Frequently asked questions
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 and Computational 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 Python 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 elective courses covering many aspects of mathematical finance. 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 assessment of the MSc is based on four written papers, two computer based practical exams, two take-home assessments and the dissertation.
Find out more about the examination and assessment.
Who will teach the course?
The course will be taught by Oxford's world-leading faculty. 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 personal statement and their performance 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. 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 two MSc (Masters) courses in Finance. You are on the web page for the Mathematical and Computational Finance Masters course, run by the Mathematics Department.
- In addition to this course, 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?
When is the deadline?
There is only one deadline for applying to the MSc in Mathematics and Computational Finance, which will be in late January. Please see this admissions page for the exact date.
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.
Please also see this webpage for further information.
Please remember that your application will be deemed incomplete until you send all required documentation 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.
- 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