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University College London (UCL) Course/Program Name
Application closes on
National :15 Jan 
International :15 Jan 
EU :15 Jan 

MRes + MPhil/PhD Financial Computing (Part-Time)

 Course Level
Part Time

6 Years
 Start month

 Tuition fee

11090 GBP
2385 GBP
24410 GBP

Application fee

International 75 GBP
National 75 GBP
Engineering Sciences
Scores accepted
IELTS (min)6.5
TOEFL-IBT (min)92

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About this course


We are building a community of researchers working on current and future challenges within financial computing and analytics. With three collaborating universities, our PhD programme is rich in opportunities for engineers and scientists to gain confident skills and knowledge within their chosen field of research. Our students work on an applied research project with one of our industry partners.

Challenging and original research projects are undertaken on the PhD programme, with support from the highest standard of academic advisors. Students follow specialist lines of research at a doctorate level and apply their work with innovative technologies.

Finaincial Computing and Analytics encompasses a wide range of research areas including mathematical modelling in finance, computational finance, financial IT, quantitative risk management and financial engineering. PhD research areas include stochastic processes, quantitative risk models, financial ecometrics, software engineering for financial applications, computational statistics and machine learning, network, high performance computing and statistical signal processing.

UCL Computer Science graduates secure careers in a variety of organisations including global IT consultancies, City banks and specialist companies in manufacturing industries. The Department takes pride in helping students in their career choices and offers placements and internships with numerous start-up technology companies, including those on Silicon Roundabout, world-leading companies such as Google, Skype and Facebook, and multi-national Finance companies including Morgan Stanley, Deutsche and JP Morgan. Our graduates secure roles such as applications developers, information systems managers, IT consultants, multimedia programmers, software engineers and systems analysts in companies such as Microsoft, Cisco, Bloomberg, PwC and IBM.

UCL Computer Science Research Students' employability is greatly enhanced by working alongside world-leading researchers in cutting-edge research areas such as virtual environments, networked systems, human-computer interaction and financial computing. Computer Science enjoys the UCL multi-disciplinary tradition and shares ideas and resources from across the departments of Faculty of Engineering and beyond. Our alumni have gone on to find work, or found their own successful start-up companies, because they have an excellent understanding of the current questions which face industry and have the skills and the experience to market innovative solutions.

UCL Computer Science is located in the heart of London and subsequently has strong links with industry. We regularly welcome industry executives to observe students' project presentations, we host networking events with technology entrepreneurs (many of which are Computer Science Alumni) and companies sponsor our student prizes. Students also take the advantage of a location close to the City and Canary Wharf to work on projects with leading global financial companies. London is also home to numerous technology communities, for example the Graduate Developer Community, who meet regularly and provide mentors for students interested in finding developer roles when they graduate.

Why study this degree at UCL?
The centre for doctoral training in Financial Computing and Analytics was established at UCL in collaboration with academic partners at the London School of Economics and Imperial College London, supported by partnerships with 20 leading financial institutions. It is the first major collaboration between the financial service industry and academia.

The PhD programme is unique in enabling students to gain the skills required for jobs in the financial services industry or in large analytics companies. The course provides unrivalled contacts, with access to top financial industry professionals and the best academic resources.

Check further details on University website

Eligibility Criteria

Entry Requirements
A minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Work experience may also be taken into account.

English Language Requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic Version
This test is UCL's preferred English language qualification.

  • Standard level: Overall grade of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each of the subtests.
  • Good level: Overall grade of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each of the subtests.
  • Advanced level: Overall grade of 7.5 with a minimum of 6.5 in each of the subtests.
  • Teacher training: Overall grade of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.0 in writing and 6.5 in reading.

Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) iBT

  • Standard level: Overall score of 92 with 24/30 in reading and writing and 20/30 in speaking and listening.
  • Good level: Overall score of 100 with 24/30 in reading and writing and 20/30 in speaking and listening.
  • Advanced level: Overall score or 109 with 24/30 in reading and writing and 20/30 in speaking and listening.
  • Teacher training: Overall score of 100.

Check further details on University website

Course Modules

Research areas

  • Bioinformatics: protein structure; genome analysis; transmembrane protein modelling; de novo protein design methods; exploiting grid technology; mathematical modelling of biological processes
  • Financial computing: software engineering; computational statistics and machine learning; mathematical modelling
  • Human centred systems: usability of security and multimedia systems; making sense of information; human error and cognitive resilience
  • Information security: cryptology; digital watermarking; cryptoanalysis; steganography
  • Intelligent systems: knowledge representation and reasoning; machine learning
  • Media futures: digital rights management; information retrieval; computational social science; recommender systems
  • Networks: internet architecture; protocols; mobile networked systems; applications and evolution; high-speed networking
  • Programming Principles, Verification and Logic’: logic and the semantics of programs; automated tools for verification and program analysis; produce mathematically rigorous concepts and techniques that aid in the construction and analysis of computer systems; applied logic outreach in AI, security, biology, economics
  • Software systems engineering: requirements engineering; software architecture; middleware technologies; distributed systems; software tools and environments; mobile computing
  • Virtual environments: presence, virtual characters; interaction; rendering; mixed reality
  • Vision and imaging science: face recognition; medical image analysis; statistical modelling of colour information; inverse problems and building mathematical models for augmented reality; diffusion tensor imaging.

Degree structure
Year One: Master's Study

This programme allows a high level of flexibility in its structure, with the involvement of departments across the three participating partner universities.

  • Students are required to take exams for three taught modules (45 credits) and two professional development modules (30 credits). A 12-month project (105 credits) is also undertaken. This work leads to a dissertation of approximately 20,000 words, which is completed by the end of the first year.
  • Modules are chosen to complement the student's skills. The PhD centre aims to bring the students to an excellent level in finance, analytics (maths and statistics) and programming during the first year, enabling progression toward a PhD. Additional modules of interest can be undertaken at any of the three collaborating universities, throughout the whole period of study.PhD modules
  • Professional development modules at UCL's specialist training centre


Years Two–Four: Applied Research

From year two, students concentrate on their research and take a unique opportunity to apply their work. A research project in undertaken during a placement arranged with one of our industry partners. This applied research is agreed between the student and the centre, with support given to find a good match for the placement.

Contact is maintained between the student and their supervisor, flexible to their needs and progress.

Lectures are attended as necessary to support the student's research, but their are no mandatory modules required at this stage. Viva exams are completed to gain the PhD qualification.

Each student on the programme has:

  • an academic supervisor (from UCL, LSE or Imperial College) and an industry advisor (a partner bank, fund, analytics company or Thomson Reuters)
  • a research project in financial IT, computational finance or financial engineering with an industrial partner
  • a Master's programme comprising of a bespoke set of graduate level modules from UCL, LSE and IC
  • training in industry software, such as Rauters Eikon through UCL's virtual trading floor
  • a significant period of at least six months of industrial placement as agreed between the academic supervisor and industrial advisor
  • a short period at an international academic centre, such as the Quantitative Products Laboratory in Berlin, Carnegie Mellon University or Tsinghua University in Beijing

Check further details on University website

How to Apply

Graduate programmes that don't accept UCL UK online applications
A number of programmes, including teacher training programmes, have different application processes. Please see the list of programmes with alternative application processes for full details.

  • If you wish to apply for a UCL graduate programme for which online application is not acceptable, you should download a paper application. This form must first be downloaded to your computer. Then it can be filled in and saved, allowing you to print off and send to the address stated on the form when complete.
  • If you are unable to download the paper application materials, please contact UCL Access by telephoning +44 (0)20 3370 1214.

Guide to applying online
UCL will only consider completed applications. See what you need to complete your application.

Find detailed guidance on on how to apply.

Once you have submitted your application, should you wish to make any amendments you must contact UCL Admissions by email ([email protected]) or telephone +44 (0)20 7679 7742 / +44 (0)20 7679 7381.

Apply online checklist
UCL is not able to support applications made through agents. UCL expects that the email ID and password that you create will be used by you solely for the purpose of submitting your own application(s) to study at UCL.

In order to use Apply Online, you should satisfy a number of conditions. Please read the statements below and check the box to confirm you have done so. If you satisfy the following conditions, please then click the ‘submit’ button and you will be transferred to the Apply Online pages.

  • I have checked whether there is an application deadline and I will submit my application before any applicable deadline. I understand that references must be uploaded before any deadline.
  • I can provide a valid email address for each referee and I have contacted both referees to advise them they will receive a request to upload their reference via a secure website. I understand that my application will be put on hold and will not be considered by UCL until references have been uploaded.
  • I am able to submit my transcript in electronic format (.doc, .docx, .jpg, .pdf) at the same time as my application. This document will less than 2MB in size.
  • If an application processing fee applies to my programme, I am able to pay the fee online as part of my application, or arrange for the fee to be paid on my behalf, and have read and understood the Terms and Conditions. I understand that if a fee is required, my application is not submitted to UCL before the fee is paid.
  • I understand that if I am applying for a research programme or a taught programme which is exempt, that no fee is required.
  • I will submit my own application and am not using an agent to do so on my behalf.

Check further details on University website

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