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MPhil specialising in Financial Technology
Home > Programmes > Postgraduate > MPhil specialising in Financial Technology

MPhil specialising in Financial Technology

Overview

Convener: A/Prof Co-Pierre Georg ( co-pierre.georg@uct.ac.za ). Important note: Please ensure you read this entire page before emailing Co-Pierre.

Information technology is becoming pivotal for the financial services industry, which faces changing skills needed to deal with an increasingly complex regulatory framework and increased competitive pressure from fintech start-ups.

UCT, through the Departments of Statistics and Computer Science, the School of Economics, and the UCT Financial Innovation Lab, is ideally positioned to address the shortage of suitably trained graduates in this area. Based on an existing MSc specialising in Data Science, an interdisciplinary degree convened by the Department of Statistics, UCT has created this new degree in Financial Technology by offering three elective courses and a 60-credit dissertation convened by the Financial Innovation Lab.

In this Master's degree, students acquire the necessary finance and computer science skills to start a career in the financial services industry. Specifically, the degree will cover the following courses:

Semester 1 

Course Code Course Name NQF Credits HEQSF Level
CSC5007Z Databases for Data Scientists 12 9
STA5075Z Statistical & High-Performance Computing 12 9
STA5076Z Supervised Learning 18 9
STA5077Z Unsupervised Learning 12 9
 TOTAL CREDITS 54  

Semester 2 

Course Code Course Name NQF Credits HEQSF Level
ECO5037S Fintech and Cryptocurrencies 24 9
ECO4053S Financial Economics 14 8
INF5XXXS Financial Systems Design 14 8
ECO4131S Digital Economics 14 8
ECO5016W  Minor Dissertation in FinTech 60 9
 TOTAL CREDITS 126  

TOTAL CREDITS: 180

The Fintech and Cryptocurrencies course will be taught en bloc at the end of the first semester, and all practicals for this course will be project-focused. Students are encouraged to collaborate with fintech startups in the vibrant Cape Town ecosystem and work on practical projects for their thesis.

Through this collaboration, we hope to instil an entrepreneurial spirit in the students. Because of the practical focus of the degree as a whole and the Minor Dissertation, in particular, we envisage that some of the dissertation projects might lead to commercially viable ideas.

Entrance requirements

A relevant Honours degree or equivalent (equivalent to a UCT Hons degree), with at least a good 2nd class pass (above 65%). Note that the 65% threshold is not a binding restriction.

Finance

UCT has several scholarships available. Please look at this page for more information on those options. In addition, there are various dedicated scholarships available for students of the MPhil in Financial Technology.

Frequently Asked Question

  • Can I apply via email?

    Note that we cannot accept applications via email. As indicated on our website, you must apply online through the application form. Every applicant must complete the official online application form above

  • I do not have a four year degree, can I still apply?

    You need a four year degree (e.g. a Bachelors + Honours) to be eligible for this Masters, i.e. an NQF level 8 qualification. Unfortunately, we cannot count work experience towards your qualifications.

  •  I do not have a background in computer science or statistics, can I still apply

    The requirement of having a background in computer science and statistics is not a binding one. We are interested in top students from a variety of backgrounds. You will need a healthy dose of mathematics, though, and must have at least a strong desire to learn how to program.

  •  I do not have 65% in my Honours, can I still apply?

    The requirement of having 65% is not a binding one. Note, however, that admission into the course will be highly competitive.

  • Should I submit my CV as part of the online application?

    Yes. We will still consider your application if the CV is missing, but to give us a full overview of your background, please include it. If you forgot to submit your CV and you cannot change your application, please send it to co-pierre.georg@uct.ac.za with your full name and student number (if available)

  • What level of mathematics and coding do I need?

    In terms of math, you will need some basic calculus (in particular you need to understand what a gradient is) and statistics. We don't per se require you to have taken coding classes at university before, but ideally you have coding experience or at the very least a strong interest in learning how to cod

  •  I want to do the degree part-time. When are classes and do I need to be based in Cape Town?

    The program can be done both full time and part-time, but you will need to be in Cape Town either way since classes will be in the morning or late afternoon. There is also some teaching en bloc from mid June to mid July. For both full time and part-time students, the degree will be one year since part-time students will have some professional experience already which should make it a bit easier for them to cope with the workload. We do not have the full schedule yet but will update this document as soon as we have.

  • My coding is a bit rusty, what can I do to brush it up?

    One way of doing this is to do some of the online courses offered by codecademy, udemy, or coursera. We will be using a lot of python in the degree. Check https://github.com/cogeorg/teaching and in particular our wikis for extensive reading lists and a collection of self-study materials that will help you be optimally prepare

  • How many students will you admit to the program?

    We will be admitting no more than 15 students per year. The program will be heavily oversubscribed. However, we will give every single application our full consideration and want to encourage all interested students to apply.

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