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What Kind of Finance Courses Can I Study in the UK?

Interested in the UK as your study destination? Great! Here’s a rundown of the different types of finance courses you could study over here…

Undergraduate courses…

Like many first degrees, studying finance at university is the first step to gaining broad knowledge of the subject and its professional uses. The range of courses available at UK establishments is especially varied and flexible depending on what modules you choose to study.

Courses on offer range from the general – designed to give a comprehensive view on financial principles – to more vocational degrees geared towards use in a certain profession, such as accounting or investment.

Many universities in the UK have partnerships with British companies who offer a year in industry or business as part of the degree structure. This allows you to supplement your theoretical learning with practical business skills.

What’s more, because of the applied skills that can be learned in a UK finance undergraduate course, they can easily be completed or supplemented as part of an apprenticeship or placement scheme.

Postgraduate courses…

If you already have a degree and want specialised knowledge of a financial field, you could apply for a postgraduate course at one of the UK’s many university business schools. Usually a year long, a Master’s is generally concentrated on developing advanced understanding of a particular area or subject.

The focus of a finance Master’s degree is such that they can be applied specifically to roles within an organisation after graduation. An MBA degree, for example, is well respected as an overall business and finance course designed to provide graduates with a high-level professional skills for managerial roles within business.

They’re also great if you want to adapt your transferrable knowledge and skills from a qualification in another subject such as maths or computing. Most universities make it available for you to do your Master’s on a part-time basis, which is especially useful if you want to work while you study. Having niche knowledge of two different finance fields is a clever approach to boosting your employability in a lucrative sector.

Professional qualifications…

Professional diplomas and certificates in finance are ideal for non-graduates who want to pursue finance careers and study the practical and technical skills needed to reach a fully qualified status without a degree.

Financial and accountancy courses such as the AAT and the ACCA, for example, offer the theoretical and technical skills needed to become a professional chartered accountant the UK. Provided by a range of establishments and specialist providers such as Kaplan or BPP University, courses such as these are a comprehensive and structured way to gain the necessary qualifications to advance in a specific financial career path.

CIMA, for example, has an emphasis on management and organisation within businesses, making it internationally recognised as one of the leading financial qualifications. It’s an  all-round course that provides professional-level expertise in financial knowledge at an operational, strategic and management level.

These professional qualifications are also likely to feature as part of a school leaver or graduate scheme with many professional services firms, banks and finance firms. Adding one of these to your name will demonstrate that you have industry benchmark-level training, a thorough understanding of the ethics in your field, and the right skills to boot. Employers will often pay for you to study for these qualifications too!

By Nile Davies, AllAboutFinanceCareers.com