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Course content

On our MSc Algorithmic Trading, we equip you with the core concepts and quantitative methods in high frequency finance, along with the operational skills to use state-of-the-art computational methods for financial modelling.

We enable you to attain an understanding of financial markets at the level of individual trades occurring over sub-millisecond timescales, and apply this to the development of real-time approaches to trading and risk-management.

The course includes hands-on projects on topics such as order book analysis, VWAP & TWAP, pairs trading, statistical arbitrage, and market impact functions. You have the opportunity to study the use of financial market simulators for stress testing trading strategies, and designing electronic trading platforms.

In addition to traditional topics in financial econometrics and market microstructure theory, we put special emphasis on areas:
-Statistical and computational methods
-Modelling trading strategies and predictive services that are deployed by hedge funds
-Algorithmic trading groups
-Derivatives desks
-Risk management departments

Our Centre for Computational Finance and Economic Agents is an innovative and laboratory-based teaching and research centre, with an international reputation for leading-edge, interdisciplinary work combining economic and financial modelling with computational implementation. We are supported by Essex’s highly rated Department of Economics, School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, and Essex Business School.

We are ranked Top 10 in the UK in the 2015 Academic Ranking of World Universities, with more than two-thirds of our research rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent (REF 2014).

Professional accreditation

This degree is accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).This accreditation is increasingly sought by employers, and provides the first stage towards eventual professional registration as a Chartered Engineer (CEng).

Our expert staff

This course is taught by experts with both academic and industrial expertise in the financial and IT sectors. We bring together leading academics in the field from our departments of economics, computer science and business.

Our staff are currently researching the development of real-time trading platforms, new financial econometric models for real-time data, the use of artificially intelligent agents in the study of risk and market-based institutions, operational aspects of financial markets, financial engineering, portfolio and risk management.

More broadly, our research covers a range of topics, from materials science and semiconductor device physics, to the theory of computation and the philosophy of computer science, with most of our research groups based around laboratories offering world-class facilities.

Specialist facilities

We are one of the largest and best resourced computer science and electronic engineering schools in the UK. Our work is supported by extensive networked computer facilities and software aids, together with a wide range of test and instrumentation equipment.
-We have six laboratories that are exclusively for computer science and electronic engineering students. Three are open 24/7, and you have free access to the labs except when there is a scheduled practical class in progress
-All computers run either Windows 7 or are dual boot with Linux
-Software includes Java, Prolog, C++, Perl, Mysql, Matlab, DB2, Microsoft Office, Visual Studio, and Project
-Students have access to CAD tools and simulators for chip design (Xilinx) and computer networks (OPNET)
-We also have specialist facilities for research into areas including non-invasive brain-computer interfaces, intelligent environments, robotics, optoelectronics, video, RF and MW, printed circuit milling, and semiconductors

Your future

We have an extensive network of industrial contacts through our City Associates Board and our alumni, while our expert seminar series gives you the opportunity to work with leading figures from industry.

Our recent graduates have gone on to become quantitative analysts, portfolio managers and software engineers at various institutions, including:
-HSBC
-Mitsubishi UFJ Securities
-Old Mutual
-Bank of England

We also work with the university’s Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Example structure

-CCFEA MSc Dissertation
-Big-Data for Computational Finance
-High Frequency Finance and Empirical Market Microstructure
-Introduction to Financial Market Analysis
-Professional Practice and Research Methodology
-Quantitative Methods in Finance and Trading
-Trading Global Financial Markets
-Cloud Technologies and Systems (optional)
-Constraint Satisfaction for Decision Making (optional)
-Creating and Growing a New Business Venture (optional)
-Digital Signal Processing (optional)
-Evolutionary Computation and Genetic Programming (optional)
-Financial Engineering and Risk Management (optional)
-High Performance Computing (optional)
-Industry Expert Lectures in Finance (optional)
-Learning and Computational Intelligence in Economics and Finance (optional)
-Mathematical Research Techniques Using Matlab (optional)
-Programming in Python (optional)
-Text Analytics (optional)

Visit the Algorithmic Trading - MSc page on the University of Essex website for more details!

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