This MSc develops the knowledge and analytical skills needed for a successful career in banking, finance and related areas. It is aimed at students from a variety of backgrounds, including students with no previous training in economics or accountancy.
The course is taught by Economics and Accounting & Finance in the Stirling Management School. Both have long-standing, recognised expertise in teaching, research and practice in this area.
The overall objective of the course is to impart the knowledge and skills needed for a successful career in banking and finance, or a related field. Developments in banking and finance are occurring rapidly, and with growing complexity. So people working in this area must be able to understand and analyse current developments, and also be able to anticipate future developments. The course is designed for students from a variety of backgrounds, and does not require any previous training in economics or accountancy.
The specific objectives of the course are:
- to provide knowledge and understanding of the nature of financial systems, and the particular roles of banks and the central bank
- to develop the capacity to appraise and compile economic and financial reports
- to understand those aspects of economics that are most relevant for a career in banking and finance
- to develop an appreciation of the international dimension of financial systems
- to develop the ability to apply appropriate risk management techniques
- to develop the capacity to understand, assess and comment on company accounts
- to develop the facility to use spreadsheets and econometric techniques to analyse corporate performance, and to identify trends in financial markets
- to develop the ability to appraise investment projects with capital budgeting techniques
- to develop an understanding of the key financial decisions made by corporations, and their use of the equity and bond markets to raise finance
- to provide knowledge and understanding of different types of banking and financial systems, including those in emerging countries and countries in transition
- to provide an understanding of the theory, methodology and techniques of research in banking and finance, and also of the potential limitations of this research
The general learning outcomes in terms of knowledge and understanding that apply to the course as a whole are:
- a systematic understanding of knowledge in banking and finance
- a critical awareness of current problems and new insights in banking and finance
- a practical understanding of the techniques of enquiry and research used in banking and finance, and of how they are used to create and interpret knowledge
- a conceptual understanding for evaluating current research and scholarship in banking and finance
- a conceptual understanding for evaluating methodologies and (where appropriate in a dissertation) for formulating hypotheses
A lower second class Honours degree in Economics, Finance or quantitative method related areas from a UK university or an equivalent qualification. Applicants whose first degree is not obtained in above subject areas will also be considered however will be required to achieve an upper second class Honours degree or equivalent. In addition applicants with lower qualifications or special circumstances are also considered if they have relevant work experience.
English language requirements
If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence of your proficiency such as a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 (minimum 5.5 in each skill), or TOEFL: Listening 23, Reading 23, Speaking 23, Writing 23.
Stirling Management School Postgraduate Scholarships
Stirling Management School is committed to investing in academically talented students, enabling them to further their education with a reputable qualification from one of the many degree courses on offer at the University of Stirling. There are various categories of funding available to support the cost of your studies at the University of Stirling.
Modes of study
Course start date
Structure and content
You take four taught modules in the autumn, from September to December, and four more taught modules in the spring, from February to May. You will then write a dissertation in the summer, from June to August. In Semester 1 all students take the following modules:
- Economics for Business and Finance: This module introduces economics as a discipline. It focuses on aspects most relevant to later modules in the programme and to a career in banking and finance.
- Banking and Financial Institutions: Students will be introduced to the core principles of money, the financial system, financial institutions and financial instruments.
- Corporate Finance: This module analyses the major decision areas of corporate finance – how to raise funds and how to invest them. It examines both the theory and the practice of corporate financial decision-making and the interaction between decision-making and capital market behaviour.
- Quantitative Methods in Finance: This provides students with the key statistical concepts, methods and computing skills which are necessary to fully understand modern banking and finance operations.
In Semester 2 you will take one more compulsory module:
- Modern Banking: This module analyses the theory of modern banking firms. The topic covers the theoretical foundation of the banking industry, banking risks and risk management, structure-conduct-performance, competition and bank efficiency.
you will also take three optional modules chosen from (depends on the staff availibilty):
- Financial Modelling and Forecasting: This provides students with the theory and practice of econometric modelling of financial decisions and markets. Students will learn most recent tools required to model non-stationary time series and compute forecasts from financial econometric models.
- International Banking and Development Finance: This module introduces students to the basic knowledge and understanding of how banks operate at an international level. It will also provide an overview of financial instruments in a multi-currency world.
- Risk Management in Banking: This module analyses the sources of risk facing banks and will introduce students to the various methods that banks can adopt to evaluate and control these risks, including asset-liability management, value at risk, and credit scoring and credit portfolio models.
- Law of Banking and Finance: This introduces the core legal aspects of banking and finance, financial regulation in the UK and at international level.
- Mergers and Acquisitions: This provides an understanding of the finance, accounting and economics aspects of mergers, acquisitions, and other forms of corporate restructuring.
- Derivatives: This provides an understanding of options, forwards, futures and the foreign exchange markets. It emphasises the principles underlying the valuation of derivative securities, including valuation of forward and futures contracts, swaps and options and provides an introduction to the working of the foreign exchange market and the instruments traded on it.
- Investments and Portfolio Management: This provides an understanding of security valuation and portfolio management, focusing on equities and fixed-interest securities. It emphasises the principles underlying the valuation of bonds and stocks; and
- discusses the management of equity and bond portfolios, including the application of active and passive portfolio management strategies.
- International Corporate Finance: This examines key areas of finance in an international environment. It focuses on: the foreign exchange market; the relationship between exchange, interest and inflation rates; foreign exchange risk and its management; and the use of derivatives in international finance.
- Dissertation: In the summer you will complete a dissertation on a course-related topic approved by the Course Director.
View full module descriptions
Delivery and assessment
Modules are taught by a combination of lectures and small group teaching, in the form of seminars, workshops or computing labs. Assessment in most modules includes coursework, often a mid-semester test, and an end-of-semester examination. Resit examinations are available. Successful completion of the taught element of the course leads to the award of the Diploma or allows you to continue for the award of the MSc by completing dissertation based on an original research question agreed by yourself and your supervisor. The project should reflect your own understanding and knowledge of selected topics learnt during taught modules.
K Matthews and J. Thompson (2008) The Economics of Banking, Wiley, (2nd ed).
David Hillier, Stephen Ross, Randolph Westerfield, Jeffrey Jaffe, Bradford Jordan, Corporate Finance: European Edition, McGraw-Hill International Edition, 2010.
Heffernan, S (2005), Modern Banking, Wiley. Brooks, C.. (2008), Introductory Econometrics for Finance, Cambridge University Press.
Ball Laurence M., 2012. Money, Banking and Financial Markets. 2nd Edition. Worth Publishers. ISBN: 978-1-4292-4409-1.
Madura, Jeff and Fox, Roland, International Financial Management, 1st edition, Thomson, 2007.
Semester 1 modules:
- Economics for Business and Finance
- Banking and Financial Institutions
- Corporate Finance
- Quantitative Methods in Finance
Semester 2 modules:
- Financial modelling and forecasting
- International Banking and Development Finance
- Risk Management in Banking
- Law of banking and finance
- Mergers and Acquisitions
- Investments and Portfolio Management
- International Corporate Finance
Dr Alberto Montagnoli
The research output of the contributors to the course was all rated at an international level and over 16 percent was ‘World-leading’.
There is an excellent employment record among graduates, many of whom now work in financial institutions in the UK and abroad.
MSc Banking & Finance graduates are currently working around the world in countries such as Kenya, Indonesia, China, India, Norway, Ghana, Turkey, Greece and Malta. They are actively contributing to the performance of the following organisations: Alpha Bank, Ministry of Finance, Greece, Citibank, Santander, Ernst & Young, HSBC, Jones, Lang LaSalle, Grant Thornton UK LLP, Bank of China, Vodaphone, CITIC Trust, Emporiki Asset Management.
Graduates entering into employment in the past three years are currently working as:
- Associate, David Griscti & Associates (Malta)
- Banker, Bank of China
- Client Services Officer, JPMC (Vietnam)
- Audit Associate, Grant Thornton UK LLP
Alumni of the MSc Banking & Finance degree who graduated between five and ten years ago have since advanced into some of the following positions:
- Finance Manager, ActivTrades PLC (UK)
- Senior Auditor, Ernst & Young (Malta)
- Relationship Manager, Alpha Bank (Greece)
- Audit Officer, Banking Bureau (Taiwan)
- Business Development Manager, Jones Lang LaSalle (India)
- Debt Management Advisor, HSBC (UK)
Some of our more established alumni are currently leading and shaping the strategy of global financial organisations – here is an example of how a few former Banking & Finance students have advanced in their careers:
- Head of Banking Trends, Egnatia Bank (Greece)
- Principal Finance Officer, Teachers Service Commission (Kenya)
- Management Associate, Citibank (UK)
- Credit Partner, Santander Corporate Banking (UK)
- Head BPA Region, Novartis (Switzerland)
- Anti-Evasion Tax Force Officer, Ministry of Finance (Greece)