Accounting and Finance and Economics

International Finance and Economic Development - MSc

2017

Our International Finance and Economic Development MSc prepares you for work as a professional economist in the various public and private institutions concerned with international finance and development throughout the world, or for a career in research or teaching in the field of international finance.

2017

Overview

The programme is designed to provide an education in international finance, economic development, advanced economic theory and research methods, while still allowing students to specialise by taking an option that reflects the School’s main areas of research expertise.

All of our MSc degrees equip you with a range of quantitative and analytical skills, and the ability to communicate complex economic concepts in a clear and concise style. Our programmes not only offer a stimulating education in economic theory, but also develop your ability to apply economic knowledge, analytical tools and skills to a range of national and international problems in the areas of finance, development, agriculture and the environment.

About the School of Economics

The School of Economics is dedicated to excellence in both teaching and research, as demonstrated by our results in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 and recent national student surveys. Our academic staff are active in research, and teaching and learning are informed by the School’s thriving research culture and strong cosmopolitan academic community.

We currently have 35 academic staff, with about 35-40 MSc and PhD students, which has the benefit of a good community for interaction between students but also means that each student receives a good deal of individual attention in classes and workshops. It also means that we are able to offer excellent facilities for research.

Our postgraduate student community is global with many of the students originating from outside the UK and Europe. There are also a number of different nationalities represented within the academic staff. You will be able to integrate into this multicultural environment and build yourself an international professional network for the future.

National ratings

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, research by the School of Economics was ranked 21st in the UK for research intensity and 84% of our research was judged to be of international quality. The School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of research of international excellence.

In the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PTES) 2016, our performance placed us in the top quarter in all seven theme areas. Overall, the School achieved an 89% student satisfaction rate.

Course structure

The MSc in International Finance and Economic Development is studied over one year full-time or two years part-time and is divided into two stages: eight taught modules (seven of which are compulsory) and a dissertation.

There are compulsory modules in International Finance, Growth and Development Theory, Econometric Methods, Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Trade and Development, and Research Methods. The core modules build upon students’ existing knowledge, understanding and skills. Students develop a deeper understanding of international finance, development, economic theory, quantitative and research methods, and policy applications. The teaching and learning of skills are carefully integrated into the structure of the modules and degree programme. The final module is chosen from a range of options based upon the research interests of our academic staff.

All of our MSc programmes require some mathematical analysis, and we recognise that students have widely differing backgrounds in mathematics. The first week of all our MSc programmes includes compulsory intensive teaching in mathematics, refreshing and improving your skills in order to equip you with the techniques you will need for the rest of the programme.

Students who successfully pass the taught element of the programme, proceed to the dissertation stage, where you undertake a supervised project of your choice on an international finance/economic development issue. Advice on choice of dissertation topic and management is given during the taught stage of the programme. The dissertation stage develops students’ research skills and follows on from the Research Methods module. Student dissertations are supervised by academic staff.

Modules

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.

Possible modules may include Credits ECTS Credits

This module examines the workings of the economic system from a disaggregated viewpoint. It is a standard module on advanced microeconomic theory and contains the basics of general equilibrium, including Walrasian equilibrium and welfare economics, and disequilibrium.

Topics

Preferences - Utility - Demand

Demand Curves and Duality in the Theory of Demand

General Equilibrium

Efficiency and Social Welfare of General Equilibrium

Social Choice

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This module is designed for students with interests in both development and international economics. It aims to discuss some of the fundamental models (and their extensions) in international economics and link them to the growth and development process of regions and countries. Throughout this module we provide you with the analytical tools and theoretical knowledge necessary to understand these links. We also focus on both the theoretical foundations and extensions of trade theory and the empirical evidence available to the current theoretical debates. The module consists of two main sections. The first one is devoted to the foundations of trade theory and it is the basic building block around which the rest of the module pivots. The second section deals with the relation between trade liberalisation, exports and long run growth, covering both the theory and empirical evidence.

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This module is the core macroeconomic theory module in the MSc programmes in the School of Economics. The first part of the course deals with the microeconomic foundations of macroeconomics. The second part deals with short-term fluctuations in macroeconomic performance and how macroeconomic policy may be used to address these. The third part deals with a fundamental measure of long-term macroeconomic performance, economic growth.

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Some of the greatest and most important books written in economics have been about the progress of nations. Some of the most distinguished economists in the world are development economists concerned with the economic progress of developing countries. Why are some countries rich and others poor? Why do some countries grow faster than others, and why have some countries got left behind? This graduate module, Growth and Development Theory, introduces you to theories of growth and development – both old and new – looking at the various influential models that have been propounded over the years from Adam Smith and other classical economists in the 18th and 19th centuries to new endogenous growth theory in the modern era. As well as aggregate models associated with the names of Smith, Ricardo, Marx, Harrod, Solow, and the 'new' growth theorists (Barro, Romer, Lucas), there are also sectorial models emphasising the role of particular factors of production or sectors of the economy, such as Arthur Lewis's famous model of economic development with unlimited supplies of labour, and Nicholas Kaldor's stress on the role of manufacturing industry based on increasing returns. We also look at centre-periphery models of growth and development associated with Gunnar Myrdal and Raul Prebisch, and constraints on growth imposed by the balance of payments and inflation.

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This module is designed to introduce you to the main theoretical and empirical models of international financial relations. Exchange rates, capital flows, financial crises, current account and debt dynamics, and uncertainty are the most widely debated economic topics in the media and political arena. This module provides the economic foundations for a full understanding of these debates from a rigorous point of view. Working on the areas of financial economics and development (whether in private or public institutions) requires a solid knowledge of the topics studied in this module.

The module is organised in four blocks. Part 1 focuses basic concepts and core models of the open economy and exchange rate determination. Part 2 deals with modern models of the open economy by introducing time and uncertainty. Part 3 covers two important kinds of international crises: speculative attacks on fixed exchange rates, and the current global economic crisis. This also helps to understand the importance of choosing exchange rate regimes, and how this affects economic policy choices.

The module is focused on both the theory and empirical evidence. That is, we focus not only on the analytical side of the stories but also on their empirical relevance. This helps your understanding of the role of data analysis and econometric work on a research project such as the one you have to write for your dissertation.

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The aim of this module is to introduce you to a range of research methods and sources available in modern economics, and enable you to gain an understanding of their application in the context of your own MSc dissertation topic. In more practical terms, this module deals with the practicalities of postgraduate level research: acquiring and reviewing basic analytical skills, choosing a dissertation topic, deriving interesting and well-focused research questions, addressing questions with data or theory, and interpreting and writing up results. It aims to ease the transition of students who merely learn about existing research to being researchers working on their MSc dissertations. The module is taught by various members of the School and as such will expose you to some topics we work on and the methodologies we use. It has two components. The first focuses on specific skills: mathematical skills, use of library resources, writing skills, and data collection and management. The second aims to prepare you for the dissertation stage by giving you some concrete help and feedback in choosing a research topic and planning your work.

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This module studies basic econometric techniques. An intuitive and practical learning style is used in order to develop your understanding and ability to apply these econometric methods. You develop an understanding of the conventional linear regression model in cross section, time series and panel. The module focuses on the application of econometric methods, with little emphasis on the mathematical aspects of the subject (which may be studied in other modules). The microcomputer software packages STATA and EVIEWS are used for practical work throughout this module, both as a means to provide applications of the theory developed in lectures as well as to give experience in the use of such software for participants own empirical research.

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The module will develop your skills in asset pricing and understanding of their theoretical basis, stresses the practical side of the methods used.

In this module, we study arbitrage asset pricing theory in continuous time. The main idea here is the equivalent martingale measure (EMM). Instead of considering risk-premiums explicitly under the real-world probability, we construct a hypothetical probability measure (that is, EMM) under which we can treat investors as if they are risk-neutral. Under EMM, since no risk-premium appears explicitly, many derivative pricings reduce to the calculations of expected values. This asset pricing framework is quite general, including the standard Black-Scholes-Merton option pricing formula as an example. In addition, we also study some useful stochastic processes and some simple applications to real options. We also discuss ideas of computation.

The module is mathematically challenging for most students. However, rather than pursuing mathematical foundations, the module puts stress on the intuitions and heuristics behind theorems and formulae. The ultimate aim of the module is so that students can solve actual problems. In this regard, understanding theorems and formulae is not enough for this module; rather what students are required to do is use theorems and formulae.

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This module builds upon the material covered in EC821 Econometric Methods which introduced you to linear regression models and the problems associated with economic modelling involving single equation econometric techniques. The emphasis is on applied econometrics. Hence, the module is concerned with the application and properties of econometric methods, with less emphasis on the mathematical aspects of the subject. Our main focus concerns techniques appropriate for the analysis of cross-section and panel (cross-section/time series) data. Collectively, these latter techniques are referred to as microeconometrics.

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This module demonstrates the unique role that agriculture plays in economic development, poverty alleviation and the development of rural non-farm sectors, looking at the relationship between urban and rural economies based on the way in which these economies trade with each other and are influenced by public policy. It discusses the importance of the rural non-farm sector in the reduction of poverty and demonstrates the importance of market and infrastructural development in this process. It then goes on to look at theoretical approaches and empirical models that characterise peasant and rural household behaviour and analyses opportunities and constraints on development of rural economies and commercialisation of peasant households. Finally it assesses different government reform programmes and their impact on rural areas and small scale farming.

Topics

Rural and peasant economies: importance, definitions and analytical approaches

Development and rural development

Agriculture, poverty and rural development

Development of rural-urban terms of trade

Rural non-farm sectors and pro-poor growth

Economic objectives of rural inhabitants

Rural households: profit maximisation and risk preferences

Households as producers and consumers

Analysis of opportunities and constraints facing rural farm households

Land and land institutions

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This module aims to provide an in introduction to the economics of public choice, the work of democratic institutions in the policy process and the overall policy process with reference to national and supra-national policies. In doing so it examines the behaviour of participants in policy process (politicians, bureaucrats, interest groups and voters) in developed and developing countries, and the ways in which policy decisions are made in the area of agriculture, rural development and international trade negotiations, and provides an overview of the main types of political economy models.

Topics

Political economy and the origins of government

Collective choice: normative analysis

Collective choice: positive analysis

The government and special interest groups

The political economy of bureaucracy

Empirical political economy models

Policy process in Europe: political economy of CAP and regional policy; main institutions involved in the policy process; voting procedures

Policy process in other OECD countries: political economy of US agricultural policy and New Zealand economic policy reform

Political economy approach to agricultural policy and market distortions in developing countries

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Since the probability theory revolution in econometrics, it has been standard to view economic time series, that is, chronological sequences of observations, as realizations of stochastic processes. This approach allows the model builder to use statistical inference when estimating relationships between economic variables and testing hypotheses from economic theory. Analysing the nature of time series and their description in some parametric statistical way are essential for empirical macroeconomic and financial modelling. Forecasting the macroeconomy and financial markets demands some knowledge of its structure. Designing and evaluating economic models often involves comparisons of their statistical implications against the true nature of time series such as inflation and growth. We consider these issues from both a univariate and a multivariate perspective, but often the multivariate statistical models turn out to be straightforward extensions of the univariate ones.

Most macroeconomic and financial time series follow a stochastic trend, so that temporary shocks have permanent effects. These time series are called nonstationary; they differ from stationary series which do not grow over time, but fluctuate around a given value. While statistical methods used for stationary time series can yield misleading results when applied to the analysis of nonstationary data, specific combinations of nonstationary time series may exhibit stationarity, thereby allowing for correct statistical inference. This phenomenon is called cointegration and is of special interest to this module.

The module offers a research-oriented introduction to the econometric analysis of economic and financial time series. Students are introduced to the methods and models used in central banks, research institutions for the analysis of macroeconomic data for policy purposes and forecasting as well as in financial institutions for the analysis of financial data as the foundation to investment decision.

This module aims to present a systematic and operational approach to econometric modelling, which combines the understanding of theories and techniques with their practical implementation for empirical research using econometric software. You also gain insight into contemporary empirical macro- and financial economics by linking the econometric theory to empirical studies of the macroeconomy and financial markets. The introduction to financial econometrics focused on the statistical properties of low-frequency financial market data and econometric methods that can be used for their analysis. The focus is on the modelling and forecasting of the time-varying volatility of asset returns, covering the tools of financial econometrics with a moderate degree of sophistication.

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The dissertation work is carefully structured across the whole academic year. On entry to the MSc programmes, you are made aware of the need to consider your dissertation during the taught part of the programme and to do some preparatory work in terms of selection of research topic and investigation of the availability of data before the beginning of the dissertation working period. You receive guidelines on the writing of economics dissertations, and various talks and advice above the researching and writing of your dissertation. You are allocated an appropriate member of staff as dissertation supervisor.

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Teaching and Assessment

Assessment is through a wide variety of methods including seminar presentations, extended essays, short projects, in-class tests, examinations, and the dissertation.

Careers

Kent has an excellent record for postgraduate employment: over 96% of our postgraduate students who graduated in 2015 found a job or further study opportunity within six months.

A postgraduate degree in the area of economics is a particularly valuable and flexible qualification that can open the door to exciting careers in many professions. Our graduates have gone on to work as economists in international organisations, the financial sector, business, UK and overseas governments, and to further postgraduate training and academic careers at Kent, UK and overseas universities. Recent MSc graduates have gone on to work for companies in the UK such as BNP Paribas, AXA, FactSet and PwC.

The School's employability officers and the University's Careers and Employability Service are available throughout the year to offer one-to-one advice and help on all aspects of employability at any stage in your postgraduate studies. We also offer online advice on employability skills, career choices, applications and interview skills.

Study support

Postgraduate resources

The School of Economics provides rooms specifically for use by MSc students, with computer facilities and open space for discussion and group work.

All MSc students are assigned an academic adviser to be their point of reference for advice, support and guidance during their studies. They are also allocated a supervisor for the MSc dissertation, who can advise on data and provide comments on methodologies and the written material.

The School has an active and inclusive research culture involving all postgraduate students, with a regular seminar programme during the year mixing internal workshops with events to which we invite outside speakers. There is also a student Economics Society, which invites its own speakers for discussion of economics topics, and Kent Invest Society which manages a virtual portfolio.

An international school

Our postgraduate student community is global with about half the students originating from outside the UK and Europe, including Africa, China, India, the Middle East, Pakistan, Russia and the USA. We have strong links with universities in Australia, Bulgaria, China, France, Germany, Japan and the USA, among others. Economics staff teach on the postgraduate courses provided by the University of Kent at Brussels. You will be able to integrate into this multicultural environment and build the foundations for an international professional network.

Dynamic publishing culture

Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Recent contributions include: Journal of Economics; Journal of Applied Economics; Journal of Public Economic Theory; Journal of Agricultural Economics; Journal of International Money and Finance.

Global Skills Award

All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme. The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability.  

Entry requirements

A good first degree (good second class honours or equivalent) in Economics or a combined degree in Economics and another subject.

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, and professional qualifications and experience will also be taken into account when considering applications. 

International students

Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information for your country. 

Meet our staff in your country

For more advice about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events.

English language entry requirements

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages. 

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

Research areas

The School of Economics has a strong research culture and an international reputation in several fields, particularly applied microeconomics (labour and agri-environmental), quantitative macroeconomic theory, macro and microeconometrics and economic development.

The School is home to two research centres and one research group:

Centre for Agri-Environmental Studies (CEAS)

CEAS has a long history of participating in agri-environmental research and policy debate. Founded in 1974 to conduct research into the implications of the UK's entry to the European Economic Community, CEAS has developed into a centre of research excellence, focusing on food and agri-environmental policy in the UK and Europe.

Macroeconomics, Growth and History Centre (MaGHiC)

MaGHiC brings together a large number of researchers at the School whose main interests lie in the wide area of macroeconomics. MaGHiC is the focal point for macroeconomic research, impact and training at the University of Kent. The centre's main focus is on the analysis of macroeconomic issues, including productivity and growth, labour markets, income distribution, business cycles and macroeconomic phenomena from a historical perspective. The group also has technical strength in computational economics, macroeconometric modelling and forecasting, and expertise in building long-run macroeconomic time series and reconstructing historical national accounts.

Microeconomics Research Group

In addition to the two research centres, the School has an active microeconomics research group, whose members' research spans applied and theoretical microeconomics, and microeconometrics. The group's research covers a wide range of areas with the main focus being on development economics, labour and education economics, microeconometrics, games and behavioural economics, the economics of food, economic geography, industrial organisation and the economics of tax.

Staff research interests

Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.

Fees

The 2017/18 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

International Finance and Economic Development - MSc at Canterbury:
UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £6500 £14670
Part-time £3250 £7340

For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.*

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

Funding

Scholarships and funding information