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 2020-2022

    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

    Data Analytics for Finance I & II

    6

    High-Performance Computing

    6

    Investments

    6
       

    Second semester

    ECTS

    Core Courses

     

    Blockchains and Digital Currencies

    3

    Information Security

    6

    Risk Management

    6

    Software Quality & Testing

    6

    Trading and Market Microstructure

    3

    Electives (6)

     

    Derivatives (required for "Advanced Derivatives") 

    6

    Financial Intermediation

    6
       

    Third semester

    ECTS

    Core Courses

    Distributed Algorithms I

    3

    Distributed Algorithms II - Protocols and Techniques for Blockchains

    3

    Financial Modelling

    6

    Machine Learning

    6

    Electives (15)

     

    Informatics

     

    Algorithms & Complexity

    6

    Computer Aided Verification

    6

    Mobile and Wearable Computing

    6

    Software Engineering

    6

    Software Performance

    6

    User Experience Design

    6

    Finance

     

    Advanced Derivatives

    3

    Alternative Investments

    6

    Financial Engineering

    6

    Fixed Income Markets

    6

    Launching Fintech Ventures

    6

    Project Management

    3

    Qualitative Marketing Research and Data Analysis

    3

    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

     

    Graphical Models and Network Science

    6

    Software Architecture

    6

    Software Atelier: Simulation, Data Science & Supercomputing

    6

    Economics

     

    Critical Consumer Behaviour

    6

    * 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

    The admission to English-language Master programmes at USI requires a good command of English. Non-native English speakers applying to the Master’s 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

    B2 First

    TOEIC

    Listening & Reading: 785
    Speaking: 150
    Writing: 160

    *Due to the current health emergency, USI temporarily accepts TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition and IETLS Indicator as alternatives to the standard tests.
    TOEFL: https://www.ets.org/s/cv/toefl/at-home/
    IELTS: https://www.ieltsindicator.com/

     

    Students admitted under the above-mentioned condition 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

    C1 Advanced, grade C or above
    BEC (Business English), grade C or above

    TOEIC

    Listening & Reading: 945
    Speaking: 180
    Writing: 180

    We only accept the English qualifications mentioned above. The certificate must still be valid at the point of the application. In general, we are not able to accept language test results older than 3 years, as of September 1st.  

     

    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.

    Exceptional Measure for the A.Y. 2020/21: when do I have to submit my English language certification?

    • Faculty of Communication, Culture and Society / Economics / Informatics: by 30 December 2020. 

      If a student/student fails to obtain the required level of English by the deadline, enrolment in the 2021 winter session will be cancelled, the exams taken in the intermediate session will be invalidated and admission to the Master's degree will not be confirmed.
      ​Candidates will also be required to reach level C1 by the deadline for obtaining the degree.