Finance - Quantitative Finance

The MSc in Quantitative Finance is a balanced programme of finance and computational methods, which will suit numerate, competitive students looking for careers in finance that stretch their quantitative talents.

Ambitious students with an educational background in Economics, Finance or STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) subjects and with a proven quantitative talent will be ideally suited to this programme.

This course covers a broad range of subjects related to the mathematical modelling of financial markets and the pricing and hedging of financial securities. The course equips you with the necessary theoretical, mathematical and computational skills needed to pursue a career in quantitative finance. If you are a competitive student looking for a career in finance that will use your quantitative talents to the full, this is the course for you.

For graduates wishing to pursue further the theoretical dimension to the discipline, the curriculum content provides the perfect basis for a Ph.D. in Finance.

The course was awarded Risk Management Accreditation by the Professional Risk Managers International Association (PRMIA), confirming the suitability of the course for preparing graduates for a career as professional risk managers. Graduating students obtain exemptions to PRMIA level 1 and 2 exams.

The programme can be undertaken on a part-time basis, thus enabling current professionals with the relevant background to combine working life with study, however this is dependent on students' employment commitments. Note that this is not a dedicated part-time programme and that students will be required to attend lectures, tutorials and complete group assignments in conjunction with the full-time cohort, for whom the schedule is primarily during working hours for a block of hours on several days a week. Modules in autumn trimester will be delivered in a compressed format meaning that modules are taught intensively over two 6 week periods, requiring additional attendance at lectures and tutorials. Employer support is therefore essential.

What will I learn?
The course achieves the ideal balance between financial and computational theory and methodology, thereby enabling graduates to critically analyse and develop financial decision-making and risk management tools but also understand specific quantitative models and strategies applied in financial markets.

1. Acquisition of the theoretical, analytical and practical skills needed to manage portfolios of equity, fixed income and derivative securities and develop the tools for managing corporate financial risk.

2. Assimilation of implementation methods for financial models using various programming languages and the application of critical evaluation techniques to the performance of models.

3. The ability to carry out independent research on the uses of financial models, their implementation and their limitations.

How will I benefit?
The course not only attracts graduates from a number of different backgrounds but can also be tailored to a wide variety of academic and professional objectives, providing an enviable array of career options upon graduation.

• A truly specialist preparation for a future career within the finance industry, in a variety of functions including funds management, investment banking, financial engineering and corporate treasury management.

• Exemption from Professional Risk Managers certification examinations, the global standard for the world's top financial risk professionals.

• In the summer term, students can choose from certain summer term modules, or a research project, or in a number of cases, from a limited number of possible internships. With any possible internship opportunity, students may have to go through a competitive process, including potential interviews. The last number of years two thirds of our students acquired internship placements for the summer semester.

The MSc Quantitative Finance programme is aimed at students with a background in an economics, finance or mathematics related discipline to prepare students for a specialist career in the financial services industry as a quantitative analyst or risk manager. The purpose of the programme is to provide mathematically talented students with the knowledge and capacity to be experts in financial decision making under uncertainty using financial economics, mathematics, statistics and computer technology skills (Purpose).

The educational values of the programme are to provide students with the knowledge and capacity to: be experts in financial decision making under uncertainty using financial economics, mathematics and computer skills; be producers as well as informed users of financial models used to aid decision making; critically evaluate these financial models, understanding their uses as well as their limitations; appraise, evaluate and manage financial risk and return; and to manage portfolios of equity, fixed income, foreign exchange, derivative, commodities and energy securities. The programme is externally accredited by a major international risk management organization (education and subject/discipline/professional values).

The learning environment consists of both theoretical and applied components. The theory in lectures is further enhanced with specific examples in small group tutorials. The applied projects covered in lectures are further developed as autonomous group or individual projects using state of art financial databases available in our data room. An internship option is also integrated into the programme (the nature of the learning environment for students).

The programme uses teaching, learning and assessment approaches such as presentations, project work, decision making analysis, work placements, group work, case studies, examinations and includes many stakeholder groups and individuals in the design and delivery of the curriculum (key approaches to teaching, learning and assessment).

Programme Goals:
Programme Goal 1: Our graduates will be current in their knowledge of the theory and practice of quantitative finance and risk management.

Programme Learning Outcomes:
Critically assess financial theories with respect to their relevance and application in the financial industry.
Employ financial economics, mathematics, statistics and computer technology skills needed for problem solving in quantitative finance.

Programme Goals:
Programme Goal 2: Our graduates will be effective communicators in current topics of quantitative finance and risk management.

Programme Learning Outcomes:
Synthesise and summarise data, information and results from financial models and professionally communicate outcomes of the analysis & their recommendations to key stakeholders.
Select and use appropriate communication strategies (oral, written & visual) to communicate challenges in quantitative finance and to advance objectives to meet these challenges.

Programme Goals:
Programme Goal 3: Our graduates will be able to critically evaluate financial modelling issues and their relevance to finance and the wider economy.

Programme Learning Outcomes:
Undertake and present a detailed analysis of a core industry valuation/risk management situation in written and oral forms.
Utilise relevant financial and economic information required as per project specifications, drawing on appropriate databases and literature.

Programme Goals:
Programme Goal 4: Our graduates will be able to comment critically on the relevance and impact of valuation, asset allocation and risk management methods to the wider economy.

Programme Learning Outcomes:
Demonstrate an understanding of diverse business perspectives and the impact of financial models on the business environment.
Appreciate the impact of ethical considerations on individual and collective financial decision making.

Entry requirements

• An honours bachelors degree in:

• Business/Commerce to include a number of quantitative subjects such as Economics or Finance

• a Finance-related-area, Mathematical Finance, Economics, Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science, Engineering or Physics

• with a minimum 2.1 award at NFQ Level 8 (or international equivalent) in a. or b. above.

• Applicants should have demonstrated strong academic ability (a 1.1 or 2.1) in a number of quantitative modules in their degree, such as mathematics, statistics, or econometrics.

• Candidates may be asked to sit the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) subject to individual application.

English Language Requirements
If English is not your first language, an English language qualification is required for admission to all of our programmes. The exception to this rule is if you have completed your primary degree or an entire third level qualification through English, in an English speaking country.

Subjects taught

The 12-month, full-time course covers a broad range of disciplines and skill sets, whilst the personal and professional development of each student is achieved through a defined series of actions and events.

To complete the programme, students must complete twelve core modules. In the summer term students can complete a research project, two option modules or in a small number of cases, apply for a limited number of possible internships. With any possible internship opportunity students have to go through a competitive recruitment process, including interviews with employers, to be selected.

Autumn Trimester
• Capital Markets and Instruments
• Derivative Securities
• Financial Analysis
• Financial Econometrics
• Financial Theory
• Quantitative Methods for Finance

Spring Trimester
• Advanced Derivative Securities
• Advanced Statistical Computing Methods for Finance
• Numerical Methods
• Portfolio & Risk Management

Summer Trimester
• Ethics in Financial Services
Students choose one of the Pathways below:

Pathway A:
• Fixed Income Securities

plus choose two modules from the list below
• Advanced Treasury Management
• Financial Technology
• Mergers and Acquisitions
• Behavioural Finance

Pathway B:
• Fixed Income Securities
• Summer Internship

Pathway C: Research Dissertation

Please be advised that the above is the curriculum for the 20/21 academic year. Options listed are indicative of what has been delivered in previous years but what is offered each acadamic year is subject to change.

Note that on-campus teaching is delivered under prevailing public health guidelines. In the event of a required change to planned delivery, further information about alternative delivery methods (including online delivery) will be confirmed with prospective and incoming students.


1 year full-time, 2 years part-time.


Fees Full-Time EU:
€18,205 (academic year 2020/2021)

Full-Time Non-EU:
€23,950 (academic year 2020/2021)

Part-Time EU
€9,105 per year (academic year 2020/2021)

Part-Time Non-EU
€9,950 per year (academic year 2020/2021)

Important Note: Tuition fees and other charges are subject to change each year

Enrolment dates

Next Intake: September 2020

Post Course Info

Career Opportunities
The MSc in Quantitative Finance from UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School is highly regarded within the financial services industry.

100% of our graduates from this programme were employed after 6 months across a range of industry sectors. (Source: Latest Graduate Outcomes Survey, published in November 2021).

Potential careers for our graduates include:
• Investment banking
• Portfolio management
• Trading
• Quantitative analyst
• Risk manager
• Data Scientist

UCD Careers Network
The UCD Smurfit Career Development Centre team will work with you to define your career path and support you in developing the career-related skills, know-how, and confidence to pursue your post-MSc career goals.

Our holistic programme is designed to support you at key points in your career development. Our programme is structured into three key stages, designed to support you in building and driving your own career.

A variety of workshops, events, one-to-one career appointments and access to a range of online tools and resources prepare you for future opportunities.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time

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