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Start dates
Degree type

MSc

Course length

1 year full-time

Location

Durham City

Program code

N3K209

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Course details

The MSc in Finance (Accounting and Finance) provides you with the essential skills and learning to thrive in a wide range of corporate environments around the world and to play a key role in ensuring they function to the highest finance and accounting standards.

You will learn how to apply analytical skills, technical skills and the latest research techniques to the sophisticated and stimulating world of finance and accounting. Underpinning all aspects of learning are our core values of fairness and equality of access to financial services, these skills are valued by top global financial institutions and businesses, and by leading PhD research programmes.

This 12-month full-time course is affiliated with the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute (CFA), the leading global association for investment professionals and the accepted benchmark around the world for technical excellence in financial markets. Core modules, which are taught through lectures, seminars and practical work, cover the key financial areas of accounts and reporting, financial statement analysis, advanced financial theory, corporate finance, econometric methods and financial modelling and business forecasting.

The core modules are complemented by your choice of optional modules, which give you the opportunity to tailor the course to your interests and career goals. You will also complete either a research-based dissertation or an applied business project in an area of your choice.

The MSc is delivered by academic staff who are dedicated and passionate about their subject and how it relates to both people’s daily lives and the functioning of financial institutions and corporations across the globe. Successful completion will enable you to progress to a challenging and stimulating role in this vitally important sector.

World-class Business Education

  • 11th (UK) 44th (Europe) 53rd (Global) Financial Times; Masters in Finance 2023
  • 11th (UK) 39th (Europe) 66th (Global) - QS World University Rankings: Masters in Finance 2024

Course structure

Core modules:

Financial Accounting and Reporting is a key module in which you acquire and demonstrate knowledge and understanding of financial accounting and reporting concepts as well as ethical issues. You will also be shown how to apply International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) to particular cases involving single entities or groups. You will develop the skills to prepare single entity and consolidated financial statements in line with IFRS requirements and also acquire and demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of accounting-based techniques of financial statement analysis.

Financial Statement Analysis complements the Financial Accounting and Reporting module and is designed to extend your knowledge of financial statements. You will be expected to show a critical understanding of, and ability to apply, financial statement analysis to assess corporate performance, risk, growth potential, future prospects, and value.

Econometric Methods provides you with the knowhow necessary to be able to carry out empirical research in economics or finance, and to understand more advanced econometric techniques.

Advanced Financial Theory offers stimulating and rigorous training in modern financial theory and in the most important current research with an emphasis on the application of finance principles. You will also develop an advanced understanding of normative and positive research in financial theory together with the related descriptive and empirical evidence.

Corporate Finance covers the theory and practice of corporate finance and the latest research. You will examine both normative and positive aspects of the theory, together with supporting descriptive and empirical evidence.

The Dissertation, on a finance topic of your choice, develops your ability to plan and manage your own learning. It provides an opportunity to conduct an in-depth investigation at an advanced level and present your findings and conclusions. To add a further international dimension to the course you can apply for the international route where you undertake research abroad at a partner university. There is also the option to develop a more applied project in conjunction with an appropriate organisation.

In recent years, optional modules have included:

  • Accounting Theory
  • Advanced Macroeconomics
  • Advanced Microeconomics
  • Auditing and Accountability
  • Bank Management
  • Banking and Financial Intermediation
  • Behavioural and Neurofinance
  • Climate Finance
  • Corporate Governance
  • Capital Market Development
  • Derivative Markets
  • Accounting: An Information Content Perspective
  • Financial Modelling and Business Forecasting
  • Financial Risk Management
  • Financial Technologies I
  • Financial Technologies II
  • Fintech Regulations
  • International Study Tour
  • Islamic Banking and Finance
  • Islamic Capital Markets
  • Islamic Law and Financial Transactions
  • Mergers, Acquisitions and Corporate Restructuring
  • Modern Accounting Research
  • Portfolio Management
  • Python for Finance
  • Security Analysis
  • A language module

Careers and employability

We are a global Business School with more than 380 partners in 68 industry sectors. These relationships play an important role in securing our reputation as an active learning environment that shapes innovative researchers and alumni who have made a significant contribution in the finance sector.

Reflecting our core values of equality of access to financial services and fairness in how we experience the financial world, we offer a range of support functions to help you achieve your career goals. We hold a careers weekend and career insight events featuring experts from a relevant finance area and we can help you with business projects and placements and in securing international opportunities.

This course will equip you to develop a fulfilling career in finance or in research across the world. The market for jobs is fiercely competitive but the wide support structure at Durham is here to help you achieve your goals.

Take a look at some of the roles taken up by recent finance graduates from the Business School:

  • Assistant Wealth Manager at the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China
  • Economic Analyst at KPMG
  • Treasury Analyst at UPS
  • Market Risk Analyst at Bangkok Bank
  • Accountant at EY
  • Associate at PwC
  • Editor at China Financial Publishing

Learning

Learning is delivered through lectures, some given by guest speakers, in seminars, practical sessions and in extracurricular activities. Seminars will see you working in a smaller group to discuss lecture topics and debate and solve issues raised. Practical work comprises medium-sized group sessions, in which you can practise computer software, applying topics from lectures and seminars.

You will undertake a combination of core and optional modules which will enable you to carry out in-depth study of particular topics. You will also complete an independent 12,000-word dissertation.

Typically, you will attend 10 hours per week of lectures in the first term, nine hours per week of lectures in the second term and undertake a one-hour seminar per module every two weeks.

Pre-sessional modules in accounting, economics, and mathematics and statistics, are offered in September and October in the form of five lectures and five seminars per module.

Assessment

Assessment on this course is rigorous and carried out through exams in January, May and June, a range of assignments and a 12,000-word dissertation in which you carry out independent research and develop your analysis skills.

Outside of timetabled contact hours, you will be expected to undertake your own independent study in preparation for exams, seminars, assignments and other forms of assessment as well as general background reading in order to broaden your subject knowledge.

Entry requirements

Application Deadline

October 2024 start

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.

What do I need first?

The Masters in Finance programme is designed for new or recent graduates. Certain routes within the Masters in Finance programme may also be of interest to those who already have practical experience in the field of finance. Prospective candidates must hold qualifications equivalent to a UK first or upper second-class honours degree in any discipline. Applicants are also expected to have strong quantitative skills for the programme, which includes fundamental concepts of calculus and statistics. Therefore, having studied a relevant mathematics/quantitative module at university level or a minimum of A level Mathematics (or its equivalent) is a prerequisite for prospective candidates.

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 normally 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.

>>Fill out the online application form

To support your online application form, you will need to provide the following documents.

  • 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.

NoteOnly files of type .doc, .docx, .gif, .jpg, .pdf, .png, .rtf are permitted to be uploaded.The maximum file size is 5MB.

Application fee

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 Economics programme.

College membership

All students of Durham University will become a member of one of our Colleges. Here is more information about what college membership means to our students. Once you have accepted your postgraduate offer, the Accommodation and Allocations Office will contact you with further information regarding how to express college preferences. You can also apply for college accommodation, if you wish to.

Admissions process

Here are the steps in the admissions process:

  1. We will let you know when we’ve received your application.
  2. Once we’ve received all of your supporting documents, we will email you to let you know our decision.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  5. 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.

English language requirements

Fees and funding

Full Time Fees

Tuition fees
Home students £15,500 per year
EU students £32,750 per year
Island students £15,500 per year
International students £32,750 per year

The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of full time study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships

We are committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances and are delighted to offer a range of funding opportunities. 

Find Out More

Career opportunities

Business School

Key to your career

Whatever your specialist interests, you’ll find our careers team is one of the most useful resources to support you on your way to your target career. Now more than ever, it’s the skills you’re able to demonstrate in addition to your academic abilities that will make you shine in a fiercely competitive jobs market.

That’s why our facilities and services are designed to complement your course and help you develop essential professional and practical skills – from personal resilience and self-awareness to CV writing and interview techniques.

We work in partnership with the University's Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre to connect you with events, organisations or individuals to help kick-start your career.

Sector specific presentations

Our Career Insights sessions are delivered by external professionals with expertise and knowledge of their particular sector which provide insights into working in areas that are popular with our students. Previous guest speakers have delivered presentations on working in banking, professional services, and management development programmes within international companies.

Support for International Students

We recognise that many of our students will progress their careers outside of the UK once they finish their studies, and our career development programme is designed with this in mind. We offer events focused on career opportunities in China and are continually developing relationships with international recruiters.

If you’re an international student interested in working in the UK after your studies, the University's Visa Information pages provide information related to immigration. Our advisers are dedicated to helping you understand the requirements and restrictions of your visas during your studies and can provide limited advice on post-study visa requirements.

You can access more information on our English Language support pages.

Online resources

You will have access to a huge range of career resources including an interview simulator with a bank of interview questions, a CV builder, and our international Jobs Board.

Alumni career support

You can continue to make the most of our specialist career development advice after you graduate, including on-going one-to-one support from our Masters Career Consultants, workshops in our key locations, and continued access to our online career resources.

Department information

Business School

The Department of Economics, is one of four departments at Durham University Business School and is recognised across the globe for its high quality teaching and research. The department's research is broad and far-reaching, with a range of active research centres delivering impactful research across the global business world, informing policy and changing business practice.

Our programmes in economics, environmental economics and behavioural economics, provide the rigorous training and advanced analytical and technical skills required by global employers, or, to take you onto doctoral study.

You'll join a vibrant, diverse community and hear from guest speakers including leading academics and professionals from across the globe, who are specialists in your particular area of interest.

You'll benefit from our significant investment in database resources, giving you access to live and historical data to add valuable insight to your research.

Durham University Business School, is one of the UK’s longest established business schools and one of an elite group accredited by all three major bodies: the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the Association of MBAs (AMBA) and the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS). The School also offers postgraduate programmes in the areas of Accounting, Business, Management and Marketing and Finance.

Staff

For a current list of staff, please see the Business School website.

Research Excellence Framework

Read more about our results in the recent REF 2021.

Facilities

Our Economics Masters are taught across the Durham University campus by world-leading faculty from the Business School. The University is situated in the historic centre of Durham, a city with UNESCO World Heritage Status.

You will join a strong and vibrant learning community with state-of-the-art facilities.

We have made a major investment in acquiring state-of-the-art database resources.

Our modern and spacious teaching and learning areas include lecture theatres, seminar rooms and study areas while the library houses extensive collections of business, economics, finance and management books and offers access to over 10,000 journals online.

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Start your application now.

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Our Events

Join one of our virtual events, webinars, open events or recruitment fairs.

Durham Business School Postgraduate Events
  • Date: 01/09/2023 - 31/08/2024
  • Time: 09:00 - 17:00
Find out more
Self-Guided Tours
  • Date: 01/09/2023 - 31/08/2024
  • Time: 09:00 - 16:00
Find out more

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