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Financial Technology MSc

This MSc programme focuses on developing technology literate financial services professionals. The programme emphasises the systematic understanding of new digital business models in financial services, how innovation through technology is changing business practices, quantitative finance skills and the application of emerging technologies to financial services.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2021

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 9 November 2020
Close: 4 June 2021

Tuition fees (2021/22)

UK:
£36,900 (FT)
Overseas:
£36,900 (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: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

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 in a language such as Python, C++ or Matlab is an advantage but is not mandatory. Some programming experience means that you have experience of working on projects deploying code or have passed modules/assessments in your previous education with coding components. If you do not have this knowledge, there will be tutorials offered at the beginning of the programme, but you will be expected to get up to speed rapidly. A self-assessment test will be available to determine if you will need additional support for coding. A good knowledge of linear algebra, statistics and probability theory will be assumed. Relevant work experience is also taken into account. Relevant work experience is considered.

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

Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

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

The objectives of this programme are to enable students to understand new digital business models and how innovation through technology is changing financial services. Students will also learn technology skills in blockchain and machine learning applications in finance. As students progress through the programme, they will be able to develop quantitative finance skills and apply technology in the domain.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

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

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

Students will take five compulsory modules that are each 15 credits unless otherwise stated.

  • Innovation and Strategy in Finance
  • Digital Finance
  • Blockchain Technologies
  • Machine Learning with Applications in Finance
  • MSc Financial Technology Project (60 credits)

Optional modules

Students must pick four optional modules that are each 15 credits unless otherwise stated.

  • Financial Services Entrepreneurship
  • Advanced Machine Learning in Finance
  • Financial Institutions and Markets
  • Financial Data and Statistics
  • Financial Engineering
  • Financial Market Modelling and Analysis
  • Database and Information Management Systems
  • Networks and Systemic Risk
  • Operational Risk Measurement for Financial Institutions
  • Algorithmic Trading
  • Applied Computational Finance

Dissertation/report

In term three, students will undertake a substantial research project that results in a dissertation. This programme offers both Industry-based and purely Academic projects. The dissertation is expected to be about 10,000 words or 50 pages.

Placement

If students are able to take an Industry-based project, this is usually undertaken with an external partner organised by UCL staff as part of our wider Industry Exchange Network (IXN) programme and have both an Academic and an Industry supervisor. This gives students the experience of conducting project work in a real-life setting, which aligns with UCL's connected curriculum. Both the student and the Industry partner will need to agree to work together. Industry partners who have participated in summer projects previously include Santander, Ernst & Young, Ripple, HSBC, Bank of England, BNP Paribas, PWC, AXA, Nomura, Credit Suisse et al. 


Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, presentations, written and programming exercises, and project work.

Additional costs

Students will require a modern laptop (PC or Mac). The minimum specifications should be 8GB RAM and 500GB SSD storage. A laptop with the stated specifications will cost approximately £500.

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 accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees-and-funding.

Funding

For more information about funding opportunities for Department of Computer Science postgraduate programmes, please see the departmental Scholarships page.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

DeepMind Computer Science Scholarship

Note:
Deadline: 9am(BST) 7 June 2021
Value:
UK Home fees, maintenance grant, plus travel and equipment grants (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

By taking this programme, you will gain a critical awareness of current issues and the development of financial systems and markets. You will also develop strong quantitative finance and financial technology skills as well as business and strategy acumen related to the financial services industry. Individuals who wish to pursue technology-led finance and banking careers will be strongly equipped through this MSc programme. Universal banks, mutual, pension and hedge funds, investment banks, governments, central banks, advisory bodies and new challenger fintech start-ups and technology companies should be prospective employers for you.

Employability

At the end of this programme, you will be able to:

  • perform analytical tasks basic to the financial services industry (focused on quantitative finance), including the analysis and interpretation of big data
  • gain a broad understanding of how technology is applied in the financial services domain in relation to business models, practices and quantitative finance
  • apply strategic thinking on how emerging technologies are changing the financial services landscape
  • deploy machine learning tools
  • design blockchain technology solutions.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Centre for Blockchain Technologies (CBT) has created this programme. This multidisciplinary research centre focuses on how blockchain and other emerging technologies are impacting the world’s socio-economic systems and in particular the financial services industry. This programme also leverages the numerous partnerships that the UCL CBT has with some of the largest financial services and technology companies in the world. These relationships exist, for instance, with Fidelity, Ripple, State Street, Natwest, Santander, R3, Oracle, DXC Technology, Santander, Ernst & Young, HSBC, Bank of England, BNP Paribas, PWC, AXA, Nomura, Credit Suisse and many other firms.

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). Over the years, the three most relevant university rankings (QS, THE, ARWU) have consistently classified UCL among the top 5 universities in Europe and the top 20 universities in the world. UCL Computer Science hosts the Centre for Doctoral Training in Financial Computing and Analytics as well as the Centre for Doctoral Training in AI and Finance.

UCL resides in London, one of the world's most important financial centres. Students of this MSc will benefit from teaching by practitioners in the City of London and get the chance to work on a summer project. Industry-based and purely Academic summer projects are offered. Industry-based projects are usually undertaken with an external partner organised by UCL staff as part of our wider Industry Exchange Network (IXN) programme and have both an academic and an industry supervisor. 

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.

This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

Prospective students are expected to have backgrounds from science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects. Students should be able to engage in highly quantitative modules as well as work with technology.

Application deadlines

All applicants
4 June 2021

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 Financial Technology at a graduate level
  • why you want to study Financial Technology at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this programme
  • what programming experience you have
  • where you would 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 1 March 2021