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MSc Quantitative Finance at Queen's University Belfast


Barry Quinn

on 21 October 2017

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Transcript of MSc Quantitative Finance at Queen's University Belfast

MSc Quantitative Finance
Semester 1- Foundation Modules

Asset Pricing [15 CATS]
Research Method [15 CATS]
Market Microstructure [15 CATS]
Corporate Finance [15 CATS]
Semester 2 - Getting more specialised
Who would like to be Course Rep ?
Semester 3 - Dissertation
Past Dissertation Topics
This is the minimum ratio of class to independent study that the best past graduates recommend to achieve a top mark.
Derivatives [15 CATS]
Computational Methods in Finance [15 CATS]
Trading Principles[15 CATS]
Time Series Financial Econometrics [15 CATS]
Course Objectives
Past Student Dissertation Topic
Options pricing using lattice models
Profitability of momentum trading strategies*
Impact of financial fair play regulation on european football performance
Industry focused dissertation in partnership with a local finance firm.
A topic themed on an area in computational finance.
*Industry focused dissertation

Semester 3 - Empirical Research
Elective (Select 1)

MSc Quantitative Finance Dissertations [60 CATS]

MSc Industry Focused Dissertation working with Host Company*. [60 CATS]
Options pricing using lattice models
Profitability of momentum trading strategies*
Impact of financial fair play regulation on european football performance
*Industry focused
Study Time Tip
Great for CV and soft skills employability.
The role is an important interface between staff and students.
Enables continuous feedback and better teaching experience.
2 meetings per semester where you provide your fellow students feedback to staff to improve course experience.
Student Experience
The Graduate Experience
Since the financial crisis there has been a shift towards quantitative skills in global Capital markets firms.
There is now a large demand in the financial services, Bank of England and regulatory authorities for increased levels of quantitative knowledge, data manipulation and analytical skill
Financial firms operate in increasingly volatile and challenging regulatory environments. Continuing market instability requires financial decision making that is data centric, knowledge driven, and analytically rigorous.
1-Provide advanced study of contemporary quantitative finance theory and practice.
2-Instilling industry standard professionalism in communication.
The recent financial crisis has highlight a knowledge gap between complex quantitative models and financial decision making.
5-Encourage students' to quantifying problems described using financial language.
4-Develop the ability to thinking critical using the latest financial theory.
3-Provide mathematical and coding skills for robust financial analytics.
6-Enhance transferable, intellectual and employability skills to enable students' to work with self-direction and originality.
Outline of Presentation
Course Objectives
Special Features
Past Students
*Minimum academic standard must be achieve by end of Semester 2 to be eligible for this option
1-Experiential learning
4-Bridge the Gap
Student Managed Fund integration
Simulation based teaching
Learning by
2-Industry Ready
3-Professional body affiliation
Being taught by a faculty with over 20 years industry experience
MSc designed in conjunction with London List Fintech Firm
Master Classes from Industry Professional
Special Features and Employer Signals
CFA Accredited.
Unlike many Quant Finance masters, which are taught from a maths or computer science department, the course is designed with a foundation in finance theory and practice. Quantitative skills are then developed based on sound financial decision making principles.
7-Trading Room Experience
All MSc modules have full integration
Recreate dynamic excitement of a real trading floor
Hands-on trading and investment experience in a virtual environment
John Healey, Belfast CSC Site Head, Citibank.
A state of the art facility with the latest financial technogies installed include; 12 Bloomberg Professional Terminal, Oxyor Trading Simulation Software, and UpTick Harvard Business School Dynamic Markets software.
5-Tailored training driven by industry feedback
Employer Signal
"With resources like the Trading Room and the skills the students are getting with the Bloomberg terminals and understanding how the markets work is a fantastic percursor to what it is to come and work at a institutioon like CIti"
The first week is an intensive induction week designed to prime students with skills that will then be developed through the course.
Applied statistics primer
Excel and VBA training with finance applications
Matlab training with finance applications
Professional training
Ethics in Business Training
Bloomberg training on multiple markets
Where are the Graduates
Employer Signal
John Bowman, MD of Education at CFA Institute

"University recognition program allows us to systematically recognise those universities that are teaching the CFA cirriculum and helps their students prepare to sit for the examinations. These universities have elected to incoporate at least 70% of the CFA candidate book of knowledge as well as the CFA code of ethics and standards of professional conduct. Most importantly it signals to students and the academic community that they are committed to currency of practice and the highest standards of ethics"
Student Interviews
Employer Signal
Global Capital Market firms are increasingly looking for graduates who can combine 'quant' model knowledge with 'front desk' investment decision making.
Employer Signal
Theoretical, practical, plus industry standard software skills to suceed.
Employer Signal
Contemporary industry relevance providing the theoretical, computational and practical skills to be industry ready.
Employer Signal
Industry relevant in-class experience which provides the practical skills to suceeed.
1) the project takes the form of a consultancy where the research topic is discussed with the host company, two members of our IBR centre* (who will supervise the project) and the student(s). Then, a work plan is suggested which is divided in tasks, sub-tasks and deliverables. The students remain at QUB campus and the supervisors guide them throughout the project. At the end, there is a presentation with all the deliverables including an industry style report.

2) Alternatively, the student could become an intern at the interested firm and split his/her time between the firm and QUB. In this case, the firm has a more active role in the project.

The above routes are not restrictive and other potential ways of collaboration are possible given Host company's needs.
Host Employer Dissertation Engagement Routes
Using cutting-edge quantitative skills in collaboration with financial traders to design and manage financial products.

Being part of a financial trading team, buying, selling and managing assets.

Course is an excellent grounding for a more generalist career in finance such as portfolio management.

Course is also a superb foundation for doing a PhD in computational finance and a career in academia. (The School has access to excellent funding opportunities for PhD study)
Dr Barry Quinn (b.quinn@qub.ac.uk)
Financial Software Developer
Trades Analyst
Financial Software Developer
£16K + Bonus
Examples of Host Employee Dissertations
10 week Assistant Trader Internship
with empirical research project supervised by senior trader.
*Student must interview for this position
Intern Example
Consulting Examples
Experiential Learning
Industry Ready
Professional Body Affiliation
Bridging the Gap
Industry Relevant Tailored Training
Trading Room
Portfolio Analyst £28K
£30K +Bonus
Examples of Host Employee Dissertations
10 week Assistant Trader Internship
with empirical research project supervised by senior trader.
*Student must interview for this position
Intern Example
Consulting Examples
6-Industry Focused Dissertation
Graduate Destinations
Full transcript