Who is it for?
To successfully complete the Quantitative Finance 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, including the more quantitative and mathematical techniques used in financial markets; but you don’t need to have a background in finance.
You’ll study core modules focusing on asset pricing, risk management and introductions to key financial securities such as equities, fixed income securities and derivatives.
From there you’ll progress to specialist learning in econometrics, and cover a large amount of stochastics and numerical methods.
You’ll cover basic and advanced topics in econometrics including ARCH and GARCH models, co-integration and dealing with high frequency data.
You will also have the opportunity to work with a number of different estimation techniques, including OLS, Maximum Likelihood and GMM.
You’ll work extensively with programming language in the core modules. In term 1 the focus of programming teaching is on Python alongside other languages such as VBA or Matlab which are also available as optional modules.
You’ll choose five from around 40 optional modules in your final term. You can also choose to complete a traditional dissertation, which counts for four optional modules, or a shorter ‘applied research project’, which is the equivalent of two optional modules.
What will you learn
- You will have gained 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
- You will have three different possibilities to complete your degree in the third term, including writing a dissertation or an applied project. You can also opt to gain all the credits through taught electives.
- Popular electives include Behavioural Finance, Trading and Hedging in the FOREX Market, Technical Analysis, Hedge Funds or Python.
All of our MSc courses start with two compulsory induction weeks which include relevant refresher courses, an introduction to the careers services and the annual careers fair.
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 Python as a programming language and students will learn the basics in term one with some applications to finance being introduced in term two.
The module introduces the main programming skills which are helpful in the financial industry. Operating on matrices, loops, conditional statements, subroutine/functions/procedures 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.
Econometrics of Financial Markets
Econometrics is an essential tool for the empirical analyses of financial markets as well as the development of quantitative strategies for forecasting, pricing and risk management analyses in financial markets.
A good understanding of the developments in financial econometrics is of great relevance to the analysis of financial markets, building both technical skills and the ability to carry out advanced empirical research.
Numerical Methods - Applications
This module introduces basic concepts used in numerical methods as well as graphical techniques often used to visualise relevant data.
The module also aims to introduce the concepts used in derviatives pricing and present Monte Carlo simulation methods in finance.
Additionally, this module aims to transmit an appreciation of performance criteria, their formulation and application in this area.
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.
Electives offered in 2019
- An Introduction to Machine Learning
- An Introduction to Islamic Banking, Finance and Insurance
- Behavioural Finance
- Credit Risk Management
- Ethics, Society and the Finance Sector
- Trading and Hedging in the Forex Market
- Trading and Market Microstructure
- Introduction to FinTech (taught in Italy)
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 Quantitative Finance programme, 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.
Term dates 2021/22
Course timetables are normally available from July and can be accessed from our timetabling pages. These pages also provide timetables for the current academic year, though this information should be viewed as indicative and details may vary from year to year.
Please note that all academic timetables are subject to change.
The teaching staff on the MSc in Quantitative Finance 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
We only accept online applications.
Documents required for decision-making
- Transcript/interim transcript
- Current module list if still studying
- Personal statement - this should be 500-600 words in length and answer the following:
- Why have you selected this course? What are your motivating factors?
- What are your areas of interest within the course?
- What contributions do you feel you can make to the course?
- How do you see the course affecting your career plans?
Documents which may follow at a later date
- English language test result if applicable
- Confirmation of professional qualification examinations/exemptions/passes, if applicable
- Two references
- 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 uploaded to the application form or e-mailed to the relevant Admissions Officer upon request
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.
Unfortunately, as a result of the evolving situation regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we can only offer online appointments to discuss your application. To book one, please get in touch with the relevant Admission Officer.
Please note; these are subject to availability.
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Terms and conditions
Students applying to study at Cass Business School are subject to City, University of London's terms and conditions.
- 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
- Work experience is not a requirement for this course.
You may be requested to provide a syllabus of specific modules undertaken during your studies as part of the assessment process. This is not required at the point of submitting an application and will be requested directly by the admissions team only if required as part of the assessment.
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 IELTS 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.
Fees in each subsequent year of study (where applicable) will be subject to an annual increase of 2%. We will confirm any change to the annual tuition fee to you in writing prior to you commencing each subsequent year of study (where applicable).
Deposit: £2,000 (usually 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 start of the Induction period)
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 a general or technical analysts, risk management position, working on fixed income security desks and the asset management industry including hedge funds are typical jobs which students from the MSc Quantitative Finance go into.
Students from the MSc Quantitative Finance will have covered more topics relating to forecasting and regression analysis. You will also have the skills to study for a PhD in the area of quantitative finance and financial markets.
Class of 2018 profile
Recent companies graduates from the MSc in Quantative Finance degree secured positions in companies including:
- Data Scientist, Global Banking and and Markets - HSBC
- Sales Trader, Derivatives - Bolt Markets
- Financial Analyst, Transaction Advisory Services - EY
- Associate, Investment Banking - Citics Securities
Where they are working now
- UK: 40%
- EU/ EEA: 20%
- Asia: 40%
Data provided from alumni who completed the annual destination data survey 2017/18