Postgraduate Course

MSc Computational Finance

MSc Computational Finance

Overview

The details
Computational Finance
October 2022
Full-time
1 year
Colchester Campus

Our MSc Computational Finance equips you with the core concepts and mathematical principles of modern quantitative finance, plus the operational skills to use computational packages (mainly Matlab) for financial modelling.

We provide practical, hands-on learning about how modern, highly computerised financial markets work, how assets should be priced, and how investors should construct a portfolio of assets. In addition to traditional topics in derivatives and asset pricing, we place a special emphasis on risk management in non-Gaussian environment with extreme events.

You master these areas through studying topics including:

  • Non-linear and evolutionary computational methods for derivatives pricing and portfolio management
  • Applications of calculus and statistical methods
  • Computational intelligence in finance and economics
  • Financial markets

You also graduate with an understanding of the use of artificial financial market environments for stress testing, and the design of auctions and other financial contracts.

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.

Our research is geared towards real-world, practical applications, and many of our academic staff have experience of applying their findings in industry and in advising the UK government.

This course is available on a full- and part-time basis, starting in October.

Why we're great.
  • Study in our Centre for Computational Finance, internationally renowned for leading edge, interdisciplinary work
  • Work alongside experts who’ve applied their findings to advise industry and the UK government
  • Our Employability and Careers Centre is on hand to help with careers advice and planning. You will also have opportunities to present your research and travel to international conferences
THE Awards 2018 - Winner University of the Year

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.

Specialist 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 10 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

Your future

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 risk analysts and managers, asset managers, managing directors and CEOs at a range of global, national and regional organisations, including HSBC, London Stock Exchange and Deutsche Bank.

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.

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

We will consider applicants with a 2:2 degree in one of the following subjects:

  • Computer science
  • Computer Engineering
  • Computer Networks
  • Computer Games
  • Computing
  • Software Engineering
  • Finance
  • Business
  • Economics
  • Physics
  • Mathematics
AND

One Maths module e.g. Mathematics, Calculus, Algebra, Differential equations

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

English language 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.

Additional Notes

The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.

Structure

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.

Teaching and learning disclaimer

Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.

The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently approved for 2022 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.

Components and modules explained

Components

Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.

Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.

Status What this means
Core
You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory
You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Compulsory with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Optional
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.

The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.

Modules

Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.

In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.

Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:

HR 100  4  FY

The department or school the module will be taught by.

In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.

The module number. 

The UK academic level of the module.

A standard undergraduate course will comprise of level 4, 5 and 6 modules - increasing as you progress through the course.

A standard postgraduate taught course will comprise of level 7 modules.

A postgraduate research degree is a level 8 qualification.

The term the module will be taught in.

  • AU: Autumn term
  • SP: Spring term
  • SU: Summer term
  • FY: Full year 
  • AP: Autumn and Spring terms
  • PS: Spring and Summer terms
  • AS: Autumn and Summer terms

COMPONENT 01: CORE

CCFEA MSc Dissertation
(60 CREDITS)

This dissertation is worth% and is submitted to FASer and the school in week 48. The presentation is worth 10% and takes place in weeks 49/50.

View CCFEA MSc Dissertation on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 02: COMPULSORY WITH OPTIONS

CE705-7-AU or CE156-7-AU
(15 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 03: COMPULSORY

Introduction to Financial Market Analysis
(15 CREDITS)

The module introduces students to financial markets as well as providing a detailed introduction to the quantitative methods that are a pre-requisite to other CCFEA modules. Students will be introduced to financial markets such as equities, bonds, interest rates, forwards, futures and foreign exchange. Applications of calculus and statistical methods to finance are also presented.

View Introduction to Financial Market Analysis on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 04: COMPULSORY

Computational Models in Economics and Finance
(15 CREDITS)

The modules introduces students to computational thinking in economics and finance by looking at different relevant models and theories, such as agent-based modelling and game theory. Students will also be introduced to various applications, such as financial forecasting, automated bargaining and mechanism design.

View Computational Models in Economics and Finance on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 05: COMPULSORY

Financial Engineering and Risk Management
(15 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 06: COMPULSORY

Quantitative Methods in Finance and Trading
(15 CREDITS)

This module focuses on quantitative methods in finance and economics and their application to investment, risk management and trading. The module will introduce students to state-of-the-art statistical modelling of financial markets and will give an overview of the quantitative framework that is necessary to advance to other CCFEA modules.

View Quantitative Methods in Finance and Trading on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 07: COMPULSORY

Industry Expert Lectures in Finance
(15 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 08: COMPULSORY

Professional Practice and Research Methodology
(15 CREDITS)

This module aims to prepare students for conducting an independent research project leading to a dissertation and to provide them with an appreciation of research and business skills related to their professional career. As a precursor to their project students, individually select an area of Computer Science, or Electronic Engineering, or Computational Finance and perform the necessary background research to define a topic and prepare a project proposal under the guidance of a supervisor. The module guides them by a) introducing common research methods b) creating an understanding of basic statistics for describing and making conclusions from data c) helping to write a strong proposal including learning how to perform literature search and evaluation and d) giving an in-depth view into the business enterprise, financial and management accounting and investment appraisal.

View Professional Practice and Research Methodology on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 09: OPTIONAL

Option from list
(20 CREDITS)

Teaching

  • Taught over one year on a full-time basis
  • Taught modules for the first two terms, followed by a dissertation in the summer
  • Study is highly practical and involves both lectures and hands-on laboratory sessions
  • Analyse and model real world financial data
  • Attend lectures given by practitioners, including senior staff from HSBC, Olsen Ltd, Royal Bank of Scotland and the Financial Services Authority

Assessment

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

Dissertation

  • Many dissertations have formed the basis of published research papers
  • Students have been invited to present at international conferences and renowned institutions, such as the Bank of England

Fees and funding

Home/UK fee

£10,480

International fee

£20,350

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

What's next

Open Days

We hold 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 tours@essex.ac.uk and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

2021 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

  • Saturday, November 13, 2021

Applying

You can apply for this postgraduate course online. Before you apply, please check our information about necessary documents that we’ll ask you to provide as part of your application.

We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

For information on our deadline to apply for this course, please see our ‘how to apply’ information.

Colchester Campus

Visit Colchester Campus

Home to 15,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.

The Campus is set within 200 acres of beautiful parkland, located two miles from the historic town centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded town. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.

 

Virtual tours

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.

Exhibitions

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.

At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.


Find out more

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

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