Quant Guide 2020: University of Oxford

Oxford, UK

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The University of Oxford’s MSc in Mathematical and Computational Finance – delivered at the university’s Mathematical Institute – has a new programme director this year. Associate professor of mathematics Álvaro Cartea has replaced Michael Monoyios in one of several changes to the staff line-up. New appointments include several renowned quant academics. Professor of mathematics Rama Cont has joined as head of Oxford’s mathematical and computational finance group, while Matteo Burzoni and Renyuan Xu both became research fellows. Katia Babbar has also joined as a visiting research fellow and industry ambassador.

The MSc takes eleventh spot in this year’s rankings, second highest among the European programmes. It has also become more selective since its previous appearance in the quant guide: the most recent cohort contains 24 students versus the prior intake of 33. The programme’s institutional funding arrangements have also changed and several scholarships are now available. The Commonwealth scholarship and the Kellogg College scholarships are merit-based, and the Jardine scholarship is available to students from South-east Asia.

Cartea says the curriculum has evolved to fit the changing “modelling needs” of the financial industry. He points to the inclusion of courses on market microstructure and algorithmic trading, financial data analysis with Python and a course on machine learning. Future additions include a class being readied for 2021 in deep learning applied to finance, he notes. Cartea sees more industry demand for graduates who possess “additional skill sets” – specifically in data science – even among the “more traditional financial organisations”.

In addition to its mandatory and elective modules, the master’s offers two separate courses in financial computing with C++, both introductory and advanced. These comprise over 50 hours of work, divided over two terms. During the third term, students complete dissertation projects on topics of their choice, overseen by a supervisor. They can also elect to take part, concurrently, in an internship during the final term.

View this institution’s entry in the 2019 guide

View other universities and a guide to the metrics tables

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