Undergraduate Course

BSc Finance

(Including Foundation Year)

BSc Finance

Overview

The details
Finance (Including Foundation Year)
N301
October 2020
Full-time
4 years
Colchester Campus
Essex Pathways

Our BSc Finance (including foundation year) is open to Home and EU 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) on the Essex Business School Pathway, 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 prepares you for a fast-paced career in any area of finance.

You have access to our virtual trading floor, where you can trade multiple markets from a single screen with industry leading software, X_TRADER. You can also use real-world Bloomberg Market Data Feed (B-PIPE), within minutes of it being released, so you can practise making business decisions in the same way you might in the workplace.

The course examines international financial markets, as well as how finance shapes leadership, strategy and planning within organisations.

Topics may include:

  • the pricing of securities in financial markets
  • risk management
  • corporate finance and financial decision making
  • business economics
  • quantitative methods
  • financial modelling
  • portfolio analysis

We use real-life examples to apply theory to practice and develop your capacity to analyse statistics. Ethics underpins all of our teaching, so you can graduate with the ability to make sound, responsible financial decisions for the benefit of organisations and their stakeholders.

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

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 gives you the chance to further develop vital employability skills in areas of research, project management and critical thinking.

BSc Finance also gives you the option to follow a specialised pathway in Applied Quantitative Methods (AQM).

With employers looking for graduates with data analysis skills, The University of Essex is one of just three UK universities to have received Q-Step Affiliate status. By completing necessary AQM modules, your quantitative skills are evidenced on your degree transcript to give you the competitive edge in the jobs market. We can also provide work placement bursaries to develop your skills in evaluating numerical evidence, analysing data and designing research.

Essex Business School, where this course is taught, is an IMC Advantage Partner. This course is aligned to the Investment Management Certificate (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.

Why we're great.
  • We equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed at Essex and beyond.
  • Our finance courses have 91% student satisfaction (NSS, 2019) and we are ranked 20th nationally for overall student satisfaction in finance (NSS, 2019)
  • Small class sizes allow you to work closely with your teachers and classmates.
THE Awards 2018 - Winner University of the 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 and we have one of the largest finance groups in the country.

Our staff all with wide-ranging research interests and proven academic track records. Their research informs your lectures and seminars, so you learn about the latest issues impacting the finance sector globally.< /p>

Our staff join us from all over the world and specialise in areas such as:

  • bank risk and regulation
  • foreign bank ownership
  • finance of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)
  • bank mergers
  • acquisitions and financial econometrics
  • growth and poverty; drivers of commodity prices.

Joining us from the Bank of England where he was a Senior Technical Advisor with special responsibility for coordinating research activities in Monetary Analysis, Professor Simon Price combines his academic and professional expertise to expertly inform his teaching on our Finance and Banking courses.

Professor Neil Kellard, Acting Dean of Essex Business School and member of the Finance Group, studies the commodities markets and whether it is possible to model and forecast the price of commodities in order to predict global crises in food supplies, often considered the trigger for wider political conflict.

Watch Professor Neil Kellard discuss his research:

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

Specialist facilities

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 departmentto 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 BSc 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 custom designed 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 finance and financial services sector is a huge employer of graduates and the skills you will gain in information security, data and portfolio analysis from your finance degree will prepare you for this very competitive sector of the graduate job market.

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 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:

  • Investment Banking Analyst, Leveraged Finance at Credit Suisse - a leading financial services company
  • Audit Associate at EY - a multinational professional services 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 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.

Essex Business School is a symbol of innovation and growth. Here the teaching is alive and always up-to-date. I chose to study BSc Finance here because I am fascinated by the strict relationship between the world we live in and the financial markets. Movements in the price of a stock represent most of the information that is in circulation. Studying finance is knowing how to deal with the upside downs of the entire economical system.

Virginia Nicodemi, BSc Finance, 2019

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

UK and EU applicants should have, or expect to have:

72 UCAS tariff points from at least two full A-levels, or equivalent.

Examples of the above tariff may include:

  • A-levels: DDD
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma: MMP

All applicants must also hold GCSE Maths at grade C/4 or above.

Essex Pathways Department accepts a wide range of qualifications from applicants. If you are unsure whether you meet the entry criteria, please get in touch for advice.

Essex Pathways Department is unable to accept applications from international students. Foundation pathways for international students are available at the University of Essex International College and are delivered and awarded by Kaplan, in partnership with the University of Essex. Successful completion will enable you to progress to the relevant degree course at the University of Essex.

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 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.

Additional Notes

Our Year 0 courses are only open to UK and EU applicants. If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to your chosen 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.

Structure

Example structure

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

Year zero provides with you the necessary skills and knowledge in order for you to progress onto your chosen area of study. Successful completion of year zero guarantees you entry to the first year of your undergraduate degree course.

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 risk management, financial markets, quantitative methods and portfolio analysis. You’ll also be able to pick from a variety of optional modules to further your understanding of your favourite 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 Business Management

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.

View Introduction to Business Management on our Module Directory

Introduction to Economics

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.

View Introduction to Economics on our Module Directory

Mathematics and Statistics for Economics and Business

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.

View Mathematics and Statistics for Economics and Business on our Module Directory

Research and Academic Development Skills

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.

View Research and Academic Development Skills on our Module Directory

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

Financial Reporting and Analysis

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.

View Financial Reporting and Analysis 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

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

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

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 (optional)

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 (optional) on our Module Directory

Financial Intermediaries, Instruments and Markets (optional)

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 (optional) 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

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

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

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

Empirical Finance

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.

View Empirical Finance on our Module Directory

International Finance

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.

View International Finance 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

Current Issues in Financial Reporting (optional)

What does accounting do and why, and what is done in the name of accounting but might <i>not</i> 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.

View Current Issues in Financial Reporting (optional) on our Module Directory

Applying E-Commerce in Business (optional)

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 (optional) on our Module Directory

Teaching

  • 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

Assessment

  • Your assessed coursework will generally consist of essays, reports, in-class tests, individual or group oral presentations, and small scale research projects

Fees and funding

Home/EU fee

£9,250

International fee

£16,050

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)

  • Tuesday, December 17, 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 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 EU applicants 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

Please note that this course is not open to international applicants.

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.

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.


Find out more

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its course finder is accurate and up-to-date. Occasionally 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.

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