Finance student insight: Choosing your electives & working in a group

23 May 2018

In this month’s postgraduate insight blog, our Finance Masters students discuss their thoughts on group work and choosing their elective modules.

Lun Zhu
MSc Accounting & Finance

“WBS provides a long list of elective modules for MSc Accounting & Finance students, either accounting or finance related. I highly recommend choosing elective modules based on your future career plan or your interests, which will make your second semester study much easier and more interesting.

For myself, I want to work in a multinational company. Therefore, I chose ‘International Financial Markets’ as one of my elective modules. And it turns out to be one of the most interesting modules I have ever taken. I also chose ‘Accounting Information and Markets’. On the one hand, this module is very academic, which requires students to read a lot of research papers. It can help students to understand the accounting markets more deeply. On the other hand, it is also practical. You can learn how to use EVENTUS and Diction from this module. Overall, it will be very helpful for your dissertation writing.”


Pieran Jiang
MSc Finance & Economics

“In each semester, we are assigned group work, some of which are reports while some are presentations. Generally speaking, this is a perfect opportunity for us to meet new friends and share different ideas. After finishing a task, we have improved our skills while splitting the assignment, organizing meetings, exchanging opinions, and finally presenting the outcome.

Group assignments go well when you are confident and competent about the content. In this case, you should never be afraid to take the lead—explain the instructions to your colleagues and suggest a clear outline of the procedure. If you seize the chance, the most significant improvement will take place in your communication, negotiation, and organisation skills.

However, it is not always the case that we understand the learning material easily. How can we benefit from group work under this circumstance? Essentially, when you are confused with the material, teamwork can also be regarded as a seminar, where your members will provide you with helpful guidance and detailed explanations. Thus, your knowledge and ideas can be updated through discussion, which contributes not only to your assignment but your logic as well.

From my personal experience, learning through group work is really helpful. It solved my puzzles and built up a relationship with my colleagues. I believe team spirit is crucial in our future education and career.”


Fandi Xu
MSc Accounting & Finance

“Choosing the right elective modules is very crucial for the entire postgraduate study, although the word “right” could be very different for each student. For MSc Accounting & Finance students, this year there are more than ten elective modules, and you are allowed to pick two of them. These modules cover the knowledge for both finance and accounting, and their contents are designed to be more specific compared with compulsory modules. For example, Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) teaches us to view such issues from a corporate finance point of view. 

Choosing the “right” modules can be very tricky. I personally recommend you to choose the modules that are most aligned with your interests. If you are interested in corporate finance and want to work in investment banks, then M&A should be a good choice. Or if you like Accounting and want to work in auditing firms, then Auditing and Assurance and Advanced Financial Reporting might suit you better. Choosing the modules with the contents you like ensures that you can gain a lot of enjoyment from studying... and this will be very helpful for your dissertation.

I have chosen Accounting Information and Market (AIM) and International Financial Market. AIM develops my knowledge of reported accounting numbers’effect at firm value, as well as my critical thinking and practical ability, such as using databases like WRDS. The latter broadened my knowledge of foreign exchange markets. The important thing is to choose the modules you like and enjoy studying them!


Cameron Gregg
MSc Finance

"Group work has played a major role in my time at WBS, especially in term 2. In this term we had several group assignments and presentations which were both incredibly challenging and rewarding. My cohort is diverse with over 100 students and inevitably I was in groups with several people that I have never spoken to. These projects allowed the individual members to showcase their talents and work towards something that none of us could have possibly accomplished individually. Obviously group work is not without its challenges but overcoming these challenges, and learning to work with groups of people that you would not normally interact with, is an essential part of success in whatever career path you wish to take.

These projects are by far some of the most stressful parts of my degree at WBS, however at the end of the day when they are completed and submitted they leave you with a greater sense of accomplishment than any other type of assignment."

To learn more about the range of postgraduate courses on offer, please visit our dedicated postgraduate homepage