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Behavioural Finance

MSc ( 1 year Full-time )

Overview

There is mounting evidence that people violate many of the "rationality" assumptions of mainstream economics. Behavioural Economics is a relatively new field that studies such violations and proposes theories to explain them. Behavioural Finance is a part of Behavioural Economics that studies important "irrationalities" on financial markets. Key topics include common mistakes people make when deciding how much to save and how to invest, excess volume of trade, equity premium puzzle, bubbles, and predictability of financial markets.

Behavioural Economics and Behavioural Finance have grown tremendously in popularity in recent years. The Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences was awarded to Daniel Kahneman in 2002 for Behavioural Economics and to Robert Shiller in 2013 for Behavioural Finance. There has been increased interest by the public, as evidenced by a spate of popular books in these areas.  There has also been increased interest by governments: for example, David Cameron appointed a "Behavioural Insights Team" in 2010 to help design government policies.

The backbone of the programme consists of a first-semester module in Behavioural Economics and a second-semester module in Advanced Behavioural Finance. Apart from these two modules, students can take modules covering more traditional topics in finance.

A thorough knowledge of Behavioural Economics and Behavioural Finance provides students with a deeper and more realistic understanding of financial markets than is offered by mainstream finance alone. Such knowledge also makes students less susceptible to common mistakes in their own lives and careers. A successful completion of the programme would provide students with valuable skills for a wide range of careers in areas such as investment, banking, public service, or academia.

A slide presentation of the module is available here

The lecture notes for the modules on behavioural economics and behavioural finance are available here.

Structure

The programme consists of five compulsory modules in semester A as well as two compulsory modules and three electives in semester B. During the summer period students will also have to complete a 45-credit 7000-word dissertation under the supervision of an academic member of staff. Students will also be offered a two-week pre-sessional course whose aim is to introduce students without a strong quantitative background to the necessary mathematics and statistical concepts.

Pre-sessional modules

  • Mathematics
  • Statistics
Semester ASemester BPost-Semester B
Behavioural EconomicsAdvanced Behavioural Finance7,000 word dissertation
InvestmentsElective 
Corporate FinanceElective 
Econometrics for FinanceElective 
EviewsData Analysis for Dissertation 

 

Elective modules

Students will also have the option to take the CFA pathway. The CFA pathway has the exact same structure except that students will complete the CFA Training post-semester B module and a 5,000 word dissertation 

Entry requirements

  • Undergraduate Degree - At the minimum a 2:1 or overseas equivalent is required. (A good performance in a higher degree such as a Masters will also be accepted)

  • Degree Discipline - Any degree discipline is acceptable, but students must have a good existing level of mathematics and statistics. Subjects likely to contain sufficient quantitative elements (i.e. which have at least one mathematics or statistics based module) include Mathematics, Sciences, Engineering, Economics, Finance, Psychology, Accounting, Business and Management.

  • Work experience and professional qualifications - Weight will be given to relevant work experience and professional qualifications but neither is necessary to be accepted onto this course.

  • English Language - Students whose first degree is not taught in an English-speaking country must provide evidence of English language proficiency. 6.5 IELTS overall and 6.0 in Writing or equivalent is the minimum required. Click here for further information.

  • Other aspects of your application - All aspects of your application will be taken into consideration so our decision to make you an offer is not exclusively based on the criteria above.

Learning and teaching

As a student at Queen Mary, you will play an active part in your acquisition of skills and knowledge. Teaching is by a mixture of formal lectures and group seminars. The seminars are designed to generate informed discussion around set topics, and may involve student presentations, group exercise and open discussions. We take pride in the close and friendly working relationship we have with our students.

Independent Study:

For every hour spent in formal classes you will be expected to complete further hours of independent study. Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; producing written work; completing projects; and revising for examinations.

The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study sessions you attend, along with your reading lists and assignments. However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability.

Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area. This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.

Assessment:

The grade for each module is assessed through coursework, along with a written exam in May for each course unit.

The dissertation written over the summer counts for two or three modules (depending on the programme) and will include both theoretical content and applied results.

Non-Assessed Optional Courses:

We offer a wide range of optional courses that do not contribute to your overall MSc grade but are designed to broaden your skills and enhance your CV. These range from programming skills courses (e.g. C++, VBA) to trading techniques courses (e.g. the financial trading programme, Bloomberg, technical analysis). For further information click here.

Fees

Tuition fees for Home and EU students

2017 entry
Full time £11,200

Tuition fees for International students

2017 entry
Full time £17,350

Funding

There are a number of sources of funding available for Masters students.

These include a significant package of competitive Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas, as well as external sources of funding.

Queen Mary bursaries and scholarships

We offer a range of bursaries and scholarships for Masters students including competitive scholarships, bursaries and awards, some of which are for applicants studying specific subjects.

Find out more about QMUL bursaries and scholarships.

Alternative sources of funding

Home/EU students can apply for a range of other funding, such as Professional and Career Development Loans, and Employer Sponsorship, depending on their circumstances and the specific programme of study.

Overseas students may be eligible to apply for a range of external scholarships and we also provide information about relevant funding providers in your home country on our country web pages.

Download our Postgraduate Funding Guide [PDF] for detailed information about postgraduate funding options for Home/EU students.

Read more about alternative sources of funding for Home/EU students and for Overseas students.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 5079
email bursaries@qmul.ac.uk

Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary

We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.

Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 8717

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