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Here at Durham University Business School we believe that to succeed in business, you need to get closer to the realities of business. So that’s what we do. We connect students and alumni with global companies. And we link businesses with incisive and innovative thinking.

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At a glance

Please note: Every programme has its own core and elective modules. Please consult this table for details.

Accounting Theory

Covers normative, positive and systems oriented accounting theories, and methodological issues in accounting research. The module examines rationales for accounting regulation and its potential economic and social impact, as well as how disclosure policies are affected by stakeholders’ perceptions.

Advanced Financial Theory

Provides a rigorous grounding and a thorough synthesis of the most important current research in finance, with an emphasis on the applications of principles. Both normative and positive aspects of financial theory are examined, together with supporting descriptive and empirical evidence.

Advanced Macroeconomics

Examines economics at the macro level. Topics may include: overlapping generations and intergenerational government policy; continuous-time growth models for government debt policy; endogenous growth and optimal growth policy; equilibrium business cycles and business cycle policy.

Advanced Microeconomics

Covers rigorous analysis in microeconomics. Topics may include consumer choice, heterogeneity and aggregation, expected utility theory, choice under uncertainty, insurance markets, and gambling, and the economics of incentives.

Auditing and Assurance Services

Covers the role of different types of auditing, the audit processes and audit reports. Among the topics covered are standards, materiality, risk, ethics, audit evidence, sampling, compliance and assurance and attestation services.

Behavioural Finance and Economics

Designed to enable a critical approach to financial decision-making and develop your understanding of how this is affected by human psychology. This will help you to evaluate behavioural and market-based evidence, and understand the implications of behavioural finance on financial theory and practice.

Corporate Finance

Aims to provide you with advanced knowledge and a critical understanding of the essential components of modern corporate finance. These include: ownership structure and governance; capital structure and dividend decisions; mergers, acquisitions and restructuring company valuation. The emphasis is on the applications of the principles and the relevance of theory into practice.

Corporate Governance

Investigates corporate governance mechanisms that serve to promote transparency, responsibility and accountability in organisations. This will develop your ability to analyse systems of corporate governance in individual organisations and economic systems. Particular attention will be paid to the reasons for, and the impact of differences in systems of corporate governance at an international level.

Corporate Reporting

Of unique importance for the evaluation of investments, as well as for the transparency and accountability of corporate governance systems, this covers: techniques of financial statement analysis; the use of corporate reporting information for business analysis and corporate governance; the reasons for, and the impact of international differences in corporate reporting.

Derivative Markets

Examines the main derivative financial instruments, their uses and differences. Consideration is given to the main key roles of such instruments as arbitrage, speculation and hedging, as well as the complexities and interactions inherent in these roles.

Econometrics 1

Introduces key econometric principles and methods. You'll learn how to apply and interpret the results of these methods as a means of investigating economic and financial issues.

Econometrics 2

Seeks to extend and deepen knowledge and develop critical judgement gained in Econometrics 1. This also introduces the principles and methods of modern financial econometrics and time series forecasting.

Empirical Topics in Islamic Finance and Economics

Covers the economics of Islamic finance and its quantitative applications. Topics include credit and risk, contract theory, corporate governance, financial engineering, data sources and quantitative research.

Environmental Economics and Policy

Develops advanced knowledge and a critical understanding of: the contribution of economic analysis to the solution of complex environmental problems; the role of free markets and/or government intervention; current political strategies for the protection of the environment from an economic standpoint.

Experimental Economics and Finance

Covers theories of behavioural economics and finance, and the use of experimental economics in testing those theories. Topics include economic behaviour in markets, bargaining, auctions, game theory, public choice, and in particular choice under uncertainty and choice over time. Students will gain a critical understanding of methodological considerations including sample design and selection, design of experimental treatments, incentives, control and psychological biases.

Financial Management

Develops your understanding of the financial tools needed for business management, emphasising issues of long-term financial decision-making. You will critically evaluate the information needs of management for control and decision making purposes, and gain an understanding of the use of management accounting information and the limitations of such information.

Financial Modelling and Business Forecasting

Emphasises both the understanding of theoretical econometrics and the ability to apply it to financial data series. (Econometrics plays a central role in financial analysis in academic, governmental and financial institutions.) After developing a thorough understanding of multiple regression analysis, you'll progress to more specialised topics such as univariate modules, unit root tests, cointegration, volatility models and forecasting.

Financial Planning and Control

Develops your understanding of financial control processes through the study of everything from cost behaviour, budgeting, resource allocation and capacity planning to activity based costing systems and management, financial measures of performance, the balanced scorecard, and incentive measures and performance.

Financial Risk Management

Here you'll investigate the means by which risk can be managed, primarily through the use of financial derivatives. You'll discuss various techniques and the problems inherent in using such instruments.

Financial Statement Analysis

Developing your critical awareness of how firms create value, you'll learn more about fundamental valuation models and analysis techniques to enable you to analyse: balance sheets, income and cash flow statements; profitability, growth and sustainable earnings; forecasting, valuation and business strategy; corporate risks.

Innovation, Technology and Economic Growth

Covers theories of economic growth and innovation, their empirical applications, and growth policies. Among the topics included are different sources of growth, inequality, political economy, research and development, innovation, international technology transfers, and intellectual property rights.

International Economics

Develops your ability to analyse issues in international economics such as new trade theory, strategic trade policy, political economy of trade policy, and international fiscal policy.

International Finance

Addresses the theory and application of international finance, including exchange rate theory, models of exchange rate determination and the efficiency of international financial markets. You'll also analyse the most important current research in the theory of risk sharing across international financial markets.

International Financial Asset Management

Examines key theoretical and empirical issues in international financial asset management, including international diversification and asset pricing.

Market Microstructure

Investigates the principles and practices of the workings of stock exchanges, regulations and structures, and the implications of these for trading. You'll also analyse the role of information, market liquidity and trading costs to major players in financial markets.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Explores perspectives on mergers and acquisitions through target valuation, leveraged buyouts, value creation, organisation, bid strategies and takeover defences.

Monetary Economics

Considers the money supply process and the goals and instrument targets of central banks. You'll also study monetary policy and the inflation bias, money as a medium of exchange, and money as a store of value.

Money and Banking

Introduces money and banks (microfoundations) and the implications for allocative efficiency and regulation. You'll also look at the complex roles of asymmetric information, signalling, adverse selection, risk aversion, agency and moral hazard in banking activities.

Multinational Finance

Provides you with an up-to-date and advanced understanding of the issues that confront the financial management of multinational companies. You'll also analyse the complexities and contradictions of current academic literature in the field of financial management of multinational corporations.

Portfolio Management

Enables you to develop highly specialist and advanced technical, professional and academic skills in asset allocation and portfolio composition and management.

Public Economics

Covers theoretical and practical issues in taxation and public expenditure through the study of both the positive and normative theory of government policy.

Security Analysis

Will develop your knowledge and understanding of key issues in security investment analysis at an advanced level. This will also provide you with opportunities to become familiar with recent research in the field of financial investments.

Dissertation and Research Methods

The Masters programme culminates in a 12,000-word dissertation, which provides an opportunity for you to investigate in greater detail a subject that you've already studied as part of your Masters programme. The work will enable you to exercise critical judgement and illustrate how economic analysis has relevance to financial decision-taking. A stimulating and challenging part of the programme, the dissertation represents a major piece of independent work.

Research Methods is designed to provide the necessary training to undertake advanced level research and provides a solid foundation for undertaking the dissertation. It focuses on the nature of research in finance and social sciences in general, examining the study skills necessary to manage and undertake a research project.

Please note: Not all optional modules will run every year. The choice will depend on student demand and staff availability.

MSc Islamic Finance

Our Masters in Islamic Finance is one of the world’s leading programmes in this fast-growing field. It provides rigorous training in specialised areas of Islamic finance, banking, economics, management and their relevant conventional counterparts.

Read More

What's different? Core modules

Islamic Banking and Finance

Islamic Law and Financial Transactions

Islamic Political Economy

Advanced Financial Theory

Econometric Methods

Islamic Capital Markets

Risk Management Issues in Islamic Finance

Placements offer the perfect opportunity for you to develop new skills, build confidence and gain real-world experience. Coming back for your final year, you’ll bring practical knowledge from the workplace, helping you make the most of your learning. Your placement will also help you think more clearly about where you want your career to go and improve your chances of grabbing employers’ attention. It’s well known that many employers use these programmes as a recruitment tool.

What does a placement involve?

Placements are a minimum of forty weeks between late June one year and the end of September the next (i.e. 40+ weeks over 15 months). In this way, the placement effectively becomes the third year of a four-year degree.

How to find a placement

Lots of organisations offer placements, and you can apply to companies directly. Even if a company doesn’t advertise a placement, it’s still worth approaching them – you might be able to create just the right opportunity for yourself. If you need support, you can talk to our Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre.

What makes a successful placement?

Firstly, your employer will pay you a salary which will be determined by you both.A good placement scheme will also give you a range of experience, and both support and challenge you. We ask the organisation to nominate a sponsor who’ll help you get the most from the placement. We also provide a tutor from the University who’ll keep in touch with you during the year.