NUS offers new Masters and PhD programmes in FinTech to boost digital finance research talent and capabilities in Singapore

The National University of Singapore (NUS) will offer two new graduate programmes in digital financial technology (FinTech) in the new academic year, to help build a robust ecosystem of high-quality research talent and capabilities to support the fast-growing financial industry in Singapore. The new Masters and PhD programmes are under the Asian Institute of Digital Finance (AIDF) at NUS, a university-level institute jointly founded by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the National Research Foundation Singapore (NRF) and NUS. The PhD programme, in particular, is Singapore’s first and only doctoral programme in FinTech.

In these uncertain times, more financial organisations than ever are leveraging FinTech to grow and improve their financial products, and to enable smooth and more innovative interaction with their customers.

“In this golden age of technology, banks are becoming more efficient as more operational processes are being automated by AI, and decision making is assisted by sophisticated data analytics. Such advancement is rapidly reshaping the financial services sector. At the same time, financial institutions are facing rapid market changes and intensified global competition. In-demand skillsets such as competencies in digital technologies and innovation, which our new Masters and PhD programmes are designed to impart, will give our graduates a significant competitive advantage to thrive in the industry,” shared Associate Professor Huang Ke-Wei, Director of Academic Programmes at AIDF, who is also from the NUS School of Computing (NUS Computing).

“AIDF is designed to be Asia’s premium research and academic institute to advance deep technology research and develop next-generation leaders in digital finance and FinTech. Its unique curriculum is structured to meet the industry’s technology skill requirements and integrated with a focus on financial inclusion, digital economy technology stack, and sustainability in high-growth markets. This key factor will foster high-quality talent development for an equitable and inclusive digital economy,” said Mr Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer of MAS and Co-Chair of AIDF Steering Committee.

Mr Beh Kian Teik, NRF Deputy Chief Executive Officer, said, “Digital talent is essential for Singapore to realise its ambition of being a trusted digital innovation hub. As such, the RIE-funded AIDF provides a good platform for the post-graduates – both Masters of Science and PhD candidates – to be trained in FinTech to serve the growing needs of the financial industry. This in turn ensures a pipeline of local talent that will strengthen Singapore’s Smart Nation core.”

Masters of Science in Digital Financial Technology

The 1.5-year Masters of Science in Digital Financial Technology is a collaborative programme by AIDF, NUS Computing and NUS Business School.

With an intake of 40 to 50 students, the Masters programme is designed primarily for those who plan to work in financial institutions or FinTech firms as AI software developers, data scientists, FinTech security specialists, or financial quantitative analysts.

The programme also offers elective modules that cover deep computing and finance expertise to help prepare graduates for future challenges in FinTech.

Students will undertake a two-semester long capstone project which is designed to help them pick up in-depth skills and knowledge in a focused area – such as artificial intelligence, machine learning or data analytics – via experiential learning. Students can choose either an academic research project, or a FinTech internship to gain industry work experience that supports the acquisition of practical work skills and self-directed learning.

Please visit here for more information on the Masters programme.

PhD in Digital Financial Technology

The PhD in Digital Financial Technology programme will be hosted jointly by the NUS Graduate School and AIDF. The programme will admit talented students with computing, finance, or STEM background, and it aims to train graduates who can excel with a strong technical foundation and independent research ability for driving financial innovations in academia as well as in FinTech industries.

As this is currently the only FinTech PhD programme in Singapore, graduates of this programme will be uniquely suited to work in the FinTech industry especially in fields where research projects require advanced quantitative techniques. Graduates may also become trainers in educational institutions to groom qualified FinTech manpower for Singapore and beyond.

In the unique design of the PhD programme, each student is guided by his/her own academic committee consisting of three faculty members from at least two different faculties. This academic committee will advise the student on coursework and research matters.

Students can take classes based on a personalised curriculum on the recommendations of his or her academic committee. They can take classes directly related to their research projects in areas such as AI or machine learning in finance, smart credit analytics, blockchain innovations, FinTech infrastructure, economics of FinTech innovations, or advanced time series forecasting.

Please visit here for more information on the PhD programme.

Applications to the new Masters and PhD programmes are now open and interested students should submit their applications before 15 April 2021.

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