SERVING THE QUANTITATIVE FINANCE COMMUNITY

 
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mekornilol
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Posts: 32
Joined: April 13th, 2013, 5:29 pm

Msc Financial Mathematics - UCL, Warwick or Manchester

April 15th, 2013, 2:36 pm

Hello everyone,Well I have been reading this forum for almost year and a half now, and I have finally decided to post for the first time to try and get a serious opinion on what's doing my head in these weeks.Bit of background: studied Computing Engineering with high focus on maths, have been working in a top-tier bank in Switzerland for the past 2.5 years as an engineer in the back-office area, and have decided to apply to a master program in Financial Mathematics this year. My motivation is to find a job in Investment Banking where Maths&Computing are essentially part of my daily tasks; the more maths, the better.I have received a good number of offers so far, but I've narrowed my choices down to Warwick, Manchester and University College of London. Here is what I find best and worst about the three programs:1. Manchester (MSc Mathematical Finance)- PROs: has the heaviest load of maths and covers a couple of topics that similar degrees only slightly explore (eg Brownian Motion), the university is very well positioned in the rankings.- CONs: well, I just don't see people talking about the degree much on the internet, so I don't really know how good/bad it is. The end of term examination for most of the courses is 100% of your grade, which is sort of risky.2. Warwick (MSc Financial Mathematics)- PROs best reputation among employers for this particular degree (or so do people claim on the Internet). I can see normally 50% of you grade comes from weekly assignments, so end of term papers would only have 50% weight, which is safer.- CONs The tuition fee is just crazy, it has less maths than similar programs, the uni itself never makes it to the top 100 unis in the world (as oppossed to Man and UCL), and the worst thing: lectures only last just until April! I mean I would expect them to end in June the earliest.3. UCL (MSc Financial Mathematics)- PROs it has the highest reputation among these three unis, and needless to say, it's in London, which is cool.- CONs from what I can make out after having done a bit of research, their degree just doesn't stand out.And here comes the question: given that I like maths, I have a strong background in computing (C, C++, Java, algorithms, etc) and the aforementioned professional experience... would I really have a chance of finding a job in London in Research/Quant Analysis/Trading if I decide to study in Manchester? Should I just go for degree reputation and study in Warwick? Did any of my CONs or PROs are wrong or did I make wrong assumptions?. I'm sure there are a quite of a lot of people who know much more about this than me.I really can't make up my mind, I'd say I go for Manchester but for some reason I'm still not 100% convinced. Hope you guys can shed some light! Thanks!
 
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spv205
Posts: 478
Joined: July 14th, 2002, 3:00 am

Msc Financial Mathematics - UCL, Warwick or Manchester

April 15th, 2013, 11:03 pm

warwick is one of leading universities for probability wherever you go it will be hard [impossible] to find a job in any of those areas.... why don't you do a msc in machine learning/big data ( eg UCL?) at least there the jobs market is growing and the level of maths/computing will tie in with your educational background
 
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neuroguy
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Joined: February 22nd, 2011, 4:07 pm

Msc Financial Mathematics - UCL, Warwick or Manchester

April 16th, 2013, 7:25 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: spv205warwick is one of leading universities for probability wherever you go it will be hard [impossible] to find a job in any of those areas.... why don't you do a msc in machine learning/big data ( eg UCL?) at least there the jobs market is growing and the level of maths/computing will tie in with your educational backgroundThe machine learning MSC at UCL is first rate. There is also a Computational Finance centre at UCL, so there is direct cross over between this and the machine learning.
 
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mekornilol
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Posts: 32
Joined: April 13th, 2013, 5:29 pm

Msc Financial Mathematics - UCL, Warwick or Manchester

April 16th, 2013, 7:33 am

Guys thank for you answers, but could you please not derail from the question? I really have no interest whatsoever in machine learning.
 
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MattF
Posts: 925
Joined: March 14th, 2003, 7:15 pm

Msc Financial Mathematics - UCL, Warwick or Manchester

April 16th, 2013, 8:21 am

UCL is undeniably in London but I'd put both Cass and Imperial above it for MSc in Finance. Why reject them? Also the ICMA course in Reading has a very good reputation and it's within easy distance of London.Warwick ... great reputation for finance and maths. Fees of £29K seem very high. You could study in London and simultaneously do the CQF for the same money. I wouldnt worry about Warwick not being a top 100 global university - it's good enough in your field of interest.Manchester ... good university but I've never heard of this course. The MSc Mathematical Finance seems part of the Maths department but confusingly the Business School also offer MSc Quantitative Finance: Financial Engineering (and others). Do you have a reason for particularly wanting to study this one?
 
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neuroguy
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Joined: February 22nd, 2011, 4:07 pm

Msc Financial Mathematics - UCL, Warwick or Manchester

April 16th, 2013, 9:28 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: mekornilolGuys thank for you answers, but could you please not derail from the question? I really have no interest whatsoever in machine learning.Warwick (or, as Matt says, Imperial.)
Last edited by neuroguy on April 15th, 2013, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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mekornilol
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Posts: 32
Joined: April 13th, 2013, 5:29 pm

Msc Financial Mathematics - UCL, Warwick or Manchester

April 16th, 2013, 10:38 am

Hi there everyone thanks for your answers, these last ones have been more helpful.Reason for having applied to Msc in Mathematical Finance in Man and not to Msc in Quantitative Finance is because I kind of see the second as a subset of the first one. They both contain pretty much the same courses, but the msc in mathematical finance has a substantial mathematical component, as opposed to the the msc in quant finance. That's what I really think it makes it a bit more interesting than similar degrees. I mean I always thought, the broader your background in maths and computing is, the better chances you have finding a job in risk mgmt or quant analysis or similar posts. Perhaps you can prove me wrong.
Last edited by mekornilol on April 15th, 2013, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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eh
Posts: 494
Joined: March 2nd, 2010, 9:26 am

Msc Financial Mathematics - UCL, Warwick or Manchester

April 16th, 2013, 3:38 pm

I would imagine that your 3 short-listed courses are as mathematical as each other. They are all run by their respective maths departments. The UCL course is less well known because it has not been running for long. The big plus for UCL is that it is closer to the jobs market. All 3 universities are well respected.
Last edited by eh on April 15th, 2013, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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ArthurDent
Posts: 1166
Joined: July 2nd, 2005, 4:38 pm

Msc Financial Mathematics - UCL, Warwick or Manchester

April 16th, 2013, 7:46 pm

The problem with terminal finance degrees like MFE, MSc FM, etc is that it is no longer 2006 and not many places need derivative pricing nowadays...I would do some informational interviews first to see what the market is like, ie ask people for some time when you visit their office to chat about their jobs and firms, but don't ask for a job for yourself.
 
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Rangervoong
Posts: 6
Joined: July 2nd, 2013, 10:57 am

Msc Financial Mathematics - UCL, Warwick or Manchester

July 2nd, 2013, 2:05 pm

As a student of the UCL MSc FM Program, I will share my personal experience, but before I do so I had several questions to ask, regarding what you want, 1. wouldn't it be easier if you shifted/transfer to your desired department within your current IB ?2. assuming you worked for a "top tier" bank the experience on your cv may outweigh the university brand, (I was always under the impression that the university brand was to get you interviews etc, but the brand of your top tier IB may do a better job than a universitiy's, if that may be the case then what's in the course program is far more important than what university you choose, some may beg to differ, BRAND= gets the interview, what/WHO you know= gets you the job. IMO.now about the UCL MSc FM program. Source:Student on the programI think that it would probably NOT recommend it to anyone yet, the course is still to early it's stage to be any good. (but it's the one to look out for in the years to come, but it will be quite some time)There are only a few good modules out of the ones that are currently available. (that's just a optimistic way of saying there are some really BAD ones, which there are).Now I'll do you the favour of when I was in your shoes that I wished some one had done for me. might be slightly off topic.From what I am aware the best Financial Mathematics/ Mathematical Finance course available in the UK, is...... Source: I know 2 members of staff, whom are/were affiliated with the course. The one at OXFORD, MSc Mathematical Finance (part time)/ MSc Mathematical and Computational Finance (Full Time) plus this course seems to meet your requirement of Maths and Computing. You are required to do an admission test. (I did not have the time back then, but I regret not taking the time to do so.) If you are patient then I would recommend applying for this the following academic year as for the current year of 2013 is closed.QuoteOriginally posted by: ArthurDentThe problem with terminal finance degrees like MFE, MSc FM, etc is that it is no longer 2006 and not many places need derivative pricing nowadays...I would do some informational interviews first to see what the market is like, ie ask people for some time when you visit their office to chat about their jobs and firms, but don't ask for a job for yourself.People who enroll of those programs don't enroll for just deriv pricing, "don't need derivative pricing", it's an essential part in understanding derivative and their properties. off topic: alot of people deal with these instruments (just an example but this can applying to modelling too), but not all of whom fully understand their properties, and can/will lead to problems.there was this clip see last link in thread , which I found quite amusing. watch it first before reading on.http://www.wilmott.com/messageview.cfm? ... =94764para phrasing, the media portrays mathematics as the reason of financial crisis, I personally don't think the maths is to blame, Its just the people who use it. Mathematics is just a tool, like a Gun, it depends on who's using it. If i recall correctly (I may be mistaken), What I've already mentioned, Willmott had already said something similar in a documentary.If could impose that people study mathematical finance I would, (and I wouldn't only because I don't want people taking my loaf of bread ). If you wish to talk more drop me your skype via private message (Saw your Student room post), Now I have to get back to reading ironically, one of Avellaneda papers.
Last edited by Rangervoong on July 1st, 2013, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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katastrofa
Posts: 8764
Joined: August 16th, 2007, 5:36 am
Location: Alpha Centauri

Msc Financial Mathematics - UCL, Warwick or Manchester

July 2nd, 2013, 3:55 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: Rangervoongnow about the UCL MSc FM program. Source:Student on the programI think that it would probably NOT recommend it to anyone yet, the course is still to early it's stage to be any good. (but it's the one to look out for in the years to come, but it will be quite some time)There are only a few good modules out of the ones that are currently available. (that's just a optimistic way of saying there are some really BAD ones, which there are).Let me get this straight: UCL launched a half-baked program, and they're charging you money for it?
 
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Rangervoong
Posts: 6
Joined: July 2nd, 2013, 10:57 am

Msc Financial Mathematics - UCL, Warwick or Manchester

July 2nd, 2013, 4:34 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: katastrofaQuoteOriginally posted by: Rangervoongnow about the UCL MSc FM program. Source:Student on the programI think that it would probably NOT recommend it to anyone yet, the course is still to early it's stage to be any good. (but it's the one to look out for in the years to come, but it will be quite some time)There are only a few good modules out of the ones that are currently available. (that's just a optimistic way of saying there are some really BAD ones, which there are).Let me get this straight: UCL launched a half-baked program, and they're charging you money for it?Hmm, I think buying a chinese replica iphone and compared to the actual iphone might be a more suitable analergy. In a sense that you do have enough modules but some are just worlds apart compared to the others. yes, I do think what they've charged is day-light robbery.
 
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ArthurDent
Posts: 1166
Joined: July 2nd, 2005, 4:38 pm

Msc Financial Mathematics - UCL, Warwick or Manchester

July 3rd, 2013, 12:41 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: RangervoongPeople who enroll of those programs don't enroll for just deriv pricingCorrect, they enroll for the stamp provided by the university, and they end up knowing nothing.If you want to go deep, do a second undergrad, or a phd, or do a Masters in CS or in Statistics, or in Finance, or even an MBA. Just not an MFE in financial mathematics.The typical MFE graduate is not strong in Math or in programming or in Finance. Jack of all trades and all that.That is not what you wanted to hear but it is what it is...
 
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katastrofa
Posts: 8764
Joined: August 16th, 2007, 5:36 am
Location: Alpha Centauri

Msc Financial Mathematics - UCL, Warwick or Manchester

July 3rd, 2013, 7:08 am

This UCL program looks like a sham done by the university to get some money off naive people. This being UCL, it doesn't surprise me in the least. "analergy" == the state of not being allergic??
Last edited by katastrofa on July 2nd, 2013, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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alphaS
Posts: 43
Joined: June 28th, 2011, 3:20 pm

Msc Financial Mathematics - UCL, Warwick or Manchester

July 3rd, 2013, 7:43 am

Apparently top quant programs to get hired in banks are OxfordCambridgeImperialEcole PolytechniqueNot sure about hedge funds though perhaps only a phd will do
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