Students Staff

Student profiles

Masters students

  • Mohammed Okour, MSc Computational Finance '13

    "After completing my CCFEA pre-sessional course, the centre arranged a visit to HSBC headquarters in London. The purpose of the visit was to give us an overview of HSBC's financial services and career opportunities. As a student coming from computer programming background, I was not familiar with most of the subjects that were discussed at that day. I asked Professor Edward Tsang after the meeting, if I would be able to understand them after finishing the MSc course, and he replied confidently and calmly "you should be".

    Once the course started I realized that he was right; everything became much easier to comprehend. This was a result of the wide range of topics that were covered through the courses, and due to highly professional lecturers. I would recommend this course for anyone interested in financial markets. It provides students with both theoretical and practical skills that are important for the financial industry."

  • Daniel Schiermer, MSc Financial Software Engineering '11

    "After finishing my bachelors degree in Software Development, I was looking for a masters that could take me to the next level in the software industry. The MSc in Financial Software Engineering seemed like a good opportunity, as I always had an interest in financial markets.

    The fact that I did not have any prior knowledge about finance was not a problem. The training started from scratch and ended up at a high technical level that not only covered basics about financial instruments and markets, but also the mathematical side of things. Modules in simulation and computational modelling in finance provided me with great insights on how to utilise advanced computational models to simulate and predict markets, how to analyse the results, and use these results in practice.

    Most of my professors were very friendly, and I owe them all great thanks for their guidance throughout the year. Doing my MSc at the University of Essex was definitely one of the best decisions I have ever made.

    I believe that the skills I acquired have made me highly employable, which was proven by the fact that I was hired by an investment bank even before finishing my MSc."

  • Thomas Chopping, MSc Computational Finance '10

    "My bachelors in economics, which I also studied at Essex, gave me a good overview of the financial markets and their place in the economy as a whole. When deciding what to do next, I found many of the job adverts which appealed to me required a combination of financial knowledge, econometrics, maths, and programming skills.

    CCFEA's MSc Computational Finance is one of the few courses in the country which allows one to study all these areas in depth. It allows students to develop technical abilities which they can immediately apply at work, such as MATLAB programming, Value-at-Risk methods, and heuristic optimisation.

    I particularly enjoyed studying such a broad range of subjects and the knowledge gained from this allows me to tackle problems in finance from a number of different angles. A regular series of seminars by external speakers means students can also become familiar with current industry practice, an advantage in job interviews. The course is very empirical and this has made me familiar with handling data from a number of markets.

    Students are also well prepared to work with this data as most of the modules include some programming. The lecturers make an effort to keep the material very current and in all of my modules we were studying work right at the research frontier. These strengths are particularly valued by potential employers, making the course highly marketable.

    As a specialised department, CCFEA has a low student to staff ratio, which means members of staff get to know the students well. This was particularly helpful when we came to do our Master's dissertations. The students come from a wide range of academic backgrounds which allowed us to appreciate the strengths and limits of different ways of thinking. I have enjoyed my time at CCFEA very much, have learnt a great deal, and can thoroughly recommend the MSc Computational Finance programme."

PhD students

  • Shaimaa Masry, PhD Computational Finance '13

    "My passion for inter-disciplinary fields, after completing both of my bachelor and master degrees in the business informatics field, coupled with my curiosity to understand the financial markets made me seek a PhD degree in computational finance. I was really surprised that I could gain this amount of knowledge and skills from one place.

    The variety and depth of courses provided by the high calibres of the CCFEA faculty members have really enriched my knowledge and understanding of financial markets. CCFEA's good connections with the City Associates has made my PhD study even a more fantastic experience.

    Thanks to CCFEA I have attended the trader bootcamp organized by The Trader Training Company in London to learn professional trading in financial markets. My work on the High Frequency Finance project with my supervisors has been the most enjoyable part of my PhD journey. Many thanks to OANDA LTD for providing us with a unique transaction data set of real FX traders for this project. Analysing real traders' transactions to understand market dynamics has been really challenging and extremely joyful."

  • Evdoxia Pliota, PhD Computational Finance, '09

    "After obtaining my first degree in Physics at the University of Athens and my MSc in the Department of Economics at the University of Essex, I decided to continue my studies at CCFEA because it is an interdisciplinary centre that offers courses specifically designed for graduates from diverse fields of science who want to apply their skills in finance. The result is a dynamic environment suitable for students with different quantitative academic backgrounds. It provides an ideal setting and a stimulating environment for discussion and exchanging ideas.

    The staff was always very helpful and supportive and I enjoyed working with experienced people in my field of study. CCFEA is an exciting international environment for research, development and invaluable friendships!"

  • Amadeo Alentorn, PhD Computational Finance '07

    Amadeo has completed his PhD in Computational Finance and is now the Deputy Head of Quant Research with Old Mutual Asset Management, following his internship with them during his studies at CCFEA.

    "I chose to study my PhD at CCFEA because, being an interdisciplinary centre, I was able to apply my Computer Science skills to problems in Economics and Finance. The degrees at CCFEA are very challenging due to their interdisciplinary nature, but this allows students to conduct cutting-edge research in new areas. The staff are extremely supportive, and actively engaged in the research of the students. Also, the connections of the Centre with the City provide a great opportunity for students to collaborate in projects with the industry. I personally obtained valuable internships at the Bank of England and Old Mutual during my PhD.

    The group of research students at CCFEA is very diverse and from all over the world, and hence is a great place to discuss, exchange ideas, and get support."