Postgraduate study

Computational Mathematical Finance MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Placements/internships

The School works closely with industrial partners, offering students the chance to have valuable experience working in the industry. I worked with Moody’s Analytics for my dissertation on a topic which was a cutting-edge problem that the company was working on. Although challenging, the programme is extremely rewarding.

Luming Wang MSc Computational Mathematical Finance, 2019/20
Luming Wang               MSc Computational Mathematical Finance, 2019/20

The MSc in Computational Mathematical Finance (CMF) is a dynamic new programme with the aim to deliver high quality training in the theory of Mathematical Finance with strong emphasis on computational methods.

Currently graduates in this field are expected to have a working knowledge of advanced computational finance (including construction of algorithms and programming skills) as well as a sound knowledge of the theory of Probability and Stochastic Analysis. These are the core theories needed in the modern valuation of complex financial instruments.

This MSc programme delivers:

  • a flexible programme of study relevant to the needs of employers such as: top investment banks, hedge funds and asset management firms
  • a solid knowledge in financial derivative pricing, risk management and portfolio management
  • the transferable computational skills required by the modern quantitative finance world

You must obtain a total of 180 credits to be awarded the MSc. Over semesters 1 and 2, you will take compulsory courses worth a total of 85 credits and optional courses worth a further 35 credits. Successful performance in these courses (assessed through coursework or examinations or both) allows you to start work on a three-month dissertation project, worth 60 credits, for the award of the MSc degree.

There are three streams: the Financial stream, the Computational stream and the Machine Learning stream*. Each stream features different sets of compulsory and optional courses.

Compulsory courses (for all streams) have previously included:

  • Stochastic Analysis in Finance (20 credits, S1)
  • Discrete-Time Finance (10 credits, S1)
  • Python Programming (10 credits, S1)
  • Numerical Probability and Monte Carlo (10 points, S2)
  • Risk-Neutral Asset Pricing (10 credits, S2)
  • Stochastic Control and Dynamic Asset allocation (10 credits, S2)
  • Research Skills for Financial Mathematics (10 credits, S2)

Financial stream compulsory courses have previously included:

  • Financial Risk Theory (10 credits, S2)
  • Optimization Methods in Finance (10 credits, S2)

Computational stream compulsory courses have previously included:

  • Time Series (10 credits, S2)
  • Numerical Partial Differential Equations (10 credits, S2)

Machine Learning stream compulsory courses have previously included:

  • Machine Learning in Python (10 credits, S2)

Optional courses have previously included:

  • Blockchains and Distributed Ledgers (10 credits, S1)
  • Programming Skills (10 credits, S1)
  • Finance, Risk and Uncertainty (10 credits, S1)
  • Bayesian Theory (10 credits, S1)
  • Reinforcement Learning (10 credits, S2)
  • Algorithmic Game Theory and its Applications (10 credits, S2)
  • Financial Risk Theory (10 credits, S2)
  • Credit Scoring (10 credits, S2)
  • Optimization Methods in Finance (10 credits, S2)
  • Bayesian Data Analysis (10 credits, S2)
  • Integer and Combinatorial Optimization (10 credits, S2)
  • Time Series (10 credits, S2)
  • Numerical Partial Differential Equations (10 credits, S2)

*(Revised 19 February 2021 to add details of third stream.)

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MSc1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2020/21
MSc2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2020/21

We work closely with the Scottish Financial Risk Academy (SFRA) to offer a number of short courses led by industry (part of our Research-Linked Topics) and to provide the opportunity to our best students to write their dissertations during placements with financial services companies.

At the end of this programme you will have:

  • developed personal communications skills, initiative, and professionalism within a mathematical context
  • developed transferable skills that maximise your prospects for future employment, including writing, oral presentation, team-working, numerical and logical problem-solving, planning and time-management
  • improved your ability to convey ideas in an articulate fashion, to build upon previous mathematical training and further develop logic and deductive skills
  • mastered standard and advanced mathematical tools used to solve applied problems relevant to the mathematical finance industry
  • developed quantitative and computational skills for the proficient fulfilment of tasks in the financial sector

Graduates can expect to go on to work in major financial institutions or to continue their studies by joining PhD programmes.

Learn about what life is like as a MSc student in the School of Mathematics, by hearing from the people that have experienced it first-hand! Our student bloggers come from all across the world, and have studied on a variety of our MSc programmes.

A UK 2:1 degree, or its international equivalent, in mathematics or a mathematical subject such as statistics, physics or engineering. You must also have relevant programming experience (at least one semester undergraduate programming course, in any language e.g. C, C++, Java, Python, passed at 2:1 level).

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

For 2021 entry we will accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 6.0 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each section.We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • CAE and CPE: total 176 with at least 169 in each paper.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MSc1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MSc2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

School of Mathematics funding

There may be School funding available for well-qualified candidates.

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Programme Administrator
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 5386
  • Contact: cmfmsc@ed.ac.uk
  • School of Mathematics
  • James Clerk Maxwell Building
  • Peter Guthrie Tait Road
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3FD
Programme start date Application deadline
13 September 2021 31 August 2021

Due to high demand, the school operates a number of selection deadlines. We will make a small number of offers to the most outstanding candidates on an ongoing basis, but hold the majority of applications until the next published selection deadline.

We will notify you if you are unsuccessful in securing a place on the programme at a specific selection deadline. If you do not hear from us, it means you are still being considered and we will carry your application forward to the next selection deadline for further consideration.

Selection deadlines

Round Application Deadline
1 31 January 2021
2 31 March 2021
3 30 June 2021

You must submit one reference with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Programme Administrator
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 5386
  • Contact: cmfmsc@ed.ac.uk
  • School of Mathematics
  • James Clerk Maxwell Building
  • Peter Guthrie Tait Road
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3FD