Master's Degree in Economics and Finance: Finance Program

Program Director

faculty

Filippo Ippolito

PhD, Saïd Business School (Oxford University)

UPF and Barcelona GSE

Steering Committee

faculty

Xavier Freixas

PhD, Université de Toulouse

UPF and Barcelona GSE
faculty

José-Luis Peydró

PhD, INSEAD

ICREA-UPF and Barcelona GSE

The complex financial times we live in demand greater modeling techniques and a deeper understanding of financial data. The Master in Finance at the Barcelona GSE is designed to meet these challenges. 


The Barcelona GSE Finance Program gives you the strong modeling techniques, econometric tools, and advanced coding skills needed for the top jobs in banking, consulting and fintech.

The program is built around three pillars:

  1. Concepts: acquire an in-depth understanding of the theory of finance

  2. Modeling: learn how to construct and implement financial models

  3. Data analysis: apply econometric techniques to analyse complex financial data

Our graduates excel in the ability to design and implement complex financial models; have a strong understanding of the theory; and know how to program (R, Stata, Matlab and Python).

Our graduates can tackle data and modelling intensive tasks, and can thus work in a wide range of areas, including consulting, risk management, derivatives trading, portfolio and investment management, fintech, and central banks. 

This program requires that all entering students be able to show a solid academic background in mathematics and statistics. Proof will be required showing an undergraduate degree with a substantial number of quantitative subjects, or GRE to demonstrate quantitative ability, however the GRE is not mandatory for this program.

Program schedule: 

A key advantage of our Master in Finance is that students can benefit from BGSE top faculty teaching in a wide range of courses in their field of expertise. In particular, students with an interest in quantitative techniques can take electives in advanced econometric methods, optimization techniques, advanced programming, and machine learning, while students who are interested in economics topics can choose among the advanced economics courses in macroeconomics, monetary policy and exchange rates.

In the Fall term, students are required to take 3 out of the following brush-up courses: 

During the first weeks of the Fall term, students have the opportunity to take an introductory Matlab course, highly recommended for those students who have never used it before or want to reinforce their knowledge.

Course offer is subject to change.

Fall Term (September - December)

Course Title Credits Professor(s)
Mandatory:
Asset Pricing 6 Javier Gil-Bazo
Corporate Finance 6 Albert Banal
Econometrics 6 Javier Gómez Biscarri
Econometric Methods * 6 Geert Mesters

Electives:

Introduction to programming using MATLAB 3 Juan Felipe Imbett

Winter Term (January - March)

Course Title Credits Professor(s)
Mandatory:
Financial Econometrics 6 Christian Brownlees

Electives - Select up to 18 Credits:

Banking Theory I 3 Xavier Freixas
Pricing Financial Derivatives I 3 Eulàlia Nualart
Pricing Financial Derivatives II 3 Eulàlia Nualart
Market Liquidity and High-Frequency Trading 3 Roberto Pascual
Systemic Risk and Financial Crises 3 José-Luis Peydró
Exchange Rates and Monetary Policy * 3 Fernando Broner
Econometric Methods II * 6 Albrecht Glitz
Alessandro Tarozzi
Computational Machine Learning * 3 Alexandros Karatzoglou

Spring Term (April - June)

Course Title Credits Professor(s)
Mandatory:
Master Project 6 Filippo Ippolito
Electives - Select up to 18 Credits:
Applied Corporate Finance 3 Filippo Ippolito
Derivatives and Risk Management 3 Manuel Moreno
Empirical Corporate Finance 3 Javier Gómez Biscarri
Filippo Ippolito
Sovereign Debt and International Financial Markets 3 Fernando Broner
Investment and Portfolio Management 3 Javier Gil-Bazo
Advanced Option Pricing and Modelling 3 Elisa Alòs
Banking Theory II 3 Sergio Vicente
Risk Management in Banks 3 José Suárez-Lledó
Christian Brownlees
Econometrics III * 6 TBA
Machine Learning for Finance * 3 Argimiro Arratia
Text Mining for Social Sciences * 3 Hannes Mueller
Omiros Papaspiliopoulos
Blockchain: From First Principles to Analytics 3 Jesse Seaver
Gaston Besanson

* Subject to approval by the director

Students must complete a total of 60 credits.


Master degree awarded

Upon successful completion of the program, students will receive a Master Degree in Economics and Finance awarded jointly with Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF).

All Barcelona GSE master degrees have been recognized by the Catalan and Spanish Education authorities within the framework of the Bologna Process (in Spanish, “Master Universitario o Master Oficial”). Indicadors de qualitat


What skills and knowledge will I acquire in this program?

The master covers three areas of knowledge:

Investments

  • Introduction to Asset Pricing 
  • Market Liquidity and High-Frequency Trading
  • Asset Bubbles in Financial Markets
  • Finance and Macroeconomics
  • Exchange Rates and Monetary Policy
  • Stochastic Models and Optimization
  • Investments and Portfolio Management
  • Sovereign Debt and International Financial Markets
  • Pricing Derivatives (Options, Futures, Swaps) 

Corporate Finance and Banking 

  • Introduction to Corporate Finance 
  • Applied Corporate Finance 
  • Empirical Corporate Finance
  • Banking 
  • Derivatives and Risk Management
  • Systemic Risk and Financial Crises

Econometrics and Data Analysis

Who will benefit from this program?
  • Graduates in Economics or Finance with an interest in modelling techniques and data analysis
  • Graduates in Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, or Statistics that want to pursue a career in Finance
  • Analysts and policy-makers at financial or supervisory authorities
  • Aspiring PhD students
Who hires Finance graduates?
  • Consulting
  • Financial Services
  • Research and Academic Institutions
  • Government and Authorities
  • Other Industries

Examples of recent Finance placements:

  • Accenture - Junior Consultant Finance and Risk Management (Brussels, Belgium)
  • Bain & Company - Associate Consultant (Johannesburg, South Africa)
  • Blackrock - Analyst (Edinburgh, UK)
  • Central Bank of Peru - Senior Investment Strategist (Lima)
  • Central Bank of Uruguay - Risk Analyst (Montevideo)
  • European Central Bank (ECB) - Financial Stability Expert (Frankfurt, Germany)
  • GCV Gaesco - Graduate Quantitative Analyst (Madrid, Spain)
  • KPMG - Junior Analyst Transfer Pricing (Barcelona)
  • Palladio Finanziaria S.P.A - M&A Intern-Investment banking (Milan, Italy)

Download first placement results for recent Finance graduates

Faculty

Students

Finance Student Profile 2018-19

28 students from 21 countries (93% international)

Most represented countries this year:

  • United States (4)
  • Ecuador, Peru, Spain, Turkey (2 students each)

16 more nationalities represented by one student each

Most common undergraduate backgrounds:

Economics and Finance

map

Alumni

Finance alumni career paths

An overview of Finance career paths for recent cohorts (Class of 2015, 2016, 2017)

  • Most Finance alumni (70%) enter or return to the professional work force
  • 30% continue their education in a PhD or other post-graduate program
  • Most common industries:
    Financial Services, Consulting
  • Cities with most Finance alumni:
    Barcelona, Lima, Frankfurt, Paris, Milan, London
Placement by industry
  • logo
    alumni

    Jonathan Haynes '17

    Senior Consultant
    Originally from
    Guildford
    United Kingdom
    Currently living in
    London
    United Kingdom
    After graduating from the Barcelona GSE Finance Program, I accepted a role as a senior consultant sitting across the Finance and Valuation Practice and the Financial Services Team at Oxera Consulting. Working with the full spectrum of clients, we find innovative solutions to everyday problems in business strategy, public policy and corporate finance. In today’s changing financial, legal and regulatory environments our work at Oxera combines technical valuation expertise with an understanding of how markets and players work.
  • logo
    alumni

    Mattia Bongini '17

    Financial Statistics Intern
    Originally from
    Siena
    Italy
    Currently living in
    Frankfurt
    Germany
    The Master in Finance gave me an invaluable array of statistical tools and financial notions that I employ everyday in my work at the Monetary and Financial Statistics Division of the Directorate General Statistics at ECB. The combination of theoretical knowledge of financial markets and machine learning and the associated technical skills, together with the numerous insights that leading practitioners deliver during the presentations by professionals is what makes this Master really unique.
  • logo
    alumni

    Joana Espona '17

    Default Management Unit
    Originally from
    Barcelona
    Spain
    Currently living in
    Luxembourg
    Luxembourg
    After the Finance master, I’ve started an internship in the Default Management unit at Clearstream Luxembourg, the post-trade service provider of the Deutsche Börse Group. Straight from the start, I’ve been able to contribute actively to the work of the team. This has been possible thanks to the skills and knowledge acquired in the master, which has given me a thorough insight into the functioning of financial markets.
  • logo
    alumni

    Roberto Stagni '17

    Equity Capital Market Analyst
    Originally from
    Pordenone
    Italy
    Currently living in
    Milan
    Italy
    I work in the Equity Capital Markets division of a private Swiss based bank. The ECM division provides a plethora of different and complex transactions developed on the equity of small to medium cap size firms. Also, many of the transactions imply an in-depth understanding of the business in which the firm operates, of the balance sheets and financial statements and of the management itself. The Master in BGSE provided me with the best theoretical and technical tools in order to price and pitch transactions and firms, helping me a lot on the job. Also, given the practical skills which the master develops, I find it a lot easier to understand databases and to use specific softwares.
  • logo
    alumni

    Pablo González '17

    Macroprudential Policy and Financial Stability Trainee
    Originally from
    Madrid
    Spain
    Currently living in
    Frankfurt
    Germany
    I currently work  at the European Central Bank in the Department of Macroprudential Policy and Financial Stability. In our department, we monitor the evolution of cyclical, residential and commercial risks in order to carry out risk- assessment and policy implementation for countries of the Eurozone. My master's in finance at Barcelona GSE helped me to develop a wide range of analytical and technical skills high-demanded by the finance sector, as well as grit to succeed in any upcoming challenges.
  • logo
    alumni

    Mellany Pintado '16

    Specialist in Investments and Financial Assets
    Originally from
    Chiclayo
    Peru
    Currently living in
    Lima
    Peru
    I currently work at the Ministry of Economics and Finance of Peru as an Investment Specialist. My responsibilities in the Treasury Department range across the asset pricing theory we learnt in the Finance Master at Barcelona GSE. It is challenging to evaluate the different investment alternatives in order to reduce the opportunity cost of the Peruvian government funds. As well, as part of my daily duties, I have been evaluating the public institutions' asset allocation where I apply my knowledge acquired across financial econometrics course. In terms of what I do as an Investment Specialist there’s nothing I haven’t faced already in the Master.
  • logo
    alumni

    Marnix Wezenbeek '16

    Technology Consultant in Financial Services
    Originally from
    Brussels
    Belgium
    Currently living in
    Amsterdam
    Netherlands
    The Barcelona GSE’s Finance program finds a balance between the qualitative and quantitative aspects of Finance. This means that I was provided with an excellent quantitative and analytical background, while I also developed a keen understanding of how Finance is applied daily in the “real world”. Additionally, working with motivated students from all over the world on the program’s many assignments and challenging group projects helped me develop my team working and leadership skills. I believe that the versatility and knowledge I gained at BGSE help me daily in my job as a consultant and would strongly recommend this program for people interested in pursuing a similar career!
  • logo
    alumni

    Laura Gris '16

    Analyst
    Originally from
    Barcelona
    Spain
    Currently living in
    Edinburgh
    United Kingdom
    I currently work at Blackrock as an analyst in the Aladdin Client Services department, where we provide clients with in-depth knowledge and understanding of Aladdin, their business and the overall risk and investment management process. My master’s in finance at Barcelona GSE helped me develop good analytical and problem-solving skills as well as providing me with a good understanding of how financial markets work.
  • logo
    alumni

    Emile Naude '16

    Associate Consultant
    Originally from
    Cape Town
    South Africa
    Currently living in
    Johannesburg
    South Africa
    I am currently an Associate Consultant in the Johannesburg office of Bain & Company. Bain advises clients on strategy, operations, technology, organization, private equity and mergers and acquisitions. I believe the Master in Finance program at the Barcelona GSE is a rigorous course that prepares students very well for a job in top-tier consulting. Beyond the highly desired quantitative, data handling and analytical skills that I gained, the Master in Finance played a big role in developing my leadership and team work skills. At the Barcelona GSE you will be working with students from very different backgrounds on extremely challenging problems, driving for coherent and logical results, sometimes until the early hours of the morning!
  • logo
    alumni

    Jelena Skaric '15

    Financial Risk Analyst
    Originally from
    Belgrade
    Serbia
    Currently living in
    Prague
    Czech Republic
    As someone coming from a math background, BGSE Master in Finance gave me the opportunity to extend and gain more in depth knowledge of different finance topics and helped me prepare for my future career in the finance sector. I thoroughly enjoyed the analytical approach applied to real finance problems, as well as working in small classes - we had the chance to get to know each other better, cooperate intensively and the professors were able to dedicate more of their time and attention to each student. The friendships I made still last, we keep in touch and visit each other, and one of my master colleagues will soon become my coworker!
  • logo
    alumni

    Miquel Masoliver '14

    Quantitative Analyst
    Originally from
    Barcelona
    Spain
    Currently living in
    Barcelona
    Spain
    I am currently employed in the Asset Management division and my main tasks are to develop quantitative models to exploit market inefficiencies...It is very exciting and challenging to conduct research in this field, where statistics and probability theory meet behavioral finance. The knowledge I acquired during the Barcelona GSE Master in Finance definitely prepared me well for this work.
  • alumni

    Manuel Litz '13

    Business Analyst
    Originally from
    Vienna
    Austria
    Currently living in
    Vienna
    Austria
    Working as a Business Analyst for BearingPoint I have valuable hands-on experience on various projects. Everyday day is different from the last, diverse tasks range from PMO activities to analyzing and structuring deliverables for which I am in the lead, conducting workshops and communicating with the client's management. The workload and rigorous analytical training experience at Barcelona GSE has prepared me well to take on any endeavor in my future.
  • logo

    Kandarp Srinivasan '12

    PhD Candidate
    Originally from
    Bangalore
    India
    Currently living in
    St. Louis, MO
    United States
    What makes the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics really stand out is the quality of its faculty. The opportunity to learn and work with top researchers is of great value for an aspiring academic. Also, the Finance master coursework has a lot of theoretical emphasis and is great preparation for someone interested in a career in research.
  • logo
    alumni

    Jebb Peria '10

    Senior Analyst
    Originally from
    Toronto,
    Canada
    Currently living in
    Stavanger
    Norway
    The BGSE Finance master has provided me a very strong foundation for my professional career. The courses (stochastic processes, continuous time finance, empirical finance, corporate finance, financial engineering) have equipped me with tools needed in financial modelling and economic analysis my job required.
  • logo
    alumni

    Luis Mateo '09

    Investment Banking Associate
    Originally from
    Barcelona
    Spain
    Currently living in
    London
    United Kingdom
    Coming from an engineering background, the Barcelona GSE Master's Program in Finance provided me with the chance to switch careers and move to Finance positions. Moreover, the intense technical focus of the program, coupled with the quality of faculty, prepared me to effectively perform the modelling and quantitative analysis I need to do as part of my job.