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Overview

Important notice – campus change Students will complete the next two years on the Jordanstown campus (academic year 2019/20 and 2020/21). Thereafter, from 2021, they may transition campuses. Precise timings will be communicated as we progress through the final stages of the build of the enhanced Belfast campus. Find out more

This is a unique course, forming part of a Higher level Apprentice scheme, developed for the dynamic, growing FinTech sector.

Summary

This programme is designed to produce industry focused graduates with an in-depth knowledge of core finance and technology principles and a strong practical understanding of how theory informs professional practice.

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About this course

In this section

About

This programme offers an equal focus on finance and technology through extensive use of work-based learning and practical application. It aligns to the growing needs of the FinTech sector.

The Ulster University Business School has developed the BSc Hons Financial Technology working in partnership with employers, developing a programme which offers students the opportunity to take this degree as part of a Higher Level Apprenticeship Scheme.

Recruitment to this programme is conducted through the University jointly with employers.

Employer Benefits

  • The course encourages a direct talent pipeline for employers by providing school leavers with an important professional development opportunity, while taking the first steps in their future career.
  • The programme is focussed on the practical application of ideas, knowledge and methods specific to the FinTech sector.
  • Through a contemporary curriculum, graduates are future-proofed for their working life.
  • The flexible and co-created curriculum with employers has emphasis on applied and professional skills.

Student Benefits

  • Students have the opportunity to gain a valuable degree qualification whilst working in the FinTech sector.
  • Develop a broad skillset which will enhance your opportunities in your future professional career.
  • The course is a foundation for completion of complementary professional qualifications.

Attendance

The programme is delivered over an academic year part-time, through lectures, seminars and independent study. Typically, classes are scheduled in the mornings, afternoons and some evenings each year therefore some flexibility may be necessary.

Start dates

  • September 2019
How to apply

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Content

The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.

Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:

- the relevant generic national Qualification Descriptor

- the applicable Subject Benchmark Statement

- the requirements of any professional, regulatory, statutory and accrediting bodies.

Attendance and Independent Study

As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.

Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.

The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.

Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.

Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.

Assessment

Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.

Calculation of the Final Award

The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).

Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.

All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.

The first year comprises four compulsory modules, including 'Financial Mathematics and Statistics'; 'Programming I'; 'Business Analysis Foundations'; and 'Programming II (Javascript)'. These are to establish the academic foundation for the second year of the programme with the 'Business Analysis Foundations' module equipping you with the necessary key communication skills, soft skills and learning strategies to enhance your learning and employability.

In second year you develop further subject specialism. You will take four modules which develop knowledge and skills in areas including 'Introduction to Databases'; ' Financial Institutions and Markets'; 'Business Analysis in Practice'; and 'Financial Modelling'. The third year continues this, with modules in 'Human Computer Interaction'; 'Behavioural Sciences'; 'FinTech and Disruptive Innovation'; and a module which introduces students to 'Principles of Investing'.

You spend your final year developing specialist in-depth knowledge of 'Regulation and Ethics'; 'Behavioural Finance'; 'Big Data and Distributed Computing'; and 'Data Analytics'. Also, completed will be a 'Financial Technology Innovation Project', that will bring together all the skills developed the degree programme.

Academic profile

The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.

Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).

We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.

The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.

Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.

Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.

Modules

Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

In this section

Year one

Programming I

Year: 1

Computer programming is a fundamental skill expected of computing graduates. This module will introduce students to the foundational concepts of programming that will be used as building blocks in future modules. Students will also develop and enhance their problem solving skills as an integral part of the module.

Programming II (Javascript)

Year: 1

Computer programming is a fundamental skill expected of computing graduates. This module will introduce students to the object oriented concepts of programming that will be used as building blocks in future modules. Students will also develop and enhance their problem solving skills as an integral part of the module.

Financial Mathematics and Statistics

Year: 1

This module develops students' quantitative skills and provides the building blocks for subsequent quantitative analysis.

Business Analysis Foundations

Year: 1

This module is to address the range of concepts, approaches and techniques that are applicable to Business Analysis. It is to provide an overview of the role of the Business Analyst who acts as the link between business needs, stakeholders and I.T. within change initiatives.

Year two

Introduction to Database Systems

Year: 2

Database management is a fundamental skill expected of Computing and Business graduates. This module will introduce students to the fundamental concepts of database design, implementation, querying and management of relational database systems.

Financial Institutions and Markets

Year: 2

To provide students with an overview of the financial system. It seeks to develop students' understanding of financial markets, institutions and the environment within which they operate.

Financial Modelling

Year: 2

The primary objective of this module is to provide an introduction to econometric theory and techniques, especially linear regression analysis, hypothesis testing and application with financial time series. With extensive use computer packages such as Python or Microsoft Excel students will be able to use real data to analyse financial models.

Business Analysis in Practice

Year: 2

This module is to provide students the opportunity to put their foundation-level knowledge into practice. This is to help develop skills and knowledge to support successful business change programmes within an organisation.

Year three

Behavioural Sciences

Year: 3

This module is designed to enable students to acquire diagnostic knowledge and understanding of human behaviour in organisations. Additionally, students are required to become proficient in the practice of key management competencies.

Human Computer Interaction

Year: 3

Human-Computer Interaction is an important topic given that there is a number of novel and emerging user interfaces being developed. More than ever, there are also user demands and expectations for intuitive and usable user interfaces. This module will provide a foundation for user experience researchers and analysts.

Principles of Investing

Year: 3

This module provides students with the necessary knowledge and skills to understand the relevance & importance of functioning financial markets, develops knowledge of the global financial services industry, financial assets and investment products and to critically evaluate competing and complementary trading and investing styles.

FinTech and Disruptive Innovation

Year: 3

This module considers the financial inclusion and reshaping of financial instruments through disruptive technologies. The module will take a dynamic approach to allow understanding of, for example, cryptocurrency and blockchains, RegTech, the FinTech revolution, cyber-security and data protection and regulatory issues. It will also provide: an understanding of how data science is at the core of transformation of the financial sector; and an insight into AI and machine learning.

Year four

Big Data and Distributed Computing

Year: 4

Within this module a variety of database and data storage paradigms will be explored, ranging from more traditional relational systems to NoSql and object stores, time series databases and graph stores.

Consideration will be given to big data and the problem with storing and querying high volumes of highly variable data which is stored and processed at a high speed. The cloud computing paradigm will also be introduced and how to avail of its power and resources.

The core concepts of distributed computing will be examined in the context of Hadoop. Students will be taught, practically and theoretically, about the components of Hadoop, workflows, MapReduce, Spark, Pig and Hive.

Data Analytics

Year: 4

In the era of cloud computing and big data, this module will provide students with the theory and practical foundations for undertaking real world data analytics.

Regulation and Ethics

Year: 4

This module provides an understanding of the regulatory compliance issues critical to a role in financial services in the 21st Century.

Behavioural Finance

Year: 4

The module aims to provide students with a knowledge and understanding of theoretical and empirical limitations of traditional finance theory and presents the foundations of behavioural finance. Students will have the opportunity to explore the opportunities for behavioural investing and systematic trading model design and be able to evaluate different trading models.

Financial Technology Innovation Project

Year: 4

This module will serve as an integrating mechanism for all other modules on the degree programme, as well as developing powers of analysis and evaluation and project management skills. Through this module, students will also develop knowledge and skills in research methods, and consultancy tools and techniques in preparation for completion of their applied technology management project which will add real value to their host organisation.

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

A level

A level grades BCC if including A-Level Mathematics or

A level grades BBC if not completing A-level Mathematics

Applied General Qualifications

Overall BTEC level 3 QCF Extended Diploma with profile DMM to include Unit profile of 8 distinctions.

OR

BTEC Level 3 RQF BTEC Extended Diploma with profile DMM

Irish Leaving Certificate

Overall Irish Leaving Certificate profile H3, H3,H3,H3,H4 or H3,H3,H3,H4,H4 to include grade H3 Maths at Higher Level. Plus English Language at grade H6 at Higher level or grade O4 at Ordinary level.

Scottish Highers

The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is grades BCCCC to include a grade B in Higher Maths or grades BBCCC.

Scottish Advanced Highers

The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is grades CDD to include a grade C in Advanced Maths or grades CCD.

International Baccalaureate

Overall International Baccalaureate profile minimum 25 points (12 at higher level).

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Overall Access profile of 63% to include 63% in all Maths modules.

GCSE

GCSE Profile to include Mathematics with a minimum grade B

GCSE Profile to include English Language with a minimum grade C

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Career options

The programme was developed in response to the skills requirements of the expanding global financial and associated professional services market with the application of technology in financial services. In addition to the increasing consultancy positions, Financial Technology graduates would be in a position to move into a range of financial services sector areas, research and analytics roles. The integration of commercially relevant assessment and applied research projects equips graduates with a range of highly employable skills and commercial awareness.

Apply

How to apply Request a prospectus

Applications for this programme are open from 28 June to 30 August 2019. Applicants should initially apply direct to Ulster University. If applicants meet the University entry requirements they will progress to the next stage of application to the employer. Successful applicants at this stage will be invited by employer(s) to attend an interview for employment. Interviews will run through September. Applicants who are successful at both stages will attend a one-week boot camp and the apprenticeship begins with four-days in employment and one day in University

Start dates

  • September 2019

Contact

Admissions contact regarding application process:

Jenny Semple

T: +44 (0)28 90368397

E: je.semple@ulster.ac.uk

Course Director: Claire McCann

T: +44 (0)28 9036 6447

E: c.badger@ulster.ac.uk

For more information visit

Ulster University Business School

Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics

Disclaimer

  1. The University endeavours to deliver courses and programmes of study in accordance with the description set out in this prospectus. The University’s prospectus is produced at the earliest possible date in order to provide maximum assistance to individuals considering applying for a course of study offered by the University. The University makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in the prospectus is accurate but it is possible that some changes will occur between the date of printing and the start of the academic year to which it relates. Please note that the University’s website is the most up-to-date source of information regarding courses and facilities and we strongly recommend that you always visit the website before making any commitments.
  2. Although reasonable steps are taken to provide the programmes and services described, the University cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility and the University may make variations to the contents or methods of delivery of courses, discontinue, merge or combine courses and introduce new courses if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key staff, changes in legislation or government policy including changes, if any, resulting from the UK departing the European Union, withdrawal or reduction of funding or other circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control.
  3. If the University discontinues any courses, it will use its best endeavours to provide a suitable alternative course. In addition, courses may change during the course of study and in such circumstances the University will normally undertake a consultation process prior to any such changes being introduced and seek to ensure that no student is unreasonably prejudiced as a consequence of any such change.
  4. The University does not accept responsibility (other than through the negligence of the University, its staff or agents), for the consequences of any modification or cancellation of any course, or part of a course, offered by the University but will take into consideration the effects on individual students and seek to minimise the impact of such effects where reasonably practicable.
  5. The University cannot accept any liability for disruption to its provision of educational or other services caused by circumstances beyond its control, but the University will take all reasonable steps to minimise the resultant disruption to such services.