School of Mathematics

Student experience

Our students and graduates share their experience of studying a financial mathematics MSc programme at the University of Edinburgh.

Student blogs

Visit our student blog, "Blogarithms", to learn about what life is like as a maths MSc student here in Edinburgh! Our student bloggers come from all over the world, and study a variety of mathematics MSc programmes.

University of Edinburgh Blogarithms

Graduate testimonials

Jack - MSc Financial Modelling and Optimization graduate

Image of Jack Menton - graduate of Financial Modelling and Optimization MSc

From: Ireland

Currently working: as a Quantitative Analyst for Moody's Analytics

I decided to do an MSc in Financial Modelling and Optimization here in Edinburgh to focus and hone my mathematical skills in the financial sector. I found that my undergraduate degree in Mathematics gave me very valuable analytical and problem-solving skills but did not contain many courses aimed specifically at financial maths. As a result, I found myself looking to develop my skills further and couldn't have chosen a better place than The University of Edinburgh to do that.

The MSc offers an extensive range of courses aimed at developing quantitative skills such as Stochastic Analysis in Finance, Stochastic Control and Optimization Methods in Finance, as well as courses aimed at developing computational skills such as Machine Learning in Python and Numerical Probability and Monte Carlo Methods. The lecturers and staff are extremely qualified and are always more than happy to help with any questions you may have. This was one of the things I liked and benefited from most in the year I spent studying here.

I loved Edinburgh as a city and have made some friends here that I will have for life. There's a great mixture of social and cultural activity, and I never once found myself bored on the weekends with nothing to do. There are also plenty of interesting employment opportunities to be found in Edinburgh after completing the MSc. I ended up finding a job in Edinburgh as a Quantitative Analyst that began a few weeks after I finished the dissertation period of the MSc. I've found that the MSc has prepared me extremely well for a career in quantitative finance and most of the content that I'm seeing in this role was covered in the MSc.

Luming - MSc Computational Mathematical Finance graduate

Image of Luming Wang - graduate of Computational Mathematical Finance MSc

From: China

Currently working: as a Quantitative Research Analyst for a leading security company

The Computational Mathematical Finance programme at the University of Edinburgh is an excellent option for students to further tailor their essential mathematical skills for quantitative financial study. For me, this programme perfectly connected my previous mathematics knowledge with financial related problems, and this was the main reason I chose this programme. 

The program consists of two semesters with one 3-month dissertation project. Those compulsory courses are set to ensure you are prepared with essential bits of fundamental knowledge for your courses in Semester 2. Alongside your compulsory courses, you can take some optional courses. An attractive part of the free selection of optional courses is that students can enrol in other Schools’ courses if they have permission. I picked a course from the School of Informatics to enhance my Python skills, which is really helpful for my career. I found my studies became more challenging in Semester 2 as we were introduced to more real-world modelling problems and more advanced theorems. The most challenging topic for me was the stochastic control, which contains not only stochastic calculus but complicated mathematical models. Fortunately, the teaching staff are knowledgeable, welcoming and always ready to help. You will feel you have really improved after finishing Semester 2.

The School works closely with industrial partners, offering students the chance to have valuable experience working in the industry. I worked with Moody’s Analytics for my dissertation on a topic which was a cutting-edge problem that the company was working on.  The CMF programme can improve students in many aspects. Although it is challenging, it is extremely rewarding. I am now working in the quantitative research team in a leading securities company and I believe this programme must be a huge factor in this.

Aukje - MSc Financial Modelling and Optimization graduate

Image of Aukje Nieuwenhuis - FMO graduate

From: The Netherlands

Currently working: on PhD applications for further study in mathematical finance

During my undergraduate studies in econometrics and operations research, I developed a strong interest in financial theory. Especially topics such as derivative pricing, risk hedging and portfolio optimization, where we apply mathematical theory to present-day problems in the financial markets, appeal to me. Moreover, I am very curious to other cultures and after studying abroad in Sweden for a while, I realized I wanted to go to a foreign country again for my graduate studies. Considering that Edinburgh attracts many international students and the fact that the University of Edinburgh is one of the most prestigious universities in the UK contributed to my ambition to study at this university.

Choosing to study in Edinburgh truly proved to be the best choice I ever made. The FMO programme turned out exactly like I was hoping: a very intensive, in-depth study of financial theory in mathematics. The year has been extremely challenging and rewarding. There are plenty options to tailor the programme as you wish. For me, that meant a more theoretical approach to financial mathematics by choosing my electives and dissertation project accordingly. Other students may favor a more practical/applied programme, for whom the option to engage in an industry-based dissertation project is provided. The lecturers and other university staff are very approachable and try their best to offer support with any issues you may encounter during the year. I was particularly impressed by our personal tutors’ involvement in our studies.

Besides its excellent universities, the city of Edinburgh has a lot more to offer. I absolutely fell in love with the city and its people and cannot wait to hopefully move back to Edinburgh in the future.

Di - MSc Computational Mathematical Finance graduate

Image of Di Wu - graduate of Computational Mathematical Finance MSc

From: China

Currently working: on PhD applications for further study in stochastic analysis

When I was in the undergraduate study, I realized the importance of an MSc which will help me find a job or pursue a PhD. Then I decided to choose the University of Edinburgh which was attractive to me. According to my major of the undergraduate study: Financial Mathematics, I found that the Computational Mathematical Finance MSc programme would be the best choice for me, which was much more practical and theoretical than my undergraduate study. I would be equipped with the “strong” courses and practices, and I may be more competitive in my future career.

After I arrived in Edinburgh, I knew I made a wise choice. I love Edinburgh, and I also love the life in Edinburgh. I not only could have lectures and discuss with tutors in JCMB, acquire knowledge and do programming at the main library, but I also enjoyed spending time with my friends at the Calton Hill, The Meadows and Portobello. Although my studies were challenging, in Edinburgh, my life was always fulfilling and wonderful,

I tried my best to get over all difficulties in my studies and I realized many doors are opened by the difficult courses and the challenging programming practices by studying this MSc, which means I have more choices in my life because I have the strong and competitive mathematical background now. I think I will work one or two years in the financial area, and then I may pursue a mathematical PhD in the future. In my opinion, the University of Edinburgh is still my dream school, and I will work hard to make my dream come true.