A Guide to Online Master's Degrees in Finance

Online Master's Degrees in Finance

Looking to take your career to the next step in finance but not sure where to start? Finding the right Master's program is tricky. This one is too expensive, that one doesn’t have the courses I’m looking for, or I don’t even know where to start the process… Take a deep breath, and let it go. With that exhale, let yourself relax. Take the process one step at a time and you will come out the other side better off than before and hopefully with another degree. Below is a list of things to look for to help guide you in your search for the right Master's program for you.


The first thing you should do before submitting any applications is to take the time to research different programs. There are a ton of available online programs throughout the world, and with the age of the internet, those numbers are continuously increasing. For those looking for universities in the UK, this link will provide you with a good starting point. Take your time while investigating, create spreadsheets or any other organizational tool to help you keep track of all the options and find the one(s) that align with your goals the most. The following points are things to keep in mind as you are going through the research and application process.


Every University has its own list of requisites and they all vary slightly. Thankfully, they all have similar requirements, allowing you the chance to collect all of your materials before you start the application process. Most Universities require a combination of the following documents:

  • Transcripts from undergraduate studies
  • CV/Resume
  • Passport or other proof of identification
  • Proof of English proficiency (non-native English speakers)

Again, university requirements differ depending on the institution and the program, so be sure to read the requirements carefully. It is also common practice for universities to require applications to have acquired lower second-class honors (or equivalent) with their bachelor’s degree. Though this may be overlooked depending on other qualifications. Certain institutions encourage applications to provide certifications or professional qualifications with their application. Some institutions would even accept this as an alternative to a transcript, depending on the level of professionalism and length of experience.


When it comes to graduate school, money can be a hindrance for some applicants. With the age of the internet, online programs are becoming more readily available and acceptable and with that, there is a wide variety of costs associated with the different programs. Program costs range widely, and largely depend upon the length of time it takes to complete the degree (which will be discussed further in a later section). Costs can range from under £8000 - £12000 per year, though some programs provide the total cost or cost per unit. Thankfully, if money is an issue, many universities provide financial aid in scholarships, loans or payment plans. Make sure to check all your options and what works best for you before you apply.


Almost as important a factor as money, the length of time these programs take varies widely between the options available. Some could take as little as eighteen months or as long as six years. Of course, the amount of time you spend learning will impact the amount you pay. Most programs take over a year to complete, many at least two years, though some are faster. The great part is, many of these programs allow you to choose between part-time and full-time learning, so you can acquire your degree at your own pace from the comfort of your home. Some programs have degree time limits, so make sure to select the program that works best for you and your timelines. If you are expecting major life events to be in your near future, maybe choose the program that has an extended time for completion.

Available Courses

When looking for your master’s degree, keep in mind that these are specialty degrees. It’s a chance for you to hone your skills in a more specific niche. So while you are researching these programs, look at the courses they offer and consider if they will help you reach your goals in the world of finance. Are you looking for international banking? Are you more investment-driven? Or is there a broader focus you are looking for in your studies? Most universities provide a list of their courses and course descriptions to help you find exactly what you are looking to study.

Online vs Hybrid

One thing to consider when you are looking for a program is whether the program is fully online or hybrid. Of course, a fully online program is great. You can do it at your own pace (for the most part) and you can schedule your days more effectively, giving you the freedom to do more of the things you love with the time you have. Fully online programs though can be lonely and something cannot be learned as effectively without hands-on experience. If you are someone who needs social interaction and works well with hands-on learning, it may help to consider programs that are a hybrid of online and in-person.


Finding the right master's program can be challenging. There are numerous decisions to account for, and not all of them have been discussed in this article. Talk to those closest to you to help you figure out what programs are going to reach your needs. Contact the schools directly and have a sit down (either in-person or virtual) to discuss the course offerings and any other questions you may have. And above all, take your time. Research the universities that appeal the most to you and dive deeper into them before making your final decision. To help you narrow the playing field, this link has a list of finance master’s programs in the UK that are set up for distance learning.