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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 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); and international finance (finance across borders).

An understanding of Finance is essential to business, and Finance majors succeed in rewarding and highly-paid careers.

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Why study Finance?

Every person and every 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 activities are not exact and there is frequently no “right” answer.

Finance deals not only with the measurable, “quantitative” aspects, but also with the unmeasurable, in which 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.

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 international markets.

Finance at Otago

Finance is a major of the three-year Bachelor of Commerce degree programme and is taught within the Department of Accountancy and Finance.

Finance is very different from accountancy and economics. Finance is decision-oriented and focuses on how individuals allocate resources through time, either inside an organisation (e.g. corporate finance) or outside it (e.g. investments). Economics provides the intuition that guides financial decisions, while accounting reports and monitors the results of financial decisions, as well as providing the information on which financial decisions are based.

Within the Finance degree, you will learn about components of the financial system and about the institutions and financial instruments that facilitate the transfer of funds between individuals, businesses and organisations.

The degree covers practical aspects such as the concepts of value creation, required rates of return, financial mathematics, capital budgeting, capital structure and dividend policies. You will also learn about fixed income securities, options and futures, shares and simple techniques for hedging risk, portfolio diversification and portfolio evaluation.

As you progress through the degree, and perhaps into postgraduate study, you will have the opportunity to specialise in those areas of finance that particularly interest you.

Teaching style

Finance is taught in lectures and tutorials. You may be asked to write individual essays and reports, work on cases, complete group project work, give presentations and sit exams.

Double major/degree options

Many subject areas complement finance and will strengthen your degree, including Accounting, Business Law, Economics, Mathematics, Statistics, Law and Information Science.

Background required

There are no required subjects for studying Finance at Otago, but students who choose Finance usually have an interest in making decisions about managing and allocating money and resources. It's helpful if you've studied Economics, Accounting, Mathematics or Statistics at school, but these are not essential.


Finance as a minor subject for a BA, MusB, BPA, BTheol, BSc, BCom, BEntr, 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 Commerce (BCom), Bachelor of Entrepreneurship (BEntr), 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




See below


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


Total 90

FINC papers

Paper Code Year Title Points Teaching period
ACCT299 2024 Special Topic 18 Not offered in 2024
FINC102 2024 Business Mathematics 18 Semester 1, Semester 2
FINC202 2024 Investment Analysis and Portfolio Management 18 Semester 1, Semester 2
FINC203 2024 Financial Data Analysis 18 Semester 1
FINC204 2024 Personal Finance 18 Summer School
FINC206 2024 Fundamentals of Corporate Finance 18 Semester 2
FINC299 2024 Special Topic: Fundamentals of Quantitative Finance 18 Not offered in 2024
FINC302 2024 Applied Investments 18 Semester 1
FINC303 2024 Financial Management 18 Semester 2
FINC304 2024 Financial Markets and Institutions 18 Not offered in 2024
FINC305 2024 International Financial Management 18 Semester 1
FINC306 2024 Derivatives 18 Semester 2
FINC308 2024 Financial Econometrics 18 Semester 2
FINC309 2024 Financial Modelling 18 Not offered in 2024
FINC310 2024 Fixed Income Security Analysis 18 Not offered in 2024
FINC320 2024 Sustainable Investing 18 Semester 1
FINC399 2024 Special Topic 18 Not offered in 2024
FINC402 2024 Advanced Corporate Finance 20 Semester 1
FINC403 2024 Studies in Capital Markets 20 Semester 1
FINC405 2024 Mathematical Finance 20 Semester 2
FINC406 2024 Advanced Financial Econometrics 20 Semester 1
FINC410 2024 Advanced International Financial Management 20 Not offered in 2024
FINC411 2024 Financial Risk Management 20 Not offered in 2024
FINC412 2024 Financial Analytics 20 Not offered in 2024
FINC420 2024 Climate and Energy Finance 20 Not offered in 2024
FINC425 2024 Governance Issues in Finance 20 Semester 2
FINC444 2024 Behavioural Finance 20 Semester 1
FINC480 2024 Dissertation or Case Study 40 Not offered in 2024
FINC498 2024 Special Topic: Advanced Modelling of Climate Finance Risks 20 Not offered in 2024
FINC499 2024 Special Topic 20 Not offered in 2024
FINC501 2024 Applied Project 40 1st Non standard period, 2nd Non standard period
FINC580 2024 Research Project 40 1st Non standard period, 2nd Non standard period

More information

Contact us

Department of Accountancy and Finance
Otago Business School


Studying at Otago

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Regulations on this page are taken from the 2024 Calendar and supplementary material.

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