Financial Mathematics BSc


Fact file - 2018 entry

Financial Mathematics  | BSc Hons
UCAS code
3 years full-time 
A level offer
Required subjects
At least A in mathematics. Required grades depend on whether further mathematics is offered.
IB score
36 (including 6 in maths at Higher Level) 
Course location
University Park Campus 
Course places
250 across all mathematics courses


This course offers you a broad and challenging modern curriculum which will enable you to deepen your understanding of mathematics and gain a substantial background in finance and business economics.
Read full overview

About 70% of the modules taken in this three-year BSc are dedicated to mathematics and statistics. The remaining 30% are taught by the Business School and spread across a range of financial and economics topics such as microeconomics for business, business finance and financial management. No previous knowledge of economics or management/business studies is assumed.

As a graduate you will have developed an understanding of a wide range of mathematical, computational and statistical techniques and will have the competence to apply these to problems arising in the financial world. You will have developed problem-solving skills and an ability to think logically and critically.

Year one 

Two thirds of the first year is devoted to mathematics. You will study core mathematics under the three headings of Calculus, Linear Mathematics and Analytical and Computational Foundations, as well as probability and statistics.

You will benefit from our peer-assisted study support (PASS) scheme, designed specifically to help you settle in. PASS Leaders, who are current maths students, will provide you with a friendly face at the start of your first year and then academic support during that year, through regular PASS sessions.

The remaining third of the first year is comprised of modules devoted to financial topics such as Microeconomics for Business, Financial Accounting and Business Finance.

Year two

Three-quarters of the year is devoted to mathematics, with modules that extend your expertise in probability and statistics, enhance your computational and numerical skills, and develop the more general skills that are important for careers in mathematics and finance. The remaining quarter is devoted to financial modules such as Financial Management, Computational Finance and Financial Reporting.

Year three

At least two-thirds of the year is spent studying more advanced mathematical topics relevant to finance, including modules such as Mathematical Finance, Stochastic Models and Game Theory. You will also choose from a range of financial modules such as Financial Economics, Financial Markets and Corporate Finance.


Entry requirements

A levels: A*AA/AAA/A*AB at A level including at least A in mathematics. Applicants may be asked for one of: A* in A level mathematics, A in A level further mathematics or A in AS level further mathematics. STEP is not required but may be taken into consideration when offered.

A levels in general studies, critical thinking and citizenship studies are not accepted.

IB: 36 overall, including 6 in Mathematics at Higher Level.

English language requirements 

IELTS 6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If you require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you can attend a presessional course at the Centre for English Language Education (CELE), which is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English. Successful students can progress onto their chosen degree course without taking IELTS again.

Alternative qualifications 

For details see our alternative qualifications page

Flexible admissions policy

In recognition of our applicants’ varied experience and educational pathways, The University of Nottingham employs a flexible admissions policy. We may make some applicants an offer lower than advertised, depending on their personal and educational circumstances. Please see the University’s admissions policies and procedures for more information.

Foundation courses

We also accept students who have achieved appropriate grades in the Engineering and Physical Sciences Foundation Certificate.



Typical year one modules

Analytical and Computational Foundations
This module will introduce you to three core concepts and techniques that underpin all maths modules in your degree. These are mathematical reasoning (the language of maths and providing concrete proof of mathematical theorems), an introduction to the computer package MATLAB (its use and application), and basic analysis methods.
You will begin by practising the basic concepts and methods of calculus including limits, functions, and continuity. In the second semester you will move onto more advanced usage of calculus. Topics will be based around the calculus of functions of several variables and include partial derivatives, chain rules, the vector operator grad, Lagrange multipliers and multiple integrals.
Linear Mathematics
This module introduces you to the methods and practices of linear mathematics that you will need in subsequent modules on your course, such as complex numbers, vector algebra and matrix algebra. You will then expand your knowledge to include vector spaces, linear transformations and inner product spaces.
This module offers you the chance to learn about a range of statistical ideas and skills, along with concepts and techniques for modelling and practical data analysis. You will learn to write reports based on these topics which will help you in further studies.
This module provides an introduction to probability by developing a framework for the logic of uncertainty. Random variables and the topics surrounding them will also be introduced. 
Business Finance
This module introduces you to the fundamental concepts of finance, and you’ll learn that there is a relationship between the risk of an investment and the expected returns. You’ll also understand the concept of the time value of money, be able to calculate the present value of multiple future cash flows, and to estimate cost of capital for equity and bonds.
Financial Accounting

Introducing you to the nature and purpose of financial accounting, you’ll study key accounting concepts, the impact of accounting policy selection, accounting standards and the recording and collating of accounting information. Accounting reports, eg income statements, balance sheets and cash flow statements will be developed from accounting data and you’ll gain an understanding of some contemporary accounting issues.

Management Accounting and Decisions

In this module you’ll be introduced to the techniques of management accounting and how they assist in management decision-making. You’ll learn about the development and operations of markets for resources, goods and services and the use of accounting and other information systems for managerial applications. You will learn skills including communicative data interpretation and extrapolation, along with the ability to apply business models to business problems and phenomena.

Microeconomics for Business
This module introduces you to the microeconomic theory of the market and the firm. Topics covered include: market demand; supply and equilibrium; firm production and costs; market structure; perfect competition; monopolistic competition; oligopoly and monopoly. 

Typical year two modules

Introduction to Scientific Computation

In this module you’ll be introduced to basic techniques in numerical methods and numerical analysis. You’ll build upon your core year one modules to generate approximate solutions to problems that may not be easy to analyse. There’ll be a wide range of topics such as iterative methods for nonlinear equations, rounding and truncation errors, polynomial interpolation and orthogonal polynomials.

Differential Equations and Fourier Analysis

In this module you’ll be introduced to Fourier series and integral transforms, including methods of solving linear ordinary and partial differential equations. You’ll explore the wide ranging use of the Fourier series and methods in applied mathematics.

Mathematical Analysis

In this module you will build on the foundation of knowledge gained from your core year one modules in Analytical and Computational Foundations and Calculus. You will learn to follow a rigorous approach needed to produce concrete proof of your workings.

Probability Models and Methods
This module will give you an introduction to the theory of probability and random variables, with particular attention being paid to continuous random variables. Fundamental concepts relating to probability will be discussed in detail, including well-known limit theorems and multivariate normal distribution. You’ll then move on to complex topics such as transition matrices, one-dimensional random walks and absorption probabilities.
Professional Skills for Mathematicians

This module will equip you with the skills needed for graduate employment. You will work on two group projects based on open-ended mathematical topics agreed by your group. You will also work independently to improve you communication skills and learn how to summarise technical mathematical data for a general audience. You will be provided with some commercial and business awareness and explore how to use your mathematical sciences degree for your future career.

Statistical Models and Methods
The first part of this module provides an introduction to statistical concepts and methods and the second introduces a wide range of techniques used in a variety of quantitative subjects. The key concepts of inference including estimation and hypothesis testing will be described as well as practical data analysis and assessment of model adequacy.
Computational Finance

In this module you will be introduced to the fundamentals of finance to provide you with knowledge and understanding of the key finance subjects such as money market, return metric, portfolio models, asset pricing models. It will equip you with the essential techniques applied in financial calculations.

Financial Management

You’ll be introduced to corporate investment and finance and the interaction between them.

Financial Reporting
This module will pay particular attention to the application of financial reporting principles by listed companies and the impact of International Financial Reporting Standards. 

Typical year three modules

Mathematical Finance

In this module the concepts of discrete time Markov chains are explored and used to provide an introduction to probabilistic and stochastic modelling for investment strategies, and for the pricing of financial derivatives in risky markets. You will gain a well-rounded knowledge of contemporary issues which are of importance in research and applications.

In this module a variety of techniques and areas of mathematical optimisation will be covered including Lagrangian methods for optimisation, simplex algorithm linear programming and dynamic programming. You’ll develop techniques for application which can be used outside the mathematical arena. 
Vocational Financial Mathematics
This module involves the application of mathematics to a variety of practical, open-ended problems, typical of those that mathematicians encounter in the financial industry. You will examine specific projects through workshops and student-led group activities. The real-life nature of the problems enables you to develop skills in model development and refinement, report writing and teamwork. 
Coding and Cryptography

In this module you will be introduced to two main topics of coding theory; error-correction codes and cryptography. Within these topics you will learn the main concepts, theorems and techniques and practice applying these with specific examples.

Game Theory
In this module you will explore the connection between numbers and games and how games can be analysed. You will learn about the algorithms of gaming, stemming from many areas of mathematics and computing. You will be able to use the mathematical knowledge you have gained so far on the course to analyse various situations in a logical manner, practising strategic decision-making. 
Statistical Inference

In this module you will explore two main concepts of statistical inference; classical (frequentist) and Bayesian. Topics such as sufficiency, estimating equations, likelihood ratio tests and best-unbiased estimators will be discussed in detail. You will gain knowledge of the theory and concepts underpinning contemporary research in statistical inference and methodology.

Time Series Analysis

This module will provide a general introduction to the analysis of data that arise sequentially in time. Several commonly occurring models will be discussed and their properties derived, along with methods for model identification for real time series data. You will develop techniques for estimating the parameters of a model, assessing its fit and forecasting future values.

Corporate Finance
This module will develop your knowledge of financial decision-making and strategic financial decisions, including takeovers and mergers. 
Financial Analysis
This module uses a combination of lectures and group work to develop your understanding of financial reporting, the links between strategic and financial management, and the ways in which the stock market responds to financial information. The module involves detailed study and critical analysis of the financial strategy and performance of a major UK quoted company. 
Financial Economics
This module presents an introduction to financial economics, focusing on topics such as: the determination of interest rates, the role of financial institutions in the financial and monetary system, banking regulation and risk management in banks.
Financial Markets
This module examines the workings of the major financial markets and looks at the way in which the prices of financial instruments are calculated. Markets for equity and debt are dealt with, as are markets for derivative instruments. You’ll cover the key theoretical models of modern finance, capital asset pricing, and arbitrage pricing, and financial risk management with derivative instruments. 
Stochastic Models

In this module you will develop your knowledge of discrete-time Markov chains by applying them to a range of stochastic models. You will be introduced to Poisson and birth-and-death processes, then you’ll move on to more extensive studies of epidemic models and queuing models with introductions to component and system reliability.



The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. The above list is a sample of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.



Mathematics is a wide-ranging and versatile subject and the list of careers open to you as a mathematics graduate is extensive. Some graduates make specific use of mathematics while others use the more general skills they have gained, such as analysis and problem solving, high-level numeracy and a capacity to learn independently.

Our graduates are in high demand from prospective employers and have been well received into a broad range of careers in commerce, industry, the professions and government. The University of Nottingham is invariably one of the leading UK universities in terms of our graduates being targeted for recruitment by top companies. Our graduates have been well received in a broad spectrum of careers which include:

  • commerce
  • engineering
  • financial Services
  • government
  • industry
  • information technology
  • science

Postgraduate research

Rather than directly entering the employment market upon graduating, you might decide to continue your studies at higher-degree level. Possible areas of postgraduate study include:

  • business studies
  • computer science
  • education
  • engineering
  • finance
  • mathematics
  • statistics

Each year some of our best students choose to stay at Nottingham and join our lively group of postgraduate research students in the School of Mathematical Sciences.

Each research group within the school offers a large number of diverse and interesting projects, across the specialisations of pure mathematics, applied mathematics and probability and statistics.

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2015, 91% of first-degree graduates in the School of Mathematical Sciences who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £23,996 with the highest being £40,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home and EU first-degree graduates, 2014/15. Salaries are calculated based on those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Careers support and advice

Studying for a degree at The University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take. Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate summer internships and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.  

The University of Nottingham is the best university in the UK for graduate employment, according to the 2017 The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide.



Fees and funding

Scholarships and bursaries

The University of Nottingham offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help. For up to date information regarding tuition fees, visit our fees and finance pages.

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £2,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International/EU students

Our International Baccalaureate Diploma Excellence Scholarship is available for select students paying overseas fees who achieve 40 points or above in the International Baccalaureate Diploma. We also offer a range of High Achiever Prizes for students from selected countries, schools and colleges to help with the cost of tuition fees. Find out more about scholarships, fees and finance for international students.

International Orientation Scholarship

The International Orientation Scholarship is awarded to the best international (full-time, non EU) applicants to the school's courses. The scholarship is awarded in subsequent years to students who perform well academically (at the level of a 2:1 Hons degree or better at the first attempt). 

The scholarship value is £2,000 for students on the Financial Mathematics course (G120). Please note that the scholarship will be paid once for each year of study, so if you repeat a year for any reason, the scholarship will not be paid for that repeated year. 

The scholarship will be paid by cheque in December each year, provided you have registered with the university and the school, are on a relevant course on the 1 December census and have paid the first instalment of your fee. 

International Office

The University of Nottingham provides information and advice on financing your degree and managing your finances as an international student. The International Office offers a range of High Achiever Prizes for students from selected schools and colleges to help with the cost of tuition fees.  

Key Information Sets (KIS)

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How to use the data

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.


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