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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Finance?
2. Why choose Queen's University to study a Finance degree?
3. What is the duration of the Finance degree?
4. What are the entrance requirements for Finance at Queens?
5. How many students are accepted to study Finance at Queen's?
6. What subjects will I study during my finance degree?
7. How does the placement year work?
8. What support will be provided with placement?
9. Are there any additional qualifications I can obtain whilst in placement?
10. What companies traditionally take placement students from the Finance degree and are placements salaried?
11. What are career prospects like on graduating with a finance degree from Queen's?
12. Where did those students who recently graduated gain employment?
13. Does the degree programme offer an opportunity to trade financial instruments?
14. Are market specialists involved in the delivery of some courses?
15. Does the Finance degree provide any exemptions from professional qualifications?
16. What do the past graduates say about the Finance degree?
17. Who are the people who will teach me?
18. What kind of help and support is there for me when I study at Queen's?

 

What is Finance?

The subject of Finance is mainly concerned with the following areas: how financial institutions and markets function, how financial assets and instruments are valued, how firms finance their operations, how the monetary and banking systems function, and how the financial system relates to the broader economy.

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Why choose Queen's University to study a Finance degree?

Queen’s University is a leading academic and research driven university with an excellent record for high quality teaching. Students studying Finance get both theoretical skills (from the courses taught at Queen’s) and practical skills (from their 9 month salaried placement in a financial environment (e.g Goldman Sachs, Nomura, Morgan Stanley, Union Bank of Switzerland, Oxford Economics, Barclays Capital, CitiBank, NI Civil Service, Google, Bank of Ireland, PWC, KPMG).The employment record of students on graduating with a degree in Finance from Queen’s is exceptional.

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What is the duration of the Finance degree?

The Finance degree is a 4 year degree. Years 1, 2 and 4 are spent at Queen’s. Year 3 is spent on a salaried industrial placement with a leading financial institution.

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What are the entrance requirements for Finance at Queen's?

Queen’s requires students on the Finance program to have achieved:
VCE/GCE A Level - AAB or ABB including Mathematics or
Irish Leaving Certificate - AAB2B2B2B2.
Candidates offering other qualifications should contact the Admissions Office for advice.

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How many students are accepted to study Finance at Queen's?

Each year there are approximately 65 students accepted to study Finance. The majority of these students (approximately 50) are from schools in Northern Ireland. The remainder (approximately 15) is from overseas.

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What subjects will I study during my Finance degree?

Each year at Queen’s you study six courses.
In year 1 the courses are (i) financial reporting and analysis (ii) financial institutions and markets (iii) mathematics for finance (iv) statistics (v) market theory (vi) principles of economics
In year 2 the courses are (i) monetary theory (ii) investment analysis (iii) microeconomics (iv) mutual and pension fund management (v) introductory econometrics (vi) placement and learning
In year 4 the courses are (i) international finance (ii) capital markets (iii) financial econometrics (iv) corporate finance (v) fixed income instruments (vi) financial engineering

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How does the placement year work?

During year 3 of your degree you will be expected to complete 9 months on placement with a financial institution within a financial role. This will give you the practical experience necessary to enable you to fit into a finance position more smoothly when you complete your degree. You will begin preparation (interview skills, CV preparation, background research on financial companies) for placement during the year 2. There are three dedicated placement officers in the School of Management at Queen’s who will ensure that Finance students are well prepared for placement and obtain placements which are of the highest quality.

More details on the placement process can be found at the placement website

 

http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/QueensUniversityManagementSchool/BusinessEngagement/Placement/

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What support will be provided with placement?

Staff in the QUB Management School Placement office provide a dedicated support service to students through a structured Placement Programme. A Placement Learning Module is delivered in Year 2 to prepare students for placement. Also, each student is allocated a mentor on placement who will play a pivotal role to the student’s learning and development. Students are visited during placement by a member of staff from the School to review their learning and gain feedback from placement. The Placement Office also host a review day for students during placement to reflect on experience.

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Are there any additional qualifications I can obtain whilst on placement?

Students have the option to undertake degree plus through the Student Guidance Centre.

More information can be found at https://www.qub.ac.uk/directorates/degreeplus/

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What companies traditionally take placement students from the Finance degree and are the placements salaried?

While on placement students receive a full salary. Salaries for students currently on their placement year (2011-2012) range from a minimum of £12,000 to a maximum of £39,000. These placements are in Belfast, Dublin, London and the Channel Islands. For almost all students placed in Dublin and London the starting salary is in excess of £20,000.The organisations and the functions in which students are currently placed (2011-2012) include:

a. Investment Banks (investment analysts) - Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Union Bank of Switzerland.
b. Accountancy Firms (management consultants) - Grant Thornton, KPMG, Ernst & Young, PWC
c. Corporate Banks (corporate and security analysis) - Lloyds TSB, Barclays Corporate
d. Insurance Companies (risk assessors) - Aviva, Allianz, prudential and Irish Life
e. Specialist Financial Firms (traders) First Derivatives, Setanta Asset Management, SIG.
f. Actuarial Firms (back office processors) - Mercer Plc
g. Pension Consultancy - Xaffinity, Kerr Henderson
h. General Companies (finance functions) - Terex, NI Civil Service, Oxford Economics, QUB Finance, Xerox, Lagan Technologies, Microsoft, Singer, Vion Foods

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What are career prospects like on graduating with a Finance degree from Queen's?

Career prospects for finance students are excellent.

Students are employed in the areas of (i) corporate banking (ii) investment banking (iii) insurance (iv) fund management (v) economic analysis (vi) fund administration (vii) stock broking (as equity analysts) (viii) risk management (as financial engineers) (ix) accountancy (x) management consultancy

There are high rewards available! The majority of finance graduates from Queen’s are employed in positions in Belfast, Dublin and London.

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Where did those students who recently graduated gain employment?

In July 2010 46 students completed their studies and graduated with a BSc in Finance. Many of these students are now in employment. Examples of the organisations in which they are employed – KPMG (2 graduates employed) Nomura Bank, Oxford Economics, Nationwide Building Society, Setanta Asset Management, Citi Group (3 graduates employed), Mercer Plc, First Derivatives (2 graduates employed), Ernst & Young (2 graduates employed) Morgan Stanley, Kerr Henderson Hewitt, Irish Life Insurance, Dublin, AllState, Belfast.

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Does the degree programme offer an opportunity to trade financial instruments?

Many classes on the BSc Finance are taught in the dedicated financial trading room which recreates the excitement of an investment bank trading floor, and provides students with hands-on experience in a dynamic environment. Real-time data feeds from major exchanges are displayed on terminals and wall screens, and industry-standard software packages are used to provide the best possible introduction to investment banking IT.

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Are market specialists involved in the delivery of some courses?

Throughout the BSc Finance, students are offered exposure to financial experts from the London financial markets who share their industry knowledge and offer advice on what it takes to succeed in the world of finance.

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Does the Finance degree provide any exemptions from professional qualifications?

Successful completion of the BSc Finance degree can lead to a number of exemptions from the examinations of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).

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What do the past graduates say about the Finance degree?

Bernard Eastwood, graduated July 2008, initially employed with Houlihan Lokey, which is an investment bank located on London’s Pall Mall but has subsequently set up his own hedge fund{BlackCube} in Holywood Northern Ireland.

"Final year was my favourite year. I felt the whole class gelled; we socialized a lot and spent a lot of time with one another in the library. The courses in final year were also perfect. I felt they gave a rounded perspective of the key financial sectors. .... The year on placement was possibly the best and most productive year of my life. The learning curve was steep, but the experience gained and the exposure was immense. The year on placement really helped to mature my thought process, work ethic and re-evaluate my goals."

Ciara McCaughey, graduated July 2008, currently with Royal Bank of Scotland in Dublin, in the corporate markets department.

"The finance degree was an excellent degree with the placement opportunity a totally invaluable experience. I found it extremely informative in terms of the career path I want to take in the area of finance. All lecturers were extremely approachable. A brilliant degree for securing future employment."

Emma Hammond, graduated July 2010, presently employed as a trainee actuary with Mercer PLC in Belfast.

"The variety of modules makes the course more interesting than related degrees. There is a strong support network from academic staff. The placement year improved many of my skills and gave me contacts."

Chris Power, graduated July 2010, presently KPMG Corporate Finance in Belfast.

"I feel the Finance degree has given me a strong grounding in the theory of finance, while the teaching standard involved within the degree programme is outstanding. As such, I would highly recommend this course to prospective students. For my placement, I spent 15 months with KPMG Corporate Finance in Belfast. I gained fantastic experience throughout my time on placement and really enjoyed my time with the firm. So much so, that I recently joined the full-time Graduate program with KPMG. I would highly recommend the placement year to all students as I believe it gives you a 'head start' over other graduates, while preparing you for what life is like in a real working environment, and your final year studies."

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Who are the people who will teach me?

Our staff is made up of a balance of experienced lecturers in the area of finance, accounting and economics. There are 11 finance lecturers in the School of Management at Queen’s. For more details of staff see the link below

http://www.qub.ac.uk/mgt/Staff/

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What kind of help and support is there for me when I study at Queens?

Every student on the finance degree has a personal tutor. The tutor is the student's first point of contact when he/she requires advice on academic and non-academic issues, and will help him/her adjust to University life, particularly in the first few weeks. Another important role the tutor has is to help students to maintain a strategic overview of their whole University career. It is usually the tutor who provides a student with a letter of reference whenever he/she needs it.

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