MA322      Half Unit
Mathematics of Finance and Valuation

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Albina Danilova COL.4.09


This course is available on the BSc in Financial Mathematics and Statistics, BSc in Mathematics and Economics and BSc in Mathematics with Economics. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit. This course is available with permission to General Course students.


Students must have completed Measure Theoretic Probability (MA321).

Course content

This course provides mathematical tools of stochastic calculus and develops the Black-Scholes theory of financial markets. It covers the following topics. Continuous-time stochastic processes, filtrations, stopping times, martingales, examples. Brownian motion and its properties. Construction of the Ito integral: simple integrands, Ito's isometry. Ito processes, Ito's formula, stochastic differential equations, Girsanov's theorem. Black-Scholes model: self-financing portfolios, risk neutral measure, risk neutral valuation of European contingent claims, Black-Scholes formula, Black-Scholes PDE, the Greeks. PDE techniques for derivative pricing. Implied volatility, basic ideas of calibration.


This course is delivered through a combination of classes and seminars totalling a minimum of 30 hours across Lent Term. This year, some or all of this teaching will be delivered through a combination of virtual seminars and classes delivered as online videos.

Formative coursework

Written answers to set problems will be expected on a weekly basis. 

Indicative reading

Lecture notes will be provided.

The following books may be useful.

T. Bjork, Arbitrage Theory in Continuous Time, Oxford Finance, 2004;

A. Etheridge, A Course in Financial Calculus, CUP, 2002;

M Baxter & A Rennie, Financial Calculus, CUP, 1996;

P. Wilmott, S. Howison & J. Dewynne, The Mathematics of Financial Derivatives, CUP, 1995;

J Hull, Options, Futures and Other Derivatives, 6th edition, Prentice-Hall, 2005.

D. Lamberton & B. Lapeyre, Introduction to stochastic calculus applied to finance, 2nd edition, Chapman & Hall, 2008.

S. E. Shreve, Stochastic Calculus for Finance. Volume I: The Binomial Asset Pricing Model. Springer, New York, 2004.

S. E. Shreve, Stochastic Calculus for Finance. Volume II: Continuous-Time Models. Springer, New York, 2004.


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Mathematics

Total students 2019/20: 14

Average class size 2019/20: 7

Capped 2019/20: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills