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Applied Finance

Entry Year: 2024

Key information

2 years
September 2024
UCAS code
Institution code
None - your employer pays your tuition fees. In addition, you will earn a salary while you study.


Our specialised CertHE in Applied Finance programme combines the academic rigour of Queen Mary's academic excellence with the achievement of industry-recognised professional qualifications and work experience within partner organisations.

Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE) in Applied Finance Programme is designed for those who are new to the Financial Services sector and are beginning their career journey. The curriculum of the Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE) in Applied Finance Programme closely aligns with the national apprenticeship programmes, Level 4 Investment Operations Specialist. Apprentices will also work toward professional qualifications either IMC and CISI depending on the employer's choice.

By participating in this specialised programme, apprentices will develop the skills necessary to become highly competent professionals who excel in the financial sector. Some modules are designed in conjunction with the employer, ensuring the programme will include a set of core knowledge that is required for anyone entering this level of the sector.  

With a specially designed curriculum, the programme will take a block teaching approach which is strongly supported with online independent learning activities and workplace learning. In particular, the block-teaching approach for the on-campus teaching enables apprentices to have uninterrupted periods on the trading floor outside of the on-campus periods, which is essential for their understanding of how financial markets operate.

Learners will develop sound understanding of:

  • The structure of the Financial Services industry and in particular the role their part of the sector and organisation plays; the purpose of the function in which they work and how their function relates to the wider business
  • The relevant Financial Services legal and regulatory framework and ethics, and the purpose behind them
  • The relevant Financial Services products and services and a broad understanding of the organisation’s policies and procedures
  • Proficiency in relevant IT skills, and organisation and Financial Services specific software/systems, as required to deliver the role outcomes.


The CertHE Applied Finance is a precursor for the BSc (Econ) Applied Finance and Level 6 Financial Services Professional programme. The BSc (Econ) Applied Finance is designed as a a natural progression from the two-year CertHE in Applied Finance and Level 4 Investment Operations Specialist apprenticeship programme. Please see the BSc (Econ) Applied Finance webpage for more information.

Year 1

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Financial Markets and Institutions
  • Principles of Economics for Financial Professionals
  • Quantitative Methods for Finance 1
  • Work Based Module: Systems and Processes
  • Asset Pricing

and must take one of the following two modules:

  • Professional Qualification Module: CISI


  • Professional Qualification Module: IMC

The Professional Qualification Module choice is decided by the employer.

Please note that all modules are subject to change.

Year 2

You will undertake the following five compulsory modules:

  • Macroeconomics for Financial Professionals
  • Accounting for Investment Operation Specialists
  • Quantitative Methods for Finance 2
  • Work based module: Professional Development
  • Corporate Finance

At the end of Semester 2 of Year 2 students are expected to reach Gateway for Level 4 Investment Operations Specialist apprenticeship standard and to take the EPA. 

Please note that all modules are subject to change.

Following successful completion of the programme, the student, with agreement from the employer, can choose to progress to the BSc in Applied Finance and enrol on the Level 6 apprenticeship, ST0472 Financial Services Professional. This will require the CertHE in Applied Finance to be revoked, with the credits from this programme counting towards the BSc in Applied Finance.


Teaching and learning

The programme follows a block-teaching approach for the on-campus teaching, as this enables apprentices to have uninterrupted periods on the trading floor outside of these periods, which is essential for their understanding of how financial markets operate.

The intensive on-campus sprints are designed to provide in depth coverage of the academic knowledge and skills required, which apprentices will then apply in the workplace between sprints. In this period, learning and teaching will continue through online material and assessments (formative and summative) to keep apprentices engaged with their studies and enable them to learn at their own pace.

The work-based modules enhance these elements by providing important opportunities for students to engage in structured learning activities in the workplace, which will build workplace specific knowledge and skills, develop professional behaviours, and facilitate the implementation of the academic and technical capabilities developed as part of the apprenticeship programme.


The programme will blend on-campus, online and workplace learning, with a range of learning and assessment types. This will include modular assignments designed around workplace projects, practical skills, and professional capability assessments, as apprenticeships are based upon an applied learning pedagogy.

Learners will be working for 80% of their contracted week and line managers will be expected to assign work to the individuals that allow for the application of learning in the workplace and development of the Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours in the Apprenticeship Standard.

Assessment will take a variety of forms, as appropriate for the type of module and the learning outcomes. Assessment types will include tests and online quizzes, and coursework of various forms, including groupwork, presentations, data analysis, and academic and professional writing. There will also be practical and professional capability assessments to ensure that apprentices are achieving the required skills and behaviours. Most modules will have two methods of assessment.

In addition to the module assessments, apprentices are required to take:

  1. the exams for the professional qualifications specified in the apprenticeship standard (these are gateway requirements for the non-integrated End Point Assessments); and,
  2. the End Point Assessment (EPA) for the Level 4 Investment Operations Specialist apprenticeship. This is assessed by an external, accredited End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) and the assessment strategy is detailed in the apprenticeship assessment plan. The EPA is non-integrated and it is taken after completion of the 180 credits specified in the programme structure.

Resources and facilities

You will study Economics and Finance in one of Queen Mary’s newest buildings – the Graduate Centre which opened in 2017. The £39m building was built with energy efficiency in mind, and provides access to the latest banking and finance industry software used by economists in finance or government.

The School offers excellent on-campus resources to aid your studies, including:

  • a trading floor set up with Bloomberg terminals
  • two computer labs exclusively for student use
  • subscriptions to the major statistical databases and software packages used by finance and government
  • online access to the Financial Times and The Economist
  • exclusive use of market-leading psychometrics software, meaning you will be able to prepare for job selection processes.


Our designated computer labs that have a wide range of industry packages including Eviews, Maple, Mathematica, Matlab and Stata. You can access economic and financial data through platforms including Macrobond, Wharton Research Data Services and The Economist, and get free access to popular industry publications.

The building itself has a Harvard-style lecture theatre and a number of spacious seminar rooms to facilitate your learning experience. The ground-floor Café Grad serves Starbucks Coffee, as well as a tasty selection of sandwiches, salads and cakes.

As an Economics and Finance student, you will also have full access to the university’s academic and pastoral support. You will be assigned an academic adviser who will guide and support you throughout your studies at Queen Mary.

Entry requirements

A-LevelGrades AAA at A-Level. This must include A-Level Mathematics. Excludes General Studies, Critical Thinking and Use of Mathematics.
IBInternational Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum of 36 points overall, including 6,6,6 from three Higher Level subjects. This must include a minimum of 6 in Standard Level Mathematics, if not being studied at Higher Level. We will consider either Mathematics: Applications and interpretation or Mathematics: Analysis and approaches at Standard or Higher Level. Excludes Maths Studies.
BTECSee our detailed subject and grade requirements
Access HEWe consider applications from students with the Access to Higher Education Diploma. The minimum academic requirement is to achieve 60 credits overall, with 45 credits at Level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction, and 15 credits at Merit or higher. Applications are considered on a case by case basis. Applicants will also be expected to achieve, or have already achieved, A-Level Mathematics at grade A.
GCSEMinimum five GCSE passes including English and Maths at grade B or 5.

Alternative offers may be made to applicants taking the Extended Project Qualification.

For further information please visit:

Contextualised admissions

Our standard contextual offer: Grades AAB with A in Maths at A-Level. Excludes General Studies, Critical Thinking and Use of Mathematics, Maths Studies.

Our enhanced contextual offer (for care experienced students, refugee/asylum seekers or students who have completed Realising Opportunities or Access to Queen Mary): Grades ABB with A in Maths at A-Level. Excludes General Studies, Critical Thinking and Use of Mathematics, Maths Studies.

More information on how this information is used for a contextual offer can be found on our contextualised admissions page.

Applications must be submitted directly to the organisation via their website. Following successful completion of the CertHE Applied Finance programme, students, with agreement from the employer, can then choose to progress onto the BSc (Econ) Applied Finance and enrol on the Level 6 apprenticeship. You can find out more about the programme delivered in partnership with Goldman Sachs here.

This course does not accept applications for deferred entry.


Apprentices will undertake a range of taught, work-based and professional modules, developing your skills to become a highly competent professional who excels in the financial sector.

Upon successful completion of the CertHE Applied Finance studies (Year 1 and 2) apprentices are expected to progress onto the BSc (Econ) Applied Finance studies (Year 3 and 4).

Career support

The CertHE in Applied Finance is designed for those who are new to the Financial Services sector and are beginning their career journey, or those who have some experience in the field and are interested in advancing their careers.

Apprentices will have access to the School of Economics and Finance dedicated careers support and activities.

About the School

The School of Economics and Finance at Queen Mary is ranked fourth in London and 25th among all economics departments nationally by the Complete University Guide 2020.
As one of London’s top Schools of Economics and Finance, we provide a solid foundation in economic and financial theory and practice, driven by research-led teaching from experts in the field, ensuring that not only will you be studying at the cutting edge of these disciplines, but also across a wide range of extracurricular school activities to enhance your learning experience.
Our faculty members are recognised experts in their fields, who impact on policy making and public debate. The breadth and depth of our expertise allows us to offer courses in all major areas of economics and finance, and you'll be at the heart of the latest thinking and cutting-edge research.
Each year we run a varied programme of lectures and talks by guest speakers, attracting big names from the worlds of economics, business and politics. We also support two societies where you can meet others with a shared interest in economics, finance and investment. Our proximity to the City and Canary Wharf gives us strong industry links.


Need some help?

Call our hotline: +44 (0)800 376 1800

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