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The award
MSc

How long you will study
12 months

Domestic course fees
GBP 25000 per year

How you will study
full-time

Course starts
September

International course fees
find out

All study options

About Quantitative Finance at City, University of London

Overview

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, including the more technical and mathematical techniques used in financial markets; but you don't need to have a background in finance.

Objectives

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 the Matlab programming language in the core modules alongside other languages such as VBA, Python or C 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.

Structure

  • 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.

Term 1

Core modules:

  • Asset Pricing

    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.

  • Derivatives

    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.

Term 2

  • Fixed Income

    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.

  • Risk Analysis

    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.

Term 3

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)

Projects

  • 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.

See the MSc in Quantitative Finance programme specification.

Assessment methodsTerm datesAssessment methods

Assessment methods

Assessment

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)

and either

  • 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, 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.

Induction weeks

The MSc in Quantitative Finance starts with two compulsory induction weeks, mainly dedicated to:

  • 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 refresher course of advanced financial mathematics, statistics, computing and electronic databases
Term dates

Term dates

Term dates 2018/19

In-person ID-Checks (all students must attend): Commences 17 September 2018

Compulsory Induction: 18 - 29 September 2018

Term I
1 October 2018 - 7 December 2018
Term I exams
7 January 2019 - 18 January 2019

Term II
21 January 2019 - 29 March 2019
Term II exams
22 April 2019 - 3 May 2019

Term III
6 May 2019 - 28 June 2019
Term III exams
1 July 2019 - 12 July 2019

Resit period
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

Application

How to apply

Documents required for decision-making

  • Transcript/interim transcript
  • Current module list if still studying
  • CV
  • 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.

Individual Appointments

If you would like to visit us to discuss your application please do arrange an individual appointment.

Entry requirementsEnglish language requirementsEntry requirements

Entry requirements

  • 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

Course Syllabus

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

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.

IELTS

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.

Read more

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.

Career pathways

The job opportunities for students from the three quants masters programmes are very similar. 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. Energy companies, such as Npower, have also recruited quants students. 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.

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardMScHow you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study12 months
    Course startsSeptemberDomestic course feesGBP 25000 per yearInternational course fees find out

Notes about fees for this course

UK/EU/International

£25,000 Tuition fees are subject to annual change

Fees in each subsequent year of study (where applicable) will be subject to an annual increase limited by the All Items Retail Prices Index. 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 (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)

Information about Scholarships

Entry requirements

Contact City, University of London to find course entry requirements.

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