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International Finance and Economics - MSc

2019

The International Finance and Economics MSc programme is designed to provide an education in the mechanics of international capital flows, the functioning of international financial institutions, and how policies in each of these account for a wide range of economic phenomena.

2019

Overview

From financial booms and crises to stagnation and sustained growth, this programme focuses on the international aspects of financial markets.

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 Taught Experience Survey (PTES) in 2018, our overall performance placed us in the top quarter in the UK with an 88% student satisfaction rate.

Course structure

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

There are compulsory modules in: Advanced Macroeconomics, Financial Economics, Econometric Methods, Development Economics, International Economics, International Finance, Research Skills. These modules build upon students’ existing knowledge, understanding and skills.

Students develop a deeper understanding of economic and finance 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 two modules are chosen from a range of options based upon the finance 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 Economics/Finance topic.

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 Skills 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.

Compulsory modules currently include Credits

This module is designed for students with interests in both international economics and development 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 first part of the module is devoted to the foundations of trade theory and it is the basic building block of the module. The rest of the module deals with trade policy, trade liberalisation and long run growth, factor movements as well as economic geography and regional trade agreements and their implication for global free trade.

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The main aim of this module is to provide students with knowledge of core macroeconomic theory at the graduate level. The focus is on learning theoretical concepts and analytical techniques as an aid to understanding complex contemporary macroeconomic problems. In addition, the module will develop the toolbox essential for understanding all other macro-related modules in the programmes of students' further choice. The module is organized in three key parts. The first part deals with microeconomic foundations of macroeconomics and introduces rational expectations. The second part analyses short-term fluctuations in macroeconomic performance and how macroeconomic policy may be used to address these. Specifically, it provides rigorous treatment of the Real Business Cycle theory and monetary/fiscal policy as regulatory instruments. The third part deals with economic growth as a fundamental determinant of long-term macroeconomic performance.

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15

This module is designed to introduce to the main theoretical and empirical models of international financial relations. Exchange rates, capital flows, financial crises, current account and debt dynamics as well as uncertainty are the most widely debated economic topics in the media and on the political arena. This module provides the economic foundations for full understanding of these debates from a rigorous point of view. The module is evenly balanced between the theory and empirical evidence. That is, we focus not only on the analytical side of the stories but also on their empirical relevance.

For working in the areas of financial economics and development (whether in private or public institutions) the knowledge of the topics addressed in this module is of paramount importance.

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15

This module studies basic econometric techniques. An intuitive and practical learning style will be used in order to develop participants understanding and ability to apply these econometric methods. Participants will develop an understanding of the conventional linear regression model in cross section, time series and panel data. The module focuses on the application of econometric methods, with little emphasis on the mathematical aspects of the subject. A computer software package will be 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. No previous knowledge of computing or econometrics is required.

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15

This is a classical module on foundations of advanced financial economics. Emphasizing both analytical techniques and practical knowledge it introduces key economic principles around which financial markets are built worldwide. The module offers an in-depth analytical treatment of pricing techniques, optimal investment strategies and portfolio management solutions, accompanied by quantification of related key financial measures. The module provides a solid platform for understanding, interpreting and developing analytical models of the dynamics of financial markets and making informed decisions on their basis. It is central to students who see their future careers among financial market actors as well as at national or international institutions that oversee and regulate financial market activity.

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15

As a field of study, Development Economics has both a long history and a rapidly expanding set of issues that is considered to be within its domain today. The Foundation of Development Economics will provide a long-term perspective to the field, covering topics such as the meaning of development, the measurement of poverty and inequality, economic growth, structural transformation, industrialisation, institutions and trade. Students will be exposed to classical texts to gain an understanding of how the economic approach to these topics have evolved over time; as well as rigorous mathematical models and modern economic approaches to empirical analysis for an introduction to current methods and practices in the study of Development Economics.

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15

The module consists of preparation of the one-page dissertation proposal to be submitted by the end of Week 13. Upon review of the proposal by the Director of Graduate Studies (Taught) the student is allocated to a supervisor. For the rest of the term the student and the supervisor meet and discuss in detail the proposal to identify the relevant literature research methods and actions. By the end of Week 24 the student submits an additional one-page outline of the dissertation with the exact research question, relevant methodological toolbox to address the question and reference to the relevant data (if applicable). The outline is further supported by the condensed list of the core literature.

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5
Optional modules may include Credits

Developing economies are confronted with severe environmental problems. This module starts with presenting economic growth models with environmental elements and discusses their properties and implications for long-run sustainable development. It then proceeds by illustrating environmental valuation techniques and showing how these can be incorporated into economic decision-making processes in order to contribute to sustainable economic growth and development. The main emphasis in the module is on the application of environmental economics to help design, implement and evaluate environmental policies in developed and developing economies.

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15

Money and credit perform a range of crucial functions in market economies. This module studies the microeconomic foundations of money and credit, and the roles played by money and credit markets in contributing to macroeconomic growth, fluctuations and crises. Throughout the module, we also consider the roles of government institutions including central banks and financial regulators within modern markets for money and credit. The module makes use of theoretical models to aide understanding and analyse policy. These models are motivated by and tested against historical and contemporary evidence, with students performing a selection of these tests using modern financial programming tools. While the core features of money and credit have remained stable for centuries, innovation in these markets does play important roles for economic growth and business cycles. At the end of the course, we study some of the more important developments in modern money and credit markets, including securitisation as well as the range of innovations collectively referred to as digital money.

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15

The module offers a research-oriented introduction to contemporary time series econometrics by linking econometric theory to empirical studies of the macro-economy and financial markets. It introduces models and methods used in central banks and research institutions for policy analysis and forecasting. It integrates empirical illustrations through the use of computer-based exercises with macroeconomic and financial data using appropriate software. We start with providing comprehensive treatment of univariate time series analysis and deal in details with the modelling and forecasting of stationary and non-stationary stochastic processes. We then look into models of time-varying volatility. Finally, we generalise the learned techniques to multiple time series and study co-integration.

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15

The dissertation work is carefully structured across the whole academic year. On entry to the MSc programmes, students are made aware of the need to consider their 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. They receive guidelines on the writing of economics dissertations and they receive various talks and advice above the researching and writing of their dissertation. Students 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-course tests, examinations, and the dissertation.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • provide a stimulating education in the principles of International Finance and Economics and their application, in which high quality teaching motivates students to achieve their full potential. The teaching is informed by the research and scholarship of teaching staff.
  • build on the existing knowledge, abilities and skills of all students, and to develop a deeper understanding of economic theory in its relation to finance, econometric and quantitative techniques and policy applications to specific areas.
  • provide options to enable students to study selected areas of International Finance and Economics in depth.
  • develop in students the ability to apply economic knowledge, analytical tools and skills in a range of theoretical, applied and policy problems.
  • develop the skills necessary for independent research and to prepare students for work as professional economists in the area related to International Finance and Economics.
  • provide information and advice on future employment and further postgraduate study.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain a knowledge and understanding of the following:

  • The concepts, principles, theories, models and methods of modern advanced international economics and finance, macroeconomics, econometrics and quantitative methods.
  • The econometric, mathematical, statistical and computing methods used in International Finance and Economics.
  • Sources of economic/financial data and methods used to analyse such data, and ability to make use of sources and methods.
  • Model building in international finance/economics and critical analysis of such models.
  • Application of core economic theory and reasoning to applied topics.
  • Research methods and management.
  • Specialist supervised dissertation topic and quantitative methods project.
  • Economic analysis of policy.
  • Chosen specialist areas in International Finance and Economics selected from a range of options.
  • Critical evaluation of major debates and articles in advanced financial economics literature. 

Intellectual skills

You gain the following intellectual skills:

  • Ability to abstract the essential features of a complex system.
  • Ability to think about what are the important variables and fixed parameters in analysing a problem.
  • Ability to analyse complex issues using deductive and inductive reasoning.
  • Ability to organise and use information to analyse complex issues and construct and test different hypotheses.
  • Ability to review literature critically and appreciate alternative explanations and analyses of a problem.
  • Ability to effectively work under supervision for the dissertation and manage supervised dissertation and quantitative projects.

Subject-specific skills

You gain the following subject-specific skills:

  • Analytical skills in International Finance and Economics.
  • Ability to develop and understand models of behaviour at international markets.
  • Ability to apply economic principles and analysis to a range of issues, problems and policies.
  • Ability to abstract the essential features of an economic issue, problem or system.
  • Knowledge of the principal sources of economic/financial data and information and ability to use and present this information. 
  • Be able to carry out econometric analysis of economic/financial data.
  • Ability to synthesize and compare critically different economic analyses of an economic issue.
  • Ability to research the literature on an international economic/financial issue. 
  • Research management skills.
  • Ability to apply economic skills to investigate supervised dissertation and quantitative methods projects.

Transferable skills

You gain the following transferable skills:

  • Effective communication of analysis and ideas both orally and in written form.
  • Ability to assemble, analyse, use and present data.  
  • Understanding and ability to use economic, mathematical and quantitative methods to analyse issues and problems. 
  • Development of Information Technology skills through using statistical and econometric packages, bibliographic searches and word processing coursework.  
  • Independence in initiating and executing work.  
  • Ability to analyse and solve problems.
  • Ability to think critically about proposed analyses and solutions to a problem or issue.
  • Ability to define and test hypotheses.
  • Become responsible for managing own learning and academic performance.
  • Research management skills acquired through managing supervised dissertation and quantitative methods projects.

Careers

Kent has an excellent record for postgraduate employment: over 92% of our postgraduate students who graduated in 2017 and responded to a national survey, were in work or further study within six months (DLHE). 

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 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.

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, 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.  Please note that international fee-paying students cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

English language entry requirements

The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages. 

Need help with English?

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, political economy, networks and the economics of taxation.

Staff research interests

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

Fees

The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

International Finance and Economics - MSc at Canterbury:
UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £7500 £15700
Part-time £3750 £7850

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.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact information@kent.ac.uk

General additional costs

Find out more about general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent. 

Funding

Search our scholarships finder for possible funding opportunities. You may find it helpful to look at both: