Duration: 3 years full time
UCAS code: L111
Institution code: R72
UK fees*: £9,250
International/EU fees**: £19,300
Financial and Business Economics (BSc (Econ))
Studying Financial and Business Economics at Royal Holloway means that you will learn from internationally renowned experts at one of the UK’s top ten teaching and research centres for Economics. Economics is one of the most influential and liveliest disciplines in today's world, affecting the lives and fortunes of everyone on the planet. This course offers a complete education in the theories and methods of economics, with a strong focus on analytical methods, together with the opportunity to specialise in financial markets and industrial economics. The knowledge and transferable skills gained will lead to excellent career prospects in public and private management, financial institutions and in government.
Through this course you will develop an in-depth understanding of economics at all levels – from the company to the state, and beyond. You will focus on the quantitative and economic analysis within the financial markets; develop skills in mathematics and statistics and learn to tackle economic problems; gain important quantitative and computing skills that are widely applicable as well as skills and experience in logical and philosophical reasoning.
Our balanced approach to research and teaching guarantees high quality teaching from subject leaders, cutting edge materials and intellectually challenging debates. Our courses follow a coherent and developmental structure which we combined with an effective and flexible approach to study.
- Explore relationships between economics and finance.
- Look at the implications of crypto currencies.
- Recession, inflation, interest rates – learn how they impact each other and the outside world.
- Ideal for those who want to work in the financial sector.
Core ModulesYear 1
Principles of Economics is a first-year undergraduate module in how the economy works. The module is suitable for students with or without A-Level economics or equivalent. We will cover the basic theories of macroeconomics (that of the economy as a whole) and microeconomics (the behaviour of individuals, firms and governments and the interactions between them).
The module adopts the state-of-the-art CORE approach (Curriculum Open-access Resources in Economics) to teaching Principles of Economics. The approach has three pillars which we rely on throughout the module:
- Formulate a problem that our society is facing now or has faced in the past;
- Build a theory to explain and solve the problem;
- Evaluate the usefulness of the theory by using data observations and more novel theories.
Data Skills for Economists is about understanding the data we encounter constantly in everyday life and the data that social science researchers create as they explore and analyse the world around us. We'll endeavour to understand such questions as:
- Where does data come from and how can we harvest it?
- What useful information does the data contain?
- How can we create new data to generate useful insights?
Computers equipped with statistical software are a big part of the answer to the third question (above) so, accordingly, you'll spend much of your time learning to analyse and display data using the R statistical software package (R is the industry standard).
We'll develop an ethos of clear communication of numerical information that will be supported by our growing understanding of statistical concepts and our growing proficiency with computers.
Simultaneously, we'll delve into the seamy underside of the tricksters who try to fool you with falsified data. Understanding their game can provide at least some degree of inoculation against their attacks.
In this module you will develop an understanding of information surrounding economic institutions, economic history, applied economics and policy & experimental & behavioural economics. In the seminars, you will discuss each topic and learn among other things how to write an essay, how to present, how to collect economic data, how to find relevant economic research, and how to think like an economist.
The aims of the module are to cover the basic mathematical and quantitative tools used by economists every day. The module gives an emphasis to the mathematical tools, which are applicable to solving a wide range of economic problems. The first half of the module is devoted to linear algebra, specific functions of one and more variables used in economics, manipulating those functions and finding their minima and maxima. In addition, the first half of this module delivers the rules of integration and differentiation, which prepares the you to apply constrained and unconstrained optimisation techniques in their subsequent 2nd and 3rd year of studies. Constrained and unconstrained optimisation techniques are also discussed. The second half of the module is devoted to optimisation theory which in turn will use the concepts of vectors and matrices, drawn from linear algebra, and require the study of concave functions. The knowledge of matrices will help you solve systems of linear equations, which are used in both microeconomic and macroeconomic planning and forecasting.
This module will be composed of an introduction to Employability, library resources, team building, and CV making. Career services will provide a session on self-awareness and decision making and library services will present their relevant resources. Finally, the Economics department will organise some team building exercises.
This module will describe the key principles of academic integrity, focusing on university assignments. Plagiarism, collusion and commissioning will be described as activities that undermine academic integrity, and the possible consequences of engaging in such activities will be described. Activities, with feedback, will provide you with opportunities to reflect and develop your understanding of academic integrity principles.
You are required to take and pass this module in order to progress into the second year of study.
In this module you will develop an understanding of the models of individual optimisation and their applications. You will look at the key determinants of an individual’s behaviour in a variety of circumstances and the behaviour of firms in different market environments, such as perfect competition, monopoly and oligopoly. You will consider how changing circumstances and new information influences the actions of the economic agents concerned, and examine the properties of competitive markets and the need for government intervention to correct market failures.
In this module you will develop an understanding of macroeconomics and macroeconomic policy-making. You will look at a variety of contemporary and historical macroeconomic events, and the differences between the short, medium and long run. You will consider why some countries are rich and some are poor, why different economies grow at different rates, and what determines economic growth and prosperity. You will examine the role of monetary and fiscal policy, its impact on the economy and its limitations. You will also analyse how taxation, budget deficits, and public debt affect the economy.
The aim of this module is to provide you with a solid understanding of the essentials of empirical research techniques (i.e. econometrics) used by applied economists. The module will cover core econometric topics that are needed by all wishing to undertake econometric analysis, with a particular focus on topics in both time series and cross section econometrics that can be used by students of industrial, business and finance.
In this module you will develop an understanding of the mathematical models used to study and analyse strategic interactions between agents. You will look at the fundamental concepts in game theory as applied to economics in general and microeconomics in particular. You will become familiar with basic equilibrium concepts such as Nash equilibrium and subgame perfect equilibrium, and be able to find equilibrium outcomes of simple games including the use of backward induction.
In this module you will develop an understanding of the economic principles underlying the working of national and international financial institutions. You will look at what a financial system is and does, and the distinct functions of each component. You will consider the key financial instruments and the relationship between assets, agents, and institutions, and learn to solve simple problems using quantitative and graphical tools. You will critically evaluate country differences and analyse the interdependencies and rapid change of the modern financial world.
In this module you will develop an understanding of the principal-agent problem, the Coase theorem, theories of the firm, the role of transaction costs, moral hazard, adverse selection, and issues surrounding organisation, investment, governance and expansion of corporations. You will look the role of incentivisation and how conflicts of interests shape economic interactions. You will consider the role of transaction costs in determining the existence, scale and scope of firms, and examine why government regulation may be inferior to market solutions when dealing with externalities. You will also analyse the developments of Anglo-American industrial and Japanese capitalism.
Career services will provide a session on how to be ready to apply for an internship at the end of the second year. Students will prepare for a psychometric test and will undertake a series of a mock interviews in order to improve their interview technique. Finally, students will attend at least one Econ@Work talk to be aware of professional life and challenges.
In this module you will develop an understanding of the methods and models applied by economists in the analysis of firms and industries. You will learn how to manipulate these models and analytically solve problems relating to industrial economics. You will consider the applications of the models to important policy areas, exploring topics such as collusion, mergers, product differentiation and asymmetric information. You will also also examine the limitations of the theory.
The module aims to introduce the student to what factors affect corporate financial decisions. Particular emphasis is given to the concepts of Net Present Value and Risk. The learning outcomes include: Understand what the goals of a firm are; Understand how investments are valued (Internal rate of returns) in order to help with good financial planning); Understand the concepts of risk, agency costs and how they feed into financial decision making; Understand the process of price formation in financial markets; Understand venture capital and different types of debt finance and debt valuation, including leverage.
In this module you will develop an understanding of advanced topics in industrial organisation, with a special focus on the role that information plays in markets. You will explore topics such as collusion, mergers, product differentiation, and asymmetric information, and become familiar with a broad range of methods and models applied by economists in the analysis of firms and industries.
In this module you will develop an understanding of the wide range of fixed income securities and derivatives available to investors in the financial markets. You will look at the basic institutional features of derivatives markets, as well as the pricing of bonds and of derivative instruments and using them for hedging purposes. You will consider investment and trading strategies that use bonds and derivatives, and evaluate the use of bonds in immunising portfolios based on the bond's duration. You will also explore the features and uses of the most popular types of derivatives available today, including options, futures, forwards, and swaps.
This third-year course will deepen the elements covered previously in Employability 1 and 2. Career services will provide a session on how to be ready for employment at the end of the year. Students will prepare for a psychometric test and undertake a series of mock interviews in order to improve their interview technique. Finally, students will attend at least one Econ@Work talk to be aware of professional life and challenges.
There are a number of optional course modules available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course modules that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new modules may be offered or existing modules may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.Year 1
All modules are core
All modules are core
Optional modules may include:
In this module you will develop an understanding of the use of experiments to test economic theories. You will look at how individuals make decisions in markets, how individuals decide to spend money today or save it for future spending, the assumption of self-regarding preferences commonly made in standard economic models, and the ability to act rationally in a strategic environment. You will consider the issues raised by experimental design and critically evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of experimental methods.
In this module you will develop an understanding of the role of money in the economy. You will look at models where inflation shows persistence, the theory of monetary policy, monetary policy operating procedures and the central banking mechanisms. You will consider why inflation is persistent in the data and how the political forces affecting monetary policy-making may affect inflation.
In this module you will develop an understanding of the mathematics of optimisation and of equilibrium models. You will look at the linkage between markets and Pareto optimality and consider the social outcomes that can be implemented in game-theoretic equilibrium. You will also examine the basic types of auctions and when and why they implement identical outcomes.
In this module you will develop an understanding of economic inequality. You will look at the factors that determine wage differentials among workers from a theoretical and empirical point of view. You will consider why similar workers are paid differently and examine how labour mobility can improve the allocation of workers to firms, enhance aggregate productivity, and reduce inequality.
This module will analyse the economic issues of behaviour and outcomes in labour markets. It will focus on topics relating to labour supply and demand, wage formation and earnings inequalities, e.g.: Labour Demand; Labour Supply; Human Capital and Compensating Wage Differentials; Inequality in Earnings; Labour Mobility; Discrimination; Unemployment.
Teaching & assessment
Teaching is mostly by means of lectures and seminars, the latter providing a forum for students to work through problem sets and applications in a smaller and more interactive setting. Outside of scheduled teaching sessions, students work independently, or collaboratively, researching, reading and preparing for seminars.
Assessment is usually carried out by end of year examinations as well as class tests and assignments. Final year students can choose to complete an extended essay, which offers students the chance to conduct an original piece of research.
A Levels: ABB-BBB
- GCSE Maths at grade A or 7.
- At least five GCSEs at grade A*-C or 9-4 including English and Mathematics.
Where an applicant is taking the EPQ alongside A-levels, the EPQ will be taken into consideration and result in lower A-level grades being required. For students who are from backgrounds or personal circumstances that mean they are generally less likely to go to university you may be eligible for an alternative lower offer. Follow the link to learn more about our contextual offers.
We accept T-levels for admission to our undergraduate courses, with the following grades regarded as equivalent to our standard A-level requirements:
- AAA* – Distinction (A* on the core and distinction in the occupational specialism)
- AAA – Distinction
- BBB – Merit
- CCC – Pass (C or above on the core)
- DDD – Pass (D or E on the core)
Where a course specifies subject-specific requirements at A-level, T-level applicants are likely to be asked to offer this A-level alongside their T-level studies.
Your future career
This degree from Royal Holloway will equip you with an enviable range of practical skills and can lead into a variety of career paths. Employers recognise and reward the real knowledge and skills developed in an Economics degree.
We will help you to recognise your own strengths, skills and abilities so that you can make strong applications for your chosen job or further study. We also provide support through short dedicated careers modules, which include employability workshops, events and guest speakers.
- Get equipped with transferable skills such as numeracy problem-solving, computing and analytics
- Develop your professional network by attending workshops, events and guest speaker talks
- Dedicated short employability modules to help you in your career
Fees, funding & scholarships
Home (UK) students tuition fee per year*: £9,250
EU and international students tuition fee per year**: £19,300
Other essential costs***: There are no single associated costs greater than £50 per item on this course.
How do I pay for it? Find out more about funding options, including loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students who have already taken out a tuition fee loan for undergraduate study should check their eligibility for additional funding directly with the relevant awards body.
*The tuition fee for UK undergraduates is controlled by Government regulations. For students starting a degree in the academic year 2022/23, the fee will be £9,250 for that year. The fee for UK undergraduates starting in 2023/24 has not yet been confirmed.
**The UK Government has confirmed that EU nationals are no longer eligible to pay the same fees as UK students, nor be eligible for funding from the Student Loans Company. This means you will be classified as an international student. At Royal Holloway, we wish to support those students affected by this change in status through this transition. For eligible EU students starting their course with us in September 2022, we will award a fee reduction scholarship equivalent to 60% of the difference between the UK and international fee for your course. This will apply for the duration of your course. Find out more
Fees for international students may increase year-on-year in line with the rate of inflation. The policy at Royal Holloway is that any increases in fees will not exceed 5% for continuing students. For further information see fees and funding and our terms and conditions.
***These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree at Royal Holloway during the 2021/22 academic year, and are included as a guide. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing etc., have not been included.