Events

Structure and contents

The Master of Science in Financial Technology and Computing has been designed to provide students who have a strong background in informatics with the necessary tools and skills for understanding core challenges in finance while, at the same time, learn about the advanced technology that is needed to drive the next generation finance services

Informatics has silently revolutionized banking and finance. Not only is modern banking entirely run by software - newly developed cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin) and form factors (mobile phones) are also shaking up the finance industry. From algorithmic trading to robo investing, from crowdlending to mobile payments - with a degree in Financial Technology and Computing you will be well positioned to be part of these exciting developments.

This Master offers a highly challenging program that delivers key skills in a novel interdisciplinary domain. A two-tiered structure starts students off with a set of well-balanced core courses from both informatics and finance in the first year, followed by a broad set of electives that can be chosen in the second year, according to personal interests and abilities. A fourth semester Master's thesis that can be done within the context of a university research group, or in collaboration with industry, embedded in our Fintech Laboratory.

As one of the world's foremost centers for finance, Switzerland is at the forefront of the new Fintech industry. Since English is the unique teaching language, graduates are well-prepared to work in international companies in Switzerland and beyond.

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  • Study programme

    This full time programme stretches over two years. It allows students to personalize their study curricula according to their interests. The core skills are acquired in the first two semesters. The third semester is dedicated to more specialized courses and electives that can be chosen according to the students' preference. For example, students interested in an area such as cryptocurrencies take as electives Software Performance and Distributed Algorithms. Those with an interest in personalized finance (aka "Robo Advising") may instead take Banking, Corporate Finance, and Project Management, while those interested in Algo trading take Advanced Derivatives, Advanced Asset Pricing II, Fixed Income Markets, and Financial Engineering. In the fourth semester, students have a choice of completing their master thesis in a university research group, or a more applied thesis project in a company - both carried out in collaboration with the Fintech Laboratory.

     

    First semester

    ECTS

    Core Courses

    Distributed Systems 

    6

    Financial Econometrics**

    6

    Financial Modelling**

    6

    High-Performance Computing

    6

    Investments

    6
       

    Second semester

    ECTS

    Core Courses

     

    Graphical Models and Network Science

    6

    Information Security

    6

    Risk Management**

    6

    Software Quality & Testing

    6

    Electives (6)

     

    Derivatives** (required for "Advanced Derivatives") 

    6

    Financial Intermediation

    6
       

    Third semester

    ECTS

    Core Courses

    Artificial Intelligence 

    3

    Blockchains – Protocols and Techniques for Distributed Trust*

    6

    FinTech Seminar

    3

    Master Thesis***

    6

    Electives (18/12)

     

    Informatics

     

    Algorithms & Complexity

    6

    Computer Aided Verification

    6

    Distributed Algorithms*

    6

    Mobile and Wearable Computing

    6

    Software Engineering

    6

    Software Performance

    6

    User Experience Design

    6

    Finance

     

    Advanced Derivatives**

    3

    Financial Engineering**

    6

    Fixed Income Markets**

    6

    Other courses from the Master programmes offered by the Faculty of Economics

       

    Fourth semester

    ECTS

    Master Thesis*** (research or applied)

    24/30

    Electives (6/0)

     

    Inform​atics

     

    Advanced Computer Architectures

    6

    Advanced Networking

    6

    Business Intelligence and Applications

    6

    Business Process Modeling, Management and Mining

    6

    Compiler Construction

    6

    Software Architecture

    6

    Software Atelier: Simulation, Data Science & Supercomputing*

    6

    Economics

     

    Critical Consumer Behaviour

    6

    * The course is not offered in the Academic Year 2019/20.
    ** To obtain the SFI accreditation, students have to achieve 45 ECTS among these courses.
    *** The Master Thesis can be started in the 3rd semester.

    Please be aware that slight changes in the study programme may occur. 

  • Teaching

    Top-level faculty of international renown teach innovative courses, with a strong multi-disciplinary orientation and in collaboration with prestigious institutions at local and international level. Professors are pursuing research on a variety of topics and are active participants in Swiss and international research projects and networks. Visiting professors from renowned universities complement the top-quality teaching.

    Teaching methods at both the Faculty of Informatics and the Faculty of Economics stress an interactive approach or dialogue with the students. Further, as most tasks in organisations become increasingly interdisciplinary it is also important to be able to work across traditional areas, which is a skill that is actively encouraged within the programme. This is reflected in the variety of different teaching methods used including lectures, case studies, group work, games and fieldwork.

    The Faculty and the students are an international group, with education and work experience from across the world. This increases learning and cultural exchanges, as students learn to work effectively with people from different cultures.

    Academic Directors: Marc Langheinrich and Eric Nowak

    Co-Directors: Fernando Pedone and Paul Schneider

  • Language

    Admission to English-language graduate-level (Master) programmes at USI require a good command of the English idiom. Non-English native speakers applying for such programmes, or whose previous degree was obtained in another language, are required to provide an internationally acknowledged language certificate equal to the B2 level, as defined by the Common European Framework of Reference for language learning (CEFR), or equivalent (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS, etc.).

    The B2 level on the CEFR corresponds to the following scores in internationally acknowledged exams:

    IELTS 5.5
    TOEFL Computer based: 183
    Internet based: 65
    Paper based: 513
    Cambridge English FCE (First Certificate English)
    TOEIC Listening & Reading: 785
    Speaking: 150
    Writing: 160

    Students admitted under the above mentioned condition (with the exception for the Master in Cognitive Psychology in Health Communication) must achieve a C1 competence in English within the maximum time required to obtain the Master's degree.
    The level can be certified either by attending a language course offered at USI during the Fall and Spring semester, and by taking the final exam, or by providing an internationally acknowledged language certificate*.

    *  The C1 level on the CEFR corresponds to the following scores in internationally acknowledged exams:

    IELTS 7.0
    TOEFL Internet based: 100
    Cambridge English CAE (Advanced certificate), grade C or above
    BEC (Business English), grade C or above
    TOEIC Listening & Reading: 945
    Speaking: 180
    Writing: 180

    Italian

    As Lugano is located in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, students might be interested in acquiring the basics in Italian.
    The Università della Svizzera italiana offers a free of charge Italian language course: further information can be found here.