MSc/Postgraduate Diploma/Postgraduate Certificate Finance

Entry year
Course code
Bristol Business School
One year full-time
Full-time, starts January
Programme leader
Dr Vasco Vendrame

This course is open for applications.

Page last updated 4 August 2020


With access to the industry-standard Bloomberg trading system our MSc in Finance gives you a head start in establishing a successful career in finance.

Accreditations and partnerships:

If you are seeking to move into a career in finance, our MSc in Finance will give you the practical and academically-rigorous grounding you need. Covering everything from financial market frameworks and concepts, through to strategic decision making and risk management, you will gain a realistic insight into current practice in the finance and investment world, and be expertly equipped with a toolbox of financial techniques you can apply in your work from day one.

The course is open to anyone with an interest in finance, but doesn't require you to have studied the subject at undergraduate level.

Industry links and facilities

As part of Bristol Business School, you will get to hear from inspiring speakers from the financial world, and have access to our state-of-the-art trading room, built around the Bloomberg Professional system, the main financial data platform used in many investment firms and banks.

Watch: The learning and teaching experience



The optional modules listed are those that are most likely to be available, but they may be subject to change. 

The Postgraduate Certificate is made up of three or four of the seven compulsory modules detailed below.

Compulsory modules:

  • Fundamentals of Finance equips you with the principal functions of financial management and develops knowledge and skills required by finance managers in relation to financing, investment and controlling decisions.
  • Financial Instruments provides you with an overview of the valuation of competing financial instruments and an introduction to how they might be combined in portfolios.
  • Financial Statement Analysis provides you with the tools for analysing individual companies from a financial viewpoint, within the context of their industry and the wider macroeconomic environment.
  • Fund Management equips you with the necessary tools and fundamental techniques in modern finance theory and their application to fund management.
  • Risk Management provides you with the knowledge, understanding and critical awareness of recent techniques and issues in risk management.
  • Corporate Financial Strategy provides you with a range of strategic tools and approaches to problems and opportunities in the real-world corporate finance arena.
  • Quantitative Research Methods provides you with the research training sufficient to produce a quality quantitative finance dissertation.

The Postgraduate Diploma is made up of the remaining compulsory modules and one additional optional module, allowing you to specialise in areas relevant to your chosen career path.

Optional modules:

  • Advanced Corporate Reporting
  • Financial Engineering
  • Principles of Financial Intermediation
  • Financial Investments in Practice.



In addition to these modules, your dissertation gives you the chance to research an area of finance of particular interest to you and of relevance to your career or company. Previous dissertation topics include:

  • An Empirical Analysis of the Determinants of US Equity Returns
  • Company Analysis and Valuation
  • The Determinants of Operational Risk: An Empirical Investigation of UK Financial Institutions.

This structure is for full-time students only. Part-time students study the same modules but the delivery pattern will be different. 

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved we will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

The course is taught through formal classes and seminar sessions, as well as through group work and independent study. The work will include assignments, exercises, case studies and presentations, with an emphasis on independent learning to develop your problem solving skills.

Our fully established trading room, with access to the Bloomberg Professional trading room, will enhance your understanding of the operations of financial markets by providing real-time data used for pricing purposes. It is also used in a number of modules to develop your analytical and decision-making skills.

See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Study time

The course involves 12-15 hours of teaching a week, with independent study required outside of that. We recommend students spend approximately five to six days a week on their studies to gain maximum benefit from the course.

Dedicated support

We operate an 'open door' policy, so you will have regular access to your tutors to discuss any aspects of the course. We can also offer you careers advice specific to the financial sector, drawing on our links with financial organisations.


Assessments will be a mix of assignments, supervised mini-projects, role playing exercises, group work, simulations, presentations and examinations.

See our full glossary of assessment terms.


Professional accreditation

This course is accredited by the Global Association of Risk Professionals and the CFA institute.

Our MSc Finance course has been acknowledged as incorporating at least 70% of the CFA Programme Candidate Body of Knowledge (CBOK) and also highlights the ethical dimension of investment with particular reference to the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. Acceptance into the CFA Institute University Affiliation Programme indicates that the course positions students well to sit for the CFA exams and indicates to potential employers that the MSc Finance curriculum is well aligned with professional practice.

Study facilities

In our new £55m Bristol Business School, you'll have access to cutting-edge learning spaces.

You will have access to our trading room built around the Bloomberg Professional system. This state-of-the-art financial platform is the same used by the main investment banks and provides a commanding view of global financial data and news. As well as using the platform in several modules, you can choose to study for a Certificate in it, to enhance your prospects further.

You will also have access to all the other facilities at the Bristol Business School, including our postgraduate study rooms.

Learn more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.

Meet leaders of industry

As a student at Bristol Business School, you will have the opportunity to hear about the challenges, issues and decisions being made at the highest level of strategic leadership. Our inspirational line up of speakers has included Stephen Varley, Chairman and Regional Managing Partner UK and Ireland, Ernst and Young, who spoke on leadership in the financial services sector.

Through our links with professionals, we have also hosted speakers such as Charles Stanley's Chief Economist, Jeremy Batstone-Carr, as well as running careers events with professionals from the regional banks and investment firms.

Find out more about The Bristol Distinguished Address Series.


Careers / Further study

When you understand corporate finance and the world's financial markets, you are on the road to a successful, challenging and high-flying career.

This course will equip you, not only with a sound knowledge of financial theories and methods, but with a detailed understanding of the latest financial issues and developments and how these affect the financial world today. You will gain the technical, communication, compliance and client-facing skills you need to get started in the industry, in whichever area of finance you decide to move into.

Those with qualifications in finance are in demand for positions in areas such as investment banking, corporate banking, fund management, corporate finance, risk management, consultancy, and as independent financial assistants or analysts.

You will have access to careers support while you are studying with us (and for three years after you graduate) through the University's careers service.


Supplementary fee information

See our funding pages for more information.


Entry requirements

You will need:

  • an honours degree of 2:2 or above in a business, business-related or quantitative discipline. If your degree is not in business or a quantitative subject but you do have quantitative skills (for example A level Maths grade A* to C) please contact the course leader to discuss your suitability for the course.

Or if you do not hold a first degree:

  • To have completed parts 1 and 2 of the ACCA syllabus, or the SII diploma, plus two years relevant work experience, or
  • A minimum of two years relevant work experience and to take a written test before being accepted.

UWE Bristol's International College
International students who do not meet the academic or English language requirements to study this course can qualify by completing preparatory study at our International College.

English language support

If you meet the academic requirements but require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may be able to attend one of our pre-sessional English courses. Students who successfully complete the pre-sessional course can progress onto their chosen degree course without retaking an IELTS or equivalent.

Read more about our Pre-Sessional English Programme.

English Language Requirement

If English is not your first language, you will be required to meet the UK Border Agency and Universities minimum English Language requirements such as the International English Language Test (IELTS) overall score of 6.5 with 5.5 in each component.

Further details of our English Language requirements.

How to apply

The deadline for applying for this course is three weeks before the start date.

Read more about postgraduate applications.

For further information