New Fintech Master's to prepare students for sector's challenges

Media Relations Team, 30 May 2019

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The University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) is to launch a Fintech Master's degree in September. The course is set to prepare students for the regulatory and ethical challenges likely to arise around new disruptive technologies, and will give them the chance to gain in-depth knowledge on subjects including cryptocurrencies, Blockchain technology, and financial crime.

Financial Technologies (Fintech) is a term describing new technologies that look to improve and automate financial services. The MSc will combine expertise from the University's Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, as well as the Department of Computer Science and Creative Technologies.

"By bringing the two sets of expertise together, the course will provide a very powerful combination that will lead to students understanding both data science and the world of finance - a rare blend of skills for graduates," said Debbie Sturge, who is Departmental Academic Director for Accounting, Economics and Finance.

Although the titles of the modules are yet to be finalised, the programme will include programming and data science skills, applied finance and exploration of the Fintech environment, with a focus on project based learning supported by industry partners.

A range of specialist options might include Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies, Big Data, Machine Learning and Predictive Analytics, Financial Engineering, Information Risk Management and Financial Crime.

Students will benefit from a range of additional resources at the University such as the Bloomberg Trading Room, and have opportunities to engage with the Big Data Lab and Future Space enterprise incubator.

Dr Jin Sa, who is Departmental Academic Director in the Department of Computer Science and Creative Technologies, said: "Overall, this programme will play an important part in ensuring that employers and individuals in the finance sector have ready access to the knowledge and skills they need to compete successfully in the global digital economy."

Bristol is a burgeoning Fintech hub with increasing numbers of new employers and entrepreneurs choosing to set up their operations in the city, building on the skilled talent pool and favourable business environment offered.

The programme has been developed with the collaboration of major employers and drivers of Bristol's Fintech development. It will provide students with well-developed business networks and integration of expert contribution from employers and entrepreneurs into course delivery.

Fintech West, an umbrella organisation that brings together Fintech businesses in the Bristol region, is to work with the University through the new MSc.

Its Director Stuart Harrison said: "I'm delighted that UWE Bristol is launching the MSc and working closely with local industry to do so. Across the technology and commercial curriculum, UWE Bristol has recognised the opportunity and threat that new technology such as robots and AI brings by preparing future entrepreneurs, technologists and captains of industry with the necessary skills to harness these new developments for good and the whole of society."

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