MSc Mathematics and Finance

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University of Essex
Start - End
3 Oct
Study Options
Full Time
GBP 9200 - 9200
Fee International
GBP 19740 - 19740

One of our most popular courses, MSc Mathematics and Finance allows those with a background in mathematics to study finance. Since finance routinely involves modelling and evaluating risk, asset pricing and price forecasting, mathematics has become an indispensable tool for this study.

You explore topics including:

  • Models and mathematics in portfolio management
  • Risk management in modern banking
  • Financial modelling
  • Actuarial modelling
  • Applied statistics

In recent years, finance has been one of the areas where high-calibre mathematicians have been in great demand. With the advent of powerful and yet economically accessible computing, online trading has become a common activity, but many have realised that a certain amount of mathematics is necessary to be successful in such fields.

Our interdisciplinary research recognises that mathematics, including what can be very abstract mathematics, is an essential part of research in many other disciplines.

Our Department of Mathematical Sciences has an international reputation in many areas including semi-group theory, optimisation, probability, applied statistics, bioinformatics and mathematical biology.

We are genuinely innovative and student-focused. Our research groups are working on a broad range of collaborative areas tackling real-world issues. Here are a few examples:

  • Our data scientists carefully consider how not to lie, and how not to get lied to with data. Interpreting data correctly is especially important because much of our data science research is applied directly or indirectly to social policies, including health, care and education.
  • We do practical research with financial data (for example, assessing the risk of collapse of the UK’s banking system) as well as theoretical research in financial instruments such as insurance policies or asset portfolios.
  • We also research how physical processes develop in time and space. Applications of this range from modelling epilepsy to modelling electronic cables.
  • Our optimisation experts work out how to do the same job with less resource, or how to do more with the same resource.
  • Our pure maths group are currently working on two new funded projects entitled ‘Machine learning for recognising tangled 3D objects’ and ‘Searching for gems in the landscape of cyclically presented groups’.
  • We also do research into mathematical education and use exciting technologies such as electroencephalography or eye tracking to measure exactly what a learner is feeling. Our research aims to encourage the implementation of ‘the four Cs’ of modern education, which are critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity.

Why we're great.

  • Maths has become an indispensable tool for finance – our course allows those with a background in maths to study finance.
  • Our students run a renowned Maths Support Centre which offers advice to other departments at Essex and far beyond – we have calls from as far afield as China.
  • Gain key employability skills include data analysis, use of algorithms and mathematical modelling.

Course structure

We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of core/compulsory modules, and optional modules chosen from lists.

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The course content is therefore reviewed on an annual basis to ensure our courses remain up-to-date so modules listed are subject to change.


  • Core components can be combined with optional modules, to enable you to gain either in-depth specialisation or a breadth of understanding
  • Learn to use LATEX to produce a document as close as possible to what professional mathematicians produce in terms of organisation, layout and type-setting


  • Courses are assessed on the results of your written examinations, together with continual assessments of your practical work and coursework


  • You will be provided with a list of dissertation titles or topics proposed by staff and it may be possible to propose a project of your own
  • Most dissertations are between 10,000 and 30,000 words in length. However, these are guidelines, not mandatory word counts
  • Close supervision by academic staff

Our expert staff

Our Department of Mathematical Sciences is a small but influential department, so our students and staff know each other personally. You never need an appointment to see your tutors and supervisors, just knock on our office doors – we are one of the few places to have an open-door policy, and no issue is too big or small.

Our staff have published several well-regarded text books and are world leaders in their individual specialisms, with their papers appearing in learned journals like Communications in Algebra, Studia Logica, International Journal of Algebra and Computation, SIAM Journal in Optimization, IEEE Evolutionary Computation, Computers and Operations Research, Ecology, Journal of Mathematical Biology, and Journal of Statistical Applications in Genetics and Molecular Biology.

Specialist facilities

  • Reach your potential and enhance your chances of success with maths and statistics classes, workshops, drop-in clinics and online resources provided by the Skills for Success team
  • We have our own computer labs for the exclusive use of students in the Department of Mathematical Sciences – in addition to your core maths modules, you gain computing knowledge of software including Matlab and Maple
  • Our students run a lively Mathematics Society, an active and social group where you can explore your interest in your subject with other students

Your future

There is undoubtedly a shortage of mathematicians in general, and an even greater one of those with knowledge of finance.

Our course produces graduates with a sound background in mathematics and finance. Key employability skills include computing, use of algorithms, data analysis, mathematical modelling and understanding financial statements.

Our graduates are highly sought after by a range of employers and find employment in financial services, scientific computation, decision making support and government, risk assessment, statistics, education and other sectors.

We also offer supervision for PhD, MPhil and MSc by Dissertation. We have an international reputation in many areas such as semi-group theory, optimisation, probability, applied statistics, bioinformatics and mathematical biology, and our staff are strongly committed to research and to the promotion of graduate activities.

We additionally work with our Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

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