Postgraduate study
Edinburgh: Extraordinary futures await.

Financial Modelling and Optimization MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

This programme developed my mathematical skills in a completely new way, as I had never studied anything related to finance before. I was nervous about doing a financial master’s with no prior knowledge of finance, but we were given enough support that this was not a problem for me.

Andreas Lhotska MSc Financial Modelling and Optimization, 2020/21
Andreas Lhotska               MSc Financial Modelling and Optimization, 2020/21

This programme gives you a flexible syllabus to suit the demands of employers that use modern financial tools and optimization techniques in areas such as the financial sector and energy markets.

We will give you sound knowledge in financial derivative pricing, portfolio optimization and financial risk management.

We will also provide you with the skills to solve some of today’s financial problems, which have themselves been caused by modern financial instruments. This expertise includes:

  • modern probability theory
  • applied statistics
  • stochastic analysis
  • optimization

Links with Industry

The School of Mathematics has connections with a wide number of industrial partners, organisations, charities and government departments. As an MSc student in the School, you will have opportunities to engage with these external organisations through regular employability events, careers workshops, and our annual analytics challenge (whose recent partners have included Edinburgh Airport and the Data and Marketing Association). There is also the opportunity to undertake a dissertation project with an external partner.

Recent partners for industry-based dissertations in the Financial Modelling and Optimization MSc include:

  • Moody’s Analytics
  • Lloyds Banking Group
  • Bank of England
  • Hymans Robertson

This programme involves two taught semesters of compulsory and optional courses followed by your dissertation project.

Compulsory courses have previously included:

  • Discrete-Time Finance
  • Stochastic Analysis in Finance
  • Fundamentals of Optimization
  • Research Skills for Financial Mathematics
  • Risk-Neutral Asset Pricing
  • Numerical Probability and Monte Carlo
  • Optimization Methods in Finance

Optional courses have previously included:

  • Fundamentals of Operational Research
  • Stochastic Modelling
  • Finance, Risk and Uncertainty
  • Python Programming
  • Algorithmic Game Theory and its Applications*
  • Time Series
  • Financial Risk Theory
  • Large Scale Optimization for Data Science
  • Credit Scoring
  • Stochastic Control and Dynamic Asset Allocation
  • Machine Learning in Python
  • Numerical Partial Differential Equations

*delivered by the School of Informatics

Dissertation projects

Dissertation projects on this programme can be undertaken in partnership with public and private sector organisations. Other students choose an academic project without a direct link to an external organisation.

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
MScFinancial Modelling and Optimization1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2023/24
MScFinancial Modelling and Optimization2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2023/24

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 have gone on to work in major financial institutions or to continue their studies by joining PhD programmes.

Student Support Team

In the School of Mathematics, we have a dedicated Student Support Team consisting of six staff members.

You will have a Student Adviser who is your first point of contact during your time at the University of Edinburgh, and who is available to help and advise on a range of issues connected to your postgraduate study.

Study support will be provided by academics acting as Cohort Leads, with wider teaching teams, who will work with students to connect you with your programme of study and provide you with more specialist subject support.

Student blogs

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.

These entry requirements are for the 2024/25 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2025/26 academic year will be published on 1 Oct 2024.

A UK 2:1 degree, or its international equivalent, in mathematics or a mathematical subject such as statistics, physics or engineering.

Students from China

This degree is Band B.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

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

English language tests

We 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 Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 176 with at least 169 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 62 with at least 59 in each component.

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, Trinity ISE or PTE, 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 (non-MESC).

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:

Application fee

None.

Deposit

None.

Additional programme costs

None.

Living costs

You will be responsible for covering living costs for the duration of your studies.

Tuition fees

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScFinancial Modelling and Optimization1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScFinancial Modelling and Optimization2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

British Council GREAT Scholarships - Malaysia

This scholarship programme offers financial support to applicants from Malaysia pursuing one year of taught postgraduate study in the School of Mathematics. The scholarship has a value of £10,000 which will be deducted from tuition fees and will be tenable for one academic year.

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
  • your tuition fee status

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • School of Mathematics
  • James Clerk Maxwell Building
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3FD
Programme start date Application deadline
9 September 2024 31 August 2024

Due to high demand, the school operates a number of selection deadlines.

We strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. Applications may close earlier than the published deadlines if there is exceptionally high demand.

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 aim to make the majority of decisions within eight weeks of the selection deadline.

If we have not made you an offer by a specific selection deadline this means one of two things:

  • your application has been unsuccessful, in which case we will contact you to let you know, or
  • your application is still being considered, will be carried forward for consideration in the next selection deadline and we will be in touch once a decision is made

Selection Deadlines

Round Application Deadline Decisions made or applications rolled to next deadline
1 15 December 1 March
2 31 March 31 May
3 31 May 31 July

You must submit one reference with your application.

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

Further information

  • School of Mathematics
  • James Clerk Maxwell Building
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3FD