Student Life

Student Life

Mastering a Masters: International Economics and Finance MSc

So, you’re nearing the end of your undergraduate degree, you see the light at the end of the academic tunnel fast approaching, and you’re starting to wonder “what’s next?”

Maybe you’ve been out of university for some time and are looking for a change of pace, something refreshing and new to engage with, or perhaps kick-starting a new career is on your mind.

Whatever the reason, wherever you are in your life while making these decisions, hopefully this short blog will give you an insight into what it’s like studying MSc International Economics and Finance, and what to expect from postgraduate study.

Stepping up to the challenge

Having never studied finance before, and with only portion of my undergraduate degree being in the area of economics, I was attracted to the MSc programme because of its unique inter-disciplinary nature and employment prospects.

Although initially the thought of studying a subject I hadn’t touched on much before was daunting, the course is accommodating with refresher lectures in mathematics and guidance on background materials for the more complex concepts. Lecturers have been generous in offering their help, and course-mates are similarly supportive in working together on reports and seminar work.

Mastering the course

It’s no secret that postgraduate degrees are more demanding than undergraduate ones, but the workload is certainly manageable with diligent planning and preparation. I think one of my lecturer’s put it best when in reference to an upcoming exam he said, “In life, there’s no such thing as a free lunch”.

Treating the MSc as a 9 to 5 day job is the best way of imagining what it’s like, of the 40 hours a week roughly 15-20 is in lectures or seminars and the rest is spent reading and preparing work. Personal study is incredibly important, and it’s not unusual to come out of a lecture with more questions than answers, but once you start to grasp the material it’s incredibly rewarding and well-worth the effort.

Although all of the modules covered are interesting in their own right, one subject which particularly surprised me is econometrics. Applying statistical methods to understand real-world data is both incredibly insightful in the truths it can reveal, but also very employable.

The variety of modules on offer across disciplines is fantastic too, with a good set of choices the degree can be tailored to fit specific interests. Don’t worry too much if you can’t decide on modules, in the first week prior to teaching commencing you’ll be introduced each module and have an opportunity to talk to lecturers.

Experiences for life

Postgraduate study isn’t just about the course, and much like at undergraduate level there is a wealth of extra-curricular activities, societies and sports to get involved with at Newcastle University.

With a bit of planning, there’s definitely room to fit these activities in alongside studies and i’d highly recommend that newcomers to the university get stuck in as it’s a great opportunity to make new friends and experience new things.

There’s always events on at the Student’s Union and around town, ranging from quality comedy nights and live bands to quizzes and day trips to surrounding landmarks such as the beautiful lake district.

Having been brought up in Newcastle I’m somewhat enamoured with it, but it’s been really encouraging to hear that many of my cohort travelling from around the world feel the same way, some are even considering working here post-graduation, it’s a truly great place to live and study!

Gaining an edge

Pursuing an MSc in International Economics and Finance has widened my horizons and even though I’ve not yet finished, I’ve already developed key skills which have enabled me to secure a graduate job in consulting at Accenture.

If you’re looking to gain an edge and stand out from the crowd, learn new skills and gain some incredible experiences, I believe postgraduate study is a great way of doing it. I hope this blog was useful and encourage anyone interested to contact the business school with any enquiries you have, we’re always happy to help!

Wishing you all the best in your future endeavours,

Alex

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