Programmes

BSc Financial Mathematics and Statistics

  • Undergraduate
  • Department of Mathematics
  • UCAS code GN13
  • Starting 2017

The BSc Financial Mathematics and Statistics has been designed to meet the increasing demand for mathematically and statistically trained people, in a world full of data that needs to be understood.

The programme will provide you with a strong background in financial mathematics and statistics and the interaction between the two. You will also gain knowledge of economics and finance, and training in coding and computation in addition to the other, broader, elements of an LSE education, such as that provided by LSE100.

Although specific techniques may become out of date, the ability to think analytically is something that remains with you for the rest of your life, enabling you to adapt to new developments in your chosen career. The subject knowledge and transferable skills you will gain in this programme are highly valued by employers, and graduates are likely to find employment opportunities not only in the finance sector, but in many other areas where quantitative analysis and data-handling are important.

Programme details

Key facts

 BSc Financial Mathematics and Statistics
Start date 21 September 2017
Application deadline 15 January 2017
Duration Three years full-time
Applications 2016 New programme for 2017
First year students 2016 New programme for 2017
Availability Closed
Tuition fee UK/EU fee: £9,250 for the first year (provisional)
Overseas fee: £18,408 for the first year
Usual standard offer A level: grades A* A A, with A* in Mathematics
International Baccalaureate: Diploma with 38 points including 7 6 6 at Higher level, with 7 in Mathematics
English language requirements Proof of your English language proficiency may be required
Location  Houghton Street, London

For more information about tuition fees, usual standard offers and entry requirements, see the fees and funding and assessing your application sections below.

Programme structure and courses

This programme is a major/minor degree in favour of mathematics and involves studying courses to the value of 12 units over three years, plus LSE100.

First year

In your first year, you take four compulsory foundation courses. You will take either Economics A or Economics B, depending on your economics background (Economics B is only for students with A level Economics or equivalent); Elementary Statistical Theory; Mathematical Methods and an Introduction to Abstract Mathematics. You will also take LSE100 in the Lent term.

(* denotes a half unit course)

Either 
Economics A
Provides a foundation in economics, primarily for those without significant background in the subject. 
Or
Economics B
An introductory course in microeconomics and macroeconomics.

Elementary Statistical Theory
Provides a precise treatment of introductory probability theory, statistical ideas, methods and techniques.

Mathematical Methods
An introductory-level course for those who wish to use mathematics extensively in social science.

Introduction to Abstract Mathematics
Gives an introduction to modern mathematics with emphasis on careful reasoning.

LSE100
Beginning in the Lent term of the first year and running through the Michaelmas term of the second year, LSE100 is compulsory for all LSE undergraduate students, and introduces you to the fundamental elements of thinking like a social scientist.

Second year

In the second year, you take five courses (two of which are ‘half-unit’ courses, each taught over one term rather than two). You take two compulsory courses, one in Microeconomic Principles and another in Further Mathematical Methods. You also take another course from: Macroeconomic Principles, Principles of Econometrics and Principles of Finance. You will take a half unit course in Real Analysis, following on from the Introduction to Abstract Mathematics course in the first year, and another half unit in either Algebra and Number Theory, Differential Equations, Discrete Mathematics or Optimisation Theory. You will also take LSE100 in the Michaelmas term.

Microeconomic Principles

Principles of Finance
Examines companies' longer term investment decisions, and the ways in which these may be financed in the financial markets.

Further Mathematical Methods
Covers calculus and linear algebra

Probability, Distribution Theory and Inference
Continues the study of statistics and provided further statistical foundations for more advanced courses

Real Analysis*
A course in real analysis for those who have already met the basic concepts of sequences and continuity.

Introduction to Pricing, Hedging and Optimisation*
Introduces the concepts of valuation, hedging and portfolio selection. 

LSE100
Beginning in the Lent term of the first year and running through the Michaelmas term of the second year, LSE100 is compulsory for all LSE undergraduate students, and introduces you to the fundamental elements of thinking like a social scientist.

Third year

In the third year you take three compulsory courses, a selection from specified mathematics and statistics courses, and a further approved course (or two half-unit courses), and one course in advanced mathematical economics. Your additional options total three course units. You can choose from mathematics, economics or statistics options, but your choice must include at least one unit in mathematics and no more than one unit of statistics. You can also take one outside option of any suitable course taught at LSE, subject to the approval of the course tutor.

Quantitative Finance
Covers financial risk analysis, financial risk management and derivatives pricing. 

Computational Methods in Financial Mathematics*
Introduces you to a range of computational approaches to solve mathematical problems in finance

Financial Statistics*
Covers the key statistical methods and data-analytic techniques most relevant to finance.

One outside option

Two from:
Measure Theoretic Probability*
Studies the fundamentals of modern probability theory

Mathematics of Finance and Valuation*
Studies the mathematical tools of stochastic calculus and develops the Black Scholes theory of financial markets

Regression and Generalised Linear Models*
Provides a solid coverage of the most important parts of the theory and application of regression models, generalised linear models and the analysis of variance

Stochastic Processes*
A course in stochastic processes, with applications to insurance

You can find the most up-to-date list of optional courses in the Programme Regulations section of the current School Calendar.

You must note however that while care has been taken to ensure that this information is up-to-date and correct, a change of circumstances since publication may cause the School to change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. The School will always notify the affected parties as early as practicably possible and propose any viable and relevant alternative options. Note that that the School will neither be liable for information that after publication becomes inaccurate or irrelevant, nor for changing, suspending or withdrawing a course or programme of study due to events outside of its control, which includes but is not limited to a lack of demand for a course or programme of study, industrial action, fire, flood or other environmental or physical damage to premises.

You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee you a place. Please note that changes to programmes and courses can sometimes occur after you have accepted your offer of a place. These changes are normally made in light of developments in the discipline or path-breaking research, or on the basis of student feedback. Changes can take the form of altered course content, teaching formats or assessment modes. Any such changes are intended to enhance the student learning experience. You should visit the School’s Calendar, or contact the relevant academic department, for information on the availability and/or content of courses and programmes of study. Certain substantive changes will be listed on the updated undergraduate course and programme information page.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching

You will usually attend two lectures and one related class for each course per week (eight lectures and four classes). The first year courses additionally have extra, optional, sessions. In addition you will work on exercises in your own time. These are then discussed in the weekly classes of 15 students. Hours vary according to courses and you can view indicative details in the Calendar within the Teaching section of each course guide

LSE is internationally recognised for its teaching and research and therefore employs a rich variety of teaching staff with a range of experience and status. Courses may be taught by individual members of faculty, such as lecturers, senior lecturers, readers, associate professors and professors. Many departments now also employ guest teachers and visiting members of staff, LSE teaching fellows and graduate teaching assistants who are usually doctoral research students. You can view indicative details for the teacher responsible for each course in the relevant course guide.

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. There are many opportunities to extend your learning outside the classroom and complement your academic studies at LSE. LSE LIFE is the School’s centre for academic, personal and professional development. Some of the services on offer include: guidance and hands-on practice of the key skills you will need to do well at LSE: effective reading, academic writing and critical thinking; workshops related to how to adapt to new or difficult situations, including development of skills for leadership, study/work/life balance and preparing for the world of work; and advice and practice on working in study groups and on cross-cultural communication and teamwork.

LSE is committed to enabling all students to achieve their full potential and the School’s Disability and Wellbeing Service provides a free, confidential service to all LSE students and is a first point of contact for all disabled students.

Your timetable

The lecture and seminar timetable is published in mid-August and the full academic timetable (lectures/seminars and undergraduate classes) is published by mid-September and is accessible via the LSE Timetables webpages.

Undergraduate student personal timetables are published in LSE for You (LFY). For personal timetables to appear, students must be registered at LSE, have successfully signed up for courses in LFY and ensured that their course selection does not contain unauthorised clashes.

Every effort is made to minimise changes after publication, once personal timetables have been published any changes are notified via email.

The standard teaching day runs from 09:00-18:00; Monday to Friday. Teaching for undergraduate students will not usually be scheduled after 12:00 on Wednesdays to allow for sports, volunteering and other extra-curricular events. 

Assessment

All taught courses are required to include formative coursework which is unassessed. It is designed to help prepare you for summative assessment which counts towards the course mark and to the degree award. LSE uses a range of formative assessment, such as essays, problem sets, case studies, reports, quizzes, mock exams and many others. Summative assessment will be conducted by examinations in all courses you have taken at the end of each year (May or early June). Some courses also have elements of assessment in January. An indication of the formative coursework and summative assessment for each course can be found in the relevant course guide.

Feedback on coursework is an essential part of the teaching and learning experience at the School. Class teachers must mark formative coursework and return it with feedback to you normally within two weeks of submission (when the work is submitted on time). You will also receive feedback on any summative coursework you are required to submit as part of the assessment for individual courses (except on the final version of submitted dissertations). You will normally receive this feedback before the examination period. 

Find out more about LSE’s teaching and assessment methods

Preliminary reading

Mathematics as it is applied in economics and finance

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

Economics

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

Mathematics

Much of university level mathematics 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: 

L Alcock How to Study for a Mathematics Degree (Oxford University Press, 2013)

R Allenby Numbers and Proofs (Butterworth-Heinemann, 1997)

A Dilnot The Tiger That Isn't: Seeing Through a World of Numbers (Profile books, 2007)

P Eccles An Introduction to Mathematical Reasoning (Cambridge University Press, 1997)

T Gowers Mathematics: a very short introduction (Oxford University Press, 2002)

D Hand Statistics: a very short introduction (Oxford University Press, 2008)

M Liebeck A Concise Introduction to Pure Mathematics (Chapman & Hall/CRC Mathematics, 2005)

Careers

Recent graduates have gone on to work in the areas of corporate finance, accountancy, management, and banking. Many have pursued graduate study in areas related to mathematics, economics, or both.

Further information on graduate destinations for this programme

Support for your career

Many leading organisations give careers presentations at the School during the year, and LSE Careers has a wide range of resources available to assist students in their job search. Find out more about the support available to students through LSE Careers.

Assessing your application

We welcome applications from all suitably qualified prospective students and want to recruit students with the very best academic merit, potential and motivation, irrespective of their background. The programme guidance below should be read alongside our general entrance requirements information.

We carefully consider each application on an individual basis, taking into account all the information presented on the UCAS application form, including your:

- academic achievement (including predicted and achieved grades)
- subject combinations
- personal statement
- teacher’s reference
- educational circumstances

You may also have to provide evidence of your English proficiency, although you do not need to provide this at the time of your application to LSE. See our English language requirements.

What we are looking for in an application for BSc Financial Mathematics and Statistics

Academic achievement

Successful applicants for this programme are usually predicted to achieve or have already achieved a minimum of A* A A in their A levels, with an A* in Mathematics (or 38 and above International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB) points, including 7 6 6 in higher level subjects, with 7 in Mathematics). Further Mathematics is highly recommended. Students not taking Further Mathematics to A level will normally be required to achieve grade A in Further Mathematics AS level in addition to A* (Mathematics) A A at A level.

In addition, the selectors are looking for applicants who have achieved a strong set of GCSE grades including several at A and A*. The departmental selectors look at not just the number of top GCSE grades that you have, but also your overall GCSE subject profile.

Competition for places at the School is high. This means that even if you are predicted or if you achieve the grades that meet our usual standard offer, this will not guarantee you an offer of admission. Usual standard offers are intended only as a guide, and in some cases applicants will be asked for grades which differ from this.

We express our standard offers and where applicable, programme requirement, in terms of A levels and the IB, but we consider applications from students with a range of qualifications including BTECs, Foundation Courses and Access to HE Diplomas as well as a wide range of international qualifications.

Information about accepted international qualifications
Information about other accepted UK qualifications

Subject combinations

We consider the combination of subjects you have taken, as well as the individual scores. We believe a broad mix of traditional academic subjects to be the best preparation for studying at LSE and expect applicants to have at least two full A levels or equivalent in these subjects.

For the BSc Financial Mathematics and Statistics, we are looking for excellent mathematicians and it is a requirement that A level Mathematics (or equivalent) is taken and the maximum grade achieved. Where it is offered by your school or college, AS or A level Further Mathematics is expected to be taken. Students offering Mathematics, Further Mathematics and one other subject will be considered. Other subjects commonly studied at A level include Chemistry and Physics.

Personal characteristics, skills and attributes

For this programme, we are looking for students who demonstrate the following skills:

- interest in mathematics, statistics and finance
- evidence of your understanding of the links between the three disciplines
- participation in any relevant activities outside the taught curriculum, such as mathematics competitions or Olympiads
- ability to apply logic
- ability to be creative and flexible in approaching problems
- ability to follow complex lines of mathematical reasoning
- to ask questions
- be well organised and to think and work independently
- good communication skills
- intellectual curiosity
- motivation and capacity for hard work

Personal statement

In addition to demonstrating the above personal characteristics, skills and attributes, your statement should be original, interesting and well-written and should outline your enthusiasm and motivation for the programme.

You should explain whether there are any aspects of particular interest to you, how this relates to your current academic studies and what additional reading or relevant experiences you have had which have led you to apply. We are interested to hear your own thoughts or ideas on the topics you have encountered through your exploration of the subject at school or through other activities. Some suggestions for preliminary reading can be found below, but there is no set list of activities we look for; instead we look for students who have made the most of the opportunities available to them to deepen their knowledge and understanding of their intended programme of study.

You can also mention extra-curricular activities such as sport, the arts or volunteering or any work experience you have undertaken. However, the main focus of an undergraduate degree at LSE is the in-depth academic study of a subject and we expect the majority of your personal statement to be spent discussing your academic interests.

Please also see our general guidance about writing personal statements.

Fees and funding

Every undergraduate student is charged a fee for each year of their programme.

The fee covers registration and examination fees payable to the School, lectures, classes and individual supervision, lectures given at other colleges under intercollegiate arrangements and, under current arrangements, membership of the Students' Union. It does not cover living costs or travel or fieldwork.

Tuition fees 2017/18

UK/EU* students: £9,250 for the first year (provisional pending final approval by Parliament)
Overseas students £18,408 for the first year

UK/EU undergraduate fees may rise in line with inflation in subsequent years and the overseas fee usually rises by between 2.5 per cent and 4 per cent each year.

*The UK Government confirmed in October 2016 that the fee level listed for EU undergraduate new entrants in 2017/18 will be the same as Home UK for the subsequent years of their undergraduate degree programme.

The amount of tuition fees you will need to pay, and any financial support you are eligible for, will depend on whether you are classified as a home (UK/EU) or overseas student, otherwise known as your fee status. LSE assesses your fee status based on guidelines provided by the Department of Education. 

Further information about fee status classification
Further information about tuition fees

Scholarships, bursaries and loans

The School recognises that the cost of living in London may be higher than in your home town or country. LSE provides generous financial support, in the form of bursaries and scholarships to UK, EU and overseas students. 

In addition, Government support, in the form of loans, is available to UK and some EU students.

Find out more about tuition fee loans.

Key Information Set

From September 2012, every undergraduate programme of more than one year's duration will have a Key Information Set (KIS). The KIS allows you to compare 17 pieces of information about individual programmes at different higher education institutions.

Please note that programmes offered by different institutions with similar names can vary quite significantly. We recommend researching the programmes you are interested in and taking into account the programme structure, teaching and assessment methods, and support services available.

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