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Financial Services

Who is this programme for?
The MSc in Financial Services is ideal for financial services professionals who are in leadership positions, or who aspire to leadership roles. It is designed to develop a critical understanding of managerial challenges and opportunities in the globalised financial services industry.

The curriculum develops industry specific knowledge, analytical skills and utilises students' practical experience to promote peer learning. An important aspect of the programme is the integration of current research and a focus on strategic challenges facing financial institutions to identify opportunities and threats arising in the global marketplace. Students have to critically evaluate the implications of operating in a dynamic business environment and the challenges they face in developing and executing strategies to provide value added products, services and solutions as firms seek to create compelling value propositions to support sustainable competitive advantage.

How you will benefit
This programme will support your personal and professional development by enhancing your knowledge across a broad curriculum while giving you an integrated, critical understanding of financial services.

It will:
•Broaden your knowledge and understanding of the requirements and responsibilities of financial services firms, their activities and associated risks.

•Develop your thinking on key challenges by evaluating evidence and ascertaining the implications of financial theory and your own professional experience.

•Develop your ability to critically analyse contemporary issues in financial services.

•Enable you to apply theories and frameworks to evaluate options to innovate, adjust and execute strategy.

•Develop a holistic professional skill set to ensure commercial sustainability and the trust of customers and wider stakeholders along with a framework for life-long learning.

•Enhance your ability to inform, recommend and report on decisions to key stakeholders.

Professional designation

This programme provides a pathway to the prestigious, internationally recognised Chartered Banker designation. Chartered Banker is the gold standard for professionals working in the financial services sector. Chartered Bankers are highly qualified professionals, well equipped for a management career or leadership role.

Continuous Professional Development

If you hold an Institute designation or a designation managed by the Institute, CPD hours may be awarded on successful completion of this programme.

Entry requirements

The minimum entry requirements are;

•Honours degree (second class honours grade 2 award or higher) in business or a related discipline (e.g.) accounting, finance or economics; or

•Honours degree (second class honours grade 2 award or higher) in a non-business discipline with three years' relevant work experience; or

•Those who do not hold a degree, but have exceptional middle or senior management experience, are eligible to apply and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Professional Body Membership

You must be a current member of The Institute of Banking, or become a member, to register for this programme. Membership is currently €40 per calendar year.


Postgraduate courses are lecture-based and delivered on a part-time basis. Students can register for a maximum of two modules per trimester. Each 10 ECTS module comprises of up to 30 delivery hours per trimester.

Programme duration;

•Graduate Diploma - 18 months, part-time
•MSc - 24 months, part-time

Careers or further progression

Chartered Banker Designation

Students who successfully complete the following three modules: Ethics and Corporate Governance, Risk Management in Financial Institutions, and Contemporary Issues of Financial Services or Fostering an Innovative Environment will be invited to apply for Chartered Banker designation. However, to be eligible for the Chartered Banker designation, these students will also have to satisfy the requirement of a minimum of three years' experience in banking or financial services. To be eligible for the Chartered Banker designation, students will also have to satisfy the requirement of a minimum of three years' experience in banking or financial services.

Further enquiries

Aisling Kellegher- Programme Manager

Subjects taught

Modules and learning outcomes

01 Ethics and Corporate Governance (NFQ level 9, 10 ECTS)

This module looks at the corporate governance best practice principles and their application in both a financial services and a general organisational setting. It also aims to provide students with a deeper understanding and appreciation of the ethical dimension of corporate governance and, in doing so, stresses the importance of corporate culture to the longevity of organisations. In considering the behaviours and decision-making processes of individuals, groups, and specifically those charged with governing organisations, the module offers approaches for dealing with common ethical dilemmas and ethical crises.

02 Risk Management in Financial Institutions (NFQ level 9, 10 ECTS)

This module presents risk management best practice principles and their application in financial services. It is both quantitative and qualitative in nature reflecting the breadth of the topic. The module introduces a number of topics and methodologies and will also require input from your professional experience to develop a practical understanding of risk management in operation. The module addresses the different types of risk including market, interest rate, credit, conduct and operational risk.

03 Contemporary Issues in Financial Services (NFQ level 9, 10 ECTS)

This module provides a framework for reviewing contemporary issues in financial services including strategic management of financial institutions, and how competition influences strategic choices. The analysis provides a foundation for evaluating the impact of technology and financial innovation, contemporary issues in risk, operational efficiency and regulation.

04 Project Management (NFQ level 9, 10 ECTS)

The objective of this module is to provide an understanding of the fundamental principles in project management and its associated tools and techniques. This is an applied module which will enable you to apply project management tools to 'real world' projects, evaluate project progress and performance, and demonstrate an understanding of the challenges in leading and managing projects.

05 Fostering an Innovative Environment (NFQ level 9, 10 ECTS)

This module seeks to introduce you to the principles and practices involved in fostering and executing service innovation. Service innovation is a significantly improved concept that is taken into practice. It always includes replicable elements that can be identified and systematically reproduced in other cases or environments. While particular emphasis will be placed upon such innovation in financial services, consideration will be given to innovation in other sectors and how this experience could and should influence practice in financial services.

06 Managing for Compliance (NFQ level 9, 10 ECTS)

Compliance is a core function in financial services firms and is recognised by regulators as an essential part of the control infrastructure. Indeed the role of compliance and indeed the compliance manager/officer as a trusted adviser to the business has become a key differentiator for many firms. This module examines the development of compliance as an assurance function and evaluates its strategic role in an organisation in aligning with the business and delivering value. It also focuses on specific issues relevant to managing a compliance function to ensure it fulfils its assurance role within an organisation.

Students who exit the programme after successfully completing the first 6 modules will be awarded the Graduate Diploma in Financial Services. Candidates who achieve a second class honours grade 2 award (or higher) in the Graduate Diploma are eligible for the award MSc in Financial Services on successful completion of three further modules:

07 Risk-based Financial Management (NFQ level 9, 10 ECTS)

This module introduces risk-management policy and develops a critical appreciation of hedging, speculation and arbitrage as a lens with which to understand different approaches to managing, and taking on, risk. It develops the fundamental principles of derivative instruments, their pricing and how they can be applied to execute a hedging strategy, and develops an understanding of the flexible nature of derivative instruments for constructing trading strategies. Contemporary issues and trends in the professional and academic literature are also dealt with to bridge theory and practice.

08 Behavioural DecisionMaking (NFQ level 9, 10 ECTS)

In this module you will be introduced to the interface of economics and human behaviour in financial decision-making. The applicability of behavioural finance ranges from providing alternative insights into understanding stock market crises to retail financial services. You will explore the limits of traditional economic analysis of decision-making under uncertainty, and develop your understanding of the behavioural critique and its applicability across a range of financial settings.

09 Winning Business Negotiation Strategies (NFQ level 9, 10 ECTS)

This module equips you with both the practical skills and the theoretical understanding required to be a better negotiator. Negotiation practice, in the form of role-play, is central to this module. You will learn how to improve your negotiation skills to achieve better outcomes for you and your professional practice.



Graduate Diploma
When you successfully complete the first six modules of this programme and exit the programme, you will be awarded the Graduate Diploma in Financial Services from UCD (at postgraduate level 9).

Candidates who achieve a second class honours grade 2 award in this graduate diploma are eligible for the award MSc in Financial Services on successful completion of three further modules. This MSc is also accredited and awarded by UCD (at postgraduate level 9).

Assessment method

Assessment is a combination of continuous assessment and written exams.

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

Application date

Closing date: Wednesday 23rd Jan 2019.

Course fee


•Ethics and Corporate Governance €1,100
•Risk Management in Financial Institutions €1,100
•Contemporary Issues in Financial Services €1,100
•Project Management €1,100
•Fostering an Innovative Environment €1,100
•Managing for Compliance €1,100
•Risk-Based Financial Management €1,300
•Behavioural Decision-Making €1,300
•Winning Business Negotiation Strategies €1,300

Enrolment and start dates

Please contact the course provider for the next enrolment and start date.

Remember to mention gradireland when contacting institutions!