Finance generally refers to the handling or acquiring of money and funds. This can involve personal finance, corporate finance or public finance. However, finance is a very broad term that can refer to different aspects of the financial field. It plays a crucial part in most businesses and sectors, as the handling of money is very important.
Highlighted courses and degrees in Finance
An undergraduate degree in finance will normally give you a foundation knowledge of all finance areas. This may include macro and microeconomics, statistics and accounting, financial management, international finance and international forecasting. You may also get opportunities to develop your understanding of financial markets and how finance affects the wider world.
You will mainly be taught through lectures and seminars. You may be given the chance to participate in group projects. Some universities offer chances to take part in placements, but this is not guaranteed.
Depending on where you choose to study, you may be able to specialise towards the end of your degree. This specialisation can potentially influence your future career choices. Common specialisations include:
If your degree requires you to write a dissertation, this will give you the chance to further research a favoured area of finance.
The accreditation of your degree will depend on where you choose to study. Awards gained can differ at each institution. You can typically expect to gain a Bachelor of Science degree, but different countries may have different accreditation systems.
Typically, an undergraduate degree in finance will take three to four years. Foundation degrees, diplomas and certificates can last up to two years when studied full-time.
On successful completion of your undergraduate degree, you can either seek employment in your chosen field, or further your studies. Continuation of your studies could be in the form of a postgraduate degree, such as a masters, MBA or PhD, or a graduate diploma or certificate. You will also have the option to gain a range of professional qualifications.
The entry requirements for a finance degree will vary at each institution. Some universities might require you to sit an entrance exam, and others may rely on previous exam results. Some universities may prefer you to have studied certain subjects, and others may consider previous relevant work experience.
You should check each institution to see what entry requirements they have for their finance programmes.
If you do not meet the entry requirements you may want to consider a pathway course.
Tuition fees for international students are not fixed. This means that they can vary greatly from institution to institution. You should make sure that you are aware of how much your course will cost you.
You may be eligible for a scholarship or funding. This may be awarded by your institution, or a separate funding body. For more information, visit our scholarships and funding section.
It is very common for finance graduates to find work in business and finance positions, with roles such as finance manager, credit analyst, banker, asset manager or financial planner. You could also become a consultant, working either for a consultancy firm, or yourself. Because of the importance of financial services in the everyday workings of most businesses, you will most likely be able to find employment in an area of interest.
Graduates of finance are not limited to financial roles. The transferable skills gained during your degree mean that you will be suitable for a wide range of roles in different sectors. You will have a detailed understanding of the structures and processes of a business, as well as being logical, adept at problem solving and analysis, and great negotiators.
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