Programmes

BSc Finance

  • Undergraduate
  • Department of Finance
  • UCAS code N300
  • Starting 2017

Global finance and its role in the world has never been more complex. Recent events have shown that it is more important than ever to have an understanding of the theory and logic behind the practice of financial decision-making, risk management and the behaviour of financial markets.

Teaching on the programme is informed by the latest research in the field, and we make the most of the School’s location close to the City of London, the financial district, and practitioners, regulators and policy makers in the industry, with an easy exchange of ideas and public lectures.

This is a rigorous quantitative programme which will equip you with a strong financial foundation and the necessary quantitative skills, as well as teaching you the logic behind the use of specific finance techniques and financial decision-making. You will learn to think analytically and to critically evaluate key issues in finance from a variety of perspectives. You will also learn to apply the analytical methods in finance and financial economics you have learn to a range of real world problems.

Programme details

Key facts

 BSc Finance
Start date 21 September 2017
Application deadline 15 January 2017
Duration Three years full-time
Applications 2016 576
First year students 2016 35
Availability Closed
Tuition fee UK/EU fee: £9,250 for the first year (provisional)
Overseas fee: £18,408 for the first year
Usual standard offer A level: grades A* A A, with A* in Mathematics
International Baccalaureate: Diploma with 38 points including 7 6 6 at Higher level (with 7 in Mathematics)
English language requirements Proof of your English language proficiency may be required
Location  Houghton Street, London

For more information about tuition fees, usual standard offers and entry requirements, see the fees and funding and assessing your application sections below.

Programme structure and courses

The degree involves studying courses to the value of 12 units over three years, plus LSE100. In the first year you will gain an essential foundation in finance, equipping you with the necessary quantitative skills. The second year will concentrate of building a firm grasp of core analytical methods in finance and financial economics and applying them to a range of problems, while the third year allows you to gain in-depth knowledge in a range of finance subfields.

First year

You will take compulsory introductory courses in economics, mathematics and statistics as well as LSE100, which is taught in the Lent term only. You will take Economics A or Economics B, depending on your economics background. Economics B is only for students with A level Economics or equivalent.

(* denotes a half unit course)

Introduction to Finance*
Introduces you to the core issues in finance.

Elements of Financial Accounting*
Introduces you to the preparation, uses and limitations of accounting convention.

Elementary Statistical Theory
This is a theoretical statistics course which is appropriate whether or not your A level Mathematics course included statistics. It forms the basis for later statistics options.

Mathematical Methods
An introductory-level "how to do it" course designed to prepare you for using mathematics seriously in the social sciences, or any other context.

LSE100
Beginning in the Lent term of the first year and running through the Michaelmas term of the second year, LSE100 is compulsory for all LSE undergraduate students, and introduces you to the fundamental elements of thinking like a social scientist.

Either
Economics A
Provides a foundation in economics, primarily to those without significant background in the subject.
Or
Economics B
An introductory course in microeconomics and macroeconomics.

Second year

You will take compulsory courses in finance, microeconomics, econometrics, and will continue to take LSE100 in the Michaelmas Term only.

Principles of Finance
Examines companies' longer term investment decisions, and the ways in which these may be financed in the financial markets.

Financial Systems and Crises*
Covers the historical development of financial markets and institutions, including the evolution of banking, financial exchanges and regulation.

Macro-Finance*
Studies the relationship between financial markets and the macro-economy. 

Either
Microeconomic Principles I
An intermediate course in microeconomic analysis.
Or
Microeconomic Principles II
An intermediate course in microeconomic analysis.

Either
Introduction to Econometrics
Aims to present the theory and practice of empirical research in economics.
Or
Principles of Econometrics
Offers an intermediate-level introduction to the theory and practice of econometrics.

LSE100
Beginning in the Lent term of the first year and running through the Michaelmas term of the second year, LSE100 is compulsory for all LSE undergraduate students, and introduces you to the fundamental elements of thinking like a social scientist.

Third year

In the third year you will take six more half-unit compulsory courses. You will also choose out outside option from a selected list of relevant courses offered outside the Department.

Market Anomalies and Asset Management*
Examines the extent to which financial markets are informationally efficient and analyse portfolio optimisation techniques and how performance can be measured. 

Theories of Corporate Finance*
Examines the theory and evidence concerning major corporate financial policy decisions, focusing particularly on the firm's decision to finance with debt versus equity, the impact of taxes on such decisions, and the role of dividends. 

Risk Management and Modelling*
Develops the fundamental concepts of how to deal with risk, such as value at risk, portfolio management, hedging and risk measurement.

Derivatives*
Explores the theoretical foundations of financial derivatives on a variety of asset classes, including bonds, stocks, commodities and currencies.

Applied Corporate Finance*
Illustrates and extends the corporate finance topics previously learnt with a range of case studies. 

Advanced Asset Markets*
Covers the modern theories of asset valuation.

One outside option

You can find the most up-to-date list of optional courses in the Programme Regulations section of the current School Calendar.

You must note however that while care has been taken to ensure that this information is up-to-date and correct, a change of circumstances since publication may cause the School to change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. The School will always notify the affected parties as early as practicably possible and propose any viable and relevant alternative options. Note that that the School will neither be liable for information that after publication becomes inaccurate or irrelevant, nor for changing, suspending or withdrawing a course or programme of study due to events outside of its control, which includes but is not limited to a lack of demand for a course or programme of study, industrial action, fire, flood or other environmental or physical damage to premises.

You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee you a place. Please note that changes to programmes and courses can sometimes occur after you have accepted your offer of a place. These changes are normally made in light of developments in the discipline or path-breaking research, or on the basis of student feedback. Changes can take the form of altered course content, teaching formats or assessment modes. Any such changes are intended to enhance the student learning experience. You should visit the School’s Calendar, or contact the relevant academic department, for information on the availability and/or content of courses and programmes of study. Certain substantive changes will be listed on the updated undergraduate course and programme information page.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching

You will usually have about 12 to 15 hours of lectures and classes each week. Hours vary according to courses and you can view indicative details in the Calendar within the Teaching section of each course guide. You will also be expected to work hard on your own reading, writing essays or working on class assignments. In total, you should expect to study 40 hours per week.

Lectures are delivered by academic staff, while classes are predominantly taught by PhD students. You can view indicative details for the teacher responsible for each course in the relevant course guide.

You will have an academic adviser who is available to offer general guidance and assistance with both academic and personal concerns on an individual basis. There are many opportunities to extend your learning outside the classroom and complement your academic studies at LSE. LSE LIFE is the School’s centre for academic, personal and professional development. Some of the services on offer include: guidance and hands-on practice of the key skills you will need to do well at LSE: effective reading, academic writing and critical thinking; workshops related to how to adapt to new or difficult situations, including development of skills for leadership, study/work/life balance and preparing for the world of work; and advice and practice on working in study groups and on cross-cultural communication and teamwork.

LSE is committed to enabling all students to achieve their full potential and the School’s Disability and Wellbeing Service provides a free, confidential service to all LSE students and is a first point of contact for all disabled students.

Your timetable

The lecture and seminar timetable is published in mid-August and the full academic timetable (lectures/seminars and undergraduate classes) is published by mid-September and is accessible via the LSE Timetables webpages.

Undergraduate student personal timetables are published in LSE for You (LFY). For personal timetables to appear, students must be registered at LSE, have successfully signed up for courses in LFY and ensured that their course selection does not contain unauthorised clashes.

Every effort is made to minimise changes after publication, once personal timetables have been published any changes are notified via email.

The standard teaching day runs from 09:00-18:00; Monday to Friday. Teaching for undergraduate students will not usually be scheduled after 12:00 on Wednesdays to allow for sports, volunteering and other extra-curricular events. 

Assessment

All taught courses are required to include formative coursework which is unassessed. It is designed to help prepare you for summative assessment which counts towards the course mark and to the degree award. LSE uses a range of formative assessment, such as essays, problem sets, case studies, reports, quizzes, mock exams and many others. Your summative assessment will usually be by written examinations at the end of each academic year. To progress through the degree you will need to pass the appropriate examinations. An indication of the formative coursework and summative assessment for each course can be found in the relevant course guide.

Feedback on coursework is an essential part of the teaching and learning experience at the School. Class teachers must mark formative coursework and return it with feedback to you normally within two weeks of submission (when the work is submitted on time). You will also receive feedback on any summative coursework you are required to submit as part of the assessment for individual courses (except on the final version of submitted dissertations). You will normally receive this feedback before the examination period. 

Find out more about LSE’s teaching and assessment methods

Preliminary reading

If you wish to gain further insight into the subject, we suggest that you look at one of the following books, papers and videos: 

A Admati “Seeing through “the banker’s new clothes””, TEDxStanford

W Clarke How the City of London Works (7th edition, Sweet and Maxwell, 2008) 

B Graham The Intelligent Investor (HarperBusiness, 2003)

M Lewis The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine (Penguin, 2011)

D McCloskey Economical Writing

PwC: Peer Pressure – How peer-to-peer lending platforms are transforming the consumer lending industry

H Rey “Monetary Policy and International Capital Flows” IMF Mundell-Fleming Lecture 

Annual reviews
:

D Lucas Valuation of Government Policies and Projects
P M Dechow, R G Sloan, and J Zha Stock Prices and Earnings
C Frydman and D Jenter CEO Compensation

The Royal Economic Society Public Lectures:

T Harford “How to run – or ruin – an economy” 
S Flanders “The UK economy after the crisis”  
Professor R Griffith “Does Starbucks pay enough tax?” 

Careers

Graduates from this programme will be well prepared for careers in investment banking, sales, trading and research, investment management, management consultancy, start-ups and other professional careers in the City, as well as further academic study.

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme 

Support for your career

Many leading organisations give careers presentations at the School during the year, and LSE Careers has a wide range of resources available to assist students in their job search. Find out more about the support available to students through LSE Careers.

Student stories

Felix Oblin

BSc Finance
Vienna, Austria

Felix-Oblin170x230

On the BSc Finance, we have access to faculty who are second to none in terms of their reputation and academic prowess. The Department also values personal growth and offers one-of-a-kind workshops, speaker events and challenges. On the programme, we’re small group of 30 students: it feels like a family to me and our truly collaborative culture helps us all to make the most out of our time at LSE.


Programme video

Watch a video about this programme

Assessing your application

We welcome applications from all suitably qualified prospective students and want to recruit students with the very best academic merit, potential and motivation, irrespective of their background. The programme guidance below should be read alongside our general entrance requirements information.

We carefully consider each application on an individual basis, taking into account all the information presented on the UCAS application form, including your:

- academic achievement (including predicted and achieved grades)
- subject combinations
- personal statement
- teacher’s reference
- educational circumstances

You may also have to provide evidence of your English proficiency, although you do not need to provide this at the time of your application to LSE. See our English language requirements.

What we are looking for in an application for BSc Finance

Academic achievement

Successful applicants for this programme are usually predicted to achieve or have already achieved a minimum of A* A A in their A levels, with an A* in Mathematics (or 38 and above International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB) points, including 7 6 6 in Higher level subjects, with 7 in Mathematics). Please also see subject combinations regarding Further Mathematics requirements.

Applicants should also have already achieved a strong set of GCSE grades including the majority at A and A*, or equivalent. Your GCSE (or equivalent) English Language and Mathematics grades should be no lower than B. We also consider your overall GCSE subject profile, and your AS grades, if available.

Competition for places at the School is high. This means that even if you are predicted or if you achieve the grades that meet our usual standard offer, this will not guarantee you an offer of admission. Usual standard offers are intended only as a guide, and in some cases applicants will be asked for grades which differ from this.

We express our standard offers and where applicable, programme requirement, in terms of A levels and the IB, but we consider applications from students with a range of qualifications including BTECs, Foundation Courses and Access to HE Diplomas as well as a wide range of international qualifications.

Information about accepted international qualifications
Information about other accepted UK qualifications

Subject combinations

We consider the combination of subjects you have taken, as well as the individual scores. We believe a broad mix of traditional academic subjects to be the best preparation for studying at LSE and expect applicants to have at least two full A levels or equivalent in these subjects.

For the BSc Finance we are looking for students with a strong mathematical ability, and A level Mathematics or equivalent is therefore required.

Further Mathematics at A level is also desirable, but as a fourth subject only. It is acceptable to take it to AS level only, in which case you will be required to achieve grade A. If you take four or more full A levels, you will be expected to achieve A* A A (with A* in Mathematics), and a pass in the fourth A level. We understand however that not everyone has the opportunity to follow a Further Mathematics programme, and you will not be disadvantaged because of this. Therefore it is helpful if you and/or your referees can indicate whether or not your school or college offers Further Mathematics classes.

In addition to Mathematics, we are looking for subject combinations which indicate that you possess both analytical and writing abilities. Subjects which appear as common post-16 choices are Economics; Physics; History; Chemistry; Government and Politics.

Personal characteristics, skills and attributes

For this programme, we are looking for students who demonstrate the following skills:

- ability to follow complex lines of reasoning
- strong analytical abilities and a high level of numeracy
- ability to apply logic and identify trends
- ability to think independently
- ability to be creative and flexible in approaching problems
- time management skills and ability to work under pressure
- good communication skills
- intellectual curiosity
- motivation and capacity for hard work

Personal statement

In addition to demonstrating the above personal characteristics, skills and attributes, your statement should be original, interesting and well-written and should outline your enthusiasm and motivation for the programme.

You should explain whether there are any aspects of particular interest to you, how this relates to your current academic studies and what additional reading or relevant experiences you have had which have led you to apply. We are interested to hear your own thoughts or ideas on the topics you have encountered through your exploration of the subject at school or through other activities. Some suggestions for preliminary reading can be found below, but there is no set list of activities we look for; instead we look for students who have made the most of the opportunities available to them to deepen their knowledge and understanding of their intended programme of study.

You can also mention extra-curricular activities such as sport, the arts or volunteering or any work experience you have undertaken. However, the main focus of an undergraduate degree at LSE is the in-depth academic study of a subject and we expect the majority of your personal statement to be spent discussing your academic interests.

Please also see our general guidance about writing personal statements.

Fees and funding

Every undergraduate student is charged a fee for each year of their programme.

The fee covers registration and examination fees payable to the School, lectures, classes and individual supervision, lectures given at other colleges under intercollegiate arrangements and, under current arrangements, membership of the Students' Union. It does not cover living costs or travel or fieldwork.

Tuition fees 2017/18

UK/EU* students: £9,250 for the first year (provisional pending final approval by Parliament)
Overseas students £18,408 for the first year

UK/EU undergraduate fees may rise in line with inflation in subsequent years and the overseas fee usually rises by between 2.5 per cent and 4 per cent each year.

*The UK Government confirmed in October 2016 that the fee level listed for EU undergraduate new entrants in 2017/18 will be the same as Home UK for the subsequent years of their undergraduate degree programme.

The amount of tuition fees you will need to pay, and any financial support you are eligible for, will depend on whether you are classified as a home (UK/EU) or overseas student, otherwise known as your fee status. LSE assesses your fee status based on guidelines provided by the Department of Education. 

Further information about fee status classification
Further information about tuition fees

Scholarships, bursaries and loans

The School recognises that the cost of living in London may be higher than in your home town or country. LSE provides generous financial support, in the form of bursaries and scholarships to UK, EU and overseas students. 

In addition, Government support, in the form of loans, is available to UK and some EU students.

Find out more about tuition fee loans.

Key Information Set

From September 2012, every undergraduate programme of more than one year's duration will have a Key Information Set (KIS). The KIS allows you to compare 17 pieces of information about individual programmes at different higher education institutions.

Please note that programmes offered by different institutions with similar names can vary quite significantly. We recommend researching the programmes you are interested in and taking into account the programme structure, teaching and assessment methods, and support services available.

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