You will study five core course units and, in addition, a mathematics refresher course and a dissertation, as well as choosing two elective course units.
Core course units:
Pre-sessional mathematics refresher course
All students attend the compulsory pre-sessional mathematics refresher course, which runs for 2 weeks in September, before the start of term. There are no additional fees for this course however students will need to pay for accommodation for the period of this course.
You will be introduced to the techniques of financial analysis and their applications to corporate finance. The concepts developed form the foundation of most elective finance course units. You will learn about the time value of money and the net present value rule, how to value financial assets, capital budgeting decisions, uncertainty and the risk-return trade-off and corporate governance.
Quantitative Methods in Finance
This course unit will introduce you to mathematical statistics and theories that are applied in financial econometrics. The second half of the unit concerns the analysis of time series data including ARMA models, the analysis of non-stationary time series data, cointegration analysis, vector autoregressive models, modelling volatility in asset returns, forecasting and bootstrapping.
Foundations of Finance
The course unit in finance will expose you to the structure of the financial markets, the instruments traded and the participants. You will be provided with the necessary tools with which to analyse how the financial markets function and how problems arise from their operations.
While conducting research sounds like an easy task, it can present difficulties. This unit aims to help you avoid such traps and to assist you in developing strong research skills so that you can conduct an efficient piece of research at the end of your degree.
The dissertation gives you the opportunity to analyse an economics issue in depth. You will be assigned a dissertation supervisor and, by the end of March, will submit a preliminary dissertation report that contains a clear statement of the problem under consideration, the structure of the project and the research methods that are going to be applied. The dissertation is then written over the summer.
Elective course units:
Fixed Income Securities and Derivatives
You will gain an introduction to the alternative forms of financial assets that are traded in addition to stocks. Fixed income securities are bonds, bills and notes that offer a certain stream of income to holders. Derivatives are contingent and non-contingent claims on financial assets and are widely used for hedging risk. You will learn how to price these assets, and how to use them effectively in managing portfolios and hedging risk.
The broad aims of this unit are to give you advanced-level training in evaluation of empirical models in finance. It will enable you to apply both quantitative techniques and qualitative methods, learnt elsewhere, to test theories and get acquainted with the existing literature in the field of finance.
Investment and Portfolio Management
Underlying theory and empirical evidence in portfolio management will familiarise you with its practice in the finance sector. You will acquire an understanding of how funds are allocated when constructing a portfolio.
Decision Theory and Behaviour
This course unit will deepen your knowledge of rational decision making through the exploration of behavioural models, their formalization and their scope, including applications to finance. You will also become familiarized with both theoretical and experimental methods for research in decision theory and behavioural economics.
Public Economics is concerned with the study of the effects of government policy and the design of optimal policies. You will assess the implications of basic welfare economics in public policy. A number of recent research areas in public economics are then discussed including income taxation, tax evasion, externalities and social security.
This course will provide an advanced treatment of the tools used in political economy to tackle some major questions faced by public sector economists. It will in particular focus on the modelling of voters and politicians’ behaviours to address the role played by incentives and constraints faced by politicians when choosing public policies. The effect of different forms of institutional arrangements on public decision making and electoral accountability will be analysed from both a theoretical and empirical perspective.