MSc in Mathematical and Computational Finance - Examination and assessment

Overall Assessment

Guidance on submission of take-home exams

Advice on writing and submitting your dissertation

Sample Dissertations


Overall Assessment

The Examination Regulations govern the course and are taken from the overall University Examination Regulations , sometimes referred to as the 'Grey Book' which govern all academic matters within the University.

In Oxford, the word 'examination' often refers to the ensemble of assessments (written examinations, dissertations etc) that, taken together, determine your final result in the MSc. The examination regulations for the MSc in Mathematical and Computational Finance.

The Examination Regulations are supplemented by the Examination Conventions  which are published in the Examinations and Assessors section of the Course Handbook, which can be found here.  The Examination Conventions  explain in detail how students will be assessed within the framework of the Examination Regulations.

Past Examiner's Reports (200920102011 2012, 2013 20142015 2016-172017-18

2018-19 2019-202020-21 

Past External Examiners' Reports (200920102011201220132014, 2015

20162017 2018 20192020, 2021

Past papers can be found here


The assessment of the MSc is based on four written papers, two computer based practical exams, two take-home assessments and the dissertation.

Guidance on submission of take-home exams

Take-home exams will be released to students via Inspera 

You will then be given a set amount of time to complete the work, and will then submit the paper online, via Inspera, by the deadline, as mentioned below.

For information on deadlines for submitting work, please refer to the Course Calendar

You must submit ONE electronic file. Any subsidiary programming or other files must be included, as an appendix, within this single file. If you are unsure as to how to do this please contact @email for further advice. (Occasionally these instructions may vary. In such cases full details will be given to students at the time.)

Please ensure that you give your candidate number on your assignment and no other identifying information - i.e. do not put your name, college, etc.

Please ensure the document is named as your candidate number (e.g. "24567.pdf")

In the extremely unlikely event that there does seem to be some technical problem and you are concerned that your work has not been submitted please email it immediately to email @email, with a copy of the Declaration of Authorship to attest that it is your own work, except where indicated. The Declaration of Authorship can be found here: Declaration of Authorship_6.pdf. NB: You only fill in this form if you are submitting it via email. In exceptional cases where a candidate is unable to submit work electronically, he or she must apply to the Proctors for permission to submit the work in paper form to the Examiners, c/o MSc Course Administrator (MCF), Mathematical Institute. Such applications must reach the Mathematical Institute not less than two weeks before the deadline for submitting the work.

It is vital that you submit your work by the deadline, as any late submission - even one minute late - must be reported to the Proctors.  If you experience a medical emergency or other catastrophe which threatens to prevent you from submitting on time please contact @email and your College Office as soon as circumstances allow to explain the situation.


Advice on writing dissertations and submitting your dissertation

The dissertation will be written during Trinity Term on a topic chosen in consultation with your supervisor. For those undertaking a dissertation through an industrial placement, you should discuss the topic of your dissertation with your departmental supervisor within the first three weeks of the placement, to ensure that it satisfies the requirements of the program.

Dissertations should be no more than 40 pages long and should contain material which, although not necessarily original research, cannot be found elsewhere. Credit will be given for the mathematical and financial content, as well as for the quality of the presentation and the clarity of the writing.
  • Typesetting: you are STRONGLY ADVISED to use LaTeX. Dissertation templates are available (see below).
  • Your font size must be no smaller than 11 point.
  • Linespacing should be no less than 1.25 times (use the command \setlength{\baselineskip}{1.25}).
  • Graphics: its always tricky at first to get these right. See any good LaTeX book for hints. Remember that to make the axis labels etc large enough enough on the final version; you may have to enlarge them on your original graphic (e.g from Matlab).

Referencing: the golden rule is that you must ALWAYS enable the reader to see when an idea or some mathematical material has come from another source. You should do this when you introduce the material; for example, by saying

        “In this section we follow [2]”
        “as shown in [1], the formula for call option is…. “.
The first of these is appropriate when you are paraphrasing a body of work, the latter is more specific. Direct quotations should be indicated:
        "Oh, had I but followed the Arts” [7].
Note that it is not sufficient merely to list some relevant sources at the end of your work: you must show who they are referred to in the body of the text. See for more advice on avoiding plagiarism.

Bibliography: you should cite the authors, title, date, journal, volume and page numbers for each reference. Study the bibliography lists of published papers/books, or simply use the cite feature on Google Scholar to produce bibliography items in one of the appropriate styles. The items in a bibliography are typically ordered alphabetically by the name of the first author. Multiple items by the same author(s) are ordered by the date of publication. Here are some examples:

  • a published papers:
    [1] Black, F., & Scholes, M. (1973). The pricing of options and corporate liabilities. The journal of political economy, 637-654.
    [2] Delbaen, F., & Schachermayer, W. (1994). A general version of the fundamental theorem of asset pricing. Mathematische annalen, 300(1), 463-520
  • preprints:
    [3] Madan, D., Pistorius, M., & Stadje, M. (2013). On consistent valuations based on distorted expectations: from multinomial random walks to Lévy processes. arXiv preprint arXiv:1301.3531.
  • data source:
    [4] United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. (2008). Indiana income limits [Data file]. Retrieved from
  • book:
    [5] Wilmott, P., Dewynne, J., & Howison, S. (1993). Option pricing: mathematical models and computation (Vol. 935). Oxford: Oxford financial press.
Use LaTeX’s automatic citation system to get the cross-referencing right.

Some useful documents.

Dissertations should be submitted online via Inspera by the deadline.

In the extremely unlikely event that there does seem to be some technical problem and you are concerned that your work has not been submitted please email it immediately to email @email, with a copy of the Declaration of Authorship to attest that it is your own work, except where indicated. The Declaration of Authorship can be found here:  Declaration of Authorship_6.pdf . NB: You only fill in this form if you are submitting it via email.

NB: Please refrain from acknowledging your supervisor to prevent the examiners from identifying the candidate. It is also recommended that you print your dissertation single sided, so it it easier to read.

Also to remind you that all submitted Dissertations will be screened by Turnitin soft-ware which will compare them to a wide range of material (both published and unpublished) and to the work of other candidates. The Examiners will be notified of the extent of any textual matches discovered by Turnitin, and will consider, for instance, whether any text that a candidate has copied from elsewhere is properly identified and the source duly acknowledged. Any suspected cases of plagiarism will be forwarded to the Proctors and may result in a direct fail.


Sample Dissertations

Sample dissertations can be found here. We hope to have more available soon.

Please contact us for feedback and comments about this page. Last updated on 23 Aug 2022 12:58.