What causes ‚credit crunches’, and how do their effects spread throughout the economy? What determines the value of Pound Sterling relative to the US Dollar or Euro? How do stock market prices affect asset prices? Financial events are rarely far from headline news. They have an impact that extends far beyond the financial sector to affect almost every aspect of daily life, including income, employment, prices, property value and the cost of mortgages.
Our course is built on the core principles of economics, which are applied to your study of financial institutions (such as banks), financial markets (such as the stock exchange), and financial instruments. You receive a thorough introduction to economics and mathematics, as well as training in quantitative research methods.
You study the mathematical and statistical analysis of economic problems, and how the financial system functions, choosing from a range of topics on financial economics including:
- Fundamentals of accounting
- Business strategy and competition
- Capital markets
- Financial innovations and new forms of transaction media
- Bonds and contracts
We are rated consistently highly for student satisfaction and are top 5 in the UK for research, with over 90% of our research rated as “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” (REF 2014).
The world of finance has an impact on people, business and government. Studying financial economics provides you with a foundation in economics, developing into a deep understanding of how the financial system works and the ways in which it affects our lives. By studying our course, you graduate with a strong training in financial economics.
Your education extends beyond the university campus. We support you in expanding your education through offering the opportunity to spend a year or a term studying abroad at one of our partner universities. The four-year version of our degree allows you to spend the third year abroad or employed on a placement abroad, while otherwise remaining identical to the three-year course.
Studying abroad allows you to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised.
If you spend a full year abroad you’ll only pay 15% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year. You won’t pay any tuition fees to your host university
Alternatively, you can spend your third year on a placement year with an external organisation, where you learn about a particular sector, company or job role, apply your academic knowledge in a practical working environment, and receive inspiration for future career pathways. You will be responsible for finding your placement, but with support and guidance provided by both your department and our Employability and Careers Centre.
If you complete a placement year you’ll only pay 20% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year.
Our expert staff
Study and work alongside some of the most prominent economists.
Our researchers are at the forefront of their field and have even received MBEs, with students coming from across the globe to study, research or work with us. Our Department of Economics is a richly diverse home to staff and students from all over the world who have a strong sense of belonging and want to think, learn and change the world together.
Many of our researchers also provide consultancy services to businesses in London and other major financial centres, helping us to develop research for today’s society as well as informing our teaching for the future.
Take advantage of our extensive learning resources to assist you in your studies:
Many employers want economists with critical thinking skills who can tackle large data sets and practical problems. Our course helps you to become more employable and takes you closer to that dream job or postgraduate course when you graduate.
Our students are in demand from a wide range of employers in a host of occupations, including financial analysis, management, public administration and accountancy.
Our recent graduates have gone on to work for a wide range of high-profile companies including:
- Bank of England
- Ernst and Young
- Morgan Stanley
- Bank of New York
- RBB Economic Consulting
- Government Economic Service
We also work with the University’s Student Development Team to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.
Why we’re great
- We are Top 5 in the UK for our research excellence – you can learn from the best.
- 93% of our students from the Department of Economics expressed overall satisfaction with their course (NSS 2020).
- We give you diverse employment potential and the chance to meet future employers.
We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of core/compulsory modules, and optional modules chosen from lists.
Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The course content is therefore reviewed on an annual basis to ensure our courses remain up-to-date so modules listed are subject to change.
Teaching and learning disclaimer
Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.
The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently approved for 2022 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.
On a placement year you gain relevant work experience within an external business or organisation, giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market and providing you with key contacts within the industry. The rest of your course remains identical to the three-year degree.
On your year abroad, you have the opportunity to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised. The rest of your course remains identical to the three-year degree.
- Teaching is arranged to allow freedom in how you organise your learning experiences
- After receiving a general overview of a topic in your two-hour weekly lecture, you discuss and solve the issues it raises in a class with 15 to 20 fellow students
- Optional support classes
- You are assessed each year through a mixture of coursework and end-of-year examinations
- The balance is set at 50% coursework and 50% exam
- For many of your second- and final-year modules, coursework takes the form of an extended essay
- Complete your final year project in consultation with a personal supervisor