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This degree programme provides the opportunity to follow the prestigious CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) specialist pathway and acquire the skills to complete the CFA Level 1 examination (for both September-intake and January-intake students). Click here for more information.

Banking and financial services represents a highly competitive and rapidly changing sector in every modern economy. Changes in customer requirements, technology, competitive conditions and regulation create the need for managers, traders and analysts to make rapid and often far-reaching decisions about their short term operations and long term strategies. The MSc and MA in Banking and Finance degree courses at Bangor offer you a unique opportunity to study advanced theory and practice relating to financial services, and to develop an appreciation of the causes and significance of current developments in this vitally important and dynamic sector of the economy.

Issues you will tackle as part of your MSc or MA Banking and Finance degree programme include:

  • Why are the banking systems in different countries (such as the UK, Germany, Japan and the US) so diverse?
  • What determines the structure, performance and efficiency of banking and financial markets?
  • Why do banks and financial intermediaries exist?
  • What are the main theories of the banking firm?
  • How relevant are financial intermediaries in a world of increasing securitization and with the evolution of virtual banking?
  • How do banks optimally allocate capital?
  • Does bank regulation increase or decrease risks?
  • How do we measure the risks undertaken by banks?
  • Can regulators reduce the likelihood of systemic (system-wide) risk?
  • What are the relationships between risk and return governing investment in company shares and other derivative instruments?
  • Can market risk be priced accurately? Can credit risk be priced accurately?
  • How should institutional investors go about constructing a portfolio of assets to maximise returns on behalf of investors?
  • How can we assess the investment performance of pension funds, insurance companies and unit trusts?
  • How do banks use futures, options, derivatives and swaps to manage their balance sheet and off-balance sheet risks?
  • What are the key principles of international portfolio management in a world of fast and unpredictable movements in exchange rates?
  • How do banks manage their business so as to maintain customer relationships, improve operational efficiency and add shareholder value?

With these needs in mind, the MSc and MA Banking and Finance programmes at Bangor are designed to develop participants’ existing skills through a scheme of specialist advanced study. An important objective is to provide participants with relevant analytical training, so that they are familiar with the latest theoretical and practical developments relating to banking, finance and capital markets. These programmes provide a coherent theoretical framework for the various subject areas, but the emphasis throughout is on advanced practical application of financial techniques in a real-world setting.

The availability of parallel MSc and MA degrees in Banking and Finance allows you to choose between registering for a more technical MSc degree (including a compulsory element in Financial Econometrics), and a less technical MA degree (for which Financial Econometrics is optional). The MSc degree may be more suitable for applicants with some previous background in mathematics, statistics or econometrics, while the MA degree is more suitable for applicants who prefer to adopt a predominantly non-quantitative approach to their studies. However, both degrees include a compulsory module in Research Methods, which includes coverage of both quantitative and non-quantitative research techniques. Provided you are registered for the correct modules for your chosen degree, it is normally possible to transfer between the MSc and MA degrees during the first few weeks following your initialregistration.

ESRC Recognition

The MA Banking and Finance is recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as the first year of a 1+3 PhD training programme.

Course Structure

January intake: Taught modules are undertaken in the period of January to June and September to January and will involve the study of 120 credits. The dissertation (or equivalent) is valued at 60 credits and is undertaken during the period of June to September.

September intake: Taught modules are undertaken in the period of September to June and will involve the study of 120 credits. The dissertation (or equivalent) is valued at 60 credits and is undertaken during the period of June to September

Course content is for guidance purposes only and may be subject to change.

Course Content

Compulsory modules:

Research Methods: This module develops knowledge of intermediate and advanced research methods, and provides a basis in research methodology for those who may eventually wish to pursue research degrees. 

Bank Financial Management: This module provides a grounding in the nature, strategic context and managerial functions of financial management in banks, and other financial services firms.

International Financial Markets: This module provides an overview of financial instruments in a multi-currency world, taking account of insights from portfolio theory concerning the relationship between risk and return, the diversification of risk, and the pricing of assets.

International Banking: This module examines the origins of international banking, the activities of international banks, the markets in which they participate, and the sources of risk.

International Financial Management: In this module the financial management of multinational companies and the influence of macroeconomic, fiscal, currency and political environments on business and financial decision-making are examined in an international and global context.

Optional modules:

Islamic Finance: This course provides an insight into topical issues relating to Islamic financial instruments and related risk management issues.

Corporate Risk Management: This module provides an analysis of pure risk and its management.

Financial Analysis: This module analyses the techniques that are used to evaluate a company’s financial position and performance.

Investment Strategy and Portfolio Management: This module evaluates the development of investment strategies for bonds, equities and derivatives that are designed to achieve optimal risk-return outcomes, and examines the measurement and evaluation of the performance of a portfolio of investments.

Islamic Banking: This module provides an insight into the key features of Islamic banking business.


Visit the Banking and Finance - MA/PGDip page on the Bangor University website for more details!

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