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Finance (MSc)

  • Duration: 1 year
  • Mode: Full time

Start date

Open day

Find out more about studying here as a postgraduate at our next Open Day.

Why study this course

Challenge yourself on this practice-focused programme and develop the confidence, knowledge and skills for a successful career in finance.


Hone your trading skills

Our 56-seat capacity trading room is fully-equipped with Global Investor Simulations, TRETS, Bloomberg and Refinitiv Datastream.


Skills for career success

Acquire tools and techniques to respond to a financial sector characterised by crises, regulation, globalisation and innovation.


Progress to PhD

Prepare for doctoral study or research-oriented careers with independent research under academic supervision.


Socially responsible

As the world's first Public Value Business School, we're committed to delivering social improvement alongside economic development.

Studying our MSc Finance programme will help you to succeed in an interconnected, diverse and ever-changing international environment by exposing you to current thinking in finance and real-world challenges.

We will provide you with an in-depth insight into strategic aspects of finance. You will explore the key topics of asset pricing, investment management and corporate finance, alongside developing your consultancy and research skills. The programme will enable you to pursue a specialist career in investment management or trading, working as a senior executive or consultant in corporate or financial institutions. A variety of module options will help you tailor your learning in specific aspects of finance to achieve your future career aspirations.

You will be exposed to cutting-edge trading simulations in our flagship Trading Room. The 56-seat capacity trading floor, is one of the largest in the UK and provides you with the opportunity to gain the practical skills required for life at the stock exchange. An Optional Bloomberg Certification is also offered.

The programme examines a range of contemporary issues in finance, including the use of innovative financial technologies and instruments, electronic trading, ethical financial decision making and the corporate financial life-cycle.


Portrait of young man smiling
“I found the modules on the MSc Finance appealing, striking the right balance between empirical and theoretical topics. I also enjoyed the focus on trading and financial markets; the atmosphere in the trading room is phenomenal, it accurately reflects the vibes you feel on an actual trading floor.”
Abdulrahman Alfarhoud MSc Finance

Where you'll study

Cardiff Business School

We’re an AACSB International and AMBA-accredited Business School with a clear mission: to make a positive impact in the communities of Wales and the world.

  • icon-chatGet in touch
  • Telephone+44 (0)29 2087 4674
  • MarkerColum Road, Cathays, Cardiff, CF10 3EU

Admissions criteria

In order to be considered for an offer for this programme you will need to meet all of the entry requirements. Your application will not be progressed if the information and evidence listed is not provided.

With your online application you will need to provide:

  1. A copy of your degree certificate and transcripts which show you have achieved a 2:1 honours degree which must include a minimum of 60%/2:1 in one quantitative module and three analytical finance modules, or an equivalent international degree. If your degree certificate or result is pending, please upload any interim transcripts or provisional certificates.
  2. A copy of your IELTS certificate with an overall score of 6.5 with 6.0 in all subskills, or evidence of an accepted equivalent. Please include the date of your expected test if this qualification is pending. If you have alternative acceptable evidence, such as an undergraduate degree studied in the UK, please supply this in place of an IELTS.

If you do not have a degree in a relevant area, your application may be considered on the basis of your professional experience. Please provide additional evidence to support your application such as signed and dated employer references.

Application Deadline

We allocate places on a first-come, first-served basis, so we recommend you apply as early as possible. Applications normally close at the end of August but may close sooner if all places are filled.

Selection process

We will review your application and if you meet all of the entry requirements, we will make you an offer.

Find out more about English language requirements.

Applicants who require a Student visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements.

Criminal convictions

You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course.

If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • access to computers or devices that can store images
  • use of internet and communication tools/devices
  • curfews
  • freedom of movement
  • contact with people related to Cardiff University.

Course structure

The MSc Finance is structured around four compulsory module blocks which will allow you to attain expert knowledge in finance. Two additional optional module blocks offer the opportunity to undertake specialised study in areas that may be particularly relevant for your future career. These modules explore the use of innovative aspects in finance such as derivatives, electronic trading, global finance, financial technology and behaviour.

The programme concludes with the completion of either an individual piece of in-depth research or a collaborative project on a live business problem. Both the Business Practice or Research Dissertation will enable you to integrate your learning from across different modules to address a real business or academic challenge.

You will develop and apply the key technical and soft skills required for effective finance specialist in every module. You will see your expertise build cumulatively across the programme as you are given multiple opportunities to explore research and practice and respond to practical finance and trading challenges.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2024/25 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2024.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Asset PricingBST95120 credits
Investment ManagementBST95320 credits
Corporate FinanceBST95420 credits
Quantitative Methods in FinanceBST95620 credits
Research DissertationBST96960 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.

Learning and assessment

How will I be taught?

An active learning approach is embedded in the MSc Finance. We believe that effective learning is founded on two things - your involvement in diverse experiences, and the way you make sense of those experiences, both individually and with others. 

Each block of learning includes a variety of activities such as case studies, videos, mini team challenges, role-play, and industry speakers, all designed to introduce new ideas and develop your understanding.

We will help you to enhance the technical and critical analysis skills that you were introduced to during your first degree to build your capability and profile as a finance expert. We will also support you to work with other students to reflect on your existing knowledge and skills and build new insights into the nature of finance in a variety of contexts. You will be encouraged to work collaboratively in diverse teams to consider a range of alternative understandings and practices.

Trying out new learning is important too. You will integrate and apply new understandings, together with new finance skills, in practical tasks embedded in each learning block, and in formal coursework activities.

How will I be assessed?

The block programme structure provides plenty of opportunities for you to reflect on your learning and development informally. Short knowledge/skill review activities are built into each module to help you check your progress and improve your approach to learning. This will build your confidence and enhance your approach to formal assessment tasks.

A variety of formal assessment tasks provide the opportunity to explore concepts and models in creative and practical ways. These include poster presentations, case studies, group presentations, reports, and videos. You will work individually and as part of a team, just as you would in the workplace.

All formal assessments are completed within each module block. This enables more in-depth consolidation and application required for successful performance in assessment tasks based on the complex work undertaken by finance professionals. For example, in-class tests and exams reflect realistic workplace timescales for the completion of tasks.

How will I be supported?

We provide a range of support to keep your studies on track, focussing on your learning, well-being and career.  We recognise that some of you will be transitioning to a different country and different approach to learning, and of course all of you will all be taking a step up in meeting the expectations of postgraduate study.

To enhance your learning, we provide easy access to all course materials using Learning Central, a virtual learning environment. A variety of hard and electronic copies of books, journals and databases are available in libraries across campus.  The development of key academic skills and clarification of assessment expectation are embedded in your programme.  Additional English Language classes are available during term time for students wanting to enhance their spoken and written communication.

Each module is carefully designed to help you explore new concepts and practice in a supportive environment.  This includes opportunities for you to try out your new knowledge in a variety of tasks where you will gain informal individual and all-class feedback.  This will help you identify strengths and areas for development, in anticipation of formal assessment.  We also try to include a formal assessment early in the programme to help you manage your level of achievement as soon as possible. The Programme Director is keen to provide extra support to anyone who needs a helping hand and sign-posting you to sources of additional University support regarding academic content, academic skills and pastoral care, where required.  Each student also has a Personal Tutor. This member of academic staff will maintain an overview of your learning and educational experiences.  If you are experiencing difficulties, your Personal Tutor will be there to listen and where possible provide professional guidance or direct you to the appropriate source of support.

To help you make the most of your time with us, the Postgraduate Student Hub is the first point of call for all your queries about the programme, personal tutoring, your student record, student case queries and the collection of marked assignments. The School’s Student Cases Team provides guidance and support to individuals on Extenuating Circumstances, Interruption of Study, Extensions, Unfair Practice, Appeals, Complaints, Specific Provision.

To enhance your wellbeing, we have a dedicated Student Support Officer, and her dog ‘Winnie’ can provide impartial, non-judgemental and confidential support to students on a wide range of personal, financial and academic matters (e.g., Housing/Accommodation, Student Finance, Immigration, Personal & Course Issues). You can also take advantage of the University’s confidential and free Counselling Service to help you examine issues that may be preventing you for from maximising your full potential. The University also has a Disability and Dyslexia Service providing confidential advice and support is provided for students who are disabled or who have a specific learning difficulty (e.g., dyslexia) or long-term medical condition.

To enhance your career options, we have dedicated Career and Employability Consultants who have developed a package of support for job applications, interviews and job opportunities. Our Placements team also offer advice on available work placements, internships, work experience and opportunities to enhance your CV and broaden your horizons.

When undertaking the dissertation/project you are expected to meet regularly with your supervisor to review progress and discuss any questions. Your supervisor will be able to provide feedback on your research plan and drafts of your work as you progress.

What skills will I practise and develop?

The Learning Outcomes for this Programme describe what you will be able to do as a result of your study at Cardiff University. They will help you to understand what is expected of you. 

The Learning Outcomes for this Programme can be found below:

Knowledge & Understanding:    

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to:
•    Evaluate the links between theory, principles and practice of finance.
•    Critically evaluate contemporary issues in finance by drawing on current research and identifying the potential implications for future research and practice.
•    Discriminate between complementary analytical approaches, statistical and econometric techniques for exploring a range of financial problems.
•    Critically evaluate the relevance of modern theoretical concepts in the context of the dynamic financial environment.
•    Apply finance research and professional knowledge to solve real-world business scenarios.

Intellectual Skills:    

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to:
•    Define a business or research-based problem clearly.
•    Review and select an appropriate research approach.
•    Use appropriate tools to investigate business or research-based problems.
•    Critically analyse, synthesise and evaluate contrasting perspectives and supporting evidence.
•    Generate and communicate well-evidenced conclusions and recommendations for theory and practice.

Professional Practical Skills:    

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to:
•    Analyse data, identify current situation and predict future trends.
•    Select and interrogate appropriate databases and relevant econometric software packages.
•    Apply relevant financial knowledge for effective day-to-day decision making.
•    Develop effective working relationships with peers.
•    Respond to changes in financial information for effective decision making.
•    Complete a task on time, to brief and with original insight.

Transferable/Key Skills:    

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to:
•    Respond flexibly to different scenarios.
•    Communicate to diverse audiences through a range of media.
•    Challenge assumptions based on robust evidence.
•    Work independently/collaboratively.
•    Take the initiative and be proactive.
•    Use technology to solve problems.

Tuition fees for 2024 entry

Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on your fee status. Your fee status could be home, island or overseas.

Learn how we decide your fee status

Fees for home status

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £13,200 None

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national, your tuition fees for 2024/25 be in line with the overseas fees for international students, unless you qualify for home fee status. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.

Fees for island status

Learn more about the postgraduate fees for students from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Fees for overseas status

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £29,200 £2,500

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.

Financial support

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Additional costs

Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?

No specific equipment is needed

Living costs

We’re based in one of the UK’s most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.


Master's Scholarships

An award open to UK students intending to study one of our taught master’s degrees.

Postgraduate loans

If you are starting your master’s degree in September 2024 or later, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan to support your study at Cardiff University.

Alumni Discount

The alumni discount is available for Cardiff University graduates who are planning to start an eligible master's in 2024/25.

Careers and placements

At Cardiff Business School, you’ll receive a career-changing education from world-leading academics that have different points of view. They’ll challenge your thinking as you consider the world of business from a range of alternative perspectives.

On our MSc in Finance, you’ll benefit from the knowledge and expertise of our Career Enhancer Team. They’re ready and waiting to identify events and opportunities to help you achieve your future aspirations.

We’ve developed relationships that range from the largest multinationals to the smallest micro-businesses, and include a wide variety of social enterprises and cooperatives. We use these networks to deliver value for our students through:

  • real-world case studies and insights
  • guest lectures
  • field trips and workshops.

This wide ranging and varied learning experience will help enhance your career and demonstrate how you can make a difference along the way.

Graduates from the MSc in Finance attract job offers from a range of financial institutions including investment banks, hedge funds and stock exchanges.

Some of our graduates will also find roles within organisations and corporations with a strong interest in finance. These include consultancies, national and international regulators, and the finance divisions of multinational companies.


There are no placement opportunities on this programme.


Young man delivering presentation in lecture theatre
“I want to follow a career in research and contribute to the latest academic thinking in finance. I’ve learnt about quantitative methods and empirical and mathematical finance which are all crucial tools for any early career researcher in the field of finance.”
Shihao Pei MSc Finance

Next steps


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HESA Data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2021. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019/20, published by HESA in June 2022.