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 increasing complexity of financial markets demands greater modeling techniques and a deeper understanding of financial data. The Finance Program of the Master's in Economics and Finance at the Barcelona GSE is designed to prepare you for these challenges.


The Barcelona GSE Finance Program builds on the School's outstanding faculty in finance, economics, econometrics and data science. The program is aimed at students that seek an interdisciplinary approach that combines finance and economics. The program is designed to give students 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 and Economics

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

  3. Data analysis: apply Econometrics, Statistics and Data Science techniques to analyse complex financial data

Our graduates excel in the ability to design and implement complex financial and economics models; they have a strong understanding of the theory; and can apply their programming skills (R, Matlab, Stata and (optional) Python) to the analysis of large datasets.

Thanks to their ability to analyze and model data intensive problems, and to communicate results effectively, our graduates are in high demand from a wide range of industries, including consulting, banking, risk management and derivatives trading, portfolio and investment management, fintech, and central banks.

Most of our students have a background in economics or in a quantitative subject. 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 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.

List below is for the 2019-20 edition. Current students can see the offer for 2018-19 on their Virtual Campus. 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 Filippo Ippolito
Econometrics 6 Javier Gómez Biscarri

Electives:

Foundations of Data Science 3 Omiros Papaspiliopoulos

Winter Term (January - March)

Course Title Credits Professor(s)
Electives - Select up to 18 Credits:
Financial Econometrics 6 Christian Brownlees
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
Advanced Firm Valuation 3 Albert Banal

Spring Term (April - June)

Course Title Credits Professor(s)
Mandatory:
Master Project 6 Filippo Ippolito
Electives - Select up to 18 Credits:
Mergers and Acquisitions 3 Albert Banal
Derivatives and Risk Management 3 Manuel Moreno
Topics in Finance: Empirical Corporate Finance 3 Javier Gómez Biscarri
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
Blockchain: From First Principles to Analytics 3 Veronica Torras
Gaston Besanson
Macro‐Finance 3 Dmitry Kuvshinov
Machine Learning for Finance* 3 Argimiro Arratia

*Prerequisite: "Foundations of Data Science" 

Students must complete a total of 60 credits. Exceptionally, students may take a maximum of 12 ECTS per term and 15 ECTS in total from electives outside the Finance program offer. Criteria for acceptance into these courses may vary, and approval from both program directors is required.


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?
  • Advanced quantitative knowledge in finance
  • Modelling techniques for financial problems
  • Use of programming languages for finance applications
  • Econometric techniques for the analysis of financial data
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
How can I enter the PhD track from the Finance program?

The UPF Graduate Program in Economics, Finance and Management (GPEFM) is one of two doctoral programs organized jointly by the Barcelona GSE.

Barcelona GSE Master's in Finance students who want to be considered for GPEFM will apply for admission to the MRes program at the beginning of the second term of the Finance Program. Admission to the UPF PhD program (GPEFM) will be decided in March of the same year.

Who hires Finance graduates?
  • Consulting Firms
  • Financial Services
  • Government & Authorities
  • Research & Academic Institutions
  • Other Industries
  • Technology

Examples of recent Finance placements:

  • Accenture - Junior Consultant Finance and Risk Management (Brussels, Belgium)
  • Bain & Company - Associate Consultant (Johannesburg, South Africa)
  • Blackrock - Analyst (Edinburg, United Kingdom)
  • Bloomberg - Analyst (London, United Kingdom)
  • Central Reserve Bank of Peru - Senior Analyst at Financial Research Department (Lima, Peru)
  • Cognizant - Financial Planning & Analytics (Chennai, India)
  • European Central Bank (ECB) - Traineeship in Significant Banking Supervision (Frankfurt, Germany)
  • Oxera - Senior Consultant (London, United Kingdom)
  • PwC - Graduate Program (Madrid, Spain)

Examples of recent Finance PhD placements:

  • Tinbergen Institute (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
  • Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) (Barcelona, Spain)
  • University of British Columbia (British Columbia, Canada)
  • University of Cambridge (Cambridge, United Kingdom)

Download first placement results for recent Finance graduates

Faculty

Students

Finance Student Profile 2019-20

17 students from 8 countries (70% international)

Most represented countries this year:

  • Spain (5)
  • Turkey (4)
  • China (3)

Most common undergraduate backgrounds:

  • Economics
  • Engineering
chart

Alumni

Finance alumni career paths

An overview of Finance career paths for recent cohorts

  • Most Finance alumni (75%) enter or return to the professional work force
    25% 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, London, Madrid, Paris
finance_career_paths
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    alumni

    Dean Friedberg '19

    Financial Institution Policy Analyst
    Originally from
    San Diego, CA
    United States
    Currently living in
    Washington, DC
    United States
    To the world and on a global scale, the intricacies and depth that form our international and domestic economic and financial systems are known to fundamentally shape our everyday lives, futures, and potential to achieve our respective dreams. The Finance Program enabled me to express my aspirations for greater knowledge in these fields through harnessing potential already present yet previously untested and practically pursue my goals whilst enhancing my intellectual curiosity. By obtaining the Master's Degree in Economics and Finance, I not only acquired an increased ability to perform quantitative/qualitative analysis and better comprehend the juxtaposition of salient subjects which shape our interactions, but also strengthened my firm desire to positively impact society and the progression thereof.
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    Patrick Altmeyer '18

    Junior Economist
    Originally from
    Düsseldorf
    Germany
    Currently living in
    London
    United Kingdom
    After graduating from the Finance Program I joined the Bank of England as an analyst in the Markets division where I had previously done an internship. We brief policy makers about current financial conditions ahead of rate decisions and do long term research geared towards implementing monetary policy as efficiently and effectively as possible. A solid understanding of financial economics and coding skills are essential to this job, so when looking at options for postgraduate studies it was important for me to find a program that focuses on teaching both the theory as well as the tools needed to apply it. The finance masters at BGSE offers just that - it integrates not only finance, but also economics and data science modules providing students with a unique flexibility to tailor the degree to their own needs and interests.
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    Elkébir Lamrani '18

    Analyst
    Originally from
    Rabat
    Morocco
    Currently living in
    London
    United Kingdom
    The Barcelona GSE Finance program offers a quite unparalleled experience: it goes beyond a business school-style Masters in Finance by also giving big emphasis on quantitative analysis tools and programming. In addition, coming to the Barcelona GSE means diving into a pool of different nationalities present inside and outside classrooms. It is a source of personal development as I discovered different cultures and different mentalities towards solving problems.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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!
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    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.
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    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!
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    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!
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.