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Course content

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 Global Investment Research Challenge, as well as 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
  • Corporate Finance
  • International Finance
  • Money and Banking

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, Corporate Governance, Corporate Reporting, Financial Risk Management, Market Microstructure and Technology, Innovation and Economic Growth.

Dissertation or Business Project

In the third term, you will complete a dissertation which could be undertaken as a consultancy project within an organisation or with one of our international partner institutions. 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; combine critical discrimination and a sense of proportion in evaluating evidence and the opinions of others.

Adding to your experience

International Opportunities

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, typically Switzerland. 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.

Guest Speakers

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.

Investment Club

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.

Trading Challenge

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.

Additional Resources

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.

Trading Room

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.


Visit the Finance (International Banking and Finance) - MSc page on the Durham University website for more details!

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