MSc Banking and Finance


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Key facts

(REF 2014)

Prepare for a career in banking and finance at the highest level, with a degree that combines theory, practice and research expertise.

This internationally-focused and highly-respected Master’s will prepare you to excel on a global stage in the professional or academic sector. You will be qualified to work in commercial banking, asset management, hedge funds, consulting and accountancy firms, government bodies or academic institutions.

This is a research-focused Master’s degree so a background in business, economics or any other quantitative subject, such as sciences is essential. You might be coming straight from undergraduate study, or you may have worked in industry for a time since graduating.


Financial systems are highly complex and constantly evolving. On this intensive, 12-month course you will gain the skills to understand the financial system now and in the future. You will build a sound theoretical and practical grounding in banking and finance, equipping yourself with the skills needed to excel in business or in research. You’ll graduate as someone who is not only highly skilled, but also an independent and critical thinker, able to make their own decisions when faced with complex problems.

You will develop research-orientated expertise in investment and risk management, banking, corporate finance and governance and international accounting. You’ll also become expert in the cutting-edge quantitative techniques needed for in-depth empirical investigations in banking and finance. You’ll also discover how to critically analyse theories and data in order to make effective, evidence-based financial decisions.

Working with leading academics, you’ll discover the most important recent developments in financial research. Meanwhile, you’ll build the analytical skills needed to make your own contribution to the latest thinking in the field.

In our computer laboratories, you’ll learn how to implement and test the theories you’ve learned. You’ll also gain first-hand experience of applying the tools used by leading traders, financial analysts and investment bankers in their day-to-day work.

Once you’ve built a firm foundation during your taught modules, you’ll begin your dissertation. Here you’ll be able to explore a problem of your choosing, with the guidance of an academic advisor. This opportunity enables you to not only tackle an issue you think is important, but also to develop the research and analytical skills you’ll need to keep innovating throughout your career. You’ll learn how to do your own independent research, how to approach issues from a rigorous, scientific perspective and how to analyse complex challenges. You’ll also discover how to make decisions based on evidence and how to use literature and research to solve problems. All of which will be essential in your career.

You might be coming to the course with a particular idea or problem you’d like to investigate. This could be something you’ve identified in your previous studies, or during your time working in industry. For example, you might be interested in exploring the relationship between corporate governance and firm performance or the impact of news on financial markets. Alternatively, you might be excited about the new areas for inquiry you’ll discover during your taught modules and independent study.

Throughout your studies you’ll be encouraged to approach your subject from a global perspective. You’ll benefit from internationally-focused course content, studying not just European and US markets, but also international and developing markets. You’ll study with lecturers, researchers and fellow students from all over the world. This means you’ll graduate ready to work anywhere in the world and thrive in multinational companies. It also means if you go on to focus on academic research, you’ll be well prepared to deliver work of international significance. In some of your classes you will learn alongside other MSc business students, forging links with other disciplines.

You’ll benefit from research-led teaching, learning from lecturers, researchers and tutors who are members of Norwich Business School’s highly-respected Finance Group (FIN). Made up of leading academics, FIN focuses on such research areas as corporate finance, banking, investments, behavioural finance, asset pricing, energy and environmental finance, and many others. Aside from your studies, you’ll be invited to attend the FIN seminar series, where you’ll be able to hear from distinguished guest speakers from prominent institutions. This ensures you graduate with a solid grasp of the latest theories and techniques in the field and the main challenges surrounding them.

In addition to your Master’s qualification, you will receive support and access to online training for certification in Thomson Reuters at no extra cost, including Eikon and Datastream.

Course Structure

You’ll begin with an intensive induction to all NBS’s research-based Master’s courses, including Accounting and Finance, Brand Leadership, Management, and Operations and Logistics.

In your first semester you’ll take the compulsory modules Financial Management, International Accounting, and Responsible Business. Through these modules you’ll gain a strong foundation in all the most important theories and practices of corporate finance and governance, international accounting and business regulation.

In your second semester you’ll add further depth and breadth to your studies with the modules Investment and Risk Management, Banking and Financial Markets, and Empirical Finance. The latter module will give you a rigorous understanding of the econometric techniques you’ll need to conduct effective research in banking and finance.

In your third and final semester you’ll complete your dissertation, under the guidance of your academic advisor. This is a fantastic opportunity to conduct your own original piece of research, exploring a question you are passionate about. Your dissertation is also great preparation for PhD study, as well as being a valuable indication of your potential to employers.

Teaching and Learning

Over 12 intensive months you’ll be constantly challenged to build your knowledge and hone your skills. You’ll develop both theoretical understanding and practical skills.

You’ll learn through a combination of lectures, workshops, seminars and independent study. You’ll also learn how to examine case studies, dissect and critically assess academic papers, and how to use the key financial software (eg Datastream), and empirical financial tools and techniques needed for a finance position or for financial research.

You’ll learn from lecturers, guest speakers and researchers, from Norwich Business School and the wider academic community. And you’ll benefit from close contact and expert tuition from the FIN research group. You’ll also learn from your fellow students, through sharing and debating your ideas and critically analysing the ideas of others.

All our teaching is informed by the latest research and real-world business experience. You’ll be studying with lecturers with an international reputation in their field, who are recognised worldwide for the quality of their research. That means you will benefit from the latest thinking in the finance field. Business is ever-changing, so you won’t just learn to understand, evaluate and utilise the leading theories of today, you’ll also develop the critical skills needed to examine and put to use any new theories and methods that come to the fore during your career.

In your dissertation module you’ll conduct your own original piece of research. This allows you to investigate an area of interest, whilst honing your research skills. Developing these skills now means you won’t just graduate with knowledge in your area, you’ll have the ability to investigate and research new areas of interest. And that means you can grow and adapt with the changing business world, now and throughout your career.


We’ll use different methods of assessment to test different skills and knowledge – and they will all be based on a set of clear evaluation criteria.

You’ll find that assessment through practical case studies and coursework will help you to improve your analytical and critical thinking as well as your communication, writing and presentation skills.

After the course

You’ll graduate ready to begin a successful career in the financial sector or as an academic researcher. You could go on to a graduate level position in a wide range of careers, including: banking, hedge funds, asset management and consultancy. Alternatively you might choose to continue your studies with a PhD.

The international outlook of the course means you’ll be well prepared to work anywhere in the world, as well as for multinational companies.

There is a strong focus on preparing you for your future career throughout the course. You’ll learn theories and practices demanded by the most prestigious employers. You’ll also discover essential skills such as CV writing and solo and group interview techniques. And you’ll be able to take part in our annual Employability Week. Here you’ll have a chance to hear from and network with people working in industry, including NBS alumni and people working at big financial firms such as KPMG and Deloitte.

Career destinations

  • Junior financial analyst
  • Banker
  • Consultant
  • Assistant portfolio manager
  • Investment specialist
  • Data analyst

Course related costs

Please see Additional Course Fees for details of additional course-related costs.

Course Modules 2020/1

Students must study the following modules for 180 credits:

Name Code Credits


This module will provide you with a thorough description and analysis of banking operations in the modern financial system. Firstly, the module introduces the importance of financial sector development, encompassing the economic growth process. You will investigate the role of central banks, as it relates to the operation of monetary policy mechanisms and commercial bank management. Secondly, you'll evaluate the structural characteristics of banking markets such as comparative banking systems, market structure and regulation, and examine the characteristics of selected banking markets around the world. You will examine the role of different types of financial systems and examines competition, costs and profitability, and explore the risk profile of the banking business and shows how banks are regulated at the domestic and international level. Finally, you will consider the influence of the US subprime crisis on global financial turmoil.




The dissertation element offers you the opportunity to develop independent research skills on the subject of your choice. it goes much beyond the taught modules in the Master's programme. it attempts to integrate the knowledge that you've acquired from the individual taught modules and take it forward by offering you the necessary skill set to probe a research problem in-depth and come out with contributions that are original in the business management literature.




This module will help you gain a solid understanding of the theoretical and practical challenges related to empirical research in Finance and equip you with the necessary skills for successfully completing your MSc dissertation. You will focus on the key econometric tools and techniques used by finance researchers and practitioners. Topics covered include, among others: Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) estimation and violations, univariate time series modelling and forecasting, multivariate time series models, unit root testing, cointegration, and volatility modelling. All topics are complemented by presentation and discussion of real-world applications in asset pricing, market efficiency, long-run relationships, volatility modelling, etc. Datasets from professional platforms (Thomson Reuters Datastream and Eikon) are used extensively throughout the module with the empirical analyses performed in Stata, a state-of-the-art statistical analysis software.




This module aims to develop your critical understanding and appreciation of key finance theories as they apply to financial management decisions and to understand the implications for practical problem solving. The topics you will cover include Corporate Investment Policy, Financing of Corporations, Payout Policy, and MandAs. This module is taken in conjunction with the module called 'Responsible Business'.




In this module you will study the comparative and international aspects of financial accounting and reporting which are becoming of greater importance with increasing globalisation. The first part of the module will set the scene and discuss reasons for international differences in financial accounting and reporting, and will review the progress that has been made towards the international harmonisation and standardisation of accounting. In the second part you will look at financial reporting by listed groups, compare and contrast the approaches and requirements of IFRS and US GAAP, and consider in more detail a number of important and controversial financial reporting topics. In the third part of the module you will examine more closely financial accounting and reporting in a number of key countries and companies. The final part of the module will conclude by investigating current and emerging issues and developments in international financial accounting and reporting.




In this module, you will study the advanced investment management theories, models and techniques that have been developed and used in research and by the financial industry. The module is structured in two parts. In the first part, you will deal with investment management practices. You will learn how wealth can be allocated optimally across various types of assets in order to meet different investor objectives. Emphasis will be placed on mainstream objective approaches, which assume market efficiency, as well as on possible extensions (e.g. incorporating investor's views). However, we shall also discuss arguments and evidence related to criticism of these approaches. Assets analysed will include basic traded stock and debt securities along with more complex asset classes (e.g. futures, options). In the second part of the module, you will discuss issues related to risk management. You will study the evolution of risk management and discover the lessons learned from the global financial crisis. Emphasis will be placed on the main types of financial risks which impact portfolio performance locally (e.g. market risk, credit risk) and globally (e.g. foreign exchange risk). The material taught will be aligned closely to the curriculum of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Program and the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI).




This module provides you with the knowledge required to understand issues in corporate governance. Exploring corporate governance developments in different countries will enable you to understand the importance of different institutional settings, the influence of legal, regulatory and political environments, and why differences in ownership structure have arisen and how this impacts on companies. Corporate governance is examined in detail together with topical issues including directors' remuneration, board diversity, and succession planning. You will also examine topical issues such as corporate restructuring, corporate social responsibility, and competition policy.




Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Further Reading

Entry Requirements

  • Degree Subject Accounting, Finance, Business, Economics, Management or a degree in a quantitative subject (such as Science or Engineering). NB: There is a numerical content in a range of modules on the course, students need a competent level of numeracy to complete the course.
  • Degree Classification 2:1 or above or the international equivalent.

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students whose first language is not English. To ensure such students benefit from postgraduate study, we require evidence of proficiency in English. Our usual entry requirements are as follows:

  • IELTS: 6.5 (minimum 5.5 in all components)
  • PTE (Pearson): 58 (minimum 42 in all components)

Test dates should be within two years of the course start date.

Other tests, including Cambridge English exams and the Trinity Integrated Skills in English are also accepted by the university. The full list of accepted tests can be found here: Accepted English Language Tests

INTO University of East Anglia

If you do not meet the academic requirements for this course, you may be able to study one of the International Graduate Diploma programmes offered by our partner INTO UEA. These programmes guarantee progression to selected master's degrees if students achieve the appropriate grade. For more details please click here:

International Graduate Diploma in Business

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be offering online Pre-sessional courses from June to September 2020. Further details can be found on the INTO UEA Online Pre-Sessional English webpage.

Fees and Funding

Tuition fees for the academic year 2020/21 are:

  • UK/EU Students: £10,500 (full time)
  • International Students: £18,500 (full time)


Living Expenses

We estimate living expenses at £1,015 per month.


Scholarships and Funding

A variety of Scholarships may be offered to UK/EU and International students. Scholarships are normally awarded to students on the basis of academic merit and are usually for the duration of the period of study.

Funding for postgraduate study is also available both from the university and from a number of external schemes.

Find out more about scholarships, funding and bursaries.

How to Apply

Applications for Postgraduate Taught programmes at the University of East Anglia should be made directly to the University.

To apply please use our online application form.

Further Information

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying please do contact us:

Postgraduate Admissions Office

 Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515


International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.

    Next Steps

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries: or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515