Why should I consider this course?
The finance industry is one of the largest employers of mathematicians in the world. Mathematicians work in quantitative roles not only in investment banks and central banks but also in associated software companies, hedge funds, insurance companies and the finance departments of large corporations. The common language of modern financial markets is mathematics and those who work in this field have the opportunity for challenging and well-rewarded careers. Increasingly, a Masters degree from a top university is regarded as a prerequisite qualification to work in the industry. It is also a big step towards doing further research in this fascinating and dynamic subject.
Why should I choose Oxford?
Oxford is one of the best universities in the world and its Mathematical Finance group is world-renowned. The unparalleled combination of a top quality intellectual atmosphere, Oxford's collegiate university system and a beautiful and historic city only a short journey from London makes for a student experience second to none.
When does the course start/finish?
Typically, the course starts around the last week of September and finishes around mid July. Details can be found in the course calendar.
What does the course cover?
The course will provide a thorough training in modern mathematical finance, from mathematical foundations to the latest trends in financial markets. The whole course is underpinned by a thorough training in programming in Matlab, R and C++.
Find out more about the course components.
What is the course structure?
- There will be an introductory week covering basic foundational material. The early part of the course is devoted to core material, taken by all students. Later in the year, students have the opportunity to choose from a range of options covering many aspects of mathematical finance. Some of these topics will be delivered via short intensive courses, often involving external expert practitioners. Students also write a dissertation during the third term of the year. The course finishes in mid July, in time for the graduate training programmes operated by many financial institutions.
- Find out more about the course components.
- Please click for the course calendar.
How is the course assessed?
The core is assessed by a written examination, while options are assessed by a short essay on a topic arising from the course, or by a computing assignment. The dissertation also contributes to the final result.
Find out more about the examination and assessment.
Who will teach the course?
The course will be taught by Oxford's world-leading faculty. Those working in finance include Professors Mike Giles, Terry Lyons and Xunyu Zhou, Ben Hambly, Sam Howison, Drs Jan Obloj, Raphael Hauser, Hanqing Jin, Michael Monoyios, Christoph Reisinger, Zhongmin Qian, Sam Cohen and Greg Gyurko. The academic team will be supplemented by expert teaching from practitioners from the financial sector, who will bring invaluable practical expertise to complement the academic side of the course.
What background should applicants have?
- Applicants should have a good background in probability, statistics, ordinary and partial differential equations, linear algebra and analysis. Students who started in the previous years typically came from the very top end of their cohort, for example with a First Class degree, or equivalent GPA. Applicants need to demonstrate their aptitude for, and knowledge of, mathematics, particularly in the area of real analysis, through their performances in the admissions test and at interview. Successful applicants have a variety of quantitative undergraduate degrees. Applicants with undergraduate degrees that are not purely mathematical will still be expected to demonstrate they have sufficient knowledge to perform well on the programme.
- Please see also the entry requirements on the Graduate Admissions MSc Mathematical & Computational Finance webpages.
What level of English proficiency is required?
If your first language is not English, you must supply suitable evidence of ability at the HIGHER level (for details see the University guidance for International students). Please note that students requiring a visa to study in the UK will also have to satisfy the requirements of the UK Borders Agency.
Are there any exceptions to the proficiency in English requirement?
In certain circumstances, subject to the requirements of the University and the UK Borders Agency, the requirement to provide documentary proof of proficiency in English may be waived. See the University guidance for International students.
What preparation should I make before the course?
A reading list will be supplied beforehand.
Do I need a laptop?
Yes: you will need a laptop, for the computing aspects of the course. You will also be able to use the Departmental machines.
What about software?
Laptops need to run Windows and we do not guarantee support for those that do not run Windows. We will give you licence to Matlab when you arrive, and you will need LaTeX for writing mathematics: this is freely available and we will explain how to get it when you arrive.
What courses does Oxford offer in Finance?
- Oxford offers three MSc (Masters) courses in Finance. You are on the web page for the full-time course Mathematical and Computational Finance, run by the Mathematics Department. There is a second mathematics course, called Mathematical Finance, which is a part-time MSc course aimed at practitioners working in the finance sector who wish to learn the mathematics of the subject. Its coverage is similar to that of the full-time course but the emphasis is different, being tailored to its target audience, although some teaching is shared between it and the full-time course.
Click for further information.
- In addition to these Mathematics courses, the Said Business School runs a full-time MSc in Financial Economics, offering a less mathematically technical approach to finance.
Where can I find out more about the Mathematics Department and the University?
How do I apply?
How do I submit the admissions exercise?
You can upload your answers online with your application. However, if the size of your file exceeds 2MB you may not be able to upload it to the online system. In which case please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that any application missing the MSc MCF admissions exercise will be deemed incomplete.
When is the deadline?
There are three deadlines during the application process in November, late January and March.
The deadlines work as follows:
- Applications for the November deadline will be considered against others for that deadline and may be accepted, rejected or reevaluated. If an application for the November deadline is reevaluated it will be considered against new applications for the January deadline and also against others to be reevaluated following the November deadline.
- New applications for the January deadline will be considered against other new applications for that deadline as well as those to be reevaluated from the November deadline. Applications considered for the January deadline may be accepted, rejected or reevaluated, whether they were new for the January deadline or reevaluated after the November deadline.
- New applications for the March deadline will be considered against other new applications for that deadline, together with applications initially made for the November and January deadlines that are to be reevaluated. Assuming there is no 'open field' (and it is very unlikely that there will be for the MSc MCF) all places on the course for entry in the following September will have been filled after the March deadline, so all applications considered for the March deadline will be either accepted or rejected.
- If an application is accepted, the applicant is likely to receive a conditional, rather than an unconditional, offer of a place on the MSc MCF for entry in the following September.
- If you wish to apply for a scholarship or bursary (please see the funding search tool for your eligibility), you should apply before the late January deadline because few, if any, scholarships or bursaries will be available to those applying after that deadline.
Because places are available on the course after each of the November, late January and March deadlines, applying for any one of these deadline should not affect the likelihood of your receiving an offer.
Please also see this webpage for further information.
Please remember that your application will be deemed incomplete until you send all required documentation, including the MSc in Mathematical and Computational Finance admissions exercise, and your application will be considered only if all required documents, including the reference letters, are submited by the application deadline.
What are the fees and other costs?
- We will update this year's course fees by the end of September on the following website.There will also be a college fee which will vary from college to college, but will be somewhere in the region of 2400.
- Please note demand for places on this MSc is exceptionally high. Therefore this year we plan to charge successful applicants a non-refundable deposit in order to secure their offer. We will correspond in more detail about this with successful applicants.
Are there any financial support packages?
- No, there are no financial support packages available specifically for this course, however the university provides general fees and funding information for potential graduate students.
Where can I find information on previous students?
Alumni profiles are available on this page.
How can I find out more? - Contact details.
For admission queries, please contact the Admissions Administrator