Financial Mathematics with a Professional Placement Year (BSc)
- Subject area: Mathematics
- UCAS code: 15R6
- Next intake: September 2024
- Duration: 4 years
- Mode: Full time with sandwich year
Why study this course
This four-year programme features an employability-enhancing paid placement at an organisation of your choice, providing the ideal preparation for a career in finance.
Professional Placement Year
Spend your third year in paid work as a mathematician or statistician where you can gain valuable work experience and develop your professional skills. We have strong links with industry and a dedicated placements team to help you find a placement and support you during your time there.
Professional award consideration
If you complete the professional training period, you can be considered for the City and Guilds Senior Licentiateship Award (LCGI).
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.
You will be taught in Abacws, the new home for the School of Mathematics. This world-leading facility has been designed in collaboration with students and academic staff to create interdisciplinary, flexible and creative workspaces, with innovative teaching areas being a key feature, including a new simulated Trading Room for financial mathematics.
Professionally accredited course
This degree is accredited by the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA).
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
This four-year version of the degree includes a year of paid work in a mathematician and/or statistician role during year three. You will return to Cardiff following the successful completion of your work placement at the start of the autumn semester ready for your final year of studies.
In a competitive graduate job market, a placement can help you gain extra skills and experience to make you stand out from the crowd. It could help you 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 and might even help you make those all-important decisions about your future.
Our students have completed exciting placements at organisations including HM Revenue & Customs, the Ministry of Defence, Nationwide, BAE Systems and Lloyds Bank.
We accept a combination of A-levels and other qualifications, as well as equivalent international qualifications subject to entry requirements. Typical offers are as follows:
AAB-ABB. Must include grade A in Maths.
Extended/International Project Qualification: Applicants with grade A in the EPQ/IPQ will typically receive an offer one grade lower than the standard offer. Please note that any subject specific requirements must still be met.
Our grade range covers our standard offer and contextual offer. We carefully consider the circumstances in which you've been studying (your contextual data) upon application.
- Eligible students will be given an offer at the lower end of the advertised grade range.
- Where there is no grade range advertised and/or where there are selection processes in place (like an interview) you may receive additional points in the selection process or be guaranteed interview/consideration.
Learn about eligible courses and how contextual data is applied.
34-32 overall or 666-665 in 3 HL subjects. Must include grade 6 in HL Maths or Maths Analysis and Approaches.
From September 2023, there will be a new qualification called the Advanced Skills Baccalaureate Wales (level 3). This qualification will replace the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate (Welsh Baccalaureate). The qualification will continue to be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.
Other essential requirements
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 Student 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.
English language requirements
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 59 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 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.
Other qualifications from inside the UK
DD in a BTEC Diploma in any subject and grade A in A-Level Maths.
Acceptance of T Levels for this programme will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Academic School. Consideration will be given to the T Level grade/subject and grades/subjects achieved at GCSE/Level 2.
Please see our admissions policies for more information about the application process.
Tuition fees for 2024 entry
Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on your fee status. Your fee status could be home, island or overseas.
Learn how we decide your fee status
Fees for home status
We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2024/25 academic year. Fees for the previous year were £9,000.
Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland
We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2024/25 academic year.
Fees for island status
Learn more about the undergraduate fees for students from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.
Fees for overseas status
We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2024/25 academic year.
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.
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.
We're based in one of the UK's most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.
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 2024/2025 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2024.
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 Year One 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 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 Three.
You are free to transfer to the BSc Financial Mathematics degree scheme if you decide not to take the Professional Placement Year.
We will provide help and support to help you find a placement in preparation for year three, however, the responsibility for securing a role rests with you. If you are unable to obtain a placement in year two, you will be transferred to the three-year BSc Financial Mathematics degree.
You are required to pass a minimum of 100 credits to progress to the Professional Placement Year.
|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|
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|Complex Analysis||MA2003||10 credits|
|Real Analysis||MA2006||10 credits|
|Introduction to Number Theory I||MA2011||10 credits|
|Complex Analysis / Dadansoddi Cymhlyg||MA2053||10 credits|
|Dadansoddi Real||MA2056||10 credits|
|Modelling with Differential Equations||MA2320||10 credits|
|Computational Statistics||MA2502||10 credits|
|Mathematical Investigations with Python||MA2760||10 credits|
Year three: Sandwich year
In Year Three, you will commence salaried employment, working as a Mathematician or Statistician at an organisation in the UK or Europe.
If you complete the professional training period you can be considered for the City and Guilds Senior Licentiateship Award (LCGI).
You will have support to apply for a placement, which can be undertaken with a wide range of providers across industry and government including many in financial services, the pharmaceutical industry, and organisations such as the Office for National Statistics.
In Year Four there are no compulsory modules and your options are wide-ranging.
You have the flexibility to specialise in a particular area of Mathematics, or retain a broad set of interests and explore several different areas.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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
HESA Data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2021. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019/20, published by HESA in June 2022.