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Course overview

Our Financial Economics MSc provides you with the core skills and techniques needed to understand the economics of financial markets. It includes an introduction to the fundamentals of financial economics, which means that this masters is suitable for those who have not specialised in this area of economics before.

Our teaching is informed by the research of the Centre for Finance, Credit and Macroeconomics. This work is incorporated into the modules we offer and you will learn from experts in their field.

You will take modules in core areas such as consumer and firm behaviour, and the macroeconomic context for policymaking. You will also take a hands-on data analysis module with applications relevant to financial economics.

Options are also available in financial and macroeconometrics and in the general equilibrium (DSGE) modelling techniques used widely by central banks and regulators. These modules offer advanced understanding of institutions, policymaking bodies and techniques used to evaluate policies.

With an advanced economics degree from the University of Nottingham, you will graduate with all the knowledge, practical skills and confidence you need to stand out to employers, ready for a career in the financial sector.

Why choose this course?

One-to-one supervision

by a faculty member for your dissertation

Gain real experience

by applying for internships and placements through our faculty placements scheme

Top 100

in the world for economics

Active seminar series

featuring distinguished visitors from across the world

Course content

The course is made up of 120 credits of core and optional taught modules, plus a 60-credit dissertation on a subject of your choice.

Semester one

In semester one, you will take modules in financial economics, macroeconomics, microeconomics and economic data analysis. The macroeconomics and microeconomics modules are designed with a focus on economic policy.

Semester two

In semester two, you will take two further required modules and choose one or two optional modules from a wide range. You will also start work on your dissertation by taking a module in economic research methodology.

Dissertation

After completing your semester two modules, you will undertake a 15,000-word dissertation, with one-to-one support from an expert academic supervisor. This will demonstrate familiarity with a particular area of monetary and financial policy.

Modules

Core modules

Essentials of Financial Economics

This module will offer an introduction to some theoretical concepts related to the allocation of risk by financial institutions. Then it will apply these concepts to the analysis of financial and banking crises.

Monetary Theory and Practice

This module covers monetary aspects of advanced macroeconomics and is suitable for students of mainstream economics, finance and international economics. It focuses on the theory and practice of central banking, monetary policy and control.

It covers concepts such as time inconsistency, the problem of inflation bias with solutions, credibility, transparency and accountability of monetary institutions, inflation targeting and price stability, the choice of instruments for monetary policy and their control, and finally monetary transmission. It combines some theory with evidence and practice.

Microeconomics: Consumers and Firm Behaviour

This module covers foundations of consumer theory, decision-making under risk, elements of the theory of imperfect competition, and incomplete information in markets.

Macroeconomics: Economic Cycles, Frictions and Policy

We start by laying the foundations of macroeconomic models with the use of very stylised one and two-period models in which consumers, firms and governments interact in the goods and factor markets. We will discuss how to solve macroeconomic models in the computer with the aid of these simple economies.

We next move to study the determinants of long-run economic growth. The overarching question that we will study is: why are some countries so much richer than others? We will study several mechanisms that can potentially account for these differences, namely, capital accumulation, knowledge production and institutions. This section does not seek to be an exhaustive survey of models of economic growth; it intends to highlight the mechanisms at play in a broad class of models. We will also place a strong emphasis on how to take the predictions derived from these models to the data.

In the last section of the module, we turn our attention towards the ‘short run’. We will embed the consumption and labour supply decision studied at the beginning of the semester into a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model of the macroeconomy, the standard real business cycle (RBC) model developed by Kydland and Prescott. We will study the investment decision of firms, and close the module by studying the search and matching model of unemployment of Mortensen and Pissarides.

Economic Data Analysis

This module provides you with 'hands on' training in the use, presentation and interpretation of economic data, including time series, cross-section and panel data. It comprises of:

  • an introduction to basic principles of economic data analysis
  • descriptive statistics
  • hypothesis testing
  • simple and multiple regression
  • introduction to panel data
  • introduction to dynamic modelling
  • time series models

The module will include a series of practical classes using econometrics software packages.

Economic Research Methodology

This module covers the following:

  • A review of perspectives on the principles and philosophical foundations of economic enquiry
  • The construction and evaluation of theories and research programmes
  • The role of models and concepts of rationality in economics
  • Alternative empirical methods
  • Professional practice
MSc Dissertation: Economics

A period of research and study designed to allow you to demonstrate familiarity with a particular area of economic theory or policy, or of applied economics or econometrics, and the ability to apply a specific analytical and/or empirical technique.

One of:

Economics of Corporate Finance

This module offers an introduction to the economics of corporate finance. It is designed to provide you with the basic theoretical background in this area that is necessary for any applied work. Emphasis is placed on the analysis of simple models and their applications.

The module covers a variety of topics with substantial time devoted for covering issues directly related to the financial needs of firms, such as capital structure, credit rationing and corporate governance.

The module also examines the role of financial intermediaries analysing bank failures and, consequently, the scope for banking regulations. The last part of the module looks closely at the relationship between the financial sector and the real economy thus offering the background for any applied work related to the link between financial development and economic fluctuations.

Economics of Household Finance

This module covers the central issues in the economics of household finance. Increasingly economists are interested in the decisions of consumers as well as the decisions of firms.

Household finance is the study of the behaviour of individuals and households in financial markets including those for secured (for example, mortgage) and unsecured (for example, credit card) lending and related economic models of consumption smoothing, liquidity constraints and household behaviour.

The module begins with the central topic of consumption smoothing, focusing on the role of credit markets and income risk in household behaviour. Later topics include financial literacy, self-control, mortgage market design, stock market participation and the regulation of consumer credit markets.

The module content includes come theoretical material but is mostly applied, with a focus on how large-scale individual level proprietary and survey datasets can be used to understand household financial behaviour.

Optional modules

Two from:

Advanced Macroeconomic Methods

This module covers the theory for the solution and estimation of dynamic stochastic models that are widely used in all fields of macroeconomics. The module is structured in a way such that you will be exposed both to theory and the practical implementation of the methods taught.

It covers topics from approximation methods for stochastic non-linear macroeconomic models, such as linear and higher-order Taylor approximation as well as dynamic programming techniques. It also exposes students to the empirical evaluation of these models ranging from calibration to classical and Bayesian estimation methods.

The module applies the techniques to contemporary general equilibrium macroeconomic models designed for positive and policy analysis such as the New Keynesian model but also models that are designed to explain partial equilibrium behaviour such as consumer saving and industry investment.

Advanced Microeconomic Theory

This module examines central theoretical aspects from modern microeconomic theory, paying particular emphasis on game theory, imperfect competition and incomplete information.

Applied Behavioural Economics

The module will cover a selection of topics in applied behavioural economics where a substantial literature has already developed.

Possible areas include behavioural approaches to: labour economics, public economics, financial economics, development economics.

Development Microeconomics

This module employs tools of microeconomic analysis to address topics central to development issues in low-income countries. One part concentrates on issues concerning household behaviour covering intrahousehold allocation, production, risk, migration and rural markets (especially credit), while the second part focuses on poverty and income distribution, covering measurement, income dynamics, and poverty reduction strategies.

Development Policy Analysis

Examples of types of policy issues addressed include:

  • randomised controlled trials to evaluate policy interventions
  • trade policy reform
  • welfare impact of economic partnership agreements
  • growth and innovation
  • dealing with public debt
Financial and Macroeconometrics

The module extends the coverage of advanced econometric modelling techniques and considers their application through the study of selected topics in finance and macroeconomics, developing familiarity and critical awareness of empirical research in these areas.

It covers techniques for the analysis of stationary ARMA processes, Vector Autoregressions (VARs), linear regression models, linear systems of simultaneous equations, cointegration, long-run structural VARs, forecasting, and models of changing volatility. The selected topics include the econometric analysis of business cycle fluctuations, wage, price and (un)employment determination, portfolio choice and stock market returns.

Trade Analysis and Policy

This module covers empirical models of international trade and several topics in trade policy. It discusses firms’ decision to export; the evaluation of export promotion policies; the link between globalisation and labour markets; the gravity model of international trade; free trade agreements; multinational firms; the political economy of trade policy.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Wednesday 13 January 2021.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops

How you will be assessed

  • Coursework
  • Project work
  • Presentation
  • Dissertation

Modules are assessed by a combination of exams and coursework at the end of the relevant semester.

Contact time and study hours

Each module in semester one will have three contact hours per week, made up of a mixture of lectures, tutorials and lab classes. For each contact hour, we expect you to spend an additional three hours of self-study, reading, completing homework, assignments and studying for exams.

Each module in semester two will have two contact hours per week, and we expect you to spend slightly more time in self-study as you start to work on your dissertation. During June, July and August, you will work on your dissertation, supported by a minimum of three one-to-one supervision meetings with your supervisor.

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 entry.

Undergraduate degree2:1 (or international equivalent) in a discipline with significant economics content

Applying

Our step-by-step guide covers everything you need to know about applying.

How to apply

Fees

Qualification MSc
Home / UK £13,000
International £31,500

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland starting your course in the 2021/22 academic year, you will pay international tuition fees.

This does not apply to Irish students, who will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for ‘home’ fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our Brexit information for future students.

Additional costs

As a student on this course, you should factor some additional costs into your budget, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses.

You should be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies or more specific titles which could cost up to £60.

Please note that these figures are approximate and subject to change.

Funding

There are many ways to fund your postgraduate course, from scholarships to government loans.

The University also offers masters scholarships for international and EU students. Our step-by-step guide contains everything you need to know about funding postgraduate study.

Postgraduate funding

Careers

We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students.

Expert staff can help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.

More than 1,500 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.

Graduate destinations

This course prepares you to work as an economist, supervisor or regulator in the Bank of England, the Prudential Regulation Authority, the Financial Conduct Authority, or in the private sector in banks, credit rating agencies, pension companies and insurers. The course has been designed to prepare you to work in institutions around the world.

Our graduates now work in academia, government and the private sector, at organisations such as Barclays, Bloomberg, Deloitte, IBM, and PwC.

Career progression

93.8% of postgraduates from the School of Economics secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary for these graduates was £31,605.*

* HESA Graduate Outcomes 2020, using methodology set by The Guardian. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

This course does not include an integrated placement option. However, you will have the opportunity to apply for internships and placements through the Postgraduate Placements Nottingham (PPN) scheme and the Faculty of Social Sciences placements scheme.

Two masters graduates proudly holding their certificates

Related courses

The University has been awarded Gold for outstanding teaching and learning (2017/18). Our teaching is of the highest quality found in the UK.

The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is a national grading system, introduced by the government in England. It assesses the quality of teaching at universities and how well they ensure excellent outcomes for their students in terms of graduate-level employment or further study.

This content was last updated on Wednesday 13 January 2021. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur given the interval between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.