Finance (Economics and Finance)
1 year full-time
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 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.
Detailed module information
For the latest detailed information on all of the modules offered on this programme in the current academic year please visit our Postgraduate Module Handbook pages.
In the third term, you will carry out an original research project. This may be an independent piece of work or, alternatively, you may decide to develop a more applied project with an appropriate organisation. 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.
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 (in 2021 we visited Paris). 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.
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 a combination of core and elective modules 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 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.
The application process opens 1 October for Masters programmes commencing 2023
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 a good grade in a minimum of one mathematical/statistics module at a level equivalent to a second year British Honours Degree standard. Where the only evidence of mathematical/statistics modules is at a level equivalent to a first year British Honours Degree standard, or your mathematical/statistical module grades do not quite meet requirements we may require that applicants undertake our admissions mathematics test. This will be determined by the Postgraduate Admissions Team upon considering each application.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
Pstgraduate Admissions Office, Durham University Business School, Mill Hill Lane, Durham, DH1 3LB, UKTel: +44 (0)191 334 5295Fax: +44 (0)191 334 5136
Fees and funding
Full Time Fees
|Home students||£14,900 per year|
|EU students||£31,500 per year|
|Island students||£14,900 per year|
|International students||£31,500 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.Find Out More
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.
One-to-one career support
As a Business School Masters student, you can take advantage of one-to-one appointments with a specialist Masters Career Consultant to help you with specific issues, from finding a route into your career to applying for your dream role.
Career development programme
Our Career Development Programme has been designed alongside our core academic programme to help you achieve your career goals and develop the skills that employers are looking for.
This starts at the beginning of Term One with our Careers Weekend. This weekend will provide insight and enable the development of essential career management skills. Covering a wide range of topics, the event will support career planning, facilitate skills development and enhance your knowledge of the full recruitment cycle. The weekend will be actively focused on identifying, preparing and securing employment opportunities throughout your studies.
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.
Business Projects and Placements
The business project or placement is a great way to gain practical work experience and develop consultancy skills. We can help you choose from a range of regional, national and international organisations of different sizes in different sectors or you can source your own project – some target an organisation they’d like to work for. However you tailor the project, it will help you to put new knowledge and skills into practice and influence real life business issues.
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 you’ll have the opportunity to go on the optional International Study Tour to a European destination in March/April. This self-funded, one-week programme is a great way to immerse yourself in the country’s business environment, providing the chance to make new contacts and helping you stand out in the competitive jobs market.
If you are interested in carrying out research or a business project in an international location for your dissertation, we may also be able to connect you with our international partner institutions.
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 careers team works closely with Durham University's Student Immigration & Financial Support Office to provide you with information related to immigration. Their advisers are dedicated to helping our students understand the requirements and restrictions of their visas during their studies and can provide limited advice on post-study visa requirements.
You can access English language support from English Language Centre.
Through the Career Development Programme 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.
Our Masters programmes consistently appear in top independent rankings for both quality and reputation. Taught by a world-class faculty and supported by international-quality research, these intensive one-year, full-time programmes help you develop the analytical and practical skills employers value. Study with us and you’ll be part of an elite business school with triple-accreditation.
- 7th for Economics in The Complete University Guide 2021.
- Top 10 for Economics in The Guardian University Guide 2021.
Research Excellence Framework
- Ranked joint 1st in the UK for Internationally Excellent and World-leading research impact (REF 2014).
You will be taught at Durham University Business School, one of the longest established business schools in the UK, in state-of-the-art facilities. The School is also one of an elite group of institutions in the UK to be accredited by all three major business accreditation bodies – the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business(AACSB), the Association of MBAs (AMBA) and the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS).