Preparatory Courses

Incoming MFE students are required to attend the Math preparatory course in June before course commencement. Optional preparatory courses in Finance and Programming are also available. No extra credits will be given for these courses.

  • The Math preparatory course is compulsory for all incoming MFE students who are required to register, attend all classes as well as sit for the test at the end of the course.
  • The Basic Finance and Financial Computing Preparatory course introduces participants to the basics of finance and applications. It provides an overview of finance, basic theory, terminology and Excel computing commonly used in finance.
  • o The Programming Preparatory Course will help you to get a head start in programming languages to prepare for the MFE course, as well as give you a glimpse of what financial industry practitioners do today.

Prep Course Fees for AY2021

Math Preparatory onlyFees
Math Preparatory onlyS$750.00
Math Preparatory + 1 other preparatory courseS$1,350.00 per person
Math Preparatory + 2 other preparatory coursesS$1,800.00 per person


The Mathematics Preparatory Course is compulsory for all incoming MFE students. It is designed to refresh your mathematical skills and know-how, and will help you to brush up on your mathematical knowledge. The course comprises six 4-hour sessions and there will be a test at the end of the course.


Topics taught include:

Topic 1: Basic Mathematics

Sets, Real Number System, Surds and Logarithm, Simultaneous Equations, Functions, Polynomials

Topic 2: Matrix Algebra

Basic Matrix Operations; Elementary Row Operations; Determinants; Matrix Inverses; Linear Equations; Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors

Topic 3: Vector Space

Basic Vector Operations, Norms, Spanning Sets and Basis, Geometry of Vector Spaces, Gram-Schmidt Process

Topic 4: Differential Calculus

Series and Sequences; Limits & Continuity; Derivatives (including Partial Derivatives); Product Rule and Chain Rule; Taylor Series

Topic 5: Optimization

Unconstrained Optimization; Constrained Optimization

Topic 6: Integral Calculus

Definite & Indefinite Integrals; Techniques of Integration; Special Functions; Laplace Transforms

Topic 7: Difference and Differential Equations

Solving difference equations; First & Second Order Linear ODE; Solving ODEs using Laplace Transforms


Recommended Text: Lee Hon Sing and Gerald Cheang, Introduction to Calculus and Matrix Algebra with Applications in Finance, Second Edition, 2007, McGraw-Hill
*Course content is subject to revision.

Instructor: Assistant Professor Tong Ping

This Basic Finance and Financial Computing Preparatory Course is an introductory finance sequence designed for candidates who plan to enter the Master of Science in Financial Engineering (MFE) at the Nanyang Business School. Topics covered include the role of a financial system, the principles & mathematics of the time value of money, modelling financial statements, valuing firms using discounted free cash flow, basic valuation of bonds & stocks, fundamentals of capital budgeting, investment decision rules, and risk assessment. You will also learn how to use EXCEL to solve a set of linear equations, run simulations, and implement scenario & sensitivity analyses.

The course comprises five 4-hour sessions. Classes will be conducted in a seminar style together with in-class exercises. Microsoft Excel will be the only computing tool used in class.

You will receive handout materials comprising of PowerPoint slides and Excel Templates.


After taking this course:


Students will be able to:

  • explain basic principles and concepts of finance,
  • determine future cash flow of real and financial investments,
  • perform stand-alone risk assessment, and
  • use Excel functions and commands to build formulas and design analytical models.


Topics taught include:

Topic 1: What Is Finance and Why Study It?
Topic 2: Financial Statements
  • How business transactions enter financial statements
  • Understand balance sheet, income, and cash flow statements
  • Modeling financial statements – Solving a set of simultaneous equations
Topic 3: Time Value of Money
  • Compounding
  • Future value and present value of a lump sum
  • Frequency of compounding and continuous compounding
  • Nominal rate versus effective rate of Interest
  • Perpetual annuities and annuities
  • Loan amortization
  • Uneven Cash Flows
Topic 4: Bond and Stock plus Preferred Stock
  • Definition and Valuation
Topic 5: Project Investment Analysis
  • Capital budgeting decision rules: Payback methods, internal rate of return (IRR), modified IRR (MIRR), net present value (NPV)
  • Pros and cons of the decision rules
Topic 6: Cash Flow Estimation and Risk Analysis
  • Identifying and estimating cash flows
  • Project risk analysis: Techniques for measuring stand-alone risk – Implementing simulation, sensitivity, and scenario analyses.
Topic 7: Finance and The Financial System
  • Financial system and the flow of funds
  • Core functions of the financial system
  • Financial markets and intermediaries


Recommended Text: Zvi Bodie and Robert C. Merton, Finance, 1st Edition, (ISBN: 0-13-310897-X)

Instructor: Associate Professor Charlie Charoenwong

The Programming Preparatory Course is designed to give you a head start in financial modelling, data analysis, and coding. It will help you to prepare for the MFE course from a financial practitioner point of view.

This "crash" course will begin with showcasing real-world applications, walking you through essential syntax, and getting your mind and hands working together during the practical sessions.

The course comprises six 4-hour sessions and there will be a test at the end of the course.


Topics taught include:

Topic 1: Excel/VBA

Excel is a very handy tool to analyse data visually. We will enhance your basic skills from two aspects: more data analysis functions in spreadsheets and automation of tasks with VBA.

Topic 2: R

To build a foundation in programming, we start from a language with lots of built-in statistics/plotting capabilities. Plus, we do it in RStudio IDE which assists our coding practices. We will complete an introduction and make R a good companion for your daily computing use. If you would like to go further, pick up the FE8828 elective for data analysis.

Topic 3: Python/C++

We will go further with general-purpose programming with Python and introduce you to important programming concepts of OOP and Functional programming. We will do more programming exercises with finance examples.

After finishing this module, you are equipped to get some real tasks done for financial engineering.


Instructor: Dr. Yang Ye finds pleasure in programming to find things out. The school’s quantitative risk lead for global commodities supply chain, he holds a B.Eng in Mechanical Engineering (Mechatronics), PhD in Biological Science (Computational and Structural Biology), and Energy Risk Profession (GARP).