Financial Economics (MSc)

This MSc Financial Economics will give you the tools and techniques you need to investigate important economic issues. It provides a thorough grounding in mathematical and econometric techniques, as well as microeconomics, and examines why financial markets are prone to crises, studying the details of past and present crises, and subsequent policy responses. 

You will learn how to express original academic ideas and to test them with the use of econometrics. The study of econometrics covers linear and dynamic linear regression models, a wide variety of hypothesis tests, and techniques for estimating systems of equations. Techniques are illustrated with economic examples, such as models with rational expectations, as well as consumption, production and money demand functions. 

Birkbeck's postgraduate finance courses are built around our long-running experience in research-led evening teaching. Many of our students work in the finance industry, which generates a lively atmosphere in class and ensures that you'll be studying alongside committed, enthusiastic students with a wealth of experience. You will be taught by active researchers, working at the cutting edge in their respective fields, who are also experienced professional practitioners, giving specialist advice and in-house training to government departments and banks and firms in the City of London. 

Birkbeck has an excellent reputation for the quality of our research and training in economics and finance, while employers recognise the high-quality training that our graduates have undertaken. We take students who are determined to succeed and are prepared to undergo the rigours of a first-class training, whether they are studying full-time or part-time. 

Highlights

  • This course provides high-quality training in economics and finance and will prepare you for a wide variety of careers in business, government and academia. 
  • The course will enable you to effectively tackle the real-world problems encountered in financial sector institutions, banks and regulatory institutions. 
  • We have an excellent reputation for the quality of our teaching and we provide training for employers including the Treasury and Bank of England. 
  • In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), more than half of our research outputs in Economics were ranked world-leading or internationally excellent. 

Course structure

Core modules reinforce economic and financial theory with practical application. They include preliminary courses in mathematical and statistical techniques, which take place in September and have to be passed in order to progress to the programme.

Option modules provide specialised modules with current themes. Option module availability varies across years.

Module groups

  • Entry Requirements

    Course specific entry requirements

    First- or second-class honours degree, or its equivalent, in either a directly relevant or a highly quantitative subject, or the Birkbeck Graduate Diploma in Economics or Graduate Diploma in Finance. We expect all of our MSc students to be competent with intermediate microeconomics and macroeconomics, multivariable calculus, linear algebra and statistics.

    Non-EU students are encouraged to submit GRE or GMAT results. In some cases, the admissions tutor may request these results in order to make a decision on your application. In that case, you should upload your score report to the online application system as if it were an additional transcript page.

    Demonstrable qualities, such as good time management and the ability to cope under pressure, are vital.

    Visa requirements

    If you are not from the European Economic Area (EEA) and/or Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa.

    The visa you apply for varies according to the length of your course:

    • Courses of more than six months' duration.
    • Courses of less than six months' duration.
    • Pre-sessional English language courses.

    International students who require a Tier 4 visa should apply for our full-time courses (with the exception of modular enrolment certificates of higher education and graduate certificates), as these qualify for Tier 4 sponsorship. If you are living in the UK on a Tier 4 visa, you will not be eligible to enrol as a student on Birkbeck's part-time courses (with the exception of some modules).

    For full information, read our visa information for international students page.

    Credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL)

    If you have studied at university previously, you may have accumulated credits through the modules you studied. It may be possible to transfer these credits from your previous study to Birkbeck or another institution. You should discuss this with the Programme Director when you are making your application.

    Find out more about credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL).

  • Fees

    Fees

    Part-time home/EU students: £6300 pa
    Full-time home/EU students: £12600 pa
    Part-time international students: £9200 pa
    Full-time international students: £18400 pa

    Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases. For more information, please see the College Fees Policy.

  • Teaching and assessment

    Teaching

    At Birkbeck, almost all of our courses are taught in the evening and our teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments. We actively encourage innovative and engaging ways of teaching, to ensure our students have the best learning experience. In the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the government’s system for rating university teaching, Birkbeck was allocated a Silver award.

    Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading. Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.

    Our distance-learning and blended-learning courses and modules are self-directed and we will provide you with interactive learning opportunities and encourage you to collaborate and engage via various learning technologies. These courses involve limited or no face-to-face contact between students and module tutors.

    In addition, you will have access to pastoral support via a named Personal Tutor.

    Methods of teaching on this course

    Through lectures and problem-solving classes. For the applied project and the independent dissertation, you will receive tutorial guidance from a faculty member.

    Contact hours

    On our taught courses, you will have scheduled teaching and study sessions each year. Alongside this, you will also undertake assessment activities and independent learning outside of class. Depending on the modules you take, you may also have additional scheduled academic activities, such as tutorials, dissertation supervision, practical classes, visits and fieldtrips.

    On our taught courses, the actual amount of time you spend in the classroom and in contact with your lecturers will depend on your course, the option modules you select and when you undertake your final-year project.

    On our distance-learning and blended-learning courses, discussion, collaboration and interaction with your lecturers and fellow students are encouraged and enabled through various learning technologies, but you may have limited or no face-to-face contact with your module tutors.

    Timetables

    Timetables are usually available from September onwards and you can access your personalised timetable via your My Birkbeck Profile online (if you have been invited to enrol).

    Indicative class size

    Class sizes vary, depending on your course, the module you are undertaking, and the method of teaching. For example, lectures are presented to larger groups, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups led by a tutor.

    Independent learning

    On our taught courses, much of your time outside of class will be spent on self-directed, independent learning, including preparing for classes and following up afterwards. This will usually include, but is not limited to, reading books and journal articles, undertaking research, working on coursework and assignments, and preparing for presentations and assessments.

    Independent learning is absolutely vital to your success as a student. Everyone is different, and the study time required varies topic by topic, but, as a guide, expect to schedule up to five hours of self-study for each hour of teaching.

    On our distance-learning and blended-learning courses, the emphasis is very much on independent, self-directed learning and you will be expected to manage your own learning, with the support of your module tutors and various learning technologies.

    Study skills and additional support

    Birkbeck offers study and learning support to undergraduate and postgraduate students to help them succeed. Our Learning Development Service can help you in the following areas:

    • academic skills (including planning your workload, research, writing, exam preparation and writing a dissertation)
    • written English (including structure, punctuation and grammar)
    • numerical skills (basic mathematics and statistics).

    Our Disability and Dyslexia Service can support you if you have additional learning needs resulting from a disability or from dyslexia.

    Our Counselling Service can support you if you are struggling with emotional or psychological difficulties during your studies.

    Our Mental Health Advisory Service can support you if you are experiencing short- or long-term mental health difficulties during your studies.

    Assessment

    Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations, although this will vary from course to course - on some of our courses, assessment is entirely by coursework. The methods of assessment on this course are specified below under 'Methods of assessment on this course'. You will need to allow time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.

    Where a course has unseen written examinations, these may be held termly, but, on the majority of our courses, exams are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June. Exams may be held at other times of the year as well. In most cases, exams are held during the day on a weekday - if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance - but some exams are held in the evening. Exam timetables are published online.

    Find out more about assessment at Birkbeck, including guidance on assessment, feedback and our assessment offences policy.

    Methods of assessment on this course

    Through June examination and coursework, including an econometrics project and a dissertation.

  • Careers and employability

    Careers and employability

    Graduates can pursue a career in banking and finance, the public sector, industry, and research and analysis. Possible professions include financial risk analyst, economist, researcher, or purchasing manager. This degree can also be useful in becoming a management consultant or actuary. 

    We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application.

    Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form.

    Application deadlines and interviews

    You should apply as early as possible. We need to receive your supporting documents, ie your transcript, before we can proceed with your application.