A fast-track qualification for non-finance graduates seeking employment in the rapidly growing financial services sector.
This programme is intensive and allows highly motivated graduates to ‘skill into’ the wholesale financial services sector and is designed for those with a business or cognate discipline (law, economics, computing etc.). A unique aspect of the programme is the option to undertake a placement with a wholesale financial firm. Such placements are subject to interview by the firm and cannot be guaranteed by the University.
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About this course
In this section
Content & modules
Structure & content
The structure of the course is as follows:
Financial Markets, Institutions and Operation
Derivatives and Alternative Investments
Corporate Finance and Risk.
Either an academic dissertation or work placement report (the choice will be determined by whether the student undertakes placement).
The full-time duration of the programme is normally one calendar year of three semesters. The programme is modular in design, with students taking 8 modules to obtain the PgD and an additional dissertation, or work-based project, to achieve the award of MSc.
PgC (four months); PgD (nine months); Dissertation (four months); Placement (six months).
PgD element (150 hours per module).
- September 2019
Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.
Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.
In this section
Financial Reporting & Analysis
This module provides an understanding of financial reporting and analysis relevant to the financial services industry. The module will enhance students' knowledge of the financial reporting environment and provide students' with the requisite knowledge necessary to undertake study of and work within the financial services industry. Subjects covered include income statements, balance sheets, taxation, the accounting regulatory framework, analysis of financial reports and financial reporting governance issues.
This module aims to provide students with the micro and macro economic tools required to understand market behaviour, business performance and the economic environment within which businesses function, in preparation for a career in the financial services industry.
Financial Markets, Institutions and Operations
This module provides students with the necessary knowledge and skills to be able to understand and apply financial mathematics, introduces the economic rationale for the existence and functioning of global financial markets, develops knowledge of the global financial services industry, financial assets, investment products & settlement processes.
Research Methods in Finance
This module develops students' quantitative and qualitative research skills. It begins with an overview of the philosophy of scientific research. Data categorisation, descriptive statistics and exploratory data analysis are then introduced as the building blocks for subsequent quantitative analysis. Probability theory and probability distributions provides the foundation for a firm understanding of multivariate analysis, while also equipping students with a powerful framework for understanding and modelling various data generating processes. It concludes with a synthesis of issues related to developing a research proposal and writing the subsequent research report.
This module provides an understanding of the regulatory and compliance issues regarding financial institutions, instruments and employees, with specific focus on the UK. Subjects covered within the module include the regulatory environment, the Financial Services Authority, codes of conduct and domestic and international regulatory legislation.
Derivatives and Alternative Investments
This module builds upon the financial markets and investments module to develop further students' academic and professional competencies to prepare them for a career in financial services. It enhances students' knowledge of valuation theory and develops the necessary analytical skills for valuing spot and derivative markets securities. An understanding of trading strategies and their consequent payoffs, in conjunction with a practical understanding and knowledge of the financial markets and institutions involved in issuing, trading and the settlement of securities is also developed.
The module provides a deeper understanding of fund management, the role of the fund manager, the tools at the disposal of the fund manager and the dynamics of the fund management environment. Subjects examined within the module include: fund construction and performance measurement, equity and bond fund management, risk management and market efficiency and the implications of behavioural finance.
Risk Management Practices
The objective of the module is to provide students with a broad understanding of the general principles of risk in business, the key risks encountered by organisations operating within the financial services industry, the influence of corporate governance, regulation and codes of conduct, and the approaches typically used to identify, reduce and manage specific aspects of risk. The module will extensively assess previous risk events to both illustrate previous deficiencies and to identify the potential for future enhancements to risk management.
This module is optional
The dissertation module integrates and further develops the knowledge and skills acquired within the taught element of the programme. The module specifically allows the student to apply the knowledge and skills acquired to undertake a research dissertation investigating a topic relevant to the financial services sector and of interest to the student. The dissertation topic will vary, depending on the interests of the student and expertise of staff.
This module is optional
The Work-based project module integrates and further develops the knowledge and skills acquired within the taught element of the programme. The module specifically allows the student to apply the knowledge and skills acquired to undertake a project relevant to the financial services sector and of interest to the student. The project topic will vary, depending on the requirements of the financial services organisation that instigates the project.
We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.
In this section
Applicants must have gained Lower Second Class Honours in a business or cognate discipline, however graduates of any discipline will be considered. In recent years graduates of chemistry, physics, law, politics and software engineering have completed the program.
Candidates whose first language is not English must provide evidence of their English language competence (minimum IELTS score of 6.0, or equivalent).
English Language Requirements
General English language entry requirement for most programmes of study require you to have a minimum of IELTS equivalent 6.0 (with no contributing band of less than 5.5).
Our Centre for English Language Teaching (CELT) is a specialised unit providing English language teaching and support for registered students who have English as an additional language.
Individual courses may require a higher level of attainment - please check course entry requirements individually.
Careers & opportunities
In this section
The programme is primarily structured to aid graduates in gaining employment in the wholesale financial services sector, but would also provide a base for further research based study at PhD level. A wide range of placement opportunities are available including CitiGroup, PWC Augment, EY Pearson and MTS Wealth in Belfast with other options being available in Dublin. In 2015/16 90% of students on the course obtained a placement with the majority being offered full-time employment upon completion.
The programme is recognised by the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment (CISI) and graduates of the programme will be entitled to associate membership of the CISI and exemptions from the following CISI exams (CISI level in brackets): Securities and Investments (IOC); Derivatives (Certificate); and Fund Management (Diploma).
Fees and funding
In this section
Fees (total cost)
Important notice - fees information
Fees illustrated are based on 19/20 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees
- Northern Ireland & EU:
- £14,060.00 Scholarships available
Additional mandatory costs
Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.
We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.
There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.
Please contact the course team for more information.
Admissions contact regarding application process:
For more information visit
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