Why study this course
This course provides the ideal preparation for a career in finance, banking and insurance.
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
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.
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 will also have the opportunity to complete a year working in industry or studying at a university abroad between year two and three. You don’t need to commit to either of these options until the start of your second year, so there’s plenty of time to decide what you would like to do*.
Support facilities - You will have a personal tutor who is able 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.
Summer placement opportunities – During the summer months, you will have the opportunity to complete paid work as a mathematician or statistician where you can gain valuable work experience and develop your professional skills. Our dedicated placements team can help you find a summer placement and provide support during your time there.
*This would extend the BSc degree to four years and is subject to your academic performance.
AAB-ABB. Must include grade A in Maths.
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 a BTEC Diploma in any subject and grade A in A-Level Maths.
34-32 overall or 666-665 in 3 HL subjects. Must include grade 6 in HL Maths or Maths Analysis and Approaches.
Other UK qualifications may also be accepted, often in lieu of A-levels, but subject requirements must be met. If you are offering non-UK qualifications, our qualification equivalences guide should allow you to calculate what kind of offer you are likely to receive.
Please be aware that this is a general guide, and that some programmes may have more detailed or specific entry requirements which will be reflected in your offer.
Grade C or grade 4 in GCSE English Language.
At least 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each subskill.
At least 90 overall with minimum scores of 17 for writing, 17 for listening, 18 for reading and 20 for speaking.
At least 62 overall 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 must have or be working towards:
- English language or Welsh language at GCSE grade C/4 or an equivalent (such as A-levels). If you require a Tier 4 visa, you must ensure your language qualification complies with UKVI requirements.
We do not accept Critical Thinking, General Studies, Citizenship Studies, or other similar equivalent subjects.
We will accept a combination of BTEC subjects, A-levels, and other qualifications, subject to the course specific grade and subject requirements.
You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course. If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:
- access to computers or devices that can store images
- use of internet and communication tools/devices
- freedom of movement, including the ability to travel to outside of the UK or to undertake a placement/studies outside of Cardiff University
- contact with people related to Cardiff University.
Please see our admissions policies for more information about the application process.
UK and EU students (2021/22)
We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2021/22 academic year. Fees for the previous year were £9,000.
Students from outside the EU (2021/22)
We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2021/22 academic year.
Course specific equipment
No specific equipment is needed.
We have a range of residences to suit your needs and budget. Find out more on our accommodation pages.
This is a three-year full-time degree. 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 2021/22 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2021.
In Year One, your core modules will cover the foundation areas of Pure and Applied 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 Math 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.
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|Elementary Differential Equations||MA1001||10 credits|
|Computing for Mathematics||MA1003||20 credits|
|Foundations of Mathematics I||MA1005||20 credits|
|Foundations of Mathematics II||MA1006||20 credits|
|Linear Algebra I||MA1008||10 credits|
|Introduction to Probability Theory||MA1500||10 credits|
|Statistical Inference||MA1501||10 credits|
|Finance I: Financial Markets and Corporate Financial Management||MA1801||10 credits|
In Year Two, your core modules continue to build foundation knowledge in the areas of Calculus, Algebra, and Analysis. Alongside specialist Financial Mathematics modules, you will continue to broaden your knowledge of areas like Statistics and Operational Research.
The modules you select will inform the choices available to you in Year Three.
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|Calculus of Several Variables||MA2001||10 credits|
|Series and Transforms||MA2004||10 credits|
|Linear Algebra II||MA2008||20 credits|
|Foundations of Probability and Statistics||MA2500||20 credits|
|Operational Research||MA2601||20 credits|
|Finance II: Investment Management||MA2800||10 credits|
|Econometrics for Financial Mathematics||MA2801||10 credits|
In Year Three, 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
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 a simulated trading room to give students the opportunity 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.
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.
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.
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
You can use your BSc in Financial Mathematics 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 science, 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 had gone on to work for companies including 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.
There is the option of taking a year studying at a university abroad between your second and third years. This would extend the BSc degree to four years. You can also change to a degree programme that includes a year of Professional Placement. This would also extend your BSc degree to four years. Both of these options may depend on your academic performance.