Suggested routes to the degree
There are two options to studying the qualification, the fast track two-year study route or the standard three-year study route (with the flexibility to take up to seven years). We recommend that you choose carefully and plan your work accordingly. Both routes require you to start in November with Introduction to corporate finance (B858), unless you are awarded credit transfer.
Three-year study route
You'll study the first three compulsory modules one at a time, starting with Introduction to corporate finance (B858) in November, then Financial strategy: valuation, governance and ethics (B859) in May and Research methods for finance (B860) in the following November. You'll then choose one elective module before completing this degree with a dissertation.
Two-year study route
This fast track option allows you to complete this degree in two years by studying two modules at the same time. In the first year, you'll start in November with Introduction to corporate finance (B858) and Research methods for finance (B860), and then in the following May you'll study Financial strategy: valuation, governance and ethics (B859) and one elective module. In the second year, also starting in November, you'll learn how to conduct academic research and write your dissertation.
You should be aware that studying two modules simultaneously can be very challenging, when you have professional or other commitments at the same time, as you'll need to be able to spend approximately 25 hours a week on your studies.
To gain this qualification, you need 180 credits as follows:
90 credits of compulsory modules:
30 credits from the following list:
a final 60-credit module:
We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 20th March 2019.
CFA level III charterholders can obtain exemptions from the first two modules, Introduction to corporate finance (B858) and Financial strategy: valuation, governance and ethics (B859). If you have a professional qualification in a related area, such as ACCA, CIMA or ICAEW, you may also be eligible for an exemption from B858.
If you’ve successfully completed some relevant postgraduate study elsewhere, you might be able to count it towards this qualification, reducing the number of modules you need to study. You should apply for credit transfer as soon as possible, before you register for your first module. For more details and an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.
On successful completion of the required modules, you will be awarded a Master of Science in Finance entitling you to use the letters MSc Fin (Open) after your name. You will have the option of being presented at a degree ceremony and collecting your award certificate there.
Recognition in your country
If you intend to use your Open University qualifications to seek work or undertake further study outside the UK, we recommend checking whether your intended qualification will meet local requirements for your chosen career. Read recognition in my country.
As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.
This postgraduate qualification offers knowledge in a wide range of finance areas that include the corporate finance function, investments, banking and financial institutions and risk management. You will gain both theoretical and practical insights into the working of financial markets, valuation of securities, understanding financial statements, risk management and portfolio management. You will develop the skills and capabilities required by investment analysts, finance managers, finance directors and chief financial officers. You will be equipped with knowledge and skills to support decision making at the higher levels of organisations by exploring issues related to ethics and corporate governance, reporting and disclosure, financing and investment in uncertain and global business environments.
Prudent practice of finance is relevant across all sectors – public, private and voluntary. This qualification will therefore prepare you to work in the corporate sector, financial services, the banking industry, multinational organisations and other sectors where analytical and decision tools in treasury, investment and financing decisions are required.
The dissertation offers the chance to explore financial issues in greater depth and may enhance your prospects in a career specialism. This qualification will also provide sound training in research and academic skills for those wishing to pursue a PhD and develop academic careers in finance.
Careers and Employability Services have more information on how OU study can improve your employability.
The MSc in Finance has been accepted into the CFA Institute University Affiliation Program. This status is granted to institutions whose degree programmes incorporate at least 70% of the CFA Program Candidate Body of Knowledge (CBOK), which provide students with a solid grounding in the CBOK and positions them well to sit the exams to become CFA charterholders.