MSc in Mathematical Finance Course Structure

Length of program

The University has three terms a year - Michaelmas (October - mid-January), Hilary (January - mid-April) and Trinity (mid-April - September). You can find the exact upcoming term dates on the Central University website.

Students are expected to take 7 terms (28 months) to complete the MSc in Mathematical Finance. This course works a little out of sync with the other MSc courses, starting in the Hilary term of one year, and completing by the end of Hilary term 2 years later.

Owing to the part-time nature of the course, students sometimes require more time to complete the degree, and then have the opportunity to apply for a suspension or extension of time. More information on these can be found in the Course Handbook.


Timeline of course


Year on Course

January February March April May June July August September October November December


Module 1

Module 2

Module 1 assignment deadline


Module 3

Module 2 assignment deadline

Module 3 assingment deadline Module 4 Module 4 assignment deadline  


Module 5

Exam Board (Exams)

Module 6

Module 5 assignment deadline



Module 6 assignment deadline

Module 7

Exam Board (M5/M6)


Module 8

Module 7 assignment deadline

Start dissertation

Exam Board (M7)

Module 8 assignment deadline

      Exam Board (M8)    


      Dissertation deadline   Final Exam Board (Dissertation and Overall Grade)            


Components of the Course


As seen above, the Course is comprised of the following taught and assessed elements.

Core Modules:

The four core modules are each one week long, running between January and June. Each has an associated practice problem sheet assignment, which are not part of the formal examination of the MSc.

Written Examinations:

Covering material from the core modules, the written examinations are summatively assessed as part of the formal examination of the MSc. Students normally sit the exams in the September of their first year on course. Attendance in Oxford for exams is compulsory, but they are usually scheduled to take place on the day before the start of module 5 (an advanced module), so that students can combine attendance of the exams with attendance of one of the advanced modules.

Advanced Modules:

After taking the written examinations students move on to advanced modules. Each of the advanced modules explores a key area in contemporary mathematical finance. Students should choose three advanced modules. Each is assessed by a written assignment, which is part of the formal examination of the MSc.
The advanced modules may also be taken individually, as stand-alone courses (Short Courses) - by students on the programme and others - upon payment of the appropriate fee. No assessment or qualification is awarded in such a case.


The dissertation is a piece of academic research. Students are encouraged to make a project proposal based on their employment. The dissertation project starts after completing the advanced modules, and is then submited in the middle of April, just under two and a half years after starting the MSc. The dissertation is summatively assessed as part of the formal examination of the MSc.


Postgraduate Diploma in Mathematical Finance

Exceptionally, a candidate for the MSc in Mathematical Finance who is unable to complete the Dissertation, may apply to be awarded the Postgraduate Diploma.  See Course Handbook for more detail.