We are grateful for the good wishes and compliments we receive in the testimonials that are sent to us. We also welcome constructive criticism from those who have attended our programmes and seek to improve our course offerings consistently. Here are a few of our recent FTP attendees and their thoughts. 

MSc Law and Finance Student 

I chose to study the Finance Trading Programme as I wanted to get a more hands-on approach on complex financial topics. During normal lectures, we don’t have the time to see whether the theories we learn are applicable to the real world, and if they are, how. The Trading Programme provides me with the practical tools that I will need in the real world to analyse the markets and based on that, take trades.

I would like to say that David Norman is a fantastic teacher. From the beginning of the first session you could feel that he is passionate about trading and is doing an excellent job getting us to understand the complexity and interrelatedness of the financial markets. The structure of the module is conceived in a way to first teach us the basic concepts about a certain topic and during the second part of the session let us trade on what we just learned. It is really helpful to use the same software as professional traders, such as X-trader, because it allows us to view the financial markets from the eyes of a professional.

In addition to the scheduled sessions, David makes a lot of effort to keep us updated on current topics, for instance by sending us interesting articles, and organizes events with special speakers from the industry – he invited a professional trader talking about tracker funds, something I had heard about before, but didn’t really know what it was. After the presentation, I felt like another part of the big finance puzzle had been put together, which by the way is the overall feeling I get by participating in the Financial Trading Programme.

I think the main skill that I’ve gained through participating in the Trading Programme is to critically analyse information in the news about particular political, social or economic events and to interpret their meaning as well as their impact on major financial variables. I really think the Trading Programme is a very enriching experience for me. It allows me to discuss current events with an experienced trader who can offer me a completely different view on the markets than I could get by just reading articles or going to my lectures. It is also a truly enriching complement to my normal lectures. For instance, I am taking a lecture called‘Financial Derivatives’, where we discuss the way derivatives are priced and how they work. It is in the training session that I get a chance to use my knowledge via the trading software.

I feel that I have gained a more profound understanding of the way the financial markets work and this will certainly make it easier for me to find a job in the industry.

MSc Investment and Finance Student 

Based on my experience, I have found the finance-trading program very helpful, especially the trading lab session. This program provides me with a great opportunity to put the academic theories learned from other modules into practice. I have been able to learn how to use the proprietary trading software like X-trader on the real time simulated global market which gives me a taste of how a trader’s daily work is like.

Besides the five scheduled modules conducted by David Norman as an experienced financial professional, several extra guest speakers were invited during last semester, which provided the opportunity to communicate face to face with financial professionals who are still working in the front line. This truly added value to this program. Another reason I enjoy the program is the flexibility of its timetable. Several different time spots are available for each session including the weekend, which makes it easy to fit in to my schedule.

MSc Business Finance Student 

I have been attending the Finance Trading Programme since the very first class and it is one of the most interesting subjects for me.

My main reason for choosing the Finance Trading Programme was to understand more about Investment Banking and it’s been very helpful to say the least. David Norman’s way of teaching is very easy to understand, and with the kind of experience he has in the markets, it’s an added advantage. The examples he gives while teaching makes it easy to understand the subject.

The program has been very helpful to say the least. It has helped me to analyse situations better and understand the co-relation between various financial assets. Having theoretical knowledge is one thing and how to adapt it in the dynamic world is another. And the course teaches us how to apply our knowledge to the real world. Furthermore, David is very interactive in the class and has vast amounts of knowledge and experience. I don’t remember a time when a question has been put to him and is unanswered. The explanations are so good that by going through the lecture notes after a month, you can still recall the examples given for the justification of the theoretical concept.

MSc Banking and Finance Student 

One of the main reasons why I chose Queen Mary University of London as the place I wanted to study was because of the additional classes that the School is running in order to make studying within the School of Economics and Finance more enjoyable.

The Finance Trading Program is a class that intrigued me and excited me to think that I will be gaining real life experience of trading whilst being a student. Even as a beginner and someone who has never traded nor has the knowledge of trading, the program is very “on point” with what it teaches. Since joining this class I have expanded my knowledge of the finance industry and how it works.

Another key element of the course which I thought was excellent is the interaction with David Norman, as a lecturer he is exceptional, has the ability to put you in awe of the topics he teaches and is patient with everyone which as beginners is appreciated. Throughout the course you realise how well it fits with the master’s programme and the individual modules that we study. It gives you in-depth information regarding the industry and also the skills of trading and the use of Bloomberg which is vital for you to hit the ground running when you start your career.

Overall I think the Finance Trading program is too good of a program to miss out on and it is a fun and enjoyable experience for everyone.

MSc Business Finance Student 

I chose to study the Finance Trading Programme as I have always been intrigued by trading but never had the chance to learn in a classroom environment with a teacher preparing you from a beginner’s level. So far, I think that the programme has been fantastic and very useful. David Norman kindly allowed me to take part in a boot camp over the holidays in which I gained a Certificate in Energy Trading from The Institute for Market Technology. This is yet another boost to my job applications and personal skills. As for the classes, David is an incredible teacher. Each and every class is very informative. His explanations are very clear and the classes are so enjoyable that I forget I’m in class!

The programme definitely complements my MSc studies as David’s teaching links some of the modules I have studied to real-time trading. My MSc modules have become clearer since taking the trading programme and the skills that I have gained consist of a deeper theoretical knowledge and practical understanding of financial markets. I have also learnt trading strategies on real-time simulated global markets. The programme will benefit me because by the time that I complete it, I will be able to trade for myself. Furthermore, it has exposed me to more career opportunities.

MSc Investment and Finance Student 

I have always had a deep interest in financial markets and the people that participate in them. My knowledge however was not very advanced so I saw the Finance Trading Programme as a unique opportunity to learn. I also intend to apply for trading jobs. The programme modules, teaching, workshops, boot camps and research options have been engaging and thought provoking. In terms of my MSc Investment and Finance degree they have helped me to see how and when theory can be applied into practical trading strategy.

David Norman has taught me a range of trading skills such as basic technical analysis on charts, Scalp trading with packages such as X-trader, buying long and selling short on virtual trading sites to name a few. Most importantly he has given me the ability to use economic events and data on many credible internet sources to make well informed trading decisions that take into account risks.

The programme will definitely help me to become a trader if I decide that I want to go down that particular career path. It will also give me the option to use my own funds to generate a stream of income.The Finance Trading Programme is a success and a privilege to experience and hope that its success continues.

Anca Lacatus 2016/17

I am writing this one year after finishing the FTP programme and my MSc course at QMUL. I think this is worth noted as I can give insight on how the FTP programme helped me secure and perform the role I wanted.

I cannot thank prof. Norman enough for holding this great course and for being so knowledgeable, patient and helpful. Although a Masters degree is valuable in itself, the FTP programme completes the experience with real life application of theory ( for example in X Trader and  Bloomberg). Having someone walk you through Bloomberg and give you the confidence to operate it is invaluable experience, especially when considering bringing this up in an interview. From the basic concepts of trading to more exotic and intriguing concepts like Gann Angles, the classes are literally packed with information. Add a relaxed, thought nurturing environment and the excitment that volatility on a screen brings about and you have the perfect way of learning. I think it’s safe to say I savoured the classes. 

As a professional, I will be returning to take more classes with prof. Norman as they impacted me positively in every aspect and really helped kick start my career at one of the leading investment banks.

Monika Azukaite 2017/1018

I took part in the FTP at the time of my postgraduate studies here at QMUL 2017/2018. I found that the programme equipped me with a breadth of necessary skills, rich insights into the financial services industry and certainly covered a range of topics which at the time were highly intertwined with my postgraduate modules. In addition, taking part in the FTP has given me a set of practical skills and knowledge which are applicable to the career path I am currently in search for and my current role which I am in now. At the moment I am working as a Business Development Executive at Kiwi Power in the energy sector. My role entails of a lot of financial analysis, ROI cases preparation, portfolio management, and asset management. However, am currently in search of another finance role which allows me to use the practical skills that I have picked up over the last year or so involving some of the topics stated below:

  • Economic cycles & market interrelatedness
  • The business of trading
  • Money & risk management
  • Technical analysis
  • Trading Bonds
  • FX & Money market products
  • Trading Cash liquidities & stock indices
  • Trading derivatives such as commodity futures & indices 
  • Trading options & exotics
  • Quant trading & computational finance
  • Finance data science & HFT

Throughout the programme, I received a lot of support from David Norman who was very inspirational from start to finish. I have a greater understanding about the financial industry as a whole and I am now able to Overall the QMUL FTP proved to be very much beneficial as it tends to capture the interviewer’s attention and becomes a regular talking point for me during my interviews. I am grateful to have invested my time in this programme.

Achilleas Magnitis 2016/2017

FTP in supporting further education, career and job hunting

I enrolled for the Finance Trading Program provided by the School of Economics and Finance of QMUL in my first year as an undergraduate. The program was taught by
Dr. David Norman and the classes took place once a week for 2 hours. In the first few lessons we learned the basics of trading and how trading is used by individuals and companies in order to buy or sell commodities, financial derivatives and currencies in the global market. After the introduction, we started using the Bloomberg terminal and its platform which allowed us to keep up with everyday fluctuations of prices in the global market. As we further progressed into the module and guided by the knowledge and expertise of Dr. David, we started using the Bloomberg terminal along with other trading software and traded on real-time simulated global markets with virtual money. 

This program was in my opinion one of the most interesting modules provided by the school and by the end of the year, after completing and passing an online assessment we earned a certificate for the extensive knowledge of financial trading. I personally, continued this module going into my 2nd year and at the end of that year we had the unique opportunity and honour to demonstrate our knowledge of the Bloomberg terminal in June 2017 at the Opening of the Graduate Centre of QMUL’s School of Economics and Finance in

the attendance of Her Royal Highness. 

At the moment, I am in my final year of my undergraduate degree and after successfully establishing the knowledge of financial trading, along with the references of my professors I have secured a place at King’s College for the postgraduate degree in MSc Risk Analysis. It was an honour and a great privilege to have the opportunity to learn from Dr. David and I would definitely recommend the program to anyone interested in financial trading and seeks to succeed in the financial sector.


Pei Zhang 2018/19

“The FDS may be the most practical and useful modules I have during the whole master learning period. It not only gives us a whole brief structure of how financial markets work but also equips us practical skills to do investment analysis and decisions. Specially the lecturer is much experienced, knowledgeable and have a good style of teaching to elaborate everything clearly. Honestly speaking, it is really one of the best modules I get during the master!”

Bader Ziad Barhoti 2018/19

The Financial Trading Program (FTP) has been the link between theory and practice during my post graduate studies. It was a highly engaging program as its aim was not only to discuss existing financial theories but also to examine their practical implication and limitation in the financial world. In addition, the program helped in learning about tools and softwares (Ex: Bloomberg Terminal) used by practitioners to help formulating and implementing financial strategies.

Athenasios Athenasiou 2018/19

In the past, I have done a similar trading program in a seminar format at Saxo bank, which was a good introduction into the practical side of the trading world. The FTP course, that you have put together is very well structured and covers broad spectrum of topics. The course has taught me to operate all the basic functions in Bloomberg and other trading platforms, something I didn’t know before. Also, the course follows perfectly the theoretical subject areas taught in core modules and applies the concepts in a more practical and real life way. The FTP course is a good introductory module to a future career in the financial sector.

Nan He 2018/19

FTP is one of the most interesting courses in my master study. I learnt a lot from it, not only theories but also practical things, like how to use Bloomberg and X-trader. This course broadens our career options, it trains us how to be a trader and also provides a certificate if we pass 60%, which is very useful for us, especially for the students who want to be traders in the future.

Also, at the beginning of the class, you always give us some questions then linking them to international news recently, this is the part I like, which let us how important to know the international situations if you were a trader.

As you know, I need to use more time on studies because I hope to apply a PhD in the future, but FTP is such attractive and helpful, so I still insist on attending every lecture. Last time, I went to China career networking, I still remember when I told a company staff I have an accounting and finance background, she was not interested in me. But when I said I learnt how to trade in FTP and also some software such as Python, C++ in King’s, she introduced a position related to trading to me and hoped I could apply it. 

Thank you for teaching us a lot. 

Greg Amoils 2017/18

I completed the FDS (Financial data Science) programme in 2018 and I have to say it was one of the most useful of the programmes I have studied. It brought me up to date with the technology, practices and requirements of data science in the finance industry and provided an insight into how I can use it in my daily work. I was particularly interested in how I could integrate python and the course provided me with the answers. Along with the FTP which I took in 2007/08, the FDS is a hands-on practical education in Fintech and data science that every finance professional should study. 

Wai Kit Yeong 2015/2016

Coming from a legal background, the FTP was the ideal course for me to immerse myself in the financial markets data science and get proper hands-on experience. It was one of the best courses I have taken due to its applicability to everyday financial situations. I have found that during my interviews, potential employers are keen to find out about my experience with this extra-curricular programme, and I do think that it adds value not just in terms of knowledge, but also in demonstrating one’s interest in the financial industry.

David is more than just a tutor for the programme; he is a mentor who goes above and beyond to get to know his students and even provide career guidance to those who seek help from him. The structure of the course is well thought out and suits both people who have experience in the finance industry as well as newcomers wanting to learn more. David always starts with a topical discussion of the recent financial and political issues, and gives his take on how the financial markets would be affected and why. He has the ability to simplify and explain complex interactions and technical detail into information that is easily digestible, yet retaining its original substance which I found truly useful. I give David credit for my successful career switch from that of a regulatory nature to what I am doing today, being a consultant in the financial industry.

I cannot recommend David and the FTP enough, for its academic and practical enrichment, the opportunity to showcase one’s interest in the industry and lastly the opportunity to learn from a brilliant, experienced and patient tutor. 


"I chose to study the Finance Trading Programme (FTP) as I wanted to get a more hands-on approach on complex financial topics. During normal lectures, we don’t have the time to see whether the theories we learn are applicable to the real world, and if they are, how. The Trading Programme provides me with the practical tools that I will need in the real world to analyse the markets and based on that, take trades." - MSc Investment and Finance Student

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