Finance is an exciting and rapidly growing discipline that examines the acquisition and allocation of financial resources. It is available as a major in the Bachelor of Commerce and the Bachelor of Science. It is also available as a minor in the Bachelor of Arts degree.

Rather than measuring past performance, Finance is future-focused and looks at future planning for firms and investors.

There are three core fields of study in Finance:

  • Corporate finance examines how firms raise and utilise funds.
  • Financial markets and institutions explores the financial system.
  • Investment analysis investigates how investors choose securities and asset classes for their portfolios.

Our BCom in Finance is recognised by CFA and prepares students for a variety of jobs in the finance sector. Our programme of study positions students to sit CFA exams and has a variety of opportunities such as internships and participation in competitions.

Recommended preparation for Finance includes Year 13 Mathematics and Statistics. Students with outstanding NCEA results can be offered direct entry to 200-level Finance courses at the discretion of the Head of Department.

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.

Bachelor of Commerce students are encouraged to undertake internships and projects to gain practical experience in business.

Some internships are unpaid and students have been placed in a variety of organisations and industries.

To be eligible for an internship students must complete ECON 207 and 208 or both 200-level Finance courses (201 and 203).

To receive academic credit you enrol in ECON 390 or FINC 390 and complete the required assessment.

Five summer opportunities arise annually with ANZ bank for Economics majors. These are paid roles. Contact Stephen Hickson for more information.

Stephen Hickson

Teaching Fellow
Associate Head of Department Economics and Finance
Business and Law 422
Internal Phone: 93743

The Erskine Fellowships are used to bring distinguished visitors from around the world to UC to contribute to our teaching and research.

Previous Erskine visitors:







The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute aims to lead the investment profession globally by promoting the highest standards of ethics, education, and professional excellence. The CFA designation is the most respected and recognised investment management credential in the world. The University of Canterbury (UC)’s Bachelor of Commerce major in Finance has been acknowledged as incorporating at least 70 percent of the CFA Program Candidate Body of Knowledge (CBOK) and as placing emphasis on the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice within the program.  The programme positions students to obtain the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation, which has become the most respected and recognised investment credential in the world. Find out about the CFA Level 1 Exam topics and exam dates

In this challenge for Finance students, teams compete to present the best company analysis, research report, and presentation for an opportunity to vie for the regional and global titles. For business and finance students, it’s an extraordinary CV builder and a chance to interact with the industry’s top firms.

The UC team competes against six teams of undergraduate and postgraduate students from other New Zealand universities. Each team prepares a sell-side investment report and presents their work to the judges, who are CFA Charter holders and work for top fund managers in New Zealand.

UC student teams have consistently featured in the top three since the competition began in 2008.

Financial engineering is a cross-disciplinary field combining financial theory, mathematics and computational tools to design and develop new financial or actuarial products, portfolios and markets. It also has an important role to play in the financial industry's regulatory framework. Financial engineers manage financial risk, identify market opportunities, design and value financial or actuarial (insurance) products, and optimise investment strategies. To carry out these tasks, financial engineers develop mathematical and statistical models, and the computational tools to implement them.

BSc in Financial Engineering

UC is the first university in New Zealand to offer degrees in Financial Engineering. A three-year undergraduate BSc in Financial Engineering covers the core technical skills in financial and economic theory, mathematics and statistics, and computer science. 16 courses are prescribed to provide the depth and breadth of knowledge required of all Financial Engineers. The remaining 8 electives provide pathways to specialise in finance, mathematics and statistics, or computer science.

Honours and Masters in Financial Engineering

Our undergraduate programme provides students with employment opportunities at graduation, or allows them to advance to the one-year Honours degree at Canterbury, or to a Masters of Financial Engineering. Graduates with such cross-disciplinary knowledge and highly technical skills have a breadth of career opportunities such as investment, actuaries and statisticians/data scientists. 

The Investment Society was established in 2014 to promote the role that investing can play in your financial future. Our broad range of events include Invested Interests seminars, which host some of New Zealand’s top business leaders from a wide range backgrounds. The Stock Portfolio challenge provides an opportunity to put skills learned at our Investor Basics seminars to the test, and the Valuation Competition will allow you to learn about a fundamental aspect of corporate finance. Check out our website for more information or see Facebook.

The Economics Study Tour to South America is an annual summer semester programme limited to 30 students. In 2018 students will visit four wineries in Chile for an in-depth study of the economics of the Chilean wine industry. 

Prior to departure they will study similar facets of the Canterbury/Marlborough wine industry such as pricing, competitors, output and other economic decisions.  On return they will produce a report comparing the industries in the two regions.

Students who participate in the tour will gain significant experiences and strengths to boost their degrees and CVs:

  • They will be able to apply economic concepts to the given industry.
  • They will be provided with a firsthand and detailed look at the wine industry.
  • They will gain experience in cultural engagement including language and negotiating with people from other countries.

For more information including contacts and prerequisites please see the course information system.

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