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Study information

Financial Mathematics with Professional Placement (2023)

1. Programme Title:

Financial Mathematics with Professional Placement

NQF Level:


2. Description of the Programme (as in the Business Approval Form)

This is a specialist Masters programme taught by the College of Engineering, Mathematics, and Physical Sciences (EMPS) in conjunction with the University of Exeter Business School. It provides an ideal introduction to a career in finance for those with a strong mathematical background and you will be able to take advantage of the Business School’s financial expertise as well as the mathematical expertise available in EMPS. This degree programme will prepare you for careers in international banking, international business, or public service.
During the placement, you will be able to apply the knowledge and skills you have developed during Stage 1 of the programme and gain vital experience to using them in a professional environment. These strong professional connections together with the highly relevant curriculum ensure that the graduates will have a significant advantage in the competitive market place.

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

• To provide students with a broad and balanced body of the quantitative and economical theories that underpin the modern financial models and strategies.
• To generate in students an enthusiasm for the subject of financial mathematics and to involve them in an intellectually stimulating and satisfying experience of learning and scholarship.
• To generate in students the ability to understand, evaluate and construct quantitative models of various financial phenomena.
• To prepare students for further research and for employment in the area of financial mathematics.

4. Programme Structure

Your Financial Mathematics programme is a 2-year programme of study at National Qualification Framework (NQF) level (7) (as confirmed against the FHEQ). This programme is divided into 2 ‘Stages’. Each Stage is normally equivalent to an academic year.  The programme is also divided into units of study called ‘modules’ which are assigned a number of ‘credits’. The credit rating of a module is proportional to the total workload, with 1 credit being nominally equivalent to 10 hours of work.
Stage 1 consists of 120 credits taught over Term 1 and Term 2.
Stage 2 consists of a 9-12 months professional placement, during which a dissertation will also be completed and submitted.
Students who do not secure a placement will be transferred to MSc Financial Mathematics, with the approval of the DoE for PGT programmes.  
Exit Awards
If you do not complete the programme you may be able to exit with another qualification.
MSc Financial Mathematics, if you complete Stage 1 and the dissertation (180 credits), fulfilling the programme specifications for this alternative award.
Postgraduate Diploma: At least 120 credits of which 90 or more must be at level M.
Postgraduate Certificate: At least 60 credits of which 45 or more must be at level M.

5. Programme Modules

The following tables describe the programme and constituent modules. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced as a consequence of the annual programme review of this programme. Details of the modules currently offered may be obtained from the College web site

You may take Option Modules as long as any necessary prerequisites have been satisfied, where the timetable allows and if you have not already taken the module in question or an equivalent module. Descriptions of the individual modules are given in full on the College web site


Stage 1

Code Title Credits Compulsory NonCondonable
BEAM047Fundamentals of Financial Management15YesNo
ECMM410Research Methodology15YesNo
MTHM002Methods for Stochastics and Finance15YesNo
MTHM003Analysis and Computation for Finance15YesNo
MTHM006Mathematical Theory of Option Pricing 15YesNo
Select 45 credits:
BEAM029Topics in Financial Economics15NoNo
BEAM032Investment Analysis 115NoNo
BEAM033Banking and Financial Services15NoNo
BEAM035Derivatives Pricing15NoNo
BEAM036Domestic and International Portfolio Management15NoNo
BEAM038Investment Analysis II15NoNo
BEAM046Financial Modelling15NoNo
BEAM050Advanced Corporate Finance15NoNo
BEAM054Alternative Investments15NoNo
BEEM012Applied Econometrics 215NoNo
BEEM102Quantitative and Research Techniques15NoNo
ECMM4XXLevel M Computer Science module15NoNo
MTHM018Dynamical Systems and Chaos15NoNo
MTHM048Ergodic Theory15NoNo
MTHXXXXLevel 3 or Level M Mathematics Modules30NoNo

Optional modules are available subject to approval, pre-requisites, timetabling and availability.

Stage 2

Code Title Credits Compulsory NonCondonable
MTHM021Advanced Mathematics Project60YesYes
MTHM053MSc Professional Placement60YesYes

6. Programme Outcomes Linked to Teaching, Learning & Assessment Methods

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to: Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be accommodated & facilitated by the following learning & teaching and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

A Specialised Subject Skills & Knowledge

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to:
(1) Competence in the essential mathematical, statistical and numerical background required for understanding the principles of mathematical finance and mathematical economics.
(2) Familiarity with the Matlab package, and an ability to use it effectively to solve problems and present results relevant to financial modelling.
(3) Understanding of Itô’s calculus, the Black-Scholes equation and its relevance to derivative pricing.
(4) Ability to construct portfolios, understand asset pricing models, and be able determine the equilibrium expected return of investments.
(5) Ability to construct a project on either an aspect of mathematical financial modelling or on an aspect of investment analysis.

Learning & Teaching Activities

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be accommodated & facilitated by the following learning & teaching and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

The modules will be delivered by a mixture of formal lectures, tutorial classes and computer practical sessions. Example sheets and other assignments will be set and marked by the module leader. Students will be expected to read the assigned texts and for the project module to get useful information from the web and from journals. Assistance will be given during tutorials and office hours will be available for individual students to help overcome any difficulties. Collaborations between groups of students will be encouraged, so as to enable students to learn from each other and to develop teamwork skills. The projects will be individually supervised, with a weekly meeting (typically one hour) between supervisor and student.
The modules MTHM002 and BEEM114 (if taken) will be used to develop (1), and MTHM003 to develop (2). (3) is an important part of MTHM006. The module BEAM044 will develop (4), and the project will ensure (5).


Assessment Methods

These skills will be tested by the marking of coursework, by examination and by the marking of the project.

B Academic Discipline Core Skills & Knowledge

(1)  develop rigorous theoretical arguments based on mathematical reasoning
(2)  master the basic mathematical and computational skills necessary for a deep understanding of economics and finance
(3)  analyse quantitative problems in finance
(4)  interpret financial data in the light of established theories
(5)  access a wide body of research literature and critically appraise it

Learning & Teaching Activities

(1) and (2) Achieved through the modules MTHM002, MTHM003 and BEEM012, and tested through the specific financial modelling modules.
(3) and (4) developed in MTHM006, and the option modules BEAM034, BEAM035, BEAM039, BEEM114, BEEM102.
(5) Developed particularly in the project.

Assessment Methods

These skills will be tested by the marking of coursework, by examination and by the marking of the project.

C Personal / Transferable / Employment Skills & Knowledge

(1)  use software packages for mathematical word processing to produce substantial and well presented documents
(2)  use libraries, databases and the web effectively for research
(3)  work as part of a team
(4)  manage your time effectively
(5)  plan career and personal development

Learning & Teaching Activities

(1) and (2) required for the project
(3) the seminar presentations in ECMM703 will encourage group interactions.
(4) and (5) These will be key aspects for coping with the programme. Each student will have personal tutorial advice to achieve (5).

Assessment Methods

Assessed through the project and the coursework of the modules.

7. Programme Regulations

The programme consists of 240 credits with 120 credits taken at each stage.  The pass mark for award of credit in an individual PG module is 50%.
Condonement is the process that allows you to be awarded credit (and so progress to the next stage or, in the final stage, receive an award), despite failing to achieve a pass mark at a first attempt. You are not entitled to reassessment in condoned credit.
Up to (45/30/20) credits of failure can be condoned on the following conditions:
You must have completed and been assessed in modules amounting to sufficient credit for the final award (i.e. 240 credits for a Masters with Professional Placement; 180 credits for a Masters without Professional Placement; 120 credits for a PGDip; and 60 credits for a PGCert).
You must pass the modules marked with a 'Yes'; in the 'Non-condonable' column in the tables above.
You must achieve an average mark of at least 50% across the full 240 credits of assessment in the stage, including any failed and condoned modules.
Assessment and Awards
The award will normally be based on at least 240 credits of which 210 or more must be at level M
The marking of modules and the classification of awards broadly corresponds to the following percentage marks:
Postgraduate Degrees
Distinction   70%+
Merit            60-69%
Pass            50-59%
Full details of  PGT programmes assessment regulations can be found in the Teaching Quality Assurance Manual (TQA) on the University of Exeter website.  Generic marking criteria are also published here.
Please see the Teaching and Quality Assurance Manual for further guidance.

8. College Support for Students and Students' Learning

In accordance with University policy a system of personal tutors is in place for all students on this programme.  A University-wide statement on such provision is included in the University's TQA Manual.  As a student enrolled on this programme you will receive the personal and academic support of the Programme Coordinator and will have regular scheduled meetings with your Personal Tutor; you may request additional meetings as and when required. The role of personal tutors is to provide you with advice and support for the duration of the programme and extends to providing you with details of how to obtain support and guidance on personal difficulties such as accommodation, financial difficulties and sickness. You can also make an appointment to see individual teaching staff.
Advice, training and guidance will be provided to help you secure your placement, from experience academic staff in Mathematics and the University's Careers and Employability Service. An academic supervisor will support you during your placement and will help you complete the dissertation.
Information Technology (IT) Services provide a wide range of services throughout the Exeter campuses including open access computer rooms, some of which are available 24 hours, 7 days a week.  Help may be obtained through the Helpdesk, and most study bedrooms in halls and flats are linked to the University's campus network.
Additionally, the College has its own dedicated IT support staff, helpdesk and computer facilities which are linked to the wider network, but which also provide access to some specialised software packages.  Email is an important channel of communication between staff and students in the College and an extensive range of web-based information (see ) is maintained for the use of students, including a comprehensive and annually revised student handbook.
The Harrison Learning Resource Centre is generally open during building open hours. The Centre is available for quiet study, with four separate rooms that can be booked for meetings and group work. Amongst its facilities, the Learning Resource Centre has a number of desks, four meeting rooms with large LCD screens, and free use of a photocopier. Also available are core set texts from your module reading lists, and undergraduate and MSc projects from the past two years.
Online Module study resources provide materials for modules that you are registered for, in addition to some useful subject and IT resources. Generic study support resources, library and research skills, past exam papers, and the 'Academic Honesty and Plagiarism' module are also available through the student portal (
Student/Staff Liaison Committee enables students & staff to jointly participate in the management and review of the teaching and learning provision.

10. Admission Criteria

All applications are considered individually on merit. The University is committed to an equal opportunities policy with respect to gender, age, race, sexual orientation and/or disability when dealing with applications. It is also committed to widening access to higher education to students from a diverse range of backgrounds and experience.
Candidates must satisfy the general admissions requirements of the University of Exeter.
The normal entry requirement is a Second Class Honours degree or equivalent in a science or engineering subject, with significant mathematical content.

11. Regulation of Assessment and Academic Standards

Each academic programme in the University is subject to an agreed College assessment and marking strategy, underpinned by institution-wide assessment procedures.
The security of assessment and academic standards is further supported through the appointment of External Examiners for each programme. External Examiners have access to draft papers, course work and examination scripts. They are required to attend the Board of Examiners and to provide an annual report. Annual External Examiner reports are monitored at both College and University level. Their responsibilities are described in the University’s code of practice.  See the University’s TQA Manual for details.

12. Indicators of Quality and Standards

Certain programmes are subject to accreditation and/ or review by professional and statutory regulatory bodies (PSRBs).

14 Awarding Institution University of Exeter
15 Lead College / Teaching Institution College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences
16 Partner College / Institution University of Exeter Business School
17 Programme accredited/validated by
18 Final Award(s) MSc
19 UCAS Code (UG programmes) C736Prof
20 NQF Level of Final Awards(s): 7
21 Credit (CATS and ECTS) 240 credits (120 ECTS)
22 QAA Subject Benchmarking Group (UG and PGT programmes) Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research; Economics
23 Origin Date February 8th 2023 Last Date of Revision: May 9th 2023