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Banking & Finance

Chips and gravy, Ben & Jerry’s, banking and finance…Yup, banking and finance is up there with all of the great double acts. The classic. Study these subjects as a general undergraduate degree and if you get your work experience right too there will be plenty of options for you in a finance career when you leave the university bubble.

What will I study on a banking & finance degree?

  • Business finance
  • Business economics
  • The banking system
  • Corporate finance
  • Monetary policy
  • Microeconomic and macroeconomic theory and practice
  • Financial risk management
  • Accounting principles
  • Financial markets
  • Financial data analysis
  • Audit and assurance.

A banking and finance course will teach you how to talk finance. You’ll get to grips with core topics which will provide you with a nifty foundation to help catapult you into a banking and finance career. Whether it’s graphs, statistics, mathematics or reports, you’ll be familiar with all of the various ways in which the finance industry communicates and functions.

There will usually be a majority of compulsory modules in your first year to introduce you to various elements of the banking and finance behemoth, from financial theories and policies to the financial markets. As you progress, you’ll get to tailor your areas of study by selecting optional modules alongside a handful of compulsory subjects that cover your interests. You could swing more towards the economics side of things for example, or focus on corporate finance or risk management.

On some courses there’s even the opportunity to study a language such as Mandarin as a part of the course to give your CV a little boost – language skills are highly valued in the globalised finance world.

Entry requirements…

Naturally the entry requirements are going to vary between each university offering a banking and finance course, but generally you’re looking at around BBB or higher (sometimes Cs are accepted). BTECs, the IB, Scottish Highers and equivalent international qualifications are also considered by many universities.

There will also be a minimum score in English proficiency tests set as a requirement for international applicants.

Where could a banking & finance degree take me?

Destination: banking and finance. This course content will certainly tick the box for entry into a huge variety of career paths, from retail banking, financial advice, accounting and tax, to front office investment banking roles like trading and back office infrastructure careers.

If you’re thinking along the lines of an actuarial, technology or quant (financial analysis) career, it might be worth considering a course such as mathematics, physics, computer science or engineering instead, though; something with a higher ratio of quantitative theory and methods.

Typical industries for banking & finance graduates…

A 2:1 (or in some cases a 2:2) in this degree could well land you a job in any of these industries:

  • Accounting
  • Retail banking
  • Private/corporate banking
  • Pensions
  • Insurance
  • Tax
  • Consulting
  • Investment banking
  • Financial planning and advice
  • Human resources
  • Risk management
  • Finance (in-house).

By Jos Weale, Editor, AllAboutFinanceCareers.com