Postgraduate Course

MSc Financial Technology


MSc Financial Technology


The details
Financial Technology (Economics)
October 2024
1 year
Colchester Campus

Are you looking for a career in the emerging industry of Financial Technology? Electronic stock markets, mobile banking, cryptocurrencies, robo advisors, copy trading and peer-peer platforms are transforming the financial services sector. The MSc Financial Technology (Economics) takes a multi-disciplinary perspective that combines economics, computer science and business theory to explore the theory and methods of this growth area.

This course allows a deeper dive into the economics of market microstructure for design of trading strategies, managing operational risks and market design for electronic markets such as peer-to-peer platforms.

Our world leading Economics professors provide research led teaching and project supervision based on our own research strengths; including high frequency trading in electronic order books, agent-based modelling, and the economics of data science.

  • You will learn about microeconomics and big data, software development and the underpinnings of the financial system. You will receive direct teaching inputs or supervision on projects from leading researchers in the Department of Economics.
  • You will benefit from research-led teaching, including staff research-based software solutions included in the curriculum.
  • You will benefit from our proximity to London as well as our connections with employers, some of whom are successful Essex alumni, who contribute to expert lectures.
  • You will mingle not only with students specialising in the economics of FinTech, but also those specialising on the computer science and business strategy sides.
  • Hands on lab sessions accompany lectures with high frequency finance software based on real time rebuilds for the London Stock Exchange Electronic Trading System (SETS).

To explore the programming aspects of this industry, take a look at MSc Financial Technology (Computer Science), or the business aspects in MSc Financial Technology (Finance).

Why we're great.
  • Top 25 in the UK for economics and econometrics in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2024
  • We are 4th in UK for research power in economics and econometrics (Times Higher Education research power measure, Research Excellence Framework 2021)
  • We provide access to extensive quantitative analysis software and a large number of economics databases, across our Economics, Business and Computer Science Departments.

Our expert staff

Professor Sheri Markose received her PhD in Economics from the LSE and has a longstanding reputation for pioneering interdisciplinary Computational Finance. She was the founder director of the Essex Centre for Computational Finance and Economic Agents (2001 - 2009). Sheri is doing foundational research on blockchain distributed ledgers and serves as an Associate Editor of Frontiers Computational Intelligence in Robotics and AI.

Professor Simon Weidenholzer joined Essex after both receiving his PhD in Economics at the University of Vienna and working as an Assistant Professor in the same department. His work covers microeconomics, game theory, evolutionary game theory, behavioural economics, social networks and industrial organisation. His most recent work involves theoretical and laboratory studies of crowdfunding, copy trading, and robo-advisors.

Dr. Christoph Siemroth received his PhD in Economics from the University of Mannheim. His fields of expertise include behavioural and experimental economics, financial economics, and organizational economics. His recent work includes study of the informational content in asset prices, prediction markets, crowdfunding, and optimal budgeting.

Dr. Ahrash Dianat completed his PhD in Economics at George Mason University (USA). Ahrash then took a post-doctoral post at the California Institute of Technology (“Caltech”) before joining the University of Essex. Ahrash specialises in experimental economics, behavioural economics, and market design. His work has included studies of corporate prediction markets.

Dr. David Zentler-Munro comes to Essex from his PhD in Economics at UCL and a post as Senior Policy Advisor at the UK Department of the Treasury. His work focuses on search models and labour markets. His recent work uses machine learning to study labour market behaviour.

Specialist facilities

Students in the Department of Economics have access to quantitative analysis software, such as Microsoft Office, MatLab, Stata, Python, R, and Eviews which can be accessed remotely and from all university computer labs and are staples of the financial industry. You will acquire practical and “hands-on” experience in the programmes as part of the course. Computer labs on campus are open 24/7 and run on Windows 10 or are dual boot with Linux. Your lectures benefit from Listen Again facilities to aid your study, and the department provides extra support to those who need it. You will be studying on our Colchester Campus with ample access to the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering and Essex Business School.

You'll also benefit from fantastic University facilities located on campus, including the Albert Sloman Library and our state-of-the-art Silberrad Student Centre, complete with an open-access 24-hour Learning Hub and a cutting-edge media centre. You benefit from access to a wide range of specialised banking and finance databases, textbooks and e-books and can book appointments with our subject librarian.

You will also benefit from the Knowledge Gateway, home to some of the region's most exciting enterprises in the science, technology, and creative sectors. The Knowledge Gateway provides potential networking and career opportunities for students on campus.

Your future

The MSc Financial Technology (Economics) is designed for students seeking a career in the finance industry, in particular the financial technology sector. Recent graduates include those who work as:

  • Fund Managers (Jupiter Fund)
  • Data Scientists (Lloyds Bank)
  • Risk Managers (HSBC)

The degree will provide you first and foremost with the multi-disciplinary training you will need to see your subject from all sides and communicate effectively as part of a team. This course will equip you with both theoretical and technical skills that are specific for the finance industry. It will also equip you with transferable skills such as the ability to develop and present an argument, as well as lab-based operational skills. Work is undertaken both individually and in groups to broaden your experience.

The Economics Department provides regular events where alumni return to chart their journey from Essex to their career to provide you with tailored knowledge of your own potential trajectories.

Many of our graduates enjoy careers in financial analysis, management, banking, public administration, and other applications of economics, including SMEs. Recent destinations include:

  • The Bank of England
  • Coca-Cola
  • HSBC
  • KPMG
  • PwC
  • Google
  • Morgan Stanley

Our Student Support team work closely with the University's Employability and Careers Services to help you with careers information and advice and CV support. They will help you find work experience, internships, placements and voluntary opportunities and provide access to employer talks on campus.

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

A 2:2 degree, or international equivalent, in any discipline which includes three relevant modules in:

  • Econometrics (or Maths, or Statistics)
  • Macroeconomics
  • Microeconomics

We will also consider applicants with any other 2:2 degree or above where there is one year's relevant work experience, after graduating, in the field of economics/banking.

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 contact our Graduate Admissions team at to request the entry requirements for this country.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, we require IELTS 6.0 overall with a minimum score of 5.5 in all components.

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

The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.


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 and in line with your contract with us. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to significant disruption, we'll let our applicants and students know as soon as possible.

Components and modules explained


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
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.
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.
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 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



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.

View Dissertation on our Module Directory


Computational Market Microstructure for FinTech and the Digital Economy

Equip yourself with 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.

View Computational Market Microstructure for FinTech and the Digital Economy on our Module Directory


Big Data in Finance

Big data - where datasets are so large they cannot be processed using traditional techniques – is useful to financial organisations. This module explores how to analyse big data and covers areas such as predictive analytics, risk modelling and corporate finance. You also learn about the application of data analytics in high frequency finance, fraud and personal finance.

View Big Data in Finance on our Module Directory


CE705-7-AT or CE157-7-AU


Economics of Financial Markets

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.

View Economics of Financial Markets on our Module Directory


Options from list


  • Postgraduate students in the Department of Economics typically attend a two-hour lecture and a one-hour class or lab for each module per week.
  • 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


  • 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


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

Fees and funding

Home/UK fee


International fee


What's next

Open Days

We hold 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 and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

2024 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

  • Saturday 15 June 2024 - June Open Day
  • Saturday 21 September 2024 - September Open Day
  • Saturday 26 October 2024 - October Open Day


You can apply for this postgraduate course online. Before you apply, please check our information about necessary documents that we'll ask you to provide as part of your application.

We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

For information on our deadline to apply for this course, please see our ‘how to apply' information.

A sunny day with banners flying on Colchester Campus Square 4.

Visit Colchester Campus

Set within 200 acres of award-winning 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.

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 tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.

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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