• C++ Programming for Financial Engineering
    Highly recommended by thousands of MFE students. Covers essential C++ topics with applications to financial engineering.
    Python for Finance with Intro to Data Science
    Gain practical understanding of Python to read, understand, and write professional Python code for your first day on the job. Coming soon.
    An Intuition-Based Options Primer for FE
    Ideal for entry level positions interviews and graduate studies, specializing in options trading arbitrage and options valuation models.

[UK] Masters application


New Member

I'm a third year Banking and Finance student from a non-target University, and I want to transition into mathematical finance. My current undergraduate degree lacks rigour compared to Mathematics, Physics, Engineering etc. The most "rigorous" modules I have taken are Empirical Finance (Econometrics), Risk Management, Options and Futures. I am on track to get a first, 80+ in all of my modules, however I feel like a lack of maths is a serious weak point if I apply.

I'm interesting in the programs offered by Imperial, UCL, CASS, Nottingham,

What prerequisite topics should I cover to create a solid mathematical foundation?

I have noted:
  1. Matrix Algebra
  2. Linear Algebra
  3. ODE, PDE
  4. Optimisation
  5. Probability (negative binomial)
I already have a introduction to differentiation, integration, statistics.

Secondly, is it a waste of time if I am not applying to top universities I.e. Oxford, Cambridge, LSE? I feel as they wouldn't entertain me regardless of whether I have self studied.
Last edited:
I do not like your chances at either of them honestly. You could try a PGdip in Maths and then follow this up with an MSc in Mathematical Finance. I am confused as to how you know you wanted to do mathematical finance given you have not studied much math?

Alternatively, take some specific modules at the OU/Birkbeck next year whilst working and then reapply the following year to a MSc programme


New Member
I appreciate your feedback. Would are your thoughts on risk management MSc? I feel like my current skill set is better suited towards it.

I've studied maths until A2 but never continued. I feel dissatisfied with my undergraduate, and If my future is going to be a continuation of this I want to do something more intellectually stimulating.
Risk Management will help you get a job in risk and likely nothing else. That is going to be quantitative stuff, not much comp upside but a stable and growing job market given the focus on risk.


New Member
I think this is a happy medium. Are you able to comment on phd routes for a masters in risk management if I wanted to do quantitative research?
At the top universities you may be hard pressed to find top phd positions if you do not supplement your work experience with additional learning (and I do not mean Coursera, but say professional qualifications and academic related mathematics modules). The reason I say this is most phd applicants to quant finance likely have MSc in quant finance/math/physics etc.


New Member
Honestly, I really do appreciate your input. I could arrange something with my current university for now just get a taster while I decide whether I want to pursue a masters in risk management. Could you share a bit about your background? what you've studied, and what relevant jobs you've worked.