MSc Global Central Banking
and Financial Regulation

Course Details

This programme is suitable for those looking to evidence their knowledge, gain insight or develop their career in central banking or financial regulation and seeks to spread the best thought leadership in financial regulation to central bankers, financial regulators and all finance professionals in the global financial industry.  

It is 100% online and delivered on the same bespoke platform, my.wbs, as our Distance Learning MBA which the Financial Times ranked as 1st in the world in its Online MBA Ranking 2020. 

As well as access to rich multimedia learning resources and live online sessions with leading members of faculty via your PC, tablet or mobile, my.wbs also enables you to interact with your peers and academic tutors in a supportive and interactive online learning environment.

In addition to the programme material you will also benefit from access to a range of optional online careers resources including an online Career Management module and resources covering topics such as Pay Negotiation and Interview Simulation. Please contact us for more information. 

Programme structure

Built with the industry professional in mind and delivered by academics from WBS alongside policy experts from the Bank of England, the MSc Global Central Banking and Financial Regulation has been designed to introduce you to the latest evidence led and practice informed financial regulation and monetary policy.

This programme consists of six modules (from a choice of seven) of equal weighting and a Research Methods and Dissertation module.

Upon successful completion of a single 20 credit module you will be awarded a Postgraduate Award. This option is suited to those looking to build and evidence personal development.

From this you may wish to build up to a higher qualification level such as a Postgraduate Certificate (on completion of three 20 credit modules), a Postgraduate Diploma (on completion of six 20 credit modules) or a full MSc.


Whether you are studying for personal development or to gain a Masters' level qualification you will have a choice of seven available modules.

  • Comparative Central Banking
  • Money, Banks and Macroeconomics
  • Financial Regulation and Supervision
  • Monetary Policy and Monetary Analysis
  • Financial Markets and Financial Risk Management
  • Behavioural Finance and Big Data
  • Financial Conduct, Leadership and Ethics

Modules are delivered sequentially throughout the year with intakes in September, February and June. For module content please click on the relevant module in the Module Information section below.

Typically one module will span a 17 week period, culminating in an assessment. As a guide you can expect to spend approximately 11 hours studying each week.

The MSc can be completed in two years, but is more readily manageable in combination with a full working timetable over three years. There is flexibility in the order the modules are studied. 

See here for a breakdown of module availability and the award structure.

See full modules details in the drop down below.

Research Methods and Dissertation

In order to achieve the MSc award you will be required to successfully complete a Research Methods and Dissertation module. You will be assigned a WBS supervisor who will support you through your dissertation.

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Module Information

Comparative Central Banking

The next intake for this module will commence in October 2021.

In the Comparative Central Banking module, you will explore and discover why central banks have different mandates, objectives, governance and operating procedures and thereby you will gain an understanding of the scope of possible policy choices across the broad range of central bank activities.

You will learn to draw comparisons between the US, Europe, Japan and EMEs (including fixed exchange rate regimes), and case studies from how central bank operations – to support both monetary and financial stability – evolved during the Great Financial Ccrisis. The Module also includes material on how central banks have responded during the early phase of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The module will touch on all of a central bank’s typical roles including monetary policy; financial stability; balance sheet and reserves management; market operations; banknotes; lender of last resort, supervision and regulation; and other regulatory issues such as market conduct, payments, resolution and digital currencies.

This module is led by Paul Fisher, the Former Executive Director of the Bank of England, and Diarmuid Murphy, the Head of Function - Banking Authorisations at the Central Bank of Ireland.

Paul Fisher - Former Executive Director, Bank of England
Paul is a British economist who worked for the Bank of England for 26 years, holding senior positions including Executive Director for Markets and Deputy Head of the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). He was a member of the Monetary Policy Committee, the interim Financial Policy Committee and the PRA Board. He now has a portfolio of roles, including as an Advisor to CCBS.

Other current affiliations include: Chair of the London Bullion Market Association; Nonexecutive director, UK Debt Management Office; Fellow, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, Visiting Professor, London Institute of Banking and Finance.

Diarmuid Murphy - Head of Function - Banking Authorisations at the Central Bank of Ireland
Diarmuid was a central figure in the Central Bank of Ireland’s (CBI) response to the Irish financial crisis and prior to this he spent some time working at the ECB in Frankfurt as a collateral policy expert. More recently, Diarmuid spent several years at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) where he focused on shaping post-crisis international policy through a combination of country surveillance, technical assistance, and publications. Diarmuid, now back at the CBI, currently leads the retail banking authorisations team in the Prudential Pillar and is also working on the prudential and crisis management related aspects of Covid-19 and Brexit.


Money, Banks and Macroeconomics

The next intake for this module will commence in February 2021.

This module provides a rigorous discussion of the role of money, and banks and other financial institutions in a modern economy. It studies the fragilities in fractional reserve banking, the role of the central bank, and the weaknesses caused by the shadow banking sector. We will explore the causes of historic bank failures and systemic crises, and how these relate to the Global Financial Crises of 2007-09.

This module also provides the analytical tools from macroeconomics to understand the role of monetary policy in the macroeconomy.

Financial Regulation and Supervision

The next intake for this module will commence in June 2021.

In this module you will study the rationale behind financial regulation and supervision, such as what are the market failures which regulators are addressing and which tools are used.

Your learning will be structured around critical, policy relevant questions in financial regulation which, have seen scholarly study, such as the benefits of narrow banking; the threat of competition to financial stability; managing the tension between deposit insurance and moral hazard; too-big-to-fail; remuneration and incentives; and resolution challenges.

Monetary Policy and Monetary Analysis

The next intake for this module will commence in June 2021.

On this module, you will investigate the analytical and empirical tools from macroeconomics and econometrics to understand the role of monetary policy and how monetary policy is implemented. The module emphasises the interaction between the financial system and the macroeconomy; and critiques post Global Financial Crisis policy responses.

You will cover topics including Optimal Inflation targeting; Quantitative Easing; the credit cycle; global financial imbalances; and unconventional monetary policy making in practice. Through these topics you will learn the use of basic econometric tools for monetary policy such as the linear regression model; basic time series models; vector auto regression and forecasting in monetary policy.

Financial Markets and Financial Risk Management

The next intake for this module will commence in February 2021.

The module covers fundamental concepts of international finance, emphasising the operation of the spot and derivative securities in international markets.

In addition you will consider the management of foreign exchange risk for multinationals and studies financial instruments as well as regulatory aspects and the impact of international banking and the stability of global financial system.

Additional topics include financial risk management in banks and insurers. For the main risk categories such as market or credit risk the module introduces the necessary tools to manage those risks as well as highlighting important commonalities but also differences in risks and risk management frameworks between the banking and insurance sector.

Behavioural Finance and Big Data

The next intake for this module will commence in October 2021.

As part of the Behavioural Finance part of the module, you will develop an understanding of key deviations from rationality that have been documented in behavioural science, and learn how these deviations can affect the economy, and in particular central banks' analyses across their macroeconomic, macro-prudential; and micro-prudential responsibilities.

As part of the Big Data part of the module, you will be introduced to recent advances in data science, the basics in big data analytics and you will have the opportunity to discuss current debates on the validity of the descriptive, predictive and prescriptive claims of big data analytics.  

Financial Conduct, Leadership and Ethics

The next intake for this module will commence in February 2021.

The aim of this module is to build an ethical leadership capacity in critical areas of banking, and in particular financial conduct. You will explore what ethics in business are, and should be, by first taking an economic approach and exploring how incentives and industrial structure may alter the propensity to malpractice.

You will study ethical leadership from all angles; academic, through practice and via peer learning, as well as exploring financial conduct, covering the regulatory rules, and the enforcement tools available if ethics are poor.


Research Methods and Dissertation

The next intake for this module will commence in October 2021.

You will be equipped with the knowledge and general research tools to correctly execute a project such as a Masters dissertation. 

In your dissertation, you will identify and investigate a current research topic that will help to develop your theoretical and practical understanding.

Please note that the Research Methods module runs from 3rd October 2021 – 4th February 2022 and that the disseration will be due by 24 June 2022.

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