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Financial Mathematics with a Year Abroad (BSc)

Entry year


This four-year programme features an adventure-packed third year studying at one of our partner universities across the globe.

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Course overview

To manage the complex financial sector, banks and financial institutions need talented mathematicians who are fluent in the language of finance.

This course will provide you with a solid foundation in mathematics, whilst also developing knowledge and skills that are essential for jobs in the finance industry, including an understanding of modern financial markets, institutions, investments and policies. You will focus on issues and topics relevant to the computational and market design side of contemporary finance, such as:

  • Complex Systems
  • Trading (in particular high-frequency trading)
  • Fund Management
  • Analytics

On this course, you will study at a university abroad during your third year before returning to Cardiff for a final year. Our School has agreements with universities across the globe, and you will have support to apply for your overseas year.

Studying abroad is a great way to broaden your academic knowledge, immerse yourself in another culture and gain skills that could be valued by employers. Not only can it enhance your CV by demonstrating key skills such as communication, flexibility and collaborative working, it can also provide you with valuable networking opportunities. Above all, it is the start of a new adventure. A chance to experience other cultures and viewpoints, make new friends and share unforgettable experiences.

Distinctive features

Specialist knowledge - Alongside learning a broad range of mathematical techniques, you will gain the in-depth knowledge and skills required to secure a role in the finance, banking and insurance industries.

Year abroad – Spend one year studying at a university abroad where you can learn while you travel and experience the practices and culture of a different country.

Flexible degree schemes – In most cases, you're free to switch between degree programmes at the end of year one if your interests change. You don’t need to choose a university abroad until the beginning of year two, so there’s plenty of time to explore your options and decide where you would like to go.

Support facilities - You will have a personal tutor who is there to offer advice, in confidence, on both academic and non-academic matters, as well as access to weekly tutorials, supervised computer laboratories, and daily drop-in sessions for one-to-one support.

Accreditations

UCAS code15R5
Next intakeSeptember 2020
Duration4 years
ModeFull time with year abroad

"Deciding to go abroad as part of my undergraduate studies was possibly the best decision I've ever made. It offered the chance to travel, meet new people and study at a wide range of universities across the world"                           Matt, Year Abroad in Vancouver

Entry requirements

AAB-ABB including Grade A in Mathematics.  Please note that General Studies are not accepted for entry.  

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. 

36-34 points or 666-665 in 3 Higher Level subjects, to include 6 in Maths.

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

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 Grade C/4. 

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2020/21)

Please see our fee amounts page for the latest information.

Students from outside the EU (2020/21)

Please see our fee amounts page for the latest information.

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 studying abroad. 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 years three and four.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2020/21 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2020.

Year one

In Year One your core modules will cover the foundation areas of Pure Mathematics. You're also able to choose between 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.Much of Year One is common to all of our degree schemes so transfer to another Mathematics degree is normally possible.You are required to pass all first-year modules and achieve an average of at least 50% to proceed to the application stage.

Year two

In Year Two your core modules continue to broaden your knowledge in areas like Statistics and Operational Research. There is a greater choice of specialist financial modules.The modules you select will inform the choices available to you in Year Four.You are free to transfer to the BSc Financial Mathematics degree scheme if you decide not to take the Year Abroad. Your Year Abroad is organised by the School and in some cases, funding is available for travel and living costs.You are required to pass a minimum of 100 credits to progress to the Year Abroad.

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
Mathematical Investigations with PythonMA276010 credits
Problem SolvingMA290010 credits

Year three: Sandwich year

Year Three you will spend a year at a university abroad to experience the practices and culture of a different country. We have partner institutions in a number of European countries, as well as in Australia, Canada, and the USA.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Study AbroadMA9990120 credits

Year four

In Year Four there are no compulsory modules and your options are wide-ranging.As well as taught modules, you can also choose to undertake an individual 10-credit or 20-credit project giving you the opportunity to develop important transferable skills – communication, presentation and time management - and apply your mathematical knowledge 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.

For the placement abroad in year three you will be assigned a personal tutor in the host institution, to give you pastoral support and guidance. The School’s study abroad coordinator will also maintain regular contact to review your personal and academic progress. 

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.

Your year abroad will be assessed on the results from the courses studied in the host institution and a presentation and oral exam at the start of the next term back in Cardiff.

You may also be asked to share your experiences with students considering the study-abroad option.

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.
Mathematics lecture room with students
Mathematics lecture room with students

Careers and placements

Career prospects

You can use your BSc in Financial Mathematics with a Year Abroad 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, company presentations held in the School, presentations by students returning from industry and a range of sponsored prizes awarded for academic achievement.

Placements

The option of spending year three studying abroad extends the BSc degree to four years.  We have agreements with a number of institutions across Europe, the United States, Canada and Australia. In some cases funding is available for travel and living costs.

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 of Professional Placement.  A year of Professional Placement will keep the duration of your BSc degree at four years.  This option may be dependent on your academic performance.

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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