Finance and Mathematics (Including Year Abroad)

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Academic Year of Entry: 2023/24
Course overview
(BSc) Bachelor of Science
Finance and Mathematics (Including Year Abroad)
University of Essex
University of Essex
Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science (School of)
Colchester Campus
Honours Degree
Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research


Professional accreditation


Admission criteria

A-levels: ABB, including Mathematics
Please note we are unable to accept A-level Use of Mathematics in place of A-level Mathematics

BTEC: DDD, only in conjunction with A-level Mathematics.

IB: 32 points or three Higher Level certificates with 655. Either must include Higher Level Mathematics grade 5. We will accept 5 in either Higher Level Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches or Higher Level Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation.
We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programme Courses (formerly certificates) at both Higher and Standard Level. Exact offer levels will vary depending on the range of subjects being taken at higher and standard level, and the course applied for.
We can also consider combinations with BTECs or other qualifications in the Career-related programme – the acceptability of BTECs and other qualifications depends on the subject studied, advice on acceptability can be provided. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.

Access to HE Diploma: 15 level 3 credits at Distinction and 30 level 3 credits at Merit, only in conjunction with A-level Mathematics.

T-levels: Distinction, only in conjunction with A-level Mathematics.

What if I don’t achieve the grades I hoped?

If your final grades are not as high as you had hoped, the good news is you may still be able to secure a place with us on a course which includes a foundation year. Visit our undergraduate application information page for more details.

What if I have a non-traditional academic background?
Don’t worry. To gain a deeper knowledge of your course suitability, we will look at your educational and employment history, together with your personal statement and reference.

You may be considered for entry into Year 1 of your chosen course. Alternatively, some UK and EU applicants may be considered for Essex Pathways, an additional year of study (known as a foundation year/year 0) helping students gain the necessary skills and knowledge in order to succeed on their chosen course. You can find a list of Essex Pathways courses and entry requirements here

If you are a mature student, further information is here

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall. Different requirements apply for second year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a visa to study in the UK.

Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications

If you are an international student requiring a visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Additional Notes

If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to this degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College here.

Course qualifiers

A course qualifier is a bracketed addition to your course title to denote a specialisation or pathway that you have achieved via the completion of specific modules during your course. The specific module requirements for each qualifier title are noted below. Eligibility for any selected qualifier will be determined by the department and confirmed by the final year Board of Examiners. If the required modules are not successfully completed, your course title will remain as described above without any bracketed addition. Selection of a course qualifier is optional and student can register preferences or opt-out via Online Module Enrolment (eNROL).


Rules of assessment

Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.

Additional notes

Students should select an appropriate number of optional modules so that including the credits for their compulsory modules they are taking a total of 60 credits in each of the Autumn and Spring terms. In the Final year with the approval of the Head of the Department of Mathematical Sciences, a 15 credit level 6 course from outside the Department of Mathematical Sciences which is available to students on BA or BSc degrees, may be taken subject to availability and timetabling constraints. Note: Students who opt to take level 5 modules in the final year must be aware of the requirement to obtain at least 90 credits at level 6 in order to obtain an honours degree.

External examiners

Staff photo
Dr Yinghui Wei

University of Plymouth

Prof Stephen Langdon


Brunel University London

Dr Murray Pollock

Director of Statistics / Senior Lecturer

Newcastle University

External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment. External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course. They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards. External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.


Core You must take this module.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory You must take this module.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Optional You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.

Year 1 - 2023/24

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  BE304-4-SP-CO  Introduction to Finance  Core  15  15 
02  EC111-4-FY-CO  Introduction to Economics  Core  30  30 
03  MA101-4-FY-CO  Calculus  Core  30  30 
04  MA108-4-SP-CO  Statistics I  Core  15  15 
05  MA114-4-AU-CO  Matrices and Complex Numbers  Core  15  15 
06  MA185-4-AU-CO  Mathematical and Computational Modelling  Compulsory  15  15 
07  MA199-4-FY-CO  Mathematics Careers and Employability  Compulsory 

Year 2 - 2024/25

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  BE312-5-SP-CO  Quantitative Foundations of Finance  Compulsory  15  15 
02  BE311-5-SP-CO  Corporate Finance  Compulsory  15  15 
03  BE313-5-AU-CO  Portfolio Analysis  Compulsory  15  15 
04  EC202-5-FY-CO  Microeconomics (Intermediate)  Compulsory  30  30 
05  MA202-5-SP-CO  Ordinary Differential Equations  Compulsory  15  15 
06  MA200-5-AU-CO  Statistics II  Compulsory  15  15 
07  MA216-5-SP-CO  Survival Analysis  Compulsory  15  15 
08  MA199-5-FY-CO  Mathematics Careers and Employability  Compulsory 

Year Abroad/Placement - 2025/26

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  AW121-6-FY-CO  Abroad Module 120 Credits  Compulsory  120  120 

Year 3 - 2026/27

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  BE331-6-SP-CO  The Pricing of Securities in Financial Markets  Compulsory  15  15 
02  MA311-6-AU-CO  Mathematics of Portfolios  Compulsory  15  15 
03    MA829-6-AU or MA830-6-SP  Compulsory with Options  15  15 
04    Maths option(s) from list  Optional  30  30 
05    EC371-6-AU or EBS option from list  Optional  15  15 
06    EC372-6-SP or EBS option from list  Optional  15  15 
07    EBS option from list  Optional  15  15 
08  MA199-6-FY-CO  Mathematics Careers and Employability  Compulsory 

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

  • To enable students to acquire a broad understanding of finance and mathematics.
  • To equip students with the knowledge and skills that are currently in demand in mathematically oriented employment in business, commerce, industry, government service, the field of education and in the wider economy, and in particular in financial markets or corporate careers that involve financial decision-making.
  • To provide students with an academic training in the principles of accounting and finance.
  • To foster in students an appreciation of the appropriate level of abstraction and simplification needed to explore a range of issues.
  • To develop in students the ability to construct logical arguments and to communicate arguments clearly in writing.
  • To provide students with a foundation for further study and research.
  • To produce graduates who are mathematically literate and capable of producing a logical argument.
  • To provide teaching which is informed and enhanced by the research activities of the staff.
  • To encourage in students the acquisition of autonomous study skills and the adoption of an investigative approach to tackle problems in finance and mathematics to ensure their continuing professional development.
  • To allow students to acquire critical, analytical and research skills, problem-solving skills, and transferable skills.
  • To provide students with a foundation for further studies in finance, mathematics and allied disciplines.

  • Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods

    On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:

    A: Knowledge and understanding

    A1: Knowledge and understanding of the basic mathematical methods and techniques of linear mathematics, calculus and statistics that underpin the study of more advanced mathematical ideas.

    A2: Knowledge and understanding of some of the ideas and methods used in the proof of results in mathematics and familiarity with some specific examples.

    A3: Knowledge and understanding of computer programming and mathematical computer packages, and experience in their use.

    A4: Knowledge and understanding of the use of mathematics for modelling in finance and other fields, and as an investigative tool for the solution of practical problems.

    A5: Knowledge and understanding at an introductory level of the central areas of mathematics, statistics and other modelling processes, and of applications to finance and other disciplines.

    A6: Knowledge and understanding gained through the study at an advanced level of one or more areas of finance and mathematics.

    A7: Knowledge of the fundamental principles of accounting, finance, and economics.

    A8: Understanding of particular areas of finance.

    A101: Experience of education in mathematics and finance in the year abroad.

    Learning methods

    Lectures are the principal method of delivery for the concepts and principles involved in A1 - A8. Students are also directed to reading from textbooks, academic journal papers and material available on-line.

    Understanding is reinforced by means of classes (A1 - A8), laboratories (A3 - A5) and essays and assignments (A1 - A8).

    Lectures and classes in final year modules are particularly important to enable students to achieve A6.

    A101 is learnt during the year abroad.

    Assessment methods

    Achievement of knowledge outcomes is assessed through unseen closed-book examinations (A1 - A8), and also, in some modules, through marked assignments and tests (A1-A8), term papers (A6 - A8).
    Formative assessment in mathematics is provided by regular problem sheets.
    A101 is assessed by passing the year abroad.

    B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

    B1: Analyse a specified problem and choose the most suitable methods and tools for its solution.

    B2: Assess the relative merits of a range of theories, techniques and tools needed for a problem's solution or to articulate arguments and policies.

    B3: Synthesise and interpret information from a range of sources (lectures, classes, journals, books, etc.) developing a critical evaluation of the importance and relevance of the sources to an area of study.

    B4: Construct reasoned, informed and concise descriptions and assessments of financial ideas.

    Learning methods

    The basis for intellectual skills is provided in lectures, and the skills are developed by means of recommended reading, guided and independent study, and assignments.

    Outcome B1 is developed particularly in exercises designed for core economic theory, mathematics and quantitative methods classes.

    Students' acquisition of intellectual and cognitive skills, B1 - B4, is enabled primarily through lectures and further sustained via classes.

    Outcomes B2 - B4 are key elements in students' preparation for assignments.

    Supervision and guidance for term paper study are especially important in providing opportunities for students to acquire B2 - B4.

    Assessment methods

    Achievement of intellectual/cognitive skills is assessed through marked assignments (especially B1 and B3), tests (especially B1), term papers (especially B2 - B4), and unseen closed-book examinations (especially B1, B2 and B4).

    C: Practical skills

    C1: Use computational tools and packages.

    C2: The ability to apply a rigorous, analytic, highly numerate approach to a problem.

    C3: Identify, select and gather information, using the relevant sources.

    C4: Organise ideas in a systematic way.

    C5: Present financial ideas and arguments coherently in writing.

    C6: Use and apply the terminology and concepts of finance.

    Learning methods

    The practical skills of mathematics are developed in exercise classes, laboratory classes, assignments and project work.

    C1 is acquired through the learning of at least one programming language and the use of a number of computer packages, as a part of the teaching of modules for which they are relevant.

    C2 is acquired and enhanced throughout the course.

    C3 is developed via directed reading from textbooks and academic journal articles together with searches for online materials.

    C4 is acquired during lectures and classes, and as a consequence of studying module materials.

    C5 is articulated in the preparation of assignments and term papers.

    C6 is developed in classes and is emphasised in the preparation of assignments and term papers.

    Assessment methods

    Achievement of practical skills C1 - C6, is assessed directly through marked assignments, tests, term papers and unseen closed-book examinations.

    D: Key skills

    D1: Communicate effectively, both mathematical arguments and textual accounts of ideas, evidence and critical assessment in mathematics and finance.

    D2: Use appropriate IT facilities as a tool in the analysis of mathematical problems.

    D3: Use mathematical techniques correctly and apply them.

    D4: Analyse complex problems and find effective solutions. Understanding of how financial reasoning is used to address problems.

    D5: Capacity to organise and implement a plan of independent study.

    Learning methods

    Students are guided in lectures, classes and through individual advice from teachers in acquiring skills D1 - D5.

    D1 is practised throughout the course in the writing of solutions to mathematical problems, both for assessment and as exercises.
    D1 and D2 are developed in group and individual project work.

    D2 is also developed through the use of computer packages.

    Skills D3 and D4 are reinforced through the quantitative methods sequence of modules and the mathematics element in the programme, where they are developed in exercises and assignments throughout the course.

    D5 is developed through homework assignments, and is enhanced as students reflect upon the knowledge they need.

    Only minimal formally assessed requirements for the completion of the course are listed here. In reality, the overwhelming majority of finance and mathematics students acquire a much broader range of key skills, and at greater depth, in ways that are integrated seamlessly throughout their studies of the subject.

    Assessment methods

    D1 and D4 are assessed through marked assignments, tests, term papers, projects and unseen closed-book examinations.
    D2 is assessed primarily through coursework.
    Assessment of the key skills D3 and D4 is intrinsic to subject based assessment.
    D3 is assessed particularly through tests and unseen closed-book examinations.
    D5 is assessed indirectly through students' capacity to construct submitted work and their study plans for unseen tests and examinations.
    All Finance and Mathematics students are encouraged to participate in the University's programmes for key skills development.


    The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

    The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.


    If you are thinking of studying at Essex and have questions about the course, please contact Undergraduate Admissions by emailing, or Postgraduate Admissions by emailing

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