Financial Technology MSc

London, Bloomsbury

The financial services sector has changed and is being disrupted by new emerging technologies and brand-new business models. This programme aims to make you an expert in both. Our Financial Technology MSc takes a computer-science-first approach, enabling you to stay ahead of the innovations that are changing the financial services industry.

UK students International students
Study mode
Full-time
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
£44,400
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
£44,400
Duration
1 calendar year
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
Applicants who require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 05 Apr 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Applicants who do not require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 30 Aug 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Entry requirements

A minimum of 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. Relevant work experience is also taken into account. 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.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 3

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.

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

Equivalent qualifications

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. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

*Should you experience any issues with the drop-down below, try de-selecting the country and re-selecting it. If this doesn't work, then you may refer to this page which may help you find the same equivalencies - check the Entry requirements above beforehand. Please note the table is indicative only, revisiting when the dropdown is working to confirm is recommended.

About this degree


A range of established and emerging technologies are disrupting the financial sector. These are constantly evolving, requiring companies to embrace innovation to remain competitive. Through this programme, you will gain an in-depth understanding of these technologies, and how to apply them to financial services. A programme spanning finance, business and technology – taught by UCL Computer Science – this is where you will place yourself at the cutting edge of technology in the world of finance.

You will learn about blockchain technologies to machine learning applications to finance, as well as innovation and strategy in finance, core finance, programming and business strategy skills. You will have the opportunity to explore quantitative finance, algorithmic trading, database technologies, policy and regulation in finance, product management and software engineering in finance, and advanced applications of machine learning.

Practical coursework assignments reflect what is happening in current workplaces, and you will undertake a project during the summer term too. This brings opportunities to work with an industry partner on a real-world problem, or to embark on an academic project supervised by one of our leading academics.

Who this course is for

This programme is designed to appeal to those with backgrounds from science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects who wish to pursue a career in technology-led finance and banking or to pursue further study or a career in academia.

What this course will give you

UCL is ranked 9th globally in the latest QS World University Rankings (2024), giving you an exciting opportunity to study at one of the world’s best universities.

UCL Computer Science is recognised as a world leader in teaching and research. The department was ranked 1st in England and 2nd in the UK for research power in Computer Science and Informatics in the UK's most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF2021). You will learn from leading experts at the forefront of computer science innovation.

UCL is also ranked 1st in the UK and 7th in the world for Blockchain education and research in the latest CoinDesk University Rankings.

This programme, created by UCL Centre for Blockchain Technologies (CBT) and part of the Financial Computing and Analytics (FCA) research group, leverages a strong research and industry network. UCL CBT is a multidisciplinary research centre focusing on how blockchain and other emerging technologies impact the world’s socioeconomic systems and the financial services industry.

The FCA group’s research focuses on algorithmic trading, financial markets modelling and analysis, systemic risk and applying complexity science to social dynamics.

UCL CBT and the FCA research group have built partnerships over the years with some of the world's largest financial services and technology companies. 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 others. These industry relationships inform the learnings of this programme.

You will have opportunities to get hands-on experience working on real-world projects with these leading industry partners through the Department’s Industry Exchange Network (IXN).

The programme team takes an experimental approach to our subject, enjoying the challenge and opportunity of entrepreneurial partnerships, and placing a high value on our extensive range of industrial collaborations.

The foundation of your career

As a graduate of this programme, you could go on to work in traditional financial services, for finance institutions, or for consulting firms. You will also be well placed to work directly in technology roles in financial services firms, fintech companies or technology companies. Given the skills you will acquire in business and innovation, you will also have the background knowledge needed to enter the start-up world.

Employability

This programme gives you the skills you will need to work with technology and financial services, so you will come away with a suite of expertise that has exceptional relevance in the world of finance today.

In particular, you will have highly transferable knowledge about new digital business models, how innovation through technology is changing financial services, technology skills in blockchain, and machine learning applications in finance. You will also have quantitative finance skills, programming knowledge and the ability to apply technology within the financial domain.

The research-based curriculum also promotes strong research skills, which you will develop through your final research project/ dissertation. This will mean you are also well-equipped to undertake doctoral research.

Networking

UCL is proud to support innovation and link our students and research directly to real-world business applications. From internships to solving complex problems with commercial partners, UCL Engineering has a collaborative, innovative spirit at its core.

As a student and later as a graduate, you will have access to a UCL Engineering careers events programme, connecting you with employers and alumni. This programme provides invaluable insight into the reality of different roles, sectors, and current application processes.

Entrepreneurial minds thrive at UCL. For example, UCL’s IDEALondon was the first innovation centre led by a university in London, and incubates companies post-seed to reach technical and business milestones. Our academic and industrial networks provide a safe and supportive environment to grow a company.

Teaching and learning

The programme’s core curriculum is typically delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials, and lab classes, as well as directed and self-directed learning supported by teaching materials and resources, published through each module’s online virtual learning environment. Each module employs a teaching strategy that aligns with and supports its intended learning outcomes.

You will be assessed through a range of methods across the programme, which will vary depending on any optional or elective module choices. The programme’s core curriculum is typically assessed by methods including coursework, lab work, individual and group projects, class tests, written examinations, oral assessments, and, in all cases, culminating in a final research project/dissertation.

Contact time takes various forms, including lectures, seminars, tutorials, project supervisions, demonstrations, practical classes and workshops, visits, placements, office hours (where staff are available for consultation), email, videoconference, or other media, and situations where feedback on assessed work is given (one-to-one or in a group).

Each module has a credit value that indicates the total notional learning hours a learner will spend to achieve its learning outcomes. One credit is considered equal to 10 hours of notional learning, which includes all contact time, self-directed study, and assessment.

The contact time for each of your 15 credit taught modules will typically include 22-30 hours of teaching activity over the term of its delivery, with the balance then comprised of self-directed learning and working on your assessments. You will have ongoing contact with teaching staff via each module’s online discussion forum, which is typically used for discussing and clarifying concepts or assessment matters and will have the opportunity to access additional support via regular office hours with module leaders and programme directors.

Your research project/dissertation module is 60 credits and will include regular contact with your project supervisor(s), who will guide and support you throughout your project. You will dedicate most of your time on this module to carrying out research in connection with your project and writing up your final report.

Modules

The Financial Technology MSc is a one-year programme.

In term 1, you will study topics in machine learning with applications in finance, blockchain technologies, and you will acquire finance and programming skills. You will choose from a range of optional specialist topics, including operational risk measurement, financial engineering, software engineering and product management, and the fundamentals of database systems.

In term 2, you will study topics in innovation, strategy and technology in financial services. You will choose further optional topics, which may include data-driven modelling and market modelling and analysis, applied computational finance, algorithmic trading, advanced machine learning, entrepreneurship, policy and regulation and systemic risk. You will also begin the preparation for your final research project/dissertation.

In term 3, you will primarily focus on your final research project/dissertation and any examinations in the main examination period.

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 are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Financial Technology.

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 and Wellbeing team.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £44,400
Tuition fees (2024/25) £44,400

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

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.

Students will require a modern computer (PC or Mac) with minimum specifications 8GB RAM and 500GB SSD storage. A computer with the stated specifications is estimated to cost £500 or greater.

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

Funding your studies

For more information about funding opportunities for UCL Computer Science taught postgraduate programmes, please see the department's scholarships webpage.

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

UCL East London Scholarship

Deadline: 20 June 2024
Value: Tuition fees plus £15,700 stipend ()
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: UK

UCL Friends & Alumni Association scholarship for Machine Learning

Deadline: 3 June 2024
Value: $20,000 (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

Next steps

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 Application fees.

When we assess your application we wish to learn:

  • why you want to study Financial Technology at taught postgraduate 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. Your application will be judged entirely on the evidence you provide.

Having an interest in financial technology, new innovative financial products and intellectual curiosity are desirable qualities.

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.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2024-2025

Got questions? Get in touch

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.