Programmes

BSc Financial Mathematics and Statistics

  • Undergraduate
  • Department of Mathematics
  • UCAS code GN13
  • Starting 2021
  • UK/EU full-time: Open from September
  • Overseas full-time: Open from September
  • Location: Houghton Street, London

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 degree programme is based in the Department of Mathematics at LSE and is taught jointly with the Department of Statistics.

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.

Although specific techniques may become out of date, the ability to think analytically is something that remains with you for the rest of your life, enabling you to adapt to new developments in your chosen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.

Listen to our podcast on studying mathematics at LSE, recorded at one of our Undergraduate Open Days.

Programme details

Key facts

Academic year (2021/22) September 2021 to June 2022
Application deadline 15 January 2021
Duration Three years full-time
Applications/offers/intake 2019 398/84/40

For information about tuition fees, usual standard offers and entry requirements, see the sections below.

Entry requirements

Below we list our entry requirements in terms of GCSEs, A-Levels and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma. We accept a wide range of other qualifications from the UK and from overseas.

GCSEs
A strong set of GCSE grades including several at A (or 7) and A* (or 8-9)
GCSE (or equivalent) English Language and Mathematics grades should be no lower than B (or 6)
We also consider your overall GCSE subject profile

A-levels
A*AA, with an A* in Mathematics
Please also see the subject combinations section for information about Further Mathematics requirements.
We also consider your AS grades, if available.

Contextual admissions A-level grades*
A*AB with an A* in Mathematics

IB Diploma
38 points overall, including 766 at higher level, with 7 in Mathematics.
Please also see the subject combinations section for information about Further Mathematics requirements.

Applicants are encouraged to take the Test of Mathematics for University Admission (TMUA). The test is not compulsory, however a good performance on the test may help in securing an offer.

*LSE is piloting a contextual offer scheme for eligible students applying for 2021. Read our UG Admissions Information to learn more about contextual admissions.

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 other accepted UK qualifications
Information about accepted international 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. Where students take Further Mathematics to AS-level, grade A in Further Mathematics at AS-level in addition to A* in Mathematics at A-level.
  • Students offering Mathematics, Further Mathematics and one other subject will be considered. Other subjects commonly studied at A-level include Chemistry and Physics.

Find out more about subject combinations.

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 (see 'Entry requirements' for programme specific information)
- subject combinations (see 'Entry requirements' for programme specific information)
- personal statement (see below for programme specific information)
- 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 page.

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
- an ability to apply logic
- an ability to be creative and flexible in approaching problems
- an ability to follow complex lines of mathematical reasoning
- an ability 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 above in the preliminary reading section, 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

UK/EU* students:

The 2021 tuition fee for new UK/EU students has not yet been set. As a guide the 2020 fee for UK and EU students* is £9,250 per year. The UK/EU undergraduate fee may rise in line with inflation in subsequent years.

*Please note that the EU tuition fee level for 2021 entry cannot be confirmed until later in 2020.

Overseas students:

The 2021 tuition fee for international students has not yet been set. As a guide the 2020 fee for international students* is £21,570 per year. Once announced, the overseas tuition fee will remain at the same amount for each subsequent year of your full time study regardless of the length of your programme. This information applies to new overseas undergraduate entrants starting their studies from 2020 onwards.

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.

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, UK Government support, in the form of loans, is available to UK and some EU students. Some overseas governments also offer funding.

Further information on tuition fees, cost of living, loans and scholarships.

Information for international students

LSE is an international community, with over 140 nationalities represented amongst its student body in 2019. We celebrate this diversity through everything we do. 

If you are applying to LSE from outside of the UK then take a look at our Information for International students.

1) Take a note of the UK qualifications we require for your programme of interest (found in the ‘Entry requirements’ section of this page.

2) Go to the International Students section of our website.

3) Select your country.

4) Select ‘Undergraduate entry requirements’ and scroll until you arrive at the information about your local/national qualification. Compare the stated UK entry requirements listed on this page with the local/national entry requirement listed on your country specific page.

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. Please note that the format of the LSE100 course is under review

First year

In your first year, you take four compulsory foundation courses. You will take Microeconomics and Macroeconomics, Elementary Statistical Theory, Mathematical Methods and an Introduction to Abstract Mathematics. You will also take LSE100 in the Lent term. Please note that the format of the LSE100 course is under review.

(* denotes a half unit course)

Microeconomics I*
This course provides a foundation to help students understand key microeconomic questions using a variety of approaches including quantitative methods.

Macroeonomics I*
This course provides a foundation to help students understand key macroeconomic questions using a variety of approaches including quantitative methods.

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. Please note that the LSE100 course is under review.

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). All your second year courses are compulsory, one in Principles of Finance, one in Further Mathematical Methods, one in  Probability, Distribution Theory and Inference and the two half unit course in Real Analysis and Introduction to Pricing, Hedging and Optimisation, you will also take LSE100 in the Michaelmas term. Please note that the format of the LSE100 course is under review.

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. Please note that the LSE100 course is under review.

Third year

In the third year you take three compulsory courses, plus a programming course which is non-credit-bearing. You will choose from 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.

Programming in C++
An introduction to programming with the C++ programming language.

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.

For the most up-to-date list of optional courses please visit the relevant School Calendar page

Where regulations permit, you may also be able to take a language, literature or linguistics option as part of your degree. Information can be found on the Language Centre webpages.

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 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

Format and contact hours: 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 around 25 students. Hours vary according to courses and you can view indicative details in the Calendar within the Teaching section of each course guide

LSE Teaching 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.

Academic support

Academic mentor: You will have an academic mentor 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. 

Other academic support: 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.

Disability and Wellbeing Service: 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 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.
  • 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.

Assessment

Formative unassessed coursework: 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.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). 

Summative assessment (assessment that counts towards your final course mark and degree award): 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. Please note that assessment on individual courses can change year to year. . 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.

An indication of the current formative coursework and summative assessment for each course can be found in the relevant course guide

Find out more about LSE’s teaching and assessment methods

Student support and resources

We’re here to help and support you throughout your time at LSE, whether you need help with your academic studies, support with your welfare and wellbeing or simply to develop on a personal and professional level.

Whatever your query, big or small there are a range of people you can speak to and who will be happy to help.

Academic mentors – an academic member of staff who you will meet with at least once a term and help with any academic, administrative or personal questions you have. (See Teaching and assessment)

Academic support librarians – they will be able to help you navigate the library and maximise its resources during your studies.

Accommodation service  - they can offer advice on living in halls and offer guidance on private accommodation related queries.

Class teachers and seminar leaders – they will be able to assist with queries relating to a specific course you are taking.

Disability and Wellbeing Service – the staff are experts in long term health conditions, sensory impairments, mental health and specific learning difficulties. They offer confidential and free services such as student counselling, a peer support scheme, arranging exam adjustments and run groups and workshops.

IT help– they support available 24 hours a day to assist with all of your technology queries.

LSE Faith centre – a place for worship, prayer and quiet reflection. It includes Islamic prayer rooms and a quiet cave for individual meditation. It is also a space for wellbeing classes on campus and a centre for transformational leadership programmes promoting interreligious understanding across the diverse student body.

Language Centre– the centre specialises in offering language courses targeted to the needs of students and practitioners in the social sciences. We offer pre-course English for Academic Purposes programmes; English language support during your studies; modern foreign language courses in 10 languages; proofreading, translation and document authentication and language learning support. lse.ac.uk/language

LSE Careers ­- with the help of LSE Careers, you can make the most of the opportunities that London has to offer. Whatever your future career plans, LSE Careers will work with you, connecting you to opportunities and experiences from internships and volunteering to networking events and employer and alumni insights.

LSE Library - Founded in 1896, the British Library of Political and Economic Science is the major international library of the social sciences. It stays open late, has lots of excellent resources and it’s a great place to study. As an LSE student, you’ll have access to a number of other academic libraries in Greater London and nationwide.

LSE LIFE – this is where you should goto develop skills you’ll use as a student and beyond. The centre runs talks and workshops on skills you’ll find useful in the classroom, offer one-to-one sessions with study advisers who can help you with reading, making notes, writing, research and exam revision, and provide drop-in sessions for academic and personal support.(See ‘Teaching and assessment).

LSE Students’ Union (LSESU) – they offer academic, personal and financial advice and funding.

Nursery it offers places for 63 children (aged three months to five years) which are discounted for children of students and staff.

Sardinia House Dental Practice - offers discounted private dental services to LSE students.

St Philips Medical Centre - based in Pethwick-Lawrence House the centre provides NHS Primary Care services to registered patients.

Student Services Centre – our staff here can answer general queries and can point you in the direction of other LSE services.

Student advocates and advisers– we have a School Senior Advocate for Students and an Adviser to Women Students who can help with academic and pastoral matters.

Student life

As a student at LSE you’ll be based at our central London campus. Find out what our campus and London have to offer you on academic, social and career perspective.

Student societies and activities

Your time at LSE is not just about studying, there are plenty of ways to get involved in extracurricular activities. From joining one of over 200 societies, or starting your own society, to volunteering for a local charity, or attending a public lecture by a world-leading figure, there is a lot to choose from.

The campus

LSE is based on one campus in the centre of London. Despite the busy feel of the surrounding area, many of the streets around campus are pedestrianised, meaning the campus feels like a real community.

Life in London

London is an exciting, vibrant and colourful city. It's also an academic city, with more than 400,000 university students. Whatever your interests or appetite you will find something to suit your palate and pocket in this truly international capital. Make the most of career opportunities and social activities, theatre, museums, music and more.

Want to find out more? Read why we think London is a fantastic student city, find out about key sights, places and experiences for new Londoners. Don't fear, London doesn't have to be super expensive: hear about London on a budget.

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

Quick Careers Facts for the Department of Mathematics

Median salary of our UG students six months after graduating: £29,875

Top 5 sectors our students work in:

  • Investment banking
  • Auditing
  • Retail and commercial banking
  • Accounting
  • Education and teaching

The data was collected through an annual Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, aggregated over five years (2011-2016). The survey was completed by graduates approximately six months after their graduation ceremony. The median salary is calculated for those whose main activity is working full-time and includes those working outside the UK.

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 LSE

Discover more about being an LSE student - meet us in a city near you, visit our campus or experience LSE from home.

Experience LSE from home 

Webinars, videos, student blogs and student video diaries will help you gain an insight into what it's like to study at LSE for those that aren't able to make it to our campus. Experience LSE from home.

Visit LSE

Come on a guided campus tour, attend an undergraduate open day, drop into our office or go on a self-guided tour. Find out about opportunities to visit LSE.

LSE visits you

Student Marketing and Recruitment travels throughout the UK and around the world to meet with prospective students. We visit schools, attend education fairs and also hold Destination LSE events: pre-departure events for offer holders. Find details on LSE's upcoming visits.

UNISTATS data

Every undergraduate programme of more than one year duration will have UNISTATS data. The data allows you to compare 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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