Master Thesis Guidelines
This page is intended to answer some questions you may have about the Master thesis for the MSc UZH ETH in Quantitative Finance. This site is solely for information purposes and has no legal validity. Please check the Study regulations / Studienordnung for further information.
Purpose of the Master Thesis
We want to appraise your ability
Nature of the Master ThesisYou have a lot of flexibility in your choice of project:
Role of the supervisor
The Master thesis supervisor has an important, but limited role. He
or she is to ensure that the topic you have agreed on is both acceptable and
feasible in the limited time, and that the method of analysis you have chosen is
appropriate and correct. Once this is done, you are essentially on your own until
you hand in the Master thesis for grading.
Choice of topics
Any field of (mathematical) finance is acceptable, insurance related topics included. Examples of possible topics are mergers and acquisitions, distribution policy, financing policy, investment policy, restructuring activity, real options valuation, derivatives pricing, hedging, fixed-income valuation, interest rate contingent claims valuation, credit-sensitive contingent claims valuation, operational risk modelling, model risk issues, securitization, numerical methods for option valuation, time series modelling, capital allocation, performance measurement, risk measurement, and many more.
Finding a supervisor and a topic
Any professor from the Faculty of Business, Economics and Informatics at the University of Zurich and any professor from the Department of Mathematics of ETH Zurich can be your thesis supervisor. Since we encourage a strong cooperation with the financial industry, consider also the following thoughts:
In any case, make sure your thesis supervisor is really interested in the topic you plan to work on.
Suggested length and form
The Master thesis should be about 20-60 pages long, although you should be aware that it is in fact quality and not quantity that matters. In essence, you should tell us as much as - and no more than - we need to understand what the problem is and what we can learn from it or how you have solved it.
Your Master thesis should be typed and printed in reasonable quality. You should familiarise yourself with the necessary text processing or typesetting software you plan to use before you start to work on your Master thesis. If you plan on writing a mathematically-orientated thesis (i.e., lots of formulas), the free TeX/LaTeX typesetting software is a good option, but requires a substantial initial time investment. The thesis has to be written in English. Exact proofreading is required and use of a spelling checker recommended.
Master Thesis in groups
Group work is not permitted.
The period allowed for completion of the Master thesis is six months and starts with the formal issuance of the topic. The oral presentation of the Master thesis has to be done within 4 weeks after the submission of the thesis. If your Master thesis is the last module before the completion of your studies please look at the Dean's office information on graduation.
Master Thesis Presentation
The Master thesis presentation has to be done within 4 weeks after the submission of the Master thesis and consists of a 30 minutes presentation followed by questions. This presentation is open to public and will be officially announced.
The Master thesis is graded. The supervising professor will assess the work submitted including the public presentation and will inform the student in writing of the grade awarded.
[RiskLab] [ETH Finance Group] [Department of Banking and Finance] [NCCR-FINRISK] [CCFZ]