MSB specialisation: Applied Finance

A specialisation in applied finance will prepare you for work with the financing of investment and operations of private and public enterprises.

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Major in Applied Finance

Relevant themes include capital structure, valuation of assets and investment projects, evaluation of M&A decisions, as well as various types of capital (fund) management. 

This specialisation also offers specific competence in corporate organisation and governance and processes related to acquisitions and divestitures 

As a student, you will acquire methods and tools that form the basis for valuation and investment decisions in various businesses and financial institutions. With a specialisation in finance, you are highly relevant for job opportunities in banking, capital management, and corporate finance.

Career prospects

A degree in finance provides you with skills and knowledge that are highly valuable in a wide range of future careers in both the public and private sector

Finance candidates have many possible career paths, for example: Corporate Finance (controller, treasury), Financial markets (trader, analyst, strategist, regulator), Banking (investment banking, consumer banks), Asset management (insurance companies, pension funds), Government/Central Bank/Administration, Accounting, Private Equity. Many finance candidates choose to spend a few years within the structured trainee programs of the large accounting/consulting firms to enhance their choices even more.

A finance degree is about the widest possible choice of future careers.

Bernt Arne Ødegaard , Professor of Finance

What is Finance?

Finance is about identifying and implementing good (profitable) investment opportunities, both within corporations (corporate finance) and in financial markets (investments). In corporations, is about sourcing capital and allocating it to the right investments. In capital markets, it is about choosing among the available assets.  

All financial decisions are based on balancing a future return with the risk of the investment.   Finance provides tools to evaluate this risk/return tradeoff, and use these tools to price assets, tools which are immediately applied to real-world business decisions.

Meet the faculty teaching team

Professor Bernt Arne Ødegaard

Teaches Corporate Finance and Valuation, Investments

Associate Professor Siri Valseth

Teaches Empirical Methods, Financial Markets and Fixed Income Securities

Associate Professor Jean Paul Rabanal

Teaches Corporate Finance, Corporate Governance

Professor Bård Misund

Teaches Sustainable Finance, and Derivatives and Risk Management

Associate Professor Carsten Bienz

Teaches Private Equity/Startup Financing

Meet some former students


Semester 1 consists of three courses. One course is unique for the Finance students, while two of the courses are taken by all the first-year students at the UiS Business School.

MSB309 Corporate Finance (required)

Basic finance course, covering corporate investment decisions, and corporate financing (capital structure) choices, as well as some tools for asset pricing.

MSB102 Business Decisions (required)

A highly interactive course where you will learn exciting business cases from different perspectives, together with students from all the specializations. 

MSB103 Data Analytics (required)

You learn how to extract useful information from data, as well as the programming skills using a widely popular software R. 

This semester, you have three compulsory courses (MSB205, MSB210 and MSB104)

MSB205 Investments

This course is about investment decisions, particularly investments in financial assets. To make informed investment decisions it is first necessary to gain an understanding of available assets, their payoff structures, and how they are priced. Secondly, it is necessary to gain and understanding of how to combine assets into portfolios, and determine the optimal portfolio for a given investor. The specific topics covered in detail in this course are pricing of financial assets, such as stocks and bonds, portfolio theory, asset pricing and portfolio evaluation.  

MSB104 Research methods

Solving complex tasks and presenting them in a scientific manner is the core of modern business analytics. Solving such tasks requires training, which is at the heart of this course. The course builds on the Data Analytics course and brings its content to a practical application. It is challenged-based and improves the students’ abilities in scientific writing and group work.

MSB210 Derivatives and Risk Management

Course about the opportunities for changing risks using financial assets such as forwards and options. You learn to price these assets, how to trade them and how to use them to cover risk.

In your third semester, you can choose to be an exchange student at one of our international partner universities, decide among a wide range of elective courses offered at the University of Stavanger Business School, and/or combine your specialization with an internship.

Alternative 1: Semester abroad as an exchange student

The experience you gain from a semester abroad gives you an international profile that many companies look for in their future employees. Through the UiS Business School exchange programme, you have a unique chance to gain an international perspective on your education. It is also an opportunity to learn a new language and culture. You expand your professional network and get an experience of a lifetime. Read more about student exchange and our partner universities.

Alternative 2: Semester at the University of Stavanger

The semester at the University of Stavanger consists of elective courses equivalent to 30 ECTS. Choose elective courses either from the finance specialisation or electives from other specialisation profiles.

Please note that as a student majoring in applied finance, you need to choose at least 10 ECTS and max. 30 ECTS among the finance electives in the 2nd and 3rd semester. You are also required to take at least 10ECTS outside finance during the 2nd or 3rd semester.

These are the finance electives we offer in the 3rd semester:

MSB107 Microeconomics (10 ECTS)

This master level course in microeconomics provides students with the analytical skills necessary for conducting rigorous examinations of consumer choice, producer decisions and market formation. Students will also learn how to decode applied microeconomic research and gain hands-on experience in empirical analysis. Microeconomics provides important tools for leaders in business environments, analysts in planning and resource management and researchers in both the private and public sector. In the words of J. M. Keynes: "The theory of economics does not furnish a body of settled conclusions immediately applicable to policy. It is a method rather than a doctrine. An apparatus of the mind, a technique of thinking, which helps its possessor to draw correct conclusions."

MSB370A Cases in Valuation (5 ECTS)

This is a course in valuation. Building on the corporate finance course, the course first develops the technical skills necessary for valuation, before applying those skills to real-life valuation situations.

MSB370 Cases in Valuation and Finance (10 ECTS)

This is a case course in finance. The course integrates what has been taught in other finance courses, and applies it to real-life finance situations. Many of these finance situations will be viewed through the lens of the valuation of projects, companies or assets.

MSB310A Corporate Governance (5 ECTS)

For investors to be willing to provide financing, some mechanisms protecting their interests must be in place. Such mechanisms can be incentive contracts for company executives, legal protection of owner rights, ownership concentration and voting power, or membership of the corporate board. This course builds an understanding of how these mechanisms work.

MSB310B The Finance of Startups and Small Corporations (5 ECTS)

This course looks at the financing of start-ups and small corporations, with a focus on private equity and venture capital. A prime concern is the contracting between a firm and its source of financing (private equity firm, venture capital firm). Additionally, the course covers the lising of firms on exchanges (the IPO).

MSB365 Fixed Income Markets (5 ECTS)

Fixed income securities constitute a major asset class in international financial markets. Monetary policy and price discovery in fixed income markets determine their prices and therefore the shape of the yield curve. Understanding the factors that influence the yield curve is of importance to all economic agents. In this course you will learn about the basic instruments in fixed income markets and how they are traded.

MSB371 Sustainable Finance (5 ECTS)

The course in sustainable finance focuses on with the links between sustainability challenges and finance. The main task of the financial system is to provide funding for (positive NPV investments. Sustainable finance considers financial, social, and environmental issues. The goal is to embrace sustainability while still maintaining a financial perspective. The course investigates environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors. To what degree do these issues enter financial decisions such as (financial market) investments, corporate decisions, lending decisions, etc?  Much of this investigation will be conducted in the context of business cases in which ESG issues play an important role.

MSB285 Economics of Energy Markets (10 ECTS)

This course builds an understanding of the global energy situation, energy and climate policies, and the market outlook for various energy carriers. Coverage includes conventional power generation, wind power, solar energy, oil and natural gas. Drivers of demand, supply and price formation will be explored, including their relationship to resource scarcity, technology and innovation, economic factors, and policy variables. Finally, the course explores the macroeconomics of energy market developments for importers and exporters of energy resources.

This semester is all about writing the master’s thesis. Use all the knowledge and skills you obtained throughout the program, tackle an important question that you feel passionate about.

MSBMAS Master thesis (30 ECTS)

About the programme:

MSc in Business Administration

The applied finance specialisation is a part of the Master of Science in Business Administration programme.


Professor Bernt Arne Ødegaard

Profile leader E-mail: Office: EOJ 235