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MSc Financial Mathematics

Overview of the MSc programme

The MSc in Financial Mathematics draws on the LSE's strengths in finance and related areas. It aims to develop students' understanding of the foundations of financial mathematics, and to equip them with the knowledge of a range of mathematical and computational techniques that are required for a variety of quantitative positions in the financial sector.

The programme is based in the Department of Mathematics and is taught in collaboration with the Department of Finance and the Department of Statistics.

The programme starts with a compulsory pre-sessional course (MA400), which introduces some key concepts and techniques, such as probability. The pre-sessional course also includes an introduction to programming in C++.

This degree provides high-level instruction in the mathematical theory underlying finance, and training in appropriate computational methods. It offers the following benefits:

  • Study at a leading university, internationally renowned for its research and teaching programmes
  • A focus on the development of student understanding of quantitative methodologies and techniques that are important for a range of jobs in investment banks and other financial institutions
  • Research-led teaching that aims at enhancing students' critical appreciation of major issues and emerging theory in the area of financial mathematics
  • Preparation for a range of careers in the financial sector, industry, and research
  • The opportunity to improve personal skills, including logical reasoning, quantitative analysis, and the presentation of technical result

Application code:  G1U3

Fees for September 2018 entry:  UK/EU £26,976 overseas £27,504

Student intake/applications in 2014: 24/586

Programme structure

This is a full-time 10 month programme (including a mandatory pre-sessional course MA400). Students will study modules to the value of 4.0 units. 

The Programme Regulations for this degree are reproduced below. Clicking the courses will take you to a page containing information about course content, pre-requisites, assessment, and indicative reading. 
Note that not all courses will be available every year.
Unit values are in [brackets].

Paper 1:

Paper 2:

Paper 3:

Paper 4:

Paper 5:

Paper 6 – 0.5 units from: 

Papers 7/8 – 1.0 units from:

Students can also take MA422: Research Topics in Financial Mathematics as an additional, non-assessed course.

Entry Requirements

This programme is mathematically advanced, and applicants should have a strong mathematics background and a minimum of a bachelor’s degree of first or good upper-second class standard in mathematics or a mathematics-based subject, or an equivalent qualification. Prior knowledge of finance or computing is not required. 

Further information on the LSE's minimum entry requirements for master's degrees can be found on the Graduate Admissions pages.

For detailed information about the equivalence of non-UK qualifications, please see information for international students.

English requirements
An IELTS or TOEFL is required If English is not your first language, or if you do not have proof of your previous degree being taught in English.  Note that  this programme requires applicants to achieve the 'higher' English language requirement

Other requirements
Applicants are not required to submit GRE/GMAT scores when applying for this degree.

How to Apply

Application procedure
Applications are made centrally to LSE's Graduate Admissions Office. You may apply online .

Personal Statement and Supporting Information
The personal statement should be 2–3 pages (A4) in length.

Please include transcripts of subjects taken in the relevant degrees and copies of all certificates and relevant qualifications mentioned in your application.

Two academic references are required with the application. Applicants who graduated before January 2013 can submit one academic reference and one professional reference. Seek the advice of Graduate Admissions if you are unsure.

There is no official application deadline for this course, but you are advised to apply as early as possible because competition for places is fierce. We are only allowed to make a certain number of offers, and late applicants may be placed on a waiting list.

You can check whether the programme is currently open for applications on this page.

Application code:  G1U3


To make an application and for further information on the application procedure, visit Graduate Admissions

Financial support


For September 2018 entry:

  • UK/EU £26,976  
  • Overseas: £27,504

What are the entry requirements / what is the required academic background for this degree?
Applicants should normally possess at least an upper second-class honours degree in a mathematically based subject from a UK university or an equivalent standard elsewhere. The most important pre-requisite for admission to the degree is a strong background in mathematics. In order to demonstrate that you meet this requirement you would normally need to have excellent grades in a substantial number of mathematics courses as part of a mathematically based degree.

Further information on the LSE's minimum entry requirements for master's degrees can be found here.

If you have more specific queries that are not addressed on this page or elsewhere on the LSE website, email maths.info@lse.ac.uk

Can I contact an academic member of staff or current student about my application?
No, because of the very large number of enquiries we receive every year. You can address your queries to administrative staff in the Department and the School's Graduate Admissions team.

When should I apply?
Applications open in October each year, for admission the following September. 

Full details about the application process are available on the Graduate Admissions website. Ensure that you send your application and any related material to Graduate Admissions—sending material directly to the Department will only delay it.

There are no official application deadlines for this programme, but you are advised to apply as early as possible because competition for places is fierce. We are only able to make a certain number of offers, and late applicants may be placed on a waiting list.

You can check whether this degree programme is currently open for applications on this page.

Do I need to submit a GRE or GMAT score?
No, this is not required. However, you should check whether your alternative degree choice, if you have selected one, requires a GRE/GMAT score, in which case your combined application will require a GRE/GMAT score, even though we don't need it.

Do I need work experience?
Work experience is not a requirement for this degree. However, relevant experience may strengthen your application, provided you also meet the minimum academic requirements.

What if English is not my first language?
If your first language is not English, or if the language of instruction in your previous degree was not English, we ask you to provide evidence of your command of English. Please consult the relevant Graduate Admissions pages for further information.

I am an overseas student, but have studied previously in the UK—do I still need to submit IELTS scores?
If you have successfully completed a degree taught in English, then you are not required to submit an IELTS or TOEFL score.

Do you interview applicants?
We do not interview for places on the degree.

How can I check the status of my application?
All applicants will be given access to the Graduate Application Tracker

How long is the programme?
It is a 10-month programme, beginning in September.

Do I need to attend the pre-sessional course?
Yes, in full. The pre-sessional course (MA400) forms a vital part of the degree and it is essential that you are able to commit to the full two weeks of pre-sessional teaching. It is very unlikely that you will be able to register for the degree programme if you miss any of this course, as it is intensive and is a pre-requisite for numerous courses over the year.

When does the MSc Financial Mathematics pre-sessional course start?
The pre-sessional course will be taught from Monday 4 September until Friday 15 September (inclusive), with registration for the programme on Friday 1 September 2016. It is a compulsory course and must be attended. This is followed by freshers' week (no teaching, just welcome events), before the start of normal teaching on Monday 25 September.

How is the academic year structured?
The academic year consists of three terms. Michaelmas (Sep–Dec) and Lent (Jan–Mar) terms are both 11 weeks long, and Summer term (Apr–Jun) last 7 weeks. The majority of teaching normally takes place in Michaelmas and Lent terms, with only revision lectures and exams in Summer term. Term dates can be found here.

How are the courses structured?
Courses run by the Department of Mathematics will usually consist of two hour-long lectures and one hour-long class per week during the two main teaching terms. Lectures and classes are spread over the week, and are taught in various teaching rooms at the School.  Timetabling of courses run by other departments is not under our control, and it is possible that some clashes may occur.

Students on the MSc in Financial Mathematics are required to take courses to the value of 4.0 units. Please see the Programme Regulations for more details.

Where can I get more detailed information about courses?
Further information on each course is available here.

How and when do I choose my options?
Students have until the end of the third week of the first term (Michaelmas Term) to finalize their options. Courses are selected online using LSE for You. Instructions and tutorials are provided online, but the process will also be explained at Orientation. Each student's Academic Adviser and the Programme Director will then access these initial course choices to approve them (or not—if they are not felt to be suitable to the requirements of the degree). 

When a student would like to take a course option outside the Department, they may need to ask the permission of the lecturer on that course as certain restrictions may apply. Students also require the approval of the Programme Director if these outside options are not explicitly stated in the Programme Regulations. Further information is available on the Graduate Course Choice page.

Will I need to submit a dissertation or project?
On one of the compulsory courses, MA417: Computational Methods in Finance, students will be required to submit a project based on independent study. The project is a written report, normally between 15 and 20 pages long. It is normally submitted in May/June.

Is there any reading I can do in advance?
The Department sends out an information pack to successful applicants in August. This will include information on course content, timetabling, and recommended preparatory reading.

Keen students might want to familiarize themselves with basic elements of programming with the C language. The textbook we use is Introducing  C++ for Scientists, Engineers and Mathematicians (2001) by Derek Capper (ISBN: 9781852334888). For those with prior programming experience, a standard reference book recommended on the C++ programming language is The C++ Programming Language (2013) by Bjarne Stroustrup (ISBN: 0321563840).

Are there any other MSc Mathematics programmes?
The Department also offers a MSc in Applicable Mathematics.and MSc in Operations Research & Analytics.

Is it possible to do the MSc in Financial Mathematics part-time?
No. The course is only available to full-time students.

How much does the course cost?

For up-to-date information on fees and financial matters, consult the School's Fees pages.

What funding is available?
The LSE makes funding available via a range of scholarships, bursaries and award schemes. Details can be found on the Financial Support website.  

Do you arrange internships or employment?
Not directly, but LSE Careers can provide advice and support to students seeking internships, part-time/vacation work, and full-time positions after completing their studies. Numerous employers specifically target mathematics students at LSE, through LSE Careers.

What do people go on to do after their degree?
Our graduates have gone on to good jobs in a wide range of industries, particularly in the banking and finance sectors. We also believe our MSc programmes are good preparation for a PhD here or elsewhere.

Specific destinations of former MSc Financial Mathematics students include Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Bank of Montreal, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, BlackRock, BBVA Group, BNP Paribas, Citibank, Commerzbank, Credit Suisse, Elara Capital, Goldman Sachs, Jackdaw Capital, KPMG, Markit, Nomura, RBS, Towers Watson, and UBS.