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
The first year focuses on the finance and banking area of your degree and introduces you to the main functional areas of business, including accounting, finance, management and marketing. This gives you flexibility to work in any area of finance and banking or business after graduation.
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. 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.
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.
Accredited by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) for the purpose of exemptions from some professional examinations.
Accredited by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) for the purpose of exemption from some professional examinations through the Accredited degree accelerated route.
This means that you are able to gain a professional qualification more quickly by taking fewer exams when you graduate, giving your career a head start.
Why we're great.
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.
Ranked in the top 200 for Accounting and Finance in the QS World University Rankings by Subject (2022).
The four-year version of this course 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 intercultural skills that are sought-after by employers.
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.
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.
finance of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)
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 academics embed the latest research into your course, so you learn about real-world issues affecting business right now.
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 unique building provides you with superb facilities:
a virtual trading floor with Bloomberg Terminals offering direct use of Bloomberg data, information and analytics
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
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.
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.
We embed a series of core and specific skills into our undergraduate curriculum for BSc Banking and Finance to ensure that our graduates are suited to careers in finance, banking and management roles.
All of our taught modules embed elements of our skills map which emulate the skills which are required by employers of finance graduates, these generally include:
Additional to the skills development offered by Essex Business School, BSc Banking and Finance students can also take advantage of the University of Essex Careers Service which focuses in particular on supporting the development of undergraduate employability, including: careers fairs, career mentoring, skills development, careers advice and guidance, placement year support, job opportunities, start-up support and more.
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
UK entry requirements
GCSE: Mathematics C/4
BTEC: DDD, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.
IB: 32 points or three Higher Level certificates with 655. Either must include Standard Level Mathematics grade 4, or a minimum of 3 in Higher Level Mathematics. We will accept grade 4 in either Standard Level Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches or Standard Level Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation.
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.
We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programme courses (formerly certificates) 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.
We can also consider combinations with BTECs or other qualifications in the Career-related programme – the acceptability of BTECs and other qualifications depends on the subject studied, advice on acceptability can be provided. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.
Access to HE Diploma: 15 level 3 credits at Distinction and 30 level 3 credits at Merit, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.
T-levels: Distinction, depending on subject studied -advice on acceptability can be provided.
What if I have a non-traditional academic background? Don’t worry. To gain a deeper knowledge of your course suitability, we will look at your educational and employment history, together with your personal statement and reference.
You may be considered for entry into Year 1 of your chosen course. Alternatively, some UK and EU applicants may be considered for Essex Pathways, an additional year of study (known as a foundation year/year 0) helping students gain the necessary skills and knowledge in order to succeed on their chosen course. You can find a list of Essex Pathways courses and entry requirements here
If you are a mature student, further information is here
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.
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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 Student 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.
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.
The course structure is designed to cover everything a future leader in the banking and financial industries may need to know.
In the first year our current students cover a broad range of business topics, as well as being introduced to banking and finance. However, we are planning some changes to our first year and we’ll be tailoring it more closely to your chosen course. 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.
We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of core/compulsory modules, and optional modules chosen from lists. Please be aware that we are planning changes to our first year to make it more relevant to your chosen course.
Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The following modules are based on the current course structure and may change in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.
We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision for you. We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities as described on our website. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to significant disruption, or in response to COVID-19, we’ll let our applicants and students know as soon as possible.
Components and modules explained
Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.
Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.
What this means
You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Compulsory with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.
Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.
In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.
Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:
The department or school the module will be taught by.
In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.
Quantitative Methods and Finance is an introduction to the subject of quantitative methods and their applications in finance, accounting and management. The module is designed to provide a sound foundation for your future studies in finance, accounting or management. The topics covered include maths revision, the time value of money, rates of change (calculus), statistics, probability distributions and simple regression.
Introduction to Finance is designed to give you an introduction to the wider finance subject area ass well as firm foundation for further studies in finance. You’ll gain a overview of 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.
You’ll develop and be able to transmit knowledge about the financial system, instruments and markets and ideas about finance concepts and problems at an introductory level; be aware of, at an introductory level, different ways of thinking about and analysing financial phenomena; and, reflecting the principles of how we approach Finance at Essex Business School, you’ll gain an appreciation of the role that finance plays in society as whole.
This module introduces financial accounting and basic principles and techniques needed to analyse and interpret financial statements. Although the module is intended as an introduction for students majoring in accounting it will also benefit students who wish to gain some insight into the practices of accounting.
You’ll look at the nature and role of accounting and consider who uses accounting information and for what purposes. You’ll discuss the contents of annual reports, especially the narrative sections, and the qualitative characteristics of accounting information. Finally, the module will be concerned with key elements and the format of financial statements. You’ll earn to prepare company financial statements using trial balance and cover the techniques that can be used to analyse and interpret financial statements.
This module is intended for students majoring in accounting and those who have a keen interest in gaining an understanding of elementary financial accounting. Learn the basic principles and techniques for preparing and constructing a set of comprehensive financial statements.
The module commences with an introduction to double-entry booking keeping and accounting equations that govern the recording of business transactions. You’ll then discuss the recognition and measurement principles for accounting for some key items in financial statements, including inventory, accruals, prepayments, long-term assets, and long-term finance, using International Financial Reporting Standards as reference. Finally, the preparation of financial statements from the trial balance for various types of entities, incorporating a variety of simple adjustments.
Introduction to Management is a broad-ranging module intended to provide a foundation in the most significant issues in management theory and practice, as well as to prepare you for related modules in subsequent years of your degree course.
Because theoretical explanations – i.e., academic interpretations of what managers do and even of what they say they do – and what managers actually do in real organisations on a day-to-day basis may differ, we will also draw out some of the connections and dis-junctures between management theory and management practice. Our teaching also emphasises the ethics of managing and how to balance the bottom line of the business with the organisation's wider responsibilities to society and other stakeholders.
A key module across all our Finance coursers; Professional and Academic Development (Finance) is a foundation in core academic skill requirements with the intention of improving the standard of work across all first-year modules. The module will also enable you to begin to focus on career planning and employability skills and establishing a career path. In addition, this module ensures all students have adequate access to their personal tutor on a regular basis.
The primary aim of this module is to deliver a range of study skills and introduce professional development at the start of Essex Business School students’ undergraduate programmes.
How do consumers make decisions? Or firms conduct different market strategies? What impact does government policy have on inflation? Or unemployment? Develop your knowledge of economics in relation to a range of contemporary issues. Learn how to apply both micro and macroeconomic principles to the analysis of such problems.
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.
This module introduces students to quantitative methods that can be used to empirically analyse some of the theories introduced during other finance modules on their programmes, including asset pricing, portfolio analysis and corporate finance. With extensive use of appropriate quantitative software (EViews) students will be able to use real data to analyse financial models. An important component of the module involves using classical statistical concepts to test hypotheses relating to financial models.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
Your first year marks do not count towards your final degree
Fees and funding
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
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
If you are an undergraduate student residing in the UK who has received an offer to study with us in October 2023, you will receive an email invitation to book onto one of our Applicant Days. Our Colchester Campus Applicant Days run from February to May 2023 on various Wednesdays and Saturdays, and our Southend Campus Applicant Days run from March to June 2023 on various weekdays and Saturdays. Applicant Days provide the opportunity to meet your department, tour our campus and accommodation, and chat to current students. We appreciate that travelling to university events can be expensive. This is why we have increased our Applicant Day Travel Bursary cap, allowing you to claim up to £150 as reimbursement for travel expenses. For further information about Applicant Days, including Terms and Conditions and eligibility criteria for our Travel Bursary, please visit our Applicant Days webpage.
If you are an overseas offer-holder, you will be invited to attend one of our virtual events. However, you are more than welcome to join us at one of our in-person Applicant Days if you are able to, so if you’d like to book a place, please contact our Applicant Day Team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit Colchester Campus
Home to 15,000 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.
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.
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.
At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.
The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification 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, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the 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 students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications. The University would inform and engage with you if your course was to be discontinued, and would provide you with options, where appropriate, in line with our Compensation and Refund Policy.
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.