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Master's in Economics and Finance

Masters in Economics and Finance

At a glance

  • Specialise in empirical and practical applications of economics and finance
  • Boost your employability within a wide variety of industries by developing strong analytical and problem solving skills
  • Benefit from the combined expertise of both the ICMA Centre and the Department of Economics
  • Gain access to a range of specialist modules offered by both departments
  • Utilise the ICMA Centre’s finance-oriented in-house careers development programme
Subject area(s)
Finance (ICMA Centre)
9 months / 12 months
Whiteknights campus (Reading)
Programme Director
Vu Tran
Dr Vu Tran


The MSc Economics and Finance is delivered jointly by the ICMA Centre and the Department of Economics. You will therefore benefit from rigorous training in both economics and finance and benefit from range of specialist modules offered by both departments.

The programme is structured with a strong emphasis on the combination of theory and practice. It gives you both breadth and depth of understanding of economics and finance in a systematic way, combining theoretical, methodological and practical issues. You will learn how to apply and use models but also the theoretical foundations behind the models. You will also study micro and macroeconomics and acquire solid understanding of financial theories, corporate finance and financial economics, which will equip you with strong practical and analytical skills for financial services, investment analysis and research.

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Part 1 Modules

Compulsory modules Credits

The module covers the building blocks of econometrics and analytical techniques used in finance. Via case studies and computer modelling exercises, students learn how to apply these techniques to real data. Emphasis is placed on practical applications of the techniques in the global financial markets.


This module provides an overview of the key building blocks in modern finance theory and introduces techniques for analysing and valuing different classes of risky assets such as equities and derivatives contracts. It also develops ways of optimally selecting portfolios of such assets and develops models of how these portfolios can be priced in financial markets. The techniques introduced in this module are widely applied in other elements of the programme. The module includes simulated trading sessions in our state of the art dealing rooms, where participants are introduced to real world pricing and trading strategies (INVEST sessions).

Academic authors
Nadia Kappou
Dr Konstantina Kappou

Fixed Income and Equity Investments deals with the valuation of fixed income and equity securities. The module focuses on the basic characteristics of these securities and the strategies used for estimating their fundamental value and assessing their risk. Its primary aim is to discuss how certain characteristics and relationships can affect the value of fixed income and equity securities and how can they be exploited to form optimal investment strategies or for the purpose of conducting financial analysis. The analytical techniques introduced in this module are widely applied in other elements of the programme.

Academic authors
Miriam Marra
Dr Miriam Marra
Christos Mavis

This module aims to provide students with a detailed understanding of the factors that influence the decision-making processes of individuals and firms, and how these decisions interact with economic policies at the national and international level. This module is intended to form a basic master’s level understanding of the core theories necessary to understand microeconomic policy, and a theoretical basis to understanding economic issues and policies.

Full details for this module can be found on the University of Reading website.

Academic authors
Dr Vivien Burrows

Part 2 Modules

Compulsory modules Credits

This module is intended to form a basic master’s level understanding of the core theories necessary to understand macroeconomic policy. This module provides a theoretical basis to understanding economic issues and policies. In particular, it is concerned with how economic policies at the national and international level impact growth, employment, inflation, and recessions.

Academic authors
Dr Fang Xu

The module is intended to be the next step beyond what is traditionally taught in an undergraduate intermediate course in international finance or international macroeconomics. It will introduce students to the concepts and techniques that are used in modern analysis of the global economy.


Students on the 9-month (12-month) programme will select 60 credits (40 credit) of elective modules from the list below in the spring term:

Optional modules Credits

This module focuses on both microeconomic and macroeconomic issues of development. It will provide a theoretical and empirical foundation to the economics of developing countries.


This module is intended to cover the most important social economic policy issues of the day. Consequently, the topics may vary from year-to-year in order to reflect contemporary relevance. But, in each case, the emphasis will be on how economic analysis can contribute to the solution of domestic and international social problems. Indicative topics are: poverty, segregation and social exclusion; the economics of crime; education. It should be noted that Housing Economics, Social Policy of Health and Ageing and Climate Change – which are all important social issues – have separate modules available.

Academic authors
Professor Giovanni Razzu

This module provides an advanced treatment of individual decision making. The stating point will be the standard theories of decision making under risk (expected utility theory), uncertainty (subjective expected utility theory), and over time (discounted utility), as well as for the combination of risk/uncertainty and time (discounted expected utility theory). Subsequently, these theories will be probed for their descriptive accuracy based actually observed decisions. Building on those, the course will introduce descriptively accurate models of decision making from behavioural economics, and compare them to the standard models.


This master’s module in advanced macroeconomics introduces students to a set of modern computational topics and methods in macroeconomic theory and policy and the corresponding programming techniques and software, namely Dynare/Matlab. Some knowledge of econometrics and statistics would be an advantage, but it is not required. The module consists of five 2-hour slots: an hour of lecture followed immediately by – or often merged with – an hour of lab class, where Dynare/Matlab codes will be circulated and studied in detail


This module presents a number of lessons from theoretical industrial economics for our understanding of corporate decision-making – such as price-setting, output-setting, investment in productive capacity, advertising and collusive behaviour. In this context, the role of industrial competition is emphasised and both the determinants of market structure and the imperatives for competition policy intervention are discussed.


The objective is to introduce the students to programming and its usage for data processing and finance. It deals with how to write programming code, process files, receive input and provide output. Students who complete this course will be able to write programming code in Python, process files, input, output and manage data. Furthermore, students will be able to read and write to Excel and CSV files, connect to databases, obtain and process data from the Web, as well as use Python for Finance and Econometrics applications.


Building on the material introduced in Quantitative Methods for Finance, this module covers a number of more advanced techniques that are relevant for financial applications, and in particular for modelling and forecasting financial time series. These include an introduction to maximum likelihood estimation and two-stage least squares, models of volatility, simulation techniques, and multivariate models. Case studies from the academic finance literature are employed to demonstrate potential uses of each approach. Extensive use is also made of financial econometrics software to demonstrate how the techniques are applied in practice.

Academic authors
Michael Clements
Professor Michael Clements

The aim of the research project is to allow students to define and execute a piece of research in finance on a topic of their choice, with direction from an academic supervisor and with assistance from a doctoral student support supervisor.

The self-directed nature of study for this model should encourage students to be resourceful in their search for relevant literature and data, and to manage the various stages involved effectively, leading to timely submission of the finished piece.

Academic authors
Charles Sutcliffe
Professor Charles Sutcliffe

The main aim of the course is to provide a rigorous grounding of the theory and practice of corporate finance and more specifically the long-term financial management decisions of the firm pertaining to investments, financing and payout and how they affect its value. It deals with how corporations are governed, their financing structures, payout policies, the processes involved in the issuance of public and private equity, as well growing through inorganic investment (mergers and acquisitions).

This course also deals with advanced financial analysis and enterprise valuation methods employed by financial advisors/investment banks as part of providing advice to corporations.

Students on this course take part in a bespoke investment banking pitch-book simulation challenge whereby they work with their team to produce a real life pitch-book including financial analysis on a real transaction as part of assessing the company’s strategic alternatives. In addition to lectures and case study based seminars the module also includes a 2-day financial modelling and valuation training by Financial Edge, the company responsible for training the analysts of the top-3 investment banks.

Academic authors
George Alexandridis
Professor George Alexandridis

In this course you will learn how big data techniques can be used to solve problems in finance. We will first explore issues related to the collection, organisation and visualisation of large sets of structured and unstructured data. We will then look at methods for storage and computation of big data sets by distributed computing (Hadoop). The module will also explore the use of cloud computing platforms with a focus on the Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

The course focuses on (1) issues facing big data handling (2) retrieval, organisation and cleaning of structured and unstructured data (3) a high level description of a system for the distributed storage and processing of big data (Hadoop) (4) cloud computing with a focus on the Google Cloud Platform (5) finance applications.

Academic authors
Mr Mininder Sethi

Part 3 Modules (12-month only)

Students on the 12-months programme should take 20 credits from the following:

Optional modules Credits

This module is designed for advanced Master’s students and doctoral students. It has a very high technical content. It aims to equip the students with the foundations of theoretical asset pricing and with the relevant skills for performing empirical tests. Additionally, a few important corporate finance topics will be covered in the format of student presentations. The objective of the module is to prepare students to become independent and quality researchers.

Academic authors
Marcel Prokopczuk
Professor Marcel Prokopczuk

This course aims to provide students with an understanding of financial decision making in the context of the energy industry. The course will combine theoretical models with practical applications. It focuses on energy markets (products, companies, production and consumption), capital budgeting in energy companies, financing of energy companies, energy derivatives and trading in energy markets. A number of case studies in energy finances are utilised.

Academic authors
Marcel Prokopczuk
Professor Marcel Prokopczuk

The module is less quantitative option open to all MSc students that builds on the coverage of futures contracts from term 1. By the end of the module it is expected that students will be aware of the different ways of constructing stock market indices and the implications of these differences, how futures contracts are traded and the identity of some of the close substitutes for trading index futures, how futures can be priced using an arbitrage relationship, how futures can be used for hedging the price risk of the underlying, and the various uses that fund managers make of these instruments.

Academic authors
Charles Sutcliffe
Professor Charles Sutcliffe

This module gives students the opportunity to pursue a work placement with an external organisation broadly related to the general sphere of their degree studies. The aim of the module is to allow participants to gain work experience in a career path of interest, develop a wide range of employability skills, build their network and enhance market awareness. The maximum duration of the placement is 3 months and it takes place during the summer vacation period (June-August). Placements should be secured by students independently. The Centre’s career development office can support students in their search and application process. Placements secured by students are subject to the approval of the module convenor. The module is assessed by a 3,000-word project based on the work experience gained.

Academic authors
Michael smith
Dr Michael Smith

The module or course content descriptions set out on this page are correct for those being taught in the current academic year. Modules or course content marked as optional are indicative and may be subject to change.

Our master's in finance courses are available only on a full-time basis with the option of studying for 9 or 12 months.

Learning options

Full-time: 9 months
Full-time: 12 months
Students will be resident and undertake full-time study in the UK. Under both, the 9 and 12-month programmes students take compulsory and/or elective modules in Part 2.
The 12 month option involves taking an elective 20 credit module between July and August, which would also mean a 20 credit reduction in the number of taught modules taken in the spring term.

Course structure

October – December:Part 1 Autumn Term
January:Part 1 Exams. Please note that the January Exams will start 1 week before the official start of the Spring Term.
January-April:Part 2 Spring Term
May – June:Part 2 Exams
June – August (12 month programme only):Part 3
August/Sep (12 month programme only):Part 3 Coursework deadlines

How can Henley Careers work with you?

We have an award-winning careers team that will support you through your postgraduate studies and four years after graduation.

Here is how Henley Careers can help you:

  • Careers Consultant appointments: Our Careers Consultant are here to help and support you with any careers related concern that you might have. Whether it’s CV advice, practicing for an interview, providing feedback if applications aren't successful or support planning your career goals. We are here to help empower you to progress in your career.
  • Events: Henley Careers organise numerous events aimed to help you build your confidence, develop the skills employers are looking for. Additionally, network with employers and expand your industry knowledge.
  • Alumni support: You can continue to book one-to-one appointments with your Careers Consultant and use our online resources. For up to four years after graduating we’re here to help and support in your career.
  • Career Smart: Get a head start in securing a graduate job by taking part in our online course, Career Smart. You can expect to learn about the graduate recruitment cycle in the UK. As well as where to look and how to start applying to jobs, and the different roles available to you.

For more information  please see our Careers page.

Continuing your career

The MSc in Economics and Finance will provide you with subject-specific skills enabling you to apply economic principles and models, whilst also understanding the larger driving forces shaping social policy as well as financial markets and skills in statistical analysis.

The programme will help you develop specialized analytical skills, enabling you to successfully enter multiple industries as a professional economist, or in a number of professional roles with an eye for economics. Graduates are well placed to work as economists in the investment banking industry and other international or government organisations or in research related roles.

This course will boost your employability in several other areas due to the strong demand for highly numerate graduates and the widely transferable analytical and problem solving skills developed by students who have both an economics and finance background. The programme will also enable you to embark upon further education and particularly a research degree (PhD) in the areas of Economics and Finance.

The ICMA Centre is among the pioneers in finance education and renowned for its strong links with the financial services industry. The Centre was ranked in 2020 among the UK’s top 5 for its Masters programmes (Financial Times Masters in Finance Ranking). It is also part of Henley Business School – among an elite group of 75 business schools in the world to hold triple-accredited status from the leading UK, European and US accrediting bodies: AMBA, EQUIS and AACSB.

The Centre’s unique practice centred approach includes a number of finance education innovations. These will provide you with a solid grounding for a career in the industry. The approach aims to equip you with a skill set that sets you apart from graduates of other finance programmes. Your employability track record is also bolstered by an in-house comprehensive career development programme.

Reading has proximity to the world’s top financial centre (25 mins from London Paddington). Several leading professional bodies including the CFA, CISI, GARP and ICS validate our programmes and offer exam exemptions to our students.

Joining one of the top schools of finance in Europe, you will benefit from state-of-the-art facilities. You will have access to the latest technology and will be taught by world-renowned faculty and industry experts. Our innovative teaching and learning environment includes trading and financial analysis simulations. We also have the latest financial data and programming software. Our three dealing rooms are one of the largest facilities of its kind in the world. They provide an ideal setting for understanding how businesses and markets function in practice.

Our students’ learning experience is a top priority for academic faculty and administrative staff at the ICMA Centre. This is reflected in the latest student satisfaction rates in the PTES and NSS student surveys.

“When I joined I was immediately impressed by the high-end facilities and the fact that that renowned practitioners and academics in the sector are involved from day one in the teaching as well as our career development.”
Elena-Anna Gkermpesioti, MSc International Shipping & Finance

Speak to a current student

Contact us

For any questions of academic nature about this programme you are welcome to directly contact the Programme Director, Dr Vu Tran at


If you have any questions about admissions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Telephone: +44 (0)118 378 6497
An image of Xin Ma

Henley provides students with professional tutoring in the programme, but also many opportunities combining theory and practice. They are very concerned with career planning and I am very grateful to the school for helping me transition from student to professional.

This is a very practical programme that taught me a lot. The greatest gain is studying the field in depth. The more I learn, the more confident I am and I am very happy that I chose Financial Engineering.

Shuyuan Qi Current PhD student at the ICMA Centre Masters in Financial Engineering

Besides the career support provided by both the ICMA Centre and Henley Business School, I also enjoyed the networking events that provided opportunities to meet interesting people and connect with people from the other side of the world.

Lee Yi Wen MSc Economics and Finance Masters in Economics and Finance
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