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Course length

1 year full-time


Durham City

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Course details

Our MSc in Finance (Finance and Investment) is designed to immerse you in a challenging and exciting subject that has the potential to create life-changing opportunities for people and institutions across the globe.

You will develop essential skills and knowledge in finance and investment that employers around the world are constantly seeking and you will also build an understanding of the advanced analytical and technical capabilities required by world-leading PhD programmes. This knowledge will be delivered within the context of our core values of fairness in how we experience the financial world and equality of access to financial services.

The 12-month full-time programme comprises a combination of core and optional modules, culminating in a practice-based business project or a research-based dissertation depending on the learning direction you choose.

Core modules include derivative markets, portfolio management, financial risk management, security analysis, econometric methods and advanced financial theory. The option modules give you the opportunity to tailor the course to your specific interests and career goals.

This course is taught by specialist academics and 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.

The School has made a significant investment in database resources, giving you access to live and historical data from providers including Bloomberg, Capital IQ, Thomson Reuters, DataStream 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.

Participation in our MSc in Finance (Finance and Investment) will set you on the road to a stimulating and fulfilling career in finance or financial research by equipping you with the necessary skills and experience taught to the highest academic standards within an exciting learning environment.

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:

Derivative Markets develops your ability to critically review this specialist subject in preparation for deeper study in the area of risk management. It will also enhance your knowledge and understanding of the nature and uses of financial derivatives.

Portfolio Management develops your knowledge and understanding of the subject and its key features including asset allocation and portfolio composition. The module covers current theoretical and empirical research in the field of portfolio theories and its implications on alternative portfolio composition and management strategies.

Financial Risk Management develops your understanding of how risk can be managed by financial derivatives and about the issues that surround their use. You will develop skills in analysing academic literature relating to risk management, these skills will be crucial for dissertation research. 

Security Analysis examines areas including investment banking and companies, common stocks, accounting information, earnings estimations and analyst forecasts. You will also develop skills in analysing academic literature relating to security analysis, these skills will be crucial for dissertation research. 

Econometric Methods is designed to provide you with the knowhow to carry out empirical research in economics or finance and to understand the more advanced econometric techniques that will be taught in the second term.

Advanced Financial Theory offers stimulating and rigorous training in modern financial theory and in the most important current research with an emphasis on 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.

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 business project in conjunction with an appropriate organisation.

In recent years, optional modules have included:

  • Bank Management
  • Banking and Financial Intermediation
  • Behavioural and Neurofinance
  • Capital Market Development
  • Climate Finance 
  • Corporate Finance
  • Financial Modelling and Business Forecasting
  • Financial Technologies I
  • Financial Technologies II
  • Fintech Regulations 
  • International Study Tour
  • Islamic Capital Markets 
  • Market Microstructure
  • Python for Finance
  • A language module

Careers and employability

Entry into the world of finance and investment with all its specialisms is challenging but we have the structure in place to support you and help you to establish a rewarding career where you can make the difference.

Our global links with more than 380 partners in 68 industry sectors across the world benefits the University, its students, and partners alike. This network is not only vital in maintaining our reputation as a business school that shapes innovative researchers and alumni who have made a significant contribution in the finance sector, it also opens up potential employment opportunities for our graduates.

The Business School holds a careers weekend and career insight events featuring experts in their fields, and we will ensure you get the most out of your participation in business projects and placements and in any international opportunities.

This course will prepare you to embark on a stimulating career in finance or in research across the world, underpinned by our core values of equality of access to financial services and fairness in how we experience the financial world.

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

  • Business Analyst Consultant at Infosys
  • Management Trainee at the Bank of China
  • Tax Consultant at KPMG
  • Marketing Manager at GF Security
  • Market Risk Analyst at Bangkok Bank
  • Consultant at EY


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 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 Deadlines

The application process opens 1 October for Masters programmes commencing 2024

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.


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

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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.


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. 


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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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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