Applied Finance

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Postgraduate Degree


The discipline of Applied Finance is concerned with the development of the practical skills required to apply finance theories to the area financial management. The Newcastle Business School offers both a Master and a Graduate Certificate in Applied Finance. A core focus in these programs is the development of analytical skills for interpreting and analysing developments in finance practice through the study of the Australian and international financial markets; derivative assets and markets.


Students must complete the units set out at Business School/Accounting and Finance/CPA-course-list-jun09.pdf in order to meet the academic requirements for Associate membership of CPA Australia and enrolment in the CPA Program, and for enrolment in the Chartered Accountants Program of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia. This linked information must be read in conjunction with the approved program documentation detailed below.

The Finance Major Sequence in the Bachelor of Commerce meets the requirements for the Financial Services Institute of Australasia (FINSIA). Students may also be able to gain accreditation with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) with regard to various education and knowledge requirements under RG146. For more details see:

For more information about studying Accounting and Finance, visit the Newcastle Business School site.

View our Master of Applied Finance in the Program Handbook and the online prospectus What Can I Study?.

Why postgraduate study?

There are a variety of reasons that students undertake postgraduate study in Applied Finance, including:

  • Career change – adding a new area of specialisation to an existing qualification or employment background
  • Career mobility – promotion opportunities within existing or new employment situations
  • Professional development – “top up” qualifications and knowledge for experienced practitioners

Accreditation considerations:

Accreditation or certification with a professional body is often an important factor when seeking employment in some areas of finance. In Australia, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission has set a minimum training requirement for financial product advisors (PS146 Compliance). The Master of Applied Finance enables students to gain PS146 Compliance across a range of practice areas – see Program Handbook link below for details.

Those students wishing to gain international employment should consider combining their studies with the Chartered Financial Analysts program, an internationally recognised certification of competence in financial analysis. This certification is completed externally and more information is available at

View our Master of Applied Finance in the Program Handbook and the online prospectus What Can I Study?.

Sample Jobs

The following list provides some example jobs available to graduates majoring in Applied Finance. Some of these jobs will depend on the amount and level of study undertaken, level of experience, the combination of other majors and electives studied, and some may require further study.

The following diagram links career opportunities with prior professional experience and level of qualifications. When interpreting this information remember that “level of professional experience” is not simply the length of time spent employed within a particular industry; rather it is a combination of both quantity and of quality- factors such as the size and complexity of an organisation, individual role within it, the type of work performed and the outcomes achieved. When considering career opportunities available to you, consider how formal qualifications and your current level of experience combined prepare you for a role.

Getting the Edge

Most employers seek to recruit people who have relevant work experience and an appreciation for their industry. Here is a check list of ideas about gaining experience and industry knowledge.

  1. Check the type of experience most employers in your field of interest expect. Don’t overlook the part time work you may be currently doing. Most employers understand that the skills are transferrable even if the work is not in their industry.
  2. Check your academic program for any courses that involve a placement or the opportunity to undertake an industry based project.
  3. Check your school for Summer Scholarships for research opportunities.
  4. Check vacancy sites for advertised traineeships, part time employment and vacation work opportunities in your field.
  5. Source and approach organisations directly about possible work shadowing or information interview opportunities.
  6. Source and approach organisations directly for paid work opportunities.
  7. Consider volunteering.

Note: Gaining experience may be important but not at the expense of your studies. Make sure you do not overload your timetable with unrealistic work commitments.


Sample Employers

Recruitment Timing

Some large organisations have specific graduate recruitment programs designed to employ the pick of graduates each year. You must be in your final year of study or recently completed to apply for these programs. The timing of these recruitment drives varies and may occur at any point in the academic year, in some cases starting as early as the first few weeks of the first semester or trimester.

Find out if employers in your area/s of interest have graduate programs, when they typically recruit and what recruitment methods they use. Check with the Careers Service .

Societies and Associations

Associations and societies often provide relevant and up to date information about a variety of issues relating to specific industry sectors. These can be a good starting point to learn more about occupations through profiles, industry news, links to academic journals and information on research developments. Many also offer student membership, conference and professional development activities, newsletters and the opportunity to participate in projects.

Don’t overlook student societies and associations. As well as student chapters of professional associations, some faculties or schools have discipline based student associations. Check your school or faculty web site; perhaps you might start one if one doesn’t exist.

Some academic disciplines run Seminar Programs that involve regular seminars presented by University of Newcastle academics, visiting academics and postgraduate students. Check your schools website for the timetable.

Job Search Sites

Searching job sites is a good way to gain an understanding of: industries recruiting professionals in this field; types of roles and the requirements or expectations of employers for these roles. There are many online job search sites, here are a few to start with:

Australian and International

  • CareerHub: the University of Newcastle Careers Service careers and job search site for enrolled students and graduates.


  • CareerOne: Australia wide job listings, all levels and industries including executive positions
  • MyCareer: Australian and international listings
  • Seek: comprehensive Australian job listings, also includes New Zealand and UK listings
  • The Big Chair: Management and Executive Jobs


Graduate Attributes and Employability

Applied Finance graduates will have the skills, abilities and knowledge sought after by a broad range of employers. On completion of the degree, graduates can expect:
  • A foundational knowledge of organisational theory, information technology and value chains, business law, marketing, the political environment, and strategy.
  • Well founded, specialist knowledge of the theories and practices in at least one of accounting, finance or economics.
  • Specialised professional skills in their chosen discipline, informed by the ability to analyse, evaluate and synthesise both quantitative and qualitative information.
  • The ability to work autonomously or collaboratively in a manner that is sensitive to and tolerant of diversity, and informed by critical and adaptive thinking.
  • Awareness of social and cultural issues within local, national, and international spheres of business operations.
  • Awareness of the standards necessary for appropriate professional practice and ethical conduct and an understanding of how to implement such standards.
  • A capability for life-long, self-directed learning, informed by exposure to different paradigms and experiences.
  • The capacity to contribute positively to the development of organisations through the process of research and inquiry.
  • Effective written and verbal communication of their specialised knowledge.

You will recognise these attributes in the selection criteria listed in the following job ads.

Sample Job Ads & Tips

Job ads provide useful information about the job and the required skills, experience and qualifications. Information like this is useful in career planning. Below is a small sample of job ads with tips on planning and job applications; explore further to gather more useful information for your planning.

Please note: the job ads listed on this page are not current and were sourced from a variety of websites in 2010.


Sample Job Ad 1
Sample Job Ad 2