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MSc Financial Econometrics

Why we're great

  • Enjoy a business-focused course, which is jointly taught by our Department of Economics and Essex Business School
  • Access the learning facilities in our new Essex Business School building, including an exclusive postgraduate study space
  • Stand out from the crowd for a career in business and finance with a desirable theoretical grounding in econometrics

Course options2016-17

Duration: 1 year
Start month: October
Location: Colchester Campus
Based in: Economics
Fee (Home/EU): £9,950
Fee (International): £15,500

Course enquiries

Telephone 01206 872719
Email pgadmit@essex.ac.uk

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About the course

MSc Financial Econometrics combines a practical approach to finance with a strong theoretical approach in econometrics, and is taught jointly between our Department of Economics and Essex Business School. This mix of approaches means that you graduate from our course as someone who is very attractive to a variety of financial institutions, from insurance companies to central banks.

You develop a solid theoretical grounding in econometrics which complements the modules taught by Essex Business School; this structure gives you the opportunity to develop your skills in econometrics and apply them practically in a finance environment. You investigate topics including:

  • Asset pricing theories and empirical findings
  • Methods of estimation
  • Modern econometric techniques
  • Time series econometrics

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.

Within Essex Business School, you are taught by a highly qualified, enthusiastic team with wide-ranging research interests and proven academic track record.

Our staff specialise in areas including: accounting and economic development in the public and third sectors; regulation and corporate social responsibility; finance and banking; accounting and finance in developing economies; and contemporary financial markets and their participants.

Specialist facilities

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

Our landmark new Essex Business School building on our Colchester Campus is the first zero carbon business school in the UK. Set around a lush winter garden, the Eden-style dome gives the building its own micro-climate.

Our new building provides you with a stunning new work environment, offering:

  • A virtual trading floor with Bloomberg Terminals offering direct use of Bloomberg data, information and analytics
  • A light and spacious lecture theatre, with seating for 250 students
  • Study pods and innovation booths for group working
  • Dedicated office space for student entrepreneurs
  • Networking opportunities with visiting businesses
  • A café with an adjacent sun terrace

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 MSc Financial Econometrics will help you to develop a range of skills that will make you highly employable. These include modelling skills, statistical analysis, research skills and developing an understanding of asset pricing and financial markets.

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

How do you analyse stationary time series? Or non-stationary (integrated) processes? Understand the econometric methods available to analyse models of economic time series. Examine how methods of estimation and inference can be applied to these models. Learn how to use these methods in your own research.

What are the main principles of estimation and inference in econometrics? Learn to justify or criticise (where appropriate) the use of econometric methods of estimation and inference in a variety of situations. Gain analytical and problem-solving skills, as well as an understanding of economic and business policies.

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.

Gain a formal introduction to asset pricing theories and empirical findings. You review the fundamental theories of the expected utility, asset pricing kernels, and risk-neutral valuation, covering the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM), and linear factor models arising from the Arbitrage Pricing Theory (APT). You also discuss empirical asset pricing studies.

Consider the use of modern econometric techniques in the analysis of financial time series. You cover multivariate models for stationary and non-stationary processes, such as Vector Autoregressive models, consider appropriate models for volatility, and study Markov processes and simulation methods used for financial modelling.

Your dissertation is the culmination of your Masters programme, where you apply the knowledge gained on your course to produce a 10,000 word independent piece of work. You generate an original idea, analyse literature and current knowledge and produce a coherent argument that shows your ability to relate theory to practice. Your dissertation will help you develop vital skills for the workplace, as well as the ability to analyse real problems through an academic lens. You're assigned a supervisor for the duration of your project.

Wish to conduct your own research using econometric methods? Understand econometric methods and learn to apply them to a wide variety of situations. Examine methods of linear regression and hypothesis testing. Study time series concepts of unit roots and co-integration. Explore ideas around simultaneous equation models and panel data models.

What mathematical concepts are vital to understanding modern economic theory? Gain the essential mathematics skills needed to study economics at Masters-level, such as optimisation theory and the role of equilibrium. Understand how economic arguments work and improve your problem solving skills by using real-world economic problems.

How do you optimise sticky price models? What implication does this have on monetary policy? How do you apply the New Keynesian model to monetary aspects of the business cycle? Study theoretical models and empirical evidence for monetary aspects of the business cycle, and learn how to critically assess work.

What are the distinctive features of less developed economies? How do theories around child labour or inequality explain poverty? What economic policies could alleviate such problems? Understand the issues facing developing countries, examining policies theoretically and empirically. Act as a policy advisor, undertaking research on issues of development economics.

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.

What are the main issues facing the modern macroeconomist? How do you critically assess macroeconomic policies? Acquire the necessary tools for macroeconomic analysis, focusing on the important questions faced by macroeconomists today.

What makes societies choose different taxation systems? What drives the selection of politician in society? And how does selection impact on the choice of policies? Study the application of economic methods to understanding the political phenomenon that impact on the choice of different economic policies.

What value is added by your business? And how is this value added? Such questions are asked to business leaders. Understand the core economic reasoning behind commercial and investment banking, looking at financial intermediation and money creation, as well security, mergers and acquisition.

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 you raise funds to maintain a firm’s activity? And who should control the firm? Cover a wide variety of topics in corporate finance, including asset pricing algebra, mergers, market structure, and corporate finance problems related to corporate governance.

How do individuals make decisions? When does classic economic theory not predict empirically observed behaviour? And how do you then use behavioural economics to reconcile your empirical findings with theoretical models? Learn about empirical and theoretical research in behavioural economics that can be used to explain individual decision making.

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.

What happens when classic economic theory doesn’t predict empirically observed behaviour? Can behaviour economics help? Study strategic interactions and markets using behavioural economics to reconcile empirical findings with theoretical models. Gain an understanding of experimental methods used in behavioural economics.

How do firms interact? What impact does this have on products that are available to you? Or the price that you pay? Understand current thinking on industrial organisation, with a focus on competition policy, regulation and business strategy. Apply analytical models of firm behaviour and strategic interaction to real-life situations.

What are the economics of international trade? And why is this important? Understand the principles that determine international trade and study a range of trade models. Learn how to carry out advanced research or work as a policy advisor on issues related to international trade.

What are the main uncertainties for international financial markets? What causes a currency crisis? How do you deal with global imbalances? Understand the analytical tools used in the field of international macroeconomics and finance. Demonstrate how such tools can be applied by examining key policy issues of interest today.

What are the main game theory concepts in modern economics? And how do you apply such models in the world today? Understand game theory methodology and learn how to formulate models for various socio-economic phenomena, such as industrial organisation, public goods, bargaining, and labour markets.

What compensation should CEOs get? How can you motivate team performance? What impact does an altruistic manager make? Study real-world issues like policymaking, finance and management using economic models from contract theory, incentive theory, and the theory of the firm.

Get to grips with modern microeconometrics. Examine the nature of causal and noncausal models, discuss the nature of microeconomic data structures, and review core econometric methods in the first part of this module. Then, analyse limited dependent variable models, including discrete choice and selection models, and examine program evaluation methods.

What are the main issues with panel data? And the main econometric techniques to analyse panel data? What methods can you use to evaluate spell duration data? Answer such questions with examples from labour economics, while gaining the skills to analyse a variety of research and policy problems.

What are the issues regarding different types of panel datasets? Or problems with survey methodology? Understand longitudinal data analysis by using micro-econometric techniques and critically examine survey methodology issues, like response rate and sampling frames. Apply panel data methods to study labour markets, focusing on marriage, unemployment and wages.

This module offers you a standard introduction of the field of corporate finance at postgraduate level. You consider the classical areas of Modigliani-Miller irrelevance, Taxes and capital structure, Trade-off theory and Pecking order theory of capital structure, before exploring the more modern areas, which are essentially based on contract theory.

Master the pricing of financial derivatives and their use for hedging financial risks. You study the basics of futures and options, analyse the Black-Scholes and binomial option pricing models, and consider various numerical techniques for pricing financial derivatives. Futures and options are then utilised in the context of hedging financial risks, and you are introduced to the concept of volatility trading and the treatment of volatility as an asset class.

Understand the process of portfolio management. You cover the main concepts such as efficient diversification, managing risk exposures, and the valuation of financial assets that are at the core of managing investment portfolios, and pay special attention to the practicalities of the implementation of these concepts.

Gain an understanding of international arbitrage relationships, models of exchange rate determination, and recent issues and debates in the international finance literature. Learn to describe the basic international parity relationships, to outline some of the basic models of exchange rate determination, and have a good grasp of issues such as the international debt crisis, capital mobility, and the advent of the European single currency.

Behavioural finance rejects crucial tenets of mainstream finance such as the Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH) on the basis that agents are less than fully rational, and that arbitrage fails to eliminate mispricing. Instead it identifies market anomalies or regularities such as holiday effects that are at odds with the EMH. You learn to use ideas from cognitive psychology, such as overconfidence, and aspects of imperfect arbitrage to explain these.

The recent financial crisis and credit crunch have demonstrated that risk management was too narrowly defined. In this course you examine the Value at Risk (VAR) measure of financial risk developed in the 1990s, before discussing the new post-crisis Regulatory environment.

Discover the concepts and tools that are useful to asset managers who want to use fixed income securities for investing, market-making or speculating. You first study fixed income markets and instruments, before going on to explore basic concepts of bond portfolio management and investigating the quantitative tools used to value bonds and manage bonds' portfolios.

Gain theoretical knowledge and a practical understanding of financial markets, trading strategies, risk and money management and trader analytics at the highest level. You study a mix of classroom-based instruction, case studies and practical trading exercises where you trade on real-time simulated global markets through the use of industry-strength proprietary trading software in the trading lab.

Explore the basics of the structure and environment of banking, and selected aspects of the applied economics of the modern banking firm. You study structure-conduct-performance, competition, bank efficiency, regulation, international banking and bank failures and crises.

Analyse the key strategic developments in banking and the main aspects of risk management in modern banks. You are introduced to the concept of shareholder value in banking, the main banking strategies to create shareholder value, the key risks in banking, and the most important tools required to manage bank risks.

Taught exclusively by leading industry experts, this module offers you a unique opportunity to appreciate the latest developments and issues faced by leading practitioners in the areas of quantitative finance and risk management.

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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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.

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.

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Although great care is taken in compiling our course details, they are intended for the general guidance of prospective students only. The University reserves the right to make 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, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University.

The full procedures, rules and regulations of the University are set out in the Charter, Statues and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.