required to write a 10,000-15,000 word dissertation on a finance subject of their choice.
Topics Covered Throughout a Finance Degree
Depending on the university that you attend, you will be required to undertake a specific number of modules alongside the production of your dissertation. You will normally undertake several compulsory modules and also be presented with a list of optional modules. Optional modules give you a chance to specialise in your preferred area of finance or the surrounding topics.
Some examples of modules on offer include:
- Corporate Finance
- Financial Analysis
- Organisational Performance
- Financial Risk Management
- International Strategy
- Business Economics
- Management Accounting
- Industrial Economics
- Venture Capital and Private Equity
Gaining entry to a postgraduate finance degree will require students to already possess an undergraduate degree in a related subject with at least a 2:1 (hons). Related subjects may vary between universities, however, usually you will be required to have previously studied finance, accounting, economics or mathematics. Some universities will allow applications from students who do not hold a relevant degree as long as they can demonstrate one year of relevant work experience alongside a 2:2 level honours degree (unrelated to finance).
Some postgraduate degrees in Finance may require students to attend an entrance interview. To help you understand postgraduate interviews we have put together an article for the top 10 questions that are likely to pop up and the best ways that you can answer them: Top 10 Postgraduate Interview Questions.
Finance graduates have a wide range of career opportunities as they can demonstrate skills that are useful in a rapidly changing environment. Some of the top finance employers include HSBC, Morgan Stanley, DHL, and Virgin with an average starting salary of £29k.
Some popular graduate roles include:
- management accountant
- finance manager
- finance analyst
- management trainee
- investment analyst
- university researcher