Who is it for?
To successfully complete this course, you must have a good understanding of mathematics. You may well have studied finance, economics, engineering or maths or physics as an undergraduate. Or you might have a bachelor’s degree in a science subject, in particular computer science. You should have a general interest in mathematics and statistics.
You should have a general interest in learning the more technical and mathematical techniques used in financial markets, but you don’t need to have a background in finance.
The difference between the MSc Mathematical Trading and Finance to the other two quants courses (MSc Financial Mathematics and MSc Quantitative Finance) are core modules which focus on quantitative trading and structuring.
You’ll study core modules which focus on the theory of finance and different financial assets. You will look at how these assets are priced and used for asset management or risk management purposes.
The second type of core modules cover the mathematical and statistical aspects needed in quantitative finance, including some stochastics. This also includes learning some programming languages, in particular Matlab, but also VBA. Finally, Term three offers you flexibility within your masters; either by writing a dissertation or undertaking a project. You can complete your degree entirely choosing electives.
What will you learn
- You will have learned a good understanding of the technical aspects used in financial
markets, starting from the financial theory, looking at different financial instruments and showing various applications of the theoretical concepts.
- You will gain a good understanding of stochastics, mathematical finance and econometrics as well as some programming.
- You will also obtain a very good understanding of different financial assets, in particular derivatives, and how they can be used in different context, such as risk management, asset management or structuring.
- The MSc Mathematical Trading and Finance will also help you do understand the financial theory used in financial markets with an emphasis on practical applications.
- You will three different possibilities to complete your degree in the third term, including writing a dissertation or an applied project.
- You can also opt to get all the credits through taught electives. Popular
electives include Behavioural Finance, Trading and Hedging in the FOREX Market, Technical Analysis, Hedge Funds or Python.
This module focuses on the introduction of pricing financial securities, which forms the basis for understanding asset pricing behaviour and the cornerstone of many asset pricing models. The focus is on spot securities, mainly equities and debt instruments. The module also introduces students to the fundamental theory used by practitioners and academics in the wider field of finance, in particular asset management. That includes portfolio theory, the CAPM, factor models and measuring risk and return. Those concepts are widely used by financial market participants. At the end of this module the various building blocks are being put together in the discussion of performance and persistence of performance of mutual funds.
To introduce derivatives and derivative models in the context of financial risk management. To complement general finance courses with specific instruction in the key derivatives area.
To enable you to use models in this area in practical applications. To transmit to you the fundamental mathematical modelling techniques underpinning the subject.
Foundations of Econometrics
The course provides the essential statistical and econometric techniques needed to conduct quantitative research in finance and economics. This combination of econometric theory and application will enable you to understand and interpret empirical findings in a range of financial markets, including reading of empirical academic literature and critical assessment econometric applications undertaken by industry practitioners.
Stochastic Modelling Methods in Finance
The module provides the necessary mathematical tools on which the entire programme is based.
- To introduce you to Brownian motion and stochastic calculus
- To provide examples of applications of stochastic calculus in financial areas
- To provide the tools required for a rigorous understanding of financial modelling and pricing techniques
- To learn fundamental numerical methods for simulating trajectories of commonly used stochastic processes.
Applied Research Tools
Strong research skills are a key element of development strategy for companies and institutions large and small. In particular the ability to programme and to automate procedures. This module focuses on MATLAB and VBA as a programming language. The module introduces the main programming skills which are helpful in the financial industry. Operating on matrices or arrays, loops, subroutine and optimisations are core skills which are being introduced in this module.
To provide a foundation in a crucial area of financial markets and quantitative finance. To complement the general derivatives course with specific instruction in a key derivatives area.
To acquaint you with the main modelling streams in fixed income securities. To enable you to use models in this area in practical applications. To transmit to you the fundamental mathematical modelling techniques underpinning the subject.
Financial disasters are a constant reminder of the relationship between financial risk and reward. The quantitative approach to this relationship is ever more dominant in the market and subject to constant innovation. As market participants need to keep abreast of new developments, the Risk Analysis module provides a good path of study in this field.
The aim of this module is to help you develop a solid background for evaluating, managing and researching financial risk. To this end you will learn to analyse and quantify risk according to current best practice in the markets.
This trading focused module introduces students to the world of computer-based trading and dealing with high frequency data. Some relevant market microstructure concepts, such as bid-ask spreads, liquidity and other concepts are being introduced before the focus moves to high frequency trading strategies and other automated trading concepts.
Advanced Derivatives - Applications
This module build on the term 1 core module derivatives and looks at non-standard derivative products, such as exotic options. How they work, how they are prices and who would use them will be discussed in this module. One focus of this module is to show the applications and practical usage of those non-standard derivative products.
You may choose from the three options in your final term.
- Option 1: Students can take five specialist elective modules (5 x 10 credits).
- Option 2: Students can opt to write a 10,000-word Business Research Project (40 credits) and take one specialist elective module (1 x 10 credits).
- Option 3: Students can opt to write a 3,000-5,000-word Applied Research Project (20 credits) and take three specialist elective modules (3 x 10 credits)
Business Research Project
It is important for aspiring professionals to demonstrate, on an individual basis, their ability to apply concepts and techniques they have learned in an in-depth study of a topic of their choice and to organise their findings in a report, all conducted within a given time limit.
To train you to undertake individual research and provide you with an opportunity to specialise in a contemporary business or finance topic related to your future career aspirations.
You are required to submit a project of approximately 10,000 words on any subject area covered in the rest of the programme. Typical projects can involve any of the following: extracting data from electronic databases or by hand; statistical analysis of large or small populations; interviews; case studies of an industry or a sector or of a business / finance issue in a particular country setting.
Applied Research Project
The aim of this module is to enable you to demonstrate how to integrate your learning in core and elective modules and then apply this to the formulation and completion of an applied research project. You will be required to demonstrate the skills and knowledge that you have acquired throughout your MSc study.
You will undertake a short piece of applied research on a question of academic and/or practical relevance. Guidelines will be provided in order to help you identify the research question. Based on your chosen topic, you must write a report of around 3,000–5,000 words that summarises and critically evaluates your method and your findings.
We review all our courses regularly to keep them up-to-date on issues of both theory and practice.
To satisfy the requirements of the degree course students must complete:
- nine core courses (Eight at 15 credits each, one at 10 credits)
- five electives (10 credits each)
- three electives (10 credits each) and an Applied Research Project (20 credits)
- one elective (10 credits) and a Business Research Project (40 credits)
Assessment of modules on the MSc in Mathematical Trading and Finance in most cases, is by means of coursework and unseen examination. Coursework may consist of standard essays, individual and group presentations, group reports, classwork, unseen tests and problem sets. Please note that any group work may include an element of peer assessment.
The Mathematical Trading and Finance course starts with two compulsory induction weeks, focused on:
- an introduction to careers in finance and the opportunity to speak to representatives from over 75 companies during a number of different industry specific fairs.
- a reminder course of advanced financial mathematics, statistics and basic computing which forms a prerequisite of the core modules in term 1.
Term dates 2018/19
In-person ID-Checks (all students must attend): Commences 17 September 2018
Compulsory Induction: 18 - 29 September 2018
1 October 2018 - 7 December 2018
Term I exams
7 January 2019 - 18 January 2019
21 January 2019 - 29 March 2019
Term II exams
22 April 2019 - 3 May 2019
6 May 2019 - 28 June 2019
Term III exams
1 July 2019 - 12 July 2019
Students who are required to resit an examination or invigilated test will do so in the period:
12 - 30 August 2019
Submission deadline for Business Research Project or Applied Research Project
1 September 2019
Official Course End Date
30 September 2019
The teaching staff on the MSc in Mathematical Trading & have many years of practical experience working in the financial services sector and are also active researchers in their fields
This knowledge and experience inform the highly interactive lectures that make up the MSc in Mathematical Trading & Finance.
Module Leaders include:
How to apply
Documents required for decision-making
- Transcript/interim transcript
- Current module list if still studying
- Personal statement (500-600 words)
Documents which may follow at a later date
- IELTS result
- Confirmation of professional qualification examinations/exemptions/passes, if applicable
- Two references
- Work experience is not a requirement of this course
- For a successful application to receive an unconditional status all documents must be verified, so an original or certified copy of the degree transcript must be sent by post to Specialist Masters Programme Office, 106 Bunhill Row, London, EC1Y 8TZ, UK
We cannot comment on individual eligibility before you apply and we can only process your application once it is fully complete, with all requested information received.
If you would like to visit us to discuss your application please do arrange an individual appointment.
A UK upper second class degree or above, or the equivalent from an overseas institution.
Your academic background should be in a highly quantitative subject such as mathematics, physics, engineering, economics or computer science and having covered areas such as statistics, linear algebra and calculus.
English language requirements
If you have been studying in the UK for the last three years it is unlikely that you will have to take the test.
If you have studied a 2+2 degree with just two years in the UK you will be required to provide IELTS results and possibly to resit the tests to meet our requirements.
The required IELTS level is an average of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in the writing section and no less than 6.0 in any other section.
Please note that due to changes in the UKVI's list of SELTs we are no longer able to accept TOEFL as evidence of English language for students who require a CAS as of April 2014.
Deposit: £2,000 (paid within 1 month of receiving offer and non-refundable unless conditions of offer are not met)
First installment: Half fees less deposit (payable during on-line registration which should be completed at least 5 days before the in-person ID–checks)
Second installment: Half fees (paid in January following start of course)
The job opportunities for students from the three quants Masters programmes are very similar. They usually find employment with large investment banks, but also some smaller boutique finance firms, hedge funds or other specialist companies.
Working as an analysis or quantitative analysts, in risk management, on fixed income security desks or in the asset management industry including hedge funds are typical jobs for students from the MSc Mathematical Trading and Finance. Some students also secure positions on trading desks.
You will also have the skills to study for a PhD in the area of quantitative finance and financial markets.