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Financial Mathematics MMath

Subject area: Mathematics Undergraduate Open Day How to apply
Mode of study

4-year full-time; 5-year thick-sandwich

UCAS Code

GN1H, GN1J with Professional Practice

Start date

September

Financial Mathematics MMath

Placement Offered This course has a Professional Practice option
Available in Clearing Call our hotline on +44(0) 1895 272273

Overview

To discuss your qualifications for 2016 entry call our Clearing hotline on +44(0) 1895 272 273.

About the course

Mathematics is a fundamental subject that is constantly developing. Yes – it is a discipline in its own right. But it is also the thinking behind countless commercial, industrial and technological activities.

The MMath programme in Financial Mathematics offers a highly integrated, logical progression from BSc in Financial Maths to Master’s level. Study for a further year (at Level 4) and bring your BSc degree to Master’s standard.

The first two levels are common to Financial Mathematics BSc.

Two-thirds of this course consists of the compulsory parts of our wide-ranging Maths course and covers several application areas – finance, statistics, operational research (how maths can be applied to commercial and industrial problems) and numerical analysis (the approximate solution of very hard problems).

The remaining third covers the workings of financial markets, and corporate investment and finance. The third level prepares students for studying at Master’s level during Level 4. There is a wide range of optional modules at Levels 3 and 4.

This programme will meet the educational requirements of the Chartered Mathematician designation, awarded by the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, when it is followed by subsequent training and experience in employment to obtain equivalent competences to those specified by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for taught Master's degrees.

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Aims

Mathematical models underpin engineering, the applied sciences, computing and many aspects of management today. As a maths student you will develop an outlook and high level study skills that will be hugely valuable whatever career path you follow after graduation.

If you are a committed maths student interested in a career in the fast moving world of finance or commerce, this course is for you. You will acquire the skills needed to develop mathematical and statistical knowledge, as well as a good awareness of financial institutions, markets and their workings.

Our maths department has developed outstanding links with business and you can take an optional placement year with a leading UK company. Brunel maths students also enjoy an excellent record of employment after graduating. Read more in 'Special Features'.

Enquiries

Dr D Roman
Admissions Tutor

Department of Mathematics
Brunel University
Uxbridge
Middlesex
UB8 3PH
UK

Tel +44 (0)1895 265180
Fax +44 (0)1895 269732
Email maths.admissions@brunel.ac.uk


Course Content

Two-thirds of this course is shared with the MMath in Mathematics. This covers several application areas – finance, statistics, operational research (i.e. how maths can be applied to commercial and industrial problems) and numerical analysis. The remaining third covers the key principles of finance. MMath students study a year further than BSc students, bringing their degree up to Master’s level.

Typical Modules

Level 1

  • Transition to Independent Learning of Mathematics (see below for more)
  • Fundamentals of Mathematics
  • Financial Markets
  • Introduction to Data Handling for Finance
  • Calculus
  • Linear Algebra
  • Probability and Statistics I
  • Algorithms and Numerical Methods.

    Find out more information about Level 1

Level 2

  • Elements of Investment Mathematics
  • Computing for Finance
  • Probability and Statistics II
  • Operational Research
  • Multivariable Calculus
  • Advanced Calculus and Numerical Methods
  • Linear Modelling
  • Elements of Combinatorics
  • Analysis 1
  • Employability Skills.

Level 3

  • Major Project (see below for more)
  • Mathematical Finance
  • Stochastic Models
  • Numerical Methods for Differential Equations
  • Risk and Optimisation for Financial Planning.

Level 5 compulsory

  • Advanced Project
  • Numerical & Variational Methods for Partial Differential
  • Equations
  • Risk Simulation and Decision Analysis

Level 5 options

  • High Performance Computing
  • Linear and Nonlinear Filtering in Financial Time Series Models
  • Classification Models
  • Asset Allocations Strategies

Level 3 Major Project

This is a very valuable feature of this Financial Mathematics course – a substantial piece of individual, course-related work personally supervised by a staff member. Projects are often connected to staff research areas and may also be in response to industry demands. Work on the project accounts for about one-third of your Level 3 study load.

Explore in-depth a topic of particular interest to you or work on a practical problem – the choice is yours.

Although students who undertake a work placement year can choose to focus their Level 3 project on their work experience, they may also select from the projects offered each year by the Mathematics staff. During 2010-2011 over 150 project titles were available to final year Mathematics undergraduates. These covered a very wide range of mathematical areas and applications including, for example:

  • The very famous 'travelling salesman problem' (also known as 'the lazy waiter'!)
  • The discovery and identification of clustering behaviour in financial markets
  • The mathematics of complex networks such as the web, or even Facebook
  • Applications of statistics to the Premier League, police complaints data and global warming
  • Investigating traffic flow (are traffic lights better than roundabouts?).

In addition to all of these topic areas, our students also have opportunities to study modern theories in quantitative finance, with particular emphasis on the mathematics and computation underlying the powerful and influential financial derivatives (e.g. options) industry. Often termed the ‘Black-Scholes theory’, this is famous for winning its discoverers a Nobel prize, as well as for its misapplication often being blamed, rightly or wrongly for the current worldwide financial crisis.

Most of our projects can be carried out in ways that suit the student's strengths and interests. For example, it is often possible to choose to emphasise concrete applications or abstract theory, and the project can be carried out using theoretical tools only, or computational tools only, or a mixture of both. Using the research experience gained from this module, you will then be able to choose to undertake more advanced project and self-study modules at Level 4 if you wish.

Read more about the structure of undergraduate degrees at Brunel and what you will learn on the course.

Special Features

  • Academic staff with an international reputation
    Learn from the best. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), nearly 60% of our research in the department was rated ‘World Leading’ or ‘Internationally Excellent’. Within London the Department of Mathematics was ranked in the top three.

  • Excellent career prospects
    Past graduates have gone on to work for Accenture, Rank Xerox, IBM, Kodak, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Bank of New York, Nortel, British Aerospace, Merrill Lynch, Abbey, Lloyds, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte and Touche, Coca Cola, Ernst and Young, Virgin Trains, Accenture, HSBC, BT, Deutsche Bank and the BBC.
  • Optional placement year with top UK companies
    You do not have to decide which study mode (with or without placement) until after you have joined us. You can transfer both to and from the sandwich programme during the first year – sometimes even later. Our placement team has developed strong connections with industry. Our students have taken placements within top UK companies such as BUPA, Debenhams, HSBC, IBM, Thomson Reuters, Unilever, Virgin Trains and Walt Disney.
  • Funding for your learning
    Apply for scholarships worth £1,000 per year (excluding placement year)
  • Help to bridge the school-university gap
    University is a step up from school. For this reason, in Level 1 we teach the compulsory material in small group classes of about 20 students for the first few weeks of Term 1. Students and lecturers get to know each other quickly, and the extra attention means that any problems can be picked up quickly.
    • Students that look like they are falling behind are invited to attend extra help sessions throughout the year. In addition, new students are allocated a student mentor from among our Level 2 and 3 student volunteers to give advice and answer questions from a student’s perspective.
    • Students are given the opportunity to reinforce essential mathematical skills from A-level mathematics such as algebraic manipulation and trigonometry – we realise that many students forget some of this material over the summer, so we provide classes to support the re-learning of it.
  • Employability skills workshops
    In addition to a number of university-wide careers and work placement events run by the Brunel Professional Development Centre, the Mathematics department runs three very popular employability skills workshops for all students. Topics include CV writing, job applications and cover letters, testing centres (e.g. psychometric tests), and talks from former students and local employers about how to succeed in the job market. These workshops are spread through levels 1, 2 and 3, and are integrated within the academic programme to encourage full engagement from all students.
  • Group projects applying mathematics to the real world
    All Level 1 students work through three projects during the year on topics that illustrate some diverse applications of mathematics to the real world. These are undertaken in small groups of 4-6 students, guided closely by their personal tutor (an academic staff member).
    • As well as mathematical knowledge, students develop skills using mathematical software and MS Word, writing skills, and group work skills – all highly valued by employers.
    • During 2014-15, projects included modelling interest rates and personal finances when there are student loans, mortgages, other loans and income to consider; creating beautiful fractals and understanding the underlying theory; and the Google PageRank algorithm which searches for web pages and almost always returns the pages you want at the top of the list!
  • Excellent links with business
    Our staff are involved in research programmes that are informed by modern problems in science, technology and business – often working in collaboration with companies. This means:
    • Your degree is designed to meet the needs of industry and the marketplace
    • The latest commercial world developments are included in your course
    • You've a greater choice of high quality, professional placements.
  • A vibrant, friendly, safe campus in a great location near London
    All the advantages of affordable living costs, an international community, world-class sports and social facilities and a thriving arts and social scene.

Accreditation

This programme will meet the educational requirements of the Chartered Mathematician designation, awarded by the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, when it is followed by subsequent training and experience in employment to obtain equivalent competences to those specified by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for taught Master's degrees.

Facts and Figures

  • A Brunel degree is a recognised symbol of quality. Brunel has roots in education dating back to 1798 as well as a very strong technological heritage.
  • Mathematical sciences is one of the largest disciplines at Brunel and has links with many other subject areas.

Teaching and Assessment

Teaching

Up-to-date teaching
Mathematics has an active and dynamic research centre. Our academics' work is frequently supported by external grants and contracts with leading industry and government establishments. Lecturers are consequently at the frontiers of the subject and in active contact with modern users of mathematics. This in turn helps to ensure that our undergraduate degrees are truly up-to-date.

Broad spectrum of thinking
We can offer a wide range of expertise in a variety of subjects. Many of our lecturers are widely published and highly recognised in their fields.

How will I be taught?

We use a range of approaches to help you engage effectively with the subject both through your tutors and working with fellow students:

  • Lectures
    These offer a broad overview of key concepts and ideas – a useful framework from which you can pursue more in-depth study.
  • Tutorials
    Smaller tutorial groups enable you to work on mathematics exercises and finance-related tasks with guidance from a staff member.
  • Computer workshops
    These replace some tutorials in certain modules involving computer-based tasks. This includes some mathematical modules such as statstics and operational research.
  • One-to-one
    In Level 3 you will normally have one-to-one supervision for your major project. We will also allocate you a personal tutor each year who’s available to discuss personal or academic problems. If you go on placement, your personal tutor will help you set objectives and monitor your progress – and provide further support if you need it.
  • Self-study
    You may elect in Level 4 to undertake advanced project work.

Assessment

The ‘exams to coursework’ ratio is around 50:50 in Level 1, increasing to around 70:30 in Level 3.

We base your final degree class on your performance at Levels 2, 3 and 4. Levels 3 and 4 each carry 40% of the weight for your degree classification. Level 2 carries the remaining 20%.

Employability

There is massive demand within financial institutions for mathematically trained graduates with an awareness of markets and their workings. The recent combination of financial deregulation, increased globalisation and technological advance has led to a huge increase in the nature and volume of financial derivatives contracts traded around the world.

As a Brunel Financial Maths graduate you will enjoy excellent employment prospects. Our combination of work experience and up-to-date teaching means that you will be well-equipped to follow the career you want after graduation.

Maybe you want to pursue a career that specifically uses your mathematical or statistical skills, or would prefer a more general career, such as management or consultancy. Either way you will possess key skills that are highly sought after by business – in fact any industry that uses modelling, simulation, cryptography, forecasting, statistics, risk analysis and probability.

Our students often command higher starting salaries – the 13th highest in the UK. View the latest independent rankings from The Complete University Guide.

Careers

These are some of the areas where a maths degree is highly valued:

  • Finance: banking, accountancy, actuarial, tax, underwriter, pensions, insurance
  • Medicine: medical statistics, medical and epidemiological research, pharmaceutical research
  • Design: engineering design, computer games
  • Science: biotechnology, meteorology, oceanography, pure and applied research and development
  • Civil Service: scientists (‘Fast Stream’, DSTL, DESG), GCHQ, security service, statisticians
  • Business: logistics, financial analysis, marketing, market research, sales oil industry, management consultancy, operational research
  • IT: Systems analysis, research
  • Engineering: aerospace, building design, transport planning, telecommunications, surveying.

Work Placements

We know just how much experience counts in the job market. You will have the opportunity to gain invaluable work experience alongside experts in industry, the public sector and commerce – both in the UK or overseas. In fact if you undertake a five year professional placement programme, you are likely to earn some £4,400 more than your three-year course colleagues from ‘Day One’ in your job. (Source: The Brunel report on Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education 2013/14)

At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.

» More about Employability

Fees for 2016/17 entry

UK/EU students: £9,000 full-time; £1,000 placement year; £6,000 final year

International students: £15,400 full-time

See our fees and funding page for full details of scholarships available to Brunel applicants

Entry Criteria 2016/17

  • GCE A-level AAB, including grade A in Mathematics or Further Mathematics.
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma Applicants should apply for the BSc in Financial Mathematics – those who obtain high enough grades can transfer to MMath at the end of Year 2.
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma 33 points, including 6 points in Higher Mathematics.
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma Access courses are not accepted for the MMaths entry. Access students are encouraged to apply for the BSc degree in this subject and if they achieve sufficient grades on year one of the course they can discuss transferring to the MMaths.
  • Information Systems, Computing and Mathematics with an Integrated Foundation Year and Professional Development For Brunel Foundation of Information Systems, Computing and Mathematics progression requirements, see the course page.

In addition 5 GCSEs or equivalent at Grade C or above, to include English and Mathematics, are required.

Please check our Admissions pages for more information on other factors we use to assess applicants as well as our full GCSE requirements and accepted equivalencies in place of GCSEs.

Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.


International and EU Entry Requirements

If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions

This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.

English Language Requirements

  • IELTS: 6 (min 5.5 in all areas)
  • Pearson: 51 (51 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 60% (min 55% in all areas)

Brunel University London strongly recommends that if you will require a Tier 4 visa, you sit your IELTS test at a test centre that has been approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as being a provider of a Secure English Language Test (SELT). Not all test centres have this status. The University can accept IELTS (with the required scores) taken at any official test centre or other English Language qualifications we accept as meeting our main award entry requirements.

However, if you wish to undertake a Pre-sessional English course to further improve your English prior to the start of your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider. This is because you will only be able to apply for a Tier 4 student visa to undertake a Pre-sessional English course if you hold a SELT from a UKVI approved test centre. Find out more information about it.

Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accepts a range of other language courses. We also have Pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.

Our International Pathways and Language Centre offers a number of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course.