The University of Southampton
Southampton Business SchoolPostgraduate study

MSc International Banking and Financial Studies (1 year)

With its distinctive combination of banking and finance modules, the MSc in International Banking and Financial Studies will prepare you for success in the global job market.

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Introducing your degree

A distinctive combination of banking and finance modules sets the MSc in International Banking and Financial Studies apart from other UK masters courses. The blend of subjects and wide choice of modules opens up a range of career paths without restricting you solely to either finance or banking – our graduates have gone on to work for leading organisations in both sectors. You’ll gain an in-depth understanding of the link between banking, finance and the economy from a global perspective, and apply your knowledge to real-world scenarios. You’ll also benefit from our academics’ direct involvement in research as well as their industry experience.


In the context of globalisation, banking crises and ongoing economic turbulence, the need for graduates with an understanding of the dynamic relationship between banking and finance at an international level has never been greater.

The MSc International Banking and Financial Studies degree offers a distinctive blend of finance and banking modules that will prepare you for a successful career without limiting you to a particular sector. Through case studies and exercises you’ll learn to apply your knowledge to real-world problems, enhancing your employability.

Unlike many other banking and finance master degrees, this MSc offers a historical perspective on international banking. This will inform your understanding of contemporary banking and financial issues and enhance your ability to predict future events.

View the programme specification document for this course.

Programme Structure

This one-year course is divided into two 15-week semesters, followed by a three-month period during which you will complete your dissertation.

In both semesters you’ll study compulsory modules as well as choosing from a range of optional modules. The compulsory modules will introduce you to corporate finance from a banking perspective, covering company financing, capital costs and security, as well as key concepts in investment appraisal, managing foreign exchange exposure and corporate governance. You’ll also study international banking in depth. The course covers the ‘micro’ aspects of banking, including financial institutions, instruments and techniques such as hedging, and also the ‘macro’ aspects – how banking is connected to and influenced by the economy.

Other compulsory modules cover financial risk management and the quantitative research skills that will be essential for your dissertation.

The choice of optional modules will enable you to tailor the course to suit your interests and career goals. For example, you could focus on:

  • banking and alternative financial systems in developing countries
  • behavioural biases and how they affect financial decision making
  • fixed income or derivative securities analysis

You’ll have the opportunity to learn widely used software packages such as Stata (econometrics) and EViews (statistical forecasting and modelling). You’ll also have access to advanced programming tools such as MATLAB.

Outstanding academics

You’ll learn about the latest global trends and findings thanks to our academics’ professional experience and research expertise. For example:

  • Professor Richard Werner is an expert in the Japanese banking sector; his book, Princes of Yen, was a bestseller in Japan and is widely used in the study of banking and finance. He coined the term ‘quantitative easing’ and is regularly asked to comment on global financial affairs in the media.
  • Dr Tapas Mishra is an outstanding econometrics researcher and an award-winning teacher in mathematical and econometric methods. Tapas 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.


Key Facts

A distinctive blend of banking and finance modules gives you a wide choice of career paths.

Taught by academics with a wealth of professional and research expertise. For example, Professor Richard Werner, an expert in the Japanese banking system, coined the phrase ‘quantitative easing’ and is regularly asked to comment on financial affairs in the media.

Graduates are employed by leading organisations including the International Monetary Fund, European Commission, Bank of England and Santander.

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

Bachelor's 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 e.g. 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 a related field can compensate for 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

All Core and Compulsory modules must be taken.

You should choose Option modules totalling 30CATS/15 ECTS, including at least ONE Option in Semester 1. All Option modules are offered subject to availability and timetabling constraints.


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

The breadth and flexibility of the MSc in International Banking and Financial Studies will prepare you for a career in:

  • global and national financial organisations, such as banks, investment banks, securities companies, asset management firms, insurance companies, financial advisory and consulting firms
  • international organisations, such as regional development banks
  • industry associations
  • accounting firms, management consultancies and other professions
  • think-tanks and government agencies

Graduates are now working for organisations such as the Bank of England, European Commission, International Monetary Fund and Santander. 

The course is also a solid foundation for more in-depth research at PhD level.

Learning & Assessment

Study locations

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