Key Facts

Course Title: Finance (MSc)
Course type: MSc
Mode of Study:Full Time
Contact Details:Dr Panos Sousounis
Website: Go to School homepage
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Subject Area: Business and Management


Welcome to our MSc in Finance at Keele Management School.

The MSc in Finance enables students to systematically develop their understanding of the key principles in finance alongside practical skills in financial management.  The programme is designed for students interested in a wide-range of future careers in finance, including analytical and financial management roles in financial institutions, firms and public organisations, and also lays the foundations for an academic career in finance when followed by a PhD.

The specialist MSc in Finance programme delivers a comprehensive and rigorous treatment of core modern financial theory and quantitative analysis to enable a systematic understanding of a wide-range of modern real world financial applications.  Across the programme, students learn to work confidently with both numerical and qualitative economic and financial business data from industry-standard sources such as the Bloomberg Professional Services Platform and Datastream.

Please use this page to find out about our course, teaching methods and application procedure, and if you have further questions feel free to come back to us and ask. 

We welcome applications from both home and overseas students.  We have a range of support services available for all students and further information specifically for international students can be found by clicking on the International Applications Information link above.

Aims of the Course

At its core the MSc in Finance is designed to develop the analytical and technical skills associated with financial asset pricing and hedging, portfolio management and corporate finance. The flexible programme structure enables students to focus on particular areas of interest while building upon a rigorous treatment of modern financial theory and quantitative analysis.  Together this will enable an understanding of relevant real world financial problems and their efficient solutions.

Successful students will gain:

  • A systematic understanding of knowledge in finance.
  • A critical awareness of key issues in modern finance.
  • A command of analytical techniques, computing and statistical software in the relevant areas of finance.
  • Increased confidence in the analysis, synthesis and evaluation of financial decision-making problems and their solutions.
  • Advanced practical skills in using Bloomberg Professional Services Platform and Datastream for the market data extraction and analysis using industry-standard tools.

Key Objectives:

Promote the knowledge and understanding of;

  • Financial markets, asset pricing and hedging and portfolio management.
  • The financial decisions of firms and theories of corporate structure.
  • The role of financial accounting in providing corporate information to stakeholders
  • Mathematical and statistical techniques used in finance to study asset pricing, hedging and portfolio management.

Career Destination Information

The course provides students with career related skills and expertise including experience with professional data platforms such as Bloomberg and Datastream. Typical career destinations may include employment in the investment management industry, as a financial officer within a commercial or public organisation, or as a researcher in the area of finance.

Entry Requirements

All applicants must hold at least a good Second-Class Honours degree (2.1 or 2.2) or overseas equivalent in finance, economics or other business-related subject areas demonstrating quantitative content, or in an alternative quantitative subject. Students who have appropriate professional qualifications or relevant work experience may also be considered. Outstanding students (2.1 and above or overseas equivalent) with backgrounds outside of these areas may also be considered and are encouraged to contact the course director.

The University uses a range of relevant selection criteria including academic qualifications, professional experience, evidence of likely commitment to academic study, and an estimate of a candidate’s future potential.

Students applying with a 2.1 and higher degree or overseas equivalent will be automatically considered for a scholarship of £1,500, subject to continual good performance throughout the year.

Anyone applying from a country where English is not the first language is required to take one of the internationally recognised English language tests such as Academic IELTS or equivalent English language qualification. The minimum entry level is IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each subtest or equivalent English language test scores.

For overseas students who do not meet all direct entry requirements, the opportunity to take an intensive pre-MSc programme leading to MSc entry may be offered.

Course Content

The MSc programme starts in September and lasts 12 months. During the first semester (September to January) students take the following four core modules:

Semester 1

  • Financial Markets
  • Financial Derivatives
  • Quantitative Methods in Finance
  • Accounting for Decision Making
  • Introduction to Research

In the second semester (January to May) students take the following modules;

Semester 2

  • Corporate Finance
  • Applied Finance
Choose one from;
  • Portfolio Risk Management
  • Financial Modelling
  • Performance Management
Choose one from;
  • Research Methods
  • Creativity and Personal Development


Choice of either Dissertation or Applied Company Research Project.


Students take a total of nine taught modules. Each taught module is worth 15 credits, apart from Introduction to Research which is a compulsory module but bears not credits, with the total credits accumulated from the taught modules equal to 120 credits.

From May to September, students undertake a dissertation in finance or management, or applied company research project, both of which are worth 60 credits.

Students gaining 120 credits from taught modules and successfully completing the dissertation will be awarded the MSc. Students gaining 120 credits but not proceeding to the dissertation will be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma. Students who do not gain 120 credits but pass modules worth 60 credits will be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate, provide they have successfully completed specialist modules from the designated list worth at least 30 credits. Students who do not gain 120 credits but pass modules worth 30 credits will be awarded a Postgraduate Award.

Teaching and Assessment

The Course Director who is responsible for running the programme is the main source of support for students. Modules are taught in lectures, tutorials and computer laboratory classes. Practical use is made of standard software and data sources, alongside the Bloomberg Professional Services Platform. 

Taught modules are usually assessed by a combination of unseen examination and coursework which may include essays, mini projects and tests. Guidance is provided on the choice of dissertation topics and each student will be assigned a supervisor who will guide the student through to completion.

Additional Costs

Apart from additional costs for text books, inter-library loans and potential overdue library fines, we do not anticipate any additional costs for this postgraduate course.

The Graduate Attributes Statement is designed to raise awareness of the attributes that will be developed whilst you are a student at Keele University. It explains each of the attributes in detail, tips on how to achieve them and how they relate to your chosen programme of study.

The Graduate Attributes Statement for this course can be found here

In addition to the learning activities that are part of the MSc programme curriculum, students also benefit from a range of professional training events and activities to build employability skills.

In recent years we have enjoyed collaboration with Bloomberg, London. Students take part in the Bloomberg Professional training event which is delivered by experts from Bloomberg. During this event, students are familiarized with the Bloomberg Professional platform and explore its uses, functionality and tools as used by finance professionals.

Throughout their studies at Keele, students are able to use Bloomberg Professional service for their financial market research and also hands-on practice of applying professional analytical tools and functions. Bloomberg Professional is accessible from all terminals in KMS multifunctional IT suite. 

Students also gain a practical, hands-on experience of stock market trading and portfolio management by taking part in the Keele MSc student investment competition. During the competition, students make investment decisions and manage their portfolios in real time through Bloomberg professional platform which provides experience that is identical to trading in real life. Participants make investment decisions using real data, news and company reports in a very similar way as an equity analyst in the City or on Wall Street. The competition enables participants to:

  • Develop Investment Strategies, which includes trading on these strategies and evaluating their effectiveness throughout the competition.
  • Develop Research and Analytical Skills by researching the companies using fundamental data and using technical analysis to conclude the investment ideas. All these tools are available in Bloomberg.
  • Keep Abreast of the Latest Developments of the Market by engaging with current financial markets and following overall market trends, being mindful of mergers and acquisitions or earning releases of their target companies.
  • Build Bloomberg Skills by using Bloomberg professional trading platform throughout the competition and utilizing many Bloomberg functions as part of research.
Paula Namwanje, Uganda

Paula Namwanje, Uganda

"The main reason I came back to Keele to do a Masters was because of the love I have for this university."

MSc Accounting and Financial Management