University of Sydney Handbooks - 2018 Archive

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Financial Mathematics and Statistics

Study in the discipline of Financial Mathematics and Statistics is offered by the School of Mathematics and Statistics in the Faculty of Science. Units of study in this major are available at standard and advanced level.

About the major

Financial mathematics and statistics is designed to meet the needs of a particularly popular area of employment for our mathematics graduates. Mathematics is the foundation of the financial world. It allows investors, traders and bankers to make optimal decisions and to distribute risk in a rational way. The mathematics behind finance is, however, not simple and relies heavily on ideas from statistics and the mathematical theory of random events.

Financial Mathematics and Statistics will give you a broad introduction to the methods and ideas of mathematical finance and will prepare you for employment in the financial sector or for honours and further study in the field.

Requirements for completion

A major in Financial Mathematics and Statistics requires 48 credit points, consisting of:

(i) 12 credit points of 1000 level units according to the following rules:

  • 6 credit points of calculus units; 3 credit points of linear algebra units and 3 credit points of statistics units; or
  • 3 credit points of calculus units; 3 credit points of linear algebra units and 6 credit points of data science units

(ii) 12 credit points of 2000-level core units
(iii) 12 credit points of 3000-level interdisciplinary project and core units
(iv) 6 credit points of 3000-level statistical modelling units
(v) 6 credit points of 3000-level mathematical modelling units

A minor in Financial Mathematics and Statistics is available and articulates to this major.

Pathway through the major

The requirements for a major/minor in Financial Mathematics and Statistics are spread out over three years of the degree (possibly four years if students are completing a combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies degree).

A sample pathway for the Financial Mathematics and Statistics major (over three years of a degree) is listed below.

Sample pathway: Financial Mathematics and Statistics major (48 credit points)



Units of study


Semester 1 or 2

Core: MATH1021/1921/1931, MATH1023/1923/1933 and MATH1002/1902, and either MATH1005/1905 or DATA1001


Semester 1

Core: STAT2011/2911 Probability and Estimation Theory

Semester 2

Core: MATH2070/2970 Optimisation and Portfolio Analysis


Semester 1 or 2

Core: Project Unit

Core: MATH3070/MATH3970 Financial Derivatives

Core: STAT3021 Stochastic Processes

Semester 1 or 2

Selective: 3000-level units listed for major

Please Note. This sample progression is meant as an example only. Depending on unit prerequisites, students may be able to complete these units in a different sequence from that displayed in the table above.

For details of the core and selective units of study required for the major or minor please refer to the Financial Mathematics and Statistics section of the unit of study table, Table S, in this handbook.

Fourth year

The fourth year is only offered within the combined Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Advanced Studies course.

Advanced coursework
The Bachelor of Advanced Studies advanced coursework option consists of 48 credit points, which must include a minimum of 24 credit points in a single subject area at 4000-level, including a project unit of study worth at least 12 credit points. Space is provided for 12 credit points towards the second major (if not already completed). 24 credit points of advanced study will be included in the table for 2020.

Students who complete a major in Financial Mathematics and Statistics may go on to honours in either Applied Mathematics or Statistics, depending on their interests and the units that they have chosen in their third year. Both Applied Mathematics and Statistics honours require 24 credit points of coursework and 24 credit points of project work.

Honours units of study will be available in 2020.

Contact and further information

First year enquiries email:

Other undergraduate enquiries email:
All enquiries phone: +61 2 9351 5804 or +61 2 9351 5787

School of Mathematics and Statistics
Level 5, Carslaw Building F07
University of Sydney NSW 2006

Professor Mary Myerscough
T 9351 3724

Learning Outcomes

Students who graduate from Financial Mathematics and Statistics will be able to:

  1. Construct logical, clearly presented and justified arguments incorporating deductive reasoning.
  2. Understand principles and concepts of a broad range of fundamental areas in mathematics and statistics with a particular focus on optimisation, risk analysis and stochastic processes.
  3. Formulate and model practical and abstract problems in mathematical terms using a variety of methods.
  4. Apply mathematical principles, concepts, techniques and technology to solve practical and abstract problems and interpret results critically with particular focus on problems that arise in the context of the financial sector.
  5. Appropriately interpret information communicated in mathematical or statistical form.
  6. Appropriately present information, reasoning and conclusions in a variety of modes, to diverse audiences (expert and non-expert).