Through in-depth study of topics such as financial risk management and stock market analysis, this highly specialised International Financial Markets Masters degree will give you the theoretical knowledge and practical experience to forge a successful career as a trader or financial manager anywhere in the world.
This highly specialised MSc in International Financial Markets offers advanced study in the areas of international financial markets and portfolio management, with an emphasis on equity, bonds, foreign exchange and their various derivatives markets. You’ll examine effective strategies for managing portfolios of these assets and analyse the impact of world events on global financial markets. Innovative practical exercises, such as trading floor simulations and portfolio management assignments, will enhance your professional skills. And our academics’ research and sector expertise, combined with input from guest lecturers from leading financial institutions, will ensure you are up to date with the latest thinking in the sector.
Southampton was one of the first UK universities to offer a specialised masters course in international financial markets, and remains at the leading edge of research and education in this field today. On this course you’ll gain an in-depth understanding of the workings of global financial markets and how they are affected by political and economic events worldwide.
This course is ideal if you are looking to specialise following your undergraduate studies or gain expertise to further your career in the financial sector. It offers an advanced level of study and is therefore suitable for those who have already undertaken some quantitative study, or those with relevant professional experience.
This degree will prepare you for a career as a trader or financial manager in a wide range of settings. These include mutual funds, hedge funds, pension funds, insurance funds, investment analysis and advice, trading in equities, bond, foreign exchange, commodities and a wide variety of derivatives markets, investment banking, private equity, and private wealth management. You could become an investment consultant, corporate treasurer or rating agency analyst, or choose to work in financial journalism, policy, training or regulation. Alternatively, you could further your studies by doing a PhD and become a researcher in academia.
Former students have gone on to work for PwC, Mackenzie, HSBC and Bank of Shanghai.
The course provides you with a strong mathematical background with the skills necessary to apply your expertise to the solution of real finance problems. You will develop skills so that you are able to formulate a well posed problem from a description in financial language, carry out relevant mathematical analysis, develop and implement an appropriate numerical scheme and present and interpret these results.
The course lays the foundation for further research in academia or for a career as a quantitative analyst in a financial or other institution.
You will take three introductory courses in the first week. The introductory courses cover partial differential equations, probability and statistics and MATLAB.
The first term focuses on compulsory core material, offering 80 hours of lectures and 40 hours of classes/practical. The core courses are as follows:
In the second term, three streams are offered; each stream consists of 32 hours of lectures and 16 hours of classes/practical. The Tools stream is mandatory and you will also take either the Modelling stream or the Data-driven stream.
As well as the streams, the course includes a compulsory one-week (24 hours of lectures) intensive module on quantitative risk management which is to be held in/around the week before the third term.
The third term is dedicated to a dissertation project which is to be written on a topic chosen in consultation with your supervisor.
The second component of the financial computing course, Financial Computing with C++ 2 (24 hours of lectures and practicals in total), is held shortly after the third term.
The examination will consist of the following elements:
MSc graduates have been recruited by prominent investment banks and hedge funds. Many past students have also progressed to PhD-level studies at leading universities in Europe and elsewhere.
The primary aim of the MSc in International Shipping and Finance (ISF) is to address the educational needs of the rapidly evolving, highly competitive and capital intensive shipping industry, by bridging the gap between academic theory and business practice.
The programme is designed to provide a unique educational experience that combines research-led, technically advanced teaching by world-renowned academic faculty and senior industry practitioners. The shipping industry itself is highly involved in shaping its structure and contributing to its delivery as well as the career development of its participants. The delivery of this programme is based on a practice centred, hands-on approach. The ultimate objective is to ensure that graduates are equipped with the knowledge, technical expertise and skills required by major employers in the sector.
You will gain an in-depth understanding of how the shipping and financial markets interact and complement each other. You will specialise in the analysis of shipping markets and cycles, maritime trade patterns and commodities carried by sea, chartering and ship-broking practices, maritime logistics systems, legal aspects in shipping, the selection of alternative shipping finance and investment methods as well as the development, implementation and appraisal of shipping related risk management strategies. You will also gain exposure to securities trading, corporate transactions, valuation, investment strategies and quantitative techniques.
Students on the MSc ISF programme also benefit from our partnership with Spinnaker Global as well as memberships of Maritime London and the Baltic Exchange offering them the opportunity to register as associate members during their study.
October – December: Part 1 Autumn Term
January: Part 1 Exams
January-April: Part 2 Spring Term
May – June: Part 2 Exams
June – August (12 month programme only): Part 3
August/Sep (12 month programme only): Part 3 Coursework deadlines
Part 1 compulsory modules
Part 2 compulsory modules
At ICMA centre
Part 2 optional modules (at ICMA centre)
Students on the 9-month (12-month) programme can select 40 (20) credits from the following modules:
Part 3 optional modules
Students on the 12-months programme should take 20 credits from the following:
Students will be resident and undertake full-time study in the UK. Under both, the 9 and 12-month programmes students take compulsory and/or elective modules in Part 2.
The 12 month option involves taking an elective 20 credit module between July and August, which would also mean a 20 credit reduction in the number of taught modules taken in the spring term.
After completion of the programme you will be well equipped with the knowledge for a successful career in the shipping/ transportation industries, as well as in the wider finance sector.
On average more than 90% of our graduates are in work or further education 6 months after graduation.
Indicative career paths for our graduates are ship-owning and transportation companies, ship-broking/chartering firms, shipping divisions of investment banks, shipping analysis/consulting firms, ship-finance arrangers, port operators, and shipping-related investment funds, among others. The wide curriculum of the programme will also enable you to consider careers in the global investment banking and securities markets.
Internship opportunities with leading companies in the shipping industry are available to outstanding MSc ISF graduates. A number of companies have joined our work placement scheme and offer work experience placements to some of our excellent graduates (subject to successful interviews and work permits where applicable). Additional placement and full time opportunities in the shipping industry are also made available to our students on an ad-hoc basis .
Career Advisory Partnership
Along with a full range of career advisory and professional development services available to our students from our dedicated Henley Careers team, students will also benefit from our partnership with Spinnaker Global, the leading shipping recruitment consultancy. As part of our collaboration Spinnaker provides career advice and support to our students and promotes their profiles internationally for internship and full time opportunities.
Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (ICS) Professional Qualification
The programme is accredited by ICS and our students are eligible for 3 exam exemptions from the ICS qualification, which is the maximum number of exemptions offered by the institute. The 3 exemptions offered are for the ICS modules:
Our successful graduates have to take only 4 out of the 7 ICS exams to qualify for the ICS membership.
ICMA Fixed Income Certificate
To obtain the requisite knowledge to pass the rigorous FIC exam, students are required to take the ICMA Centre Fixed Income Cash and Derivatives Markets module at Part 2. In order to receive the FIC certificate, students will need to register and pass the FIC exam through ICMA.
The financial services industry place great emphasis on raising the level of mathematics used in banks in applications to pricing, hedging and risk management. This MSc provides students with the skills necessary in mathematics, statistics and computation for a career in this fast-developing field.
Students will develop a detailed understanding of the application of mathematics, statistics and computation to problems in finance, and will gain the necessary practical tools for the pricing, hedging and risk management of a diverse range of financial products in several asset classes.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of four core modules (60 credits), four optional modules (60 credits) and the research dissertation (60 credits).
A Postgraduate Diploma will be offered to the students that have completed 8 taught modules (120 UCL credits).
A Postgraduate Certificate will be offered to the students that have completed 4 taught modules (60 UCL credits).
Four modules must be chosen from the following list.
All MSc students undertake an independent research project, which culminates in a research report of approximately 10,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, practical classes, tutorials and problem-solving exercises. Assessment is through written papers, coursework, examinations and the research report and presentation.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Financial Mathematics MSc
Many students have progressed to careers in financial services in the City of London or in their home country; a number of graduates have proceeded to a PhD.
Recent career destinations for this degree
The financial services industry requires quantitative finance professionals who are able to analyse data, to program, and who are expert in mathematics and computational statistics. Career prospects for graduates of this programme are excellent.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
UCL Mathematics is an internationally renowned department which carries out excellent individual and group research applying modelling techniques to problems in financial, industrial, biological and environmental areas.
The department hosts a stream of distinguished international visitors. In recent years four staff members have been elected fellows of the Royal Society, and the department publishes the highly regarded research journal Mathematika.
A notable aspect of this applied Master's programme is that students will be educated to an advanced level in statistics and computing.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Mathematics
82% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.