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BSc Financial Mathematics and Statistics

Overview of the degree

The degree will provide students with competence in the application of mathematical and statistical techniques, and an understanding of the theory behind the techniques. Students will acquire a sound knowledge of the principles underlying applications of mathematics, probability and statistics, together with an understanding of fundamental aspects of finance and of programming techniques. They will have knowledge and understanding of computational aspects and techniques in mathematics, statistics and finance, with the ability to think in a critical manner and the ability to make formal and informal inferences on the basis of statistical data.

Features of the programme

The degree programme is based in the Department of Mathematics at LSE, and is taught jointly with the Department of Statistics. These departments are internationally renowned for their teaching and research in mathematics and statistics related to the social sciences, particularly the mathematics and statistics necessary for understanding finance. This degree will enable you to build a strong quantitative knowledge base - increasingly important for a successful career in finance.

This degree will be of interest if you have a strong mathematical background, regardless of whether or not you have previously studied statistics or finance. It will prepare students for further study, or for professional and managerial careers, particularly in areas requiring the application of quantitative skills.

Graduates will be able to combine a good understanding of modern mathematics and statistics with a knowledge of economics and finance. This combination is an excellent foundation for careers in many walks of life.

Degree structure

The degrees involve studying 12 courses over three years, together with LSE100. A course outline can be found here.

Teaching and assessment

You will usually attend two lectures and one related class for each course per week (eight lectures and four classes). In addition you will work on exercises in your own time. These are then discussed in the weekly classes of 15 students. You will have an academic adviser who will be available to offer general guidance and advice on your studies, and you will be expected to meet him or her at least twice a term.

The main exam period is in May/June, although some courses have exams in January.

Preliminary reading

For an introduction to mathematics as it is applied in economics and finance, we recommend:

  • M Anthony and N Biggs: Mathematics for Economics and Finance (Cambridge University Press, 1996)

If you wish to gain further insight into what economists study we suggest that you first look at the following popular book:

  • T Harford: The Undercover Economist (Oxford University Press, 2006)

Much of university level mathematics and statistics is concerned with formal proofs and rigorous mathematical argument, and this is necessary for some of the advanced mathematics required in finance, economics, and other fields of application. For an introduction, we recommend:  

  • T Gowers: Mathematics: a very short introduction (Oxford University Press, 2002)
  • A Dilnot: The Tiger That Isn't: Seeing Through a World of Numbers (Profile books, 2007)
  • D Hand: Statistics: a very short introduction (Oxford University Press, 2008)
  • M Liebeck: A Concise Introduction to Pure Mathematics (Chapman & Hall/CRC Mathematics, 2005)
  • P Eccles: An Introduction to Mathematical Reasoning (Cambridge University Press, 1997)
  • R Allenby: Numbers and Proofs (Butterworth-Heinemann, 1997)