Undergraduate Course

BSc Banking and Finance

BSc Banking and Finance

Overview

The details
Banking and Finance
N390
October 2020
Full-time
3 years
Colchester Campus

How does financial theory aid corporate decision making? How do banks manage risk across global markets?

The past 20 years have seen banks and financial markets become increasingly globalised. Deregulation and advances in technology have empowered banks to expand their offerings, making them an integral component of all financial sectors.

BSc Banking and Finance combines academic rigor with practical financial skills to meet the needs of demanding careers in banking and finance. You have access to real-world Bloomberg Market Data Feed (B-PIPE), information and analytics in our virtual trading floor, where you can practise trading and analysing financial data.

You explore topics including:

  • why banks exist and how they operate in the modern economy
  • current issues in modern banking
  • banking sector regulation
  • the global financial system
  • the role of the investor, analyst, academic and policy maker

Your first year ensures you experience a fully-rounded business education by introducing you to topics such as accounting, management, marketing and economics.

In your final year, you have the opportunity to put your knowledge into practice by completing an in-depth, independent research project or dissertation. This will give you the chance to further develop vital employability skills in areas of research, time management and critical thinking.

Essex is one of just three UK universities to have received Q-Step Affiliate status, including for our BSc Banking and Finance, to support the way we develop the quantitative skills of our graduates.

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.

BSc Banking and Finance is taught at Essex Business School, ranked 25th in the UK for research quality (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019).

Our finance group is one of the largest in the UK and our focus on ethical management means you graduate with the ability to make sound, responsible financial decisions.

Our students and staff join us from all over the world, so you join an international business community.

Essex Business School is an Investment Management Certificate (IMC) Advantage Partner and this course is aligned to the IMC syllabus, the industry’s benchmark entry-level qualification.

The University of Essex is also a member of the CFA Institute University Affiliation Program, enabling us to award up-to six exceptional students each year with a scholarship that goes towards the fees for the CFA Program Level One exam, so you can start your journey of becoming a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). Achieving this accolade is one way to enhance your CV if you're interested in pursuing a career in investment management.

This course can also be taken with an optional study abroad or placement year.

Why we're great.
  • Our finance courses have 91% student satisfaction (NSS, 2019) and we are ranked 20th nationally for overall student satisfaction in finance (NSS, 2019)
  • Essex Business School's finance group is one of the largest and most respected in the UK.
  • Q-Step Affiliate Status gives you the chance to follow a pathway in Applied Quantitative Methods.
THE Awards 2018 - Winner University of the Year

Study abroad

The four-year version of our BSc Banking and Finance enables you to study abroad during your third year. In all other areas, this version of the course remains identical to the standard three-year variant.

You can study abroad with one of our exchange partners in the United States, Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Latin America, the Middle East, Hong Kong and Japan. In doing so, you experience other cultures and languages, meet new people, and gain skills in organisation and flexibility, which are sought-after by employers.

If you spend a full year abroad you'll only pay 15% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year. You won't pay any tuition fees to your host university

Placement year

Alternatively, you may choose to take on a placement year to gain relevant work experience within an external business.

The Essex Business School Placements Manager can offer bespoke support throughout the process of researching, applying and interviewing for placements. However, it is your responsibility to apply, prepare for and secure your own role. In recent years, our students have gained placements with organisations such as BMW, Samsung and Cummins.

If you complete a placement year you'll only pay 20% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year.

Our expert staff

You’re taught by a group of highly qualified and enthusiastic academics and practitioners with diverse research interests. Their work has been discussed in the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve.

Our staff specialise in areas including:

  • bank risk and regulation
  • foreign bank ownership
  • finance of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)
  • bank mergers
  • acquisitions and financial econometrics

Professor of Banking and Finance, Claudia Girardone, leads the way in finance research as Director of the Essex Finance Centre (EFiC), our long-established and world-renowned teaching excellence and research centre in finance and banking.

Professor Girardone is also Director of Research for Essex Business School and leads on embedding EFiC group research in the curriculum. You will benefit from her application of banking sector performance indicators and corporate governance in our finance programmes.

Our staff embed the latest research into your course, so you learn about real-world issues affecting business right now.

Specialist facilities

Our BSc Banking and Finance is based at our Colchester Campus.

In our landmark Essex Business School building -the first zero carbon business school in the UK- you’ll see our sustainable approach to business first-hand. Set around a lush winter garden, are a wealth of inspiring teaching and study zones.

Our new building provides you with superb facilities:

  • a virtual trading floor with Bloomberg Terminals offering direct use of Bloomberg data, information and analytics
  • access to X_TRADER, industry-leading software for trading multiple markets from a single screen
  • light and spacious lecture theatres with ‘listen again’ recording to aid your study
  • study pods and innovation booths for group working
  • a café and adjacent foyer to enjoy on-site fresh food and drink
  • study skills workshops and advice

Discover our trading floor:

Our business school is located on the University’s Knowledge Gateway, where you may be able to take advantage of networking and work experience opportunities with businesses located on site.

Your future

The dual disciplines of banking and finance mean that you will be well suited to sector specific roles in trading, analyst or wealth management as well as more generalist financial roles such as management consultancy or financial management.

The banking and financial services sector is highly competitive but it also a huge employer of graduates and the skills you will gain in trading, data and portfolio analysis will make you an attractive prospect.

Many of our graduates go on to graduate finance training schemes or financial analyst roles straight after graduation as Essex Business School prepares you for the world of work from day one.

The BSc Banking and Finance curriculum taught here embeds transferable employability skills in analysis, critical thinking, presentation and communication across all modules.

The Study Skills module in year one will develop your academic skills, while the Successful Futures Module in year two will foster your professionalism and introduce you to the graduate recruitment process, including practical advice to excel at interviews and assessment centres.

Recent graduate destinations include:

  • Associate - Capital Management at Santander UK - the UK arm of the global retail and commercial bank
  • Investment Banking Analyst, Leveraged Finance at Credit Suisse - a leading financial services company
  • Associate at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – the financial markets regulator
  • Audit Associate at EY - a multinational professional services firm
  • Wealth Manager at Globaleye - a leading wealth management firm
  • Executive at PwC - a multinational professional services network
  • Treasury Analyst at Hiscox, a multinational business insurance and home insurance provider

The School will support you with a range of skills and careers opportunities, including: skills development workshops; employer talks; skills events and careers conferences.

BSc Banking and Finance students can also take advantage of the services offered by the Student Development Team, including: careers advice; work experience; internships; placements; and voluntary opportunities.

My favourite aspect of my course is that it taught me how banks operate in the financial system and it provided me with the ability to study risks and different ways to manage it. The course has a practical side to it that enables me to understand how the different financial institutions work and operate and how their interrelation is crucial to the stability of the financial system.

Soukayna Hachimi, BSc Banking and Finance with Placement Year, 2019

Find out more about Soukayna's story.

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

A-levels: BBB
GCSE: Mathematics C/4

IB: 30 points, including Standard Level Mathematics grade 4 or Higher Level Mathematics grade 3.
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/4 or above or 4 in IB Middle Years Maths.

From 2021, we will accept grade 4 in either Standard Level Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches or Standard Level Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation.

BTEC: DDD, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

English language requirements

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall. Different requirements apply for second year entry, and 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 listed above. 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.

Additional Notes

If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to this degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College here.

Structure

Example structure

The course structure is designed to cover everything a future leader in the banking and financial industries may need to know.

In your first year you’ll cover a more broad range of business topics, as well as being introduced to accounting and finance. After that your compulsory modules will cover topics such as corporate finance, portfolio analysis, international banking, financial markets and policy. You’ll also be able to pick from a variety of optional modules to further your understanding of your favourite banking and finance topics or to explore other areas of the business world.

The structure shown below is just one example from the current academic year of how the degree could look, including some popular optional modules.

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore all modules listed are subject to change.

To view the full programme structure and lists of available optional modules currently on offer please click on the link below.

Introduction to Accounting

Accounting has a lot to do with numbers, however it isn’t just about keeping track of money coming into and out of a firm. In this introductory module you’ll discuss the true nature and role of accounting and will consider who uses accounting information and for what purpose. You’ll also be introduced to the role of regulation in governing accounting practice. This module provides essential skills and information you need to know whether you want to become an accountant, be a manager or start your own company.

View Introduction to Accounting on our Module Directory

Quantitative Methods and Finance

Throughout your career you’ll likely need to make use of a wide variety of quantitative techniques, particularly those related to accounting, finance and management. In this module you’ll revise your previous maths knowledge whilst also considering the time value of money, rates of change, probability and statistics and 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.

View Quantitative Methods and Finance on our Module Directory

Introduction to Management and Marketing

When studying management and marketing you’ll often find out that it is all about people. An organisation isn’t made up of buildings and equipment, but of individual people. In this introductory module you’ll consider a wide variety of important management issues, and in line with our Essex beliefs, you’ll consider ethical implications and the responsibilities which organsiations have to society and other stakeholders. You’ll also begin to consider how there may be significant gaps between management theory and real life.

View Introduction to Management and Marketing on our Module Directory

Economics for Business

Join experts from our Department of Economics for your essential introduction to economics that business managers and leaders need to know. 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.

View Economics for Business on our Module Directory

Research and Study Skills for Professional Development

Studying at university may be very different to your previous experiences. This module encourages you to become an active, independent learner, with the ability to reflect on business situations and form your own opinions, ensuring 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.

View Research and Study Skills for Professional Development on our Module Directory

Student Success Tutorial

At Essex Business School we offer all our students a wide variety of support throughout your time with us. In this module we’ll introduce you to effective study techniques and tools, including letting you know about the study skills support and resources available to you. 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.

View Student Success Tutorial on our Module Directory

Corporate Finance

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.

View Corporate Finance on our Module Directory

Portfolio Analysis

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.

View Portfolio Analysis on our Module Directory

Introduction to Banking

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.

View Introduction to Banking on our Module Directory

Financial Modelling

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.

View Financial Modelling on our Module Directory

Quantitative Foundations of Finance

Would you play the lottery? Should you buy smartphone insurance? When are car insurance premiums too expensive? This module further examines key concepts in modern finance theory and explores how they help to make better investment decisions. You explore probability concepts and learn how they are used to describe the risks and consequences of financial decisions. You explore how individuals decide whether risks are worth taking and how investment companies use software to minimise financial risks and maximise rewards. You explore important concepts used by investment banks and fund managers, including mean-variance analysis, net present value and pricing models.

View Quantitative Foundations of Finance on our Module Directory

Introduction to Quantitative Management

This application-driven course teaches you how to formulate and solve real-world problems concerned with decision-making in modern management. You learn how to build simulation models, how to run simulations using simple Excel spreadsheets, and, to evaluate and interpret output results.

View Introduction to Quantitative Management on our Module Directory

Audit Principles and Practice

This module focuses on the practice of auditing and will be of specific interest if you intend to take professional accounting examinations after you graduate. You cover basic auditing concepts, including the tests and procedures auditors undertake to accumulate evidence. You explore the importance of independence in auditing and how auditors evaluate internal control systems. You examine the verification of assets and liabilities and learn about the different types of audit reports.

View Audit Principles and Practice on our Module Directory

Financial Intermediaries, Instruments and Markets

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?

View Financial Intermediaries, Instruments and Markets on our Module Directory

Student Success Tutorial

This compulsory module equips you with effective study practices to excel in your second year at Essex Business School. It gives your guidance on how to use feedback effectively to improve and develop your academic skills and improve your performance. It provides the opportunity to create an action plan for your personal and professional development whilst at university.

View Student Success Tutorial on our Module Directory

Successful Futures

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.

View Successful Futures on our Module Directory

International Banking

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.

View International Banking on our Module Directory

Options and Futures

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.

View Options and Futures on our Module Directory

Risk Management and Financial Institutions

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.

View Risk Management and Financial Institutions on our Module Directory

Financial Markets and Monetary Policy

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.

View Financial Markets and Monetary Policy on our Module Directory

Applying E-Commerce in Business

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.

View Applying E-Commerce in Business on our Module Directory

Elements of Corporate and Business Law

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.

View Elements of Corporate and Business Law on our Module Directory

Finance Research Project

This module gives you the chance to critically investigate a contemporary financial issue. You put the knowledge gained on your course into practice by undertaking an independent, self-directed project or dissertation that develops your research and employability skills ready for graduate employment.

View Finance Research Project on our Module Directory

The Pricing of Securities in Financial Markets

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.

View The Pricing of Securities in Financial Markets on our Module Directory

Placement

On a placement year you gain relevant work experience within an external business or organisation, giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market and providing you with key contacts within the industry. The rest of your course remains identical to the three-year degree.

Year abroad

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

  • 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
  • Complete your final-year project in consultation with a personal supervisor

Assessment

  • 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
  • Your first year marks do not count towards your final degree

Fees and funding

Home/EU fee

£9,250

International fee

£16,860

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

Home and EU fee information

International fee information

What's next

Open Days

Our events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex. We run a number of Open Days throughout the year which enable you to discover what our 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 book a campus tour here.

2019 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

  • Saturday, October 26, 2019

Applying

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.

For information on transferring from another university, applying when you are not at school or college, and applying for readmission, please see How to apply and entry requirements

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 applicantdays@essex.ac.uk so we can help you plan a visit to the University.

Colchester Campus

Visit Colchester Campus

Home to over 13,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.

The Campus is set within 200 acres of beautiful parkland, located two miles from the historic town centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded town. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.

 

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tours allows you to explore our University from the comfort of your home. Check out our Colchester virtual tour and Southend virtual tour to see accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.

Exhibitions

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.

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its course finder is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep prospective students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

Two women looking at a PC screen
Ask us a question

Want to quiz us about your course? Got a question that just needs answering? Get in touch and we’ll do our best to email you back shortly.