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Study Finance at Otago

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.

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.

Background required

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.

Career opportunities

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.

Programme requirements

Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) majoring in Finance

Level Papers Points

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

BSNS 111 Business and Society, BSNS 113 Economic Principles and Policy – must normally be taken in first year of study








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

Two further 300-level papers, (one must be a FINC paper, and the other must be a  FINC, ACCT or ACFI paper)





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:
(a) the paper has been passed before the student has enrolled for a BCom degree; or
(b) a student is enrolling for both a BCom and another degree for which STAT 110 or STAT 115 is required.

Total 360

Bachelor of Commerce with Honours (BCom(Hons)) in Finance


Postgraduate Diploma in Commerce (PGDipCom) in Finance

  • 120 points from 400-level FINC or ACFI papers. Other papers may be substituted subject to approval, up to a maximum of 40 points.

Master of Commerce (MCom) in Finance

  • Thesis: FINC 5

Master of Finance (MFinc)

Papers Points

Seven of:

ACFI 459, BSNS 401, FINC 401-460, FINC 499 (20 points each)

Plus one of the following project papers:

FINC 501  Applied Project, or FINC 580  Research Project





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

Level Papers Points

BSNS 114  Financial Decision Making

FINC 102  Business Mathematics




See below


Three FINC or ACFI papers above 100-level, including at least one 300-level FINC paper


Total   90


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

Contact us

Department of Accountancy and Finance
Otago Business School