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Strathclyde University Offers UK’s First Fintech Degree Course

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

Good news for British banking sector after Scottish university offers first fintech degree course in the UK

The growing role of technology within the banking sector has been recognised after the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow launched the UK’s fintech course.

The course will offer students the chance to get a masters degree Financial Technology, and is being touted as a way to “support the digital transformation of Scotland’s financial sector”.

The importance of fintech is being recognised on a global level however. Last year the Swiss government proposed new rules to help encourage the survival and growth of fintech start-ups.

Royal Bank of ScotlandMasters Degree

“The MSc in Financial Technology will be taught at the Strathclyde Business School, and will aim to give students financial, programming and analytical skills to “further establish Scotland’s position as a leader in financial innovation” said the Scottish university.

It cited unnamed research as saying that fintech has the potential to create nearly 15,000 jobs in Scotland over 10 years.

The intensive course will start in September this year and will last a year.

The university says it will combine a core academic curriculum, coupled with “the entrepreneurial and innovative elements of fintech, including financial method, data analytics, regulation, and the applications of technologies such as blockchain and distributed ledgers.”

“Fintech is developing rapidly, utilising software and programming code in innovative ways,” said Daniel Broby, Director of Strathclyde’s Centre for Financial Regulation and Innovation. “It is driving efficiency up and costs down and the digitalisation of transactions is now a cross- disciplinary science.”

“The Scottish financial sector needs to capitalise on fintech or miss out,” said Broby. “Our new course will equip students with the essential skills and knowledge for a career in this field; it combines theory, intensive practice and industrial engagement.”

Growing Trend

The fintech degree course is recognition of the the changes sweeping through the financial services industry, driven by the emergence of new fintech players.

Last Autumn for example Accenture opened up applications for its Fintech Innovation Lab in London, to help early-stage startups working on financial technology to scale up.

And the impact of new technologies, such as Bitcoin, is already being felt within financial circles. That said, the Bank of England has previously warned that Bitcoin could pose a threat to financial stability in the UK should it see widespread adoption.

That cautious approach has not been mirrored by the British government however, after it said it was looking into how blockchain technology could be used to help it manage and keep track of the distribution of public money, such as grants and student loans.

IBM research meanwhile has predicted that blockchain would be used by majority of financial institutions within three years.

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