M.Sc. MSc Degrees in Economics and Finance (7 routes)

Durham University Business School, Durham University

Application deadline: May
Tuition fee: Not specified
Start date: September  2015
Duration full-time: 12 months
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Full-time

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Our MSc Finance programmes are widely acknowledged as being among the strongest in the UK. These one-year, full-time postgraduate degrees are designed to help you acquire a strong foundation of knowledge and to develop the analytical skills necessary for a career in the financial sector.

Our reputation is enhanced by first class teaching faculty and cutting-edge research of international standing, ensuring you are kept abreast of the latest thinking in finance.

We currently offer the following MSc degrees:

* Accounting and Finance
* Corporate and International Finance
* Economics and Finance
* Finance
* Finance and Investment
* International Banking and Finance
* International Money, Finance and Investment.

A Durham Business School masters degree will help you gain a competitive edge in an over-crowded job market. If you are a recent graduate it will help you develop skills and knowledge directly relevant to your employers' needs. For those already in a career it will build on existing experience to help give your career a boost, or provide you with a platform for career change.


The MSc degrees consist of nine taught modules and a dissertation. The table below sets out which modules are compulsory and which are optional for each degree route.

If you are intending to pursue the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) professional qualification, you will be interested to know that all our MSc programmes have partnership status with the CFA Institute and cover more than 70 per cent of the curriculum of all three levels of the CFA Programme.


Every programme has its own core and elective modules.

Advanced Financial Theory
Advanced financial theory provides a rigorous grounding in the theory of modern finance at an advanced level and a thorough synthesis of the most important current research in finance, with an emphasis on the applications of the principles. Both normative and positive aspects of financial theory are examined, together with supporting descriptive and empirical evidence.

Advanced Macroeconomics
This module examines economics at the macro level: topics may include overlapping generations and intergenerational government policy; continuous-time growth models´ government debt policy; endogenous growth and optimal growth policy and equilibrium business cycles and business cycle policy.

Advanced Microeconomics
Looks at economics at the micro level: game theory - both static and dynamic; auction theory; heterogeneity and aggregation; expected utility theory and choice under certainty.

Behavioural Finance
Designed to enable a critical approach on financial decision-making and how this is affected by human psychology. It will help you evaluate behavioural and market based evidence, and understand the implications of behavioural finance on financial theory and practice.

Corporate Finance
Aims to give you advanced knowledge and critical understanding of the essential components of modern corporate finance including ownership structure and governance; capital structure and dividend decisions; and mergers, acquisitions and restructuring; and company valuation. Emphasis is on the applications of the principles and the relevance of theory to practice.

Corporate Governance
This module investigates corporate governance mechanisms that serve to promote transparency, responsibility and accountability in organisations. The objective is to develop your skills in the analysis of systems of corporate governance at the level of both individual organisations and economic systems. Particular attention will be paid to the reasons for, and the impact of, differences in systems of corporate governance at international level.

Corporate Reporting
Corporate reporting is of unique importance for the evaluation of investments as well as for the transparency and accountability of corporate governance systems. The module covers techniques of financial statement analysis, the use of corporate reporting information for business analysis as well as corporate governance and the reasons for, and the impact of, international differences in corporate reporting.

Derivative Markets
This module examines the main derivative financial instruments, their uses and differences. Consideration is given to the main key roles of such instruments as arbitrage, speculation and hedging and the complexities and interactions inherent in these roles.

Econometrics I
Econometrics I introduces key econometric principles and methods. The module looks at how to apply, and interpret the results of, these methods as a means of investigating economic and financial issues.

Econometrics II
Seeks to extend and deepen knowledge and develop critical judgement gained in Econometrics I, and introduces the principles and methods of modern financial econometrics and time series forecasting.

Environmental Economics and Policy
This modules aims to develop advanced knowledge and critical understanding of the contribution of economic analysis to the solution of complex environmental problems; the role of free markets and/or government intervention; and an understanding of current political strategies for the protection of the environment from an economic standpoint.

Financial Management
This module aims to develop the financial tools of business management, emphasising issues of long-term financial decision-making. It provides you with the ability to critically evaluate the information needs of management for control and decision-making purposes. It also provides you with a critical understanding of the use of management accounting information and appreciation of the limitations of such information.

Financial Modelling and Business Forecasting
Econometrics plays a central role in financial analysis in academic, governmental and financial institutions. This module emphasises both the understanding of theoretical econometrics and the ability to apply it to financial data series. After developing a thorough understanding of multiple regression analysis, you progress to more specialised topics such as univariate modfels, unit root tests, cointegration, volatility models and forecasting.

Financial Risk Management
This module investigates the means by which risk can be managed, primarily through the use of financial derivatives. It discusses various techniques and the problems inherent in using such instruments.

Financial Planning and Control
This module aims to develop your understanding of the financial control processes through the study of cost behaviour, budgeting, resource allocation and capacity planning, activity based costing systems and management, financial measures of performance, the balance scorecard, and incentive measures and performance.

Financial Statement Analysis
To develop your critical awareness of how firms create value, this module analyses balance sheets, income and cash flow statements; fundamental valuation models and analysis techniques; profitability, growth and sustainable earnings; forecasting, valuation and business strategy; and corporate risks.

International Economics
Looks to develop skills in analysing issues in international economics such as new trade theory, strategic trade policy, political economy of trade policy, and international fiscal policy.

International Finance
Addresses the theory and application of international finance, including exchange rate theory, models of exchange rate determination and the efficiency of international financial markets, together with a thorough analysis of the most important current research in the theory of risk sharing across international financial markets.

International Financial Asset Management
Examines key theoretical and empirical issues in international financial asset management including international diversification and asset pricing.

International Financial Reporting
To develop an advanced understanding of the international context of financial reporting, this modules looks at the underlying concepts and principles, income measurement, capital maintenance, the quality of accounting information, the regulatory framework and current issues.

Market Microstructure
This module investigates the principles and practices of the workings of stock exchanges, regulations and structures, and the implications of these for trading. It also analyses the role of information, market liquidity and trading costs to major players in financial markets.

Mergers and Acquisitions
This module explores perspectives on mergers and acquisition through target valuation, leveraged buyouts, value creation, organisation, bid strategies and takeover defences.

Monetary Economics
Monetary economics considers the money supply process; central banks´ goals and instruments targets; monetary policy and the inflation bias; money as a medium of exchange; and money as a store of value.

Money and Banking
Introduces money and banks (microfoundations) and the implications for allocative efficiency and regulation whilst looking at the complex roles of asymmetric information, signalling, adverse selection, risk aversion, agency and moral hazard in banking activities.

Multinational Finance
This module aims to provide an up to date and advanced understanding of the issues that confront the financial management of multinational companies. It also analyses the complexities and contradictions of the current academic literature in the field of financial management of multinational corporations.

Portfolio Management
Aims to build highly specialist and advanced technical, professional and academic skills in asset allocation and portfolio composition and management.

Public Economics
The module covers theoretical and practical issues in taxation and public expenditure through the study of both the positive and normative theory of government policy.

Quantitative Research Methods
To develop a specialist knowledge of key statistical and econometric principles and methods for economics accounting and finance research, this module looks at probability distributions, simple and multivariate regression analysis, hypothesis testing (parametric and non-parametric) and further topics in regression analysis (diagnostic tests).

Research Methods
Whilst a stand alone module, this has been designed to provide the necessary training to undertake advanced level research and provides a solid foundation for undertaking the dissertation. It focuses on the nature of research in finance and the social sciences in general, examining the study skills necessary to manage and undertake a research project.

Security Analysis
The primary objectives of this module are to develop your knowledge and understanding of key issues in security investment analysis at an advanced level, and to provide you with the opportunities to become familiar with recent research in the field of financial investments.

Theory of Finance
This module aims to give you a rigorous grounding in the theory of modern finance at an advanced level and a thorough synthesis of the most important current research in finance. Emphasis is on the application of principles and the relevance of theory to practice of financial management, including capital budgeting and investment decisions under conditions of uncertainty, portfolio choice, financial asset pricing and company valuation.


The MSc programme culminates in a 9,000 word dissertation which provides an opportunity for you to investigate in greater detail a subject that you have already studied as part of your MSc programme. The work will enable you to exercise critical judgement and illustrate how economic analysis has relevance to financial decision taking.

You will be expected to deal with your chosen topic in a competent and scholarly manner, and to display critical discrimination and a sense of proportion in evaluating evidence and the opinions of others.

The dissertation is a stimulating and challenging part of the MSc programme and a major piece of independent work.

International Opportunities

You may have the opportunity to enhance your study experience by participating in an International Study Tour to a European destination, such as Geneva, which takes place at the beginning of the Easter vacation in March/April each year. This opportunity is not mandatory to your course, and is, therefore, self-funded.

It may also be possible for the School to facilitate a link between yourself and one of our international partner institutions should you wish to carry out research or a business project at a specific international location during your dissertation period. You would need to know the theme of your research and the location, and discuss this with your Programme Director/Dissertation Supervisor first.


The masters programmes are intended for new and recent graduates. You do not require any previous training in finance, but will usually have a background in a related academic discipline or relevant work experience. Relevant work experience is also considered. However, to study the MSc Economics and Finance, your first degree should have a substantial economics content. Finance professionals can use this degree to gain a broader view of financial markets and institutions than they may normally be exposed to and thus further their career development.

Normal entry requirements for an MSc programme are:

* Evidence of competence in written and spoken English if your first language is not English.
* The minimum TOEFL requirement is 92 IBT (no element under 22) or 600 PBT with a TWE of 4.5.
* We ask for an IELTS score of 6.5 overall with no element under 6.0.
* Other relevant language experience may be acceptable instead. e.g. taking a degree where English was the medium of instruction for a minimum of 12 months.

English Language Requirements

CAE score: (read more)

Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) is part of the Cambridge English suite and is targeted at a high level (IELTS 6.5-8.0). It is an international English language exam set at the right level for academic and professional success. Developed by Cambridge English Language Assessment - part of the University of Cambridge - it helps you stand out from the crowd as a high achiever.

180 (Grade C)

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