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The Masters allows me to articulate industry issues credibly in front of senior stakeholders.  It has improved my strategic thinking, not just through subject matter expertise, but also through the study of leadership and culture.

Alec Bird - Large Corporate Relationship Director, Barclays


MSc in Banking & Finance

A unique and specialised qualification for aspiring senior managers in the financial services sector. Our Masters is designed in collaboration with key industry players, providing in-depth coverage of topics essential for a successful leadership career in today's fast-moving and competitive global banking and finance arena.

About the course

With the busy banking and finance professional in mind, this programme enables you to combine your personal commitments and the demands of a financial services management career with study towards the Masters.

Delivered fully online, you can study the Masters in three distinct stages wherever you are in the world, giving you flexibility in terms of where, when and how you study.

And option modules help you tailor your learning to specifically apply to your role in the industry.

The programme will help you develop the analytical tools to evaluate contemporary industry issues and demonstrate key strategic management skills to use immediately in your work. By covering topics of most critical importance to the financial services sector, you will be able to apply your knowledge to new, complex and unpredictable circumstances and differentiate yourself from your peers.

The Masters provides direct entry to the prestigious Chartered Associateship*.


The programme can be completed in 36 months, with modules being taught over 15-week terms.

Stage One: PGCert in Banking & Finance

Financial Markets, Institutions and Instruments

The aim of the module is to introduce you to the competitive landscape facing the financial services industry. It enables you to consider the effects of this competitive environment on key aspects of the sector, such as the impact of new business models on the principles and structures of lending. It supports you in developing a critical analysis of the structures and strategies of the industry and in establishing an understanding of global banking businesses and market structures.

It also sets out a framework for international comparison, which will be drawn upon to synthesise a critical analysis of challenges facing the financial services sector. Additionally, it enables you to evaluate how the strategic forces impact on the operational structures of banking institutions and the relationship of the industry to its key customer segments.

Bank Risk Management and Regulation

This module reflects the interwoven relationship between risk and regulation in the management and control of banking institutions. It supports you in developing a framework for evaluating the process of managed risk-taking in financial services markets. You will gain an understanding of the way decision-making links to the risks that need to be measured and managed.

The module will enable you to evaluate the work of regulators in ensuring that all types of financial services institutions manage risk appropriately and to understand why these institutions are expected to put risk-based models at the centre of decision-making. You will be introduced to contrasting regulatory and compliance structures and will be able to critically analyse competing concepts of regulatory control. Furthermore, you will gain insights into the benefits and complexities of prescriptive systems vs. principle-based regulatory systems.

Corporate Finance

This module regards the efficient and effective management of firms so to achieve their objectives, namely shareholder wealth maximisation. This module discusses strategic and financial decisions faced by financial managers and their linkages to firm value.

The module provides you with a comprehensive exposure to key areas in corporate finance: how to select investment projects, how to finance firms, when and how to reward shareholders through dividend payments. You will also be exposed to more advanced topics in strategic management, including mergers & acquisitions and corporate restructuring. The module includes some technical points such as event studies, real options, portfolio theory, and company valuation.

Stage Two: PGDip in Banking & Finance


The aim of this module is to provide you with the economic knowledge and analytical skills necessary to contribute to the strategic thinking and planning of a business unit. The module includes the microeconomics of a business in the context of its immediate industry and region, and the macroeconomics of the wider environment.

This module introduces a broad set of concepts important in understanding the economic environment from the perspective of both financial institutions and their stakeholders. You will consider financial and business cycles, and learn to bring a critical approach to the interpretation of key economic performance statistics and indicators. The module provides a clear focus on business/credit cycles, the varying analyses of these cycles and the policy responses to them.

Leadership in Financial Services

The aim of this module is to provide you with a detailed understanding of the issues and challenges faced by those leading and managing people within the financial services sector alongside the potential solutions needed to address them.

The topic is explored from different aspects recognising roles as individuals and within teams and organisations, relationships with the HR function, and interactions with external parties. This requires a detailed understanding of what organisations seek to do to manage, develop, and support their staff. This module aims to improve your abilities to lead and manage people directly in addition to understanding others’ perspectives, especially that of the HR Department (or its equivalent).

Stage Three: MSc in Banking & Finance

Research Methods and Dissertation (10,000 words)

The Research Methods and Dissertation module equips you with the tools to plan and undertake a research project and gives you the opportunity to put this learning into practice through designing and undertaking an extended study, working independently.

The module provides you with the foundations of research methods in business, from defining the research question, understanding different theoretical perspectives and undertaking a review of the literature through to identifying sources of both primary and secondary data, and understanding approaches to data collection and analysis.

Option modules - choose one**

Commercial and Corporate Banking

This module focuses on the range of financial solutions that a small business customer – from a sole trader to a medium-sized enterprise – might require. MSMEs’ financial needs extend beyond lending products, and encompass a broad range of other financial products to support their business objectives. These include trade finance and instruments to manage exchange rate fluctuations for small importers/exporters, debt factoring or leasing products, different kinds of derivatives, and other areas covering the relationship between banks and their small and medium enterprise customers.

In addition, the module looks more widely at the corporate (large business) market, exploring financing and relationship management issues from a global banking perspective.

Investment Management

This is a specialised finance module that provides the theories to support modern investment and risk management techniques, as well as their application in practice. The past three decades have witnessed rapid and deep changes in the investment industry, with new trading strategies resulting from developments in information technology and communication.

The module covers the pricing and trading of financial assets (equity, debt, and derivatives), using concepts of valuation and return as well as fundamental and technical analysis. Furthermore, the module explores risks and risk assessment methods, particularly the analysis of yield spreads, interest rate risk, and currency risk.


Assessments range from reports, projects, case studies, essays, blogs, online discussion, closed-book examinations and research proposals. The assessments are designed to be as authentic as possible to the kind of tasks that you may be expected to undertake in your workplace.

*In order to be awarded Chartered Associateship, you must complete a programme of CPD on an annual basis. 

**Availability of option modules subject to minimum student numbers.


Deciding to study by online distance learning requires a huge commitment and a lot of hard work. However, it can also be an extremely rewarding experience, enhancing your career path and developing your skills, knowledge and expertise.

Become part of the vibrant learning community

Course Requirements

  1. Normally a 2.1 Honours degree (or equivalent) from a recognised institution; OR
  2. The London Institute of Banking & Finance Chartered Associateship (through the ‘qualification’ route);
  3. AND

  4. Demonstration of relevant professional experience. Applicants should either be currently working in, or have experience of working in, the financial services sector.



Candidates not possessing requirements 1 or 2 above (for example, holders of a 2.2 Honours degree with relevant financial sector experience or holders of Chartered Associateship status gained via the professional experience (non-qualification) route) may be considered if they can demonstrate their ability to achieve at this level and contribute to the debates, discussions and work of the learning set.  In this case, applicants may be interviewed and / or required to submit a piece of written work in addition to their application to enable an assessment to be made of their suitability for the programme.

 Applicants for whom English is not their first language would be expected to demonstrate their competence through achieving an IELTS score of 7.0 or above with no element below 6.5 (or equivalent).


Female student writing in a classroom

"As someone who spent many years in the banking industry and having completed a Masters via online distance learning myself, I know exactly what it is like juggling part-time study with existing personal and professional demands. Many of those teaching on the programme also share similar backgrounds meaning that we all understand and respect the determination and hard work our students invest in this qualification. 

Our strategy centres on small class sizes, enabling us to provide an extremely high level of tailored academic and administrative support and, even though you may be studying at a distance, you will never feel too far away from us, your peers or the programme team. Undoubtedly, a Masters does require a big commitment, yet the rewards, knowledge and skills gained can be immense." 

Karen Taylor, Head of Postgraduate Programmes

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Looking for further information

Contact us

For advice and more information about the programme, please contact Karen Taylor, Head of Postgraduate Programmes, or call +44 (0)20 7337 6290.

If you live or work in London and would like to meet with Karen at our City of London campus, just email us with your preferred dates for a visit.

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