MSc in Mathematical Finance by Online Distance Learning


Program Description

This distance learning programme builds on the strength and success of the campus-based taught MSc in Mathematical Finance at the University of York. The online MSc was launched in September 2009 to run alongside the campus-based programme.

Applications are invited for entry in February 2017 and September 2017. Candidates should submit their application at least 2 weeks before an intake is due to start.

An online Pre-sessional Programme is available for candidates who need to strengthen or consolidate their mathematics background before embarking on the MSc. Such candidates need to apply at least 3 months before an MSc intake is due to start. Admission to the pre-sessional course is at the discretion of the admissions tutor.

Online students will be developing skills and competence in Mathematical and Quantitative Finance which are of direct relevance in the field of work and can open up fantastic employment and progression opportunities.

The online programme has built-in flexibility to meet the needs of distance learners from diverse backgrounds:

  • City and other professionals, who wish to pursue a postgraduate degree programme without disrupting their career commitments;
  • Individuals, companies and professional organisations seeking suitable Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses;
  • Recent university graduates who need to support themselves or their families while continuing their studies to postgraduate level;
  • Students who find it difficult to attend a campus-based programme because of a variety of reasons such as family care commitments or disability;
  • Overseas students who seek a degree in Mathematical Finance from a leading British university but prefer or need to pursue their studies from their home country.


"Studying at York for the MSc in Mathematical Finance was an amazing experience for me. Excellent textbooks and friendly tutors allowed me to master quite sophisticated mathematics and excel in most subjects. Interactive lectures just a mouse-click away provided me with the opportunity to study at home, on the move, everywhere! This is the future of higher education indeed. The course is a great way to master a complex discipline for people who lead busy lives. I believe that having a degree from York was a significant help for advancing my career. The course equipped me with an in-depth understanding of how modern finance works. It gave me confidence and knowledge necessary when going through job interviews. People’s respect was also quite tangible whenever they learned that I have a degree from a leading university."

Valeriy Kovalevskiy (Fund Management Company, Australia)


The distance learning programme is delivered online using Internet conferencing and application sharing software and a web-based Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

Distinctive features are regular 1-to-1 ("Oxbridge style") online tutorials and supervisory sessions.

Interactive presentations are provided on CDs and for downloading via the VLE in lieu of lectures, supported by lecture notes, worked exercises, synchronous 1-to-1 online tutorials and an asynchronous discussion forum.

No presence on campus is required, but access to suitable hardware, software and a good Internet connection are necessary pre-requisites.

The online MSc programme consists of three stages: Certificate, Diploma and Dissertation, preceded by a brief Induction Period.

There are two 4-month teaching periods in each academic year, October-January and March-June, and two intakes per year, in October and March. Completing the online MSc can take from 18 months (Fast Stream) to 36 months (Standard Stream).

Students have remote access to electronic library resources, and full pastoral and study support including a personal supervisor and a dissertation supervisor.

Assessment is by means of written coursework submitted electronically and a recorded online Viva Voce (an oral examination) held at the end of each of the three stages (Certificate, Diploma, Dissertation) of the programme.


Induction Period

Induction Module, no credit-bearing

Certificate Stage

  • Mathematical Methods of Finance (Online Version), 20 credits
  • Discrete Time Modelling and Derivative Securities (Online Version), 20 credits
  • Portfolio Theory and Risk Management (Online Version), 20 credits

Diploma Stage

  • Stochastic Calculus and Black-Scholes Theory (Online Version), 20 credits
  • Numerical and Computing Techniques in Finance (Online Version), 20 credits
  • Modelling of Bonds, Term Structure, and Interest Rate Derivatives (Online Version), 20 credits

Dissertation Stage

Mathematical Finance Dissertation (Online Version), 60 credits

Career Opportunities

There are excellent career prospects for students with a strong mathematical background and a sound understanding of modern financial markets.

A degree in Mathematical Finance provides attractive employment opportunities at investment banks, insurance companies, stock broking firms, unit trusts and pension funds, corporate finance departments, consultancy companies, and other financial institutions worldwide. Graduates can find positions in trading and pricing financial instruments, fund management, risk management, taxation, research and development.

Within non-financial companies in the manufacturing sector, there is also a growing demand for employees with the ability to perform sophisticated quantitative financial analysis and management based on the ever-growing range of financial securities.

The financial sectors in many countries have been experiencing rapid expansion over recent years. Graduates with a degree in Mathematical Finance can expect a strong demand for their skills both in the UK and within the capital markets of their home country.

Students with interest in academic work may also decide to continue on a PhD programme in Mathematical Finance or a related field, for which the MSc provides a sound foundation.

Last updated Jan 2018

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About the School

Founded on principles of excellence, equality and opportunity for all, the University of York opened in 1963 with just 230 students. Since then we have become one of the world's leading universities, ... Read More

Founded on principles of excellence, equality and opportunity for all, the University of York opened in 1963 with just 230 students. Since then we have become one of the world's leading universities, carving out a reputation as an academic powerhouse where a clear focus on excellence has secured national and international recognition alongside longer established institutions. Read less