MSc in Finance
This qualification is designed to support professional development and practice in a wide range of roles in finance – whether you are developing in your career or aspiring to enter the sector. It provides a thorough grounding in areas such as corporate finance, financial decision-making, financial reporting and governance. It develops competences in applying statistical and econometric techniques, and equips you with knowledge of the fundamentals of Islamic finance and behavioural finance. You can choose to specialise either in derivatives and financial risk management, or in investment and portfolio management, and you will develop research skills and techniques relevant to higher academic qualifications by completing a dissertation on a finance topic of your choice that is relevant to your interests or chosen career development.
Key features of the course
• Provides an up-to-date perspective on both theory and practice in national and international contexts
• Acquire and apply the most important tools for financial, statistical and econometric analysis and decision support
• Develops your ability to evaluate published research, use relevant theory, and apply research methods and techniques to new situations
• Develops your skills in data collection and modelling using databases, such as Datastream and Thomson One, and statistical software such as STATA.
The MSc in Finance has been accepted into the CFA Institute University Recognition Program. This status is granted to institutions whose degree programmes incorporate at least 70% of the CFA Program Candidate Body of Knowledge (CBOK), which provide students with a solid grounding in the CBOK and positions them well to sit the exams to become CFA charterholders.
To gain this qualification, you need 180 credits with:
60 credits from the following:
Compulsory modules Credits
• Financial markets and the financing of organisations (B815) 30
• Financial strategy: valuation, governance and ethics (B859) 30
Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued module B858.
plus 30 credits from the following:
• Research methods for finance (B860) 30
plus 30 credits from either of the following:
Optional modules Credits
• Investment and portfolio management (B861) 30
• Derivatives and risk management (B862) 30
plus a final 60-credit module:
Compulsory module Credits
• Dissertation (Finance) (B805) 60
We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time.
You must hold a bachelors degree awarded by a recognised UK university, or equivalent. Please contact us if you hold a qualification that you believe is an equivalent level to a UK degree, to ensure that it meets the requirements for admission.
Your spoken and written English must be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we recommend that you will need a minimum score of 6.5 under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Please see their website for details.
This degree requires an aptitude for analytical and quantitative methods to engage with theories of finance and their applications. You should possess a good working knowledge of maths and be confident with spreadsheets. It would be advisable to self-assess your level of maths before registering for this qualification. To help you decide whether you are ready, you may want to try this diagnostic quiz.
2 - 3 years.
How long it takes
Most students study this qualification in three years by studying 60 credits a year. The minimum time to complete this qualification is two years. This can be achieved by studying 120 credits in your first year, which is the equivalent of full-time study, and the 60-credit dissertation module during your final year. The maximum time to complete is seven years.
Post Course Info
This postgraduate qualification offers knowledge in a wide range of finance areas that include the corporate finance function, investments, banking and financial institutions and risk management. You will gain both theoretical and practical insights into the working of financial markets, valuation of securities, understanding financial statements, risk management and portfolio management. You will develop the skills and capabilities required by investment analysts, finance managers, finance directors and chief financial officers. You will be equipped with knowledge and skills to support decision making at the higher levels of organisations by exploring issues related to ethics and corporate governance, reporting and disclosure, financing and investment in uncertain and global business environments.
Prudent practice of finance is relevant across all sectors – public, private and voluntary. This qualification will therefore prepare you to work in the corporate sector, financial services, the banking industry, multinational organisations and other sectors where analytical and decision tools in treasury, investment and financing decisions are required.
The dissertation offers the chance to explore financial issues in greater depth and may enhance your prospects in a career specialism. This qualification will also provide sound training in research and academic skills for those wishing to pursue a PhD and develop academic careers in finance.
Careers and Employability Services have more information on how OU study can improve your employability.
Students aiming to become chartered financial analysts (CFA) can study a range of topics to prepare them for this qualification. The MSc in Finance has been accepted into the CFA Institute's University Affiliation Program, which means that this degree programme incorporates at least 70% of the CFA Program Candidate Body of Knowledge (CBOK). This provides students with a solid grounding in the CBOK and positions them well to sit the exams to become CFA charterholders. We are also able to offer a small number of CFA student scholarships to MSc in Finance students who wish to sit a CFA exam.