Programme Name: Banking & Finance

Programme Length: 1YR Top-Up

Award Title: BA (Hons)

Level of award: 6

Awarding body: University of Sunderland

Which department is it in? Business

Programme Studies Board: Top-up Business

Programme Leader: Neal Lennox

How and where can I study the programme?

At Sunderland: Full-time on campus

At London: Full-Time on campus

At a partner college: Full-time/Part-Time in the UK; Full-time/Part-Time overseas; Distance Learning

How long does the programme take?



Min number of years / months

Max number of years / months


9 months

3 years


12 months

3 years




Distance learning

9 months

3 years

Work-based learning




For start-dates please see the current edition of the Prospectus or contact the relevant department at the University. For start-dates for programmes delivered in a partner college, please contact the college.



What is the programme about? The programme aims to:

  • Provide learning opportunities which enable students to specialise in the study of banking and finance
  • Prepare students for a range of career opportunities including, although not exclusively, the academic stage of training for a career with the banking and finance professions
  • Develop in students the necessary intellectual, personal and key skills to enable them to develop as independent, autonomous, articulate and reflective individuals
  • Contribute to the University’s widening participation programme


What will I know or be able to do at each Stage of the programme?

By the end of this Stage of the programme successful students should know, understand or be able to do the following:


Learning Outcomes Stage 3 – skills

S1Demonstrate critical thinking and analysis skills in a range of areas of banking, finance and business including factors affecting business performance in international markets, international banking business, networks, structures and competitiveness, solutions to international financial crises, the risk and return, the level and structure of interest rate, money demand and supply

S2Demonstrate ability to apply key concepts such as key valuation concepts, and tools associated with financial decision making, management of projects, security prices and payment on mortgage loans, and forecasting foreign exchange rate, to practical business problems or issues.

S3Demonstrate a critical appreciation of the business context in which the banking industry operates and an ability to apply generic management techniques to management key approaches of the banking and financial operations.


Learning Outcomes Stage 3 – knowledge

K1Demonstrate a study in depth and in context of some substantive areas of the banking and financial system typically international banking regulation, financial market, and determination of monetary policy.

K2Demonstrate a critical understanding of the theories, activities, policies and market within the context of banking and financial business.

K3Critically understand the limitations of the current state of financial theories in making strategic business decisions.


Learning Outcomes – Ordinary degree

If you are awarded an Ordinary degree you will have achieved the majority of the learning outcomes for the programme studied. However you will have gained fewer credits at Stage 3 than students awarded an Honours degree, your knowledge will typically be less broad and you will typically be less proficient in higher-level skills such as independent learning.


What will the programme consist of?

Each undergraduate programme consists of a number of Stages from a minimum of 1 to a maximum of 4, each of which is equivalent to a year’s full-time study. The summary below describes briefly what is contained in each Stage. Most programmes have a mixture of core (ie compulsory) modules and optional ones, often with increasing choice as you move through the programme and gain in experience. In some programmes the choice of optional modules gives you particular ‘routes’ through the programme.


Stage 3: The curriculum is designed to allow the key areas of banking and finance to be integrated within a business context.  You will be encouraged to evaluate the ways that module ideas can be used to improve your understanding of banking and finance and the role of the manager as one who is responsible for financial resources. The programme also generates integrative ways of looking at work problems. The highly specialised banking and finance modules: Financial management, Money, Banking and Finance, Financial Markets and International Banking, will draw upon skills and knowledge from Level 5 and cover high level principles, concepts and models. The two modules of Managing Projects and Contemporary Developments in Business and Management will provide a strong contextual background to the banking and finance role and as such allow opportunities for integration. The Contemporary Developments in Business and Management module will offer you a range of opportunities to consider your own personal development needs within business generally and to apply development to accounting and financial management in particular.  For the Managing Projects module you will be required to analyse recent projects and assess your operation against a number of key criteria, for example, risk, design, and control. 


How will I be taught?

  • Scheduled teaching activities
  • Independent study

The delivery of the top up degree modules on campus has been adapted to enhance the learning experience of the students who are largely made up of international students studying in the UK for the first time. A single lecture of one hour followed by a two hour seminar has been replaced by a two weekly one hour lectures, a weekly one hour seminar and fortnightly one hour surgery. This delivery schedule allows the tutor to approach the topic in more detail, providing greater levels of input. The two-lecture method also allows tutors to deliver theories, models and concepts in the first lecture then apply them in the second lecture so the students may more clearly understand what is required of them when they undertake seminar activities. The one-hour seminar becomes more focused on the activities as the students have a ready understanding of the tutor’s expectations. The surgery has a twofold purpose; firstly to allow those who still do not feel confident in the material to engage with the tutor to gain understanding. The surgery also allows higher-level understanding to be developed amongst those students who have read more deeply and have brought new ideas and concepts into the discussion. This delivery style is to be monitored for effectiveness over the academic year.

Students studying at Off Campus centres will study full time or part time and will attend for face-to-face tuition delivered by Partner academic staff to support and contextualise the University learning materials. The sessions should include group-based activities, individual tutorials, surgeries and assessment preparation workshops. The exact model of delivery will be agreed with the Centre as part of the approval and reflect the nature of the student body, size of intake and mode of delivery.


How will I be assessed and given feedback?

  • Written examinations
  • Coursework

The assessment strategy encompasses a blend of activities for formative and summative assessments designed to test the learning outcomes of the Programme. Each module contains formative assessment as part of the activity exercises within the module study pack and each will be assessed summative once during the course of the module. Study Centres will prepare you for assessment at induction and at each stage of module delivery.  Case studies allow you to synthesise knowledge and ideas from a module and apply and evaluate these in a complex setting.  For some modules, case studies or organisational-based research is an integrative part of the assessment and where used in assessment will be available in advance to enable students to investigate the industry and formulate views regarding management actions in a business context.  The open book exam approach enables you to demonstrate criticality and evaluation of different approaches to management in a business context.  Individual assignments are designed to emphasise research skills and allow you to develop applied management skills in resolving management decisions. For example, you might prepare a critical literature review of the current debates on corporate governance and assess the impact on a business sector/organisation of their choice and offer implications for managers in that sector in contemporary developments. In marketing, you will research an organisation’s marketing strategy, whilst in the Managing Projects module, you will be required to analyse recent projects and assess their operation against a number of key criteria, for example, risk, design, and control. The distinctive and emerging skills of the project manager as a generic skill will be covered in the assessment.


The generic assessment criteria which we use can be found at

The University regulations can be found at


How does research influence the programme? 

The programme is designed to be research-led, research-oriented, research-tutored and research-based. Fundamental to the programme is that research is made meaningful to students so they understand the personal, professional, intellectual and importantly, the practical relevance of research.


  • Research-led:  the curriculum emphasises the teaching of the subject content from an academically robust stance i.e. students learn about the latest research in the subject field where the emphasis is on understanding research findings, rather than the research process, and research is presented as information content. Academic depth and rigour is achieved through ensuring the design incorporates current research literature in the field of study. It includes embedding current research both faculty and beyond. Students will be engaged in locating, collecting, referencing, critiquing, applying evidence, challenging assumptions, questioning and interpreting contemporary research articles, conference papers and case studies. Research active Faculty will also deliver guest speaker sessions at each stage of the programme. 
  • Research-oriented:  the curriculum emphasises the process of knowledge construction in the subject. In research-oriented mode, students learn about the research process by which knowledge is produced. This will be embedded through: the teaching of research methods together with embedding context specific research knowledge construction in specific modules.
  • Research-tutored: The programme and curriculum emphasises learning focused on students writing and discussing research papers or essays. Students are actively engaged in evaluating and critiquing the research of others. This will be a focus in all modules across the programme.
  • Research-based:  The programme and curriculum emphasises students undertaking inquiry-based and problem based learning. The learning division between lecturer and student is minimised and the teaching mode is based on cooperation/dialogue. This research may involve primary research within an organisation. 




How will the programme prepare me for employment?

The programme gives you the opportunity to develop skills which you can use in the future. Some skills are more specific than others to the subject area, or to a particular type of activity, but all skills can be applied in a range of employment situations, sometimes in quite unexpected ways. The skills, which this programme is designed to develop, are listed below


Professional statutory or regulatory body (PSRB) accreditation: PSRB accreditation is not relevant to this programme 



Interim or Exit Awards

The following awards are available to students who complete part of the programme. The university regulations explain in detail the requirements for such awards.

Ordinary degree, Level 6

Name: BA Banking & Finance

Bachelors degree with Honours, Level 6

Name: BA (Hons) Banking & Finance

Programme Regulations

Name of programme: Banking & Finance

Award title: BA (Hons)

Level of award: 6

Interim or Exit Awards: BA Banking & Finance / BA (Hons) Banking & Finance

Professional statutory or regulatory body (PSRB) accreditation: None

These programme regulations should be read in conjunction with the university regulations to be found at


Students take the following compulsory modules:

APC308 Financial Management – 20 credits

APC312 Money Banking and Finance – 20 credits

APC313 Financial Markets – 20 credits

SIM335 Managing Projects – 20 credits

SIM337 Contemporary Developments in Business and Management – 20 credits

UGB322 International Banking – 20 credits


Programme-specific regulations

There are no programme-specific regulations for Stage 3 of the programme




Matrix of Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment




Core / optional

Modes of T&L

Modes of Assessment







Financial Management



Directed and undirected reading, centre based tutor support

Individual assignment (summative assessment)







Management Projects



Directed and undirected reading, centre based tutor support

Individual assignment (summative assessment)







Contemporary Developments in Business and Management



Directed and undirected reading, centre based tutor support

Individual assignment (summative assessment)







International Banking



Directed and undirected reading, centre based tutor support

Individual assignment (summative assessment)







Money, Banking and Finance



Directed and undirected reading, centre based tutor support

Individual assignment (summative assessment)







Financial Markets



Directed and undirected reading, centre based tutor support

Individual assignment (summative assessment)









What are the admissions requirements?

The University’s standard admissions requirements can be found in the university regulations

Programme-specific requirements which are in addition to those regulations are given below. 

To qualify for entry to the top-up programmes:

      BTEC HND in Finance

      BTEC HND in Business and Management

      BTEC Higher National Diploma in Business or related area

  • ABE Advanced Diploma in Business Administration
  • IBAM Advanced Diploma in Business Administration
  • 240 credits or equivalent of a recognised UK undergraduate award in a relevant finance, business and management related discipline.


The University of Sunderland is an advocate of lifelong learning and widening participation and recognizes the value of both academic and vocational qualifications. Factors such as work experience or vocational training will be taken into account when considering an application. The admissions tutor for the programme will have discretionary power to assess each case on individual merit. The Programme Leader will consider non-standard applications. In assessing those candidates who wish to pursue the possibility of accreditation of prior learning (APL) the Programme Leader will apply the University’s regulations and procedures in this regard.    These candidates will be required to produce a full transcript of their prior learning, together with full details of syllabus and curriculum content of each of the modules studied. 


Can students enter with advanced standing?  No

The University has a process by which applicants whose experience to date already covers one or more modules of the programme they are applying for may seek Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL). Full details can be found here 

but if you think that this may be relevant to you, please contact the department which offers the programme you are interested in.


What kind of support and help will there be?

  1. In the department: All Faculty of Business and Law on-campus students have access to three Full-time Student Academic Advisors. The Student Academic Advisors provide a programme of study skills workshops using interactive and reflective approaches to develop key academic skills, embedded where possible within the business, tourism and law environments. In addition one to one support and guidance, building on from the workshops is made available.
  2. In the university as a whole: The University provides a range of professional support services including health and well-being, counselling, disability support, and a Chaplaincy. Click on the links for further information.
  3. In a partner college: Please see the relevant college prospectus or website for details of student support if you are planning to study in one of our partner colleges.


What resources will I have access to?

The Faculty of Business and Law is located at St Peter's Riverside, where students also have access to out of hours IT provision in the Prospect building, and to Library/Information Services (24/7 in term time) and catering facilities in the Prospect Building. The University has consistently won the highest grades for Learning Resources in QAA Subject Reviews and in the 2007 NSS. Within the Reg Vardy Centre, there are a total of 30 teaching rooms, varying in capacity from 25 to 100, equipped with moveable furniture to enable a variety of classroom layouts. Each room is equipped with whiteboard, screen, OHP, video and data projection and Internet connection. Other equipment, such as video cameras and slide projectors, is bookable via the technical help desk. In the past year, some of the accommodation for postgraduate learners has been upgraded and now includes more comfortable seating. The Prospect Building houses two 200 seat lecture theatres and one state-of-the-art 400-seat lecture theatre. The theatres in this building are managed by Learning Development Services which continuously monitors and reviews new technology and software as it becomes available to ensure that the facilities remain up-to-date. St Peter's campus also has three large lecture theatres for use by the Faculty. The largest - the Sir Tom Cowie Lecture Theatre - contains a full range of state of the art audiovisual, video projection and presentation facilities including full video conferencing facilities.

There are three computer laboratories, including the atrium, within the Reg Vardy Centre, one of which is for open access, and two prioritised for teaching but available for open access when not in use for that purpose. All PCs have Internet access, student email and Sunspace access, as well as standard word processing, spreadsheet and presentational software together with EQL, Microfit, SPSS, Minitab and Prospect HE. The technical helpdesk provides computing support to students from 0830 until 1700 (out of hours Telephone support 1700pm-8.30am), and 24-hour access is available in the adjacent St Peter’s Library and the Murray Library in term time. The IT provision within the Faculty is being continually upgraded. There are currently 63 student PC's based in 3 locations, all of which have a standard desktop currently running Windows XP and Vista as the operating system and Microsoft Office 2007, SPSS, Minitab and any other additional specialist software required by the students. You can also gain access to computing facilities within the David Goldman Centre adjacent to the Faculty and to St. Peter’s Library during term time. These facilities provide 24/7 access to all University students. St. Peter’s Campus has a wireless network for cable free laptop access to the internet. Anti-virus software and USB wireless adaptors are loaned free of charge by the libraries in order to facilitate student use of the wireless network. PC, mono and colour laser printing, scanning and photocopying facilities are provided in St. Peter’s Library and the Campus Learning Resource Centre where CD-writers are also available.


Are there any additional costs on top of the fees?

No, but all students buy some study materials such as books and provide their own basic study materials.


How are student views represented?

All taught programmes in the University have student representatives for each Stage (year-group) of each programme who meet in a Student-Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC) where they can raise students’ views and concerns. The Students’ Union and the faculties together provide training for student representatives. SSLCs and focus groups are also used to obtain student feedback on plans for developing existing programmes and designing new ones. Feedback on your programme is obtained every year through module questionnaires and informs the annual review of your programme. Student representatives are also invited to attend Programme and Module Studies Boards which manage the delivery and development of programmes and modules.  Various Faculty committees, particularly Faculty Academic Experience Committee, Academic Development Committee and Quality Management Sub-Committee also have student representation. This allows students to be involved in higher-level plans for teaching and learning. There is a parallel structure at university level on which students are represented by sabbatical officers who are the elected leaders of the Students’ Union. The University’s student representation and feedback policy can be found here


Final-year students are also invited to complete a National Student Survey (NSS) which asks a standard set of questions across the whole country. The results of this are discussed at Programme Studies Boards and at Faculty Academic Experience Committee to identify good practice which can be shared and problems which need to be addressed. We rely heavily on student input to interpret the results of the NSS and ensure that we make the most appropriate changes.



National subject benchmarks

The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education publishes benchmark statements which give guidance as to the skills and knowledge which graduates in various subjects and in certain types of degree are expected to have. These can be found at…


The QAA also publishes a Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) which defines the generic skills and abilities expected of students who have achieved awards at a given level and with which our programmes align. The FHEQ can be found here –


How are the quality and standards of the programme assured?

The programme is managed and quality assured through the University’s standard processes. Programmes are overseen by Module and Programme Studies Boards which include student representatives. Each year each module leader provides a brief report on the delivery of the module, identifying strengths and areas for development, and the programme team reviews the programme as a whole.  The purpose of this is to ensure that the programme is coherent and up-to-date, with suitable progression from one Stage to another, and a good fit (alignment)  between what is taught and how students learn and are assessed - the learning outcomes, content and types of teaching, learning and assessment. Student achievement, including progress between Stages of the programme and degree classification, is kept under review. The programme review report is sent to the Faculty Quality Management Sub-Committee which in turn reports issues to the University’s Quality Management Sub-Committee (QMSC) and Academic Experience Committee (AEC).


External examiners are appointed to oversee and advise on the assessment of the programme. They ensure that the standards of the programme are comparable with those of similar programmes elsewhere in the UK and are also involved in the assessment process to make sure that it is fair. They are invited to comment on proposed developments to the programme. Their reports are sent to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) as well as to the Faculty so that issues of concern can be addressed.


All programmes are reviewed by the University on a six-yearly cycle to identify good practice and areas for enhancement. Programmes are revalidated through this review process. These reviews include at least one academic specialist in the subject area concerned from another UK university. The University is subject to external review by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education on a six-year cycle.