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 2021
Location Penrhyn Road

2020/21 entry

If you are planning to join this course in the academic year 2020/21 (i.e. between August 2020 and July 2021), please view the information about changes to courses for 2020/21 due to Covid-19.

 

Continuing students

Students who are continuing their studies with Kingston University in 2020/21 should refer to their Course Handbook for information about specific changes that have been, or may be, made to their course or modules being delivered in 2020/21. Course Handbooks are located within the Canvas Course page.

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 no element below 5.5. 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 one 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 2021/22

  • MA full time £8,390
  • MA part time £4,615

International 2021/22

  • MA full time £14,900
  • MA part time £8,195

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

International Economics Scholarship 2021

International applicants to MA Development and International Economics, MA Financial Economics and MA International Politics and Economics are eligible to be considered for an ‘International Economics Excellence Scholarship' up to the value of £1,500. The scholarship is a merit-based award, recognising and rewarding applicants who achieved overall curricular and co-curricular excellence before joining Kingston University. International applicants (i.e. overseas fee-paying category applicants) who meet the entry requirements for the three courses above will automatically be eligible for this scholarship. Applicants for the scholarship will be selected based on their full application, including their written statement and references included in the application. There are up to 20 scholarships available for each course listed above. The scholarship will be paid as an adjustment to fees and will be adjusted in the last instalment of the fees paid.

For further information or to check your eligibility, please contact the Head of the Department of Economics, Dr Homagni Choudhury.

Changes to courses for 2020/21 due to Covid-19

Changes detailed here are for students joining this course in the academic year 2020/21 (i.e. between August 2020 and July 2021).

Course information (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Composition of the course

We do not anticipate making any changes to the composition of the course, i.e. the number of modules or credits in a year for part-time postgraduate courses, as a result of the pandemic.

In order to safeguard our students' health and safety and to minimise the risk of disruption to their studies, the University has postponed all Study Abroad programmes for outgoing students in the first teaching block of 2020/21 (from September 2020 to December 2020). The University will review this decision before the second teaching block and will take into account relevant government advice at that time.

Changes can be made to courses as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and to provide a high quality student experience. Any such changes made to the composition of the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Modules

The module Macroeconomic Theory and Policy is to be replaced from September 2020 with new module Macroeconomic and Microeconomic Theory and Policy. This change enables students to develop microeconomic tools that can assist in understanding modern and behavioural approaches to finance.

We do not anticipate making any changes to module titles and summaries or to the availability of modules as a result of the pandemic.

Changes can be made to modules as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and to provide a high quality student experience. Any such changes made to module titles and/or availability of modules will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Length of course

We expect to deliver the course within the planned timescales to enable successful students to progress through and graduate from the course without delay.

In exceptional circumstances the sequence of learning and teaching activities may be changed, e.g. re-sequencing those modules that can be delivered more effectively under the current restrictions with those which would be more difficult to deliver, such as practical modules and placements.

Entry requirements (changes for 2020/21 entry)

We have not changed entry requirements as a result of the pandemic. However, the range of accepted alternatives have increased as has the way in which we select students, which now includes virtual interviews and online portfolios.

Entry requirements for international students

We have not changed entry requirements for international students as a result of the pandemic. However, in response to the pandemic, we now accept a much broader list of English language exams for entry to the course; the level of these exams remain the same.

Teaching (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Changes to the way the course will be delivered

Due to the current pandemic the course's teaching and learning activities will be delivered through both online and on-campus methods (blended learning) in 2020/21. In order to provide all students with a comparable on-campus experience, the University has committed to ensuring that all courses provide at least 30% of their teaching and learning activities on-campus.

While physical distancing measures remain in place, you will receive your learning and teaching via a blend of on-campus and on-line activities. Should your circumstances prevent your attendance at on-campus sessions, you will still be able to engage with your course in a way that allows you to progress. Where this is not possible, support will be available to consider what options are open to you.

Changes to teaching in the event of a further lockdown or adjustments in government advice

The University will continue to closely monitor government announcements and advice in relation to the current pandemic and, where required, will take any necessary action in order to comply with such advice.

In the event that a further lockdown is enforced the University will aim to deliver the course fully online. This may require some additional changes being made to planned teaching and learning activities, including assessments. The majority of our courses are prepared to be delivered fully online if the situation requires it. Where the quality of the student experience may be compromised significantly, or the course is unable to be delivered fully online, the University may need to suspend the delivery of that course until a time that it can be delivered appropriately. Students will be supported in these situations to ensure they are able to make the right choices for their particular circumstances.

In the event that the current social distancing restrictions are fully lifted and the University is able to resume normal delivery of teaching and learning activities, courses will assess whether it is in the students' interest to resume normal delivery. In some cases it may be better to continue and complete modules under the planned blended delivery mode.

Changes to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours for Year 1

Changes to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours will not be made as a result of the pandemic. However, it is possible that some adjustments might be made at module level, e.g. a few more scheduled activities, in order to help ensure student engagement with blended learning.

Any changes made to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours for the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

'Scheduled teaching' includes teaching that is online either live or recorded / on demand.

Timetable

Your individualised timetable for teaching block 1 (i.e. from September 2020 to December 2020) should be available by the end of August 2020. Timetables for teaching block 2 (i.e. from January 2021) will not be available until the autumn. Whilst we make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9am and 9pm. To accommodate smaller group sizes and social distancing, we will need to maximise the time available for teaching. This means, we may have to use Wednesday afternoons and enrichment week for additional teaching slots. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.

Assessment (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Changes can be made to modules, including how they are assessed, as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our modules up to date with current developments in that subject area. Due to the current restrictions in place, i.e. social distancing, it is anticipated that many formal on-campus examinations, including practical examinations, will be replaced with alternative assessments which can be completed online. These changes will be considered and approved through the University's processes to ensure that student assessments will be able to demonstrate they have achieved the expected learning outcomes. The approval process will also assess whether the change impacts the status of any professional body accreditation the course benefits from.

Any changes to the overall methods of assessment for the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Staff (changes for 2020/21 entry)

No changes are expected to the general level of experience or status of staff involved in delivering the course.

As a result of the social distancing restrictions in place, on-campus teaching activities may need to be split into smaller groups which may require the support of teaching assistants and student mentors, who will be managed by experienced staff.

Fees, funding and additional costs (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Tuition fees

There will be no changes to published tuition fees for 2020/21.

Additional costs (e.g. field trips, materials, equipment, etc.)

As a result of the blended delivery of courses in 2020/21, where a significant proportion of the teaching will be done online, students will need a personal laptop or computer and access to the internet to participate in online teaching and learning activities. Students who are able to travel will have access to computers on campus, however, it should be noted that access to on-campus facilities will be restricted due to social distancing requirements.

The University is considering how best to provide support to students who do not have access to suitable hardware and software requirements and access to the internet. Identifying students who require this type of support is an important milestone for the University in our journey to ensure equity of access while we continue to deliver our blended approach. Information about the support that will be available will be provided to students during the induction period.

Funding

There will be no changes to any existing University funding arrangements for 2020/21. Currently there are no indications from the UK government that there will be any changes to government funding arrangements.

Fees and funding for international students

There will be no changes to published tuition fees or funding arrangements specifically relating to international students for 2020/21.

Work placements and field trips (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Placements (including work and clinical placements) and field trips included as part of the course will go ahead as planned. However, to ensure students are able to gain maximum value from these activities, it may be necessary to reschedule them to later in the year when current restrictions have been lifted. We acknowledge that this year it may be more difficult for students to secure appropriate placements. In those situations, students will be guided and supported through the various options that will be available to them, including switching courses or interrupting their studies until a time when they can complete their placement.

Any proposed changes to placements or field trips would go through University's agreed processes where the impact of the change will be carefully considered. Students will be advised of any changes that may become necessary and appropriate support will be available to students to guide them through the various options that may be available to them.

In the interest of the health and wellbeing of our students, the University will ensure that appropriate risk assessments are made before students are sent on a placement.

Courses which require placements or field trips to be completed in order to pass relevant modules will have contingency plans in place in the event that a placement or field trip cannot be completed due to another lockdown or more stringent social distancing measures.

Voluntary placements or field trips may be rescheduled, or, as a last resort, cancelled if it becomes difficult to deliver them and doing so is in the interest of the health and safety of our staff and students.

Award, qualification and accreditation (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Qualification

No changes will be made to the qualification awarded, e.g. MSc, as a result of the pandemic.

Changes can be made to courses, including the qualification awarded (although very rare), as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area. Any changes made to the qualification awarded for the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Additional (changes for 2020/21 entry)

International students

International students should maintain awareness of the UK government's and their home country's government advice on possible travel restrictions. The University will closely monitor advice and guidance published by the UK government and assess its impact on our international students. Appropriate advice and guidance will be provided as and when required.

Students who are unable to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities

The University will ensure students who are unable to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities are able to effectively engage with their studies remotely. For certain courses an inability to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities may not be in the students best interest, as it may impede their chances of succeeding in the course or lead to them receiving a poor learning experience. In such cases students will be advised and guided through the various options available to them, such as deferring their studies until they can engage fully with the course.