MSc International Banking and Finance

Available in Glasgow, London and by distance learning

In the past 10 years, the global banking and financial industry has grown consistently in terms of assets under management, profitability, and, of course, resilience. This expansion has left the sector in need of professionals capable of leading and managing the ever-changing environment: adapting to new technologies, evolving consumer needs and preferences, and of course the impact of emerging social, economic and political risks.

The years after the financial crisis have shaped the industry’s requirements for banking and finance professionals that are risk-aware and able to provide governments, firms and consumers with the financial products needed to achieve economic growth targets while keeping the system in balance.

You will develop a comprehensive understanding of the theories, concepts and quantitative skills necessary in banking and financial operations. You will also enhance the analytical skills you will need to manage financial products, market securities, investment portfolios, and their related risks, as well as being exposed to the latest developments in the banking and financial industry.

We work with key industry partners in developing our courses to ensure you are focusing on the most relevant areas within the field. The Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment, the Financial Conduct Authority, the Bank of England and Bank for International Settlements all emphasise the need for efficient risk measurement and management procedures within banks.

We have also worked closely with some major financial institutions to both validate the course and place students in professional jobs, including Morgan Stanley and the Royal Bank of Scotland.
Prepare yourself for working in financial services organisations by focusing on the key programme aims:
  • Learn the fundamental and advanced aspects of domestic and international bank management, operations and risk measurement and management
  • Apply relevant analytical techniques in order to analyse problems and issues arising within banking firms
  • Evaluate theory through critical appraisal of current research in the area of banking
  • Explain and apply current and relevant theories in financial regulation in practical settings
  • Utilise financial securities within a bank management setting
  • Understand how to apply operational risk techniques within a banking firm
  • Critically discuss the operations process of financial markets

The module and assessment information described here has been approved in line with the University’s Quality Assurance and Enhancement Process. This allows us to ensure that the courses we offer are high quality and relevant for today’s students. Occasionally we have to make changes to programme information after it has been published. For full details of potential changes to programmes and how they can affect your application please read the Information for students relating to Programme Changes/Cancellation and Withdrawal from Portfolio.

September 21 applications can only be accepted from students from Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Study Options

  • 2021/22


Mode of study


Start date


Distance Learning
2 - 3 Years
31 Jan 2022
GCU Glasgow
Full Time
16 Months
31 Jan 2022
GCU Glasgow
Distance Learning
2 - 3 Years
28 Sep 2021
GCU Glasgow
Full Time
1 Year
28 Sep 2021
GCU Glasgow
Award Mode of study Duration Start date Location  
MSc Distance Learning 2 - 3 Years 31 Jan 2022 GCU Glasgow Enquire
MSc Full Time 16 Months 31 Jan 2022 GCU Glasgow Enquire Apply
MSc Distance Learning 2 - 3 Years 28 Sep 2021 GCU Glasgow Enquire
MSc Full Time 1 Year 28 Sep 2021 GCU Glasgow Enquire Apply

All entry requirements listed here should be used as a guide and represent the minimum required to be considered for entry. Applicants who are made a conditional offer of a place may be asked to achieve more than is stated.

Minimum academic requirement

UK honours degree 2:2 (or equivalent) in any subject area.

English language

Academic IELTS score of 6.0 (or equivalent) with no element below 5.5.

Please note: if you are from a majority English speaking country, you may not be required to provide further proof of your English Language proficiency.

Additional information

Other academic and vocational qualifications

Each application to GCU is considered on an individual basis. If you do not have the typical academic entry qualifications, but can demonstrate relevant work experience and/or credits from recognised professional bodies, you may be eligible to enter this course via the University's Recognition of Prior Learning scheme.

The tuition fees you pay are mostly determined by your fee status. What is my student fee status?

Annual full-time tuition fees 2021/22

Home and RUK: £6,000
EU and International: £13,500

Part-time and distance-learning tuition fees

View our part-time and distance-learning fee schedules

Fees are subject to change and published here for guidance only.

Additional costs

As a student at the University, there are additional fees and costs which may or may not apply to you, but that you should be aware of.

View additional costs


We provide high-quality education for a fair price; as the University for the Common Good, we are committed to offering accessible higher education for talented students by keeping our tuition fees low and providing a generous scholarship package of £2 million per year.

View our postgraduate scholarships.

This programme is triple accredited. It is accredited by the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI), the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) and the Chartered Banker Institute (CBI). Upon graduation you will be granted Associate Chartered Banker status by the CBI.

Our students have the option of taking additional CII units at a discounted rate; around a third of the amount charged to insurance and personal finance professionals.

Whether you are a graduate starting your career, or a practitioner working in the industry, this programme will further your knowledge and expertise in this dynamic international financial sector. Graduates from our programme have gained employed in the following roles: Risk Analyst at Morgan Stanley, Associate at PWC, Associate Investment Manager at Tilney Bestinvest Group, Foreign Markets Analyst at MHP S.A, Credit Assessment & Debt Recovery at Lafarge, Private Client Banking Executive at Barclays Wealth and Investment Management, AVP Financial Crime Compliance at HSBC among many others.

The programme has been designed to allow you the opportunity to work both individually and collaboratively with your peers on a variety of assessments. The style of coursework is specific to each module to ensure it challenges you in the most appropriate way relating to the nature of the topic. The range of assessments includes case studies, blogs, presentations, journals (e-diaries), and a dissertation project.

Financial Securities Analysis

You will develop a critical awareness of the financial risks inherent in financial markets and be able to analyse the products which are used to manage these risks. There is a focus on understanding contemporary finance and its theoretical foundations, capital structure and dividend policy. You will build on this knowledge by analysing the Capital Assets Pricing Model and Arbitrage Pricing Theory.

Bank Management

You will gain a clear and consolidated view of the main operations of banks and the products and services offered by them with emphasis on risk management and operations strategies. A core element of this module is the use of spreadsheet to solve case-studies; this is used to encourage the development of analytical skills and is an invaluable exercise if you choose to pursue a career in this area.

Financial Services Regulation

Critically assess the operation of financial regulators and regulations. You will examine theoretical approaches to regulations, regulatory structures, and the role of both the regulator and the regulated while also focusing on regulation in practice, both in the UK and internationally. Additionally you will study banking regulation, the conduct of business regulation, and the importance of risk as a driver of both regulation and regulators.

Bank Operational Risk Management

You will examine the nature of operational risk as an Enterprise-Wide Risk and how to calculate operational risk capital under the Basel Capital Framework. You will also be introduced to the three key themes of operational risk taxonomy: Cause-Driven, Impact-Driven, and Event-Driven, as well as the mitigation and Assurance methods for managing operational risk(s).

Global Finance

Further explore the ideas and terminology behind international macro and international financial systems. Building upon your knowledge you will analyse theories of exchange rate determination, their application in empirical research and the risks present in foreign exchange markets. Finally you will gain an understanding of international financial markets and the range of services and securities they offer.

Financial Risk Modelling

This module is a combination of enterprise and financial risk modelling using both Excel and @Risk software programs to develop risk management models. You will be exposed to the measurement and modelling of the industry accepted categorisation of risks, and focus on issues relating to how losses can arise in any business decision and the methods of managing and controlling those losses.

Ethics, Governance and Responsible Leadership

By examining the private, public and social enterprise sectors, you will be equipped with a set of analytical tools and concepts to drive responsible decision-making, whilst highlighting the difference between compliance and ethically driven behaviours. You will gain a theoretical and practical understanding of real world issues, from a UK and global perspective, and learn from the PRME related principles and the Common Good attributes which are central to this module.

Commercial Banking

This module offers students the opportunity to examine the evolving nature of the commercial banking industry.  Focusing on recent events, trends and issues, students will examine the asset structures and revenue earning features of commercial banks and the impact new technologies and non-bank competitors are having on their viability as businesses. They will also study how cultural and economic trends are impacting banking products and services (and their cost and benefit features), not only changing the industry but also how society engages with commercial banking.

Masters Research Project

The final element of the programme is the Masters Research Project which provides you with an opportunity to design and undertake a piece of original research. You will apply methods and theories that are commonly used within the field of International Banking, Finance and Risk Management, with the support of internationally published literature demonstrate best practice in this field.

This course has been designed with input from industry experts.
You'll benefit from on-campus events involving employers in the field relevant to this course. 
Students on this course will get the opportunity to hear from guest lecturers.