MSc Financial Technology

The MSc in Financial Technology is designed to prepare you for a career in banking and finance with an emphasis in technologies and data management. In addition to the fundamental skills and knowledge of finance, you will be exposed to leading-edge concepts in artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain (cryptocurrencies), and big data analysis among other emerging topics.

The curriculum draws on GCU’s expertise in diverse areas of finance including regulation, risk analysis, modelling, and securities and investments within the framework of systems architecture, software development, and data management. The content and teaching strategies are designed to help you gain the essential skills and knowledge to prepare you to grow as a professional within the changing landscape of the banking and finance industry.

Advances in technology have brought about radical changes to financial operations, products and services. Key amongst them are activities such as the provision of credit (disintermediation through peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding), payment systems (blockchain technology and digital currencies), investments (algorithmic trading, online stockbroking services), and personal finance (robo-advisory services for individual investors). These innovations depend on secure and efficient communication systems and the processing of large amounts of data via machine learning algorithms.

The modules in this course will help you gain an understanding of the evolving nature of financial technologies: impact on financial rules and regulation, analysing and managing financial risk, current and emerging trends in different financial sectors as well as challenges and opportunities to the subject and practice of finance. On an equal basis, the course's modules focus on enhancing your skills and knowledge of software development, artificial intelligence, data visualisation and ethics, putting these into practice to solve real-world problems.

This course will enable you to:
  • Critically apply concepts of machine learning, neural networks, data science algorithms, advanced exploratory statistics to solve financial problems with applications of computational intelligence.
  • Evaluate the latest software development methodologies and apply the appropriate process to the information system needs of banking and financial institutions.
  • Critically analyse information collection techniques and analysis methods and manipulate and develop tools and technologies designed for capturing, processing, storing, transferring, analysing, and visualising data for financial applications.
  • Develop a workable knowledge base and skills in areas of current technological development in finance (such as blockchain, distributed ledger technology, cybersecurity, payment systems and so on) as applied to risk analysis and modelling, regulation, compliance, and investment analysis,

Graduate opportunities

Through its competitive strengths in the technologies sector, government support and entrepreneurial and innovative character, firms in the United Kingdom have gained 10% of the global market share in fintech, a sector which is worth more than £11bn a year to the UK. Approximately 76,000 people work in the sector with this number set to grow to more than 105,000 by 2030. Scotland is now home to over 100 fintech companies and the country has been voted the best European place to start a tech business.

Looking at the broader financial services (FS) workforce in Scotland also provides a steer in relation to aspects such as skills demand within this sector. In 2020, the most in-demand skills within the sector in were commonly digital-based including Java, software engineering, SQL and Python. Digital transformation was also identified within the FS sector as one of the key drivers for skills demand. Digital delivery of services within the sector is expected to result in a need to refocus/upskill sections of the workforce resulting in demand for critical families of skills such as data analytics, software development, business analytics and financial crime.

The government’s Kalifa Review of UK Fintech, commissioned by HM Treasury, published its recommendations on how to best support the growth and development of the UK’s fintech sector. One of the key recommendations from the report has potential direct implications on a new master’s course in this field: "Build a pipeline of fintech talent by supporting fintech scaleups to offer embedded work placements to further education and higher education students and kickstarters" and "...facilitate stronger connections with universities and the fintech ecosystem" in order to enhance fintech's appeal as a graduate destination and deepen relations between industry and academia.

More broadly, in 2019 the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) published research with the key recommendation to "Retrain and upskill adults to meet the needs of UK fintech by ensuring access to short courses from high-quality education providers at low cost."

In terms of specific skills, some of those proposed as being included in the MSc Financial Technology’ at GCU show clear evidence on both current and future demand across the UK generally, with data science and machine learning both forecast to see "explosive" growth through to 2023.

In October 2020 the World Economic Forum published research on the future of jobs globally to 2025. FS job roles expected to see an increase in demand over the 2020–2025 period are most commonly digital-based, while those most likely to become increasingly redundant are administrative and clerical roles . Fintech engineers are also in the top 10 emerging roles.
The MSc Financial Technology was designed in collaboration between the Department of Computing and School of Computing, Engineering, and Built Environment (SCEBE) and the department of Finance, Accounting and Risk at the Glasgow School of Business and Society (GSBS). Its structure is meant to maximise the areas of expertise of each School in this subject and help students gain a systematic understanding of how financial techniques can be adapted, programmed, and implemented through emerging technologies meant to ‘disrupt’ the ways in which financial products and services are produced and consumed.

The course consists of eight taught modules (15 credits each for a total of 120 credits), four from the GSBS Finance, Accounting and Risk portfolio, and four from SCEBE’s. These provide a mix of software development and data management with financial knowledge and skills. The research portion of the programme (60 credits) equips students to deepen their learning of new digital business models in financial services, the impact of innovation through technology in the industry, technology skills in blockchain and machine learning applications in finance, and the application of technology to quantitative finance skills.

The degree requires students to complete the followings modules:

Bank Operational Risk Management, Software Development for Data Science, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Data Ethics and Research Methods, Financial Services Regulation, Fundamentals of Financial Technology, Applied Professional Practice, Data Visualisation, Masters Finance Research Project

Due to significant demand, applications for this course are now closed to international applicants for January 2022. Please consider our following intake in September 2022.

Study Options

  • 2022/23

Award

Mode of study

Duration

Start date

Location

MSc
Distance Learning
2 - 3 Years
Sep 2022
GCU Glasgow
MSc
Full Time
12 Months
Sep 2022
GCU Glasgow
MSc
Part Time
2 - 3 Years
Sep 2022
GCU Glasgow
Award Mode of study Duration Start date Location  
MSc Distance Learning 2 - 3 Years Sep 2022 GCU Glasgow Enquire
MSc Full Time 12 Months Sep 2022 GCU Glasgow Enquire
MSc Part Time 2 - 3 Years Sep 2022 GCU Glasgow Enquire

All entry requirements listed here should be used as a guide and represent the minimum required to be considered for entry. Applicants who are made a conditional offer of a place may be asked to achieve more than is stated.

Minimum academic requirement

Minimum academic requirement: UK honours degree 2:2 (or equivalent) in a relevant computing subject or in a finance subject with an appropriate maths or computing component.

English language

English language Academic IELTS score of 6.0 (or equivalent) with no element below 5.5.

Please note: if you are from a majority English speaking country, you may not be required to provide further proof of your English Language proficiency.

Additional information

Other academic and vocational qualifications

Each application to GCU is considered on an individual basis. If you do not have the typical academic entry qualifications, but can demonstrate relevant work experience and/or credits from recognised professional bodies, you may be eligible to enter this course via the University's Recognition of Prior Learning scheme.

Advanced standing

Advanced standing operates where there is evidence of completion of a like for like module at postgraduate level either from the CIPD or a CIPD accredited institution. Precise regulations on transfer from another CIPD accredited programme or nationally assessed centre are prescribed by CIPD.

Students wishing to transfer into our programme are advised to contact the Membership and Studying CIPD Qualifications team on 0208 612 6208.

The tuition fees you pay are mostly determined by your fee status. What is my student fee status?

Annual full-time tuition fees

Home (Scottish) and RUK: £7,000
International: £14,500

Part-time and distance-learning tuition fees

View our part-time and distance-learning fee schedules

Fees are subject to change and published here for guidance only.

Additional costs

As a student at the University, there are additional fees and costs which may or may not apply to you, but that you should be aware of.

View additional costs

Scholarships

We provide high-quality education for a fair price; as the University for the Common Good, we are committed to offering accessible higher education for talented students by keeping our tuition fees low and providing a generous scholarship package of £2 million per year.

View our postgraduate scholarships.

 Assessment methods vary between modules and may include: essays, reports, class tests, written exams, presentations and skills based assessments.

The Finance, Accounting and Risk Department has obtained accreditations from the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments (CISI), Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), and Chartered Bankers Institute CBI) for its UG and PG programmes.

Students on this course will get the opportunity to hear from guest lecturers.
A blended approach is adopted for learning and teaching with the use of face-to-face contact in the form of lectures, seminars, labs, and workshops as well as directed and independent (including web-based) study. The nature of the classroom setting is a balance between knowledge transfer, interactivity and group activities; with students expected to contribute to the learning environment. A carefully managed learning environment will facilitate shared knowledge and understanding across a cohort of diverse international students to enhance the student learning experience.

The range of modules from theoretical to practical and business-orientated is designed to generate the wide array of knowledge and skills necessary for graduates entering a broad range of financial technology related positions across a variety of sectors. Guest industry speakers will be utilised to contextualise theories and challenges discussed in class and, case study challenges will be set for student assessments.

The teaching/learning strategy incorporates the use of computer-based applications and resources and, specifically, VLEs such as GCU Learn. Across the course a range of assessment methods are deployed which are designed to enable students to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding required of the aims of the programme as well as the array of intellectual, professional, and transferable skills demanded by employers. As such, a balance of coursework assessments has been created to ensure academic rigour in relation to knowledge and intellectual ability as well as the development of professional and transferrable skills.

The nature of assessment is specific and relevant to the module content and therefore includes an amalgamation of investigative research, critical analysis, methodological approach, problem-solving and critical self-reflection. The use of projects, reports, and various forms of examination and self-reflection are designed to meet all learning outcomes

In partnership with HM Forces, GCU has identified this course is being particularly suited to military and ex-military men and women. Visit the HM Forces Careers Zone for more information on the services we provide.