MSc Quantitative Financial Economics

“The practical nature of the courses, where theoretical models were discussed and evaluated using real-life industrial examples, was superb preparation for using economics in the real world.”

In their words

Shaun Day, Economics Graduate

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Key facts

(REF 2014)

Become an expert in the economics of quantitative financial economics with an emphasis on financial markets and asset pricing models. Develop a range of transferable skills that will help prepare you for a career in a wide range of financial professions.

Our MSc in Quantitative Financial Economics gives you general training in economics, while specialising in the area of quantitative finance. It’ll also give you a firm grasp of some of the methods, models and techniques used by firms in the financial services sector and beyond.

You do not need to have previously studied economics before taking this course – yet you’ll graduate ready to make your mark in finance, with potential roles including financial or market analyst.

Overview

MSc Quantitative Financial Economics is part of our Applied Training Programme, which is designed to provide key skills in economics. It’s ideal if you’re a graduate without an economics background, yet wish to develop the analytical skills of an economist. It’s also suitable if you’re an economics graduate and wish to develop specialist expertise in this area without committing to full research training.

The core of your course consists of compulsory modules including Economic Concepts and Financial Econometrics. Alongside this you’ll study international finance and topics such as theories of exchange rate determination. You’ll also explore how financial markets work, with a technical module involving the study of financial models that can explain equilibrium asset prices and the term structure of interest rates.

You’ll discover the area of risk management and trading, with a module that includes an introduction to techniques designed to measure market and credit risk. You’ll also gain an insight into how trader behaviour contributes to bubbles and crashes.

Towards the end of your 12 months with us, you’ll write a dissertation on an area that most interests you in this field, which will be supervised by a member of the School of Economics.

We also offer additional support to help you get the most from your Master’s. This includes an optional, intensive pre-sessional course in the fortnight before your programme begins in September. This courseincorporates an introduction to the specialist econometric software that you’ll use in your MSc programme. While not compulsory, we strongly recommend you take advantage of this fantastic opportunity.

Course Structure

The MSc Quantitative Financial Economics is a one-year course. In each semester you’ll take three modules, followed by writing your dissertation in the period between June and August.

In your autumn semester you’ll take Economic Concepts, Financial Econometrics and Financial Markets. In spring you’ll take International Finance, Risk Management and Trading, and your choice of Applied Econometrics, Financial Mathematics, Money and Banking, and Environmental and Natural Resource Economics.

Although you’ll write your dissertation between June and August, you’ll begin your dissertation module with a sequence of dissertation training lectures and workshops in spring. Here you’ll discover how to choose a topic, how to access data and search literature, how to reference, and how to analyse quantitative data.

You’ll be able to take advantage of further dissertation training workshops in late June and early July. These will be held in computer labs, with the objective of providing the types of econometric skills often required in dissertation work.

Teaching and Learning

UEA’s School of Economics is lively, friendly, research orientated and committed to excellence in teaching. We’ve an international reputation in many key areas, including theoretical and applied economics. Our research interests include behavioural and experimental economics, competition economics, environmental policy, conflict, contests and corporate behaviour, finance and financial markets.

Teaching of each of your modules will be spread over two semesters. In a typical module, you’ll have two hours of lectures and one hour of seminars per week. Your seminars are more interactive than lectures and provide you with an opportunity to raise questions arising from lectures.

In your econometric modules, your seminars will take place in computer labs, where you’ll learn how to conduct econometric analysis using specialist econometric software.

You will also become practiced in independent study, spending time working on coursework assignments, preparing for seminars, and doing your own wider reading.

Assessment

Your modules will typically be assessed by a combination of coursework and examinations. Your exams will be two hours long and will take place during the summer assessment period.

Your coursework will be in a variety of forms – including take-home assignments, seminar presentations, written tests, computer tests and your dissertation (which you’ll submit at the end of August).

Throughout your course you’ll be given guidance on your work and constructive feedback to help you improve. You’ll receive written feedback for all pieces of coursework and further guidance will be available from your module’s organisers.

If you have additional needs due to disabilities such as sensory impairment or learning difficulties such as dyslexia please talk to our Student Support Service about how we can help.

After the course

Upon completing this MSc you can pursue a variety of careers in a wide range of financial professions, including the roles of financial or market analyst.

Past graduates from the School of Economics have gone on to work for HM Treasury, the Home Office, Bank of England, Aviva, Barclays, M+A Partners, BDO, Deloitte, Ernst and Young, Goldman Sachs, Grant Thornton, HSBC, JP Morgan, KPMG, Lloyds, PwC and Santander amongst others.

Career destinations

HM Treasury

Bank of England

Deloitte

Ernst and Young

Goldman Sachs

PwC

Course related costs

Please see Additional Course Fees for details of additional course-related costs.

Course Modules 2019/0

Students must study the following modules for 160 credits:

Name Code Credits

ECONOMIC CONCEPTS

Introducing micro and macro economic analysis, this module will familiarise you with a wide range of economic tools which can be applied to issues relating to your Applied Training Programme. It covers, in particular, consumer and producer choice, market equilibrium, market structure, externalities and public goods, the macroeconomics of inflation, unemployment and growth and macroeconomic policy.

ECO-7011A

20

ECONOMICS DISSERTATION (60 CREDITS)

Economics Dissertation is the "icing on the cake" of an Economics MSc. It is a module that brings together the skills that you have learnt throughout your degree programme and applies these skills to study a particular topic of your interest. This module gives you an opportunity to spend a period of 2 or 3 months working exclusively on a topic of your own choice, at your own pace, with guidance from a supervisor. The module commences with a sequence of "dissertation training" lectures during the Spring Semester, including such themes as choosing a topic, accessing data, searching the literature, referencing, and qualitative data analysis. There are further dissertation training lectures during late June and early July, held in computer labs, with the objective of providing the types of econometric skills often required in dissertation research. The Econometric software STATA is used, the same as used in taught modules in Econometrics. At the end of the Spring semester, you will submit a research proposal stating the research question you would like to address and proposing a suitable methodology. You can also select to work on a dissertation topic either with a business, charity or other organisation. In all cases, it is your responsibility to come up with a research proposal although you are encouraged to speak with instructors and the PG Course Director for advice and guidance. On the basis of your proposal, a suitable supervisor will be allocated to you. At least three meetings with the supervisor should take place between May - July. The total contact time over these meetings should be at least three hours. At the first meeting, the research proposal is discussed. By the time of the third and final meeting, you should ideally have supplied a first draft of the dissertation for your supervisor to provide feedback on. The deadline for the dissertation is at the end of August and the word limit for dissertations is either 8,000 or 12,000, depending on which MSc you are taking. If you want to work on a dissertation topic with a business, charity or other organisation you must get your dissertation topic pre-approved by the PG Course Director.

ECO-7023X

60

FINANCIAL ECONOMETRICS

Are you interested in working with financial data? Would you like to be able to forecast future movements of stock prices or test the efficiency of financial markets? If so, this module will introduce to you the empirical techniques you need to satisfy these interests. The module is divided into two parts. The first part covers basic econometric techniques. You will be shown how to estimate a regression model in a variety of contexts, interpret your findings, and test the relationships between variables. As you progress, you'll learn how to identify problems with the models (such as multicollinearity and heteroscedasticity) and how to address these problems. In lectures you will learn about the techniques; in seminars you will apply these techniques to a variety of economic problems and estimate models with real data. In the second part of the module, you will apply the techniques learnt in the first part to problems in financial economics. These applications include estimation of the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM), testing the Efficient Markets Hypothesis (EMH), and using stock price data to in the valuation of options. Throughout the module, seminars take place in computer labs and you will gain skills in analysing data using the widely used econometric computer package STATA. By the end of the module, you will be able to estimate appropriate regression models, identify problems which may arise and know how to address them. In particular you will know how to apply these methods in financial contexts. In addition, you will be able use STATA and you will be have acquired a range of skills that are currently highly marketable in the financial industry.

ECO-7009A

20

FINANCIAL MARKETS

This module explores modern portfolio theory and asset pricing, behavioural finance, and the efficient markets hypothesis. You'll examine modern equilibrium asset pricing models, which in turn build upon the concepts of portfolio theory. You'll be introduced to the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) and discuss approximations and extensions, including the Single Index model and various factor models such as the recent Fama-French (2015) 5-factor model. Key concepts will be illustrated through lectures and seminars, using numerous real-world examples in Excel.

ECO-7012A

20

INTERNATIONAL FINANCE

Are foreign exchange rates predictable? How can a firm hedge foreign exchange risk? What effect do interest rates have on currency values? Why are exchange rates so volatile? Are exchange rates based on macroeconomic fundamentals, or determined by speculative activity? These are the types of questions you will explore on this module. International Finance lies at the intersection of finance and macroeconomics. You'll begin by learning the general finance tools of option pricing and risk management, before focusing on how to apply these tools to look, in particular, at exchange rates. This will involve understanding the structure of the foreign exchange market, examining theories of exchange rate determination, and looking at the foreign exchange futures and options markets. You'll learn through a mixture of lectures, which have regular intervals for team or individual work, as well as seminars and self-study. Assessment comprises of technical and essay questions. These questions will be set during a class test (20%), as part of an essay (20%) and during a summer exam (60%). By the end of the module you'll be equipped for further study in financial economics or a career in the finance industry, particularly in roles related to foreign exchange.

ECO-7015B

20

RISK MANAGEMENT AND TRADING

This first part of this module introduces concepts such as risk and volatility in financial markets. With the aid of the econometric computer package STATA, you'll estimate and test theoretical models using real data. You'll also learn how to calculate risk using daily and high-frequency data. The second part introduces algorithmic trading using Excel VBA, and will see you exploring the techniques used by traders to test the validity of their trading strategies.

ECO-7017B

20

Students will select 20 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

APPLIED ECONOMETRICS

This module builds on econometrics material covered in earlier modules and is divided into two parts: 1) Time series methods (including ARIMA modelling, stationarity testing, ARCH/GARCH models, Volatility Spillover, VARs , Cointegration and VECMs) 2) Microeconometrics (including panel data methods, and models for binary response variables) There is an emphasis on the practical application of common estimation techniques, with the specialist econometric software package Stata used extensively.

ECO-7001B

20

ENVIRONMENTAL AND NATURAL RESOURCE ECONOMICS

Gain a thorough grounding in the key issues in environmental and resource economics. This module provides an overview of the economic and econometric principles that serve as pivotal tools in ensuring that natural resources are sustainably valued and managed in a global economic environment. The applied nature of the module is complemented by technical papers that form the subject of the discussions in seminar sessions. Open to postgraduate students enrolled on both ATP and APP programmes, this module will enhance the econometric principles taught in the Autumn Semester by applying analytical and statistical methods to the field of environmental economics so as to emphasise the empirical relevance of these theories.

ECO-7020B

20

FINANCIAL MATHEMATICS

This technical finance module is suited to students who wish to pursue a career in the financial sector. The focus is on valuation and risk analysis of financial products, and the module is highly analytical, with weekly exercise sessions in computer labs. Topics covered include: continuous-time stochastic processes, stochastic models for security prices, bonds, term structure of interest rates, futures and forwards, options, swaps, hedging and credit risk.

ECO-7013B

20

MONEY AND BANKING

In this module you'll focus on the microeconomics of money and banking, building on topics covered in autumn modules Banking Econometrics, Financial Markets, and Economic Concepts. Gaining an overview of the global financial system, with an emphasis on the UK and some European experiences and markets, you'll explore the structure and workings of the financial system and the organisation and regulation of the banking sector. There are three main components of the module: (i) Examine the role of financial markets, institutions and instruments in the economy, including the determination of interest rates and asset prices. (ii) Examine the development of banks, and bank-like institutions, including an analysis of the 'Shadow Banking System' and innovation in financial instruments. (iii) Finally, examine the role of the Central Bank in regulation, supervision and prudential management of the financial architecture. Other issues you'll cover include: important models in financial development; issues in financial deregulation; modelling bank runs; exploring systemic risk, financial crisis and contagion; and aspects of financial market efficiency.

ECO-7018B

20

Disclaimer

Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

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Entry Requirements

  • Degree Subject Any Subject
  • Degree Classification 2.2 or equivalent

Entry Requirement

Applicants should normally have a good undergraduate degree from a recognised higher education institution. The University will also take into account the employment experience of applicants where relevant.

It is normal for undergraduate students to apply for entry to postgraduate programmes in their final year of study. Applicants who have not yet been awarded a degree may be offered a place conditional on them attaining a particular class of degree.

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students whose first language is not English. To ensure such students benefit from postgraduate study, we require evidence of proficiency in English. Our usual entry requirements are as follows:

  • IELTS: 6.5 (minimum 6.0 in all components)
  • PTE (Pearson): 58 (minimum 50 in all components)

Test dates should be within two years of the course start date.

Other tests, including Cambridge English exams and the Trinity Integrated Skills in English are also accepted by the university. The full list of accepted tests can be found here: Accepted English Language Tests

INTO UEA run pre-sessional courses which can be taken prior to the start of your course. For further information and to see if you qualify please contact intopre-sessional@uea.ac.uk (INTO UEA Norwich)

Fees and Funding

Tuition fees for the academic year 2019/20 are:

  • UK/EU Students: £7,915 (full time)
  • International Students: £16,300 (full time)

If you choose to study part-time, the fee per annum will be half the annual fee for that year, or a pro-rata fee for the module credit you are taking (only available for Home/EU students).

Fees listed are inclusive of the optional 2-week pre-sessional Mathematics and Statistics for Economists course.

 

We estimate living expenses at £1,015 per month.

Scholarships and Funding

A variety of Scholarships may be offered to UK/EU and International students. Scholarships are normally awarded to students on the basis of academic merit and are usually for the duration of the period of study. Please click here for more detailed information about funding for prospective Economics students.

How to Apply

Applications for Postgraduate Taught programmes at the University of East Anglia should be made directly to the University.

You can apply online, or by downloading the application form.

Further Information

To request further information & to be kept up to date with news & events please use our online enquiry form.

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying please do contact us:

Postgraduate Admissions Office

Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515
Email: admissions@uea.ac.uk

International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.

    Next Steps

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries:
    admissions@uea.ac.uk or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515