Financial Economics - ECONJ13564

Stream Summary

Faculty: COMM - UNSW Business School

School: School of Economics

Contact:  UNSW Business School Student Centre

Program: 3564 - Economics/Advanced Maths(Hons)


Bachelor of Economics (Major)

View stream information for previous years

Stream Outline

Financial Economics is concerned with understanding how financial instruments are priced in markets and how individuals and firms manage financial risk.

Markets for financial instruments arise because some firms and individuals want to borrow while others want to save. A large corporation, for example, may borrow funds to purchase new plant and equipment by issuing further stock while an individual may save by purchasing stocks or government bonds. Markets for financial instruments also arise because firms and individuals want to manage financial risk. For example, a large corporation may bet against the risk of large fluctuations in the Australian - U.S. dollar exchange rate by selling its goods by way of futures contracts. Understanding how the prices of financial instruments are determined in the market place is a central concern of financial economics, along with the design of new financial derivatives.

The area of financial economics that deals with the study of real-world data is known as financial econometrics. Financial econometrics is concerned with the statistical analysis of financial data and testing the real-world applicability of asset-pricing theories. This major provides students with a thorough understanding of the economic principles that underlie the pricing and allocative role of all financial assets, whether they are stocks, bonds, futures or options.

Stream Structure

A major in Financial Economics consists of 60 UOC (10 courses). Nine (9) of these courses are specified; the other one (1) is an elective course that is chosen from the list below. This elective course must be at level 3 (i.e. ECON3XXX). This is regardless of whether you are doing a single major or taking Financial Economics as a second major.

Please note: Economics/Law students must take 96 UOC (16 courses) in the Business School consisting of the major requirements (10 courses), ECON1401 Economic Perspectives, and five (5) additional elective courses (including at least 2 ECON courses offered by the School of Economics) as per the BEc program.

For students who complete a Financial Economics major as part of the Bachelor of Commerce, the requirements are exactly the same. While majors in the BCom are expressed as requiring 48 UOC, in the case of the Financial Economics major this excludes ECON1101 Microeconomics 1 and ECON1203 Business and Economic Statistics (or equivalent MATH course) which are compulsory core courses in the BCom.

Compulsory core courses
Please note: Students completing a Bachelor of Actuarial Studies or one of the Bachelor of Science specialisations are required to take equivalent MATH courses. These are substitutes and students will not receive credit for taking these ECON courses (1201 and 1203). Students should refer to the program plans for those degrees which indicate the specific MATH courses they are required to take.

Compulsory major specific courses

Elective courses


Honours level study is also available in Financial Economics. For students wishing to consider taking Honours and taking the Financial Economics major the following courses would be recommended as a good preparation for Honours:
Students interested in Honours should refer to the Honours stream record for entry requirements.

Further information

Please note that these requirements may be subject to change.
Students are advised to follow requirements according to the year they commenced. Please refer to previous editions of the Online Handbook for your program requirements.

Contact the UNSW Business School Student Centre for advice.
tel: + 61 2 9385 3189
location: Level 1, room 1028, Quadrangle Building
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