The market for postgraduate training in quantitative finance is evolving, with a change in the skillset that employers demand. Birkbeck's MSc Mathematical Finance offers advanced training in quantitative skills used in modern financial institutions, including most notably valuation of securities, and measurement and management of portfolio risks, enabling you to seek employment in financial institutions, including regulatory bodies.
You will be trained in programming, numerical methods and statistics, and given a grounding in pricing and risk management techniques. A key feature is an emphasis on computational methods and implementation of the pricing and risk management techniques learnt. You will complete modules in programming, numerical methods and financial statistics, and many topics are illustrated by computer examples.
The programme is demanding and challenging; applicants should have a strong intellectual ability and be willing to work hard.
Why study this course at Birkbeck?
- This programme combines a high level of academic rigour with a solid grounding in practical problem-solving skills.
- Many of our students work in the finance industry, which generates a lively atmosphere in class and ensures that you'll be studying alongside committed, enthusiastic students with a wealth of experience.
- Our teaching is informed by the latest research and by the needs of employers, so you'll be taught by academics who are professional practitioners involved in the world of economics and international finance.
- Our teaching is renowned for its high quality and we provide in-house training for government departments and City firms and banks, including the Treasury and the Bank of England.
- In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), more than half of our research outputs in Economics were ranked world-leading or internationally excellent.
- The Department of Economics, Mathematics and Statistics brings together research and teaching across economics and finance, mathematics and statistics in a single department, which creates significant interdisciplinary synergies.
- Watch our video of Professor Ron Smith talking about studying in the Department.
- Watch videos of our postgraduate students discussing their experience of studying at Birkbeck.
You take two compulsory 30-credit modules - Mathematical and Numerical Methods and Quantitative Techniques - and complete a 30-credit dissertation. The dissertation allows you to pursue an empirical or theoretical study on a topic of your choice under the supervision of an academic within the Department.
You also choose option modules to a total of 90 credits, which can include any mathematics or finance option module at Level 7 from across the Department of Economics, Mathematics and Statistics subject to approval.
- Mathematical and Numerical Methods
- Quantitative Techniques
- Credit Risk Management
- Financial Econometrics I
- Financial Econometrics II
- Forecasting Economic and Financial Time Series
- Market Risk Management
MSc Mathematical Finance dissertation
For entry on to the MSc Mathematical Finance, the normal requirement is at least a second-class degree from a UK university, or overseas equivalent, in a quantitative subject such as mathematics, physics, statistics, economics or engineering.
Alternatively, a merit or higher in a Graduate Diploma in economics, mathematics or statistics would be suitable. Work experience will be taken into account. Graduates from other disciplines such as computer science will be accepted if their degree contains a major quantitative element.
In some circumstances, students are admitted with a first degree that is less than the 2.1 standard, provided that their subsequent work experience and/or education and training is deemed to have brought them to an equivalent standard.
International entry requirements
If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.
If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.
The majority of teaching is delivered in the form of traditional lectures, which are augmented by classes to discuss solutions to problems that have been set, alongside computer lab sessions, so that you can use computational methods to solve the problems numerically. Another important aspect of the course is private study, including the production of independent project work.
Usually, around 80% of the assessment is unseen examinations, typically held in January or June. The other 20% of your assessment is via coursework to ensure that, throughout the year, you get to practice and receive feedback in tackling and solving problems independently, without the time pressure of examinations.
Careers and employability
Graduates can pursue a career in banking and finance, the public sector, industry, and research and analysis. Possible professions include financial risk analyst, economist, or purchasing manager. This degree can also be useful in becoming a management consultant or actuary.
We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.
Cost & Fees
- Part-time home/EU students: £ 6975 pa
- Full-time home/EU students: £ 13950 pa
- Part-time overseas students: £ 8975 pa
- Full-time overseas students: £ 17950 pa
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