Quant Guide 2021: Imperial College London

London, UK

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Imperial College London’s MSc in Mathematics and Finance is the highest-ranking UK-based programme in the 2021 Quant Guide, and the second-highest in Europe.

Since the previous edition of the guide, the programme has made impressive progress on graduate wages. It now reports an average base pay of $115,000 over the last two years of graduating classes, an increase of $10,000 on the figure in the 2020 guide.

Other notable developments include the addition of Aitor Muguruza to its ranks of instructors – he was a member of the three-strong team of quants that won the Rising star in quant finance Risk Award in 2020. Also, this month, Paul Bilokon starts teaching computing in C++, a core class in the master’s, in addition to his existing position as a lecturer on advances in machine learning. Bilokon is the former head of credit and core e-trading quant teams at Deutsche Bank, and the founder and current chief executive of consultancy Thalesians, which focuses on quantitative finance, algorithmic trading, machine learning, artificial intelligence and big data.

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, exams have moved online, and teaching is conducted in a mixture of virtual and traditional classrooms, says course director Antoine Jacquier. He grants that it is more difficult to invigilate a remote exam, but points out that the new format has also led to some improvements.

“We are changing the structure of the exams, encouraging more thinking, rather than just repeating lecture content,” he says, adding that the change has provided question-setters an opportunity to make the material more challenging.

Students offer their perspectives on the programme via weekly feedback sessions and Jacquier says opinions are favourable overall. The availability of recorded lectures is popular, and students appreciate the opportunity to subject tough material to repeat viewings.

“We also run weekly ‘cohort-building’ sessions, splitting the class into small groups and working, online with videos, on short problems,” he adds.

“Through them, students get to know each other better – we have been receiving very positive feedback.”

View this institution’s entry in the 2020 guide

View other universities and a guide to the metrics tables

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