BSc Banking and Finance

Overview

How does financial theory aid corporate decision making? How do banks manage risk across global markets?

The past 20 years have seen banks and financial markets become increasingly globalised. Deregulation and advances in technology have empowered banks to expand their offerings, making them an integral component of all financial sectors.

BSc Banking and Finance combines academic rigor with practical financial skills to meet the needs of demanding careers in banking and finance. You have access to real-world Bloomberg Market Data Feed (B-PIPE) information and analytics in our virtual trading floor, where you can practise trading and analysing financial data.

You explore topics including:

  • why banks exist and how they operate in the modern economy
  • current issues in modern banking
  • banking sector regulation
  • the global financial system
  • the role of the investor, analyst, academic and policy maker

Your first year ensures you experience a fully-rounded business education by introducing you to topics such as accounting, management, marketing and economics.

In your final year, you have the opportunity to put your knowledge into practice by completing an in-depth, independent research project or dissertation. This will give you the chance to further develop vital employability skills in areas of research, time management and critical thinking.

Essex is one of just three UK universities to have received Q-Step Affiliate status, including for our BSc Banking and Finance, to support the way we develop the quantitative skills of our graduates.

This means we can provide work placement bursaries to develop your skills in evaluating numerical evidence, analysing data and designing research. We also offer the opportunity to follow a specialised degree path, where you graduate with enhanced quantitative skills. These are evidenced on your degree transcript to help give you the competitive edge in the graduate job market.

BSc Banking and Finance is taught at Essex Business School. Our finance group is one of the largest in the UK and our focus on ethical management means you graduate with the ability to make sound, responsible financial decisions.

Our students and staff join us from all over the world, so you join an international business community.

Essex Business School is an Investment Management Certificate (IMC) Advantage Partner and this course is aligned to the IMC syllabus, the industry’s benchmark entry-level qualification.

The University of Essex is also a member of the CFA Institute University Affiliation Program, enabling us to award up-to six exceptional students each year with a scholarship that goes towards the fees for the CFA Program Level One exam, so you can start your journey of becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). Achieving this accolade is one way to enhance your CV if you’re interested in pursuing a career in investment management.

Study abroad

The four-year version of this course enables you to study abroad during your third year. In all other areas, this version of the course remains identical to the standard three-year variant.

You can study abroad with one of our exchange partners in the United States, Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Latin America, the Middle East, Hong Kong and Japan. In doing so, you experience other cultures and languages, meet new people, and gain intercultural skills that are sought-after by employers.

Placement year

Alternatively, you may choose to take on a placement year to gain relevant work experience within an external business.

The Essex Business School Placements Manager can offer bespoke support throughout the process of researching, applying and interviewing for placements. However, it is your responsibility to apply, prepare for and secure your own role. In recent years, our students have gained placements with organisations such as BMW, Samsung and Cummins.

Our expert staff

You’re taught by a group of highly qualified and enthusiastic academics and practitioners with diverse research interests. Their work has been discussed in the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve.

Our staff specialise in areas including:

  • bank risk and regulation
  • foreign bank ownership
  • finance of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)
  • bank mergers
  • acquisitions and financial econometrics

Professor of Banking and Finance, Claudia Girardone, leads the way in finance research as Director of the Essex Finance Centre (EFiC), our long-established and world-renowned teaching excellence and research centre in finance and banking.

Professor Girardone is also Director of Research for Essex Business School and leads on embedding EFiC group research in the curriculum. You will benefit from her application of banking sector performance indicators and corporate governance in our finance programmes.

Our academics embed the latest research into your course, so you learn about real-world issues affecting business right now.

Specialist facilities

Our BSc Banking and Finance is based at our Colchester Campus.

In our landmark Essex Business School building – the first zero carbon business school in the UK – you’ll see our sustainable approach to business first-hand. Set around a lush winter garden, are a wealth of inspiring teaching and study zones.

Our unique building provides you with superb facilities:

  • a virtual trading floor with Bloomberg Terminals offering direct use of Bloomberg data, information and analytics
  • access to X_TRADER, industry-leading software for trading multiple markets from a single screen
  • light and spacious lecture theatres with ‘listen again’ recording to aid your study
  • study pods and innovation booths for group working
  • a café and adjacent foyer to enjoy on-site fresh food and drink
  • study skills workshops and advice

Our business school is located on the University’s Knowledge Gateway, where you may be able to take advantage of networking and work experience opportunities with businesses located on site.

Your future

The dual disciplines of banking and finance mean that you will be well suited to sector specific roles in trading, analyst or wealth management as well as more generalist financial roles such as management consultancy or financial management.

The banking and financial services sector is highly competitive but it is also a huge employer of graduates and the skills you will gain in trading, data and portfolio analysis will make you an attractive prospect.

Many of our graduates go on to graduate finance training schemes or financial analyst roles straight after graduation as Essex Business School prepares you for the world of work from day one.

The BSc Banking and Finance curriculum taught here embeds transferable employability skills in analysis, critical thinking, presentation and communication across all modules.

The study skills module in year one will develop your academic skills, while the student success modules in year two will build on what you learned in year one so that you can easily step up to meet the growing academic demands of your second and final years. The Successful Futures module in year two will foster your professionalism and introduce you to the graduate recruitment process, including practical advice to excel at interviews and assessment centres.

Recent graduate destinations include:

  • Associate – Capital Management at Santander UK – the UK arm of the global retail and commercial bank
  • Investment Banking Analyst, Leveraged Finance at Credit Suisse – a leading financial services company
  • Associate at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – the financial markets regulator
  • Audit Associate at EY – a multinational professional services firm
  • Wealth Manager at Globaleye – a leading wealth management firm
  • Executive at PwC – a multinational professional services network
  • Treasury Analyst at Hiscox, a multinational business insurance and home insurance provider

The School will support you with a range of skills and careers opportunities, including: skills development workshops; employer talks; skills events and careers conferences.

BSc Banking and Finance students can also take advantage of the services offered by the Student Development Team, including: careers advice; work experience; internships; placements; and voluntary opportunities.


Why we’re great

  • Essex Business School’s Finance Group is one of the largest and most respected in the UK.
  • Q-Step Affiliate Status gives you the chance to follow a pathway in Applied Quantitative Methods.
  • We teach you to be accountable, act ethically and make financial decisions that positively impact both organisations and society.

Structure

Course structure

The course structure is designed to cover everything a future leader in the banking and financial industries may need to know.

In the first year our current students cover a broad range of business topics, as well as being introduced to banking and finance. However, we are planning some changes to our first year and we’ll be tailoring it more closely to your chosen course. After that your compulsory modules will cover topics such as corporate finance, portfolio analysis, international banking, financial markets and policy. You’ll also be able to pick from a variety of optional modules to further your understanding of your favourite banking and finance topics or to explore other areas of the business world.

We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of core/compulsory modules, and optional modules chosen from lists. ?Please be aware that we are planning changes to our first year to make it more relevant to your chosen course.

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The course content is therefore reviewed on an annual basis to ensure our courses remain up-to-date so modules listed are subject to change.

Teaching and learning disclaimer

Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.

The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently approved for 2022 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.

Placement

On a placement year you gain relevant work experience within an external business or organisation, giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market and providing you with key contacts within the industry. The rest of your course remains identical to the three-year degree.

Year abroad

On your year abroad, you have the opportunity to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised. The rest of your course remains identical to the three-year degree.

Teaching

  • Teaching includes a combination of lectures, seminars and computer-based lab sessions
  • Modules delivered by experts in the field as well as guest speakers
  • Contribute and interact in lectures through the use of smart technology
  • Lecture presentations and notes are uploaded online beforehand to help you prepare in advance
  • Complete your final-year project in consultation with a personal supervisor

Assessment

  • Assessed through traditional methods of end-of-year exams and multiple choice questions, in-class tests and essays
  • Plus more innovative and creative assessments include laboratory work, poster presentations, real-business case problems and group presentations
  • Your first year marks do not count towards your final degree

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