About the course
What issues are facing our banking sector and how can we resolve them? How do organisations make financial decisions?
This course combines the study of banking and finance with the opportunity to learn up to two languages. Being multi-lingual can give you the edge in the graduate jobs market, enabling you to communicate with colleagues, customers and business contacts around the world.
You are taught by leading academics, including those with industry backgrounds. You acquire a strong grasp of financial theory, develop practical skills and have access to our cutting-edge virtual trading floor.
- why do banks exist and how do they operate?
- current issues and critiques of modern banking
- different perspectives on the global financial system, including the viewpoint of investors, analysts academics and policy-makers
In your final year, you have the opportunity to put your knowledge into practice by completing an in-depth, independent research project or dissertation (subject to approval). This will give you the chance to further develop vital employability skills in areas of research, time management and critical thinking.
We’re ranked in the UK’s top 20 for finance and our finance courses have 91% student satisfaction (NSS, 2016).
BSc Banking, Finance and Modern Languages is run by Essex Business School, where more than two-thirds of research is rated “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” (REF 2014). We are ranked in the UK’s top 20 business schools by the Chartered Association of Business Schools and attract students and staff from across the globe.
Your language modules are taught by the Department of Language and Linguistics. The department is ranked in the UK’s top 10 for research (REF, 2014) and among the Top 150 departments on the planet (QS World University Rankings).
In your third year, you undertake a year abroad. You further develop one of your chosen languages and have the opportunity to study different national business environments, legal frameworks and customs.
Studying abroad allows you to experience other cultures and languages, broaden your degree socially and academically and show prospective employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised.
We do not charge tuition fees during your year abroad.
Our expert staff
In Essex Business School, you are taught by a highly qualified, enthusiastic team with wide-ranging research interests and proven academic track records. Our finance team are one of the UK’s largest and work with organisations such as Invesco Perpetual, HSBC and the Bank of England.
Our staff specialise in areas including bank risk and regulation, foreign bank ownership, finance of SMEs, bank mergers and acquisitions and financial econometrics.
You learn your chosen languages from native or bilingual speakers, who share their experiences of professional translation, interpreting, subtitling, film, art, business and culture. Our modern languages teachers integrate language learning with linguistics, giving you the best possible opportunity to become fluent in your chosen languages.
You benefit from the award-winning Essex Business School building in Colchester, the first zero carbon business school building in the UK. Set around a lush winter garden, the Eden-style dome gives the building its own micro-climate.
You can experience excellent learning and social facilities and services, including:
- a virtual trading floor with Bloomberg Terminals, offering direct use of Bloomberg data, information and analytics
- light and spacious lecture theatres
- study pods and innovation booths for group working
- a café with an adjacent sun terrace
- study skills workshops and advice
Our Colchester building is located on the Knowledge Gateway, providing potential networking and work experience opportunities with the businesses located on site.
You also benefit from the learning resources available within our Department of Language and Linguistics:
- Melissi Digital Classroom software for subtitling and interpreting
- a new 20-position Interpreting Lab
- meet other linguists and practice your language skills at our Language Cafés
- experience world cinema at our Modern Languages Film Club
- our Languages for All programme offers you the opportunity to study an additional language alongside your course at no extra cost
By studying languages alongside banking and finance, you can gain a competitive edge in the global jobs market and may even be able to work overseas. Your year abroad can also increase your employability by developing your confidence, independence and maturity.
Our recent graduates have progressed to work for organisations such as:
- Bank of England
- John Lewis Partnership
In 2015, 84% of Essex Business School undergraduates and 98.6% of our international (non-UK/EU) undergraduates were in graduate level work or study within six months of graduating (DLHE 2015 leavers).
As well as developing employability skills throughout your course, Essex Business School gives you access to a number of opportunities to improve your CV. The University’s Employability and Careers Centre can also help you find out about further work experience, internships and voluntary opportunities.
Studying at Essex is about discovering yourself, so your course combines compulsory and optional modules to make sure you gain key knowledge in the discipline, while having as much freedom as possible to explore your own interests. Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.
For many of our courses you’ll have a wide range of optional modules to choose from – those listed in this example structure are just a selection of those available. The opportunity to take optional modules will depend on the number of core modules within any year of the course. In many instances, the flexibility to take optional modules increases as you progress through the course.
Our Programme Specification gives more detail about the structure available to our current first-year students, including details of all optional modules.
The language module that you will study will depend upon your level when you arrive in the department and we are happy to accept students with no previous knowledge of the language. The structure shown below is an example of the progression for a student who has an A Level or equivalent in Spanish, but it is possible to start at an initial level with no prior knowledge of a language (unless you major in French, when an A Level in French is required). Please refer to the progression pathway table to find out which modules are suitable for your linguistic profile.
You can study up to two languages with this course.
The below example structure shows a student studying French and Spanish.
Discover the nature and role of accounting, discussing who uses accounting information and for what purposes. You learn about the processes used to record, summarise and present accounting data, using the computerised accounting package MyAccountingLab. You also investigate the development and role of regulation in governing accounting practice.
Discover the applications of quantitative techniques in accounting, finance and management. You explore maths revision, the time value of money, rates of change, probability and statistics, making extensive use of Excel for applying statistical techniques. You also study the financial system, instruments and markets and ideas about finance concepts and problems. The topics covered include investment companies, return and risk, and behavioural finance.
This module encourages you to become an active, independent learner, with the ability to reflect on business situations and form your own opinions. We cover areas designed to help you adjust to a university business education so you can perform to your full academic and professional potential. We explore the importance of referencing, constructing a coherent argument and developing writing skills for a variety of purposes, such as academic essays, exams and reports. We develop your analytical skills, critical thinking, presentation and communication skills to help you get the most from your time at university.
Want to learn Spanish from scratch? And spend four weeks abroad during the summer? Build your language abilities, so you can read short stories or novels in Spanish, as well as articulate your ideas verbally or in writing. Undertake a research project, in Spanish, on a topic of your choosing.
This compulsory module aims to help you excel in your academic studies by introducing you to effective study techniques and tools, including the study skills support and resources available to you within Essex Business School. You receive guidance on your academic progress, as well as your personal and professional development. These sessions offer you the opportunity to meet and develop networks and connections within the School and provide key support throughout your first year by helping you to develop the skills and learning strategies needed throughout your degree.
Explore how financial theory can aid financial decision-making in corporations. You discover how to apply the value maximization principle to corporate decisions, such as investment decision, borrowing decisions, and dividend decisions.
What is the appropriate measure of risk for a particular security? How might an investor decide on the weightings of different assets in his/her portfolio? How can we identify mispriced stocks? Should you invest your savings in an actively managed fund or in a passive fund? You consider the main theories of risk and return and explore the implications of these theories for investors' decisions.
Explore both theoretical and practical issues related to the modern banking business. You consider the main characteristics and types of banks (e.g. commercial and mutual; retail and wholesale) and analyses recent trends and developments in relation to both domestic and international banking markets. You also explore the main items contained in banks' financial statements and discuss the main risks of banking, with particular reference to elementary risk management techniques.
Making extensive use of Excel spreadsheets, you use real data to analyse different financial models. Applications will include models of portfolio selection, asset pricing and risk management, as you learn to use basic statistical concepts to test hypotheses relating to financial models.
This module links subject understanding to employability, ensuring you’re prepared to take advantage of graduate opportunities at the point they’re advertised. You gain an understanding of the graduate labour market and recruitment processes, as well as timelines for recruitment and interview and assessment centre techniques. You also learn about options for postgraduate study.
Want to build your confidence when both speaking and writing in Spanish? Develop your language abilities, expanding your vocabulary and improving your listening and oral skills. Expand your understanding of Spanish and Latin American culture and history through the use of texts, films and conversations with native speakers.
Want to improve your French? Can you describe people and places? Or initiate and take part in a conversation? Use a wide range of authentic materials, that depict real-life activities, to consolidate your French language skills. Improve your ability to deal with everyday situations in a natural and creative way.
This module explores the nature, functions and strategic drivers of international banking institutions and markets. You examine the different types of global banking institutions, including commercial, investment, retail, private and offshore financial centres. Topics include international banking activities and services (such as trade finance, loans sales and securitisation), international banking regulation, failures and crises and comparative banking. You also explore current trends and risks affecting international banks.
In this module you study the derivative market, in particular, futures and options markets. You explore various futures markets including the stock index, FX, commodities and interest rate contracts, how they are priced and hedged, and different trading strategies; as well as considering different option positions, the relationship between call and put option prices, and trading strategies.
The (mis)use of financial derivatives can potentially have catastrophic consequences for those who acquire them. And yet in recent years derivatives have become increasingly important, both for the financial sector and for the wider economy. On this course you discover how risk can be managed with the use of derivative instruments.
Want near-native level competence in Spanish? Wish to deal quickly and precisely with written or spoken documents? Refine your knowledge of Spanish grammar and vocabulary by studying different texts. Practice your writing with essays and reports, and learn to express yourself clearly in complex situations.
Want to develop your French comprehension? Improve your spoken and written language skills? Sharpen your grammatical accuracy? Make use of a range of materials to further advance your language abilities, building coherent and cohesive skills for both speaking and writing in French.
Discover how allowing for common human traits such as overconfidence, fear of regret, pride, loss aversion, anchoring, framing, mental accounting, and representativeness can enable a better understanding of financial markets and the trading strategies of investors
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 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
- Activities designed to develop your practical language skills, such as role-play and class presentations
- Cultural and social themes are explored through film, music, the internet, theatre and literature
- Complete your final-year project in consultation with a personal supervisor
- 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
- Languages assessed through role-plays and translations
UK entry requirements
GCSE: Mathematics C
A-level (or equivalent) French is required, if French is taken as the major language
IB: 30 points, including Standard Level Mathematics grade 4, if not taken at Higher Level. We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programmes at both Higher and Standard Level. Exact offer levels will vary depending on the range of subjects being taken at higher and standard level, and the course applied for. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.Please note that Maths in the IB is not required if you have already achieved GCSE Maths at grade C or above.
Entry requirements for students studying BTEC qualifications are dependent on units studied. Advice can be provided on an individual basis. The standard required is generally at Distinction level.
International and EU entry requirements
We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries.
for further details about the qualifications we accept. Include information in your email about the
high school qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.
IELTS entry requirements
English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall. (Different requirements apply for second year entry.)
If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.
If you are an international student requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.
Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels required. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications.
Applications for our full-time undergraduate courses should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Applications are online at: www.ucas.com. Full details on this process can be obtained from the UCAS website in the how to apply section.
Our UK students, and some of our EU and international students, who are still at school or college, can apply through their school. Your school will be able to check and then submit your completed application to UCAS. Our other international applicants (EU or worldwide) or independent applicants in the UK can also apply online through UCAS Apply.
The UCAS code for our University of Essex is ESSEX E70. The individual campus codes for our Loughton and Southend Campuses are ‘L’ and ‘S’ respectively.
Applicant Days and interviews
Resident in the UK? If your application is successful, we will invite you to attend one of our applicant days. These run from January to April and give you the chance to explore the campus, meet our students and really get a feel for life as an Essex student.
Some of our courses also hold interviews and if you’re invited to one, this will take place during your applicant day. Don’t panic, they’re nothing to worry about and it’s a great way for us to find out more about you and for you to find out more about the course. Some of our interviews are one-to-one with an academic, others are group activities, but we’ll send you all the information you need beforehand.
If you’re outside the UK and are planning a trip, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org so we can help you plan a visit to the University.
Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex. In 2017 we have three undergraduate Open Days (in June, September and October). These events enable you to discover what our Colchester Campus has to offer. You have the chance to:
- tour our campus and accommodation
- find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
- meet our students and staff
Check out our Visit Us pages to find out more information about booking onto one of our events. And if the dates aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing email@example.com and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.
If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.
Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.