Triangle

Course overview

The financial world relies on mathematics and expertise in analytical thinking and problem solving. This course is designed for students who want to:

  • understand more about how the stock markets work
  • learn the principles of business and finance
  • learn about insurance and risk

This accredited course enables you to study mathematics whilst learning key financial principles. The course is run jointly with Nottingham University Business School. Approximately 75% of the teaching is mathematics; the remainder includes finance and business economics modules.

Our research feeds into our teaching. This means we can offer an extensive choice of core and optional modules. The compulsory group project module in the third year gives you the chance to work on specific projects tackled through workshops and student-led group activities.

About financial mathematics at the University of Nottingham

You will study core first-year mathematics modules in topics such as calculus, probability and statistics. This will develop your skills in problem solving and analytical thinking. The year will include an introduction to business and finance, including accounting and insurance.

As you progress to later years of your degree, you will have more flexibility to choose topics from optional modules. In mathematics, you can explore advanced topics in mathematical finance and modelling, whilst developing expertise in finance and risk management in the Business School.

In your final year, you do a compulsory mathematics group project. This gives you the chance to work collaboratively on a substantial financial mathematics problem. You'll be supervised by expert teaching staff. This is an excellent opportunity to develop your report-writing and team-working skills.

Careers and employability

These transferable skills will help in your career planning. Many of our graduates work in roles including corporate finance, international trade and education.

Book your place on our virtual maths masterclass

Why choose this course?

Attend guest lectures

join talks and workshops run by our Industrial Advisory Group and alumni

Hands-on experience

through optional work placement year

Spend time abroad

gain confidence and amazing experiences

Paid research projects

gain research experience through a summer research project

Transferable skills

in group work, presentations and projects

PASS

students in higher years help with first-year topics and support you to settle in

Peer-Assisted Study Support programme

Learn a language

broaden your career options by learning a language alongside your degree


Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2023 entry.

UK entry requirements
A level A*AA/AAA/A*AB
Required subjects

At least A in A level mathematics. Required grades depend on whether A/AS level further mathematics is offered.

IB score IB 36; 6 in maths at Higher Level. For students studying the International Baccalaureate we require Higher Level Maths Analysis and Approaches.

A level

Standard offer

A*AA including A* Mathematics

or

AAA including Mathematics and Further Mathematics

or

AAA including Mathematics, plus A in AS Further Mathematics

or

A*AB including A*A in Mathematics and Further Mathematics

A level General Studies, Critical Thinking and Citizenship Studies are not accepted.

GCSEs

English 4 (C) (or equivalent)

University admissions tests

STEP/MAT/TMUA is not required but may be taken into consideration when offered.

Contextual offers

A Levels - AAB including A in Mathematics or Further Mathematics

This type of offer is given to students who meet our contextual admissions or elite athlete criteria.

Find out more about contextual offers at University of Nottingham

Alternative qualifications

In all cases we require applicants to have at least the equivalent of A level Mathematics, so we typically only accept alternative qualifications when combined with an appropriate grade in A level Mathematics.

Foundation progression options

If you don't meet our entry requirements there is the option to study the Engineering and Physical Sciences Foundation Programme. If you satisfy the progression requirements, you can progress to any of our mathematics courses.

There is a course for UK students and one for EU/international students.

Other foundation year programmes are considered individually, but you must have studied maths at an advanced level (up to A-level standard).

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

You will broaden and deepen your knowledge of mathematical ideas and techniques using a wide variety of different methods of study.

In both academia and the wider world of work, mathematics has become a collaborative discipline, and our degree programme takes this into account. As well as more traditional individual study methods, where you work on challenging mathematical problems, you will also collaborate with other students in group problem solving sessions. You will write about your work in reports and present your findings to your study group.

Teaching methods

  • Computer labs
  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops
  • Problem classes

How you will be assessed

You will be assessed using a combination of examinations, coursework, computing assignments, group projects and presentations. The specific combination of learning activities will depend on your choice of modules and will be aligned with the topics covered.

The first year is a qualifying year but does not count towards your final degree classification. Your final degree classification will be based on marks gained for your second and subsequent years of study. Year two is worth 33% with year three worth 67% of your final marks.

You will be given a copy of our marking criteria which provides guidance on how your work is assessed. Your work will be marked in a timely manner and you will have regular opportunities to give and receive feedback on your progress with your tutor and lecturers.

Assessment methods

  • Coursework
  • Group project
  • Poster presentation
  • Research project
  • Written exam
  • Presentation

Contact time and study hours

The majority of modules are worth 10 or 20 credits. You will study modules totalling 120 credits in each year. As a guide one credit equates to approximately 10 hours of work. During the first year, you will typically spend approximately:

  • 12 hours a week in lectures
  • 4 hours a week in problem classes
  • 1 hour each week in tutorials with your personal tutor
  • 1 hour a week in computing workshops across the Autumn and Spring terms
  • 1 hour each fortnight in student-led academic mentoring Peer-Assisted Study Support (PASS)

You can attend optional drop-in sessions each week up to a maximum of three hours and the remaining time will be spent in independent study.

In later years, you are likely to spend approximately 12 hours per week in lectures subject to your module selection.

In your first year you will meet with your personal tutor every week during term time. In small groups of 5-6 students, you'll run through core topics and practice working together in a group to solve problems and communicate mathematics effectively.

All of our modules are delivered by lecturers or professors. PhD students sometimes support problem classes and computing workshops in their areas of expertise. Lectures in the first two years often include at least 200 students but class sizes are much more variable in the third year subject to module selection.

Study abroad

You have the opportunity to apply to study abroad as part of this course, living and learning in a different culture.

Benefits of studying abroad

  • Gain a global perspective of mathematics
  • Meet new people from all over the world
  • Improve your communication skills, confidence and independence

We provide support throughout the process, including an academic advisor and a dedicated team to help you with the practicalities.

International semester abroad

You can apply to spend part of your third year abroad. This could be at one of our international partner universities, studying in English; or at one of our European partners, which will give you the unique opportunity to combine mathematics with learning a foreign language.

Possible destinations include:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • USA

Finance

You’ll pay a reduced tuition fee for the time that you’re abroad and the University also offers a range of funding opportunities, as well as external funding being available.

 

Year in industry

A placement year can improve your employability.

You can apply to do a placement year between years two and three. This would add an extra year to your degree. You'll pay a reduced tuition fee for this year.

It is your responsibility to find a position but you'll have help from the school and the Careers and Employability Service. It could be in the UK or abroad. While on placement, you'll be supported by a Placement Tutor.

If you are interested in spending a year in industry as part of your degree, find out more about the Optional placement year.

Placements

Some students choose to do a summer placement to improve their employability. The Careers and Employability service can help you with this.

Find out more

Study Abroad and the Year in Industry are subject to students meeting minimum academic requirements. Opportunities may change at any time for a number of reasons, including curriculum developments, changes to arrangements with partner universities, travel restrictions or other circumstances outside of the university’s control. Every effort will be made to update information as quickly as possible should a change occur.

Modules

Two thirds of the first year is devoted to mathematics, with the remainder covering financial topics.

Through these core modules, you will gain foundational knowledge and skills to pursue advanced topics in any area of mathematics in subsequent years.

Core modules

Analysis and Calculus

Calculus provides the basic, underpinning mathematics for much of modern technology, from the design of chemical reactors and high-speed trains, to models for gene networks and space missions.

The basic ideas that underpin calculus are functions and limits. To study these rigorously you need to learn about the tools of mathematical analysis. In addition to differential equations and the calculus of functions of one or more variables and their differentiation, integration and analysis, you will learn the basics of logic and how to construct rigorous proofs.

Linear Algebra

Linear algebra underpins many areas of modern mathematics. The basic objects that you will study in this module are vectors, matrices and linear transformations. Topics covered include:

  • vector geometry
  • matrix algebra
  • vector spaces
  • linear systems of equations
  • eigenvalues and eigenvectors
  • inner product spaces.

The mathematical tools that you study in this module are fundamental to many mathematical, statistical, and computational models of the real world.

Probability 1

Probability theory allows us to assess risk when calculating insurance premiums. It can help when making investment decisions. It can be used to estimate the impact that government policy will have on climate change or the spread of disease. 

You will study the theory and practice of discrete and continuous probability, including topics such as:

  • Bayes’ theorem
  • multivariate random variables
  • probability distributions
  • the central limit theorem
Programming for Mathematics

There is no area of modern mathematics that does not use computational methods to make progress on problems with which the human brain is unable to cope due to the volume of calculations required.

Scientific computation underpins many technological developments in all sectors of the economy. You'll learn how to write code for mathematical applications using Python.

Python is a freely available, widely-used computer language. No previous computing knowledge will be assumed. It will be used throughout your degree programme.

Statistics 1

Statistics is concerned with methods for collecting, organising, summarising, presenting and analysing data. It enables us to draw valid conclusions and make reasonable decisions based on statistical analysis. It can be used to answer a diverse range of questions in areas such as the pharmaceuticals industry, economic planning and finance. 

The module covers statistical inference, you'll learn how to analyse, interpret and report data. Topics that you’ll learn about include:

  • point estimators and confidence intervals
  • hypothesis testing
  • linear regression
  • goodness-of-fit tests
Fundamentals of Financial and Management Accounting

This module covers:

  • key accounting concepts
  • the impact of accounting policy selection
  • the recording and collating of accounting information, including double entry bookkeeping
  • preparation of financial statement from accounting data
  • cost concepts and allocation of manufacturing overheads
  • absorption and variable costing
  • cost-volume-profit analysis
  • relevant costing
  • budgeting
Insurance in a Risky World

The module examines how insurance markets operate to satisfy commercial and individual customers' demand for protection against risk, and would usually include:

  • introduction to insurance
  • private and social insurance
  • the historical development of insurance
  • why buy property/liability insurance
  • why buy life, health and pensions insurance
  • the supply of insurance
  • Lloyd's and the London Insurance Market
  • how is insurance distributed to consumers
  • the role of insurance in the economy
  • international aspects of insurance
  • insurance and catastrophes
Business Finance

This module provides an introduction to the fundamental concepts of finance and will help you:

  • understand that there is a relationship between the risk of an investment and the expected returns
  • understand the concept of the time value of money and be able to calculate the present value of a single and multiple future cash flows
  • to be able to apply NPV to project appraisal in realistic situations
  • understand the fundamental ideas or portfolio theory and be able to apply the CAPM
  • to be able to estimate cost of capital for equity (CAPM and dividend growth model) and bonds (market value and IRR)
The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Thursday 28 April 2022.

You will study a total of 120 credits. 100 credits will be maths modules and the remaining 20 are finance-based modules.

During this year you will benefit from modules informed and developed alongside alumni and employers, ensuring they are topical and relevant for future careers.

Core modules

Differential Equations

This module introduces various analytical methods for the solution of ordinary and partial differential equations.

You will begin by studying asymptotic techniques, which can be used when the equations involve a small parameter, which is often the case. We will also study some aspects of dynamical systems theory, which has wide applicability to models of real world problems.

Probability 2

This module will develop your understanding of probability theory and random variables from Probability 1. There's particular attention paid to continuous random variables.

Fundamental concepts relating to probability will be discussed in detail, including limit theorems and the multivariate normal distribution. You will then progress onto more advanced topics such as transition matrices, one-dimensional random walks and absorption probabilities.

Real and Complex Analysis

This module will further develop your understanding of the tools of real and complex analysis. This provides you with a solid foundation for subsequent modules in metric and topological spaces, relativity, and numerical analysis.

You’ll study topics such as:

  • the Bolzano-Weierstrass Theorem
  • norms, sequences and series of functions
  • differentiability
  • the Riemann integral

You will also learn about functions of complex variables and study topics including, analyticity, Laurent series, contour integrals and residue calculus and its applications.

Scientific Computation

Most mathematical problems cannot be solved analytically or would take too long to solve by hand. Instead, computational algorithms must be used. 

Scientific Computation teaches you about algorithms for approximating functions, derivatives, and integrals, and for solving many types of equation.

Statistics 2

The first part of this module provides you with an introduction to statistical concepts and methods. The second part 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.

Vector Calculus

This module teaches you the mathematical foundations of multidimensional differential and integral calculus of scalar and vector functions. This provides essential background for later study involving mathematical modelling with differential equations, such as fluid dynamics and mathematical physics. You will learn about vector differential operators, the divergence theorem and Stokes’ theorem, as well as meeting various curvilinear coordinate systems.

Optional

You must choose one of the following:

Corporate Finance

This module concentrates on the major investment and financing decisions made by managers within a firm.

Economic Principles

This module introduces you to the microeconomic theory of the market, firm and consumer, and to the nature and scope of the macroeconomic policy agenda, developing the analytical frameworks necessary for the evaluation of policy instruments. The module enables you to understand the economic arguments that underlie different views and to evaluate relevant arguments.

Topics include: market demand, supply and equilibrium; firm production and costs; market structure (perfect competition, oligopoly, monopoly); consumer theory; market failure; asymmetric information; externalities; aggregate demand; money and interest rates; aggregate supply; unemployment and inflation; balance of payments and exchange rates.

This module provides you with the opportunity to apply for CIMA accreditation in the CIMA paper: Fundamentals of Business Economics. It also provides you with the foundations to build upon in quantitative and econometric modules which provides you with the opportunity to apply for additional CIMA accreditation.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on

Three-quarters of the year is spent studying more advanced mathematical topics relevant to finance with the remainder being chosen from a range of financial modules.

The compulsory group project allows you to consolidate your mathematical knowledge and understanding whilst gaining experience of working collaboratively to solve complex problems.

Core modules

Mathematics Group Projects

This module involves the application of mathematics to a variety of practical, open-ended problems - typical of those that mathematicians encounter in industry and commerce.

Specific projects are tackled through workshops and student-led group activities. The real-life nature of the problems requires you to develop skills in model development and refinement, report writing and teamwork. There are various streams within the module, for example:

  • Pure Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Data Analysis
  • Mathematical Physics

This ensures that you can work in the area that you find most interesting.

Mathematical Finance

You will explore the concepts of discrete time Markov chains to understand how they used. We will also provide an introduction to probabilistic and stochastic modelling of investment strategies, and for the pricing of financial derivatives in risky markets.

You will gain well-rounded knowledge of contemporary issues which are of importance in research and workplace applications.

Optional mathematics modules

You must take 50 credits from the following:

Coding and Cryptography

This module provides an introduction to coding theory in particular to error-correcting codes and their uses and applications. You’ll learn cryptography, including classical mono- and polyalphabetic ciphers.  There will also be a focus on modern public key cryptography and digital signatures, their uses and applications.

Game Theory

Game theory is relevant to many branches of mathematics (and computing); the emphasis here is primarily algorithmic. The module starts with an investigation into normal-form games, including strategic dominance, Nash equilibria, and the Prisoner’s Dilemma. 

We look at tree-searching, including alpha-beta pruning, the ‘killer’ heuristic and its relatives. It then turns to the mathematical theory of games, exploring the connection between numbers and games, including Sprague-Grundy theory and the reduction of impartial games to Nim.

Optimisation

In this module a variety of techniques of mathematical optimisation will be covered including Lagrangian methods for optimisation, simplex algorithm linear programming and dynamic programming.

These techniques have a wide range of applications to real world problems, in which a process or system needs to be made to perform optimally.

Statistical Inference

This module is concerned with the two main theories of statistical inference, namely classical (frequentist) inference and Bayesian inference.

You will explore the following topics in detail:

  • sufficiency
  • estimating equations
  • likelihood ratio tests
  • best-unbiased estimators

There is special emphasis on the exponential family of distributions, which includes many standard distributions such as the normal, Poisson, binomial and gamma.

Scientific Computation and Numerical Analysis

You'll learn how to use numerical techniques for determining the approximate solution of ordinary and partial differential equations where a solution cannot be found through analytical methods alone. You will also cover topics in numerical linear algebra, discovering how to solve very large systems of equations and find their eigenvalues and eigenvectors using a computer.

Stochastic Models

This module 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. You will then move onto more extensive studies of epidemic models and queuing models, with introductions to component and system reliability.

Optional finance modules

You must take 30 credits from the following:

Financial Economics

This module will offer an introduction to some theoretical concepts related to the allocation of risk by financial institutions. Then it will apply these concepts to the analysis of financial and banking crises.

Financial Markets: Theory and Computation

This module examines the workings of the major financial markets. Markets for equity and debt are dealt with (money and foreign exchange markets are also the focus) as are markets for derivative instruments. The module covers the key theoretical models of modern finance, key market conventions and mechanisms, financial risk management with derivative instruments.

International Finance

This module discusses and analyses the management of the international finance function of firms. Typical issues include:

  • foreign exchange markets
  • foreign exchange and other international risks
  • international financial markets
  • international investment decisions
  • foreign trade 
Risk, Information and Insurance

This module examines individual decision-making under conditions of risk and uncertainty, and investigates the effectiveness of insurance as a means of controlling risk.

Risk Management Decisions

This module will introduce the different aspects of corporate risk and examine how the risk of fortuitous loss may affect the various stakeholders in the operations of firms.

Risk Management Processes

This module will discuss the processes utilised by corporate enterprises to manage the risk of fortuitous loss. Once corporate risks have been identified and their impact on the firm measured, risk management attempts to control the size and frequency of loss, and to finance those fortuitous losses which do occur. 

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on
  • Become a PASS leader in your second or third year. Teaching first-year students reinforces your own mathematical knowledge. It develops communication, organisational and time management skills which can help to enhance your CV when you start applying for jobs
  • The Nottingham Internship Scheme provides a range of  paid work experience opportunities and internships throughout the year
  • The Nottingham Advantage Award is our free scheme to boost your employability. There are over 200 extracurricular activities to choose from
  • The University of Nottingham Mathematics Society offers students a chance to enjoy various activities with others also studying mathematics. Examples of events they arrange are formal balls, river cruises, sport and other social activities. They also organise careers events and subject talks by guest speakers featuring popular maths topics.

Fees and funding

UK students

£9,250
Per year

International students

To be confirmed in 2022*
Keep checking back for more information

*For full details including fees for part-time students and reduced fees during your time studying abroad or on placement (where applicable), see our fees page.

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you may be asked to complete a fee status questionnaire and your answers will be assessed using guidance issued by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) .

Additional costs

As a student on this course, you should factor some additional costs into your budget, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses.

Books

You should be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies.

Printing

Due to our commitment to sustainability, we don’t print lecture notes but these are available digitally. 

Study abroad

If you study abroad, you need to consider the travel and living costs associated with your country of choice. This may include visa costs and medical insurance. 

Equipment

To support your studies, the university recommends you have a suitable laptop to work on when on or off campus. If you already have a device, it is unlikely you will need a new one in the short term. If you are looking into buying a new device, we recommend you buy a Windows laptop, as it is more flexible and many software packages you will need are only compatible with Windows.

Although you won’t need a very powerful computer, it is wise to choose one that will last. The University has prepared a set of recommended specifications to help you choose a suitable laptop.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties and you are struggling to manage your costs, the Hardship Funds may be able to assist you.

Scholarships and bursaries

School scholarships

We offer an international orientation scholarship of £2,000 to the best international (full-time, non EU) applicants on this course.

It will be paid at most once for each year of study. If you repeat a year for any reason, the scholarship will not be paid for that repeated year. 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 will be paid in December each year provided you have:

  • completed your registration
  • been recorded as a student on a relevant course in the 1 December census
  • paid the first instalment of your fee

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £1,000 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 students

We offer a range of international undergraduate scholarships for high-achieving international scholars who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers.

International scholarships

Careers

Mathematics is a broad and versatile subject leading to many possible careers. Skilled mathematicians are found in a variety of organisations, in lots of different sectors.

Our graduates are helping to shape the future in many sectors including data analysis, finance and IT. Many work in science, engineering or consultancy, others pursue careers within government departments. Some graduates choose a career in mathematical research.

The knowledge and skills that you will gain during this degree, can typically lead to roles working as:

  • Actuarial analyst
  • Financial auditor
  • Forensic accountant
  • Trainee chartered accountant
  • Maths teacher

Graduate destinations include:

  • Co-op
  • Lewis Golden LLP
  • Saint Peter's School

Read our alumni profiles for the sort of jobs our graduates go on to do.

Further study

Each year some students choose to stay at Nottingham and join our lively group of postgraduate research students.

Average starting salary and career progression

86.8% of undergraduates from the School of Mathematical Sciences secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary for these graduates was £27,295.*

* Data from University of Nottingham graduates, 2017-2019. HESA Graduate Outcomes. Sample sizes vary. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

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 work experience placements 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 consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers (Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2020, High Fliers Research).

Institute of Mathematics and its Applications

This programme will meet the educational requirements of the Chartered Mathematician designation, awarded by the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, when it is followed by subsequent training and experience in employment to obtain equivalent competences to those specified by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for taught masters degrees.

Dummy placeholder image
" I wanted to be able to learn maths in a more practical sense. Financial maths is all about applying the maths you learn to real-life situations. Not only is it really interesting but it is also really useful when applying for jobs. "
Poppy Farrow, Financial Mathematics BSc

Related courses

Important information

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.