About the course
On our MSc Algorithmic Trading, we equip you with the core concepts and quantitative methods in high frequency finance, along with the operational skills to use state-of-the-art computational methods for financial modelling.
We enable you to attain an understanding of financial markets at the level of individual trades occurring over sub-millisecond timescales, and apply this to the development of real-time approaches to trading and risk-management.
The course includes hands-on projects on topics such as order book analysis, VWAP & TWAP, pairs trading, statistical arbitrage, and market impact functions. You have the opportunity to study the use of financial market simulators for stress testing trading strategies, and designing electronic trading platforms.
In addition to traditional topics in financial econometrics and market microstructure theory, we put special emphasis on areas:
- Statistical and computational methods
- Modelling trading strategies and predictive services that are deployed by hedge funds
- Algorithmic trading groups
- Derivatives desks
- Risk management departments
Our Centre for Computational Finance and Economic Agents is an innovative and laboratory-based teaching and research centre, with an international reputation for leading-edge, interdisciplinary work combining economic and financial modelling with computational implementation. We are supported by Essex’s highly rated Department of Economics, School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, and Essex Business School.
We are ranked Top 10 in the UK in the 2015 Academic Ranking of World Universities, with more than two-thirds of our research rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent (REF 2014).
This degree is accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).This accreditation is increasingly sought by employers, and provides the first stage towards eventual professional registration as a Chartered Engineer (CEng).
Our expert staff
This course is taught by experts with both academic and industrial expertise in the financial and IT sectors. We bring together leading academics in the field from our departments of economics, computer science and business.
Our staff are currently researching the development of real-time trading platforms, new financial econometric models for real-time data, the use of artificially intelligent agents in the study of risk and market-based institutions, operational aspects of financial markets, financial engineering, portfolio and risk management.
More broadly, our research covers a range of topics, from materials science and semiconductor device physics, to the theory of computation and the philosophy of computer science, with most of our research groups based around laboratories offering world-class facilities.
We are one of the largest and best resourced computer science and electronic engineering schools in the UK. Our work is supported by extensive networked computer facilities and software aids, together with a wide range of test and instrumentation equipment.
- We have six laboratories that are exclusively for computer science and electronic engineering students. Three are open 24/7, and you have free access to the labs except when there is a scheduled practical class in progress
- All computers run either Windows 7 or are dual boot with Linux
- Software includes Java, Prolog, C++, Perl, Mysql, Matlab, DB2, Microsoft Office, Visual Studio, and Project
- Students have access to CAD tools and simulators for chip design (Xilinx) and computer networks (OPNET)
- We also have specialist facilities for research into areas including non-invasive brain-computer interfaces, intelligent environments, robotics, optoelectronics, video, RF and MW, printed circuit milling, and semiconductors
We have an extensive network of industrial contacts through our City Associates Board and our alumni, while our expert seminar series gives you the opportunity to work with leading figures from industry.
Our recent graduates have gone on to become quantitative analysts, portfolio managers and software engineers at various institutions, including:
- Mitsubishi UFJ Securities
- Old Mutual
- Bank of England
We also work with the university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.
UK entry requirements
We will consider applications with an overall grade of 2:2 and above.
International and EU entry requirements
We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries.
for further details about the qualifications we accept. Include information in your email about the
undergraduate qualification you have already completed or are currently taking.
IELTS entry requirements
IELTS 6.0 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5
If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.
We hold postgraduate events in February/March and November, and open days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:
- tour our campus and accommodation
- find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
- meet our students and staff
If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.
If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.
Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.
You can apply for our postgraduate courses online. You’ll need to provide us with your academic qualifications, as well as supporting documents such as transcripts, English language qualifications and certificates. You can find a list of necessary documents online, but please note we won’t be able to process your application until we have everything we need.
There is no application deadline but we recommend that you apply before 1 July for our taught courses starting in October. We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.