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.
Best Universities for a Finance DegreeThe majority of business schools in the UK will offer a masters degree in finance, however, if you’re looking to study at the best business school for finance programmes then you should consider studying at: University of Leeds: The popular MSc Accounting and Finance at the University of Leeds has been ranked worldwide and focuses on the financial knowledge needed to underpin business and governments strategies for success. London South Bank University: At LSBU you will study an MSc in International Finance and leave with an academic qualification relevant to international financial operations that will aid you with international financial challenges and issues. Loughborough University: The MSc Finance at Loughborough University is a masters degree with a wide scope of finance topics. It is well designed for those students who wish to gain a varied understanding of the finance industry, rather than specialising in one particular area. University of East Anglia: At UEA you can study a full time MSc in Accounting and Finance through the Norwich Business School. The course is designed for students that would like to study finance at the advanced level to achieve a career in the corporate industry. University of Nottingham: At Nottingham you can study an MSc Finance and Investment to give you a solid understanding of modern finance. This course is recognised by the Chartered Financial Analysts Institute (CFA).
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