Undergraduate Course

BA Financial Economics

BA Financial Economics

Overview

The details
Financial Economics
L111
October 2023
Full-time
3 years
Colchester Campus
Economics

What causes 'credit crunches', and how do their effects spread throughout the economy? What determines the value of Pound Sterling relative to the US Dollar or Euro? How do stock market prices affect asset prices? Financial events are rarely far from headline news. They have an impact that extends far beyond the financial sector to affect almost every aspect of daily life, including income, employment, prices, property value and the cost of mortgages.

Our course is built on the core principles of economics, which are applied to your study of financial institutions (such as banks), financial markets (such as the stock exchange), and financial instruments. You receive a thorough introduction to economics and mathematics, as well as training in quantitative research methods.

You study the mathematical and statistical analysis of economic problems, and how the financial system functions, choosing from a range of topics on financial economics including:

  • Fundamentals of accounting
  • Business strategy and competition
  • Capital markets
  • Financial innovations and new forms of transaction media
  • Bonds and contracts

We are 4th in UK for research power in economics and econometrics (Times Higher Education research power measure, Research Excellence Framework 2021).

The world of finance has an impact on people, business and government. Studying financial economics provides you with a foundation in economics, developing into a deep understanding of how the financial system works and the ways in which it affects our lives. By studying our course, you graduate with a strong training in financial economics.

Why we're great.
  • We are 4th in UK for research power in economics and econometrics (Times Higher Education research power measure, Research Excellence Framework 2021).
  • We're home to staff and students from all over the world so you'll be surrounded by likeminded people with a wealth of knowledge and experience.
  • We give you diverse employment potential and the chance to meet future employers.

Study abroad

Your education extends beyond the university campus. We support you in expanding your education through offering the opportunity to spend a year or a term studying abroad at one of our partner universities. The four-year version of our degree allows you to spend the third year abroad or employed on a placement abroad, while otherwise remaining identical to the three-year course.

Studying abroad allows you to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised.

If you spend a full year abroad you'll only pay 15% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year. You won't pay any tuition fees to your host university

Placement year

Alternatively, you can spend your third year on a placement year with an external organisation, where you learn about a particular sector, company or job role, apply your academic knowledge in a practical working environment, and receive inspiration for future career pathways. You will be responsible for finding your placement, but with support and guidance provided by both your department and our Employability and Careers Centre.

If you complete a placement year you'll only pay 20% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year.

Our expert staff

Study and work alongside some of the most prominent economists.

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. Our Department of Economics is a richly diverse home to staff and students from all over the world who have a strong sense of belonging and want to think, learn and change the world together.

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.

Specialist facilities

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

Your future

Many employers want economists with critical thinking skills who can tackle large data sets and practical problems. Our course helps you to become more employable and takes you closer to that dream job or postgraduate course when you graduate.

Our students are in demand from a wide range of employers in a host of occupations, including financial analysis, management, public administration and accountancy.

Our recent graduates have gone on to work for a wide range of high-profile companies including:

  • Bank of England
  • Deloitte
  • Ernst and Young
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Bank of New York
  • RBB Economic Consulting
  • Government Economic Service

We also work with the University’s Student Development Team to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

GCSE: Mathematics B/5

A-levels: ABB

BTEC: DDD

IB: 32 points or three Higher Level certificates with 655. Either must include Standard Level Mathematics grade 5, or a minimum of 3 in Higher Level Mathematics. We will accept grade 5 in either Standard Level Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches or Standard Level Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation.
We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programmes at both Higher and Standard Level. Please note that Maths in the IB is not required if you have already achieved GCSE Maths at grade B/5 or above or 5 in IB Middle Years Maths.
Exact offer levels will vary depending on the range of subjects being taken at higher and standard level, and the course applied for. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.

Access to HE Diploma: 15 Level 3 credits at Distinction and 30 level 3 credits at Merit, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.

T-levels: Distinction

What if I don’t achieve the grades I hoped? If your final grades are not as high as you had hoped, the good news is you may still be able to secure a place with us on a course which includes a foundation year. Visit our undergraduate application information page for more details.

What if I have a non-traditional academic background?
Don’t worry. To gain a deeper knowledge of your course suitability, we will look at your educational and employment history, together with your personal statement and reference.

You may be considered for entry into Year 1 of your chosen course. Alternatively, some UK and EU applicants may be considered for Essex Pathways, an additional year of study (known as a foundation year/year 0) helping students gain the necessary skills and knowledge in order to succeed on their chosen course. You can find a list of Essex Pathways courses and entry requirements here

If you are a mature student, further information is here

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

English language requirements

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall. Different requirements apply for second year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a visa to study in the UK.

Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications

If you are an international student requiring a visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

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.

Additional Notes

If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to this degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College here.

Structure

Course structure

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The following modules are based on the current course structure and may change in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.

We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision for you. We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities as described on our website. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to significant disruption, or in response to COVID-19, we’ll let our applicants and students know as soon as possible.

Components and modules explained

Components

Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.

Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.

Status What this means
Core
You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory
You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Compulsory with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Optional
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.

The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.

Modules

Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.

In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.

Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:

HR 100  4  FY

The department or school the module will be taught by.

In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.

The module number. 

The UK academic level of the module.

A standard undergraduate course will comprise of level 4, 5 and 6 modules - increasing as you progress through the course.

A standard postgraduate taught course will comprise of level 7 modules.

A postgraduate research degree is a level 8 qualification.

The term the module will be taught in.

  • AU: Autumn term
  • SP: Spring term
  • SU: Summer term
  • FY: Full year 
  • AP: Autumn and Spring terms
  • PS: Spring and Summer terms
  • AS: Autumn and Summer terms

COMPONENT 01: CORE

Introduction to Economics
(30 CREDITS)

How do consumers make decisions? Or firms conduct different market strategies? What impact does government policy have on inflation? Or unemployment? Develop your knowledge of economics in relation to a range of contemporary issues. Learn how to apply both micro and macroeconomic principles to the analysis of such problems.

View Introduction to Economics on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 02: CORE WITH OPTIONS

EC114-4-FY or (MA114-4-AU and MA108-4-SP)
(30 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 03: CORE WITH OPTIONS

EC115-4-FY or MA101-4-FY
(30 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 04: OPTIONAL

Option(s) from list or Outside Option(s)
(30 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 05: COMPULSORY

Career Skills in Economics
(0 CREDITS)

Are you ready for graduate employment? Like to improve your core skills? Need to know more about the working world? Attend workshops, events and activities to build your knowledge, abilities and experience with this compulsory, zero credit module that runs during your three years of undergraduate study.

View Career Skills in Economics on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 01: COMPULSORY

Macroeconomics (Intermediate)
(30 CREDITS)

What tools can you use for macroeconomic analysis? And how can these then be applied to macro-policy issues? Learn how to build alternative macroeconomic models and apply analytical reasoning. Examine real-life macroeconomic questions, on topics such as government budgets or wage-price flexibility, and critically evaluate macroeconomic policies.

View Macroeconomics (Intermediate) on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 02: COMPULSORY

Microeconomics (Intermediate)
(30 CREDITS)

How do consumers behave in a competitive market? And what about producers? How do various imperfections affect the outcome of decentralised markets? Study the fundamental concepts and methods in microeconomics. Understand the tools and methods of analysis for economic reasoning, and develop your critical approach to economic issues and policies.

View Microeconomics (Intermediate) on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 03: COMPULSORY

Financial Instruments and Capital Markets
(15 CREDITS)

How are financial markets organised? And what role do they play in the economy? Examine the main elements in modern finance. Study the activities of financial institutions and the main financial markets. Understand the theory and practice of financial regulation, looking at recent regulatory reforms.

View Financial Instruments and Capital Markets on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 04: OPTIONAL

BE311-5-SP or option from list
(15 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 06: COMPULSORY

Career Skills in Economics
(0 CREDITS)

Are you ready for graduate employment? Like to improve your core skills? Need to know more about the working world? Attend workshops, events and activities to build your knowledge, abilities and experience with this compulsory, zero credit module that runs during your three years of undergraduate study.

View Career Skills in Economics on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 01: COMPULSORY

International Money and Finance
(15 CREDITS)

How do foreign exchange markets determine trade? Understand the economic role that international currency markets play. Study models to interpret exchange rate movements and how this links to key macroeconomic variables. Analyse real-life policies that respond to events in the international monetary system.

View International Money and Finance on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 02: COMPULSORY

Economic Analysis of Asset Prices
(15 CREDITS)

How do economic theories determine asset prices? Can you apply analytical reasoning to asset pricing problems? Understand capital markets and explore the predictability of asset price changes. Learn to build simple models of asset markets and how to interpret the mathematics of such models in economic terms.

View Economic Analysis of Asset Prices on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 03: COMPULSORY

Economics of Financial Markets and Intermediation
(15 CREDITS)

How do you apply economic reasoning to the markets for bonds, futures contracts and financial options? Study the distinctive characteristics of bonds as financial assets. Gain an understanding of derivatives markets, focusing on futures and options. Explore theories of financial intermediation and learn to evaluate models of price determination.

View Economics of Financial Markets and Intermediation on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 04: COMPULSORY

Project: Economics
(30 CREDITS)

What interests you? Design and implement your own research project, under the guidance and supervision of our world-leading academic staff. Demonstrate your knowledge of economic ideas in greater depth, building your professional research skills and developing further understanding of a topic that fascinates you.

View Project: Economics on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 05: OPTIONAL

Economics option from list
(15 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 07: COMPULSORY

Career Skills in Economics
(0 CREDITS)

Are you ready for graduate employment? Like to improve your core skills? Need to know more about the working world? Attend workshops, events and activities to build your knowledge, abilities and experience with this compulsory, zero credit module that runs during your three years of undergraduate study.

View Career Skills in Economics on our Module Directory

Placement

On a placement year you gain relevant work experience within an external business or organisation, giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market and providing you with key contacts within the industry. The rest of your course remains identical to the three-year degree.

Year abroad

On your year abroad, you have the opportunity to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised. The rest of your course remains identical to the three-year degree.

Teaching

  • Teaching is arranged to allow freedom in how you organise your learning experiences
  • After receiving a general overview of a topic in your two-hour weekly lecture, you discuss and solve the issues it raises in a class with 15 to 20 fellow students
  • Optional support classes

Assessment

  • You are assessed each year through a mixture of coursework and end-of-year examinations
  • The balance is set at 50% coursework and 50% exam
  • For many of your second- and final-year modules, coursework takes the form of an extended essay
  • Complete your final year project in consultation with a personal supervisor

Fees and funding

Home/UK fee

£9,250

International fee

£19,530

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

Home/UK fees and funding information

International fees and funding information

What's next

Open Days

Applying

Applications for our full-time undergraduate courses should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Applications are online at: www.ucas.com. Full details on this process can be obtained from the UCAS website in the how to apply section.

Our UK students, and some of our EU and international students, who are still at school or college, can apply through their school. Your school will be able to check and then submit your completed application to UCAS. Our other international applicants (EU or worldwide) or independent applicants in the UK can also apply online through UCAS Apply.

The UCAS code for our University of Essex is ESSEX E70. The individual campus codes for our Loughton and Southend Campuses are 'L' and 'S' respectively.

You can find further information on how to apply, including information on transferring from another university, applying if you are not currently at a school or college, and applying for readmission on our How to apply and entry requirements page.

Applicant Days

If you are an undergraduate student residing in the UK who has received an offer to study with us in October 2023, you will receive an email invitation to book onto one of our Applicant Days. Our Colchester Campus Applicant Days run from February to May 2023 on various Wednesdays and Saturdays, and our Southend Campus Applicant Days run from March to June 2023 on various weekdays and Saturdays. Applicant Days provide the opportunity to meet your department, tour our campus and accommodation, and chat to current students. We appreciate that travelling to university events can be expensive. This is why we have increased our Applicant Day Travel Bursary cap, allowing you to claim up to £150 as reimbursement for travel expenses. For further information about Applicant Days, including Terms and Conditions and eligibility criteria for our Travel Bursary, please visit our Applicant Days webpage.

If you are an overseas offer-holder, you will be invited to attend one of our virtual events. However, you are more than welcome to join us at one of our in-person Applicant Days if you are able to, so if you’d like to book a place, please contact our Applicant Day Team at applicantdays@essex.ac.uk

Colchester Campus

Visit Colchester Campus

Home to 15,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.

Set within the 200-acre award-winning beautiful parkland - Wivenhoe Park and located two miles from the historic city centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded development. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.

Whether you are planning to visit us at one of our Open Days, or coming to an Applicant day. Our campus conveniently located and easy to reach by car, train or bus.

View from Square 2 outside the Rab Butler Building looking towards Square 3

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tours allows you to explore our University from the comfort of your home. Check out our Colchester virtual tour and Southend virtual tour to see 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.

Open Days

Our events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex. We run a number of Open Days throughout the year which enable you to discover what our campus has to offer. You have 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

Check out our Visit Us pages to find out more information about booking onto one of our events. And if the dates aren’t suitable for you, feel free to book a campus tour here.

At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.

Find out more

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification 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, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the 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 students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications. The University would inform and engage with you if your course was to be discontinued, and would provide you with options, where appropriate, in line with our Compensation and Refund Policy.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

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