About the course
Are today's financial markets working as well as they could be? What are the issues currently affecting international finance?
This course combines study of the global financial system with the opportunity to learn Mandarin, including spending a year studying in China.
You examine finance from the perspective of investors, analysts, academia and policy-makers and learn how financial decisions are made in varying circumstances. You explore the nature and role of financial markets and your first year includes introductions to accounting and economics.
We’re ranked in the UK’s top 20 for finance and our finance courses have 91% student satisfaction (NSS, 2016).
Essex is one of just three UK universities to have received Q-Step Affiliate status, including for our BSc Finance with Mandarin, to support the way we develop the quantitative skills of our students.
This means we can provide work placement bursaries to develop your skills in evaluating numerical evidence, analysing data and designing research. We also offer the opportunity to follow a specialised degree path, where you graduate with enhanced quantitative skills. These are evidenced on your degree transcript, to help give you the competitive edge in the graduate job market.
This course is taught at Essex Business School, where more than two-thirds of our research is rated “world-leading” or “internationally excellent”. We’re ranked in the top 25 in the UK for research excellence (REF 2014).
You learn Mandarin in our Department of Language and Linguistics, ranked among the top 150 departments on the planet for linguistics, according to the QS World University Rankings 2016.
You spend your third year studying abroad in China to develop your Mandarin skills and learn about the Chinese business environment, legal frameworks and customs. You will not pay tuition fees during your year abroad.
Our expert staff
At Essex Business School, you are taught by a highly qualified, enthusiastic team with wide-ranging research interests and proven academic track records. Our finance group is one of the largest and most respected in the UK.
Our staff specialise in areas including financial crises, behavioural finance, hedge fund performance, financial bubbles, and growth and poverty.
Our Mandarin teacher, Mrs Yujun Ding, is a native speaker, who will focus on intensive language tuition in preparation for your year studying in China.
You experience the UK’s first zero carbon business school building. Set around a lush winter garden, the Eden-style dome gives the building its own micro-climate.
You benefit from excellent facilities and services, such as:
- 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, home to Parkside Office Village which offers potential networking opportunities with innovative Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs).
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 practise 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
We understand the skills and knowledge employers look for in graduates and ensure you have the opportunity to develop these throughout your course. We also provide access to employability opportunities, working alongside the University’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.
Our recent graduates 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).
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.
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.
Want to communicate in Chinese? To understand the Chinese alphabet and tones? Or be able to introduce yourself and talk about your hobbies? Develop all aspects of your Chinese so that you are able to deal with everyday situations. Learn how to write a postcard or letter using Chinese characters.
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.
How are firms organised? What are the economic implications of this? And how does it affect the markets in which they operate? Develop an understanding of the central concepts of economics, then learn how to apply these principles to economic problems.
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.
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.
Extend your knowledge of financial accounting by mastering the preparation and analysis of the published financial statements of limited companies operating on their own, or within group structures. You investigate the regulation of financial reporting, the function and content of the main published statements, and problems connected with the treatment of taxation, depreciation, and specific aspects of the asset-expense distinction.
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.
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.
Want to communicate in Chinese? To be able to describe your daily life or family? Or simply ask for directions? Develop all aspects of your Chinese so that you are able to deal with everyday situations. Learn how to write a postcard or letter using Chinese characters.
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.
At the heart of all modern economies lies a sophisticated network of financial intermediaries whose primary function is the collection of savings from households and their subsequent allocation to organizations that need this financing. About these financial intermediaries we ask (1) who are they? (2) what do they do? (3) why do they exist?
Gain a thorough understanding of the basic international arbitrage relationships of some basic models of exchange rate determination. You then explore topics in economics such as models of currency crisis, and the South American and East Asian Crisis, and investigate international markets from the perspective of a multinational firm, where topics such as the international cost of capital and foreign direct investment are covered.
Master the necessary skills to conduct econometric research. You consider the Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) method and time series analysis, the conditions under which OLS is employable, the pitfalls and caveats when using OLS and performing analyses on time series data using any estimation method, and prediction and forecasting.
Investigate the theoretical foundations of some widely used pricing models for securities traded in financial markets – equities, options and bonds. You gain an understanding of the theoretical foundations of these models so that you can appreciate both the usefulness and/or the weakness of these models.
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.
This module aims to give you an insight into UK and EU law. You explore the criminal and civil court structures, contract law, how to apply Legal Method and conduct legal research. You acquire essential information needed to ensure that your business operates within the law and satisfies professional accounting body requirements.
Develop your legal knowledge by studying Partnership Law, followed by various aspects of Company Law (including professional negligence), together with the rules of Agency, Insolvency principles, the offence of Insider Dealing and Employment Law.
What does accounting do and why, and what is done in the name of accounting but might not be accounting? Does accounting enable us to talk or does it erect barriers around issues so that the debate is silenced or limited? Who should make accounting standards? Should it be the state, professional bodies or some private interests? These are some of the key issues facing producers, consumers, and regulators of corporate financial reports.
This module evaluates the opportunities and challenges of conducting businesses online. You develop your critical and analytical skills by exploring key concepts in ecommerce and electronic business and examining their effects on society and the economy. Topics include e-business infrastructure, online revenue, payment systems, digital marketing and online security. You also debate the ethical, moral and legal issues of trading online, including areas such as spatial unboundedness, ‘the digital divide’, privacy and security breaches.
You will spend your third year studying abroad in China to develop your Mandarin skills and gain exposure to the Chinese business environment, legal frameworks and customs. We will not charge you tuition fees during your year abroad.
- 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
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. Please note that Maths in the IB is not required if you have already achieved GCSE Maths at grade C or above.
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.
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.
Please note this course is not available to first language speakers of Mandarin.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
Visit days and interviews
Resident in the UK? If your application is successful, we will invite you to attend one of our visit 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 visit 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 email@example.com so we can help you plan a visit to the University.