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International Economics, Banking and 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

See the ‘big picture’ of the macro economy and develop skills to tackle monetary, banking, financial and economic problems across continents.


New generation of thinkers

Apply analytical techniques to solve complex economic and socio-political challenges.


Industry insights

Get the latest economic and financial research insights from high-profile guest speakers.


Hone your trading skills

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


Socially responsible

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

Our International Economics, Banking and Finance programme is designed for students with a basic knowledge of economics who wish to broaden their knowledge base for a career in banking, fund management, investment banking, corporate treasury, and other financial sector roles.

The programme focuses on understanding the behaviour of banks and other financial institutions drawing on the principles of microeconomics and the dynamics of the international macroeconomic environment.  

It will provide you with a thorough understanding of how money, banking and finance interact and operate in the domestic and international economy.  It will also help you to develop the analytical and descriptive skills required for a future career in banking and financial sectors.

You will benefit from training in advanced numerical and quantitative techniques and exposure to cutting-edge trading simulations in our flagship Trading Room. This 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 financial industry. You can also obtain Bloomberg Certification.


Where you'll study

Cardiff Business School

We're an AACSB International accredited Business School with a clear purpose: to make a difference in the communities of Wales and the world.

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  • Telephone+44 (0)29 2087 4674
  • MarkerColum Road, Cathays, Cardiff, CF10 3EU

Admissions criteria

Academic requirements:

Typically you will need to have either:

  • a 2:1 honours degree (GPA 3.0/4.0), which must include the following modules all passed with at least UK 60%/2:1, or equivalent: basic quantitative methods, macroeconomics, and microeconomics
  • a university-recognised equivalent academic qualification 
  • or relevant professional experience (appropriate evidence will be required). 

English Language requirements:

IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 with at least 6.0 in all subskills, or an accepted equivalent.

Application deadline:

We allocate places on a first-come, first-served basis, so we recommend you apply as early as possible.

Selection process:

We will review your application and if you meet 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

First semester modules provide a foundation for the programme. Three core modules consolidate and extend your existing understanding of finance and economics in preparation for your specialist study of international money and banking.

In the second semester you will study two additional core modules as well as one optional module reflecting your particular career interests.

After successful completion of the taught stage you will progress to the individual research project. This research project is designed to enable you to apply the knowledge, understanding and skills learnt in the taught modules to individual independent research under academic supervision. You will hone your ability to search, use and analyse real and relevant data. This is supported by one of the core modules focusing on the tools and techniques of quantitative research.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2022/23 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2022.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Research Dissertation (IEBF)BST77060 credits
Principles of FinanceBST75020 credits
MacroeconomicsBST75120 credits
MicroeconomicsBST75220 credits
Quantitative MethodsBST75320 credits
International BankingBST75420 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?

Your exploration of new knowledge and skills will be supported by a series of lectures and small group teaching in tutorials and workshops.  

The lectures will provide an opportunity to understand the relevance and principles of new topics, as well as to reflect on models and theories in action. Small group activities will then give you the opportunity to practice techniques, discuss ideas, apply concepts and consolidate your understanding in the topic, working individually and collaboratively.

How will I be assessed?

A variety of formal assessment tasks provide the opportunity for you to apply concepts and skills related to the complex work undertaken by finance professionals. For example, in-class tests and exams reflect realistic workplace timescales for problem solving. Other assessment activities include essays, presentations, and individual and group projects.

The programme 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.

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:
-    Explain how  knowledge from relevant models, frameworks, and schools of thought can be used to design solutions to complex banking, economics and financial problems.
-    Critically evaluate different models and arguments and their implied policies and utilise them in different situations.
-    Critically evaluate the effectiveness of different research techniques to investigate a given banking, economics and finance problems.
-    Demonstrate a systematic understanding of how banks operate in both domestic and international environments.
-    Assess the interaction between the international macroeconomic environment and domestic financial markets.

Intellectual Skills:    

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to:
-    Propose innovative solutions to financial and economic problems.
-    Develop and communicate evidence-based recommendations.
-    Evaluate the application of theory into practice.
-    Propose innovative solutions to banking, economics and finance problems.
-    Critically analyse and synthesise information.
-    Analyse data and draw appropriate conclusions.

Professional Practical Skills:    

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to:
-    Undertake research to address banking and financial problems.
-    Identify and apply relevant data and use them in building strong evidence-based arguments.
-    Source, interpret and present relevant information in order to draft professional briefing papers.
-    Summarise complex economic issues to a non-professional audience.

Transferable/Key Skills:    

On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to:
-    Solve problems.
-    Work collaboratively
-    Work independently.
-    Use digital technology.
-    Communicate clearly, concisely and persuasively in written form and speech.

Tuition fees for 2022 entry

Students from the UK

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £9,450 None

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss national, unless you qualify for UK fee status, tuition fees will be in line with the fees charged for international students. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.

Students from the rest of the world (international)

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £25,450 £1,000

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

There are no additional costs to students.

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.

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 International Economics, Banking and 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 work in the European Commission, Eurobank, Bank of England and Chinese financial institutions amongst many others.


“My experience and academic training helped me to break into the foreign banking world in Shanghai. Now I’m a Managing Director overseeing a corporate portfolio in China.”
Xu Zhang MSc International Economics, Banking and Finance


Master's Excellence Scholarships

An award open to students with a home fee status intending to study one of our taught master’s degrees.

UK Government master’s funding

If you are starting your master’s degree in September 2021 or later, you may be able to apply for UK Government postgraduate funding to support your study at Cardiff University.

Alumni Discount Scheme

The alumni discount is available for all master’s programmes in Cardiff Business School, as well as conversion courses in subjects including journalism, geography and planning, and creative writing, and master's programmes in clinical optometry, neuroimaging, education, global cultures, history, philosophy and translation.

Next steps


Open Day visits

Register for information about our 2021 dates.

Make an enquiry

Contact us for more information about this course.


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HESA data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2020. 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 2017/18, published by HESA in June 2020.