Finance - Economics and Finance - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

Studying Finance at Canterbury

What is Finance?

Tom McBride - BCom
"Having a finance qualification is highly valued by employers and clients..."
(Read more)


Sarah Reeves - MCom
"I have learnt valuable skills that I would not have otherwise gained at the undergraduate level... doing a Masters was definitely worthwhile..."
(Read more)

Finance is the study of savings, investment and risk. It describes the ways in which individuals form, or should form, investment portfolios; the ways in which firms make, or should make, capital investment decisions, and how they can best pay for these investments; and the ways in which markets, institutions, regulators and governments facilitate these decisions. As in economics, incentives play a pivotal role, but with the added dimension that responses have uncertain and long-reaching consequences. Finance draws heavily on the tools of mathematics, statistics (including probability), and accounting, as well as economics.

Career Paths

Today it would be rare for a person to rise to the position of chief financial officer (CFO) without a strong grounding in both Accounting and Finance. There are also many other career opportunities for Finance graduates, with typical jobs including financial analyst, money market and foreign exchange dealer, loan analyst, equity analyst, risk analyst/manager, portfolio manager, financial planner, investment banker and small-business manager.


BSc (Hons), BCom(Hons) – Students complete a fourth academic year of study comprising 90 points (120 in the BSc(Hons)) in 600-level papers and a research project.

MCom in 180 points – students complete 12 months of further study comprising 120 points of 600-level papers and a research dissertation.

Master of Applied Finance and Economics – students complete a further 12 months of study comprising taught courses in both Economics and Finance.

MCom or MSc by thesis - Students complete two further years of study with the second year being by thesis. 

PhD - Students complete a 3-4 year research project written up as a thesis. Entry is after successful completion of either Honours or Masters by thesis degree.

Planning your degree

The Finance major is available in the BCom and BSc.  Students who major in Finance in the BCom must also complete the required 100-level BCom courses (MGMT 100, INFO 123 and ACCT 102).  Students who major in Finance in the BSc must also pass FINC 331.

Year 1


  • ACCT 102           Accounting and Financial Information
  • STAT 101           Statistics I
  • ECON 104          Introduction to Microeconomics
  • 15 points in MATH


  • ECON 105          Introduction to Macroeconomics
  • FINC 101            Personal Finance

MATH 101 is a minimum requirement for a major in Finance. 
For entry to postgraduate study in Finance MATH 102 is required and MATH 103 is recommended.


Year 2


  • FINC 201              Business Finance
  • FINC 203              Financial Markets, Institutions and Instruments


  • ECON 207            Intermediate Microeconomics - Households and Government
  • ECON 208            Intermediate Microeconomics - Firms and Markets
  • ECON 213            Introduction to Econometrics

ECON 213 is required for entry to postgraduate study in Finance.


Year 3


FINC 331 is required in the BSc and for entry to postgraduate study in Finance.