Finance is a decision-oriented discipline that is complex, challenging and dynamic.
It’s about managing money and capital in the real world: making practical financial decisions that can add value to a business and the economy.
Finance focuses on several main areas – investments (including portfolio theory); corporate finance (how businesses make internal financial decisions); derivatives (the study of financial securities deriving their value from other assets’ values); international finance (finance across borders) and personal finance.
An understanding of finance is essential to business and finance majors succeed in rewarding and highly-paid careers.
Two recent trends have fuelled the value of finance as a mature, globally recognised profession and underpin its relevance for the 21st century. The first is the world-wide move to deregulation and the opening of markets which has coincided with an almost universal appreciation of the importance of capital and investment for growth and prosperity. The second is the rush of theoretical developments in the discipline which has provided the tools to manage risk and return. The impact has been extreme. There are few businesses today that are not acutely aware of the significance of markets and financial planning for their viability.
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Why study Finance?
Every person and organisation raises and spends money. Finance examines the theory and practice of this process, with particular attention to the measurement and management of risk. It’s about deciding how money is allocated in the real world. Finance is both a science and an art – a science because it systematically analyses information and uses it to make and test predictions; an art because these future activities are uncertain and there is frequently no “right” answer. Finance deals not only with the measurable, “quantitative” aspect but also with the unmeasurable, where intuition and experience play a strong role. Skills in these areas are invaluable in the workplace. Above all, finance is exciting. You will often have to make swift decisions concerning large amounts of money and resources.
There are no required subjects to study finance at Otago. But students who choose finance usually have an interest in making decisions about how to manage and allocate money and resources. It’s helpful if you’ve studied economics, accounting, mathematics or statistics at school, but these are not essential.
The range of careers in finance is wide and varied, and well-paid. Graduates work in planning and budgeting, portfolio management, investments, securities, trading, risk management, and foreign currency trading. They are employed by government departments, the education sector, banks, insurance companies, investment banks, accounting firms, stockbroking firms, and many others. Because a finance degree is relevant to economic structures worldwide, it is highly exportable. There are many job opportunities overseas and Otago graduates compete well in many international markets.
Explore your study options further. Refer to enrolment information found on the following qualification pages.
- Bachelor of Arts and Commerce (BACom)
- Bachelor of Commerce (BCom)
- Bachelor of Commerce and Science (BComSc)
- Bachelor of Commerce with Honours (BCom(Hons))
- Diploma for Graduates (DipGrad)
- Postgraduate Diploma in Commerce (PGDipCom)
- Master of Commerce (MCom)
- Master of Finance (MFinc)
- Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) majoring in Finance
BSNS 112 Interpreting Business Data
BSNS 114 Financial Decision Making
BSNS 115 Accounting and Information Systems
FINC 102 Business Mathematics
Grades of at least C+ in the BSNS papers are needed in order to proceed to 200-level FINC papers
FINC 202 Investment Analysis and Portfolio Management
FINC 203 Financial Data Analysis
FINC 206 Fundamentals of Corporate Finance
FINC 302 Applied Investments
FINC 303 Financial Management
126 further points; must include 54 points at 200-level or above. Up to 90 points may be taken from outside Commerce.
Every programme must include BSNS 111-115. At least three of these papers must be passed before enrolling in any 200-level Commerce paper, and all must be passed before enrolling in any 300-level Commerce paper. For single-degree BCom students, all five must be attempted in the first year of study or equivalent.
STAT 110 or STAT 115 will be accepted as an alternative to BSNS 112 as a required paper or as part of the major subject requirements or as a prerequisite when:
Bachelor of Commerce with Honours (BCom(Hons)) in Finance
Postgraduate Diploma in Commerce (PGDipCom) in Finance
Master of Commerce (MCom) in Finance
Master of Finance (MFinc)
Plus one of the following project papers:
Minor subject requirements
Finance as a minor subject for a BA, MusB, BPA, BTheol, BSc, BAppSc, BCom, BHealSc, BACom, BASc or BComSc degree
Available as a minor subject for a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Music (MusB), Bachelor of Performing Arts (BPA), Bachelor of Theology (BTheol), Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Applied Science (BAppSc), Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), Bachelor of Health Science (BHealSc), Bachelor of Arts and Commerce (BACom), Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) or Bachelor of Commerce and Science (BComSc) degree
BSNS 114 Financial Decision Making
FINC 102 Business Mathematics
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a selection of on-campus papers will be made available via distance and online learning for eligible students.
Find out which papers are available and how to apply on our COVID-19 website
|Paper code||Year||Title||Points||Teaching period|
|FINC102||2021||Business Mathematics||18 points||Semester 1, Semester 2|
|FINC202||2021||Investment Analysis and Portfolio Management||18 points||Semester 1, Semester 2|
|FINC203||2021||Financial Data Analysis||18 points||Semester 1|
|FINC204||2021||Personal Finance||18 points||Summer School|
|FINC206||2021||Fundamentals of Corporate Finance||18 points||Semester 2|
|FINC302||2021||Applied Investments||18 points||Semester 1|
|FINC303||2021||Financial Management||18 points||Semester 2|
|FINC304||2021||Financial Markets and Institutions||18 points||Semester 1|
|FINC305||2021||International Financial Management||18 points||Semester 1|
|FINC306||2021||Derivatives||18 points||Not offered in 2021|
|FINC308||2021||Financial Econometrics||18 points||Not offered in 2021|
|FINC309||2021||Financial Modelling||18 points||Not offered in 2021|
|FINC310||2021||Fixed Income Security Analysis||18 points||Semester 2|
|FINC399||2021||Special Topic: Sustainable Investing||18 points||Semester 2|
|FINC402||2021||Advanced Corporate Finance||20 points||Semester 2|
|FINC403||2021||Studies in Capital Markets||20 points||Semester 1|
|FINC405||2021||Mathematical Finance||20 points||Semester 2|
|FINC406||2021||Advanced Financial Econometrics||20 points||Semester 1|
|FINC410||2021||Advanced International Financial Management||20 points||Not offered in 2021|
|FINC411||2021||Financial Risk Management||20 points||Not offered in 2021|
|FINC412||2021||Financial Analytics||20 points||Semester 2|
|FINC420||2021||Climate and Energy Finance||20 points||Semester 1|
|FINC425||2021||Governance Issues in Finance||20 points||Not offered in 2021|
|FINC460||2021||Advanced Fixed Income Securities||20 points||Not offered in 2021|
|FINC480||2021||Dissertation or Case Study||40 points||Full Year, 1st Non standard period|
|FINC499||2021||Special Topic||20 points||Not offered in 2021|
|FINC501||2021||Applied Project||40 points||1st Non standard period, 2nd Non standard period|
|FINC580||2021||Research Project||40 points||1st Non standard period, 2nd Non standard period|
Key information for future students
Department of Accountancy and Finance
Otago Business School