Master of Science in Financial Technology and Computing

General

Program Description

The Master of Science in Financial Technology and Computing is offered jointly by the Faculty of Informatics and by the Faculty of Economics of the Università della Svizzera italiana, USI, situated in Lugano - Switzerland. This full-time study program comprises 120 ECTS spread over 4 semesters (usual duration 2 years) and is entirely offered in English.

This unique cross-discipline program combines USI's world-leading expertise in Finance and Informatics and offers exciting career prospects that range from fintech startups to banks and insurers to hedge funds. The program has been designed to provide graduates with an informatics background with the necessary tools and skills for understanding fundamental problems in finance while, at the same time, learning about advanced tools and techniques in informatics to be applied in finance.

Awarded degree

After the successful completion of the program, students will be awarded a Master of Science in Informatics and Economics, Major in Financial Technology & Computing.

Structure and contents

The Master of Science in Financial Technology and Computing has been designed to provide students who have a strong background in informatics with the necessary tools and skills for understanding core challenges in finance while, at the same time, learn about the advanced technology that is needed to drive the next generation finance services

Informatics has silently revolutionized banking and finance. Not only is modern banking entirely run by software - newly developed cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin) and form factors (mobile phones) are also shaking up the finance industry. From algorithmic trading to robo investing, from crowdlending to mobile payments - with a degree in Financial Technology and Computing you will be well-positioned to be part of these exciting developments.

This Master offers a highly challenging program that delivers key skills in a novel interdisciplinary domain. A two-tiered structure starts students off with a set of well-balanced core courses from both informatics and finance in the first year, followed by a broad set of electives that can be chosen in the second year, according to personal interests and abilities. A fourth semester Master's thesis that can be done within the context of a university research group, or in collaboration with industry, embedded in our Fintech Laboratory.

As one of the world's foremost centers for finance, Switzerland is at the forefront of the new Fintech industry. Since English is a unique teaching language, graduates are well-prepared to work in international companies in Switzerland and beyond.

Teaching

Top-level faculty of international renown teach innovative courses, with a strong multi-disciplinary orientation and in collaboration with prestigious institutions at local and international level. Professors are pursuing research on a variety of topics and are active participants in Swiss and international research projects and networks. Visiting professors from renowned universities complement top-quality teaching.

Teaching methods at both the Faculty of Informatics and the Faculty of Economics stress an interactive approach or dialogue with the students. Further, as most tasks in organizations become increasingly interdisciplinary it is also important to be able to work across traditional areas, which is a skill that is actively encouraged within the program. This is reflected in the variety of different teaching methods used including lectures, case studies, group work, games, and fieldwork.

The Faculty and the students are an international group, with education and work experience from across the world. This increases learning and cultural exchanges, as students learn to work effectively with people from different cultures.

Career Prospects

Targeting informatics bachelors and students with related degrees, the FinTeC master provides students with an existing background in informatics the skills necessary to enter the exciting new field of Finance Technology. A core of carefully selected finance and informatics courses provide a thorough understanding of the domain, while a broad offering of electives from both finance and informatics offers a personal learning path tailored to the needs and interests of each student.

The primary labor market for the graduates of the program is to be found in small Fintech startups, medium to large companies in the finance sector (e.g., banks, insurers, hedge funds) as well as the public sector, both in Switzerland and abroad. Many existing financial companies struggle with keeping up with recent developments in financial technology and thus are in great need of informatics professionals who have a thorough understanding of finance. Potential job profiles range from system architect to system developer to service designer to a financial consultant. With a FinTeC master, students will be able to help banks, trading companies, and insurers master this new reality, or, alternatively, be well-positioned to challenge existing players with their own startup.

Admission

The formal requirement for admission is a Bachelor's degree granted by a recognized university in Computer Sciences or related disciplines.

Candidates with a Bachelor's degree of a recognized University of Applied Sciences may be admitted with 30-60 additional ECTS to be earned during or before the beginning of the program, with Bachelor courses according to a study program defined by the scientific director. Admissions will be treated on a case by case basis. Students with other degrees may be admitted on a case by case basis as well.

Language

The admission to English-language Master programs at USI requires a good command of English. Non-native English speakers applying to the Master’s or whose previous degree was obtained in another language, are required to provide an internationally acknowledged language certificate equal to the B2 level as defined by the Common European Framework of Reference for language learning (CEFR) or equivalent (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS, etc.).

The B2 level on the CEFR corresponds to the following scores in internationally acknowledged exams:

IELTS 5.5
TOEFL Computer-based: 183
Internet-based: 65
Paper-based: 513
Cambridge English FCE (First Certificate English)
TOEIC Listening & Reading: 785
Speaking: 150
Writing: 160

Students admitted under the above-mentioned condition must achieve a C1 competence in English within the maximum time required to obtain the Master's degree.

The level can be certified either by attending a language course offered at USI during the Fall and Spring semester, and by taking the final exam, or by providing an internationally acknowledged language certificate*.

* The C1 level on the CEFR corresponds to the following scores in internationally acknowledged exams:

IELTS 7.0
TOEFL Internet-based: 100
Cambridge English CAE (Advanced certificate), grade C or above
BEC (Business English), grade C or above
TOEIC Listening & Reading: 945
Speaking: 180
Writing: 180

Italian

As Lugano is located in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, students might be interested in acquiring the basics in Italian.

The Università della Svizzera italiana offers a free of charge Italian language course.

Application Procedure

To submit your application, please refer to the indications for filling out the online form available here: http://application.lu.usi.ch.

Paper Application

Please note that we prefer online applications.

Applications to the Master program can also be submitted with the application form and required paper documents (email or fax submissions will be rejected) to the following address:

Università della Svizzera italiana
Faculty of Informatics
Admission Office
Via G. Buffi 13
CH-6900 Lugano
Switzerland

Applications by email or by fax are not accepted.

Required documentation:

The following pieces of documentation have to be sent in paper form:

  • The completed application form (you may download it in pdf format)
  • Photocopy of past diplomas (Bachelor, licentiate, four-year degree, maturity);
  • Official transcript of results of university examinations;
  • Certified translation of any diplomas written in a language other than Italian, German, French, English, or Spanish;
  • Curriculum vitae (Resume)
  • Personal letter of motivation drafted by the candidate;
  • Official certification of proficiency in English;
  • Photocopy of an identity card or other documents;
  • Photocopy of residence permit for foreign nationals already domiciled in Switzerland.

Photocopy of past degree certificates

Where a candidate has not fulfilled all the requirements for the Bachelor's degree, licentiate or other, copy of the diploma may be sent at a later stage, but in any case no later than the beginning of the matriculation period. If so, please indicate the expected date of the award and enclose an official document issued by the awarding institution confirming these terms.

Letter of motivation

Candidates are required to draft a letter (not more than one page) introducing themselves and explaining their particular interest and reasons for seeking admission to a given Master's degree.

Registration fee

The Lisbon convention regulates the recognition of university degrees between signatory countries and considerably simplifies the administration of admission procedures. For this reason, candidates whose previous degree studies were completed in countries outside this Convention (see list below) are invited to pay an application fee of SFr. 100 accounting for the higher administrative costs of processing more complex files. If the candidate is admitted, the fee will be deducted from the amount of the tuition fee for the first semester. The administrative fee is not refundable in other cases: if admission is not granted, or if the candidate decides to withdraw or fails to matriculate.

Application deadline

Applications will be accepted starting from mid-November.

The application deadline is June 30.

The application deadline for candidates who need a visa is April 30.

Late applications will be considered only in case of available places.

Fees

Tuition fees for the Master's degrees amount to CHF 4,000 per semester. Applicants whose official residence was in Switzerland or Liechtenstein at the time of the final high school exam (Maturità) pay a reduced semester fee of CHF 2,000.

Tuition fees are payable at the beginning of each term, by the deadline indicated on the invoice; fee payment is an essential condition for matriculating or renewing one's enrolment.

Last updated Aug 2019

About the School

USI is a young and agile university that offers to its students a quality education and an enhancing study experience. International faculty teach students with an interdisciplinary, engaging and inte ... Read More

USI is a young and agile university that offers to its students a quality education and an enhancing study experience. International faculty teach students with an interdisciplinary, engaging and interactive approach, leaving room to practical application. The quality of the study curricula is complemented by USI small size, by its cosmopolitan environment and its informal and dynamic culture. These elements make USI a hub of opportunity open to the world, where students can engage in direct dialogue with their professors and define their educational path, discover unexpected horizons, and embrace international careers. Read less
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