The University of Southampton
Southampton Business SchoolPostgraduate study

MSc Finance (1 year)

As well as covering key financial concepts, MSc Finance will develop your quantitative and analytical skills. The degree provides a mix of theoretical knowledge and practical techniques that will make you highly employable in the finance and banking sectors.

Introducing your degree

If your career ambitions are in the finance or banking sector, MSc Finance will equip you for success. This popular masters degree provides a comprehensive grounding in key areas of finance, such as stock market analysis, corporate finance and portfolio management.

MSc Finance also places a stronger emphasis on quantitative and analytical techniques than you’ll find on many other similar UK masters courses, enabling you to gain critical insights into the financial markets. You’ll be able to practise your skills using industry-standard software and live company data from our extensive range of databases.

In addition, you’ll be taught by academics with extensive professional and research experience, who will enable you to put your finance studies into a real-world context.


MSc Finance will be of interest whether you are looking to specialise following your undergraduate studies or progress in your current career. We welcome applicants who have undertaken some quantitative study or who have relevant professional experience.

Course structure and content

MSc Finance is a one-year, full-time course. During the first nine months you’ll take compulsory and optional modules; the final three months will be spent conducting independent research and writing up your dissertation.

The blend of compulsory modules will give you a comprehensive understanding of finance theory and practice.

 • In modules such as Quantitative Finance and Advanced Time Series Modelling, you’ll learn to use robust econometric techniques and analyse financial data using industry-standard statistical software.

 • On modules such as Advanced Corporate Finance and Introduction to Portfolio Management and Exchange Traded Derivatives, you’ll learn about current financial practice, for example how to manage risk, how to construct portfolios, how companies are valued, and how to make investment decisions.

You can personalise your learning by choosing optional modules that reflect your interests and career goals. These include Behavioural Finance, a module not frequently found on similar masters courses, which explores the way behavioural biases can affect financial decision-making in uncertain environments. The optional modules also cover topics such as derivative securities analysis, stock market analysis and financial risk management.

The dissertation is another opportunity to study an area of finance that interests you. With guidance from your supervisor you will choose a topic and undertake independent research. Our academics are all active researchers and are therefore well placed to help you identify and formulate a research idea. Once again, the dissertation combines theory with practice; as well as reading relevant academic papers, you’ll choose an appropriate analytical method and analyse real data in order to gain new insights.

Hands-on trading experience

Trading simulation workshops, led by experienced traders from London-based company Amplify Trading, offer another opportunity to develop your skills. The workshops offer the chance to make decisions on market prices in response to economic data and contemporary market trends, giving you a taste of the trading floor environment.

First-class data and software facilities

You’ll have access to an array of databases, such as Bloomberg, Datastream, WRDS and Bankscope, from which you can download real-time global financial data including bank ratings and financial statements, stock market indices, equities, foreign exchange and commodities information.

You will have the opportunity to analyse this data in our computer labs, using industry-standard software such as Stata (econometrics) and EViews (statistical forecasting and modelling), and advanced programming tools such as MATLAB.

Research-led learning

Our academics are active researchers with extensive professional experience; they will bring a mix of research expertise and real-world insights to your learning. For example:

• Before becoming an academic, Professor Frank McGroarty had a successful 13-year career in investment management in the City of London, managing funds worth several billion pounds. His research specialism is in electronic financial markets, and includes analysis of the foreign exchange, financial futures and online sports betting markets. He teaches the International Finance module.

Professor Taufiq Choudhry, who leads the Introduction to Finance module, is a specialist in stock market volatility and uncertainty; in a recent paper he investigated the relationship between stock market volatility and the business cycle in the US, Canada, Japan and the UK.

Dr Tapas Mishra is an econometrics specialist and has worked for leading national and international organisations and think-tanks including the United Nations, the Institute for Future Studies in Sweden and the Institute of Economic Growth in New Delhi, India. He leads the Advanced Time Series Modelling module.

View the programme specification document for this course

Key Facts

• Combines key areas of finance with a focus on quantitative and analytical techniques, giving you a comprehensive skills set that will be attractive to employers

• Our academics have a wealth of professional experience and are at the forefront of research in a range of finance-related areas, enabling them to bring real-world examples and the latest findings to the course

• You’ll have access to excellent resources including live financial databases such as Bloomberg, Datastream, WRDS and Bankscope, and professional software tools such as Stata, EViews and MATLAB

• Additional learning opportunities include trading floor simulation workshops and weekly seminars on current finance-related research

Thumbnail photo of Marius Baltz

“The University of Southampton has allowed me to develop an in-depth knowledge on a topic I am passionate about. I've had the opportunity to engage in a wide range of extra curricular activities and make life time friends from all over the world.”

Marius Baltz - MSc Finance

Programme Leader

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

Bachelors degree

2:1 classification UK bachelors degree or equivalent.

Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Acceptable subjects: A wide range of subjects accepted in Business, Economics, Science, Engineering, IT, Management and Marketing, Communication, Education, Political Science, and Sociology

Required module areas: Evidence of quantitative study eg accounting, economics, finance, maths, management sciences or engineering. Other subjects considered if quantitative ability demonstrated at A levels.

Excluded subjects: English translation, Art/Performing Art, Vocational Studies

Work experience in finance is not a requirement but can compensate for unrelated degree subject/grades.

Selection process

The University’s Admissions Policy, available at, applies equally to all programmes of study. These are the typical entry criteria to be used for selecting candidates for admission. The University’s approved equivalencies for the requirements listed will also be acceptable. The entry criteria for our programmes are reviewed annually by the Faculty. Those stated were correct as of July 2015. Applicants should refer to their specific offer conditions on their offer letter.

International applicants

If English is not your first language, you will need to demonstrate that you have reached a satisfactory standard in an approved English language test.

The following scores are accepted for direct entry:

  • IELTS 6.5 overall with 6.5 in reading and writing, 6.0 in listening and speaking

All tests must be no more than two years old at the time of enrolment.

For more information visit a list of equivalent English language tests that are also accepted.

If you do not quite meet our English language requirements for direct entry, you may be eligible to apply for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. Please visit the Centre for Language Studies website for further information.

Visit our International Office website or the NARIC website for further information on qualifications.

Recognition of prior learning (RPL)

If you have professional experience, or credit through prior learning at another institution, you may be eligible to use this experience against some of the programme requirements for period of study. You will need to present evidence that you have met the learning outcomes of the programme. Read the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning Policy.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


Typical course content

Students must choose ONE Option module totalling 15 CATS/7.5 ECTS in Semester 1.

Year 1

Semester One
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Semester Two

All Option modules are offered subject to availability and timetabling constraints.

MANG6095 Dissertation supervision starts in Semester 2 and should be submitted in September.


Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Core [?]
A core module is a module which must be taken and passed.
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Fees for postgraduate taught courses vary across the University. All fees are listed for UK, EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course name.

View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items (eg pens, pencils, notebooks, etc). Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However, due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
Printing and copyingIn most cases, written coursework such as essays, projects and dissertations are submitted online and by hard copy. The costs of printing a hard copy for submission of such coursework will be the responsibility of the student. The cost of photocopying will also be the responsibility of the student. For more information about University printing costs, visit
TravelSome modules may include optional visits. You will normally be expected to cover the cost of travel and admission, unless otherwise specified in the module profile.
OtherCandidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved models are Casio FX-570 and Casio FX-85GT Plus. These may be purchased from any source and no longer need to carry the University logo.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Career Opportunities

This degree will prepare you for a career in the banking, financial and insurance sectors. You could become a financial analyst, hedge fund manager, credit analyst, stockbroker or risk analyst in a major bank or financial institution. Or you could choose to work in financial market regulation, financial journalism, or academic or commercial research.

 Our graduates have gone on to work for organisations including:

 • PwC

• J.P. Morgan

• Barclays


Learning & Assessment

Study locations

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