Where financial accounting measures past performance, Finance is forward-focused. It is largely about future planning for firms or investors.
Finance consists of three interrelated subject areas which are concerned with the assessment of the trade-off between risk and reward. Corporate Finance studies how firms raise and efficiently utilise funds obtained from lenders and shareholders. Financial Markets and Institutions explores how the financial system facilitates the transfer of funds from savers and lenders to borrowers. Investment Analysis studies how investors choose securities and asset classes for their investment portfolios.
If you are intending to major in Finance you are strongly advised to include mathematics with calculus and statistics and modelling in your NCEA Level 3 programme. Although some previous study of accounting and economics can be useful preparation for the 100-level courses in these subjects, it is not essential to have studied them at secondary school level.
Students with very good NCEA Level 3 results in mathematics and either economics or accounting may be offered direct entry to 200-level Finance courses at the discretion of the Head of Department.
If you are completing a Bachelor of Science majoring in Finance you are required to take STAT 101 Statistics 1 and ACCT 102 Accounting and Financial Information. MATH 103 Mathematics 1B and ECON 104 Introduction to Microeconomics are strongly recommended.
The first-year, 100-level courses required to complete a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Finance are:
- ACCT 102 Accounting and Financial Information
- ECON 104 Introduction to Microeconomics or ECON 105 Introduction to Macroeconomics or ECON 199 (a STAR course for secondary school students)
- INFO 123 Information Systems and Technology
- MATH 102 Mathematics 1A (highly recommended) or MATH 101 Methods of Mathematics
- MGMT 100 Fundamentals of Management
- STAT 101 Statistics 1
- Plus 30 points from 100-level Commerce or any other UC courses.
For the complete, three-year BCom Finance major degree plan see the School of Business and Economics website.
Students majoring in Finance should also consider taking 200-level Economics courses in microeconomic theory and econometrics.
Later courses provide a more detailed treatment of the topics introduced at 100-level. Options are also available that enable specialisation in areas of interest.
Students who have graduated with good grades and appropriate 300-level courses are eligible to enrol for postgraduate study, eg, Bachelor of Commerce with Honours or Master of Commerce degrees. A number of students also progress to doctoral (PhD) study.
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, with typical jobs including financial analyst, money market and foreign exchange dealer, loan analyst, equity analyst, portfolio manager, financial planner, investment banker and small-business manager.
For further career information, please go to www.canterbury.ac.nz/careers