About the course
This innovative Banking and Finance MSc programme with professional placement provides you with postgraduate training and experience designed to develop your career in the banking and financial services sector. You will gain a thorough understanding of this field through practical and theoretical application, addressing financial economics, the economics of banking, international financial markets, quantitative methods as well as financial regulation both nationally and internationally.
Graduates of the Banking and Finance Masters at Brunel will be able to pursue a wide range of careers in financial institutions, banking regulatory organisations and investment banks. Internationally, graduates of this Banking and Finance course are attractive candidates for their domestic regulators, central banks and private sector banks. In addition, many graduates will follow other career paths in the financial services sector and could undertake doctoral research.
You will be provided with a good balance between the four pillars of the programme:
- Theories and debates about banking and financial regulation.
- Broader financial theories and related issues.
- Quantitative methodologies which are critical for economic and financial analysis.
- Successful completion of a dissertation in this field.
On completion of this Banking and Finance postgraduate degree course:
- You will be able to effectively manage a range of issues within banking and finance, such as recent banking regulations and successfully deal with matters arising in private banking.
- You will develop the art of thinking through economic problems within structured frameworks and the course will encourage you to critically evaluate and deliver strategic solutions.
The MSc consists of both compulsory and optional modules, a typical selection can be found below. Modules can vary from year to year, but these offer a good idea of what we teach.
Quantitative Methods for Finance and Economics: This module is essential in understanding the empirical content of the Banking and Finance MSc programme and provides the necessary tools to undertake the dissertation. The aim of the module is to enable students: to conduct their own empirical investigations of a range of financial and accounting relationships, to impart the knowledge necessary to understand empirical analysis in academic related journals, and to provide a basic foundation in the theory and practice of econometric modelling as applied in finance and accounting.
International Finance: While a large part of Banking and Finance, in theory and practice, can be treated as a mainly domestic exercise, an increasing number of areas that apply to a multi-country setting exist. This module aims to i) equip students with knowledge necessary to work in an international, multi-currency professional environment and ii) provide students with knowledge on whose basis future academic research and doctoral studies in the area of international finance can be pursued.
Global Financial Markets: The aim of this module is to provide an understanding of both the key areas of development finance (the finance-growth relationship) and selected aspects of the applied economics of modern financial institutions. The topics covered include financial development and economic growth. Special attention is given to the topics of financial crises and the role of regulation.
Banking: You will explore the nature of banking as well as links between financial intermediaries, risks and the broader economy. The module seeks to conceptualise the economic function of banks and also show how banks are subject to important risks, which necessitate both a complex system of regulation and sophisticated risk management by the bank itself.
Bank Regulation and Macro-Prudential Policy: This module aims to develop a sound understanding of the nature of the market failures in banking that require regulatory responses, and the potential problems with regulation. The module aims to develop a sound knowledge of the role of bank regulation in ensuring financial stability in the international economy, especially in periods of crisis. The module also aims to develop a framework for understanding the nature and use of the wide range of other tools used in macro-prudential regulation.
Banking and Finance Workshops: This module will provide the opportunity for master's students to demonstrate a sound knowledge of the operation of financial institutions and their regulators and the theory underpinning macro prudential policy. It will also identify how theory and applications are linked in practice and be able to relate this to the techniques used to model financial institutions and their regulators decisions. It will further address the methods that arise in other modules being applied to different types of data from different countries, and provide an understanding as to how they are used. Assessment includes a Powerpoint presentation that adds to the student’s marketable skill set. Furthermore the speakers often provide insight into working in the field of finance and possible employment opportunities.
Dissertation: A 60-credit dissertation is mandatory for all students who graduate on this MSc Banking and Finance programme. Students are invited to select a research question which they investigate under supervision by an academic. Data support is provided by the department, including Bloomberg and Bankscope. Dissertations raise the employability of students by allowing them to choose research questions that are specific to their job market requirements.
Foundations of Finance: The main aims of this MSc module are for students to establish an understanding of various financial instruments, markets and concepts which are necessary when conducting the corporate investment decision.
Security Analysis and Funds Management: The aims of this module are to:
- Provide an overview of securities traded in fixed income, stock and derivative markets and their characteristics along with the stylised facts of financial markets.
- Introduce classical models used for portfolio selection and risk management.
Financial Analysis: This module emphasises the importance of book values and earnings in deriving the intrinsic value of a firm and to analyse empirically their informative role over explaining future cash flows, earnings and returns. The module also provides an overview of the relation between accounting-based equity models, excess volatility and efficiency in securities markets. Additionally, the module examines the fundamental and behavioural explanations for excess volatility and abnormal returns in financial markets.
Business Finance: This module aims to provide students with an understanding of the financing decisions and policies of modern corporations.
- Essentials of Mathematics and Statistics
- Quantitative Methods for Finance and Economics
- Bank Regulation and Macro-Prudential Policy
- Global Financial Markets
- International Finance
- Banking and Finance Workshops
Students must choose two optional modules from the following:
- Foundations of Finance
- Security Analysis and Funds Management
- Financial Analysis
- Business Finance
The dissertation must be submitted in the spring term of the third year.
Read more about the structure of postgraduate degrees at Brunel
and what you will learn on the course.
The course is one of four specialist master's programmes developed by leading experts in the Economics and Finance Department at Brunel. As a postgraduate student here you will be part of a long standing and thriving environment for research and study with many advantages and benefits such as:
Outstanding academic expertise and research-led teaching
- 95% of our academics are nationally and internationally recognised for their work in economics and econometrics in the latest Research Assessment Exercise (2008).
- As a result, you will benefit from up-to-the-minute research-led teaching by academic staff who regularly publish in international peer-reviewed journals, have an impact on international regulatory design and obtain significant research grants.
Professional training facilities
- As a Banking and Finance Master's student, you will have access to a variety of professional databases used in business and the finance industry which include Datastream, Bloomberg, Bank Scope, Osiris, Reuters 3000 Xtra and Thomson One Banker.
- We hold regular training sessions and external visits with Bloomberg, which will enhance your research and expose you to real-world factors that will be important in future banking related employment.
Brunel offers a number of scholarships for UK, EU and international students.
Excellent links with leading organisations
- We have excellent links with business and the finance industry, which will help you to network with organisations and get ahead in your career.
Industry talks, guest lectures and research seminars
- A number of industry talks with professionals from the private sector will be invited to teach part of the Banking and Finance programme and will provide you with further practical experience.
- There is a wide range of events on offer, such as guest lectures and research seminars to keep you up-to-date on the latest developments and help you build your contacts.
Facts and Figures
We are one of the best Economics and Finance Departments in the UK to provide research-active teaching and our research is focused in the following four research centres:
Brunel Macroeconomic Research Centre (BMRC) – We are a group of experienced macroeconomists that focus on research in monetary policy, unemployment and the labour market, and financial development and growth.
Centre for Economic Development Institutions (CEDI) – CEDI’s activities cover the emerging research field of economic development and institutions, incorporating development economics, comparative economics and transition economics.
Centre for Empirical Finance (CEF) – The main research areas covered within this centre are financial econometrics, risk modelling, micro finance, international finance and computational finance.
Centre for Accounting and Corporate Governance (CACG) – CACG’s research focus includes: What is the process of governance failure? How should it be defined and how can it be predicted? How does governance impact on managers' incentives? How is governance affected by cultural norms and how does governance affect financial markets?
Teaching and Assessment
The modules on the Banking and Finance postgraduate programme incorporate a diverse range of teaching methods which reflect the module learning outcomes and the demands of the subject material.
Effective learning is achieved through a combination of lectures, seminars, directed independent study, workshops, oral presentations, and varied assessment patterns.
Use of appropriate IT resources is expected (e.g. electronic resources to access data, and relevant software programmes used in research methods).
Dissertation research will give you the opportunity to integrate your knowledge of important themes, frameworks and research findings in banking and finance obtained via lectures, seminars, and workshops.
Students who successfully complete a professional placement will be invited to attend a tutorial day to give a presentation about their experience. An optional reflective journal during the placement may assist in preparation for the presentation and dissertation.
All modules of this master's degree course are assessed by a combination of coursework and final examinations. Students who successfully complete the taught part of the course can proceed to the dissertation stage. MSc students who do not complete a placement are expected to work on their dissertation in the summer and to submit the final draft in mid-September.
Students who do complete a placement will work on their dissertation from September and submit in January.
A 12-15 week placement in firms within sectors such as corporate finance, asset management, insurance, trade associations and financial media can significantly improve your job prospects upon graduating. Not only will this give you the opportunity to apply what you learn in lectures, you'll gain insight into current matters in the sector. You'll also develop your professional skills, like teamwork, communication and problem-solving, which will make you a more rounded, employable candidate when it comes to securing a job.
The Department of Economics and Finance is proud to be celebrating 20 years of taught postgraduate education in finance. Former students from our MSc programmes are now themselves teaching in the Australian Business School, EdHec Business School, Nice, Glasgow University and Oslo Business School. Other MSc students hold senior positions in financial institutions including the Bank of Cyprus, HSBC in Istanbul, Standard Life in the UK and TD Bank Financial Group in Canada.
Many of our Banking and Finance MSc graduates also hold positions as government economists including the Bank of England and HM Treasury. The MSc in Banking and Finance is designed to expand our portfolio and address newly emerging demands in the following areas:
- Deregulation and the increased investment demand for safe as well as risky assets has increased competition between financial institutions and also transformed the role of traditional banking. There is a demand for postgraduates who are familiar with the new environment.
- Aligning incentives, reducing risk and ensuring consistency across hugely diverse locations and operations requires appropriate regulation and control. There is a demand for graduates who can analyse such trends at a bank level.
- Banking regulatory bodies in the UK and abroad are trying to establish a reliable and up-to-date system which will promote transparency and equality among the participants of financial markets and ensure stability of the financial system. There is increasing demand for graduates with knowledge on the latest regulatory debates.
- The master's programme aims to introduce the students not only to the economics of banking and finance but more importantly to establish the links between the changing nature of financial markets, institutions and investors’ decisions. Our graduates are thus highly employable in the non-banking sector.
Graduate School workshops
In addition to the department’s events and training sessions, you will have the opportunity to undertake workshops and skills training provided by the university’s Graduate School, for example:
- CV Writing for Master's Students
- CV Writing Drop-in Clinic for Master's Students
- How to Succeed in Assessment Centres (Master's Students)
- Interview Techniques for Master's Students
- Transferrable Skills for Master's Students
For further information visit the Graduate School.
This course offers students advanced training in banking and finance so as to pursue a range of exciting careers in the City, government, or an academic career via a PhD. More specifically, graduates would be able to pursue a wide range of careers in financial institutions that hire economists to analyse economic and financial trends, banking regulatory organisations like the FSA, or in leading investment banks like Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley.
Internationally, our postgraduates would become attractive candidates for their domestic regulators and private sector banks. In addition, many graduates will follow other career paths including financial services, and doctoral research. Since their training would include exposure to both financial economics and the economics of banking, they would be able to proceed to our doctoral programmes in both economics and finance.
About the Professional Practice Placement
All students who enrol on the full-time Banking and Finance MSc will have the opportunity to complete a placement. A placement can significantly improve your employability and expose you to real-world situations in the Banking and Finance industry, and importantly, allow you to network with industry professionals.
Students completing the work placement option will have a competitive edge in pursuing careers as high-level analysts, economists and managers in financial institutions, governments, financial regulators, business companies and central banks, as well as international organisations.
The placement option is available to full-time applicants and will last for 12-15 weeks during the summer of your course. Placements will begin at the earliest in the last week of May and will finish by 19th September 2017. Some employers may also provide a salary.
For students who complete the placement, their dissertation will be completed after the placement has finished and submit by 19th January 2018. Students who do not find a placement will do their dissertation throughout the summer and submit in September.
Securing a Placement
Students will initially enrol onto the full-time route and will only transfer to the placement route when an offer for a placement has been made. The placement will be dependent on students finding and obtaining a placement through Brunel’s Professional Development Centre. The PDC will help students prepare for the placement in the MSc Preplacement Module, by advising on writing applications, CVs, cover letters, interview training and assessment centre training.
Students who do not find a placement will do their dissertation throughout the summer and submit in September.
If you will hold a Tier 4 visa to study at Brunel, there will be no need to extend it, as normally Tier 4 visas to study an MSc in the UK expire in January in any case. If you are unsure, apply for a visa that covers the whole length of the course you intend to do.
During the Placement
As well as supervision from your employer, you will also have support from a Work Placement Tutor from Brunel. Your Work Placement Tutor will be there to support you throughout your placement via email, telephone and will make a visit to your placement before the end date.
After the Placement
Students who complete the placement will attend a Tutorial Day in September and will prepare a compulsory presentation. More details will be available closer to the time. After the Tutorial Day, students will write their dissertations and submit this in January.
At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.
» More about Employability
Fees for 2016/17 entry
£13,500 full-time; £6,750 part-time
£17,200 full-time; £8,600 part-time
Placement: Additional £1,000
Funding opportunities available to postgraduate students
UK/EU students can opt to pay in six equal monthly instalments: the first instalment is payable on enrolment and the remaining five by Direct Debit or credit/debit card.
Overseas students can opt to pay in two instalments: 60% on enrolment, and 40% in January for students who commence their course in September (or the remaining 40% in March for selected courses that start in January).
Entry Criteria 2016/17
- A UK First or 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent internationall recognised qualification) in Economics,Finance, Banking, Accounting, Mathematical or scientific subject areas with evidence of some study of corporate finance, international finance & securities, banking or economics.
- Applicants with a 2:1 in business subjects should demonstrate exposure to corporate finance/financial engineering/securities analysis and mathematics/statistics.
- Applicants with 2:2 degree in the specified subject area will be considered on an individual basis provided they achieved high grades in core subjects. e.g. maths/stats/econometrics/finance.
- Applicants with relevant professional qualifications will be dealt with on an individual basis.
- Applicants with a 2:1 not in the specified subject area but with relevant experience will be considered on an individual basis.
Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.
International and EU Entry Requirements
If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions
This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.
English Language Requirements
- IELTS: 6.5 (min 6 in all areas)
- Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
- BrunELT: 65% (min 60% in all areas)
Brunel University London strongly recommends that if you will require a Tier 4 visa, you sit your IELTS test at a test centre that has been approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as being a provider of a Secure English Language Test (SELT). Not all test centres have this status. The University can accept IELTS (with the required scores) taken at any official test centre or other English Language qualifications we accept as meeting our main award entry requirements.
However, if you wish to undertake a Pre-sessional English course to further improve your English prior to the start of your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider. This is because you will only be able to apply for a Tier 4 student visa to undertake a Pre-sessional English course if you hold a SELT from a UKVI approved test centre. Find out more information about it.
Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accepts a range of other language courses. We also have Pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.
Our International Pathways and Language Centre offers a number of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course.