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Course content

Who is it for?

This course will appeal to you if you want to specialise in finance and economics – either immediately after completion of an undergraduate degree or as a mid-career professional.

Developed to meet the increasing demand for specialists in finance and economics, you will receive rigorous training in financial economics and mathematics. It combines solid education in economic theory with exposure to the field of finance through several specialised options. As a result, this MSc will help you prepare for a range of exciting career possibilities, in roles such as financial economist or quantitative analyst.

You have the option of studying full-time over the course of one year or part-time over the course of two.

Objectives

The Financial Economics MSc aims to help you:

  • Gain combined exposure to the regulatory and policy aspects of finance with world-class academic training in theory and quantitative methods
  • Develop your critical and analytical abilities in mathematics and economics
  • Prepare academically for a career as a financial economist or quantitative analyst
  • Acquire an advanced understanding of modern economic theory relevant to financial topics
  • Critically interpret current research in financial economics and evaluate its relevance to financial practice
  • Recognise the roles and obligations of the major financial institutions, especially as seen from the point of view of financial regulators and policy makers
  • Understand financial markets
  • Perform routine financial calculations, using widely available computer software for the purpose of forecasting, regulation and analysis
  • Undertake empirical investigations in the field of financial economics, employing appropriate quantitative methods
  • Develop a deep understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the relevant empirical and theoretical research methodology.

Should you with to pursue further study, the dissertation track can also serve as a stepping stone to an Economics or Finance PhD.

Teaching and learning

The Financial Economics MSc course is delivered through a flexible combination of lectures, seminars and computer lab sessions. Lectures introduce you to the key theories, concepts and economic models. In seminars, you have the opportunity to solve applied problems, analyse case studies and make presentations of research published in leading academic journals.

The computer labs provide you with practical experience of using computer software to perform calculations and conduct realistic simulations. In addition, econometric methods are taught in lab sessions, so you have the opportunity to apply econometric software to empirical research and financial market estimations.

When appropriate, practitioner slots – such as research seminars conducted by external financial experts or presentations by invited academics – will be incorporated into module delivery.

We also offer pre-sessional induction courses on economic analysis for students who need to build up their background in the fundamental aspects of financial economics.

Teaching takes place over two terms, from September to June. Full-time students who pass all the taught modules during the main exam sessions finish the programme at the end of September when they submit their dissertation or literature review.

Full-time students who successfully complete the taught modules in the August resit exam session submit their dissertation or literature review in December.

Part-time students complete their modules over the course of four terms from September to June before undertaking their dissertation or literature review.

Pre-sessionals

Pre-sessional activities covering Micro-and Macroeconomics, Stata, Excel, Probability and Mathematics run in September before the start of term. These are available for all students who secure a place on the MSc Financial Economics course. Pre-sessionals are included in your degree fee and are designed to prepare you for the course. We therefore strongly encourage you to make every effort to attend.

You are not required to register for the above pre-sessionals, you just need to turn up on the day. Further information, such as the exact times and locations will be provided in your induction schedule.

Assessment

Assessments are a combination of unseen written examinations (70% for each module) and coursework (30% for each module).

Modules

You will take 180 credits – two 30-credit taught modules, four 15-credit taught modules and  60 extra credits through one of the following routes:

  • Dissertation: you will take a dissertation worth 60 credits (Economics Research Project).
  • Literature survey: you will take two extra elective taught modules of 15 credits each and a literature survey (Economics Literature Survey) worth 30 credits.

For each route, there are two core modules:

  • Dissertation route: you will take three core modules – Financial Markets Econometrics and Asset Pricing. You will also select three electives -  one module from group one, two module from group two.
  • Literature Survey route: you will take three core modules – Financial Markets, Quantitative Methods and Asset Pricing. You will also take five electives – one module from group one, two modules from group two, and two further electives, including possibly one from each of groups one and two.

It is not possible to give exact hours per week because these can vary from one term to the other depending on which electives the students choose.

Career prospects

On completing the Masters in Economics you will have a wide range of career options. Graduates of this course enjoy numerous employment possibilities in both the public and private sectors, including consultancy and financial analysis.

On completing the Masters in Financial Economics course you will have a range of employment possibilities to explore. To some extent, your career options will be determined by the electives you choose.

For example, you may wish to work in the financial industry as a consultant, banker, quantitative analyst. Alternatively you may wish to explore options in the health industry as a financial analyst, or in any industry that requires a financial or industry analyst.

Recent graduate for this course have secured roles such as:

  • Economic Analyst, BlackRock
  • Cash Funding Analyst, Mizuho International
  • Quantitative Analyst, BNP Paribas.

The Financial Economics MSc also provides a solid academic foundation for students wishing to pursue doctoral research in economics.


Visit the Financial Economics (MSc) page on the City, University of London website for more details!

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