MSc Finance (Economics and Finance)
At a glance
MSc Finance (Economics and Finance)
|1 year (full-time)|
|Mode of study|
Our MSc Finance programmes are designed to provide you with rigorous training at the frontier of research, as well as the advanced analytical and technical skills that are highly sought after by global employers and, if you wish to continue your studies, by world-leading PhD programmes. More
Our MSc Finance programmes are designed to provide you with rigorous training at the frontier of research, as well as the advanced analytical and technical skills that are highly sought after by global employers and, if you wish to continue your studies, by world-leading PhD programmes.
Our MSc programmes have partnership status with the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute (CFA). The CFA is the world’s premier association for investment professionals and the accepted benchmark for technical excellence in financial markets. It guarantees you benefit from a curriculum of the highest standards and enables you to participate in the CFA Global Investment Research Challenge, as well as CFA employer network events and scholarships.
The programme consists of a set of core and elective modules, culminating in a practice- based business project or a research-based dissertation.
Core and elective modules
You will study:
- Advanced Financial Theory
- Advanced Macroeconomics
- Advanced Microeconomics
- Corporate Finance
Based on your prior knowledge and experience you will be streamed to study one of the following module pairings:
- Econometrics I and Econometrics II
- Econometric Methods and Financial Modelling and Business Forecasting
You will then choose two elective modules. The list of modules may vary from year to year, but has typically included:
- Auditing and Assurance Services
- Behavioural Finance and Economics
- Derivative Markets
- Financial Risk Management
- Market Microstructure.
Dissertation or Business Project
In the third term, you will complete a dissertation which could be undertaken as a consultancy project within an organisation or with one of our international partner institutions. Supervised by a faculty member with relevant experience, you’ll investigate in greater detail a subject that you’ve already studied as part of your programme.
This is an opportunity for you to develop your business insight and present your analysis and ideas in a scholarly and professional manner; combine critical discrimination and a sense of proportion in evaluating evidence and the opinions of others.
Adding to your experience
We’re proud of our strong international connections. Helping you get an inside perspective on global business is a key part of the programme. That’s why we offer a range of opportunities to help you immerse yourself in a country’s business and academic environment, make new contacts and stand out in a competitive job market. These include:
- Dissertation Abroad: If your ambitions lie beyond the UK, we offer a number of places on our unique Dissertation Abroad scheme. This will involve writing a dissertation at one of our international partner institutions in the period June to August. A number of scholarships are available.
- International Study Tour: We organise an optional International Study Tour to a European destination, typically Switzerland. This intensive programme takes place over several days, normally in March/April, and offers you a great opportunity to get an ‘inside perspective’ on international business, and to network with key staff within organisations.
As part of your programme, you have the opportunity to enjoy presentations by academics and practitioners within your chosen area of interest. Past speakers have included representatives of major global multinationals and leading academics, providing an ideal opportunity to gain practical knowledge and progressive insight.
Ten students are selected to manage a genuine fund and meet on a monthly basis to evaluate their research and place their trades. At the end of the year, the monetary fund and a report on its performance are passed to next year’s club. This exciting initiative gives you the chance to put your financial skills to the test and enhance your CV.
This challenge will give you the opportunity to monitor and analyse real-time financial market data movements to build a hypothetical portfolio with securities of your choice. This gives you hands on experience and the chance to improve your investment and security selection skills. It looks great on your CV, plus there is a cash prize for the winner.
The School has made a significant investment in database resources to give you access to both live and historical data from providers which include Thomson Reuters, Datasteam and Orbis. These state-of-the-art databases give you the opportunity to interrogate the financial records of millions of companies worldwide and add valuable insight to your research.
As part of our provision of a wide range of software and databases, we offer training on our Bloomberg terminals for accessing economic and financial data.
To find out more about the modules available to students studying at Durham University please click here.
Please note: Current modules are indicative. Information for future academic years may change, for example, due to developments in the relevant academic field, or in light of student feedback.
Learning and Teaching
Course Learning and Teaching
The programme is mainly delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars, and practicals. Lectures provide key contents of a particular topic. Some lectures are delivered by guest speakers who are internationally recognised academic experts or practitioners in their field. Students can also attend the Durham Speaker Series, providing the opportunity to network with senior business leaders, staff and alumni.
Seminars provide the opportunity for smaller groups of students to solve problems and discuss and debate issues based on knowledge gained through lectures and independent study outside the programme’s formal contact hours. Practicals are medium sized group sessions, where students practice computer software, applying topics from lectures and seminars.
Students study 5 core modules, and select 5 elective modules to study between January and May which enables them to undertake more in-depth study of particular topics. This is followed by a 12,000 word dissertation to allow students to carry out independent research and develop their skills in analysis and scholarly expression, using an appropriate theoretical framework. They are supported in writing their dissertation through the study of research methods, and attending individual meetings with an allocated supervisor, who monitors their progress and provides advice.
Students will typically attend 10 hours per week of lectures in Term 1 and 9 hours per week of lectures in Term 2, and undertake a 1 hour seminar every two weeks (per module).
Throughout the year, students have the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities, mentored by the Programme Director, such as the Investment Club, the StockTrak Trading Competition, the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Investment Research Challenge, and Employer Networking Events.
They also have the opportunity to attend an International Study Week at an overseas location at the end of Term 2, which gives students the opportunity to learn about the business, economy and culture of another country, gain an ‘insider perspective’ on international businesses and network with key business staff.
Outside of timetabled contact hours, students are expected to undertake their own independent study in preparation for seminars, assignments and other forms of assessment including exams, and general background reading to broaden their subject knowledge. All members of teaching staff are also available to provide additional support on a one-to-one basis via weekly consultation hours.
Pre-sessional modules in Accounting, Economics, and Mathematics and Statistics, are offered in September/October. The format is 5 lectures and 5 seminars per module.
Following the exam period in May/June, students have the opportunity to participate in a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Preparation Module. The module runs over two full days with emphasis on Ethics and Forensic Accounting. This is to prepare students for the CFA Level I exam.
Subject requirements, level and grade
Please note: The application process opens on 1 October for entry the following academic year.
There is high demand for places on these programmes – typically we receive around 10 applications for each place the University is able to offer. To maximise your chances of being offered one of these places, we recommend that you submit your application to the University as early as possible.
We aim to have a diverse student body and recognise that we can only offer places to a finite number of applicants. To help achieve our aim, we look to ensure we offer places to applicants from all nationalities and close applications when we receive the allocated numbers.
The University is under no obligation to make any offer of a place on the programme to any applicant, nor is the University obligated to fill all spaces available on the programme.
The Masters in Finance is designed for new or recent graduates. Certain programmes will be of interest if you are already a practitioner in the financial field. You should have a strong background in a related discipline and your first degree should have a substantial mathematics and statistics content in years 2,3 or 4.
What do I need first?
The equivalent of a UK first or upper second class honours degree with evidence on your degree transcript of strong grades in statistical modules in your second, third or fourth year. Check the full list of equivalent qualifications.
If you are an international student who does not meet the requirements for direct entry to this degree, you may be eligible to take a pre-Masters pathway programme at the Durham University International Study Centre.
NB Chinese Applicants: Applications will be accepted from students who have graduated from a prestigious university in China. Entry requirements may vary depending upon the reputation of the university you have graduated from and the academic programme you have applied for. As a guide, applicants are expected to have achieved an overall average of 85%.
How do I apply?
You will need to complete an online application form.
Please note you can only apply for one Masters Finance programme.
To support your online application form, you will need to provide the following documents.
- Two academic references using our standard form (Download the form - Word format)
- Official transcript of marks
- Copy of degree certificate (if available)
- Copy of English test results (if available).
You can either upload your supporting documents with your online application or email or fax them to the Postgraduate Admissions Office using the contact details below.
Only files of type .doc, .docx, .gif, .jpg, .pdf, .png, .rtf are permitted to be uploaded.
The maximum file size is 5MB.
Once we receive your online application form, you’ll get an automatic email within 48 hours asking you to pay the £60 application fee* which is required to progress your application.
You’ll need to follow the link in the email to the webpage where you can confirm your details and make the payment using a debit or credit card. This is a secure website operated by Secpay, which will send you an automatic receipt of payment.
Once we receive confirmation that your application fee has been paid, we’ll be able to progress your application. If you do not pay the application fee your application will be automatically withdrawn.
*Please note you will only be able to make a payment for one programme in each suite i.e. one MSc Finance programme, one MSc Management programme, one MSc Marketing programme, one Islamic Finance programme.
If you’re applying for a full-time programme you’ll need to become a member of one of our Colleges as well as being accepted by a department. Here’s more information about how the college system works. Once you accept your programme offer, the College Postgraduate Office will get in touch with you to arrange accommodation. Please note that demand for college accommodation usually exceeds availability, so please try to arrange it as soon as possible.
Here are the steps in the admissions process:
- We will let you know when we’ve received your application.
- Once we’ve received all of your supporting documents, we will email you to let you know our decision.
- If the decision is to make you an offer of a place on the programme we will let you know by email. Please note we do not issue hard copy offer letters as these are not required to obtain a student visa.
- If you have requested university accommodation on your application form, the college will contact you direct. They will send you an accommodation application form, which you should complete and return direct to the college.
- You should confirm acceptance of your offer as soon as possible. In order to secure your place, you are required to pay a deposit within six weeks of the date of your original offer (check your offer documents for details of payment methods).
- International students requiring a student visa will receive a CAS (Certificate of Acceptance of Studies) via email once all offer conditions are met, acceptance and deposit have been received and you are within five months of the start date of your programme.
Postgraduate Admissions Office, Durham University Business School, Mill Hill Lane, Durham, DH1 3LB, UK
Tel: +44 (0)191 334 5295
Fax: +44 (0)191 334 5136
English Language requirements
Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.
How to apply
Fees and Funding
Fees and Funding
Full Time Fees
|EU Student||£14,500.00 per year|
|Home Student||£14,500.00 per year|
|Island Student||£14,500.00 per year|
|International non-EU Student||£25,000.00 per year|
Note: Fees are subject to review and change in-line with inflation.
Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.
Scholarships and funding
Open Days and Visits
My ‘Durham experience’ was characterised by the combination of academic rigour and family atmosphere, which fulfilled me both intellectually and personally.
"The variety of teaching styles and module selection allowed me to widen my scope of study, and as such I find I have learnt and experienced more than I ever imagined possible."