Our MSc Finance programmes are among the strongest in the UK. Taught by a world-class faculty and supported by international-quality research, these intensive one-year, full-time programmes will help you develop the analytical skills needed for a career in finance.


Our Masters programmes are ranked an impressive 7th in the UK and 25th in the world by the Financial Times Masters in Finance Ranking 2012.


Our MSc programmes (with the exception of Islamic Finance) 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’ll benefit from a curriculum of the highest standards and through participation in the CFA Global Investment Research Challenge, CFA employer networking events, scholarships and more. Find out more


Experience investment first hand through our bespoke stock market trading simulation StockTrak. StockTrak allows you to test your skills as a portfolio manager by investing in a plethora of securities based on real data from major world markets. Find out more

Investment Club

You will have the opportunity to join the Investment Club. 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 along with a report on its performance, are passed to next year’s Club. This new and exciting initiative gives you the chance to put your financial skills to the test and enhance your CV.

International Opportunities

You may have the opportunity to write your dissertation at one of our international partner universities. For students doing this at one of our European partners, there may be limited funding available. There are also places available at some summer schools given by our international partners. This time abroad can provide you with an insight into the life, culture, language and business of another country, create new contacts and can help you stand out when seeking employment. Durham University Business School has partners across the world.

You may have the opportunity to enhance your study experience by participating in an International Study Tour to a European destination, such as Geneva, which takes place at the beginning of the Easter vacation in March/April each year. This opportunity is not mandatory to your course, and is, therefore, self-funded.

Update your Maths and Statistics with our free pre-sessional course

If you feel you need to revise or update your quantitative skills in Maths and Statistics prior to your MSc, why not take advantage of our pre-sessional course. The course is free; you simply need to pay for accommodation. The week-long course consists of a mixture of lectures and workshops. See this year’s programme.

City of London Tour

You will have the opportunity to take part in the City of London Tour, where you will visit several key financial organisations and experience the atmosphere and history of the financial district. This trip is not mandatory and is therefore self-funded.


Study Details:

MSc 1 Year FT

Module Details:

Compulsory Modules

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.

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.

Financial Modelling & 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.

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.

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.

Dissertation with 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.

Optional Modules

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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 & Acquisitions

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

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.


Entry Requirements

The masters programmes are intended for new and recent graduates. You should have a strong background in a related discipline and your first degree should have a substantial economics and statistics content.

Normal entry requirements for these programmes are:

  • A good Upper Second class honours degree or overseas equivalent, in a relevant discipline.
  • Evidence of competence in written and spoken English if your first language is not English – The minimum TOEFL requirement is 92 IBT (no element under 23). We ask for an IELTS score of 6.5 overall with no element under 6.0.

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