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MSc Computational Economics, Financial Markets and Policy

Why we're great

  • Uncover a revolutionary way to address the issues in macroeconomics and financial regulation
  • Complement your work with a multi-agent computational and simulation modelling approach
  • Enjoy laboratory-based instruction to build a range of agent-based models

Course options2017-18

Duration: 1 year
Start month: October
Location: Colchester Campus
Based in: Economics
Fee (Home/EU): £10,200
Fee (International): £15,950
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
PGT fees information

Course enquiries

Telephone 01206 872719
Email pgadmit@essex.ac.uk

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About the course

The financial crisis and global recession have triggered a search for new perspectives in economics training that can deal with the challenges posed by highly interconnected and globalised financial and industrial organisations. Our course provides a revolutionary way to address the many issues raised in macroeconomics and financial regulation.

By using a multi-agent computational and simulation modelling approach to complement your work in statistics and econometrics, you investigate a wide array of economic phenomena that can also aid in policy design. You will be given laboratory based instruction to build a range of agent based models that include systemic risk analysis with financial networks and market micro-structure of stock markets.

We are top 5 in the UK for research, with over 90% rated as “world-leading” or “internationally excellent”. Much of this world-class research is related to policy, and we have particular strengths in the areas of:

  • Game theory and strategic interactions
  • Theoretical and applied econometrics
  • Labour economics

The quality of our work is reflected in our stream of publications in high-profile academic journals, including American Economic Review, Econometrica, and Review of Economic Studies.

Professional accreditation

Our University is one of only 21 ESRC-accredited Doctoral Training Centres in the UK.

This means that our course can form part of a prestigious 1+3 funding opportunity worth up to £21,575.

Our expert staff

Study and work alongside some of the most prominent economists of our time.

Our researchers are at the forefront of their field and have even received MBEs, with students coming from across the globe to study, research or work with us.

Many of our researchers also provide consultancy services to businesses in London and other major financial centres, helping us to develop research for today's society as well as informing our teaching for the future.

For a full list of research interests, see our Department’s staff pages.

Specialist facilities

Take advantage of our wide range of learning resources to assist you in your studies:

Your future

After completing your masters, you may wish to extend your knowledge with a research degree – many Essex graduates decide to stay here for further study.

Alternatively, our course also prepares you for employment; recent surveys have shown that higher degree graduates are more likely to obtain jobs at professional or managerial level.

Our course has a strong policy orientation and operational content. It will appeal to those aiming to pursue careers in regulatory institutions, financial modelling, the civil service and real-world problem solving, or would also be an excellent stepping stone for those wishing to progress into further research.

Our graduates find employment in roles such as business and financial analysts, management consultants, government officials, and economists for banks and other financial organisations.

We also work with the university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

One Masters not enough for you?

We offer a number of postgraduate taught double degrees with our international partners. You work for two Masters degrees, one at Essex and another at a prestigious university across the globe, gaining them both in a shorter time than studying them separately. This unique opportunity gives you a competitive edge when applying for jobs or prepares you for PhD study.

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Example structure

Postgraduate study is the chance to take your education to the next level. The combination of compulsory and optional modules means our courses help you develop extensive knowledge in your chosen discipline, whilst providing plenty of freedom to pursue your own interests. Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.

For many of our courses you’ll have a wide range of optional modules to choose from – those listed in this example structure are, in many instances, just a selection of those available. Our Programme Specification gives more detail about the structure available to our current postgraduate students, including details of all optional modules.

Year 1

What interests you? Undertake a research project of your choosing, studying a specific economic issue or set of problems in depth, with supervision from our world-leading academic staff. Gain experience of original and independent work, making use of and building on skills that you have acquired during your Masters.

What challenges do macro-economists face since the 2007 financial crisis? Acquire the cutting-edge tools to address issues in macro-economic and financial markets. Learn to contrast multi-agent macro-modeling tools with more standard ones, and how to contribute to regulatory and policy design issues that have arisen since the financial crisis.

Equip yourself with the principles of allocation and mechanism design from an operational perspective. Auction design and market microstructure of the stock market, liquidity provision in electronic financial markets such as dark pools and capital adequacy of centralized clearing platforms are some of the specific applications that will be studied in the first part of this module. During the second part, you will be introduced to complexity economics of self-organisation, network modules, and strategic proteanism. Finally, you’ll use network models to study economic interactions.

Learn to develop software for agent based economics and policy simulation. This module will train you in Java and Matlab programming alongside applications to ACE, GUI design, and more advanced threading mechanisms. You’ll gain hands on experience in laboratory sessions, and will equip yourself with computational programming and modelling techniques, which can be applied to building large scale data based driven flow of funds and financial network type agent based macro-economic models.

Interact with and learn from practitioners in the field of macro and micro-economic policy, regulation and governance, and explore real-world issues and perspectives about what needs doing to fix real-life problems. You will be assessed on a piece of written work, based on a problem set by the visiting practitioner.

What are the concepts and methods of modern microeconomics? And how can you apply economic reasoning to this? Understand the main principles and theories of modern microeconomics, looking at topics like contract theory, equilibrium concepts in game theory, and market signalling. Learn to apply economic reasoning to these arguments.

Study the concepts of risk and return in equity markets, both in the context of asset pricing, and in the management of equity portfolios. You will start by focusing on the analysis of the stylised facts of asset returns, and will then review the theoretical foundations of modern finance, covering expected utility theory and risk aversion.

How do firms make decisions? And how do these decisions impact on the prices you pay? What role does game theory play? Understand strategic interaction among firms, using theoretical tools to examine real-world examples. Analyse the main economic forces behind firm behaviour, adapting economic models to study particular challenges.

Teaching

  • Core components can be combined with optional modules to enable you to gain either in-depth specialisation or a breadth of understanding across several topics
  • Our postgraduates are encouraged to attend conferences and seminars

Assessment

  • Each module is assessed with a final examination and a coursework component
  • Coursework is taken in the form of a term paper or a midterm test

Dissertation

  • You undertake an individually supervised research project that involves the in-depth study of a specific economic problem or issue

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Qualifications

UK entry requirements

A degree with an overall grade of 2.2.

International and EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Email pgadmit@essex.ac.uk for further details about the qualifications we accept. Include information in your email about the undergraduate qualification you have already completed or are currently taking.

IELTS entry requirements

IELTS 6.0 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

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Applying

You can apply for our postgraduate courses online. You’ll need to provide us with your academic qualifications, as well as supporting documents such as transcripts, English language qualifications and certificates. You can find a list of necessary documents online, but please note we won’t be able to process your application until we have everything we need.

There is no application deadline but we recommend that you apply before 1 July for our taught courses starting in October. We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

Visit us

Open days

We hold postgraduate events in February/March and November, and open days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing tours@essex.ac.uk and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.

Exhibitions

Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.

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The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its course finder is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep prospective students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

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