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.
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.
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.