The course

Course type
Entry date



This programme covers the advanced mathematics that has revolutionised finance since the works of Black, Scholes and Merton in the early 1970's. It is aimed at students who are passionate about mathematics and driven to make a career amongst the many and varied financial institutions throughout the world.

The programme is part of the Maxwell Institute for Mathematical Sciences, the joint research institute of mathematical sciences at the University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt University, and provides an intensive training in the mathematical ideas and tools vital to the finance industry. By developing essential new mathematical concepts, especially in stochastic calculus, and placing the mathematics in the contexts of financial markets, derivative pricing and credit risk, the programme equips students for a range of exciting and potentially lucrative career opportunities.

Programme duration

This full-time taught MSc programme lasts for 12 months.

This programme is delivered jointly between Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh. This allows students to enjoy the benefits of being a fully enrolled student at both univerities and access to all the services and facilities provided by each.

Teaching is delivered by renowned academics from both Heriot-Watt and the University of Edinburgh who are experts in their field and classes will take place across both university campuses.

The MSc degree is awarded jointly by Heriot-Watt and the University of Edinburgh and successful students will receive a degree certificate with both universities named as the awarding bodies.

The application process is currently being administered by Heriot-Watt University and accommodation will therefore be offered in our university managed accommodation.

Course content

   Detailed course guide

Core courses:

  • Derivatives Markets
  • Derivative Pricing and Financial Modelling
  • Financial Markets
  • Discrete-Time Finance
  • Stochastic Analysis in finance
  • Credit Risk Modelling
  • Special Topics, including industry lead projects


  • Statistical Methods
  • Financial Econometrics
  • Time Series Analysis
  • Modern Portfolio Theory
  • Optimisation Methods in Finance
  • Numerical Methods for PDEs
  • Simulation in Finance
  • Deterministic Optimisation Methods in Finance

For more detailed course descriptions, please visit our current student website

Entry requirements

Entry requires a UK 2.1 degree or equivalent in Mathematics, Statistics, or a related subject with a substantial mathematics content from a British or overseas university.

We are looking to train those who not only have a strong background in mathematics, but who also possess the ability to communicate effectively, and have the desire to succeed in a dynamic and competitive industry.

The programme is not suitable for finance professionals without graduate-level mathematical training.

English language requirements

Important: If your first language is not English, or your first degree was not taught in English, we’ll need to see evidence of your English language ability.

The minimum requirement for English language is IELTS 6.5, we also accept TOEFL (scores of 79 and higher).

We also offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement prior to starting your master’s programme:

  • 14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with no more than one skill at 4.5);
  • 10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with minimum of 5.0 in all skills);
  • 6 weeks English (for IELTS 5.5 with minimum of 5.5 in reading & writing and minimum of 5.0 in speaking & listening)

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2017 entry (by residency status)
Status* Full-time
Scotland / Non-UK EU £20090
England / Northern Ireland / Wales £20090
Overseas £23410

* If you are unsure which category you fall in to, you should complete a fee status enquiry form, which allows us to assess your fees.

Scholarships and bursaries

We aim to encourage well-qualified, ambitious students to study with us and we offer a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries to achieve this. Over £6 million worth of opportunities are available in fee and stipend scholarships, and more than 400 students benefit from this support.

View our full range of postgraduate taught scholarships.