UCL News


Virtual trading floor open to media, 24 September

24 September 2009

UCL's virtual trading floor - a virtual trading facility giving students the opportunity to experience real-time streaming market data and business news - will be open to journalists wishing to see the floor in action on Thursday 24th September from 2.


Video footage of the floor in action

The UCL virtual trading floor runs using real-time market data provided by Thomson Reuters, while investment banks Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley have worked in partnership with UCL to create and deliver course content for students, who are studying for the MSc in Financial Computing. Now in its third year, the MSc was developed to meet demand from students looking to prepare for a technology career in the City, and was specially tailored to the needs of graduates from less technical disciplines, for instance the arts and humanities and the social sciences.

"The programme has been designed to bring diversity of experience into banking technology, by attracting graduates with a range of backgrounds not necessarily considered as the standard route into this field." says programme director Christopher Clack, UCL Computer Science. "In its first two years the programme has been heavily over-subscribed and has proven particularly popular with female and international students. Compared with a norm for computing programmes of 12%, this MSc attracted 45% women in the first year and 50% in the second year.

"Since the course was launched in 2007, banking has experienced cataclysmic changes, and some of the world's most famous names have disappeared. If anything, the serious difficulties experienced within the industry have made the need for well-qualified technology professionals even more pressing. This MSc produces graduates with a more balanced outlook with better lateral-thinking skills, who can propose different solutions to technology challenges. They are better placed to appreciate the risks that are involved, and to act accordingly. I believe that, if anything, the recent changes to the banking environment make this MSc even more desirable than it was when we launched in 2007."

"The MSc course in financial computing offered by UCL is very beneficial to the banking industry as it allows companies to recruit and train high calibre candidates from various disciplines and backgrounds," says Eleanor Cronin, Technology Graduate Recruiter, Bank of America Merrill Lynch. "The success of the students we have hired over the past few years is testament to this. The course provides banks with an opportunity to interact with talented students who have a strong interest in following an IT career at a financial organisation. Being involved provides the company with the opportunity to shape the course curriculum, which in turn develops the skills and talent entering our organisation."

Notes for Editors

1. The virtual trading floor will be open to media for its session on Thursday 24 September, 2.30pm-4pm. This is a live teaching session for students, and the programme director will be there to answer questions and arrange interviews with students. To attend, please contact Dominique Fourniol in the UCL media relation office on 0207 679 9728, d.fourniol@ucl.ac.uk.