Why Study Finance?

Durham University ISC students working on campus

Are you interested in learning how to efficiently manage money, assets and investments to help yourself and others achieve financial goals? Studying finance will give you all this and more – it will open the door to a range of well-paid roles across multiple industries. And it’s not just number crunching – you’ll also gain the essential skills and knowledge that you need to navigate your personal finances. You'll take away valuable insights into how to budget, invest money, and secure your long-term financial wealth. But what do you actually do in finance? And what roles could it lead to, beyond the trading floor? Read on to find out why studying finance is a great option – and why Durham University is the best place to do it.

Why study finance?

Careers in finance

A degree in finance can open doors to a wide range of industries, from providing bespoke advice and services, to manufacturing. Here are some examples of roles that a degree in finance could lead to:

Financial Analyst

You will be evaluating financial data and market trends to provide insights for businesses that will allow them to make informed decisions. Most major international companies will employ financial analysts, meaning that you can apply your knowledge to a wide range of industries. Financial analysts also conduct research and prepare financial reports.

Investment Banker

In this role you would be handling complex financial transactions, such as mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and corporate restructuring. Investment bankers also research market trends, advise clients on potential investors to help them raise capital (funds) and negotiate deals.


Accountants are responsible for preparing, analysing, and maintaining financial records for individuals, businesses, or organisations. They might specialise in areas such as audit, tax, management accounting or financial planning. You could work for a company or set up your own business.

Financial Advisor

As a financial advisor you would be offering personalised financial advice and guidance to clients to help them achieve their financial goals. Financial advisors assess clients' financial situations, develop comprehensive financial plans, recommend investment strategies, and offer solutions for retirement planning, wealth management, risk management and estate planning.

Personal finance management

As well as helping you get started in a huge range of careers and industries, a degree in finance will also help you to better manage your own finances. With a strong grasp of financial principles, you’d be able to assess investment opportunities, weigh up risks and returns, and make strategic decisions to grow your wealth over time. You’ll also have the skills needed to create and stick to budgets, manage debt effectively and plan for major life events, such as buying a home or preparing for retirement.

Economic implications

The decisions made in finance have an impact on economies worldwide, affecting everything from interest rates to employment levels. Through the study of finance you’ll be in a position to navigate the complexities of economic systems, anticipate market trends, and make sound financial decisions. Whether you're managing investments, running a business, or planning for your financial future, a solid understanding of finance will give you the ability to make informed decisions both in the workplace and in your personal life.

Is finance a good major?

Choosing the right major is an important decision and the field of finance, in particular, has emerged as a highly sought-after field. With a promising job market and great flexibility, a degree in finance is a strong option for anyone looking to build a rewarding and diverse career path while gaining a versatile and in-demand skill set.

Job prospects

Students with a finance degree often find themselves in high demand across various industries. They have access to a wide range of career opportunities, from banking and investment firms to corporate finance departments, most of which come with competitive salaries. You could work for a tech company, a music venue, a football club – the possibilities are endless.

Transferable skills

Another important factor to bear in mind is the transferable skills that come with doing a finance degree, including:

  • Problem-solving
  • Communication
  • Attention to detail
  • Time management
  • Teamwork
  • Ethical awareness
  • Leadership


A finance major enables graduates to tailor their career paths according to their interests and goals. Whether you're passionate about investment analysis, financial planning or risk management, a finance degree equips you with the knowledge and skills to excel in your chosen field. Don’t fancy a career in banking or accounting? With a finance degree you can go on to be an entrepreneur, management consultant or property developer.

Study finance at Durham University

So why study finance at Durham University? The numbers speak for themselves. The university ranked 13th in the UK and 66th in Europe according to the Financial Times European Business School rankings for 2022. Durham was in the top 70 places to study for an MSc in Finance in the world, according to QS World University Rankings: Masters in Finance Rankings 2023. The University also came 11th in the Complete University Guide’s subject league table for 2024. These achievements highlight Durham University’s commitment to academic excellence and dedication to providing students with a top-tier learning experience.

Durham University International Study Centre ensures you are fully prepped for the course you'd like to progress to study. If you feel your English needs improvement, the International Foundation Year in Business, Economics, Accounting, and Finance is a three-term course. It will provide you with the English-language skills and grounding in the field of study to support you to progress to an undergraduate degree at Durham University. There is also an option to study for a pre-Masters finance degree.

But it’s not just about the academic side. Durham is renowned for its rich history and architecture and vibrant student life – you’ll have the city centre’s welcoming campus, historic attractions and cultural hotspots all on your doorstep.

There’s also plenty of support and advice available regarding entry requirements and tuition fees – just reach out to our support team to discuss your options. Our in-house advisors will help you to choose the perfect course for you, to ensure that your time in the UK is the most rewarding it can possibly be.


Is a finance degree worth it?

Yes, it’s definitely worth it. Not only does a finance degree equip students with a strong grounding in financial analysis, investment management and corporate finance, it will also give you access to opportunities for career advancement in jobs with competitive salaries as well as providing you with essential life skills.

Why choose finance as your career?

There are many reasons to choose a career in finance. A background in finance allows you to apply your analytical abilities to real-world situations, solve complex problems and make strategic decisions. It will set you up with multiple transferrable skills and leave you in a position to apply for a wide range of roles.

What is the benefit of finance?

A degree in finance equips students with essential skills to efficiently manage money, assets, and investments. It opens doors to diverse career opportunities globally, offering competitive salaries and prospects for long-term professional growth.