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Online course details

Study options

Part-time: 2-3 years

UK/EU fee

£9,495 (2020/21)

International fee

£9,495 (2020/21)

Course level




Start dates

January, September, May



Online course description

This online Masters in Finance degree is designed to meet the growing demand for professionals within the finance sector. It gives you the flexibility to achieve a qualification recognised by the financial sectors. Partnered with the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI), this course is also mapped against their formal teaching, with the option to achieve an additional qualification upon completion. Our online Finance MSc will provide you with the technical and decision-making skills necessary for a successful career in this fast-paced and highly competitive sector.

The programme offers you the option to work towards a postgraduate certificate (PG Cert), postgraduate diploma (PG Dip) or the full masters (MSc) award. Depending on your module selection, you’ll be able to tailor your studies and achieve a specialist named award (at PG Cert or MSc level) in International Finance, Investment Banking or Commodity Trading.

Goldstandard teaching**Teaching Excellence Framework

You can apply for module credits from prior learning and experience towards this course

Have you already studied at another institution, completed a training course, or does your work experience appear equivalent to one or more modules of your chosen course? If so, you may able to translate this prior learning into credits towards your course modules so you don’t have to study them again.

For postgraduate courses you can apply for up to 60 credits of the total requirement of your course, meaning you may only be required to complete a further 120 credits to complete the programme. Further information about applying for credits for prior learning can be found in our recognition of prior learning section.

CFA Institute university affiliation

CFA Institute University Affiliate Program logo

Our MSc Finance is a university affiliate programme with the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Institute. It is closely tied to professional practice and well-suited to preparing you for the CFA examinations. The CFA Institute is the global association of investment professionals that sets the standard for professional excellence and administers the industry gold standard CFA charter.

ACT accredited university

ACT Accredited University - logo

This programme is accredited by the ACT (Association of Corporate Treasurers). When you graduate from this MSc Finance, you'll earn exemptions towards ACT’s internationally recognised professional qualifications. The ACT is the only professional treasury body with a Royal Charter. They set the global benchmark for treasury excellence and lead the profession through qualifications by defining standards and by championing continuing professional development.

You will be exempt from the ACT's Certificate in Treasury Fundamentals and Certificate in Treasury: Unit 3 - Corporate Finance if you complete one of the following:

This means you will only need to complete four units to gain the Certificate in Treasury and become a member of the ACT.

CISI partnership

CISI Education Partner logo

This is the first online university degree programme in the UK to be partnered with the Chartered Institution for Securities and Investment (CISI). The CISI is the largest and most widely respected professional body for the securities and investment profession in the UK, with a growing number of global financial centres. Our MSc Finance course has been closely mapped against the CISI’s Introduction to Investment foundation qualification, helping you to prepare for its exam, which can be taken at the University of Derby campus or at one of the CISI’s global test centres.

Furthermore, if you wish to pursue the Introduction to Investment qualification you will benefit from a 50% saving on the exam fee and the work book. A one-off registration fee will be payable to become a CISI Student Member, giving you access to a number of membership benefits designed to support your studies and broaden your career development. We are offering a limited number of scholarships to cover the cost of the CISI registration fee, exam fee and workbook. A select few will be chosen upon enrolment.

The Introduction to Investment qualification is the first step on the CISI qualification pathway, and is also recognised by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It will be of particular interest to you if you are pursuing a career in wealth management, operational investments, financial planning, compliance and risk or stockbroking. Upon completion of the CISI's foundation qualification, you'll have the option to join the CISI as an Affiliate member (subject to annual membership fee).

Tailor your programme to suit your interests and ambitions

You can tailor this course to your personal and professional interests. You'll study core subject areas of Corporate Finance, Ethics and Corporate Governance with a choice of four optional modules in International Finance, Investment Banking, Fixed Income Securities and Commodities Trading. Finally, you'll complete an Independent Scholarship Project, which can be a work-related, to achieve your Masters degree.

Depending on your needs, you can choose to complete the full online MSc Finance course or you may prefer to complete the Postgraduate Certificate Finance or Postgraduate Diploma Finance to develop your skills and meet CPD requirements.

Specialist awards that complement your career

At both postgraduate certificate (PG Cert) and masters (MSc) level, you can obtain a specialist named award depending on your module selection.

For example, you can achieve a named award at PG Cert level within 12 months in one of the following:

You can also achieve a named award at the masters stage within 3 years:

Build your personal and professional development

During the course, you'll be directed to activities that assist you in developing your career plan, the use of digital tools and technologies and your academic scholarship. Through collaboration at a programme and module level, you'll have the opportunity to network with other financial services professionals on a global scale.

Flexibility to plan your own study time

By choosing to study part-time online, you have the flexibility to complete a postgraduate qualification alongside your career and personal commitments. Tuition and assessment for this course is 100% online. There are no exams. Assessment is through written assignments, course work, collaborative learning and group work.

A talk from our Academic Lead

Our Academic Lead for Accounting, Finance and Economics, Dr Tony Stevenson, talks about the online Finance MSc course in this video.

Dr Tony Stevenson talks about our online Finance MSc course

View the introduction to our online Finance MSc course video transcript

Gabrielle Davies at her graduation with her family

How Gabrielle's industry experience launched her onto degree path

If looking after two young children wasn’t enough, Gabrielle also currently works three jobs at once and is now studying her second course with us.

Read Gabrielle's storyRead Gabrielle's story

What you will study

We will advise you of your study plan - the running order and availability of the modules - when you are invited to enrol. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered. In addition, where demand is high, some modules may be subject to a cap.

What you can achieve

Our online Finance MSc comprises three progressive stages: postgraduate certificate (PG Cert), postgraduate diploma (PG Dip) and masters (MSc). You will be required to achieve 60 credits to complete each award within the programme, totalling to 180 credits to achieve the masters.

In order to be awarded a PG Cert, you will need to pass the Corporate Finance core module and the Ethics and Corporate Governance core module and pass an optional 20-credit module (adding up to 60 credits).

To obtain a PG Dip, you will need to achieve the 60 credits from the PG Cert stage as well as passing the core Research Methods module and two other optional modules (adding up 120 credits in total).

For the MSc, you will need to pass the three core 20-credit modules, three optional modules and the Independent Study core module worth 60 credits (180 credits in total).

We would encourage you to complete the full MSc but, if you prefer, you can still gain an exit award at each stage: a PG Cert or a PG Dip.


Code: 7AG504

Corporate Finance

Corporate finance examines ways in which managers can maximise the wealth of the organisation’s shareholders through selecting appropriate sources of finance consistent with its desired capital structure, managing the funds so raised and investing these in appropriate value-adding investment opportunities. The aim of this module is to give you a critical awareness of the factors which need to be considered while selecting a source of finance to satisfy the organisations operational and investment needs, managing cash flows in order maintain optimum liquidity, making capital budgeting decisions and investment decisions under uncertainty and determining the dividend policy consistent with the needs of its investors.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Critically analyse the capital structure of a company
  2. Critically evaluate the feasibility of different investment opportunities by applying investment appraisal techniques
  3. Critically assess how the dividend policy of an entity effects its shareholders wealth

Module content

  • Skills for studying at masters level (including numeracy skills)
  • Capital structure
  • Short term and long term sources of finance
  • Financial regulators
  • Cost of capital
  • Capital budgeting and investment decision
  • Investment under uncertainty
  • Cash flow management
  • Risk and return
  • Dividend decisions
More information
20 Credits

Code: 7AG505

Ethics and Corporate Governance

As a result of a range of recent corporate scandals an increased emphasis has been put on corporate social responsibility and the need for the board of directors to confirm to an ethical code of conduct while managing the affairs of an entity. Corporate governance examines the system of rules, principles and procedures through which a company is run to promote the best interest of its shareholders, other stakeholders and the wider society.

The aim of this module is to give you a critical awareness of corporate governance and ethics, their relevance within modern organisations and the mechanisms which can be adopted to improve corporate governance.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Critically evaluate the relevance of corporate ethics, corporate governance and corporate social responsibility within contemporary business organisations
  2. Critically evaluate the role played by the board of directors and other regulators in implementing checks to ensure ethical compliance by a business
  3. Critically evaluate how emerging trends within corporate governance can help safeguard investor rights
  4. Propose methods to resolve ethical dilemmas within an organisation

Module content

  • Skills for studying at masters level (including numeracy skills)
  • Concepts and theories of corporate ethics
  • Ethics of whistleblowing
  • Individual responsibility in corporate ethics
  • Investor rights, privileges, problems and protection
  • Ethics and corporate social responsibility
  • Impact of ethical dilemma, its causes and resolution
  • Globalisation and business ethics
  • Concepts and theories of corporate governance
  • Landmarks in emergence corporate governance
  • Role of directors and auditors in corporate governance
  • Executive compensation
  • Emerging trends in corporate governance and role of financial institutions, stock exchange and public bodies in insuring corporate social responsibility
More information
20 Credits

Code: 7AG507

Research Methods

This module aims to equip learners with an understanding of the processes and ways in which knowledge is developed, understood, and applied. As such the module initially focuses on the social and scientific construction of knowledge from an ontological and epistemological perspective. The module then focuses on methodological issues of a more applied nature in terms of different types of ‘research’, selection of research ‘problems’ and construction of aims, and fundamental methodological strategies such as qualitative versus quantitative data, deduction versus induction etc.

The evaluation of a range of research techniques and development of research skills in terms of data collection and analysis and the management of a planned project is the final element of the module. 

Module Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module you will be able to: 

  1. Critically evaluate the application of a given research methodology in a case study context
  2. Consider the ethical issues that researchers may face in an applied context

Module content

This module provides an opportunity to further develop a range of practical research skills but also understand the foundations upon which knowledge is created and disseminated.

The content of the module is constructed around the following key themes:

  • The ontological and epistemological foundations of management research (as part of the social science arena), and, hence, the different approaches to the development of knowledge
  • Methodology and research strategy in terms of research approach (inductive vs. deductive); types of data (qualitative vs. quantitative), access to data (e.g. sampling strategies), and quality of data (e.g. validity, generalisability, or situational)
  • Research methods – the tools and techniques used to identify data sources; capture data; record data; and analyse data
  • Different approaches to project management and planning in a work based setting
  • Research ethics
  • The relationship between research and effective project planning – including the preparation of the plan, implementation proposal and how outcomes are assessed

The content of this module will help you to embark on a rigorous Independent Study in a topic of your choice (appropriately related to your specific programme of study).

More information
20 Credits

Code: 7IM998

Independent Study

Independent study normally forms a significant part of a masters programme. This is a major piece of independently researched work, providing an opportunity to carry out an in-depth investigation of a management problem or issue that should normally have a strategic dimension which addresses organisational issues and provides a process for solving management problems.

Independent study will provide you with the opportunity to use and enhance the knowledge and intellectual skills gained during the course, by means of an extensive investigation of a significant management area. The module provides an opportunity for those studying any of the specialist programmes to explore an in depth topic relevant to that programme. It also provides the opportunity for you to reflect on the research experience and use what you have learned to guide your future development via a reflective statement and development plan.

As a result of developing and applying an analytical framework based on a specialist issue, you will be able to enhance your own competencies for undertaking future business, management and finance research or analysis. You will be better able to evaluate the research analysis carried out by others and better able to plan your own development.

Module learning outcomes

On completion of the module you will be able to:

  1. Act autonomously in designing a research project that critically evaluates a problem or issue to a professional standard. The topic should be relevant to the title of the programme and should meet the University’s ethical guidelines
  2. Act autonomously in critically investigating a discipline relevant issue, employing appropriate research methods to collect data, analyse, compare and draw conclusions, providing recommendations where appropriate. The topic will be relevant to the title of your programme and demonstrate the ability to connect the theory and practice
  3. Reflect on the process of undertaking a significant piece of independent research using the ideas and concepts from the course and plan your future development

Module content

  • The independent study represents a major learning experience for you, providing an opportunity to pursue in considerable depth and with suitable academic rigour a specific area of management and/or strategy, building on the study of relevant concepts, models and paradigms
  • Each study will be supervised by an Independent Studies Supervisor, appointed by the Business School. At the beginning, and as part of this module, a dissertation/project proposal will be individually negotiated and assessed. The proposal will have to demonstrate that the proposed research can be achieved. You will also have to complete an ethical approval form that meets the University's ethics guidelines
  • The final work will comprise a dissertation or action-based study plus a reflective statement and development plan and will be independently assessed by two tutors, one of whom will be the Independent Study Supervisor. It may take the form of dissertation or action based study. Collaborative arrangements are permitted whereby you participate in a joint group study. Where this happens, a means by which individual effort and contribution are to be assessed will be established and documented at the outset, with the supervisor
More information
60 Credits

Code: 7AG506

Corporate Financial Strategies

The aim of this module is to allow you to develop a deeper understanding of the principles and strategies used by management to maximise the wealth of its shareholders. This module will give you the opportunity to examine complex investment and risk management strategies and use valuation models to assist you in meeting the expectation of the shareholders. You will be to introduced to the theoretical and empirical literature pertaining to corporate finance strategies which will enable you to address key problems faced by managers and corporate decision makers.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Predict the risk reducing properties of portfolios using statistical methods
  2. Assess the role of value based management and value based matrices in maximising the wealth of shareholders
  3. Predict share prices using valuation models
  4. Critically evaluate stock market efficiency

Module content

  • Skills for studying at masters level (including numeracy skills)
  • Value based management
  • Value creation metrics
  • Efficient market hypothesis
  • Portfolio theory
  • Capital assets pricing models and multifactor models
  • Advanced capital budgeting
  • Valuating shares
  • Management of risks
More information
20 Credits

Code: 7AG508

Commodities Trading

Commodity trading involves the trade of essential primary products such as metals, grains, oil etc. and intangibles such as interest rates, stock market indices etc. Participation in the global commodity trading business is a key mechanism used by modern organisations to accept or avoid additional risks arising due to uncertain prices of key core commodities. Given the global interconnectivity between commodity markets and capital markets, finance professionals need a sound understanding of how these markets function and the determinants of price movements and risk factors within these markets. This module aims to critically analyse the structure and features of key commodity markets, factors which influence the prices of commodities, inherent risks associated in different commodities and the role played by key regulators in ensuring end to abusive speculation within the commodity markets.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Critically evaluate the functioning of different types of commodity markets and how derivatives are traded in these markets
  2. Specify factors which effect commodity prices
  3. Critically appraise the mechanisms of delivery and settlement in commodity trading
  4. Critically evaluate the impact of key regulators and regulatory changes within the commodities market

Module content

  • Skills for studying at masters level (including numeracy skills)
  • Commodities as a new asset class and types of commodities Structure and features of metal, dry bulk trade and other major commodity markets
  • Unique features of the energy and oil markets
  • Commodity trading platform
  • Risks associated in various commodity markets
  • Factors which impact commodity prices
  • Commodity derivatives
  • Key regulators in the commodity markets
  • Contemporary issues within the commodity market
  • Regulatory changes
More information
20 Credits

Code: 7AG509

Fixed Income Securities

Prior to the 1980s, fixed income securities were purchased by investors as investment products wherein they knew the periodic interest they will be entitled to and when their principle will be repaid. Since the 1980s, however, trade in fixed income securities has become more complex. There are features in the fixed income securities which have introduced uncertainty in the repayment time of principle and which have made it difficult to estimate the periodic interest rates. The previous hold-to-maturity investors are increasingly being replaced by institutional investors who actively trade in fixed income securities. The aim of this module is to examine the wide range of fixed income securities and their characteristics along with the strategies used in the portfolio management of these securities. In this module you will analyse the impact of interest rate on bond prices and risk management strategies used by investors.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Critically evaluate the effect of interest rates on bond prices
  2. Predict the fair price of a fixed income security using financial models
  3. Critically evaluate the strategies used in constructing and managing a fixed income security portfolio
  4. Critically analyse the structure of the international market for fixed income securities and the growth trends within these

Module content

  • Skills for studying at masters level (including numeracy skills)
  • Overview of the Global Fixed Income markets
  • Fixed income security products
  • Fixed income security pricing
  • Bond prices and interest rates
  • Term structure modelling
  • Fixed income portfolio management
  • Risk management and derivative pricing
  • Contemporary trends in the growth of fixed income securities with particular references to bonds
More information
20 Credits

Code: 7AG511

Investment Banking

Investment banking is distinctively different from commercial banking. Whereas commercial banking primarily focuses its activities on raising deposits from the public and lending them to business firms and individuals, investment banks perform a range of sophisticated financial functions such as acting as underwriting securities, providing advice on mergers, acquisitions and debt restructuring etc., offering brokerage services and managing assets of an investor.

The aim of this module is to appraise the functions performed by an investment bank. It will give you to do an in-depth evaluation of a range of products offered by investment banks and the relevance of these products to the end customers. You will also undertake a critical review of the changing nature of investment banks in response to the financial crises, reforms in the investment banking structure and other environmental factors and examine key techniques which can be used to respond to the external changes.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Critically evaluate the utility of a range of products and services offered by investment banks to their end customers
  2. Predict the value of an entity for the purpose of a merger and acquisition by using key financial matrices
  3. Critically evaluate contemporary challenges faced by the investment banking sector and the role of regulators to mitigate the effect of these challenges

Module content

  • Skills for studying at masters level (including numeracy skills)
  • Structure of investment banking
  • Investment banking strategies
  • Venture capital and private equity
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Equity underwriting and IPOs
  • Debt underwriting and issuing bonds
  • Asset securitisation
  • Trading – market making, arbitrage and brokering
  • Repurchase agreements and prime brokerage
  • Derivatives and financial engineering
  • Investment management for pension funds and endowments
  • Securities regulations and ethics
  • Financial crises and regulatory reforms in investment banking
  • New investment banking structure
More information
20 Credits

Code: 7AG515

International Finance

Businesses often evolve into multinational corporations (MNC’s) to capitalise on the opportunities offered by the international market. The directors and senior managers of these businesses need to have the capability to analyse the international environment, access suitable opportunities, formulate strategies, evaluate the risk exposure and manage these risks. The MNC’s which are effectively able to respond to the changes in the external environment will be rewarded. In this module you will explore the functioning of the global financial system, explore international sources of finance and suitable investment opportunities, form a critical awareness of the risks associated with international trade, and examine how fluctuations in exchange rates affect a business.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Critically evaluate how key actors within the global financial system interplay on a supranational level to facilitate international flows of financial capital for investment and trade
  2. Predict the exchange rate of a foreign currency using financial models
  3. Critically evaluate the suitability of a range of long term and short term sources of international finance available to an organisation
  4. Critically assess the factors which determine international investment decisions and risk management strategies within a multinational corporation

Module content

  • Skills for studying at masters level (including numeracy skills)
  • Global financial system
  • Spot market and forward markets
  • Using Purchase Power Parity, Interest Rate Parity and the International Fisher Effect to determine exchange rates
  • Hedging to manage exchange rate risks
  • Risks associated with international trade
  • Settling international transactions
  • Capital structure of international companies
  • Eurocurrency and Eurobonds as a source of finance
  • Short term sources of international finance
  • International investment appraisal methods
  • Remittance issues
More information
20 Credits

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

How you will learn

Pace of study

We recommend about 20 hours of study per week to complete one 20-credit module over a 10-week trimester. If you aim to study two modules in one trimester, we recommend 40 hours of study per week.

Assessment method

This course is assessed through 100% coursework with a range of methods, such as essays, research reports, presentations, group work and practical reports.

Who will teach you

Tony Stevenson standing up

Dr Tony Stevenson
Programme leader

Academic Lead Accounting Finance and Economics, Dr Tony Stevenson entered the Higher education sector as an international tutor teaching, Finance, and Mergers and Acquisitions from a practitioner’s perspective.

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Student wearing headphones at a laptop participating in an online webinar

Study Accounting and Finance Online at Derby Webinar

Tuesday, 1 December 2020 11.00 - 12.00

Join this webinar to discover more about studying Accounting and Finance online at Derby. The webinar includes a 30 minute presentation from Dr Anthony Stevenson, Academic Lead for Accounting and Finance.

Book your webinarBook your webinar

Entry requirements

You will need one of the following qualifications:

Entry is possible if you have HND or level 5 and two years of relevant managerial experience within finance. If you have four years of relevant work experience without formal undergraduate qualifications, you will be required to complete and pass one of the following level 6 modules: Financial Strategy, Risk Management or Strategic Management.

English language qualification

If English is not your first language, or you have not successfully completed your highest level of qualification in English, you will need an English language qualification. For this course you will need at least one of the following:

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees for new entrants

Starting between September 2020 and August 2021.

 Per 20 creditsModulesCost
UK/EU/International £1,055 7 (six 20 credit modules and one 60 credit module) £9,495

2021/22 Fees for new entrants

Starting between September 2021 and August 2022.

 Per 20 creditsModulesCost
UK/EU/International £1,055 7 (six 20 credit modules and one 60 credit module) £9,495

About your fees

This figure would be the total cost of this course in the current academic year. However, please note that fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The total fee you pay may therefore increase if your course lasts longer than one year.

However, please also note that you can receive a 5% discount if you either:

Flexible payment plans available

Choose from three payment plan options:

Masters funding options

Depending on where you are from in the UK or EU, and on your pace of study, you may be eligible for a postgraduate student loan. Accessible through Student Finance, this is a non-income based loan to help with living costs and tuition fees whilst studying your masters programme.

How to apply

Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply now

Documents to support your application

When submitting your application, please ensure it is complete, with all the relevant documents requested in the application form. These are listed below:

*Documents not in English or Welsh must be accompanied by a certified translation by a professional translator/translation company. Each translation must contain:

A list of approved translators can be found on the UK Government website.

Application deadlines

All of our online courses have set start dates throughout the year. We require time to review your application and get back to you with a response before your course starts. Take a look at information regarding applying for an online course to see full details of deadlines and term dates.


By acquiring this postgraduate qualification, you'll be in a stronger position when applying for senior roles as a banker, finance analyst, commodity trader or financial adviser within the corporate sector and specialised financial institutions.

You'll build your academic qualifications through acquiring subject knowledge, numeracy skills and other soft skills desired by employers within the finance sector.

Contact us

Contact the University of Derby Online Learning:

Contact usContact usFrequently asked questionsFrequently asked questions

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