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Computational Finance MSc

Students develop an advanced knowledge of computational methods in finance, which is a prerequisite for a successful career in the financial industry within 'quant' teams. Quants (development analysts) design and implement complex models and are sought after by banks, fund managers, insurance companies, hedge funds, and financial software and data providers.

Covid-19 programme updates

Due to COVID-19, there may have been updates to this programme for the 2020 academic year. Where there has been an update, these are indicated with a red alert and a link which will provide further information.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2020

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 1 November 2019
Due to the large number of applications received, this programme is closed as of 30 June 2020.

Tuition fees (2020/21)

UK/EU:
£21,010 (FT)
Overseas:
£32,250 (FT)


Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website.

Fee deposit: All full time students are required to pay a fee deposit of £2,000 for this programme. All part-time students are required to pay a fee deposit of £1,000.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

An upper-second class UK Bachelor's degree (or equivalent overseas qualification) in computer science, mathematics, statistics, physics, engineering or a similarly quantitative subject. Programming experience is an advantage but is not mandatory. Relevant work experience is also taken into account.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

About this degree

This degree comprises advanced modules on quantitative and modelling skills, which are essential for quant roles in trading research, regulation and risk. This applied MSc programme is distinctive in that it provides a solid mathematical and statistical foundation together with an education in advanced-level programming.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of four core modules (60 credits), four optional modules (60 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits).

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in Computational Finance.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Compulsory modules

  • Data Analytics (15 credits)
  • Financial Engineering (15 credits)
  • Financial Market Modelling and Analysis (15 credits)
  • Numerical Methods for Finance (15 credits)
  • MSc Computational Finance Project

Optional modules

Students select 60 credits from the optional group.

  • Algorithmic Trading (15 credits)
  • Applied Computational Finance (15 credits)
  • Financial Institutions and Markets (15 credits)
  • Machine Learning with Applications in Finance (15 credits)
  • Market Microstructure (15 credits)
  • Market Risk Measures and Portfolio Theory (15 credits)
  • Networks and Systemic Risk (15 credits)
  • Numerical Optimisation (15 credits)
  • Operational Risk Measurement for Financial Institutions (15 credits)
  • Probability Theory and Stochastic Processes (15 credits)

Please note: the availability and delivery of optional modules may vary, depending on your selection.

Covid-19 module updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be updates to the modules for your chosen programme of study this year. Some modules may not be available or may need to be moved to a later term or year of study. These updates are relevant for 2020-21 academic year only.  The full list of modules will be available in the module catalogue from late August.  From the first week of September, you will be invited to complete module selection from Portico, our student record system. There may need to be additional updates or changes to modules during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available.

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of about 10,000 words or 50 pages. Usually this will be undertaken during a summer placement in an industry environment arranged by the department.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, and project work. It comprises two terms of teaching, followed by examinations and a dissertation. Assessment is through coursework, unseen examinations and a dissertation.

Covid-19 contact hours on campus
In Term One, while campus will be open, all the learning activity for the core content of your modules will take place online – including lectures, tutorials, seminars and assessments. By “core content” we mean everything you need to learn to complete the module successfully. In addition to these online contact hours, we will be offering some face-to-face educational activities for students on campus, and we will provide alternative online activities for those students unable to join us on campus. These activities, which will include contact with academic staff, will be relevant to your programme of study may include seminars, academic and employability skills workshops, small-group or individual tutorials, lab and practice-based teaching. UK Government safety guidelines will limit the amount of ‘in person’ activity we can offer and while it will vary from programme to programme, is likely to be no more than 1-2 hours per week. This will vary across departments, particularly if your programme includes laboratory/practical/studio/workshop sessions. You will be updated with more specific details as they are available and your timetable will indicate which sessions will be on campus and which will be available online.
Covid-19 assessment updates
There may be changes to the format of assessments for modules in this programme due to COVID-19. These will be summarised for each module on the module catalogue from 17 August 2020.   If any changes to assessments need to be made during the academic year due to updates in government guidance, these will be communicated to you as soon as possible from your department.    
Communicating further Covid-19 mitigation plans
We are continuing to follow UK Government guidance, as well as the expertise of our researchers, including specialists in health, education, human behaviour and infection prevention, to make sure UCL is as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. If it becomes necessary to make further changes to your programme as a result of new guidance/regulations, UCL and your department will communicate these as soon as this becomes clear. We will keep you up-to-date with our plans throughout term one, so you have the information you need to be able to take decisions that are right for your circumstances. Please ensure that you keep in touch with your department by regularly checking your UCL emails, Moodle courses, the Coronavirus FAQs for Students page and any UCL online groups or social media you follow.

Additional costs

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Funding

For more information about funding opportunities for Department of Computer Science postgraduate programmes, please see the departmental Scholarships and Funding pages: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/computer-science/study/scholarships

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

Brown Family Bursary

Note:
This scheme is now closed for 2020/21
Value:
£15,000 (1 year)
Eligibility:
UK
Criteria:
Based on both academic merit and financial need

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

This is a relatively new programme and therefore no specific information on graduate destinations is currently available. UCL Computer Science graduates typically find work in financial institutions such as Credit Suisse, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, and Deutsche Bank as financial analyst application developers, quant developers, and business managers. The University of Cambridge and UCL are among top further study destinations.

Employability

Our graduates are particularly valued as a result of the department's international reputation, strong links with industry, and ideal location close to the City of London. Graduates are especially sought after by leading finance companies and organisations.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL received the highest percentage (96%) for quality of research in Computer Science and Informatics in the UK's most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF2014).

UCL Computer Science hosts the Doctoral Training Centre in Financial Computing and Analytics, which is the only one of its kind in the UK.

UCL's central London location ideally places it close to one of the world's most important financial centres, with which UCL pioneers industrial/academic engagements. Students on the Computational Finance MSc will benefit from teaching input from City of London practitioners.

Department: Computer Science

Application and next steps

Applications

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £80 for online applications and £105 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

The programme is suitable for those with a first degree in a quantitative subject wishing to develop a successful career in the financial industry.

Application deadlines

Due to the large number of applications received, this programme is closed as of 30 June 2020.

Due to competition for places on this programme, no late applications will be considered. Students with visa requirements or applying for scholarships are advised to apply early.


For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Computational Finance at graduate level?
  • why you want to study Computational Finance at UCL?
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how do your academic and professional background and skills meet the demands of this challenging programme?
  • where would you like to go professionally with your degree?

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 18 August 2020