The course

Full-time, Part-time, Per course
Course type
Entry date


MACS postgraduate scholarships

Some scholarships of £3,500 will be awarded to outstanding applicants to our MSc in Actuarial Management. Find out more.

You may also be interested in the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) Key Skills Funded Places available to MACS Students. A number of full fee bursaries are available to applicants permanently resident in Scotland. Find out more.


*Important note for 2017/18 applicants* 

The MSc in Quantitative Financial Engineering (QFE) is currently going through an exciting modication. For the academic year 2017/18 QFE is to be amalgamated into the MSc in Quantitative Finance and Mathematics (QFM), alongside the MSc in Quantitative Financial Risk Management (QFRM). This programme will retain the QFM title and will continue to offer all of the courses currently provided by QFE, as well as all those in QFM and QFRM.

This is the first joint programme Heriot-Watt has offered between the Mathematics and Actuarial, Mathematics & Statistics departments and is a very exciting step for the School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences. A full list of courses to be offered on this programme will be available on the QFM postgraduate page on the 28th September, however in the meantime you can still apply via this page or find out more by contacting the programme director, Dr Simon Malham (


MSc Quantitative Finance and Mathematics Overview

This innovative programme introduces modern mathematical techniques and financial modelling for students with a mathematical background. In particular it introduces the probability and stochastics often not included in standard mathematics degrees.

The programme has been designed with the practical and pragmatic aspects of mathematical finance in mind, to provide you with relevant and modern skills relating to structured finance in demand in the UK and internationally.

There are courses in Derivative Markets and Pricing and Modern Portfolio Theory, and there is large scope for industry oriented modelling, computation and simulation. This is reflected in courses in numerical and stochastic simulation as well as the Research and Industry Topics course which includes industry projects via the Scottish Financial Risk Academy covering topics such as market, credit, operational, liquidity, energy and commodity risk. Summer placements with industry are also offered.

The emphasis is on possessing a broad range of skills in demand in the finance industry. The aim is to understand, both quantitatively and qualitatively, the risks and uncertainty involved. The wide range of optional courses available within this context, allows you to tailor your learning experience to your interests.

A distinguished set of courses will exempt you from the examinations of the Professional Risk Managers International Association (PRMIA) Levels I and II, a world-renowned qualification.

Students who graduate from the programme will have excellent employment prospects that are not restricted to any one narrow sector of financial services. Watch the video.

Programme duration

  • The full-time MSc programme lasts for 12 months.
  • The part-time MSc programme lasts for 24 months.


Course content

   Detailed course guide

Additional information

The taught component of the degree makes up 120 credits. There are seven mandatory courses leading to 75 credits and consisting of:

  • Enterprise Risk Management (15 credits, Semesters 1) - a comprehensive treatment of Financial Risk Management focusing on quantitative aspects.
  • Derivative Markets and Pricing (15 credits, Semester 1) - an introduction to derivative markets and how derivative products are priced.
  • Modelling and Tools (15 credits, Semester 2) - the fundamental techniques of deterministic and probabilistic mathematical modelling.
  • Financial Engineering (15 credits, Semester 2) - provides a thorough grounding in the mathematics underpinning Financial Engineering. Topics include non-standard derivatives, securitisation and structuring, modelling interest rates (including Libor Market Models and valuing swaptions) and contemporary issues in asset management (relative value and pairs trading strategies).
  • Credit Risk Modelling (15 credits, Semester 2) - a detailed treatment of the mathematics underpinning Basel Accord on banking supervision and Solvency II for insurance.

Students will also choose three of the following five optional courses leading to a further 45 credits

  • Statistical Methods (15 credits, Semester 1) - a foundation course in probability and statistics.
  • Financial markets (15 credits, Semester 1) - an introduction to the financial markets.
  • Time Series Analysis and Financial Econometrics (15 credits, Semester 2) - analysis and modelling of financial data.
  • Modern Portfolio Theory (15 credits, Semester 2) - classical portfolio theory based on maximising expected utility
  • Bayesian Inference & Computational Methods (15 credits, Semester 2) - a course on modern Bayesian statistical inference and involving implementing the Bayesian approach in practical situations

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

Additional information

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 Part-time Per course
Scotland / Non-UK EU £19100 £1880 / £4190**
England / Northern Ireland / Wales £19100 £1880 / £4190**
Overseas £19100 £1880 / £4190**

* 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.

** Fee per course

Additional fees information

** £1880 percourse, £4190 dissertation

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.