Postgraduate study
This course explores current theories, while providing you with research training and the core skills and techniques needed for analytical work on financial markets.
MSc Economics and Financial Economics
1 year full-time, option to study for a second year at the University of Konstanz or the University of Tübingen
Entry requirements
2:1 (or international equivalent) in a discipline with significant economics content
6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses may be available
Start date
UK/EU fees
£10,530 - Terms apply
International fees
£19,575 - Terms apply
University Park



The last two decades have seen a dramatic change in the economic theory of financial markets. This course is influenced by the work of academics at the Centre for Finance, Credit and Macroeconomics (CFCM), which focuses on issues arising from the operation of financial markets, household debt and corporate finance. It also investigates the transmission mechanisms of monetary policy through credit channels, particularly when credit is constrained.

Building on the core Economic Theory module, this course provides specialist modules on financial economics and financial econometrics. There is also the opportunity to select modules in decision-making under Risk and Uncertainty, Options and Futures Markets, and Behavioural Finance.

You will be trained in the use of analytic and quantitative methods in examining economic issues, and will be provided with research training at the level required to progress to a PhD.

At the end of the course, you will be able to read and understand current and classic research papers in the field of financial economics, and will have received one-to-one guidance to enable you to complete your first finance research project.

Dual degree options

The school has professional links with the University of Konstanz and the University of Tübingen in Germany. If you complete the taught component of this course, you can transfer onto our dual degree and spend a second year in Konstanz or Tübingen. This is a great opportunity to travel abroad and study at a highly ranked university in beautiful parts of Germany.

Key facts


Full course details

This course comprises 120 credits of core and optional modules, plus a 60-credit dissertation on a subject of your choice. You will receive one-to-one support from an expert academic supervisor, and methodological and practical guidance through our Economic Research Methodology module.

In semester one, you will take modules in microeconomic theory, macroeconomic theory, econometric theory and economic data analysis.

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

After completing your semester two modules, you will undertake a 15,000-word supervised dissertation which will demonstrate familiarity with a particular area of financial economics.


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



Core modules

Economics of Corporate Finance

This module provides an overview of the corporate finance literature, with a particular focus on the sources of market frictions that can account for the presence of financial constraints. The module attempts to provide answers to fundamental questions such as: Why do we need debt? Why do we need corporate governance? Why do we need banks?

Economics of Corporate Finance is usually taught by Professor Spiros Bougheas, who has taught related modules at The University of Nottingham for over ten years. His research focuses on the impact of financial constraints on firms and international trade; financial panics; systemic risk in banking, systemic risk and the real economy. His publications include papers in the Journal of International Economics, the Journal of Population Economics, the Canadian Journal of Economics and the Journal of Macroeconomics.

Financial and Macroeconometrics

This is an applied econometrics module which covers time-series methods through the study of selected topics in finance and macroeconomics. It develops the techniques necessary to be able to read, critically evaluate and replicate published academic papers involving econometric analysis in macroeconomics and finance.

Financial and Macro-econometrics is usually taught by Professor Kevin Lee. Professor Lee has taught and researched in UK universities for over 25 years. He has completed research projects valuing in excess of £1.5m in the areas of macroeconomics and applied econometrics and has published in journals including the Economic Journal, Journal of American Statistical Association, Journal of Applied Econometrics, Journal of Business and Economic Statistics, Journal of Econometrics, Quarterly Journal of Economics and Review of Economics and Statistics.

Macroeconomic Theory

This module provides students with an overview on the theory and empirics of the Neoclassical growth model (at the heart of modern macroeconomics), modern theories of endogenous growth, structural change, firm dynamics and resource misallocation. The related issue of technical change and economic growth measurement will also be discussed.

Macroeconomic Theory is usually taught by Professor Omar Licandro. His main research field is Macroeconomics with special interest in Growth Theory. His main contributions are on vintage capital theory and embodied technical progress. He has recently contributed to the literature on the transition from Malthus to Modern Growth, as well as the competitive role of trade, in particular under firm heterogeneity.

Microeconomic Theory

Economic theory is about far more than algebra, calculus and high-end number-crunching - particularly now that the ideas underpinning game theory and experimental economics have opened up whole new avenues of learning and research. These concepts can be applied to all kinds of real-world scenarios - voting patterns on committees, the fine print in terms and conditions, strategic positioning in trading arrangements, even corruption and power in democracies. This module provides a rigorous introduction to modern microeconomic theory, from more "traditional" elements of consumer and producer behaviour to the more modern analysis of risk and uncertainty, game theory and information economics.

Microeconomic theory is usually taught by Professor Dan Siedmann. His research covers various topics in noncooperative game theory such as multilateral bargaining, committee voting, and signalling. He has published economy theory in a wide range of the top journals, including Econometrica, Review of Economic Studies and the Journal of Public Economics.

Econometric Theory

This module teaches the core concepts of modern econometric theory, including detailed analysis of the multiple linear regression model, large sample theory, asymptotic testing procedures, non-linear techniques and misspecification testing.

Econometric Theory is usually taught by Professor Steve Leybourne and Dr Patrick Marsh. Professor Leybourne's research interests are in the area of time series econometrics, with particular focus on testing in time-varying parameter models, unit root tests, stationarity tests and cointegration tests. He has published a large number of articles in refereed journals. These include Biometrika, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Journal of Business and Economic Statistics, Journal of Econometrics, Econometric Theory and The Journal of Money, Credit and Banking. Dr Marsh is an associate editor of Econometric Theory and has also published widely in the area of econometric theory, with publications in Econometric Theory, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society and The Econometrics Journal.

Economic Data Analysis

Empirical testing and validation of economic theories is a crucial ingredient to policy-relevant research in economics. The Economic Data Analysis module provides students with the necessary tools and hands-on experience to employ econometric techniques to achieve this aim. The module includes lectures and computer labs which cover the analysis of cross-section and panel datasets (using Stata statistical software) as well as that of economic time series (using EViews), and is assessed by empirical coursework. No previous knowledge of these software packages is assumed, thus making EDA a crucial building block for students' supervised research projects on the MSc dissertation.

Economic Data Analysis is usually taught by Dr Yang Zu. Dr Zu's research is in the area of time-series and financial econometrics.

Economic Research Methodology

The purpose of this module is to lead you into your dissertation and to provide ideas and advice as you embark on your research. Since each MSc dissertation must be an independent project with some degree of originality you should not expect that the ERM module will define narrowly what you should do, or how you should do it. The purposes are broader ones of orientation and reflection.

ERM is designed to help you take your first steps in the direction of independent research and to help you think through the strategy for developing and completing your research. More ambitiously, it aims to help you develop a more reflective and sophisticated approach to research, both as a consumer and (soon-to-be) producer of research! The module includes lectures on how to approach your dissertation, how to undertake applied economic research, what methods to use, and asks what constitutes "good" research? The module is assessed by a written assignment, in which you will review a key paper related to your dissertation topic.

MSc Dissertation: Economics

The module comprises of a period of student research and study, designed to allow students 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. All MSc students receive 'one-to-one' supervision for their dissertation. Their supervisor will be a research-active member of the academic staff who can provide genuinely expert guidance.


Optional modules

Two from:

Advanced Macroeconomic Methods

This module covers the solution, calibration and simulation of dynamic stochastic models (DSGE) that are widely used in all fields of macroeconomics. It is structured in such a way that students will be exposed both to theory and the practical implementation of the methods taught. The focus is on the application of these techniques to contemporary general equilibrium macroeconomic models, designed for policy analysis. Such models have become the standard framework for the analysis of business cycle fluctuations and monetary policy in central banks and policy institutions.

We will first study these models in their simplest form and then, we will extend it to introduce nominal rigidities and financial frictions. Finally we will touch upon topics that are at the frontier of research such as financial stability and macroprudential policies, in the context of DSGE models. This course is of particular interest for those who wish to work at a central bank or an international institution, or who want to do research on applied macroeconomics. Many students taking this course have afterwards used the methods and techniques acquired to write their MSc and PhD dissertations and have gone onto jobs and internships at institutions such as the ECB and other central banks.

Advanced Macroeconomic Methods is usually taught by Dr Margarita Rubio, who has taught this module at a Master and PhD levels at The University of Nottingham, the University of Konstanz, as well as in Central Banks on demand. She has collaborated in the building of DSGE models in several central banks and institutions (International Monetary Fund, Bank of Spain, Central Bank of Luxembourg, Central Bank of Costa Rica, Bank of Lithuania). She has also published several articles using a DSGE framework in highly ranked journals such as the Journal of Money Credit and Banking, Journal of International Money and Finance and Journal of Banking and Finance.

International Macroeconomics

The module will teach you the theoretical foundations of open-economy dynamic general equilibrium (DGE) models. We first discuss the key seminal contribution of Obstfeld and Rogoff (OR, 1995). In particular, we will carefully learn the roles of key features of their model such as monopolistic competition and nominal rigidities in the effects of monetary and fiscal policy in an international context. We then move on to discussing subsequent works in the literature, including Corsetti and Pesenti (2001), Betts and Devereux (BD, 2000), and Ganelli (2010), which are all closely related to the Obstfeld and Rogoff model. Even students who are not interested in open-economy aspects of macro models, will still develop strong intuition which can be applied to DGE models in general.

International Macroeconomics is usually taught by Dr Yoshi Morozumi, whose research interests are in macroeconomic and monetary theory. Specifically, he studies the role of credit market imperfections in business cycle dynamics. He has been an Assistant Professor in the School of Economics since 2009, and has also been a visiting scholar at the International Monetary Fund.

Advanced Microeconomic Theory

The aim of this module is to show you various important models taken from modern microeconomic theory. Topics covered include the economics of auctions, matching, voting, incentives and contracts. Although the treatment is theoretical, these topics have important practical applications, such as how to assign kidneys from donors to patients, how to make a decision as a group, and so on.

Advanced Microeconomic Theory is usually taught by Dr Mariá García-Vega. Dr García-Vega's research focuses on international economics, research and development, globalisation and the economics of innovation.

Behavioural Economic Theory

This module studies ways in which economic behaviour differs from that assumed in standard economic theory. Behavioural economic theory attempts to unify psychological and economic models of behaviour. This module looks at alternatives to expected utility theory, exponential discounting, and the standard models of forward-planning. Behavioural economic theory is relevant to a wide-range of economic decisions, and is still a relatively new and emerging field.

Behavioural Economic Theory is usually taught by Professor Robin Cubitt. Professor Cubitt is Professor of Economics and Decision Research. His research studies individual and interactive decision-making, using theoretical and experimental techniques. 

Experimental Methods in Economics

Experimental economics provides tools for observing human behaviour under controlled conditions. Using these tools, we can test theory, inform policy and measure behaviour. This module will show you how and why experiments are used in economics, how to design and analyse your own experiments and allow you to develop skills for critically assessing experimental designs and results. Part of the module assessment includes a project in which you design and run your own experiment.

Experimental Methods in Economics is usually taught by Professor Chris Starmer and Dr Elke Renner. Professor Starmer is Professor of Experimental Economics and the Director of the Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics (CeDEx) and Director of the ESRC Network for Integrated Behaviour Science (NIBS). His main research interests are in individual and strategic decision making, experimental economics and the methodology of economics, and has published widely in the leading economics and economic psychology journals. Dr Renner's research interests lie in the area of behavioural and experimental economics, game theory and organisation theory. Her work on the design of efficient economic organisations has focused on microfinance institutions and corruption behaviour. Current projects include cooperation problems and leadership. She has published in journals including Science, Journal of Public Economics, and Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization.

Monetary Theory and Practice

The aim of this module is to address the major developments in macroeconomics with an emphasis on monetary economics. The module covers the theory and practice of central banking and monetary transmission. Topics covered include: central bank policy; reputation; solutions to the inflation bias problem; targets for monetary policy; quantitative easing and ultra-low interest rates.

Monetary Theory and Practice is usually taught by Paul Mizen, Professor of Monetary Economics and Director of the Centre for Finance and Credit Markets. He has relevant experience for teaching this module from the Federal Reserve, Bank of England, Deutsche Bundesbank, the European Central Bank, the Bank for International Settlements and the International Monetary Fund. He has published six books and over 100 articles on monetary economics including the Economic Journal, European Economic Review, Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking, Journal of Banking and Finance, Oxford Economic Papers and Economics Letters.

Time Series Econometrics

This module examines fundamental properties of time-series and various classes of stochastic processes. It focuses on issues in estimation and forecasting of time series models and concepts of contemporary interest to time series econometricians. The module aims to provide students with a knowledge of the core techniques of econometric analysis, to develop the analytical skills required to demonstrate theoretical asymptotic properties of different econometric estimation and testing procedures under weakened modelling assumptions and to provide a proper understanding of the applicability and limitations of non-linear regression analysis.

Time Series Econometrics is usually taught by Professor Steve Leybourne. Professor Leybourne's research interests are in the area of time series econometrics, with particular focus on testing in time-varying parameter models, unit root tests, stationarity tests and cointegration tests. He has published a large number of articles in refereed journals. These include Biometrika, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Journal of Business and Economic Statistics, Journal of Econometrics, Econometric Theory and the Journal of Money, Credit and Banking.

Applied Microeconometrics

This module considers the estimation, testing and interpretation of a wide array of econometric models that help us to deal with the specific challenges encountered when using large micro data. A major emphasis will be on quantifying the causal relationship between two or more variables, using linear and nonlinear models. Complications arise because microeconometric analysis uses highly disaggregated micro data that tend to exhibit substantial heterogeneity, discreteness, censoring and non-random sample selection. The module will be of interest to students looking to investigate real life economic issues using micro data.

Applied Microeconometrics is usually taught by Professor Sourafel Girma, whose research covers the empirical analysis of the economic performance of firms and economies more generally. He has published widely in numerous international journals, including the Journal of International Economics, the Journal of Economic Behaviour and Organisation and the European Economic Review.

International Trade Theory

The key objective of this module is to describe the nature of trade, its causes and its effects on welfare. We will discuss the gains from trade and their measurement, different causal explanations for trade (comparative advantage from technological differences, comparative advantage from endowment differences, increasing returns to scale internal and external to the firm in the presence of firm heterogeneity), determinants of the pattern of trade, trade's effect on factor rewards. The emphasis in this section of the course is on explaining why countries trade and what are the effects of trade on wages, prices, and production patterns. Particular attention will be devoted to study the effects of globalization on unemployment, inequality, and growth.

International Trade Theory is usually taught by Dr Giamarrio Impulliti, whose research focuses on two major sreas. The first studies the effects of globalization on growth and on labour market outcomes, such as unemployment and income inequality. The second line of research zeros in on the role of innovation policy in promoting growth and development. He has published in top international journals such as the Journal of International Economics, International Economic Review, Journal of the European Economic Association, and the Review of Economics and Statistics.

Trade Analysis and Policy

This module has an empirical and applied focus, and aims to show how the tools of trade theory and trade policy analysis can: explain and model trade flows; test trade theories; investigate the effects of trade flows; measure and model trade policy interventions and understand the impacts of trade policies.

Trade Analysis and Policy is usually taught by Dr Alejandro Riaño and Dr Mariá García-Vega. Dr Riaño's research focuses on firm-level adjustment to globalisation and its aggregate implications. Currently he works on quantifying the impact of trade liberalisation on firm-level technology adoption and its implications for wage inequality, understanding how exporting affects firm-level sales volatility and exploring the labour market impact of offshoring in developing countries. Dr García-Vega's research focuses on international economics, research and development, globalisation and the economics of innovation.

Economics of Household Finance

The module covers the central issues in the economics of household finance. Household finance is the study of the behaviour of individuals and households in financial markets including those for secured (eg mortgages) and unsecured (eg credit cards) 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.

Economics of Household Finance is usually taught by Dr John Gathergood. Dr Gathergood's research considers many issues relating to personal finance, and has published in the Economic Journal, the Journal of the European Economic Association and the Journal of Banking and Finance.

Applied Behavioural Economics

Behavioural economics considers the ways in which the behaviour of real people differs systematically from the standard economic models of human behaviour. This module focuses on various applied aspects of behavioural economics, and includes topics such as consumer behaviour, the behaviour of organisations, behavioural development economics and behavioural environmental economics.

Applied Behavioural Economics is usually taught by Dr Abigail Barr and Dr Elke Renner. Dr Barr's research focuses on the socially embedded decision-maker. She has designed and implemented a variety of lab and lab-type experiments involving students in several countries, villagers in Zimbabwe, Colombia, Uganda, Nigeria, and Sri Lanka, private-sector waged workers and unemployed people in the UK, Chile, Peru, Ghana, South Africa, and Spain and health workers and teachers in Ethiopia, Uganda, and Albania. Four themes have dominated her work to date: the role of other-regarding preferences in individual decision-making; how people set up and hold each other to mutually beneficial agreements; citizens' willingness and ability to hold public service providers to account; and the factors and mechanisms determining individual preferences and values.

Dr Renner's research interests lie in the area of behavioural and experimental economics, game theory and organisation theory. Her work on the design of efficient economic organisations has focused on microfinance institutions and corruption behaviour. Current projects include cooperation problems and leadership. She has published in journals including Science, Journal of Public Economics, and Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization.

Development Policy Analysis

This module considers various policy issues for development. Topics covered include education policy, conducting randomised controlled trials, the effects of aid, trade costs and export barriers, migration and the "brain-drain". The aims of the module are to familiarise students with a range of techniques for development policy analysis; provide a review of analytical methods, policy and practice in important areas of economic policy in developing countries; provide experience in presenting economic policy analysis through interactive group seminars.

Development Policy Analysis is usually taught by Professor Oliver Morrissey, Professor Chris Milner and Professor Abigail Barr. All three have a wealth of experience of "hands-on" analysis of developing countries, including advising governments in Africa and the Caribbean.

Development Microeconomics

Development microeconomics considers vital issues such as absolute poverty, famine and malnutrition, preventable disease and wasted lives. There have been dramatic global changes which we will consider in this module, such as the rise of China and India and the marginalisation and (perhaps) recovery of African countries. We will consider various topics relating to development economics in this module, including risk and insurance, migration, population and fertility, poverty, health and nutrition.

Development Microeconomics is usually taught by Professor Oliver Morrissey. Oliver's research interests are in the economic analysis of aid, taxation and trade performance and policy, especially in Africa, and analysis of African household surveys. He joined Nottingham in 1989 and was promoted to his current position in 2004. He has published many articles in international journals, mostly on aid policy and effectiveness, trade policy reform, conditionality and adjustment, and supply response in agriculture.



The above is a sample of the typical modules that 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. Due to the passage of time between commencement of the course and subsequent years of the course, modules may change due to developments in the curriculum and information is provided for indicative purposes only.


Fees and funding

See information on how to fund your masters, including our step-by-step guide. Further information is available on the school website.

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 £50-60.

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

Government loans for masters courses

The Government offers postgraduate student loans for students studying a taught or research masters course. Applicants must ordinarily live in England or the EU. Student loans are also available for students from Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

International and EU students

Masters scholarships are available for international students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study. You must already have an offer to study at Nottingham to apply. Please note closing dates to ensure your course application is submitted in good time.

Information and advice on funding your degree, living costs and working while you study is available on our website, as well as country-specific resources.


Careers and professional development

After completing this course, you will be equipped with core skills and techniques for analytical work on financial markets. It is particularly relevant if you wish to pursue research at PhD level, providing an excellent stepping stone into a research career.

A masters in economics provides a logical and rigorous perspective on human behaviour which is valued by a wide-range of employers around the world, in banking, business, consulting, government and academia.

Former MSc students are spread around the globe, working in academia, government and the private sector. Economics graduate destinations include Barclays, Bloomberg, Deloitte, Economist Intelligence Unit, Goldman Sachs, IBM, PwC, and Thomson Reuters.

Employability and average starting salary

94.4% of postgraduates from the School of Economics who were available for employment secured work or further study within six months of graduation. £31,750 was the average starting salary, with the highest being £45,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career and professional development

Whether you are looking to enhance your career prospects or develop your knowledge, a postgraduate degree from the University of Nottingham can help take you where you want to be.

Our award-winning Careers and Employability Service offers specialist support and guidance while you study and for life after you graduate. They will help you explore and plan your next career move, through regular events, employer-led skills sessions, placement opportunities and one-to-one discussions.


This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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