The course is aimed at filling the gap between traditional financial analysts and the new breed of traders who are taking on board cognitive psychology as well as mathematical methods to manage risk attached to financial decision making. The structure therefore includes mathematical modules, accounting, management and finance modules, and psychology modules.
Teaching and Assessment Methods
A: Knowledge and Understanding
A1 : A range of ideas concerning mathematics, finance, and cognitive psychology including methods appropriate in specialized applications and some knowledge of relevant probabilistic/statistical/computing/decision making ideas.
A2 : How to formulate algorithms to solve problems.
A3 : Some of the ways in which apparently disparate parts of the subject may interconnect.
A1, A2, and A3 are principally acquired through the coherent programmes of lectures, exercises and problem classes. These are supplemented, where appropriate, by the use of computers, computer packages, textbooks, handouts and on-line material.
In most courses there is regular set work. This work is marked and this process informs the course teacher of common difficulties that require extra attention during the subsequent problem classes.
Knowledge and understanding are assessed through coursework, examinations, essays and the summer dissertation.
B: Intellectual/Cognitive Skills
B1 : Analyse a mass of information and carry out an appropriate analysis of the problem material.
B2 : Express a problem in mathematical terms and carry out an appropriate analysis.
B3 : Reason critically and interpret information in a manner that can be communicated effectively.
B4 : Integrate and link information across course components.
B1-3 These skills are developed through the regular coursework exercises. In seeking to answer these exercises students become accustomed to identifying key facts in a body of information. The problems classes provide back-up as required.
B4-5 These skills are initiated during the course of the preparation of the essay.
The level of attainment of these skills is assessed through coursework, the summer examinations, and through examination of the essay (MA902 project).
C: Practical Skills
C1 : Model problems in Finance using relevant mathematical tools.
C2 : Analyse and evaluate financial and company data
C3 : Use computer programmes and/or packages.
C4 : Use a mathematical word-processing package.
C5 : Make an effective literature search.
C6 : Prepare a technical report.
C7 : Give a presentation after which they defend their ideas and work.
C1-C2 are developed through the programme of lectures, regular exercises and computer work.
C3-C5 are developed during the course of the preparation of the essay.
C6-C7 are developed in MA902
C1-C2 is assessed by the regular coursework and examinations.
C3 is assessed in this way and also by any computer output that forms part of the MA902 essay.
C4-C7 are assessed through the MA902 essay .
D: Key Skills
D1 : Write clearly and effectively
D2 : Use computer packages and/or programming languages for data analysis and computation.
D3 : Enhance existing numerical ability
D4 : Choose the appropriate method of inquiry in order to address a range of practical and theoretical problems.
D5 : Learn from feedback and respond appropriately and effectively to supervision and guidance
D6 : Work pragmatically to meet deadlines.
D1 is promoted by the supervisor of the essay and thesis work and by class teachers' feedback on written solutions to problems.
D2 results from the coursework associated with various lecture courses.
D3 is a natural consequence of courses with high numeric content.
D4 is a consequence of the coursework, problems classes, lectures and laboratory work.
D5-D6 result from a tightly timetabled course of lectures and submission dates that require the student to effectively organise time to meet deadlines.
Key skills are assessed throughout the degree via coursework, examinations, and the essay.