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Financial Economics (MSc)

1 year (full-time) / n/a (part-time) / n/a (distance / e-Learning)

Course Aims

To offer knowledge and expertise for a career in fund management, stock-broking, investment banking, corporate treasury and other financial sector roles.

Special Features

Course Description

The MSc in Financial Economics includes courses covering the working of the markets for bonds, stocks, currencies and derivatives (futures and forwards, options and swaps), as well as microeconomics, advanced macroeconomics and econometrics.

Much of the material is extremely challenging analytically and sometimes technically, but attention is given at all times to the practical questions of how to interpret financial data for research purposes, how to identify and exploit trading opportunities and how to measure and manage risk.

Taught courses are assessed by a mixture of coursework and written examinations. The dissertation is assessed by internal and external examiners.

Course Structure

Students follow four core modules in the first semester and three core modules and one elective module in the second semester.

Autumn Semester

The following core modules are studied in Semester 1:

  • Macroeconomics
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Microeconomics: Economics of Uncertainty
  • Principles of Finance

Spring Semester

During Semester 2, students complete the following three core modules:

  • Corporate Finance
  • Empirical Finance
  • Financial Derivatives

Students select one module from the following list in the second semester:

  • Development Finance
  • Investment and Electronic Trading
  • International Finance
  • International Trade
  • Economic Forecasting
  • Mathematical Finance

Career Prospects

Our graduates find employment as specialists in financial institutions, corporate treasury departments, central banks and local government.

Student Views

'What I acquired in Cardiff Business School helped me quickly pick up my work, such as analysing policy efficiency, presenting panorama of global economic growth and forecasting key economic data.'

Quing Mao, MSc Financial Economics, 2011

Read Quing's full testimonial

You graduated with your MSc in Financial Economics in 2011. Why was this right course for you and what made you choose it?

After undergraduate study in Economics and Mathematics I was well equipped with recondite economic theories and technical skills. However, I realized that I was too much into those abstract theories and a little too far removed from economic issues in real life. I really need my further study to be more practical, allowing me to apply my knowledge to real economic issue analysis. And here it was:  the MSc Financial Economics program.

It was September 2009 and I was sitting at the rear of Julian Hodge where the welcome meeting was held for all future Masters students. As an international student, I was both excited and nervous. Taking the MSc program in Financial Economics at Cardiff Business School was a decisive point in my student life and it still is in my career so far.

What have you done since leaving the Business School?

Since graduating I have been working in Hong Kong as an economics analyst for two years at the research departments in two leading Chinese securities houses. My research foci were the US and EU economies. I worked with my colleagues on both economic statistics and specific economic topics, providing timely and professional advice to institutional clients.

Most recently, I have joined the strategy and economics research team at Bank of China, Hong Kong, as an economics analyst. My study has now switched to banking systems; it is a more specific task and I am very much looking forward to the challenges this will present.

Do you feel your studies equipped you well for your career?

I feel very lucky to work in the field that is closely related to my study. What I acquired in Cardiff Business School helped me quickly pick up work, such as analysing policy efficiency, presenting panorama of global economic growth and forecasting key economic data.  More important, the MSc in Financial Economics provided well designed lectures, ranging from finance to economics to econometrics which provided ample opportunities when job seeking. The course structure and content enhanced my understanding of the interaction between the economic environment and the finance sector.

You recently attended a CARBS alumni event in Guangzhou. Was it good to meet up with former classmates and Professors?

I attended the first Business School alumni gathering in Guangzhou which took place in August 2013. Thanks to this event, and to Professor Kent Matthews who initiated this event, I met up with many former classmates for the first time since our graduation ceremony. We had great conversations as we usually did during our school days in Cardiff. The event provided me with the chance to know more alumni working in Guangzhou and nearby.

We need such an alumni community as it reunites people who used to study in Cardiff Business School; we can all share common, beautiful memories. For alumni like me, just starting a career, the alumni community also offers a great opportunity to build up a professional network and get truly constructive advice from those more experienced predecessors.

What are your highlights from studying in Cardiff?

I love the open campus; the fact that school buildings are scattered across the city. Some were relatively modern designs such as Julian Hodge, some had a very long history, such as the Bute building.  I spent almost a year living at Talybont South, where the River Taff is right behind and University’s sport centre is just 3-minute walk away. It is a quiet but convenient residence. I used to enjoy taking a walk or jogging along the river, or playing badminton with friends in the Sport Centre.

What advice would you give to somebody considering studying the same subject at Cardiff Business School?

Undergraduates with an Economics background (or similar) would definitely feel that it is like tailor-made programme. Students choosing between majors in Finance and Economics would also find this programme very valuable as it covers both, allowing you to take one more year to establish your career direction.

Quing is now working as an Economics Analyst for the Bank of China, Hong Kong.Quing Mao.

Available Funding

Details of funding opportunities, including opportunities for continuing students, alumni and country-specific scholarships, are available via our website.

Entry Requirements

Suitable for graduates with an upper second class honours degree (2:1, GPA 3.0/4.0) and the following previously studies modules: microeconomics, macroeconomics and one quantitative module (econometrics is also desirable).

Applications will be considered from recent graduates with a good Honours degree or equivalent from an approved university.

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to pass an IELTS exam, obtaining a minimum score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each subscore.

Tuition Fees 2016/17

Fees quoted are for the academic session 2016/17. For programmes lasting more than one year, tuition fees for subsequent years of study are subject to an increase of no more than 4.5% per year.

  UK & EU International
Full-time £6,750 £17,250
Part-time n/a n/a
Deposit n/a Includes a £1,000 deposit. More information about our deposit policy.

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: Postgraduate Admissions Office, Cardiff Business School  

Telephone: +44 (0)29 2087 6953 



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