All students on the MSc in Financial Mathematics are required to write a dissertation in the summer between approximately June and September. The dissertation is an opportunity for the student to demonstrate an ability to complete a significant piece of independent work at graduate level. The subject of the work should be mathematical (interpreted broadly to include statistical and computional) as applied to finance.
The dissertation should be typeset with a mathematical text processing package (eg LaTeX) and should be not more than about 10000 words. It is not possible to be precise since normally dissertations, as pieces of mathematical writing, contain equations.
The dissertation carries 60 credits and corresponds to one-third of the MSc. The pass mark is 50%. In order to achieve a merit or distinction mark on the MSc, students must achieve a minimum of a merit (60%) or distinction (70%) mark on the dissertation.
Every year financial institutions offer projects which can be turned into dissertations. In some years specific MSFM-only external projects are offered for MSFM students.
All students (including those undertaking external projects) have a supervisor who is (normally) a member of academic staff from the Department of Statistics, WBS or WMI.
The project has two parts: a project proposal (worth 5% of the overall mark) and a main dissertation (95%). These are submitted electronically via my.wbs.
Students will be kept informed of any dissertation deadlines by the Programme Team. An approximate timeline is as follows:
- March: Project titles released to students. Students may also suggest their own titles.
- April/May: Deadline for students to submit topic choices. Matching of students/supervisors.
- June: Submission of thesis proposal.
- September: Submission of Dissertation.