Business Economics and Finance MSc

You’ll master key theories and concepts of economics and finance, and gain quantitative skills that are in high demand in the global job market. Developed in collaboration with industry practitioners, this course will equip you for a range of career paths including one within the financial sector.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type

Full-time

Course format

Duration

1 year

UCAS code(s)

N/A

Start date

Overview
Explore Business Economics and Finance at Aston University
Ting Zhao

“I chose to study at Aston because of the University’s famous reputation and quality of education. I am convinced that I am acquiring useful knowledge that I can use in the future.”

Ting Zhao

Wenyan Xian

"I am proud of my wonderful one-year study at Aston and I would like to share my Aston experience with those who are considering becoming a student at Aston. My lectures were in small groups which meant I could easily communicate with lecturers who were always happy to answer questions. Also, Aston gave me a great chance to study abroad in France with grants and without tuition fees.”

Wenyan Xian

MSc Business Economics and Finance

Wenyan Xian

"I am proud of my wonderful one-year study at Aston and I would like to share my Aston experience with those who are considering becoming a student at Aston. My lectures were in small groups which meant I could easily communicate with lecturers who were always happy to answer questions. Also, Aston gave me a great chance to study abroad in France with grants and without tuition fees.”

Wenyan Xian

MSc Business Economics and Finance

Course outline and modules

This course will provide you with the tools for a variety of financial positions in a range of organisations, from blue-chip companies to not-for-profit groups.

You’ll enjoy a stimulating range of teaching methods including lectures, seminars, simulations and lab sessions. You will use advanced statistical software packages, and have access to Datastream, a global financial and macroeconomics data platform, to enhance your practical skills.

There is also the opportunity to develop other practical business skills, such as writing business plans, and country and market reports. You’ll be able to benefit from visits of guest speakers who are leading industry experts in the field of economics and finance.

We welcome students with a background knowledge in economics or related subject areas, such as general business or management degrees. The programme focuses on three core components; economics, finance and the quantitative skills needed to work in the financial sector.

How will my knowledge and skills develop?

You’ll develop an understanding of how the economic environment affects firm performance and behaviour, and vice versa. Furthermore, you’ll look at how decisions taken by governments and policy makers affect financial markets, and how global events can have an impact on economies and individual organisations.

You’ll gain an insight into the workings of financial markets, investments and corporate finance. We will also examine the various products and services offered by firms within the financial sector. You will learn how to price these products and services and how demand volatility (uncertainty) can impact on pricing. 

We are committed to providing you with the skills and know-how which are in high demand with graduate employers. Therefore, as well as examining key theories and concepts, we put emphasis on the real world application of theories. For example, we teach quantitative methods as a tool for investment and strategic decision making.

This practical and analytical approach helps to enhance your understanding and will ensure you are well-equipped for a range of graduate roles.

Practical experience

On this course, you’ll have access to specialist software used by economists and we will teach you how to obtain statistical insights from quantitative data. This will allow you to analyse financial information accurately and advise what impact a changing economic environment can have on firms, their products and services. These practical, statistical and analytical skills are crucial when working in the fast-paced world of global finance.

You'll study The Aston Global Advantage module which focuses on professional development and employability, helping you to apply the key skills that you will gain throughout the year.

You’ll also have the opportunity to study abroad with one of our international partners, undertake an internship placement in the UK or overseas or get involved in a global business challenge simulation.

Our courses offer a range of opportunities to gain practical experience through things such as consultancy projects and entrepreneurial opportunities. Find out more here.

How will this course help my career?

This course is designed to enhance your employability. As well as being developed with industry experts through our advisory board, we also ensure you gain exposure to opportunities throughout your studies. In your third term you will have the choice of studying abroad or pursuing an internship.

The course concludes with a Business Project or Dissertation, giving you the opportunity to analyse a business problem and practically apply the knowledge and skills developed during the course to outline your recommendations. This will also help to show prospective employers how you are able to impact their business.

This course offers an opportunity to study a second degree at one of our international partner institutions once you have completed your year at Aston. Find out more here.

Modules

Core modules

Economics of Governance and Organisations

This module examines the theory and methods that companies use to determine their firm governance organisational structure and decision-making. For example, we consider how executive pay and reward may lead to strategies for short-term economic gain rather than long-term prosperity.

Macroeconomics

Here you’ll gain an insight into a range of large-scale or general economic factors, such as why we have inflation, what determines whether a country is growing or not, how different financial shocks occur around the world and how policymaker decisions affect country economics.

Econometrics 1 Ethics in Academic Practice

This module provides an introduction to the Academic Offence framework. By completing the resources you will understand the key principles underpinning the submission of academic assignments. These principles can then be applied to the rest of the modules studied at the university.

Econometrics 2

This module builds on the introductory level quantitative methods and introduces you to concepts and techniques essential to the analysis of social science data. It focuses on different methods that are used in the applied research, including difference in difference panel data, instrumental variables and limited dependent variables.

Business Finance

This module looks at the key principles and challenges of financial management decisions. You’ll develop an understanding of the characteristics, influencing factors and the advantages and disadvantages of different forms of financing. You’ll also apply mathematical techniques for a range of commercial tasks, such as the evaluation of investment decisions.

Mircoeconomics 

The Aston Global Advantage

The Aston Global Advantage is our professional development programme that runs throughout all MSc programmes at Aston Business School. Focusing on professional development and employability, this integrated module gives you the opportunity to identify, develop and apply the key transferrable skills you will gain throughout the year. 

Business Project or Dissertation 

The Business Project/Dissertation is a chance for you to carry out an original piece of work applying material that you have learnt in the taught element of your degree. Specific requirements will be explained relating to different degree programmes but in summary you must demonstrate both theoretical and practical knowledge of your chosen area of specialism.

Optional modules

International Finance 

This module explores current challenges and issues faced by organisations in the global marketplace. We look at how the international financial environment can affect firms and their strategies, specifically what steps they take to negate these risks. For example, firms hedging against currency fluctuations.

Entrepreneurial Strategies

This module will develop your understanding of the global business environment and the factors which affect entrepreneurs’ strategies in relation to growing their business abroad. You’ll analyse the main entry modes for new companies looking to do business overseas. We also assess the implications of economic policies and technological advances on new business internationalisation.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Emerging Economies

This module focuses on entrepreneurial ventures and innovative activities of established businesses in emerging economies, and how they contribute to economic development and growth. We look at specific processes of new business creation and innovation in this context and examine case studies to help you to gain an applied understanding.

International Business

This module will give you the basic and fundamental knowledge of international business theories and concepts. It will cover selected topics from a wide spectrum of activities in the international business environment. It will also develop your skills in applying the theories into practice through experiential learning such as case study analysis and class discussions.

Investment Banking

This module deals with primary performance evaluation methods used in the investment banking industry. The underlying methods form the cornerstone for valuing companies on a standalone basis, including an assessment of whether a given public company is overvalued or undervalued.

Strategic Management

“Entrepreneurship is the ongoing practice of creating opportunities, taking smart action learning and iterating and using a portfolio of skills to navigate an ever changing world” (Neck 2018).

Value of Investments

This module covers fixed income and focuses on bonds. The topics covered in the module have close resemblance to those in the CFA Program and this module should benefit you, especially if you are preparing to take the CFA exams. There is a focus on both theoretical and practical knowledge.

 

Entry requirements

UK/EU students

One of the following:

  • A good UK honours degree (minimum lower second class)
  • Equivalent overseas degree recognised by Aston University

Specific entry requirement: 

You will be required to have some foundational knowledge of Economics (successfully completed 10 ECTS credits, the equivalent of two standard undergraduate level modules).

As well as:

  • Two professional references – at least one must be from an academic referee
  • An official academic transcript of your university grades to date
  • A completed application form.

 

International students
  • An official academic transcript, with an official English translation, of your university grades to date.
  • Students whose native language is not English will also need to satisfy our English language requirements. Pre-sessional English language programmes are available for good applicants whose English qualification falls just short of these requirements.
  • Postgraduate masters students enrolling to Aston Business School with a 5.5 in one of the four IELTS sections will be required to engage with English language tuition as part of our professional development programme, The Aston Global Advantage. There will be no extra cost to the student.
  • For students who do not meet our minimum academic and English language requirements for this course, we offer an alternative pathway to an Aston Master’s with Kaplan International College, London.
  • For more information about qualifications, view our Aston in your country webpage.
Extensive work experience

We recognise the value of extensive professional experience. If you do not have the academic qualifications, but have extensive and relevant professional experience and a proven ability to succeed, we would welcome your application.

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.

 

 

Learning, teaching and assessment

Learning and teaching

You will experience a range of teaching methods including lectures, tutorials, workshops, and both individual and group presentations. Traditional teaching is supported by a virtual learning environment that is used to host a range of electronic supporting materials.

Aston University has subscriptions to both the Financial Times and The Economist, which you can benefit from whilst studying here.

Assessment

Taught modules will be assessed through a mixture of examinations and coursework. You’ll also be required to conduct relevant and up-to-date research involving a literature review, assimilating and analysing data, and developing critical recommendations based on your findings.

Personal development

  • Develop your knowledge of economics and finance subjects and key theories
  • Gain a diverse range of skills highly in demand by employers
  • Focus on how knowledge can be applied to a real world context 
  • Learn from leading academics who are experts in their research area. 

Student experience and employability

Overseas opportunities

We benefit from an extensive network of partner institutions, including some of the highest ranked business schools in the world, such as Kedge Business School in France.

Our overseas study programmes are all tuition-free and you’ll study and be assessed in English.

Placements

As part of this course you’ll have the opportunity to undertake a work placement and gain valuable professional experience. Work placements can last up to one year and help you stand out from the competition when applying for graduate roles.

Our students have been successful in gaining work placements in a wide variety of organisations, both in the UK and internationally. For example, one student recently spent time with a prestigious investment banking firm in Paris.

You’ll also be given the opportunity to support start-up businesses and SMEs with business projects through our Aston Business Clinic. Working with other students, you’ll collaborate to solve a strategic problem and make a real difference for a growing business.

Trips and visits

We have a range of networking opportunities and guest speakers on campus throughout the year. Industry professionals working in a variety of positions including the financial functions, will give you an insight into their roles, responsibilities and challenges.

Graduate employers regularly visit campus throughout the year. You’ll be able to chat to companies about their graduate opportunities and get an insight into their selection process.

There’s also a number of field-trips and leisure activities that take place throughout the year, led by various University schools, societies and sports clubs.

Fees and scholarships

UK/EU students (2020/21): £10,550

International students (2020/21): £18,850

Scholarships

At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs. Find out more about our scholarships here.

Career prospects

A postgraduate qualification in this subject prepares you for many different careers within business including economics and the financial sector. Graduates from this programme may seek careers working in academia, business, government and non-profit organisations in areas such as investment, banking and economic data analysis.

International students

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our postgraduate programmes. Students from over 120 different countries choose to study with us every year and Aston is not only a great place to study, based in the centre of Birmingham it is also a great place to live.

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new immigration route which will enable international students to remain in the UK for two years after they have completed their studies to find work. The new post-study work visa will apply to international students starting undergraduate and postgraduate courses from 2020.  Click here for more information on post-work visas.

Frequently asked questions

Why study Business Economics and Finance at Aston University?

As well as a strong understanding across business economics and finance, you’ll get to develop the skills that are in high demand in the financial sector and more broadly in business with practical experiences, such as using econometric software and applying your learning to real world situations.

You’ll gain a breadth of practical learning and professional experience, whether that is through providing support to live projects, undertaking an internship or studying abroad. Not only does this bring your learning to life, it will also really help you to progress to your next step once you complete the course.

Why choose to study with Aston Business School?

Aston Business School is part of an elite group of business schools thanks to our triple accreditation from AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA. We can help to enhance your career prospects, boost your earning potential and set you on the path to a successful, and rewarding career. 

Aston University is renowned for its excellence in teaching and research and the employability of our graduates. At Aston Business School we are committed to innovative approaches to teaching and education. We are dedicated to providing students with a competitive advantage in the jobs market by delivering the knowledge students need to pursue the many career tracks available to them with a background in international business. Teaching on the course is informed by our world-class scholars and provides you with a deep understanding and skills for conducting business on a global scale. At Aston University, we aim to prepare students for the real world challenges. There are plenty of opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience and apply their knowledge in real-life situations by engaging in live projects and internships. 

 

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