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Banking and Finance (MA/MSc)

Course Description

This course is also offered at the Bangor Business School - London Centre.

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 MA/MSc 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.

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.

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.

Financial Crises and Bank Regulation: This module examines why banks and financial markets are inherently vulnerable to crises, and analyses the role of policy makers and institutions. The roles of monetary policy, bank supervision and regulation, corporate governance and ratings agencies in mitigating or exacerbating crises are considered.

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 Institutions Strategic Management: This module examines the main theoretical and practical issues concerning banking business. You will develop a critical awareness of the theory of the banking firm, the motives for international banking, and regulatory and structural issues impacting on bank behaviour.

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/MSc) page on the Bangor University website for more details!

Student Profiles

125th Anniversary Scholarships - 20+ Awards

125th Anniversary Research Scholarships£5M investment for up to 125 research studentships and bursaries from Sept ‘09To celebrate our 125th anniversary, Bangor University is launching a five year programme of postgraduate expansion. This starts in 2009-10 when we will invest around £5M in up to 125 research studentships and bursaries, with further expansion and more opportunities to apply for in the future. The new Scholarships scheme offers opportunities to the very best students to work with our leading academics and rising stars across each of our six Colleges: Arts & Humanities
Business, Social Sciences & Law
Education and Lifelong Learning
Natural Sciences
Health & Behavioural Sciences
Physical & Applied SciencesThe majority of the Bangor 125th Anniversary Scholarships will be fully-funded studentships, covering all fees for three years plus an annual maintenance allowance. A number of research studentships will specifically be available for outstanding international students. In addition, there are a large number of Bursary awards worth £6,500 a year and a variety of targeted awards.For further information, and to register your interest at the earliest opportunity, follow the web link below.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Fully-funded research studentships + maintenance allowance


The new Scholarships scheme offers opportunities to the very best students to work with our leading academics and rising stars across each of our six Colleges.

Application Procedure

Initially, follow the web link below to register your interest. Further information will be sent directly.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Good undergraduate degree in relevant discipline, or equivalent professional experience

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