Finance

BSc (Hons)

Is your end goal a fast-paced career, thriving in investment banking, training and research or working with start-ups?

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type
Full-time
Entry requirements
Duration

4 years

UCAS code(s)

N300

Start date

Course overview

Our BSc (Hons) Finance degree is a great choice for anybody looking to excel in the finance industry or wanting to master the fundamentals of trading techniques and investment management. The course is versatile and broad. You will unpack concepts, theories and models to develop an understanding of how they enable effective financial decision-making.

We will guide you, to grow into an investment analyst or corporate financial manager of the future, touching on and improving your quantitative analysis skills as we go. There will a focus on applied experience to prepare you for employment after university.

The course is delivered by Aston Business School which is part of an elite group of global business schools that hold the gold standard of ‘triple-crown’ accreditation from AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS.

Why Finance at Aston University?

Triple accredited icon
Recognised for quality
Aston Business School is proud to be among 1% of business schools worldwide with triple accreditation
CIMA logo
Professionally accredited
Accredited by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment (CISI)
TEF Gold 2023 logo
Gold standard teaching
Aston University was awarded Gold - the highest possible rating for the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF, 2023)
ACCA accredited programme logo
Professionally accredited
Our Finance programme is accredited by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
CMT Association academic partner logo
Professional partnerships
We are a Chartered Market Technicians Association academic partner
Chartered Insurance Institute logo
Professional exemptions
Graduates could claim a Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) ‘standard award’, giving credit towards CII professional qualifications in financial services and insurance

Course description

BSc (Hons) Finance

Our BSc (Hons) Finance degree at Aston University will equip you with the theoretical and experiential knowledge, along with analytical skills to succeed in the financial sector.

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What we will provide
First-class teaching in the UK’s second-largest city, delivered by a diverse array of staff who will inspire and excite you. You will enjoy a rewarding, fun learning experience with group work, idea sharing, real-world case studies, real-time financial data and engaging virtual tools like games and simulations.

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What you will provide
You will bring motivation and a determination to succeed in your studies. Throughout your degree, you must be willing to grow as an independent learner, self-direct yourself to take full advantage of our lecturers expert knowledge and innovative facilities, and you must be adaptable and demonstrate a willingness to push yourself.

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What skills we teach
Through a range of activities, you will develop the core skills sought after by any employer such as communication, teamwork and effective decision making. You will have the ability to interpret and critically analyse small to large scale financial data to apply these to real-world company performance questions.

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Placement year
We all know that taking a placement year will boost your employability – it’s what makes Aston University graduates some of the most employable in the country. It’s for this reason that we encourage every student to take one. The placement year gives you the chance to put theory into practice, gain relevant work experience, and develop professional and transferable skills.

The placement year is compulsory for BSc (Hons) Finance students. International students can request permission to opt out of the placement year, but we strongly recommend that it is completed where possible.

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Career prospects
As an Aston University Finance graduate, you will be equipped for a range of different career options. Our recent graduates have gone on to work across the public, private and third sectors for organisations including: Barclays Bank, JCB and Amazon Logistics.

How you will learn

Our teaching approach is innovative, comprehensive, and practical, emphasising real-world application. The BSc (Hons) Finance programme employs diverse teaching methods, including lectures, tutorials, case studies and presentations. At the start of your course, you will be allocated a personal tutor who can offer individual study advice and guidance.

Our emphasis is on practical knowledge application, with guest lectures from prominent business leaders and mentoring programs offering unique insights. Our renowned Visiting Professors, top UK business figures, share their expertise and expectations from students and graduates.

Our virtual learning environment enhances traditional teaching with access to Bloomberg trading terminals for applied real-world experience. You'll have access to the University Library's extensive collection of over 25,000 books and electronic journals. University-wide services like the careers service, Jobshop, counselling and advice services, sports facilities, and Chaplaincy enhance your overall university experience and prepare you for your professional career.

Aston University also offers an array of extracurricular activities, including clubs and societies like Aston Bright Futures, which works with leading businesses across various sectors. These activities not only enrich your student experience but also help you explore your specific interests and career pathways.

What you will learn

Driven by the needs of industry, our course provides you with a comprehensive and critical understanding of finance, management and economics alongside the opportunity to specialise in areas of finance that interest you.

First year

In the first year, you will establish a strong foundation in finance, economics and business, allowing you to build upon your knowledge throughout the duration of your degree. You will also gain introductory insights into statistics and quantitative methods for financial decision-making.

Second year

With the fundamentals mastered in the first year, your second year will provide an opportunity to specialise in certain topics that interest you most. You will begin to study accounting, economics and finance theories, concepts and models in more depth, exploring how these can be applied to real-world problems within business.

Placement year

The Aston University placement year forms an integral part of your educational journey and gives you the chance to put theory into practice, gain relevant work experience, and develop professional and transferable skills. Our award-winning careers and placements team are on hand to support you through every step of your placement journey.

Placement stories

This course offers an Exchange Partnership Second Degree Pathway, meaning you could study overseas at one of our partner institutions during your placement year and graduate with two undergraduate degrees for the price of one.

Exchange Partnership Second Degree Pathway

Final year

In your final year, armed with knowledge and experience gained during your placement, your studies reach a professional standard. You will explore advanced topics like financial economics, corporate finance and international finance, enabling you to confidently apply finance models and preparing you for your future profession.

Accreditations and affiliations

Our BSc (Hons) Finance programme is recognised and accredited by several professional bodies. These include: Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA); Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA); Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI); Chartered Insurance Institute (CII); Chartered Market Technicians Association (CMT Association); Chartered Financial Analyst Society of the UK (CFA UK). We are also an Investment Management Certificate (IMC) Advantage Partner of CFA UK.

Tolu Olugunju Business and Politics student

My placement year experience

Tolu Olagungu completed two placements as part of his degree - at Redbull and Mercedes Benz. His experiences opened his eyes to the world of opportunities out there.

Course objectives

  1. Ensures you are provided with education and training in a range of business and finance concepts, theories and techniques that are important in the analysis of management and financial decision making.
  2. Develops your critical understanding of how organisations make effective financial decisions.
  3. Enables you to critically evaluate the usefulness of finance theories in the analysis of business and managerial decision-making.
  4. Enables you to apply the concepts, theories and quantitative methods studied to a range of scenarios (including international settings) requiring financial decision-making, whilst recognising any important cultural issues.
  5. Facilitates you to work effectively as a self-directed and independent learner.
  6. Stimulates your interest in the theories of finance and management, their application to a range of real-world issues and their relevance in a variety of contexts.
  7. Develops a range of skills that will be of value in employment and self-employment, including team-working and communication skills.
  8. Provides you with the knowledge and skills required for further study in areas that involve finance.

Modules

Modules and learning outcomes

Year 1 modules

In your first year you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
Introduction to Finance30
Law for Business15
Mathematics for Economics15
Statistics for Economics 15
Principles of Macroeconomics15
Principles of Microeconomics15
Introductory Accounting for Business15
Total120

Year 1 outcomes

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

  • Demonstrate a fundamental understanding of finance, equipped with the necessary quantitative skills.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of key principles in economics.
  • Utilise basic statistics and mathematics techniques to analyse business and managerial decision making.
  • Represent economic ideas graphically using appropriate techniques.
  • Work effectively as an independent and self-managed learner to complete tasks by deadlines.

Year 2 modules

In your second year you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
Financial Markets15
Corporate Finance15
Financial Services, Regulation and Crisis15
Trading Strategies15
Intermediate Microeconomics15
Econometrics 115
Total90

You will choose two of the following optional modules:*

Module TitleCredits
Sports Economics and Finance15
Business Management Simulation15
Econometrics 215
Financial and Management Accounting For Managers15
Business Tax15
Intermediate Macroeconomics15

*Availability of any optional modules will be subject to staff availability and a minimum number of students who express an interest in studying the optional modules.

Year 2 outcomes

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

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the structure of financial markets as well as the roles of different agents and financial assets in the functioning of financial markets.
  • Discuss critically the application of accounting, economic and finance theories and concepts to the study of relevant problems in business and management.
  • Communicate accounting, economic and finance concepts, models and techniques in a clear and precise style.
  • Demonstrate awareness of ethical and sustainability issues within the fields of accounting, economics and finance, as well as wider social and management issues and cultural diversity within a global context.
  • Demonstrate a knowledge of core trading techniques and develop the practical knowledge and skills required to implement investment strategies.
  • Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the rationale for banking regulation, in particular, the regulatory reforms post financial crisis.

Placement year modules

You will spend your third year on placement. You will be fully supported throughout the process by our award-winning Careers and Placements team.

Placement year

Module TitleCredits
Integrated Placement Year120

Placement year outcomes

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

  • Identify and analyse an issue or process relevant for your placement organisation using academic theory and/or techniques.
  • Recommend appropriate actions for your placement organisation.
  • Evaluate the use of academic theories and/or techniques in analysing issues, processes, and supporting recommendations.
  • Reflect upon and articulate your own learning, plan and implemented strategies to build upon this learning.

Final year modules

In your final year you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
Derivatives15
Further Topics in Derivatives15
Portfolio Management and Behavioural Finance15
Financial Economics15
Advanced Corporate Finance15
International Finance15
Total90

You will choose two of the following optional modules:*

Module TitleCredits
Financial Analysis15
Risk Management15
Macroeconometrics15
Microeconometrics15
Tax Policy and Personal Tax15
Further Topics in Macroeconomics15

*Availability of any optional modules will be subject to staff availability and a minimum number of students who express an interest in studying the optional modules.

Final year outcomes

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

  • Demonstrate a detailed knowledge of financial decision-making.
  • Critically evaluate advanced theories and models used in finance.
  • Apply a range of advanced finance and quantitative models for the purpose of financial decision-making and explain the rationale behind the use of alternative finance models by financial managers.
  • Use correctly a variety of quantitative methods to analyse data and draw reasoned conclusions.

Entry requirements

  • A Levels

    BBB (standard offer)
    BBC (with EPQ or Core Maths minimum grade B)
    BBC (contextual offer)

  • Contextual offers

    Aston Ready is our contextual offer scheme that could reduce your undergraduate offer by one or two grades. Assessed at the point of application, there are no additional forms to fill in.

Contextual offer criteria

BTEC Extended Diploma – DDD (standard offer)

BTEC Extended Diploma – DDM (contextual offer)

The University also accepts the BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate/BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma and BTEC Level 3 National Diploma/BTEC Level 3 Diploma for entry onto degree programmes, provided that they are studied in combination with other qualifications that are equivalent to three full A2 Levels.

31 points overall in the IB diploma with grades 5,5,5 in 3 higher level subjects.

You must also have Standard Level grade 5 in both Mathematics and English Language

We accept the QAA-recognised Access Diploma which must consist of 45 credits at Level 3.

You must obtain a minimum of 30 distinction and the rest must be at merit or distinction.

Please note that we do not accept the English and Maths components within the Access qualification and you must meet the GCSE entry requirement.

 

The following T Levels are accepted qualifications for this course:

  • Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction - grade D
  • Digital Production, Design and Production - grade D
  • Education and Childcare - grade D
  • Onsite Construction - grade D
  • Building Services Engineering for Construction - grade D
  • Digital Business Services - grade D
  • Digital Support Services - grade D
  • Health - grade D
  • Healthcare Science - grade D
  • Science - grade D
  • Accounting - grade D
  • Finance - grade D
  • Management and administration - grade D
  • Design and development for engineering and manufacturing - grade D 
  • Maintenance, installation and repair for engineering and manufacturing - grade D
  • Legal Services - grade D 

5 GCSE grades A*/9 - C/4 to include:

  • GCSE Maths – grade B/5
  • GCSE English Language or English Literature – grade C/4
Year 1 entry: We may consider applicants for year 1 entry who are undertaking a first year degree elsewhere. You must meet the GCSEs and A Level (or equivalent) requirements as listed. In order to be considered you will need to submit a UCAS application as we do not accept direct applications and this must include an academic reference.
Year 2 entry: Please note that second year transfers are not part of the standard admissions process and is up to the discretion of the admissions team and tutor. Applications are only considered if there is space on that year of the programme. Typically, applicants for second year entry must meet the GCSEs and A Level (or equivalent) requirements as listed. Alongside this you must have successfully passed (or be expected to pass) your first year with 120 credits on an equivalent programme at another recognised university with very similar module content. The equivalency of the programme is reviewed by the Admissions Tutor and you will be required to provide an official copy of the programme specification of this. In order to be considered you will need to submit a UCAS application as we do not accept direct applications and this must include an academic reference.
Year 3 entry onwards: We will not be able to consider any application for Year 3 or final year. 

International students

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our undergraduate programmes. Students from over 120 countries choose to study with us every year. Based in the centre of Birmingham, Aston is not only a great place to study, it’s also a great place to live.

Qualifications in your country

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification.

English language requirements

International students can enter at Year 2 of this course having completed an undergraduate year one programme at the required academic level with approved teaching partners ONCAMPUS Aston or NCUK.

Aston University provides a range of opportunities for international students to join our community and study on our campus. A key part of our strategy is our relationships with teaching partners, providing multiple pathways to Aston.

Aston’s professional work placements can improve your chance of securing a graduate job. Placements give you experience, confidence and opportunities and, as an Aston student, you’ll be better prepared for your future career. One of the great things about Aston is our focus on employability. Our close links with businesses, industries and professions make this possible.

Find out more about applying

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new Graduate Immigration Route which enables international students to remain in the UK for two years after you complete your studies to find work. This new post-study work visa applies to international students completing full-time undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Graduate Immigration Route

Fees and scholarships

Course fees

UK students
(2024/25)

Annual tuition fees:£9,250
During placement year:£1,250

International students
(2024/25)

Annual tuition fees:£18,250
During placement year:£2,500

More information on fees

The United Kingdom government has confirmed that European Union (EU), other European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals commencing academic courses in England from August 2021 will no longer be charged the same tuition rates as UK students.

Tuition fees for students are reviewed annually and may increase in subsequent years in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering the Programme. Any such increase shall always be in accordance with the law. When undertaking a placement year, a placement year fee applies.

Scholarships

At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs.

Explore our scholarships 

Assessment

Assessment is provided through a combination of written and oral examinations, class tests, individual and group coursework, projects, presentations and practical assessments. In addition, you will also be assessed on your portfolio that will be produced as part of your placement experience. You will reflect on your experience and evidence your analysis of a situation identified within the placement organisation which draws on learning from your previous studies.

Career prospects

Our BSc (Hons) Finance programme will prepare you for a range of careers across the public, private and third sectors. Our graduates are among the highest paid in the country, according to the 2023 Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO). This data shows that five years after graduation, employed Aston University graduates have the 15th highest median salary among all UK Higher Education Institutions, with a median salary of £36,100.

The transferable skills that our finance programmes provide mean that our graduates are successful in finding employment in a wide range of roles such as:

  • Finance reporting analyst
  • Area manager
  • Accountant
  • Associate auditor
  • Investment analyst
  • Operations analyst
  • Audit associate
  • Banking analyst
  • Group buyer

Our graduates have gone on to work at companies such as Lidl, PwC, JP Morgan, Barclays Bank, Airbus, Bank of England, Ford Motor Company, KPMG, JCB and Bank of New York.

ali

Dreaming big

Ali-Reza Panjwani talks about his experience at Aston University and how it propelled him to becoming an executive director at J.P. Morgan in New York City.

Aston Business School graduates achieve some amazing things - whether it's setting up their own businesses, landing competitive graduate schemes, or making real differences within their communities.

Hear from our graduates

Alumni

Be part of our community

Once you have joined us at Aston University, you’ll always be part of our community, even beyond graduation.
 

Frequently asked questions

Why study finance?

Not only will you develop your understanding across finance, economics, accounting and management, but you’ll gain invaluable, real-world career experience during your placement year. You’ll develop excellent financial literature skills and our BSc (Hons) Finance programme has numerous accreditations and exemptions, meaning you’ll not only gain a degree but a career path to progress into a number of settings.

Does accreditation matter for finance?

Yes. Accreditation can instantly be applied, whether that’s specifically in an accounting role or more broadly within business. You’ll get theoretical, accredited and practical experiences within this degree.

What is the Exchange Partnership Second Degree Pathway?

You can deepen your learning and stand out from other graduates whilst gaining a fantastic learning experience overseas. The Exchange Partnership Second Degree Pathway is similar to an exchange programme, but during your placement year you’ll follow a particular curriculum, setting you on the track for our partner institutions degree award. This means, if successful, you will graduate with two undergraduate degrees.

Exchange Partnership Second Degree Pathway

How will a placement year benefit me?

Whether you choose to study abroad or do a work placement, Aston University’s links with employers and universities around the world mean you will have a wide range of options to boost your employability and explore the world of work.

Our work placements give you the opportunity to apply what you have learnt on your course while gaining valuable professional and paid experience. It can enhance your graduate employment prospects and help you to make more informed career decisions. Around one in five of our placement students are offered graduate jobs by their placement employer.

Find out more

Is Birmingham a good place to study?

Our campus is based in the centre of Birmingham, the youngest major city in Europe and a great place to live, work and study.

  • Great music and entertainment with a vibrant nightlife. Bars, clubs, pubs, live music, festivals, concerts. Whatever your tastes, there's something here for everyone.
  • Fantastic food. Birmingham's diverse community means you can try anything from the famous Balti triangle, the Chinese Quarter, high street chains, halal and vegan food, and Michelin-star dining.
  • World-class shopping. The Bullring and Grand Central is a shopper's paradise. From the world's biggest Primark to luxury brands at the Mailbox.
  • Arts and culture. Museums, galleries, theatres, concerts and Birmingham's art collection is as wide as it is impressive - not to be missed.
  • Green, open spaces. One of the greenest cities in Europe, Birmingham has hundreds of publicly accessible parks and green spaces across the city.
  • Sporting action. Birmingham has some of the most exciting venues for watching or participating in sport in the UK.

Discover Birmingham

 

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