The University of Southampton
Southampton Business SchoolPostgraduate study

MSc International Banking and Financial Studies (1 year)

Understand how the banking and finance sector is responding to global changes after the economic crisis.

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This twelve month masters degree programme is offered on a full-time basis only and all students must complete 90 ECTS (180 CATS) to be eligible for the award. All modules are at masters level and all core modules must be passed. The taught module period lasts nine months 60 ECTS (120 CATS). This period is followed by three months’ work on a dissertation 30 ECTS (60 CATS). The dissertation is an opportunity for students to develop and execute a piece of research into any area relevant to the MSc International Banking and Financial Studies (IBFS) programme.

The global integration of financial markets has made it increasingly important for multinational companies, banks, fund managers, securities firms, corporate financial advisors, central banks, think tanks and international organisations and institutions to have a clear understanding of the theory and practice of international banking and finance, and how banks affect the economy. Familiarity with the latest techniques in international lending and borrowing, asset and liability management and risk appraisal is also an essential requirement for those involved in the global money and capital markets.

The recent banking crises have also demonstrated the need for those in banking and finance to be aware of the macroeconomic implications of their actions, which tend to feed back to the banking and financial sectors. With these needs in mind, this MSc aims to develop your existing skills by advanced study in the areas of banking and finance, with particular emphasis on the international dimension and the role of the banking sector. The programme offers a coherent theoretical framework for the various subject areas, with particular emphasis on the international dimension and the practical application of financial techniques in a real world setting.

View the programme specification document for this course.

Programme Leader

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

Bachelor's degree

2:1 classification UK bachelors degree or equivalent

Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Acceptable subjects: A wide range of subjects accepted in Business, Economics, Science, Engineering, IT, Management and Marketing, Communication, Education, Political Science, and Sociology

Required module areas: Evidence of quantitative study e.g. accounting, economics, finance, maths, management sciences or engineering. Other subjects considered if quantitative ability demonstrated at A levels.

Excluded subjects: English translation, Art/Performing Art, Vocational Studies

Work experience in a related field can compensate for degree subject/grades.

Selection process

The University’s Admissions Policy, available at, applies equally to all programmes of study. These are the typical entry criteria to be used for selecting candidates for admission. The University’s approved equivalencies for the requirements listed will also be acceptable. The entry criteria for our programmes are reviewed annually by the Faculty. Those stated were correct as of July 2015. Applicants should refer to their specific offer conditions on their offer letter.

International applicants

If English is not your first language, you will need to demonstrate that you have reached a satisfactory standard in an approved English language test.

The following scores are accepted for direct entry:

  • IELTS 6.5 overall with 6.5 in reading and writing, 6.0 in listening and speaking

All tests must be no more than two years old at the time of enrolment.

For more information visit a list of equivalent English language tests that are also accepted.

If you do not quite meet our English language requirements for direct entry, you may be eligible to apply for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. Please visit the Centre for Language Studies website for further information.

Visit our International Office website or the NARIC website for further information on qualifications.

Recognition of prior learning (RPL)

If you have professional experience, or credit through prior learning at another institution, you may be eligible to use this experience against some of the programme requirements for period of study. You will need to present evidence that you have met the learning outcomes of the programme. Read the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning Policy.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


Typical course content

All Core and Compulsory modules must be taken.

You should choose Option modules totalling 30CATS/15 ECTS, including at least ONE Option in Semester 1. All Option modules are offered subject to availability and timetabling constraints.


Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Fees for postgraduate taught courses vary across the University. All fees are listed for UK, EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course name.

View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items (eg pens, pencils, notebooks, etc). Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However, due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
Printing and copyingIn most cases, written coursework such as essays, projects and dissertations are submitted online and by hard copy. The costs of printing a hard copy for submission of such coursework will be the responsibility of the student. The cost of photocopying will also be the responsibility of the student. For more information about University printing costs, visit
TravelSome modules may include optional visits. You will normally be expected to cover the cost of travel and admission, unless otherwise specified in the module profile.
OtherCandidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved models are Casio FX-570 and Casio FX-85GT Plus. These may be purchased from any source and no longer need to carry the University logo.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Career Opportunities

Graduation, especially with merit or distinction in this programme, has in the past been a successful stepping stone to:

  • employment in the financial sector, including with banks, investment banks, securities companies, asset management firms, insurance companies, financial advisory and consulting firms
  • employment with international organisation, including regional development banks
  • employment with associations and industry representations
  • employment with accounting firms, management consultants and other professions
  • employment as journalist or in the media, especially with a financial focus
  • careers in think-tanks, government agencies or indeed as researchers in academia (usually after completion of a further, research degree, in particular a PhD)

Learning & Assessment

Study locations

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