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Master in Monetary and Financial Economics

Course Description

The Master's in Monetary and Financial Economics (MEMF) is an international-level programme that follows the best European practices in the area. As such, the selection criteria of applicants are demanding and this exigency level is kept along the course. Thus, the MEMF is not compatible with a weak background and with a low-effort profile, as we expect students to be prepared to spend a minimum of 3200 effort hours in 2 years.
The effort required from MEMF students is strongly valued in the labour market. Employers especially recognise to MEMF graduates a strong background in econometrics and quantitative methods, competence in macroeconomics and monetary economics, and a large capacity to face new challenges.
Exigency, competence, and rigour. These have been the leading principles of the MEMF for more than two decades and so they will be.

The aims of the MEMF are: (i) providing advanced knowledge in the monetary and financial fields, based upon the most relevant results achieved by the scientific community; (ii) initiating its students in scientific research, by practicing the appropriate techniques and methodologies; and (iii) preparing the senior staff in monetary and financial institutions linked to financing the economy and to monetary policy issues.

The MEMF started in 1992/93, after being a specialisation area of the Master's in Economics, which had been created in 1981. From its beginning until 2010, it was directed by Vitor Constancio, who had also been the coordinator of the above-mentioned specialisation area in Monetary and Financial Economics. Luis Costa joined the directing team in 2003/04 and Miguel St. Aubyn officially joined it in 2010/11 after Vitor Constancio left it to become the Vice-President of the European Central Bank. Nevertheless, Vitor Constancio kept his relation to the MEMF as the non-executive Scientific Adviser.
In 1996/97 the programme was reformulated and in 2000/01 it was reformulated once again, jointly with other M.Sc. programmes in the scientific field of Economics. A new and profound upgrade would take place in 2007/08 in order to adapt the course to the Bologna Process.
The MEMF has worked continuously since its first edition in 1992/93. In this period amost four hundred students were enrolled and more than one hundred graduated. MEMF graduates work in several firms, both in the financial sector (banking, insurance, and other financial institutions) and in the non-financial sector, in public institutions (central banks, ministries, and international organisations), and in the academy, both in Portugal and abroad. Some opinions of former students are available online.

Designed for
The MEMF is intended to complement and to deepen first-cycle education provided by a Bachelor's in Economics or Finance. The main objective is that students learn how to analyse problems in a rigorous and constructive way, developing their ability to assess the contribution of research in Monetary and Financial Economics to solve the problems in the area, and to use advanced empirical and theoretical tools in Economics and Finance.

A master in Monetary and Financial Economics is prepared to work as an economist, financial analyst, researcher and teacher, senior staff member in financial institutions, central banks, international organisations, and public departments. The programme is also an intermediate step to obtain a Ph.D. in the areas of Economics and Finance.

Operational Regime
Full time. Compulsory courses and elective-option courses with origin in MEMF are taught after 18:00 h.

Visit the Master in Monetary and Financial Economics page on the University of Lisbon website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Vitor Escaria

1561.jpg - Master in Monetary and Financial Economics (1997)
- Assistant Professor at ISEG/TULisbon

Being a student at the Master's in Monetary and Financial Economics allowed me to obtain fundamental knowledge for my subsequent research work, placing me on what is usually known as the knowledge frontier. The high quality of the programme emerged when, confronted with other Ph.D. students in England, I observed I was more comfortable than many in using the concepts learnt in the areas covered by the programme. Therefore, the Master's in Monetary and Financial Economics was a crucial element for my education as an economist.

(Student Profile)

Jose Henriques Correia

1562.jpg - Master in Monetary and Financial Economics (2004)
- Businessman
- Senior Technician at the 'Instituto de Gestao Financeira da Segurança Social'

The Master's in Monetary and Financial Economics was the best academic experience in my life. It gave me access to a large knowledge in Economics and Finance, which would be very difficult to obtain without it. The knowledge acquired was possible due to a very good academic staff and a fantastic dissertation supervisor. Given that, I strongly recommend this Master's programme, as you will enjoy the same advantages at both professional and personal levels.

(Student Profile)

Carlos Amaral Firme

1563.jpg - Master in Monetary and Financial Economics (1997)
- Head of Asset Management of BANIF

Being a student in the Master's in Monetary and Financial Economics was the best investment I have ever done. This programme was endowed with excellent-quality academic staff, it was extremely comprehensive from the theoretical point of view, and it allowed me to securely practise my professional activity in several areas, from research in Economics to financial markets. I do recommend this experience to all of those seeking an academic and/or professional career in applied macroeconomics or in financial markets, considering the Bachelor's background is not usually enough to work in these areas.

(Student Profile)

Nuno Venes

1564.jpg - Master in Monetary and Financial Economics (2003)
- Assistant Professor at Universidade Lusíada de Lisboa

Being a student at the Master's in Monetary and Financial Economics was a very strong foundation for my academic training. Personally, it was a gratifying experience, as I could interact with a set of elite academics in Economics and with a group of colleagues that revealed fantastic. Professionally, it gave me a vast knowledge set that was crucial to initiate my research career in Economics. The experience acquired with this Master's has revealed itself essential for my present work in the Ph.D. Programme at ISEG.

(Student Profile)

Jose Manuel Pinheiro

1565.jpg - Master in Monetary and Financial Economics (2004)
- International Brand Manager at Renova, SA

The Master's in Monetary and Financial Economics brought me new personal and professional horizons. Considering my previous background was in Physics, the programme helped me to discover and to understand some of the main current research topics in Economics, which was deeply gratifying. On the other hand, as an international brand manager in a mass-consumption products firm, the knowledge obtained combined with my work experience, allowing me to structure and solve practically problems in my professional activity, frequently departing from weakly-structured frameworks. Finally, the programme enlarged my professional activity spectrum, from which I can choose in the future.

(Student Profile)

Nuno Ferreira

1566.jpg - Master in Monetary and Financial Economics (2005)
- Research Analyst at McKinsey & Company

Is it hard? Considering the high standards used by some members of the staff, this is not the best programmes for those who just want to obtain a Master's diploma. Do we learn anything that can be directly applied in practice? No, but practice is acquired «on the job» and the main objective of a Master's is to teach how to think. Is it a good opportunity to create and develop contacts? Considering ISEG's academic staff and the quality of the students, absolutely! Would I do it again? Of course I would, also because knowledge is the fastest depreciating asset.

(Student Profile)

Cristel Agapito

1567.jpg - Master Monetary and Financial Economics (2005)
- Credit Risk Analyst at União de Créditos Imobiliários, SA

Taking the Master's programme in Monetary and Financial Economics was an extremely enriching experience at both a personal and professional level. Giving basic formation in the economic area, it provided a deeper knowledge of the concepts and problems related to Macroeconomics and Monetary Policy. It effected a good accompaniment to the study of the new trends and methods in the field of different subjects such as theories and economic growth models, financial markets, applied microeconomics and equilibrium characterization. Carried out by a qualified and always available teaching staff, this is for sure a utility for all those who whish to deepen their knowledge about the Macroeconomic and Monetary Policy field.

(Student Profile)

Edmund Freitas

1568.jpg - Master in Monetary and Financial Economics (2005)
- Director of Management Planning and Control at the COTA Group

It was a valuable experience. We had the opportunity to study the latest theories regarding monetary policy, financial markets and economics in general. Most of the lecturers are excellent and some of them are well known in their academic or professional fields.

(Student Profile)

Celso Nobrega

1569.jpg - Master in Monetary and Financial Economics (2005)
- Liquidity Risk and Interest Rate Analyst at Caixa Geral de Depósitos

The Master's in Monetary and Financial Economics has allowed me to acquire a broad set of knowledge that became an important asset in my professional activities in the banking area. A set of knowledge that ranges from the fundamental theories for the understanding of financial and monetary areas of the economy, to the more practical disciplines of financial institutions and portfolio management, among others. It is a programme that I recommend to whoever wants a career in the banking area.

(Student Profile)

Gustavo Cunha

1570.jpg - Master in Monetary and Financial Economics (2006)
- Espírito Santo Research, BES

The Master's in Monetary and Financial Economics at ISEG/TULisbon exhibits a high toughness level, clearly above the average level of Master's programmes offered by the best Portuguese universities. The same applies to its quality. This reality was sharpened by the adaptation to the Bologna process. So, what is the trade off for the effort demanded from us? Besides the (important) solid technical knowledge, I would say the largest "gift" is to provide us the ability to solve high-level challenges and problems. In different words, the programme increases our reasoning capacity which is, in my opinion, the main good demanded by firms.

(Student Profile)

Filipe Morais

1571.jpg - Master in Monetary and Financial Economics (2007)
- Economist at the Statistics Departament, Bank of Portugal

The Master's in Monetary and Financial Economics I took presented itself as an intense and valuable challenge, and it offered me an unquestionable value added for my professional and academic training in Economics. This Master's programme allowed me to deepen my undergraduate knowledge in Economics and also to explore new areas of knowledge in the field of monetary and financial economics, always considering the latest developments in this area of research. The programme's stress on monetary and financial economics concepts confers it a reference-programme status in the set of existing post-graduate programmes in this field in Portugal.

(Student Profile)

Francisco Sarrasqueiro

1572.jpg - Master in Monetary and Financial Economics (2007)

As anyone that works in banking, I felt the need to obtain fresh knowledge and new competences to be able to follow the huge evolution in the sector in the last 30 years. That necessity, combined with a personal interest in the areas of Economics and Finance, led me to apply to the MEMF at ISEG. The obstacles were numerous. The largest one was the big gap between the knowledge I had obtained in my Bachelors' in Banking Management and those required in a high-quality programme like this one. However, the syllabi in most of the subjects and good teachers motivated me along the programme to seek my goal successfully.

(Student Profile)

Carla Soares

1573.jpg - Master in Monetary and Financial Economics (2008)
- Economist at the Economic Studies Departament, Bank of Portugal

I chose the Master's in Monetary and Financial Economics due to both my interest in continuing my education in Economics and because it was recommend by my colleagues. Looking back, I can say it was the right choice. Taking this programme allowed me to mainly deepen my knowledge of macroeconomic theory and monetary policy, the two areas that I was mostly interested in, contributing to my development as an economist. It is mainly a theoretical programme that can be quite intensive, as one should expect from a Master's. I have also to say that the programme directors were always very supportive.

(Student Profile)

Joao Pina

1574.jpg - Master in Monetary and Financial Economics (2008)

In the beginning, the Master's in Monetary and Financial Economics seemed to be very complicated. But it was only an adaptation period as, considering my previous background in Management, I needed to accommodate the microeconomic basis with a more abstract approach of macroeconomics. Thanks to this programme, today I feel very much tuned with the current issues of modern economies, especially with the modus operandi of big central banks.

(Student Profile)

Dmitry Shibaev

1575.jpg - Master in Monetary and Financial Economics (2009)
- Market Risk Analyst at RBS Global Banking & Markets (Amsterdam)

After finishing the Master's in Monetary and Financial Economics my first impression was that of being released from a weight on my shoulders. At last, the long nights of the previous months were over, when the time was balanced between my day job and the dissertation text with its endless revisions. However, in retrospective, I can say without reservation that the experience, the knowledge acquired and the final outcome turned out to be far better than my expectations. The programme coursework is challenging enough to put the analytical skills of any student to test, but it is useful as an excellent preparation element for the dissertation. The dissertation gives the student an opportunity to deepen the concepts acquired and to study an interesting topic that may even benefit his/hers entry or evolution in the job market. Congratulations to the programme directors, to my supervisor, and to the entire academic staff.

(Student Profile)

Bruno Albuquerque

1576.jpg - Master in Monetary and Financial Economics (2010)
- Economist at the Departament of Economics and Research. Bank of Portugal

The Master's in Monetary and Financial Economics has allowed me to develop my knowledge in Economics, particularly my critical analysis in the areas of macroeconomics and of monetary policy. The demands required for the programme, together with the high quality of the teaching staff, provide the students with the essential tools to develop scientific working papers in economics, as well as the adequate preparation to begin a Ph.D. programme. Its intensive regime requires a great deal of dedication, which sometimes is difficult to reconcile with professional activity. However, what remains is the feeling that it has been worth it and that has been a very rewarding experience.

(Student Profile)

Rita Soares

1577.jpg - Master in Monetary and Financial Economics (2010)
- Economist at the Markets and Reserve Management Department, Bank of Portugal

The best assessment we can make of an experience is to look back and to conclude that we would repeat it again. That is the assessment I make from my attendance to the Master's in Monetary and Financial Economics. I consider it is the right choice for those who, like me, have as main theoretical areas of interest Macroeconomics and Monetary Policy and who intend to develop the skills needed for a continuous professional and academic training in Economics. This is a demanding and intensive programme, requiring much dedication, but it is endowed with highly qualified and available teachers who provide the support needed to complete the programme successfully.

(Student Profile)

Hugo Resende

1578.jpg - Master in Monetary and Financial Economics (2010)
- Special Projects Team Coordinator for the Commercial Network at Millennium bcp

When I finished my Bachelor's degree in 2007 I asked myself a question: should I choose a very specialised Master's programme or should I choose a broader programme? I chose the latter and today I have no doubt the Master's in MFE is a differentiating factor and the market has to see it as such. A very demanding programme, with a strong mathematical load that enriches our reasoning ability so in the future we can cope with any type of training/specialisation in a easier way, perfectly coordinated with the applicable concepts in my profession, and a higher-quality academic staff always available.

(Student Profile)

Hugo Dinis Aparas

1579.jpg - Master in Monetary and Financial Economics(2010)
- Financial Structurer at Societé Générale Corporate and Investment Banking (New York).

The Master's in Monetary and Financial Economics experience is a fundamental step for developing an analytical, thoughtful and inquisitive mindset. This is based on the diversity of the cultural and academic background of the class, as well as on strong technical skills acquired through a challenging and thorough syllabus. I do recommend this programme to all keen on developing knowledge on both economics and cutting-edge economic technology, especially given the mathematical element of the latter, where the competitive advantage stemming from the programme's academic excellence becomes evident, is particularly notable.

(Student Profile)

Joao Barbudo

1580.jpg - Mestre em Economia Monetária e Financeira (2011)

The Master's in Monetary and Financial Economics is a good complement to the bachelor degree, especially for those who enjoy combining the economics component with those associated with quantitative methods, of course with a panoply of monetary and financial concepts always present. Furthermore, it is a very demanding programme that provides the background for those who wish to embark on a Ph.D. in Economics. However, with work, dedication and the support of a highly qualified academic staff, the compensation of being a Master in Monetary and Financial Economics is gratifying.

(Student Profile)

Claudia Barradas

1581.jpg - Master in Monetary and Financial Economics (2011)
- Life-Insurance Specialist at Fidelidade-Mundial.

The Master's in Monetary and Financial Economics was a demanding but, considering that satisfaction arises from what we achieve with effort, a rewarding experience. It is a programme directed mainly to the research area and a strong preliminary for a Ph.D. programme, but it simultaneously provides a solid knowledge basis that makes it an asset in other areas.

At the end of this stage, when we look at the dissertation and feel that we have produced something beyond our initial expectations and knowledge, we can only conclude that the experience was worthwhile.

(Student Profile)

Joao Marques

1582.jpg - Master in Monetary and Financial Economics (2011)
- Financial Resources Division of the University of Lisboa

Academic and professional success is made of goals and steps. The Master's in Monetary and Financial Economics (MEMF) was undoubtedly the hardest step in my academic path, but also the most enriching and satisfying. The large range of topics within the MEMF allowed me to look at the economy from a more complete and innovative perspective, as it provided me with all the necessary instruments to apply a more inclusive and general insight to my dissertation. This insight supplied by the MEMF is what, from my point of view, makes it so special and what compels me to recommend it unequivocally to those who love Economics.


Entry Requirements

We consider applications from people holding the equivalent to a Bachelor's degree in Economics, Finance, Management, or Mathematics Applied to Economics and Management obtained in either a Portuguese or an international higher-education institution. We also consider applications from people holding a Bachelor's degree in other areas with a strong quantitative background, such as Engineering, Physics, or Mathematics. According to the Portuguese law we also assess other applications considered adequate by the selection committee, based upon CV analysis. Accepted candidates are ranked according to their final classification in the 1 st cycle, to the curricular analysis, and to a possible interview.

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