A PhD course that combines financial computing skills with science and engineering has been inundated with applicants for its first year.
London's first centre for financial computing, the UK Doctoral Training Centre in Financial Computing, based at University College London (UCL), set a target of up to 15 students per year, but it has already received 300 applications.
This is despite thousands of IT workers in financial services companies being made redundant and fierce competition for the remaining jobs.
The course will train researchers to develop and use analytical tools for tasks such as risk modelling, algorithmic trading and managing compliance. Banks use high-powered systems that rely on mathematical models to predict risks associated with investments. These systems help banks to protect their financial positions by making safer investments alongside riskier ones.
Philip Treleaven, professor of computing at UCL, who heads the course, said he is pleased with the response but warned that many applicants will be disappointed. "We have had 300 applicants, including a lot from countries such as China. We are looking to start with between 10 and 15 students and we can only fund EU students."