Quant Guide 2021: WU: Vienna University of Economics and Business

Vienna, Austria

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WU: Vienna University of Economics and Business’s Master in Quantitative Finance has expanded since its last appearance in the Risk.net Quant Guide and ranking, with a significant jump in the number of students accepted. This year, it enrolled 96 students, 76 of whom are international, versus last year’s total of 54. All students take the degree full-time.

Class sizes in compulsory courses have also increased, with 70 students on average taking part in mandatory sessions, against last year’s 40. The programme’s academic directors are Kurt Hornik, the chair of WU’s Institute for Statistics and Mathematics, and professor of banking and finance Stefan Pichler.

Programme manager Dragana Pajic, in concord with staff from some other courses in this year’s guide, says the coronavirus has had both positive and negative impacts on the master’s.

“The downside is that socialising and connecting has been reduced,” she says. “Isolation, especially if you are new to Austria, is a big struggle for our students.

“The biggest positive impact [on WU’s majority-international programme] is that students from all over the world can participate in every course due to distance teaching.”

The move to online teaching has allowed staff to attach new material to many of the existing modules, adds Pajic. One entirely new module has also been incorporated this year, Market Microstructure – Theory and Applications.

Students can tackle one of two offered tracks, each of which contains separate material. The ‘science’ track – designed for students interested in a career in academic finance – requires candidates to attend weekly research seminars and study finance papers, along with a host of specialised electives. The ‘industry’ track, meanwhile, is intended for students who plan on becoming private-sector quants. This track involves problem-solving labs led by industry instructors, plus electives.

View this institution’s entry in the 2020 guide

View other universities and a guide to the metrics tables

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