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  • Financial Economics MA

Financial Economics MA

Why choose this course?

This MA will enable you to have a sound understanding of the functions, institutions and instruments of finance, and to know how and why financial systems differ. Taking a pluralist theoretical approach, the MA provides an in-depth study of how finance affects the broader economy, and how the behaviour of firms, households and governments are adapting as the financial sector evolves through processes of innovation and growth. Drawing at all times on empirical data - from flow of funds at the macro level down to balance sheet analysis at the micro level of the firm - you will develop the key analytical skills necessary for carrying out research in contemporary issues in financial economics.

This course offers a good preparation for work in a range of public and private institutions that require a real knowledge of finance and its effect on the broader, contemporary economy. The microeconomic skills you'll develop can be used in roles that undertake company valuation such as private banks or pension funds. The macro focus lends itself to risk management in financial institutions, or in domestic and international regulatory agencies, as well as any organisation looking at the link between finance and development such as development banks.

Like all economics postgraduates, you will be very well placed to gain roles in the Government Economic Service, in economic consultancy or policy positions in think-tanks and non-governmental organisations, but you will have an additional edge with your critical knowledge of finance.

Mode Duration Start date
Full time 1 year September 2020
Part time 2 years September 2020
Location Penrhyn Road

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • Our MA is good preparation for work with a range of public and private institutions concerned with issues surrounding financial economics.
  • Kingston's pluralist staff actively research issues such as macroeconomic instability, employment policy, financial regulation, and issues surrounding government intervention.
  • Kingston is involved in research projects for international economic organisations and think tanks. There are links with the heterodox economics community in the UK and beyond.
  • At Kingston you will be part of the postgraduate economics community across the London universities, with opportunities to attend seminars and present work.

What you will study

You will study core aspects of macro- and microeconomic theories, taking a pluralist approach, and develop an understanding of the long-term historical and conceptual context of contemporary issues and debates. Consequently, you will master a range of economic analysis, key analytical skills and empirical background necessary to participate in discussions on financial economic issues.

You will work individually with a member of staff to choose a topic for your dissertation, research this topic and write up your conclusions. Your topic will be a contemporary issue relating to financial economics. You will work on your dissertation with a member of the Economics department who specialises in and pursues research in the field of financial economics.

Modules

Core modules

Economic Change and Ideas

30 credits

This module develops an historical and analytical narrative of the transformation of economic life from the rise of capitalism and the first and second industrial revolutions to the emergence of the present day globalised and financialised world; it also presents parallel developments in the history of economic ideas. It gives you an opportunity to view the history of the last half millennium through the prism of industrial revolutions and economic crises and examines how, and how well, contemporaneous thinkers such as Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Alfred Marshall and John Maynard Keynes dealt with these dramatic transformations in material life.

Macroeconomic Theory and Policy

30 credits

This module introduces you to macroeconomic theory and policy at an advanced level. The module first deals with the fundamental issues of demand, growth, unemployment and inflation in the context of classical and Keynesian approaches to understanding aggregate economic behaviour. The module then discusses selected issues in current economic policy and illustrates how different economic theories approach these issues, how economic models are applied to current problems and how different theories lend themselves to different policy conclusions. The topics covered will differ each semester but may well include issues such as unemployment, financial stability and the causes and effects of changes in income distribution.

Financial Economics

30 credits

This module provides you with an understanding of the role of finance in the contemporary economic landscape, covering the central topics in modern, behavioural and critical financial theory. It explores the nature and the causes of modern financial innovation and the way it affects economic agents. It discusses proper policy responses and regulation that might tame financial instability and enhance economic growth. The breadth of student knowledge is expanded by consideration of empirical instances of the phenomena under investigation.

Applied Econometrics and Methods

30 credits

This first part of the module introduces a range of econometric methods from the perspective of their usefulness in refining and applying economic theory in the context of substantive economic problems. The module aims to develop your ability both to understand the analytical basis of these methods and to put them into practice in the context of empirical verification and economic policy decisions.

The second part of the module microeconomic analysis explores the theory of consumer and producer behaviour. It introduces game theory as an important framework for contemporary economic analysis. You will learn to manipulate theoretical models of microeconomic behaviour and apply them to the analysis of policy issues.

Economics Dissertation

60 credits

Each student completes a separate individual research project under the supervision of a member of staff. You may propose a title of their own or choose one in agreement with a member of staff. The main purpose of the project is to enable you to demonstrate knowledge of how economic ideas can be applied in greater length and depth than is feasible in the context of a taught course. Upon completion of the individual research project you will have designed and implemented a research project in applied or theoretical economics, normally including a critical literature survey and the evaluation of evidence (as appropriate to the project title). A workshop and supervisory meetings are provided to help you in their choice of title and to ensure progression of research.

EC 7011 provides opportunities for you to develop academic and professional working skills. The module contributes to key professional working and employability skills eg. working to deadlines; originality; writing coherently and analytically.

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

After you graduate

Whilst studying this Financial Economics MA, you'll be taught a range of skills to enhance your employability. All students completing the programme will emerge with a sound understanding of the underlying analytical principles and research techniques used in financial economics, as well as the ability to write in a clear and coherent manner about the issues involved. The dissertation evidences the ability to produce an extended piece of research in this field, integrating and demonstrating mastery of this range of skills.

You will be equipped with the required knowledge and skills, and will be seen to be attractive to a range of employers involved in, or dealing with financial issues in both the public and private sector, including governmental and nongovernmental research organisations concerned with finance, financial institutions and industrial firms, government regulatory bodies and academic institutions; it also prepares individuals to act independently as specialists on financial affairs.

If you are already working in finance, the programme will provide you with a mixture of analytical insight and relevant skills that will enable you to enhance your existing career paths. If you would like to proceed onto further study and research, the programme lays the foundations for the continuation of study on an academic career track.

Entry requirements

Typical offer

One or more of the following:

  • successful completion of a certified programme of study in an area appropriate to the content of the degree (normally a good second-class honours undergraduate degree or its equivalent, including, where appropriate, quantitative methods having been studied to an appropriate standard); strong academic performance in other disciplines will be considered on a case-by-case basis;
  • relevant non-certificated learning; and
  • an appropriate combination of certificated and non-certificated learning.

International

Please note: most students from countries outside the European Union/European Economic Area and classified as overseas fee paying, are not eligible to apply for part-time courses due to UK student visa regulations. For information on exceptions please visit the UKCISA website or email our CAS and Visa Compliance team.

All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirement, which is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall with 7.0 in writing and 5.5 in all other elements. Make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we consider.

Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements could be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.

Applicants from a recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.

Teaching and assessment

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Support for postgraduate students

As a student at Kingston University, we will make sure you have access to appropriate advice regarding your academic development. You will also be able to use the University's support services

Your workload

12% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity.

Type of teaching and learning

Type of teaching and learning
  • Guided independent study: 1592 hours
  • Scheduled teaching and learning: 208 hours

Contact hours may vary depending on your modules.

How you will be assessed

Assessment typically comprises exams (eg test or exam), practical (eg presentations, performance) and coursework (eg essays, reports, self-assessment, portfolios, dissertation). The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course is as follows, though depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose:

Type of assessment

Type of assessment
  • Coursework: 76%
  • Practical: 16%
  • Exam: 8%

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Your timetables

Each student receives a personalised timetable. This is usually available after you have completed your online enrolment, which is typically accessible 1 month before the start of your course.

Class sizes

You will be part of an intimate cohort of students which supports dedicated academic guidance and advice and the opportunity to build a life-long network of colleagues. Some modules are common across other postgraduate programmes therefore you will be taught alongside students who are on these courses within the School.

Fees for this course

Home and European Union 2020/21

  • MA full time £8,190
  • MA part time £4,504

Overseas (not EU) 2020/21

  • MA full time £14,500
  • MA part time £7,975
Postgraduate study
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