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Financial Mathematics with a Professional Placement Year (BSc)

Entry year


This four-year version of our BSc in Financial Mathematics features an employability-enhancing salaried professional placement in a fast-paced financial environment.

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Course overview

Do you want to develop your soft skills and gain some hands-on experience while you delve deeper into the fascinating world of financial mathematics?

To manage the complex financial sector, banks and financial institutions need talented mathematicians who are fluent in the language of finance. This course offers a broad and inspiring curriculum that will expand your understanding of mathematics and help you gain a strong background in this discipline. You will study topics such as, high frequency trading, fund management, time series analysis and stochastic OR models. This will equip you will the knowledge and skills that are essential for jobs in the finance industry.

In a competitive graduate job market, a Professional Placement Year can help you gain extra skills and experience to make you stand out from the crowd. It could help you to secure a permanent role after you graduate, as well as providing real-world context to support your studies. If you're not sure what career path to follow, it's a great opportunity to explore your options. It might help you make those all-important decisions about your future.

Our current students are taking advantage of our strong industry links. They're completing exciting placements in:

  • HM Revenue & Customs
  • Ministry of Defence
  • NHS Wales
  • Nationwide
  • BAE Systems
  • IBM
  • Disney
  • and many more

Distinctive features

Flexible Professional Placement Year - You will complete a year working in a paid role in an organisation and location of your choice.  We have strong links with industry and a dedicated placements team to help you find a placement. You don’t need to start applying for opportunities until the autumn semester of Year Two, so there’s plenty of time to explore your options and decide where you would like to work;

Specialist knowledge - Alongside learning mathematical techniques, you will gain the in-depth knowledge and skills needed to secure a role in the finance industry;

Professional award consideration - If you complete the full-year professional training period you can be considered for the City and Guilds Senior Licentiateship Award (LCGI);

Student satisfaction - We've been voted top among all Russell Group Universities in the main category of Overall Satisfaction in this year’s National Student Survey 2018;

Student support - You will have your own Personal Tutor allocated at the start of the first year as well as weekly tutorials, supervised computer laboratories, and access to daily drop-in sessions for one-to-one support.

Accreditations

UCAS code15R6
Next intakeSeptember 2019
Duration4 years
ModeFull time with sandwich year

Entry requirements

AAA-AAB including an A in Maths. Please note, General Studies will not be accepted.   

Extended Project Qualification: Applicants with grade A in the EPQ will typically receive an offer one grade lower than the standard A level offer. Please note that any subject specific requirements must still be met.

The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate will be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.

DD in BTEC plus A in Maths at A-level. Any BTEC accompanied by Maths A-Level.

Achieve 34-32 overall in the IB Diploma with 6 in HL Maths or achieve the IB Diploma with 665-655 in 3 HL subjects including 6 in Maths  

Alternative qualifications may be accepted. For further information on entry requirements, see the School of Mathematics admissions criteria pages.

GCSE

Grade C or grade 4 in GCSE English Language.

IELTS (academic)

At least 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each sub-score.

TOEFL iBT

At least 90 with minimum scores of 17 for writing, 17 for listening, 18 for reading and 20 for speaking.

PTE Academic

62 with a minimum of 51 in all communicative skills.

Trinity ISE II/III

II: at least two Distinctions and two Merits.
III: at least a Pass in all components.

Other accepted qualifications

Please visit our English Language requirements page for more information on our other accepted language qualifications.

You will require GCSE English Language at grade C or grade 4. Alternatively, IGCSE English First Language or English Second Language will be considered at grade C. 

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2019/20)

Tuition feeDeposit
£9,000None

Visit our tuition fee pages for the latest information.

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Students from outside the EU (2019/20)

Tuition feeDeposit
£20,950None

Visit our tuition fee pages for the latest information.

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Costs for sandwich years

During a sandwich year (e.g. year in industry, placement year or year abroad) a lower fee will apply. Full details can be found on our fees pages.

Additional costs

Course specific equipment

No specific equipment is needed.

Accommodation

We have a range of residences to suit your needs and budget. Find out more on our accommodation pages.

Course structure

This is a four-year full-time degree with year three spent working in industry. The course includes a carefully chosen balance of core modules and optional modules. Modules are worth 10 or 20 credits and you need to earn 120 credits a year. The modules you choose in year two will inform the choices available to you in year three.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2019/20 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2019.

Year one

All of our courses have a core of pure mathematics in Year 1 but you will also take modules in financial mathematics, statistics, computing and operational research.  The finance modules will introduce you to techniques and tools of corporate financial management at firm level. 

Year two

There is a choice of optional modules in year two and the modules you select will inform the choices available to you in year three.  Alongside specialist financial mathematics modules you will continue to broaden your knowledge of areas like statistics and operational research.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Operational ResearchMA026120 credits
Calculus of Several VariablesMA200110 credits
Series and TransformsMA200410 credits
Linear Algebra IIMA200820 credits
Foundations of Probability and StatisticsMA250020 credits
Finance II: Investment ManagementMA280010 credits
Econometrics for Financial MathematicsMA280110 credits
Module titleModule codeCredits
Modelling with Differential EquationsMA023210 credits
Complex AnalysisMA200310 credits
Real AnalysisMA200610 credits
Programming and StatisticsMA250110 credits
Problem SolvingMA290010 credits

Year three: Sandwich year

Year three is spent in salaried employment, working as a mathematician and/or statistician at an organisation in the United Kingdom or Europe.

You will have support to apply for a placement and they can be undertaken with a wide range of providers across industry and government including many in the professional and financial services, the pharmaceutical industry and organisations such as the Office for National Statistics. If you complete the professional training period you can be considered for the City and Guilds Senior Licentiateship Award (LCGI).

Module titleModule codeCredits
Industrial TrainingMA9999120 credits

Year four

The modules available in year four are closely aligned to the research interests of the School. There are no compulsory modules and your options are wide-ranging. As well as taught modules, you may choose a 10-credit or 20-credit project, giving you the opportunity to develop communication and presentational skills and to learn how to apply your mathematical skills to an investigation of your choice.

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

Learning and assessment

How will I be taught?

Teaching is carried out through lectures, small-group tutorials and examples classes. Increased independent learning is encouraged throughout the course.

In all years the classes are used to discuss theoretical concepts and essential mathematical techniques. You are encouraged to undertake additional reading outside of timetabled classes and reflect upon assessments and feedback.

We have established the simulated trading room for students to have opportunities to implement what they have learned in the classroom and to gain a taste of the real financial world and investment decision making scenarios.

How will I be supported?

At the start of each year you will be given a guide to module aims, learning outcomes, methods of assessment, module syllabuses, and reading lists. You will be allocated a personal tutor, a member of the academic staff who will provide pastoral support and academic advice during your course.

All lecturing staff can be contacted by email and have either an ‘open door’ policy for students with specific queries about course material, or a system to book meeting times. The School Office can answer most administrative queries immediately.

During your placement in year three you will work under the day-to-day direction of a supervisor who is a member of the organisation providing the placement. If you are in the UK, university staff will visit you (typically two-three times during the year), to check how the placement is progressing.

You will have access through the Learning Central website to relevant multimedia material, presentations, lecture handouts, bibliographies, further links, electronic exercises and discussion circles. Opportunities for you to reflect on your abilities and performance are available through the Learning Central ‘Personal Development Planning’ module.

The University offers a range of services including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service, and excellent libraries and resource centres.

Further learning support is also available via the University wide Maths Support Service. This provides relaxed and informal daily drop-in sessions where students are encouraged to discuss any elements of their studies with a tutor on a one-to-one or small group basis.

Feedback:

Written feedback and outline solutions on in-course assessment give you an opportunity to reflect on your progress. Further feedback is provided in examples classes and tutorials (in year one) to review problems in more detail and discuss potential solutions. You should discuss any queries related to specific modules with individual lecturers.

How will I be assessed?

Many modules have written examinations at the end of the Autumn or Spring Semesters, with some also having an element of continuous assessment. This may include problem-solving exercises, written reports, computer programs and oral presentations.  Feedback on progress is typically provided through a combination of discussion in class, written comments on submitted work and review of outline solutions to problems. You are encouraged to discuss any queries related to specific modules with individual lecturers.

The grade of your final degree will be based on 20% from your year two studies, 10% from the year three placement and 70% from year four.

You are expected to write reflectively about your industrial placement and about the skills you have developed, and to present a poster on your professional training experience. Industrial supervisors will also be asked to assess your performance during the placement.

What skills will I practise and develop?

You will acquire and develop a range of valuable skills, both discipline specific and more generic employability skills. You will:

  • develop your knowledge of core mathematics including calculus, algebra, analysis and complex variable theory;
  • enhance your understanding of the principles and some of the techniques of proof;
  • develop the skills needed in mathematical reasoning and manipulation;
  • learn how to apply the principles and techniques of mathematical/statistical modelling and formulate and solve mathematical problems;
  • enhance your ability to perform mathematical calculations with attention to precision and logic;
  • develop your self-management and organisational skills;
  • develop your time management and presentational skills through independent and group working.

Careers and placements

Career prospects

You can use your BSc in Financial Mathematics with a Professional Placement Year as a pathway to the workforce where you may meet our alumni working in finance, government, marketing or even agriculture. Or, you might choose to widen your career options to include a range of related fields by completing postgraduate studies in mathematics, the sciences, computing or engineering.

In 2017/18, 89% of the School’s graduates who were available for work reported they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation. Some of our previous students are now working at the Office of National Statistics and the Meteorological Office.

Maths Careers Support

In the Spring semester of your first year, there are a range of masterclasses available to you to help support your future career prospects. The classes cover work experience, CV and covering letters, application forms, interview techniques, and an introduction to LinkedIn.

We have a regularly-updated student jobs board featuring a range of volunteering, internship, placement, and graduate opportunities. Plus, we organise a full programme of student and employer presentations every year with employers, such as Lloyds Banking Group, HSBC, PwC, Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, Sainsburys, Network Rail, GSK, Office of National Statistics, Welsh Government, the MOD, Welsh Water, and the Met Office.

The School of Mathematics also has a Careers Management Skills Programme, presentations by students returning from industry and a range of sponsored prizes awarded for academic achievement.

Placements

The option of spending year three in industry extends the BSc degree to four years. If you decide not to do a placement abroad, you will have two options.  You can change to a three year BSc Mathematics programme, or a degree programme that includes a Year Abroad.  A year of studying abroad will keep the duration of your BSc degree at four years.  This option will be dependent on your academic performance and when you decide to change programmes.

Studying in Welsh

Up to 35% of this course is available through the medium of Welsh. Please contact the Admissions tutor for more information.

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