Business Economics and Finance MSc

Course overview

  • Course level
    Postgraduate
  • Course type
    Full-time
  • Duration
    1 year
  • Course options
    Internship / overseas study
  • School

Entry requirements

  • One of the following:
    A good UK honours degree (minimum lower second class) or 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).
  • For international students:
    An official academic transcript, with official English translation, of your university grades to date, students whose native language is not English also need to satisfy our English language requirements.
  • Full entry requirements
    See entry requirements below for full details
More information
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Key Dates

Why choose this course?

Learn the key skills international employers want

Ranked 24th in Europe and 6th in the UK in the Eduniversal Best Masters Ranking 2019.

Course summary

Developed in collaboration with industry practitioners, this course is designed to equip you with the skills and knowledge required to kick-start your career within the financial sector.

You’ll master key theories and concepts of economics and finance as well as gain quantitative skills that are in high demand in the global job market.

The course concludes with a Business Project; a substantial piece of work designed to provide you with an opportunity to analyse a business problem and practically apply the knowledge and skills developed during the course.

You can choose to study this course as part of our double degree programme. 

Entry requirements

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.

For 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 with 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.

Applicants with 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.

Why choose us?

We are one of just 1% of business schools in the world to hold triple accreditation from AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA.

Our internationally renowned teaching and research staff are experts in the field of economics and finance. They’ve worked closely with policy makers and advised on national and regional economic policy. Many of them have first-hand experience of financial operations of organisations, having either enjoyed illustrious careers themselves or having helped to train businesses. This collective experience and variety of perspectives is incredibly beneficial.

Our graduates have secured coveted positions with high profile organisations around the world, including Ernst and Young, HSBC, BMW and central banks. Our strong links with industry have provided us with input and feedback to ensure you’re well-equipped for roles within the sector.

We attract students from all over the world. By working with people from different countries, you’ll develop your communication, teamwork, organisation and management skills in a multicultural context. These are highly desirable skills and experiences for those wanting to embark on careers with multinational companies. 

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

Fees and scholarships

Fees 2020/21

UK/EU:           £10,550
International:  £18,850

Scholarships
Find out more about our scholarships here.  

Course outline

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.

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.

You’ll develop an understanding of the economic environment all firms operate in. We’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’ll also examine the various products and services offered by firms within the financial sector. You’ll learn how to price these products and services and how demand can fluctuate, and pricing can be affected.

You’ll have access to specialist software used by economists and we’ll 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.

We’re 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 a lot of emphasis on the application of theories in the real world. For example, we look at mathematics with an emphasis on how this impacts organisations and how it influences their investments and strategic decision making.

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

You’ll enjoy a stimulating range of teaching methods including lectures, seminars and case studies. Then there’s simulations and lab sessions, where we use advanced software packages, including Datastream, to enhance your practical skills. There’s also the opportunity to develop other practical business skills, such as writing business plans and conducting country and market reports. You’ll also benefit from visits from guest speakers who are leading industry experts in the field of economics and finance.

Subject guide and 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 market place. 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 cornestone 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.
Learning, teaching and assessment

Learning and teaching

You will experience a range of teaching methods including lectures, tutorials, group-working, case studies 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 will 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 their 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. 
The Aston Global Advantage

More than a masters

The Aston Global Advantage is an integrated module which runs throughout your course. Focusing on professional development and employability, this module gives you the opportunity to identify, develop and apply the key skills you will gain throughout the year. You'll have the opportunity to:

  • Develop your academic skills
  • Build a portfolio of professional business skills
  • 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.

 

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 with 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.

Erasmus+

Study or work in another country

The University has secured Erasmus+ mobility funding for students going on placement during the academic year 2019/20.  For students planning their placement in the academic year 2020/21, Erasmus+ mobility funding will be dependent on the Exit date and whether a Withdrawal deal is agreed. The University’s Brexit information page is regularly being updated and will have the latest information.   

 

"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
Connect with our Global Alumni Ambassadors

“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.”

Connect with our Global Alumni Ambassadors

"The experience of being a student at Aston is great and something which I may not be able to experience further in my life. For this, I want to thank to all my professors and the university for giving me such memorable moments to experience."

"I applied to Aston not only because of its world class reputation, research and academic merit, but also the vibrant community of students and alumni."

Amman Kaur Atwal 
Analyst, Willis Towers Watson

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