Banking and Finance (BSc Econ)

The Banking and Finance degree programme is of particular interest to those wishing to enter the financial sector.

The Banking and Finance degree programme is of particular interest to those wishing to enter the financial sector. It can provide students with the opportunity to acquire specialist economic knowledge of the operation of the monetary and financial sectors.

This programme of study provides you not only with training relevant to the practice of banking and other financial careers, but also with exemption from certain examinations of the Chartered Institute of Bankers.

Key facts

UCAS CodeN300
Entry pointSeptember 2016
Duration3 years
AccreditationsAssociation to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
Typical places available
Typical applications received
Typical A level offerAAB from any combination of A-levels excluding General Studies, Critical Thinking and Citizenship Studies
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerGrade A in the Core and grades AB from two A-levels OR Grade B in the Core and grades AA from two A-levels
Typical International Baccalaureate offer35 points, including Maths and English (Standard level) with scores of 5
Other qualificationsApplicants will also require GCSE English grade C and GCSE Mathematics grade B. Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Specific admissions and selection criteria for this degree programme can be found online.

Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course.
QAA subject benchmark


Admissions tutor(s)

Mr Kevin Stagg, Admissions Tutor

Important Legal Information: The programme information currently being published in Course Finder is under review and may be subject to change. The final programme information is due to be published in June 2016 and will be the definitive programme outline which the University intends to offer. Applicants are advised to check the definitive programme information after the update, to ensure that the programme meets their needs.

The Banking and Finance degree shares a common first year with Business Economics and Economics, then progressively diverges therefrom, enabling students to specialise on banking and financial issues.

Trading room

The trading room is used as part of the BSc Banking and Finance programme but is open to all students, supervised by trained PhD students who will help students to become familiar with the new software. Many students on this programme become involved with the Cardiff University Investment Society which meets on Monday and Thursday evenings with opportunities to discuss current issues in financial markets, listen to guest speakers and have the opportunity to manage a global macro investment portfolio.

Students are offered the opportunity to undertake the Thomson Reuters Certification qualification, an industry qualification to prove their ability in using the platform to access all the information that they need. This five-module training process involves one-to-one training and phone conferences with a Reuters representative. The Trading Room gives students the opportunity to become attractive potential graduates in the City, where the job market is becoming ever more competitive.

Year one

Two compulsory double modules and one other compulsory module per semester (Microeconomics and Macroeconomics).

Two double modules or one double module plus the two single modules from the optional list.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Applied Stats & Maths in Econ & BusinessBS150120 credits
Introduction to AccountingBS150320 credits
MicroeconomicsBS155120 credits
MacroeconomicsBS165220 credits

Module titleModule codeCredits
Legal StudiesBS150520 credits
Contemporary Economic IssuesBS154520 credits
Principles of Business ManagementBS153010 credits
Introduction to FinanceBS161010 credits
Economic HistoryBS154620 credits

Year two

Four compulsory double modules and two further modules from the optional list.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Introductory EconometricsBS257020 credits
Money Banking & FinanceBS255120 credits
Microeconomic TheoryBS255020 credits
Macroeconomic TheoryBS254920 credits

Year three

Three compulsory double modules plus two or three double modules from the optional list. If only two double modules are chosen from the optional then students must also take the single modules.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Financial EconomicsBS355420 credits
International FinanceBS355520 credits
Economics of BankingBS357120 credits

Module titleModule codeCredits
EconometricsBS355120 credits
International Economic HistoryBS355620 credits
Labour EconomicsBS355820 credits
International TradeBS356820 credits
Ethics and Morality of BusinessBS372820 credits
Industrial EconomicsBS357220 credits
Financial DerivativesBS351510 credits
Security Analysis & Portfolio ManagementBS361510 credits
The Economics of DevelopmentBS357320 credits
Corporate Reporting and FinanceBS359320 credits
Social WelfareBS357420 credits
The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

Cardiff Business School's teaching is heavily informed by research and combines academic rigour with practical relevance. Our faculty consists of academics who are at the forefront of knowledge within their field. They bring the lessons from their most recent research into the classroom, giving students access to the latest information and critical business thinking.

You will find that the phrase 'learning and teaching' is commonly used in UK universities. This phrase emphasises the two-way nature of the process in which you will be taking part. You, we hope, will be doing the learning; we will be providing not only teaching, but also many other things which contribute to a good environment for learning, such as computer resources, a  well-stocked library, suitable lecture rooms, and so on.

The Business School and University will provide good quality teaching and learning resources, and will be responsive to the needs and views of you, our students. For your part, you will need to put in the necessary amount of work both during and outside formal teaching sessions, and to make good use of the facilities provided.

Methods of teaching

Most modules involve a mixture of lectures and small group teaching (classes/seminars/workshops/tutorials). 

In the lecture, the lecturer will mainly be giving an overview of an aspect of the module content (as well as giving opportunities for the student to ask questions and be reflective), while in classes and workshops you will have an opportunity to practice techniques, discuss ideas, apply concepts and consolidate your understanding in the topic

Independent study

All modules will require a considerable element of independent study alongside the formal scheduled teaching. Independent study is designed so that you can expand on the knowledge given to you during lectures, seminars and tutorials. Independent study is an important component of Higher Education because it helps you to develop the ability for enquiry and critical evaluation, which in turn leads to you developing transferable skills, helps you to learn how to respond to change and it is key to ensuring that you have sufficient understanding of the subject you are studying. The amount of independent study you are expected to undertake will increase throughout the duration of your degree as your expertise also increases.

Office hours

All academic staff in the Business School have designated office hours when they are available to meet with students and these are posted on their office doors along with their contact details. Office hours provide an important source of contact with your lecturers and enable you to ask questions you may not wish to ask in a large class setting. This time can help you to clarify anything you have been taught that is unclear or can give you advice on further reading or preparation for assignments.

Personal tutors

You will be allocated a personal tutor at the beginning of your studies. Normally, your personal tutor will teach on your own degree programme and you will keep the same personal tutor throughout your course.

Your personal tutor will be able to give you advice on academic issues, including module choice and assessment. If you encounter any problems which affect your studies, your personal tutor should always be your first point of contact; she/he will be able to put you in touch with the student support services provided by the University and the Students' Union as appropriate. It is normally the personal tutor who writes references for job applications and therefore you should keep your personal tutor informed about how you are getting on. Students are required to meet with their personal tutors at three points during the year but you are also encouraged to get in touch with them at any other point if you need help or advice.

In 2013/14, 95% of the School's graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation. Our business degrees give students a broad range of skills which are valued by a range of employers in the private and public sectors.

The banking and finance degree provides opportunities for careers within banking, accountancy and other financial institutions. Graduates also gain exemption from certain examinations of the Chartered Institute of Bankers.

In addition to the University Careers Service, we have invested in our own, dedicated Careers Centre to help students find internships, job opportunities and access business industry specific advice and guidance.


  • Accountant
  • Business Analyst
  • Economist
  • HR Manager
  • Lecturer
  • Marketing Executive
  • Production Manager
  • Stockbroker


3 Year(s)

Next intake

September 2016

Places available

Typical places available

The School admits 550 students each year to its undergraduate degree programmes

Applications received

Typical applications received



QAA subject benchmark

QAA subject benchmark


Overview and aims of this course/programme

The overall aim of the BSc Econ Banking and Finance programme within the Business School is to provide an undergraduate degree in Banking and Finance which is conceptually challenging, analytically rigorous and research-led, and also both stimulating and practically relevant. The programme aims to develop in students the ability to apply economic analysis to solve theoretical and applied problems in economics, money, banking, and finance, and to evaluate alternative policy options.

Specifically, the Banking and Finance Degree programme aims to:

·         Provide students with a thorough understanding of the method, content and scope of economic analysis particularly in the fields of money, banking and finance.

·         Stimulate students intellectually to appreciate the value of economic analysis in understanding economic problems.

·         Equip students with a thorough grounding in the theory, concepts, principles and techniques of core subject areas of the discipline: macroeconomics, microeconomics, quantitative analysis, monetary economics, investment theory, financial economics and the micro structure of trading.

·         Give students a firm foundation of knowledge in the workings of the micro structure of financial trading and the ability to use that knowledge in different financial trading markets through the use of simulated market trades.

·         Encourage through the study of economics, banking and finance, a range of transferable subject-specific and core skills that will be of value to students in future education and in their subsequent careers.

·         Allow students to explore the depth of economic analysis by offering them the opportunity to acquire detailed knowledge and technique in specialist areas of Domestic and International Banking, International Finance and Financial Economics.

What should I know about year five?

Students will be expected to attend all timetabled sessions and are also expected to engage in independent study.

Students are expected to adhere to the Cardiff University policy on Dignity at Work and Study.

How is this course/programme structured?

The Economics Banking & Finance programme is a full-time 3 year programme of study, involving both compulsory and optional modules in all 3 years.  Students normally attain 120 credits each year and 360 in total.  Teaching and learning aspects of the programme come within the remit of the Economics Board of Studies

A significant proportion of the modules included in the programme are taught by the Business School’s Economics Section.  Certain modules, notably in year 1, are taught by other sections of the Business School.  Full details of the programme structure, requirements, modules and credits are set out in the Business School’s Module Catalogues.

What should I know about year four?

No specific equipment required

What should I know about year three?

Please see Learning Outcomes.

What should I know about the preliminary year?

A  Knowledge and Understanding

Core knowledge and understanding is acquired through lectures and class tutorials. Advanced knowledge is acquired by self study, computer workshops and group work.

B  Intellectual Skills

Intellectual skills are promoted through lectures, tutorials and computer workshops. Application of these skills is developed through class tests, tutorial assignments, essays and group presentations.

C  Discipline Specific, including Practical Skills

Information and analytical skills are imparted from lectures and tutorials. The three core modules in the final year, Economics of Banking, International Finance and Financial Economics define the subject specialisms. These modules, coupled with a strong Economics base, enable Banking and Finance graduates to gain skills specific to the scheme, for example numerical dexterity, quantitative thinking and group presentations skills, all of which serve to prepare graduates for a professional career in the financial and banking industry.

What should I know about year one?

A  Knowledge and Understanding

Knowledge and understanding is assessed through tutor marked essays, class assignments, class tests and group presentations. Written feedback is provided in returned essay work and verbal feedback is provided with group presentations. A general feedback is provided in the case of class tests.

B  Intellectual Skills

Assessment is by means of unseen written examinations, class tests, individual assessed assignments and essays and group research assignments and presentations.

C  Discipline Specific, including Practical Skills

Class tests, individual essay-type assignments, group projects and group presentations assess discipline specific skills. Numerical class tests on the core material are balanced against group presentation and essay coursework within assessment.

Other information

Students obtain support materials either via Learning Central (Cardiff University’s Virtual Learning Environment) or from study packs specially developed for selected modules. All students are allocated a personal tutor. Additional support and advice is available where necessary from the School’s Senior Personal Tutor for Undergraduate Taught Students. 

Distinctive features

Students who gain the award will have demonstrated achievement of the following economics Learning Outcomes:

A  Knowledge and Understanding

Intended Outcomes: Upon completion of the programme a typical student will:

·         be familiar with the basic principles of money and banking and its interaction with the macroeconomy.

·         have a sound understanding of the foundations of economic theory, be able to explain and critically evaluate specific theories, and to use theoretical ideas to analyse contemporary problems.

·         be familiar with the implications of micro financial structure on the behaviour of financial trading markets.

·         be aware of the nature of banking and financial intermediation and be able to evaluate the functions and performance of banks and other financial intermediaries

·         be conversant with the basic concepts of finance theory, to be able to undertake basic financial analysis and to appreciate the determinants of exchange rate fluctuations.

·         have a basic understanding of the subject matter, issues and technique of various specialisms in banking and finance.

·         appreciate the application of modern risk management techniques in banking and finance including foreign exchange risk.

B  Intellectual Skills

Intended Outcomes: Upon completion of the programme a typical student will be able to:

·         simplify complex situations to provide a framework which, whilst still relevant, allows effective problem solving and decision making.

·         apply deductive reasoning and logical analysis.

·         organise, analyse and present economic and financial data and information.

·         model behaviour so as to identify and separate out important variables and relationships, isolate the changeable elements, determine what is endogenous and exogenous.

·         identify the opportunity costs in decision making so ensuring that all resource costs are taken into account.

·         recognise the relevance of rationality, marginal analysis and the notion of equilibrium in certain decision problems.

·         understand and evaluate the role of incentives and strategic thinking in determining individual behaviour and therefore in achieving group goals.

C  Discipline Specific, including Practical Skills

Intended Outcomes: Upon completion of the programme a typical student will be able to:

·         Value and understand the characteristics of financial assets and implement risk management techniques.

·         Understand the fundamental nature of derivatives, develop simple trading strategies, and be familiar with derivative valuation techniques.

·         Understand the workings of banks and other financial intermediaries, describe the process of liquidity creation and be aware of the major changes and trends in the UK and international banking sectors.

·         Identify and differentiate between the various theories of the banking firm and theories of credit rationing and to interpret the trends in banking in relation to these theories.

·         Describe and interpret the UK and European regulatory framework relating to the banking system.

·         Understand and be able to evaluate the different theories of exchange rate determination and be able to analyse the effects of monetary and real shocks to an open economy under different exchange rate regimes.

·         Identify the benefits and costs of a monetary union with particular reference to the European Monetary Union.

·         Understand the characteristics of international financial assets and be familiar with the application of various statistical techniques to appropriate international investment decisions.

How will I be taught?

The distinctive features of the programme include:

·         Economic principles with an emphasis on issues relating to Banking and Finance.

·         The central role of the second year core modules of Macroeconomics, Microeconomics and Introductory Econometrics implicit to the Banking and Finance degree programme.

·         The use of simulated financial trading to understand the behaviour of financial trading markets in the context of different micro financial structures.

·         The core specialist modules of Money, Banking and Finance (Year 2) and Economics of Banking, Financial Economics, and International Finance (Final year) that explicitly define the degree programme.

Admissions tutors

Mr Kevin Stagg, Admissions Tutor

Key Information Sets (KIS) make it easy for prospective students to compare information about full or part time undergraduate courses, and are available on the Unistats website.


Get information and advice about making an application, find out when the key dates are and learn more about our admissions criteria.

How to apply
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