Finance Courses

By Mariza Halliday - Last update

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What is Finance?

Finance is a broad term that describes activities associated with banking, leverage or debt, credit, capital markets, money, and investments. Finance represents money management and the process of acquiring needed funds. Finance also encompasses the oversight, creation, and study of money, banking, credit, investments, assets, and liabilities that make up financial systems.

What 3rd level courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering courses in Finance in the following subject areas:

  • Diploma in Investment and Finance Management – The study of financial management and investments.
  • MBA Finance – This programme aims to provide a progression route for learners who want to further develop their skillset in Finance.
  • Managing Finance in a Digital World – A comprehensive overview of managing financial activities in the digital world.
  • MSc in Finance – Develop your quantitative skills and have the opportunity to learn the latest econometrics and data analysis techniques, which are becoming extremely important for a successful career in the financial industry.
  • Finance, Banking, and Risk Management – The study of Risk Management, Business Continuity Planning and Disaster Scenario Planning, Basic personnel based Risk Management, Financial planning for non-finance managers and Advanced Risk Management and identification of Emerging Risks.
  • Master of Science (MSc) International Accounting & Finance – Develop your knowledge of the theory and practice necessary for a career in Finance.
  • Finance For Managers – An overview of financial (accounting) statements and related theories to develop a comprehensive and critical understanding of financial techniques and processes which enable management to evaluate and make strategic decisions in the context of competitive environments.

Studying Finance

Many courses in Finance may take place over a few days, weeks, or even 1 year to 4 years depending on the course and modules selected. There are also part-time courses and night courses available so you can be sure to fit in your studies no matter what your schedule is like.

Courses will cover theory work through lectures, assignments, tutorials, and taught modules. Assessments will take place continuously with written examinations and practical assignments combined to achieve a qualification.

You could also consider work experience or a work shadow in the industry which will show potential employers that you have the skills and practical experience they’re looking for. Relevant work experience is a good way of demonstrating a genuine interest in the field and is regarded favorably by employers. 

Work Experience will not only allow you to obtain a deeper knowledge and understanding of the industry, but it will also give you a chance to do some essential networking with other industry professionals and gain valuable contacts for the future.

Career options

After completing a Finance course you will be able to get started in a career that uses specific knowledge of managing finances.

Starting a career in the Finance industry means you may be responsible for providing financial guidance and support to clients and colleagues so they can make sound business decisions. You will need a good head for figures and for dealing with complex modeling and analysis, as well as a sound grasp of financial systems and procedures.

You may be employed in many different environments including both public and private sector organizations, such as charities, financial institutions, general businesses, manufacturing companies, multinational corporations, retailers, or universities. 

Some postgraduate courses train you to work in a more specialized area of the financial industry, such as an MSc in actuarial science. It’s also possible to study for a Ph.D. in specific areas of finance, such as banking or trade statistics. Financial management offers good opportunities to work overseas. Professional qualifications from the major accountancy bodies are usually widely recognized by countries around the world.

Working hours will depend on whether you are self-employed, employed by a company with set business hours, or if you are contracted to various businesses or companies. Working hours are generally 9 am to 5 pm, five days a week, with some possible flexibility. However, longer hours may be required depending on current deadlines and workload.

Related jobs include:

  • Chartered accountant
  • Chartered certified accountant
  • Chartered management accountant
  • Chartered public finance accountant
  • Company secretary
  • External auditor
  • Forensic accountant
  • Actuary
  • Arbitrator
  • Business development manager
  • Data analyst
  • Economist
  • Licensed conveyance
  • Management consultant
  • Mortgage adviser
  • Procurement manager
  • Retail banker
  • Tax adviser

Further study

After completing a course in Finance you may choose to pursue further study in a specialist field to increase your knowledge base and skill set. Postgraduate study can also be used as a means to change career focus or to gain professional qualifications required to practice in certain career areas such as accountancy, business, economics, management, mathematics, and statistics.


What are the different types of Finance?

The finance field includes three main subcategories: personal finance, corporate finance, and public (government) finance.

Personal finance – Personal finance includes the purchasing of financial products such as credit cards, insurance, mortgages, and various types of investments. Banking is also considered a component of personal finance because individuals use checking and savings accounts as well as online or mobile payment services.

Corporate finance – The financial activities related to running a corporation, usually with a division or department set up to oversee those financial activities.

Public finance – Includes taxing, spending, budgeting, and debt-issuance policies that affect how a government pays for the services it provides to the public.

What skills could be helpful for a career in Finance?

Accountancy and finance degrees provide you with knowledge of accountancy practices, commerce, industry, and finance. As well as developing a range of subject-specific and technical skills, you also gain more general skills including knowledge and awareness of business organizations, numerical and quantitative skills, problem-solving and analytical ability, oral and written communication skills, ability to argue your case and negotiate, knowledge of global business issues and language skills, particularly if you study European or international finance and entrepreneurship.

Where can I study Finance?

Explore your options here

 Did You Know?

· When it comes down to it, “money” is simply the medium of exchange in a given context. Thus, soap, beans, elephant tail hairs, the whole elephant itself, and animal by-products (including teeth) have all had their heyday as humanity’s money.

· England’s earliest credit cards date back to the Middle Ages when “credit” was a system of broken sticks. If someone incurred a debt with another party, they would place notches in a stick to keep track of the amount owed—and then snap it, debtor and creditor each taking a half. When the debt was settled, they would tie the sticks together and mark the tool as “paid.” This resulted in a tally system that lasted for more than 700 years.

· Since US paper money is made partly from cloth, people in Colonial America would repair torn cash with their handy thread and needle.

· Knights of the European Middle Ages traveled surprisingly light on cash. Instead, a knight sported a special ring, which he would then use to stamp any bills he incurred on his adventures. Afterward, an innkeeper or other vendor would simply forward the stamped IOU to the knight’s castle.

Mariza Halliday

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