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MSc Financial Mathematics

This programme 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 knowledge of a range of mathematical and computational techniques that are required for a variety of quantitative positions in the financial sector.

The MSc in Financial Mathematics 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, the purpose of which is to introduce some key concepts and techniques of relevant mathematical theory, 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 in a leading university, internationally renowned for its research and teaching programmes.
  • 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.
  • Opportunity to improve personal skills, including logical reasoning, quantitative analysis, and the presentation of technical result


This is a full-time 10 month programme (including a mandatory pre-sessional course).  Students are required to take courses to the value of 4 full units.  All courses are half units unless otherwise stated.

The mandatory pre-sessional course begins in mid-September.

Further details on some of the courses can be obtained by clicking on the links below.

Compulsory courses


One of the following:

The equivalent of one unit from the following:

Entry Requirements

This MSc is mathematically advanced, and applicants should have a strong mathematics background and a minimum of a BSc degree of first or good upper-second class 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| web pages.
For detailed information about the equivalence of non-UK qualifications, please see information for international students|.

Other requirements:

An IELTS or TOEFL is required If English| is not your first language, or you do not have proof of your previous degree being taught in English.  Please note:  the MSc Financial Mathematics requires applicants to achieve the 'higher' English language requirement. 

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 |or by post|.

Personal Statement & Supporting Information:  The personal statement should be 2-3 pages (A4) in length.

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

References:  Two academic references are required with the application.

Deadline:  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.

Student intake/applications in 2012:  27/679

Application code:   G1U3


Applications open in October 2013 for entry in 2014/2015.  To make an application and for further information on the application procedure see Graduate|.

Financial support:

Fee level: 

  • £23,064

Below are a selection of frequently asked questions relating to the MSc Financial Mathematics programme run by the Department of Mathematics.

What are the entry requirements/required academic background for the degree in Financial Mathematics?|
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 viewed on the Graduate  web pages. 

When should I apply?
Applications open in October each year for admission the following September. You can request a prospectus| from Graduate Admissions.  Applications can be made, online or by post. 

Full details about the application process are available at the online prospectus page. Make sure that you send your application and any related material to Graduate Admissions - sending your application directly to the Mathematics Department will only delay it.

There are no official application deadlines for this course, but you are advised to apply as early as possible because competition for places is extremely 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 the availability of the course on the Graduate Study| web pages. 

Do I need to submit a GRE/GMAT score
No, this is not required for the MSc Financial Mathematics. However, you might need to check whether your second choice degree, if you have selected one, requires GRE/GMAT.

What if English is not my first language?
If your first language is not English| or if the language of instruction of your first or second degree was/is not English, we ask you to provide evidence of your command of English. Please check the Graduate web pages for further information. 

How can I check the status of my application?
All applicants will be given access to the Graduate Application Tracker.  Please see the online  "Track Your Application"| tool for further details. 

How long is the MSc Financial Mathematics programme?
It is a ten-month programme.

Do I need to attend the Pre-Sessional Course?
Yes.   The pre-sessional course forms a vital part of the degree and it is essential that you are able to commit fully to the two weeks of teaching.

When does the MSc Financial Mathematics Pre-Sessional Course start?
The pre-sessional course normally begins mid-September.

How is the academic year structured?
The year is divided into three ten-week terms: Michaelmas (September to December), Lent (January to March) and Summer (April to July). A full unit course will run over Michaelmas AND Lent terms. A half-unit course will typically (but not always) run for just one of the two main teaching terms. In the Summer Term there are usually revision classes in the first week and examinations usually take place in June. Please click here| to find the School term dates.

How are the courses structured?
Courses run by the Mathematics Department 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.

Timetabling of courses run by other departments is not under our control, and it is possible that some teaching clashes may occur.

Students on the MSc in Financial Mathematics are required to take courses to the value of 4 full units. 

How and when do I choose my options?
Students have until the end of the third week of the first term (Michaelmas Term) to finalise their options. Courses are selected online using the LSEforYou system. All new students receive a user name and password when they register, giving them access to their student profile online in order to choose courses. Instructions are provided online but the process will also be explained at induction. Each student's Tutor 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 Mathematics Department they need to ask the permission of the lecturer on that course as certain restrictions may apply. Students also need the approval of the Programme Director if these outside options are not explicitly stated in our programme regulations.

Do I need to submit a dissertation or project?
On one of the compulsory courses, 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 and it is submitted in June.

Are there any other MSc Mathematics courses?
The Mathematics Department also offers the MSc in Applicable Mathematics.

Is it possible to do the MSc Financial Mathematics part-time?
The course is currently only available to full-time students.

How much does the course cost?
The fee for a September 2014 start is: £23,064

For up-to-date information on fees and further details, see the Graduate Prospectus and the School's Fees| pages

What funding is available?
LSE makes funding available via a range of scholarships, bursaries and award schemes, details of which can be found on the Financial Support Office|    

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 students?
We do not interview for places on the degree. However, the LSE does arrange Graduate Open Evenings each year, which give you an opportunity to visit the School and meet some staff and students from the Mathematics Department. This usually takes place in November each year, at the beginning of the application cycle, and more information can be found here|.  We can also discuss the course, by email or in person, with individual applicants who cannot attend the Open Evenings.   

Is there any reading I can do in advance?
The department sends out course packs to all successful applicants in late July/ early August each year.

Keen students might want to familiarise themselves with basic elements of programming with the C language. The textbook we use is "Introducing C++ for Scientists, Engineers and Mathematicians" by Derek Capper. For those with prior programming experience, a standard reference book recommended on the C++ programming language is "The C++ ProgrammingLanguage" by Bjarne Stroustrup.

Do you arrange internships?
The LSE Careers Office can provide details and support to students seeking an internship.  Further details can be found on the Careers| website

What do people go on to do after their degree?
A number of graduates have gone on to good jobs, particularly in the banking and finance sector. We also believe our MSc programmes are good preparation for a PhD in our Department, or indeed for a PhD in many other Mathematics Departments.

Some specific companies that students from the MSc Financial Mathematics programme have found employment with are:  Bank of Montreal (Canada); Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi; BlackRock, BNP Paribas (London), BBVA Group (Spain);Elara Capital; Goldman Sachs; Markit; RBS.

For any further information about the MSc Financial Mathematics programme, please email: Maths.Msc-Fm@lse.ac.uk|

For information about your application, please contact LSE's Graduate Admissions Office|

Home Page of the London School of Economics: http://www2.lse.ac.uk/home.aspx|



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