BSc Finance

Overview

Are you interested in how financial markets operate? Do you want to learn about financial decision making and investment? Would you like to join one of the UK’s largest and most respected finance groups, with some of Britain’s most satisfied students?

BSc Finance at Essex Business School course prepares you for a fast-paced career in any area of finance.

You have access to our virtual trading floor, where you can trade multiple markets from a single screen with industry leading software, X_TRADER. You can also use real-world Bloomberg Market Data Feed (B-PIPE), within minutes of it being released, so you can practise making business decisions in the same way you might in the workplace.

The course examines international financial markets, as well as how finance shapes leadership, strategy and planning within organisations.

Topics may include:

  • the pricing of securities in financial markets
  • risk management
  • corporate finance and financial decision making
  • business economics
  • quantitative methods
  • financial modelling
  • portfolio analysis

We use real-life examples to apply theory to practice and develop your capacity to analyse statistics. Ethics underpins all of our teaching, so you can graduate with the ability to make sound, responsible financial decisions for the benefit of organisations and their stakeholders.

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

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 gives you the chance to further develop vital employability skills in areas of research, project management and critical thinking.

BSc Finance also gives you the option to follow a specialised pathway in Applied Quantitative Methods (AQM).

With employers looking for graduates with data analysis skills, The University of Essex is one of just three UK universities to have received Q-Step Affiliate status. By completing necessary AQM modules, your quantitative skills are evidenced on your degree transcript to give you the competitive edge in the jobs market. We can also provide work placement bursaries to develop your skills in evaluating numerical evidence, analysing data and designing research.

Essex Business School, where this course is taught, is an IMC Advantage Partner. This course is aligned to the Investment Management Certificate (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

Like our study abroad option, our placement year variant also extends your degree by a year. You gain valuable business contacts and work experience that can make your CV stand out from the crowd.

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. 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 and we have one of the largest finance groups in the country.

Our staff all with wide-ranging research interests and proven academic track records. Their research informs your lectures and seminars, so you learn about the latest issues impacting the finance sector globally.

Our staff join us from all over the world and specialise in areas such as:

  • bank risk and regulation
  • foreign bank ownership
  • finance of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)
  • bank mergers
  • acquisitions and financial econometrics
  • growth and poverty; drivers of commodity prices.

Joining us from the Bank of England where he was a Senior Technical Advisor with special responsibility for coordinating research activities in Monetary Analysis, Professor Simon Price combines his academic and professional expertise to expertly inform his teaching on our Finance and Banking courses.

Professor Neil Kellard, Dean of Essex Business School and member of the Finance Group, studies the commodities markets and whether it is possible to model and forecast the price of commodities in order to predict global crises in food supplies, often considered the trigger for wider political conflict.

Specialist facilities

Our BSc 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 custom designed 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

Why we’re great

  • Essex Business School’s finance group is one of the largest and most respected in the UK
  • This course is aligned to the IMC syllabus, the industry’s benchmark entry-level qualification
  • You have access to our virtual trading floor

Structure

Course structure

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

In the first year our current students cover a broad range of business topics, as well as being introduced to accounting 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 risk management, financial markets, quantitative methods and portfolio analysis. You’ll also be able to pick from a variety of optional modules to further your understanding of your favourite 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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