Gain an education in advanced economic and finance theory, with relevant econometric and quantitative methods. Building a bridge between the core economic areas of the financial sector, such as financial architecture, regulation and intermediation, and a classical finance curriculum, this programme provides you with enhanced versatility in the global job market.
A good honours degree (minimum 2:2) from they UK or an equivalent internationally recognised qualification in economics or a combined degree in economics and another subject. Applicants must also have a good level of quantitative skills (eg a pre-university school qualification in mathematics).
All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and relevant experience may also be taken into account when considering applications.
Please see our International website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information. Due to visa restrictions, international fee-paying students cannot study part-time unless undertaking a distance or blended-learning programme with no on-campus provision.
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.
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.
Duration: One year full-time, two years part-time
The Financial 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 Financial Economics: Advanced Macroeconomics, Financial Economics, Econometric Methods, Advanced Topics in Financial Economics, International Finance, Money and Credit and Research Skills. These modules build upon students’ existing knowledge, understanding and skills. Students will also have the choice of two optional modules.
You 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 Methods module. Student dissertations are supervised by academic staff.
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.
As well as the compulsory modules, you also choose two from a list of optional modules. Once you have successfully completed the taught elements of the programme, you will progress to the Economics Dissertation.
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.
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.
The aim of this module is to offer an in-depth theoretical treatment of advanced topics in financial economics, such as derivative pricing and real options. Simultaneously the module discusses the theoretical basis for computational approaches to asset pricing. The module consists of three main parts. In the first part we review selected elements of probability theory and stochastic calculus. We then discuss two prominent solution ideas for the derivative pricing. One is based on the Girsanov theorem and properties of martingale processes. The other is related to the Feynman-Kac's stochastic representation. In both cases, the well-known Black-Scholes-Merton formula is solved as a special case. In the second part we study a couple of important stochastic processes such as Vasicek process, which is widely used to characterize the dynamics of short-term interest rate. In the third part we deal with real option problems. The latter are workhorse models for irreversible decisions under uncertainty. Combined, the three parts form a broad theoretical perspective of advanced analytical methods in the contemporary financial economics practice.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The module offers rigorous treatment of advanced methods in modern financial econometrics. Giving equal attention to theory and empirical practice it provides students with essential knowledge indispensable for financial market professionals working in analytics departments. The module starts with the overview of core concepts of time series analysis. It proceeds with specifying, estimating and testing a range of asset pricing models including Stochastic Discount Factor Based Asset Pricing, The Capital Asset Pricing Model, and Factor Pricing Regressions. Next, the module addresses the analysis of returns predictability, both in the single regression framework and in the multivariate setting. Here we also provide careful modelling of volatility effects of the market data (e.g. by using asymmetric GARCH), and market interdependence. Special attention is paid to small sample biases and identification issues.
The aim of this module is to offer hands-on training in computational finance. Given proliferation of new financial products, finding their theoretical prices are now routine in financial industry. Hence, just knowing the theoretical foundations is, although indispensable, not enough for the students who seek their career as financial professionals. The module discusses two lines of computation ideas. The first approach is Martingale asset pricing, in which the students are expected to perform Monte Carlo simulations and use tree models to compute the theoretical prices of a wide range of financial derivatives. The second technique is finite difference methods to solve the Hamilton-Jacobi-Bellman pricing equations numerically. Both computational approaches are the acknowledged standards in a variety of modern quantitative finance suites used worldwide. The module starts with the theoretical foundations of each line of computation ideas and a short introduction to programming.
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.
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.
Assessment is through a wide variety of methods including seminar presentations, extended essays, short projects, in-class tests, examinations, and the dissertation.
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In The Complete University Guide 2020, the University of Kent was ranked in the top 10 for research intensity. This is a measure of the proportion of staff involved in high-quality research in the university.
Please see the University League Tables 2020 for more information.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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