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Financial Mathematics MSc/PGDip

Learn about the course below
October 2021
EU/INT induction: September 2021
1 year full-time
2 years part-time
£9,400 (UK) *
£14,500 (EU/INT) *
Course leader
Nicholas Sharples
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A combination of mathematics, statistics and computing, financial mathematics is a specialism vital to the day-to-day functioning of the world's economic institutions. Highly technical and theoretical aspects of mathematics take on a practical importance which can affect millions of lives through this fascinating discipline, which involves predicting the behaviour of markets and suggesting strategies for investment.

Why study MSc Financial Mathematics at Middlesex University?

We believe strongly that the work you do must be relevant to the world of work – that's why our course has a strong practical slant. It also has the unusual and significant advantage of including from-scratch training in computer programming, allowing you to develop first-class computing skills alongside your mathematical expertise. You'll need a good degree in maths, or a related subject like physics or engineering, but no prior knowledge of finance.

Course highlights

  • Our course combines a comprehensive grounding in the theory of financial mathematics with thorough practical training
  • Our subscriptions to Bloomberg and Datastream allow you to work with real datasets
  • We'll teach you to code for financial mathematics in widely-used programming languages, without the need for prior experience
  • The course is designed either for graduates considering a financial career, or for those already working in the industry looking for a greater understanding of finance and insurance risk
  • As a student of this course you'll receive a free electronic textbook for every module.

Find out more

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What will you study on the MSc Financial Mathematics?

You’ll develop an advanced understanding of the concepts and techniques of financial mathematics and statistics, and of how financial data is gathered and analysed. These will include probability; financial data and technical terms; options pricing and asset pricing; distributions; the future of prices and exchange rates; hedging investments; advanced stochastic analysis; mathematical modelling and analysis; portfolio management and selection; and research methods and techniques.

Through all this, you’ll develop the mathematical, financial and computational skills you need to make decisions; quantify and manage risks and balance risk with return; understand financial instruments; and evaluate and interpret financial data using programming and computer packages. You’ll also be able to source data from a range of different sources, including electronic databases.

There are five compulsory modules: portfolios and risk; probability and stochastic processes; risk measurement; financial data and computing; and pricing and stochastic calculus. You’ll then choose one further option from international risk management, time series and forecasting, and game and decision theories. At the end of the course you will submit a dissertation, which will allow you to gain in-depth knowledge of an area that interests you.


  • Modules

    • Risk Measurement (15 credits) - Compulsory

      The module aims to introduce students to concepts of risk measurement and analysis of financial data, and provides knowledge and basic skills required for risk measurement, technical analysis of financial data, investment decision-making, portfolio selection and optimisation.

    • Pricing and stochastic calculus (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to teach students to use pricing theory for derivatives, such as options, futures and forwards, using a risk-neutral probability and stochastic differential equations (SDEs), and explores discrete and continuous time models of stochastic processes with applications to pricing, such as the Black-Scholes equation for options pricing.

    • Portfolios and risk (30 credits) - Compulsory

      The module provides knowledge and basic skills required for financial product development, risk analysis, investment decision-making, portfolio selection and optimisation, as well as pricing of financial instruments.

    • Financial data and computing (15 credits) - Compulsory

      The module deals with information and communication technology to carry out financial market analysis in detail, and gives students the skills and ideas to implement computational approaches to financial problems.

    • Probability and stochastic processes (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to give students a solid grounding in some of the most important methods employed by statisticians by providing a deeper understanding of probability theory, inference theory and random processes.

    • Project (60 credits) - Compulsory

      The project allows students to consolidate their learning in a substantial piece of independent work utilising the skills and knowledge developed in the taught content.

    • International risk management (15 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to identify the major sources of risk involved in international economic and financial activity; develop the tools and techniques necessary to manage these risks and enable a critical appreciation of the interaction between corporate decision-making and capital market behaviour.

    • Time series and forecasting (15 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to build stochastic models for time series data sets, to understand or model the stochastic mechanism that gives rise to an observed series, and to predict or forecast the future values of a series.

    • Games and decisions (15 credits) - Optional

      This module gives students knowledge of the major concepts of decisions and game theories, and an understanding of the interrelation of these concepts, to determine the best strategy mathematically in order to optimize outcomes.

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information:

Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module,  or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

How will the MSc Financial Mathematics be taught?

Lectures and talks will introduce you to concepts and techniques, which you’ll explore further through workshops, seminars, and presentations and discussions in class. Case studies will help you to relate theory to practice, and we’ll encourage you to think critically; some of your work will be done in groups. You’ll supplement all this with your own independent reading and study, including the use of online resources.



You’ll be assessed through exams, tests and your dissertation, as well as other individual and group coursework

Teaching and learning

Changes for students in 2020

If you’re starting university in 2020, we’ll be teaching you in different ways to make sure you get the best learning experience possible. You’ll learn through live sessions with teaching staff and have the chance to study independently too, with access to all the online resources you need through our globally available student portal. 

We’re planning different scenarios for teaching so that we can be flexible. While we’re social distancing, we’re aiming to teach you through some small group sessions on campus, with larger lectures delivered online and available to you on-demand. If you’re unable to make it to campus at first, or we need to limit access to campus in the future, your course can be delivered fully online.

The table below shows current plans for your learning across a typical week, including scheduled live online teaching and an indication of what we hope to teach face to face, where you can make it to campus. While some weeks might look different to this, due to how we schedule classes, the table gives you an idea of what to expect based on the overall number of teaching hours on your course.  

You’ll receive final arrangements for your teaching and a full course timetable before you start.

Term 1: Online teaching only

Live learning

Contact time per week, per level:

12 hours

Self-paced learning time

Average hours per week, per level:

28 hours

On demand resources

Average hours per week, per level:


Read more about our scenarios for returning to campus and what they might mean for your teaching and learning experience, and how you’ll be able to access student support.

Future plans for teaching

We’re developing our timetable for face to face teaching  with current government advice on social distancing to keep you safe. If social distancing requirements are lifted, we’ll start to safely move back towards our usual teaching arrangements with more opportunities for face to face learning. Some learning and support might stay online in this scenario. If more restrictions are put in place, or there is another lockdown, we’ll be prepared to deliver your learning and support fully online, with alternative arrangements made for any required placements. We’ll always give you notice of any changes that we make.

Definitions of terms

  • Live learning – Live learning will cover everything you’ll do with teaching staff like lectures, seminars, workshops and other classes, and we’ll schedule all of this for you. This might include some study outside your regular timetable, like taking part in discussion forums or online blogs where you’re supported by academic staff.
  • Independent learning – Independent learning is all the studying you’ll do outside your live learning sessions with teaching staff. This self-paced study will give you the chance to learn, prepare, revise and reflect in your own time as you need to, and you’ll have access to on-demand resources and materials to help you do your best.
    • Self-paced study – Self-paced study will give you the chance to learn wherever and whenever you want to and at your own pace, outside your live learning sessions. This independent learning could include reading and reflection, preparation for classes, revision or homework along with access to other online activities such as quizzes.
    • On-demand resources – You'll have access to on-demand resources like pre-recorded video lectures and workshops as part of your independent study. You’ll be able to review and revisit whenever you need to at your own pace.
    • Face to face sessions – Wherever it’s possible to do so, and we can make the necessary arrangements to ensure your safety, you’ll be able to attend scheduled sessions, workshops or appointments on campus as part of your live learning. The number of hours given in this scenario provides an indication of the number of hours of face to face learning you could expect, and a full timetable will be provided to you before the start of your course.


You’ll have a strong support network available to you to make sure you develop all the necessary academic skills you need to do well on your course.

Our support services will mainly be delivered online and you’ll have access to a range of different resources so you can get the help you need, whether you’re studying at home or have the opportunity to come to campus.

You’ll have access to one to one and group sessions for personal learning and academic support from our library and IT teams, and our network of learning experts. Our teams will also be here to offer financial advice, and personal wellbeing, mental health and disability support.

More on teaching for your subject in 2020/21

Read our guide to what’s been happening in your subject area recently and more about what to expect this autumn.

  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. EU/International
  3. Additional costs
  4. Scholarships and bursaries

How can the MSc Financial Mathematics support your career?

A solid command of the principles and techniques of financial mathematics is essential for anyone working in trading, pricing, hedging, asset management, risk control and a variety of other areas of finance. There is currently a major drive to improve the mathematical abilities of staff working in financial institutions, and banks and companies which deal with risk are looking to hire employees with a solid mathematical background. This course will equip you for a wide range of careers in financial product development, risk analysis and management, pricing, investment decision making and portfolio development, with banks and financial companies or the government.

As well as in-depth knowledge of your subject, our course will provide you with many transferable skills. It will improve your research, data collection and interpretation, communication, presentation and teamwork skills, as well as your confidence and your ability to work under your own initiative and manage your own time.

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

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