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MSc Mathematical Finance (online)

Equip yourself for a career in the finance industry


18 months part-time,
36 months part-time

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Taught entirely online, our MSc in Mathematical Finance will give you the skills you need to work in the financial sector and adapt quickly to new developments in the field.

This distance learning programme builds on the strength and success of the campus-based MSc Mathematical Finance. You'll develop your skills and competence in mathematical and quantitative finance in a flexible learning environment, suitable for a diverse range of students from across the world.

Our team of dedicated academic staff are leaders in their field, and you'll work closely with them through regular one-to-one online tutorials and supervisory sessions.

If you'd like to study this course but feel the need to revise and consolidate your mathematics background before starting, we offer an online pre-sessional course: Mathematics for Quantitative Finance.

We offer two starting points per academic year. These begin on 1 September and 1 February.

Learn more about the study of finance at York.

Flexible learning

This course has built-in flexibility to meet the needs of distance learners from diverse backgrounds, meaning you can study when it suits you

Excellent textbooks and friendly tutors allowed me to master quite sophisticated mathematics and excel in most subjects. Interactive lectures just a mouse-click away provided me with opportunity to study at home, on the move, everywhere! The course is a great way to master a complex discipline for people who lead busy lives.
Valeriy, MSc Mathematical Finance (online)
Fund Management Company, Australia

Course content

The online degree is split into three stages:

  • Certificate Stage
  • Diploma Stage
  • Dissertation Stage

You'll need to complete all three stages to achieve the MSc, but you can exit earlier with either a Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma, depending on your progress.


Induction period

The induction period introduces you to teaching and learning using the online system.

Certificate Stage

Core modules:

Diploma Stage

Core module:

Choose two of the following options:

Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff, and in line with Department/School academic planning.


You'll be provided with a list of topics to choose from, or you can propose your own topic (subject to approval). Dissertation topics are unique for each student, and are typically based on recent publications in leading journals or preprints by leading researchers in the field of mathematical/quantitative finance.

Previous topics include:

  • Construction of martingale measures by maximizing entropy
  • Continuous time limit of the binomial model
  • Estimating volatility using ARCH models
  • Optimal investments using utility functions
  • Liquidity risk by means of VaR
  • Valuation of companies
  • Coherent risk measures
  • Conditional Value at Risk
  • Computer simulations of interest rate models

Throughout the dissertation process you'll submit drafts and received detailed written feedback. You'll have regular one-to-one meetings with your supervisor to discuss the drafts and feedback, review progress and receive advice on any problems you may encounter.

The York approach

Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Use, with a high degree of confidence and sophistication, a range of mathematical models to critically analyse a number of financial securities: stocks, bonds (including the term structure of interest rates), and their derivative securities.
  • Develop mathematical and numerical techniques involved in pricing, hedging and analysing of derivative securities, in both discrete and continuous time models; and solve some concrete derivative pricing problems in financial industry.
  • Use logical reasoning as a basis for the critical analysis of ideas or statements which have a mathematical finance context, and develop independently their own ideas using well founded reasoning.
  • Communicate complex mathematical ideas clearly in both orally and writing, at a level appropriate for the intended audience.
  • Design numerical algorithms and develop computing codes in spreadsheets, programming languages and/or symbolic computation software to implement solutions and prepare relevant documentation.
  • Conduct research on a selected topic of current interest on recent literature in depth; set up the link of recent theoretical developments with modern market practice; write arguments in a clear and rigorous manner.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2024/25

Study modeUK (home) / International and EU
Part-time, distance learning (18 months)
This is the fee per stage (stage 1 - Certificate; stage 2 - Diploma; and stage 3 - Dissertation). Each stage takes six months.
Part-time, distance learning (3 years)
This is the fee per stage (stage 1 - Certificate; stage 2 - Diploma; and stage 3 - Dissertation). Each stage takes one year.

The fees quoted above are payable for each stage of the course. Each stage of the course (Certificate, Diploma, Dissertation) lasts six months or one year.

I found my experience with the MSc programme to be very rewarding. Taking the course helped me to make the transition into quantitative finance coming from a more natural science (mathematical biology) background. I particularly liked the focus and care with which the course approached the mathematics.
Ulrich, MSc Mathematical Finance (online)
Head of Data Analytics at Berenberg Asset Management, Germany

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.

Teaching format

There are two four-month teaching periods in each academic year: 1 October to 31 January and 15 March to 15 July. There are two intakes per year, beginning in September and February, when we also run two-week induction periods for new students.

You'll have the option of following the programme either as fast stream or standard stream. Fast stream students complete each of the three stages, Certificate, Diploma and Dissertation within a single four-month teaching period. Standard stream students need two consecutive teaching periods to complete each stage. Therefore the course can take from 18 months (fast stream) to 36 months (standard stream). To allow maximum flexibility, it is possible to transfer between the two streams between stages. 

Our teaching is informed by the latest research, meaning you can focus on the latest ideas and models. You'll make use of our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), and a range of teaching methods including:

  • Online one-to-one tutorials
  • Interactive presentations with video recordings
  • Discussion forums
  • Dissertations

Your regular one-to-one tutorials will make use of screen sharing and handwriting facilities to allow communication in the symbolic language of mathematics. Interactive presentations are used to describe new concepts you will have to learn and problems classes put them into practice. As well as supporting your learning online, the VLE gives you access to the wider community of staff and students in the Department of Mathematics and you'll be able to discuss modules with your peers through discussion forums.

You'll receive free electronic copies of books from the series Mastering Mathematical Finance, which are a fantastic accompaniment to the course. Original lecture notes will also be provided. You will also gain access to our short videos designed to reinforce your knowledge on certain topics, and are accompanied by a set of dedicated study notes.

While you're working on your dissertation you'll have regular online meetings with your academic supervisor who will offer advice and support. We always aim to give you a supervisor with specialist knowledge of the area you're investigating.


No presence on campus is required, but access to suitable hardware, software and a good internet connection are necessary:


  • PC running Windows 10 or later (it is also possible to use a Mac)
  • Headset (or built-in microphone and speakers)
  • Internet video camera
  • A good internet connection


  • Firewall and/or other settings to allow Skype or Zoom video calls
  • LyX mathematical editor with MikTeX package
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Zoom
  • Microsoft Office 2007 or later

All of this software is free to download for registered students. We offer a dedicated library service for distance learners and you'll have remote access to all of our relevant electronic library resources.

Assessment and feedback

You'll be assessed by regular coursework assignments throughout each module and a recorded online viva at the end of the Certificate and Diploma stages of the programme. The coursework consists of problems and practical tasks that might require the use of software. You'll develop your subject knowledge and analytical skills as well as your ability to apply, implement and interpret theory.

In the dissertation, you'll conduct a piece of applied research. You'll continue to develop your critical reasoning and digital literacy skills, including programming. As this module is a dissertation, your training is rounded off by consistently working on your written communication skills. There is also a recorded online viva at the end of the dissertation stage.

Careers and skills

Upon successful completion of this course, you can embark on careers in trading and pricing derivative financial securities (options, futures, forwards, and the like), fund management, risk management, research and development, or pursue further study to PhD level.

Career opportunities

  • Financial analyst
  • Accountant
  • Credit risk manager
  • Investment manager
  • Risk analyst
  • Statistician

Find out more about our alumni.

Transferable skills

  • Communicate ideas and arguments in written and oral form in a clear and rigorous manner.
  • Apply and implement results in current literature in a practical context.
The topics studied felt relevant and current, and many of the skills I picked up have become key tools in my professional life. Additionally, the study skills, discipline and time-management capabilities that were crucial to succeeding on the course have also proved invaluable for studies for subsequent professional qualifications.
Thomas, MSc Mathematical Finance (online)
Derivatives Trader, London

Entry requirements

Typical offer
Undergraduate degree 2:1 or equivalent in Mathematics or a related subject including certain science degrees. In certain cases we may also consider a 2:2, which would usually come with the condition that you complete the online pre-sessional course in Mathematics for Quantitative Finance with a final grade of at least 60%. If your undergraduate degree is in business, finance or economics with sufficiently strong mathematics background (equivalent to at least two years of university level mathematics courses), then we encourage you to apply also. We welcome students with recent degrees as well as those with work experience in related disciplines and professions.
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Minimum requirement
IELTS (Academic and Indicator) 6.0, minimum 5.5 in each component
Cambridge CEFR B2 First: 169, with no less than 162 in each component
Oxford ELLT 6, minimum of 5 in each component
Duolingo 105, minimum 95 in all other components
LanguageCert SELT B2 with 33/50 in each component
LanguageCert Academic 65 with a minimum of 60 in each component
KITE 426-458, with 396-425 in all other components
Skills for English B2: Pass with Merit overall, with Pass in each component
PTE Academic 55, minimum 51 in each component
TOEFL 79, minimum 17 in Listening, 18 in Reading, 20 in Speaking and 17 in Writing
Trinity ISE III Pass in all components

For more information see our English language requirements.


You can apply and send all your documentation online. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

You can start the course in either September or February.

You should indicate whether you want to undertake the 'Fast' stream (18 months) or the 'Standard' stream (36 months). However, to allow maximum flexibility, it is possible to transfer between the streams at the end of each stage.

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Department of Mathematics