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.
Our flexible degree programmes enable you to apply to take a Placement Year, which can be spent studying abroad, working or carrying out voluntary work. You can even do all three if you want to (minimum of three months each)! To recognise the importance of this additional skills development and university experience, your Placement Year will be formally recognised on your degree certificate and will contribute to your overall result. Please note conditions may apply if your degree already includes an integrated year out, please contact the Careers & Employability Service for more information. Find out more
- 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
In this module you will develop an understanding of the theories of macroeconomics, that of the economy as a whole, and of microeconomics, the behaviour of individuals, firms and governments. You will look at how the goods and assets markets underpin growth, inflation and unemployment, and the role that fiscal and monetary policy play in macroeconomic management. You will examine the theoretical basis to supply and demand and the role of government intervention in individual markets. You will consider how to solve economic problems by manipulating a variety of simple diagrammatic and algebraic models in macro- and microeconomics, critically evaluating the models and their limitations.
- Data Skills for Economists
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.
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.
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.
You will choose one of the following modules
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 the behaviour of individuals and firms in the economy. You will look at models of individual optimisation and their applications, considering the key determinants of an individual’s behaviour in a variety of circumstances. You will examine the behaviour of firms in different market environments such as perfect competition, monopoly and oligopoly, and the factors which are important in shaping the decisions that firms make in each market environment. You will learn to manipulate and solve diagrammatic and algebraic models of microeconomics, analysing the properties of competitive markets and assessing the role of government intervention in correcting market failures.
You will choose one of the following modules
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.
The aim of this module is to extend and deepen your knowledge of the essentials of econometric theory and practice. This module will build on the topics and techniques covered in Econometrics A looking at extensions of techniques and estimation methods to address more complex problems.
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.
In this module you will develop an understanding of the financial market, institutions, participants and traded assets that constitute a modern financial system. You will look at the theories of risk-factor pricing, such as the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) and the Arbitrage Pricing Theory (APT). You will consider the theory of, and empirical evidence on, efficient, markets and examine the process of price formation. You will also analyse the derivation and construction of efficient portfolios.
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
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.
In this module you will develop your understanding of the main theoretical and empirical issues in modern labour economics. You will look at theory, evidence and policy, covering labour demand, labour supply and time allocation decisions, schooling and job training, human capital investment, wage determination, unemployment, minimum wage, returns to schooling, discrimination, and immigration. You will critically analyse important labour market phenomena, as well as various public policy issues, such as government training programs, minimum wage policies, unemployment insurance and welfare benefits.
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 B or 6.
- 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. Socio - economic factors which may have impacted an applicant's education will be taken into consideration and alternative offers may be made to these applicants.
Other UK and Ireland Qualifications
International & EU requirements
English language requirements
All teaching at Royal Holloway (apart from some language courses) is in English. You will therefore need to have good enough written and spoken English to cope with your studies right from the start.
The scores we require
- IELTS: 6.5 overall. Reading and writing 6.0. No other subscore lower than 5.5.
- Pearson Test of English: 61 overall. Reading and writing 54. No subscore lower than 51.
- Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE): ISE III.
- Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) grade C.
For more information about country-specific entry requirements for your country please visit here.
For international students who do not meet the direct entry requirements, we offer an International Foundation Year, run by Study Group at the Royal Holloway International Study Centre. Upon successful completion, you may progress on to selected undergraduate degree programmes at Royal Holloway, University of London.
Your future career
An Economics degree at 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 students to recognise their own strengths, skills and abilities so that they can make strong applications for their chosen job or further study. We also provide support through a dedicated careers course, which includes: employability workshops, events and guess speakers.
Fees & funding
Home and EU students tuition fee per year*: £9,250
International students tuition fee per year**: £18,800
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 2020/21, the fee will be £9,250 for that year. The Government has also confirmed that EU nationals starting a degree in 2020/21 will pay the same fee as UK students for the duration of their course.
For EU nationals starting a degree in 2021/22, the UK Government has confirmed that you will not be eligible to pay the same fees as UK students, nor be eligible for funding from the Student Loans Company. At Royal Holloway, we are currently reviewing the implications of this announcement for our applicants and will provide further information on the fee you can expect to pay shortly.
**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. Fees shown above are for 2020/21 and are displayed for indicative purposes only.
***These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree programme at Royal Holloway. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing etc., have not been included.