Topics in Financial Economics

The details
Colchester Campus
Postgraduate: Level 7
Monday 13 January 2020
Friday 20 March 2020
26 June 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for

MSC L10312 Financial and Business Economics,
MSC L11112 Financial Economics,
MSC L10212 Financial Economics and Econometrics

Module description

The past three decades have witnessed unprecedented growth in financial and capital markets and the variety of financial instruments that can be traded in these markets. The objective of this module is to give an overview of these developments by introducing basic elements in modern finance and providing a theoretical and empirical understanding of the functioning of financial markets. The module holds up financial market theory against empirical and experimental evidence on market and agent behaviour in order to critically assess the theory and propose new approaches to understanding financial markets.

The module starts with an overview of the activities of financial institutions. This is followed by a study of the main financial markets: the money market, bond market, equity market and various derivatives markets. In relation to each market the module discusses institutional aspects such as market making and trading on centralised exchanges, and valuation. Once a clear understanding of the markets and their environment is established the module moves on to empirical findings, experimental evidence and recent experience, especially in the context of the 2007-08 financial crisis. Specific topics to be discussed include, but are not limited to, how financial market prices reflect insider information, whether financial markets provide appropriate incentives for traders and other agents such as investment funds to become informed about the assets that are traded, under what conditions we could expect "bubbles" to form, or whether we can use simple financial markets as tools to predict non-financial events such as election outcomes.

Module aims

The module aims to familiarise students not only with theory, but also with empirical and experimental evidence, broadening the experience of students with a wide set of economic tools and the way they can be used together to obtain insights about underlying economic behaviour.

Module learning outcomes

The module provides students with the following employability skills. Academic skills are enhanced through essay-writing, mathematical problem-solving and the use of ICT equipment. Students are encouraged to carry out research and information gathering for term papers and as background reading. External awareness is promoted through discussion of real world issues and learning about financial institutions and regulation. Opportunities to develop professional working skills, including teamwork and presentation skills, are provided through class discussions.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

One 2 hour lecture and 1 hour class per week. Feedback for this module will occur through class meetings where we will go over the answers to problem sets and where you will be able to ask questions about your own method of solution; answers that will be posted on the website for the module that will give you written guidance on the appropriate method to approach the problems, assignments, and tests; and office hours where any additional questions can be addressed. You should be sure that you use these methods to understand how to improve your own performance. The term paper will be returned with individualised feedback that addresses what the marking criteria are and how you could improve your own work.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Test      
Exam  120 minutes during Summer (Main Period) (Main) 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
50% 50%


Coursework Exam
50% 50%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Tianxi Wang, email:
Dr Tianxi Wang
For further information, send a message to



External examiner

Dr Roberto Bonilla Trejos
The University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Available via Moodle
Of 32 hours, 30 (93.8%) hours available to students:
2 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

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