About the course
Our BSc Financial Management (including foundation year) is open to Home, EU and international students. It will be suitable for you if your academic qualifications do not yet meet our entrance requirements for the three-year version of this course and you want a programme that increases your subject knowledge as well as improves your academic skills.
This four-year course includes a foundation year (Year Zero), followed by a further three years of study. During your Year Zero, you study four academic subjects relevant to your chosen course as well as a compulsory English language and academic skills module.
You are an Essex student from day one, a member of our global community based at the most internationally diverse campus university in the UK.
After successful completion of Year Zero in our Essex Pathways Department, you progress to complete your course with Essex Business School. This course combines the study of finance with business management. We use real-life examples to apply financial theory to practice and explore how companies, banks, investors and financial professionals make decisions.
You examine the challenges impacting business strategies across the globe and have access to our virtual trading floor. Here, you can use industry standard Bloomberg data, information and analytics to practise making financial decisions and trading stocks and securities using the same equipment found in many leading financial organisations.
You cover topics including:
- the nature and role of financial markets
- corporate finance
- organisational behaviour
- business strategy
- risk management
Your first year also covers topics in marketing, accounting and economics to provide you with a fully-rounded business education. You have the option to tailor your course to your career aspirations by choosing from optional modules in your final year.
In your final year, you will 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 critical thinking.
Essex Business School is globally renowned for research and ranked in the top 25 in the UK for research excellence (REF 2014). You benefit from highly relevant and engaging course content inspired by cutting-edge thinking to prepare you for a career in financial management.
Essex Business School courses provide you with accreditations and exemptions from a range of professional bodies including:
- The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
- The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
- The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
This means that you are able to gain a professional qualification by taking fewer exams when you graduate, giving your career a head start.
Our expert staff
You learn from leading academics and business practitioners from a variety of backgrounds with expansive research interests. Our finance group is one of the largest and most respected in the UK, with staff joining us from across the globe.
Our staff specialise in areas including:
- behavioural finance
- financial bubbles
- the management of organisational space and architecture
- psychoanalytics of management
By studying within our Essex Pathways Department for your foundation year, you will have access to all of the facilities that the University of Essex has to offer, as well as those provided by our department to support you:
- We provide computer labs for internet research; classrooms with access to PowerPoint facilities for student presentations; AV facilities for teaching and access to web-based learning materials
- Our new Student Services Hub will support you and provide information for all your needs as a student
- Our social space is stocked with hot magazines and newspapers, and provides an informal setting to meet with your lecturers, tutors and friends
Our landmark Essex Business School building is the first zero carbon business school in the UK, set around a lush winter garden and an Eden-style dome that provides the building with its own micro-climate.
You benefit from an inspirational learning environment, facilities and services such as:
- spacious lecture theatres
- ample areas for group working, including study pods and innovation booths
- a café with an adjacent sun terrace
- study skills workshops and resources
Essex Business School in Colchester is located on the Knowledge Gateway, a technology and research park which builds on the University’s reputation for data science and analytics. The site is home to Parkside Office Village, where you may be able to access networking and work experience opportunities with businesses based there.
A degree from Essex Business School is good for your career; 80% of our graduates enter work or further study after graduating, working in roles from financial analysis to management, public administration and accountancy.
Our recent graduates have gone on to work for a wide range of high-profile companies including:
- Bank of England
- John Lewis Partnership
In addition to employability opportunities provided by the School, we also work with the University’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities. You also take a career development module as part of your course to further nurture you employability skills.
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.
What are the key concepts in business management today? Explore core elements within the field of business management, covering topics in banking, finance, management and accounting. Apply theoretical concepts to key organisations, companies and institutions. Develop your analytical skills and practical knowledge of this dynamic sector.
What is economics? And what are the main economic theories and principles? Build your understanding, studying topics in microeconomics and macroeconomics. Develop your knowledge of economic implications and build your analytic skills in using simple mathematical techniques and economic diagrams.
Want to use mathematical techniques to solve problems? And to calculate basic statistical measures? Develop mathematical skills like number work, algebra, geometry, probability and statistics that can be used on any course requiring mathematics above Higher GCSE standard. Learn to solve relevant problems and know how to present data clearly.
Academic Skills covers the key areas that you will experience during your degree, preparing you for aspects of academic study at undergraduate level. The module enables you to develop and enhance your existing abilities by focusing on the core skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking in an academic context. It does this with both generic texts and also, crucially, those related to your subject area. Academic Skills provides strategies for successful communication and interaction through independent and collaborative learning offering opportunity to further enhance your research skills. The content is designed to ensure that you acquire a range of transferable employability and life skills.
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.
Explore the most significant issues in management theory and practice. You draw out some of the connections and disjunctures between management theory and management practice. You also consider the ethics of managing, and how to balance a business’s priorities with the organisation's wider responsibilities to society and other stakeholders.
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.
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.
This module builds on your understanding of management, work and organisation, exploring how these concepts have evolved over time and how they are understood now. You look at how management theory relates to organisational practice, examine the social dynamics underpinning the field of organisation studies and analyse some of the most important themes affecting management today.
Gain a more advanced understanding of the international context which helps to shape the strategies and operations of organisations, and explore some of the current issues and challenges facing organisations within the international business environment. In particular, you focus on international political economy, covering the major economic systems in the world, and tracing the historical evolution of the global order.
The business world is increasingly global, complex and fast changing. While some organisations are consistently successful over a long period of time, many fail and are forgotten forever. In theory it should become consecutively easier to imitate the strategies of winning companies and dissipate their profits. In practice, however, only a few firms become long-term leaders. In this course, you explore why that is.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Explore the links between money, financial intermediaries, financial markets and the policies that affect them. In particular, you examine the effects of monetary policy on financial markets and on the economy as a whole. Gain an understanding of how interest rates, money supply and central bank actions affect the decisions of economic agents, financial markets and prices.
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.
Gain an insight into the relationship between management, the innovation process and the development, application, and use of new technologies. You focus primarily on process innovations, building upon your knowledge of operations management and the process of producing and delivering goods and services.
Discover the importance of microfinance for emerging and developing countries. You cover topics including financial liberalisation, a review of the process of financial institution building in developing and emerging market economies and an analysis of their interactions with the global financial system.
- Your teaching mainly takes the form of lectures and classes, the latter involving about 20 students
- You can contribute and interact in lectures through the use of smart technology
- A typical timetable includes a one-hour lecture and a one-hour class for each of your four modules every week
- Any language classes involve language laboratory sessions
- Our classes are run in small groups, so you receive a lot of individual attention
- Your assessed coursework will generally consist of essays, reports, in-class tests, individual or group oral presentations, and small scale research projects
UK entry requirements
A-levels: DDD, or equivalent in UCAS tariff points, to include 2 full A-levels.GCSE: Mathematics C
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.
English language requirements
English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 5.5 overall. Specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.
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
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.
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.