Finance (MSc)

Year of entry

2018

Start date

October 2018

Location

Central London

Status

Fully Approved

Duration

One year full-time or two years part-time

Attendance

Four to five evenings a week full-time or two to three evenings a week part-time

Birkbeck's MSc Finance combines academic rigour with a solid grounding in the practical, problem-solving skills that employers value. The course will give you excellent, specialist knowledge and training in finance and financial economics, including basic portfolio theory, corporate finance, and pricing theory applied to derivatives and government bond markets. You will also learn the latest econometrics and numerical analysis skills. All of these skills are increasingly valued in the marketplace, banks, commercial firms and government, so this course could help you stand out in a competitive job market. 

Birkbeck's postgraduate finance courses are built around our long-running experience in research-led evening teaching. Many of our students work in the finance industry, which generates a lively atmosphere in class and ensures that you'll be studying alongside committed, enthusiastic students with a wealth of experience. 

You will be taught by active researchers, working at the cutting-edge in their respective fields, who are also experienced professional practitioners, giving specialist advice and in-house training to government departments and banks and firms in the City of London. This course is challenging and demanding, so you should demonstrate strong intellectual ability in your application and be willing to work hard. 

If you have prior knowledge in finance, economics or a related field, then this course is also available with advanced pathways in accounting, banking and commodities. If you are unsure which of our finance Master's degrees is right for you, then read an overview of each programme

Highlights

  • This Master's degree combines a high level of academic rigour with a solid grounding in practical problem-solving skills.
  • This course is part of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute University Recognition Program.
  • Birkbeck's Department of Economics, Mathematics and Statistics brings together research and teaching across economics and finance, mathematics and statistics in a single department, which creates significant interdisciplinary synergies. 
  • In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), more than half of our research outputs in Economics were ranked world-leading or internationally excellent.In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), more than half of our research outputs in Economics were ranked world-leading or internationally excellent. 

Course structure

You take eight compulsory modules, including a dissertation.

The compulsory modules cover essential topics to help you pursue a successful career in any area of finance, while the dissertation allows you to pursue an empirical or theoretical study on a topic of your choice under the supervision of an academic within the Department.

Module groups

  • Entry Requirements We welcome a wide range of qualifications, from the UK and abroad, and we will also consider your non-academic achievements.

    Entry requirements

    For entry on to the MSc Finance, the entry criteria are usually a second-class honours degree or above, or equivalent qualifications. Students with a third-class degree may sometimes be admitted if there is clear evidence of under-performance, relative to potential, in the first degree.

    International entry requirements

    If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

    If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

    Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.

    Credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL)

    If you have studied at university previously, you may have accumulated credits through the modules you studied. It may be possible to transfer these credits from your previous study to Birkbeck or another institution. You should discuss this with the Programme Director when you are making your application.

    Find out more about credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL).

  • Fees We offer advice on all the options for financing your studies. You can pay your fees interest-free by direct debit and postgraduate loans are available for eligible Master’s students.

    Fees (2017/8)

    Part-time home/EU students: £ 5975 pa
    Full-time home/EU students: £ 11950 pa
    Part-time overseas students: £ 8750 pa
    Full-time overseas students: £ 17500 pa
  • Teaching and assessment Our innovative, engaging teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments.

    Teaching

    At Birkbeck, almost all of our courses are taught in the evening and our teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments. We actively encourage innovative and engaging ways of teaching, to ensure our students have the best learning experience. In the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the government’s system for rating university teaching, Birkbeck was allocated a Silver award.

    Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading.

    Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.

    In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your Personal Tutor.

    Methods of teaching on this course

    Lecturing is the primary means of delivery, but an important aspect of the programme is problem-solving, so many lectures are augmented by supporting classes to discuss solutions to problems that have been set. Another important aspect of the course is private study, including the production of independent project work.

    Timetables

    Timetables are usually available from September onwards and you can access your personalised timetable via your My Birkbeck Profile online (if you have been invited to enrol).

    Indicative class size

    Class sizes vary, depending on your course, the module you are undertaking, and the method of teaching. For example, lectures are presented to large groups, with 30 to 100+ students in attendance, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups of 10 to 30 students, led by an academic.

    Academic support

    Birkbeck offers study and learning support to undergraduate and postgraduate students to help them succeed. Our Learning Development Service can help you in the following areas:

    • academic skills (including planning your workload, research, writing, exam preparation and writing a dissertation)
    • written English (including structure, punctuation and grammar)
    • numerical skills (basic mathematics and statistics).

    Our Disability and Dyslexia Service can support you if you have additional learning needs resulting from a disability or from dyslexia.

    Our Counselling Service can support you if you are struggling with emotional or psychological difficulties during your studies.

    Our Mental Health Advisory Service can support you if you are experiencing short– or long-term mental health difficulties during your studies.

    Assessment

    Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations. You will be given time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.

    Unseen written examinations are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June, and, in most cases, are held during the day on a weekday – if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance. Exam timetables are published online in March each year.

    Find out more about assessment at Birkbeck, including guidance on assessment, feedback and our assessment offences policy.

    Methods of assessment on this course

    Usually around 80% of the assessment is unseen examinations, typically held in June. The other 20% of your assessment is via coursework to ensure that, throughout the year, you get practice, and are given feedback, in tackling and solving problems independently, without the time pressure of examinations.

    Feedback

    As well as a mark for your coursework and exams, you will also receive feedback from your marker(s) to help you learn, improve and succeed. We encourage you to discuss feedback with your module tutor.

    Feedback can come in different forms: notes via Moodle (our online learning environment); a paper copy of a completed feedback form; or in-class or face-to-face feedback. The College Policy on Feedback on Assessment sets out what you can expect from your feedback.

    Your department will usually provide you with your marked coursework within four weeks of submission. Your initial mark is provisional until the relevant Board of Examiners has confirmed it.

    Your official coursework and exam results will be made available to you via your My Birkbeck Profile online.

  • Careers and employability To help you get ahead in your career, we offer free advice and training and our recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, can connect you with employers.

    Careers and employability

    Graduates can pursue a career in banking and finance, the public sector, industry, and research and analysis. Possible professions include financial risk analyst, economist, or purchasing manager. This degree can also be useful in becoming a management consultant or actuary.  

    We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.

  • How to apply Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck.

    How to apply

    You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application.

    Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form, including our online personal statement tool, which will guide you through every step of writing your personal statement.

    Application deadlines and interviews

    You should apply as early as possible.