UCL Centre for languages & international education (CLIE)


Quantitative Finance: Maths in Investment Banking (Level 3)

Key Information

Module code
Taught during
Session Two
Module leader
Dr Riaz Ahmad
Yes. Please refer to module pre-requisites below.
Assessment method
In-class test (40%), Computational exercise (60%)
Download syllabus (PDF)

Module overview

Quantitative Finance remains one of the fastest growing areas in modern finance. Alternative names are Financial Engineering, Mathematical Finance or Financial Mathematics. This is an application based course on the mathematical and computational aspects of derivative pricing. It lies at the heart of mathematics, computing, finance and economics. Both theory and numerical techniques will be presented, with computer simulations performed on MS Excel. If you are interested in technical finance and have wondered what Brownian Motion is, or how Monte Carlo methods are used to price options; then this module is precisely what you are looking for – covering Itô Calculus, Black-Scholes world and Monte Carlo simulations. This is not a theorem-proof based course, but all results will be derived.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students will:

  • Have gained an applied understanding of the global financial markets and some of the types of products that are traded in them
  • Feel confident when conversing with those from established economics and finance backgrounds. In particular it will assist with preparation for finance based job interviews as well as graduate applications to business schools.
  • Have received hands on approach to analysing stock price data and inferring statistical properties using computational methods.
  • Have formed an understanding of financial calculus and derivative pricing through lectures and problem sheets
  • Appreciate the power of simulation methods using the Monte Carlo framework to price a variety of options contracts.

Module prerequisites

This is a level three module (equivalent to third year undergraduate). Students are required to have completed at least two years of undergraduate training in maths, physics, engineering or mathematical economics.

Module hours

Classes (usually three or four hours per day) take place on the Bloomsbury campus from Monday to Friday any time between 9am and 6pm.


  • In-class maths based test (40%)
  • Computational exercise pricing derivatives in Excel (60%)

Module leader

Dr Riaz Ahmad works at the Fitch Group and teaches Mathematical Finance; C++ and Python programming for financial engineering applications. He has been training in the financial markets for almost 15 years; in London, New York and the Far East. The range of audiences he has taught include front office professionals and new graduate hires at investment banks. Riaz has been teaching Mathematical and Computational Finance courses at UCL since 2005 to BSc and MSc students. At the MSc, MBA and executive education levels, Riaz has lectured in Mathematical Finance at Oxford University, Lahore University of Management Sciences and Institute of Business Administration (Karachi).

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