Finance

MSc, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma


Introduction

The MSc Finance provides a thorough grounding in the theory and analytical techniques required by finance professionals. It offers students a global perspective on the process of financial decision-making and practical knowledge of the workings of financial markets and the price-setting process. Students will also learn to critically evaluate research and advanced scholarship in finance.

Key information

  • Degree type: MSc, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma
  • Study methods: Full-time
  • Start date: September
  • Course Director: Professor Graeme Acheson
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Joanne Fairbrother Accounting and Finance
Stirling Management School
University of Stirling
Stirling FK9 4LA
Scotland, UK
+44 (0) 1786 467297 www.stir.ac.uk/management

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  1. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF), the Stirling Management School was placed in the UK’s top 25 institutions for Business and Management, out of 101 business schools.  In Scotland, the School was ranked in the top five.
  2. The course is led by Professor Graeme Acheson, whose specialist areas include Corporate Governance and Financial Institutions and Markets. His work in applying modern econometric techniques to historical developments has shed light on how corporate governance and the legal environment have developed. He has taught in Dongbei University, China, as well as in a number of UK universities, and has published widely in forums such as Economic History Review, Business History and the Journal of Economic History.
  3. The course includes full access to financial databases such as DataStream, providing real life, real-time information and insights into current research and analysis within the UK and international financial environment.

Course objectives

The course provides essential understanding of the theory of finance and of the skills required in practice. You learn about corporate finance, techniques of quantitative analysis, global financial markets, analysis of financial statements, derivatives, portfolio management, investment analysis, risk management and behavioural finance. You will develop spreadsheet skills and learn econometric techniques for analysing corporate performance and identifying trends in financial markets and have access to financial databases, including DataStream. The dissertation, completed in the summer, enables development of your individual interests.

What makes us different?

Innovative trading Boot Camp with Amplify Trading

As part of the Stirling Management School's focus on enhancing the employability of graduates, we run a free, week-long trading masterclass in conjunction with London-based Amplify Trading for students at the end of the Spring Semester.

Learn more about the Boot Camp

Business Engagement

The University of Stirling Management School equips students to flourish as effective managers in the workplace through enhanced self-awareness, critical thinking, leadership and team-working skills.

Find out more about business engagement

Business Engagement

Employability

At the University of Stirling Management School, we are committed to ensuring that every single one of our students realise their potential.

The graduate job market has never been more competitive, and greater focus is now being placed on finding graduates who can demonstrate a wide array of skills, competences and experiences.

Find out more about employability

Employability video

World-class library and teaching facilities

Studying for a degree means learning in different ways; managing your own time; conducting research; mastering new computer skills. We have the facilities and advice on hand to help you do all this - and do it well.

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Life at Stirling

Of the many reasons students come to Stirling, such as academic reputation and research standards, one factor is always cited: the outstanding beauty of the University's Stirling campus.

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Live Life

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

A minimum of a second class Honours degree or equivalent. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.

INTO University of Stirling offers a Graduate Diploma for those students who do not meet the required criteria for this course. If you successfully complete the Graduate Diploma in Business, Finance and Sport and meet the required progression grades, you will be guaranteed entry onto this Master's degree.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS: 6.0 with 5.5 minimum in each skill
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
  • IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

For more information go to English language requirements

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View our range of pre-sessional courses.

Structure and teaching

Structure and content

This one-year, full-time course has an initial taught component of two, 15-week semesters, involving lectures, practical case study work and workshops, followed by a supervised dissertation.

As soon as you arrive at Stirling you are introduced to your course, fellow students and the University by taking part in the Stirling Management School Flying Start Leadership Programme. This induction enables you to develop skills to get the most out of your studies and to progress quickly in your career.

Delivery and assessment

Successful completion of the taught modules leads to the award of a Postgraduate Diploma. The Master’s degree is awarded on satisfactory completion of a dissertation, following the Diploma examinations. Dissertation topics range over all areas of relevance to finance and allow completion of a case study or research topic dissertation.

Modules

Academic Year 2015/16

In Semester 1 you will take the following modules:

  • Financial Reporting: Provides an appreciation of the underlying assumptions and limitations of accounting information. Measurement and reporting problems involved in financial accounting ‘solutions’ adopted by regulators are discussed. Methods for interpretation of reported accounting information are explored and applied to ‘live’ data
  • Corporate Finance: Provides an understanding of how corporations raise finance (debt and equity) and how they invest money (capital budgeting). Also examines other major decision areas of corporate finance and how these affect the value of the firm
  • Quantitative Methods in Finance: Provides the statistical and computing skills to fully understand modern banking and finance operations. Spreadsheets are used to manipulate statistical models and to estimate linear models
  • Economics for Banking FinanceIntroduces students to economics as a discipline, assuming no prior knowledge of economics, and focuses on aspects most relevant to a career in finance

In the Semester 2 you will select three from the following:

  • Research Methods: Introduces students to generic and subject-specific research training. It also prepares students for the dissertation module as well as to lay the foundations for more advanced postgraduate research
  • Financial Statement Analysis: Develops skills in the interpretation and use of financial statements, focusing on company valuation and identification of companies that may become insolvent. It includes a group project where students collaborate to write and present an investment analysis report on a UK quoted company
  • Derivatives: Focuses on the uses and the pricing of the key derivative instruments: options, futures, forwards and swaps
  • Investments and Portfolio Management: Provides an understanding of security valuation and portfolio management. Focuses on the valuation of both equities and fixed-interest securities and the management of equity and fixed-interest portfolios

You will then choose one from the following modules:

  • Mergers and Acquisitions: Provides an understanding of the motivation for and consequences of mergers and acquisitions against the background of corporate finance theory and practice. Focuses on the financial and economic aspects of M&A activity and other forms of corporate restructuring, such as spin-offs, carve-outs, and sell-offs
  • International Corporate Finance: Provides in-depth study of some of the key areas of corporate finance within an international environment, and in particular, the operation of the foreign exchange market; the interaction between exchange rates
  • Behavioural Finance: The aim of this module is to provide students with an alternative perspective to traditional finance theory based on rational decision-making. Drawing on insights from psychology the module explores the impact of psychological heuristics and biases on investor behaviour and asset pricing.

Many modules cover learning outcomes from all three levels of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) programme.

Recommended reading

Popular texts:

  • Peter L. Bernstein, P.L. (1993). Capital Ideas: The Improbable Origins of Modern Wall Street, The Free Press.
  • Lewis, M. (2010). The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine. New York:WW Norton & Co.

Textbooks:

  • Hillier, D., Ross, S., Westerfield, R., Jeffrey Jaffe, J. and Jordan, B. (2013). Corporate Finance, 2nd European Edition. McGraw-Hill International Edition.
  • Stolowy, H. and Lebas, M.J (2010). Financial Accounting and Reporting: A Global Perspective, South-Western, Cengage Learning.
  • Wooldridge, J (2012). Introductory Econometrics: A Modern Appoach, 5th edition, South-Western, Cengage Learning.
  • Madura, J. and Fox, R. (2011). International Financial Management, 2nd Edition. Cengage Learning.

Learning activities to prepare you for study in the UK

Prepare for Success is an interactive web learning tool for international students who are getting ready to come to the UK for study in further or higher education.

Modes of study

Full-time: one year

Study method

Full-time

Example timetable

The timetable below is a typical example, but your own timetable may be different.

  Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri
9-10 Lecture Lecture   Drop in Session  
10-11     Lecture


  Computer Lab

11-12   Problem Solving Lecture  
12-1     Seminar  
1-2 Lecture

Drop in Session     Lecture
2-3  
Visiting
Practioner
Presentation

  
Lecture

 
3-4 Seminar Seminar  
4-5   Lecture    
5-6          

Why Stirling?

Video

REF2014

In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.

The reputation of our research at Stirling Management School was recognised in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), where the School was placed in the UK’s top 25 institutions for Business and Management, out of 101 business schools.  In Scotland, the School was ranked in the top five.  64% of our research outputs were classified as world-leading and internationally excellent in terms of their originality, significance and rigour and we were ranked 14th in the UK in terms of research impact with over 60% of our research impact judged to have outstanding reach and wide-ranging impact on the policies of public, private and governmental organisations.

Our staff

Professor Graeme Acheson is Director of the MSc in Finance. He has taught in a number of UK universities as well as Dongbei University of Finance and Economics (China), and his teaching specialisms include Corporate Governance and Financial Institutions and Markets. Graeme's research applies contemporary econometric techniques to historical settings. Much of his work examines how the evolving legal environment in nineteenth century Great Britain impacted on investor behaviour and governance structures in early British companies. His current work focuses on establishing the determinants of corporate diffusion in Britain and he has recently published in Economic History Review, Business HistoryReview of Law and Economics, Journal of Economic History and Explorations in Economic History.

The MSc in Finance at the University of Stirling offers a coherent and current framework to understand many practical aspects of what is a vital industry within our economy. Providing comprehensive coverage of the main principles and applications of financial theory it connects the subject matter with the modern financial world. It equips students with all the necessary technical and conceptual skills to pursue a career in finance,  indeed many have secured posts with prestigious employers around the globe.  In the last number of years these have including ABC Bank of China (China), Standard Chartered Bank (Taiwan) and Titanium Capital (UK), demonstrating the international credentials this course offers.

Professor Graeme Acheson, Course Director

 

Careers and employability

Career opportunities

Where are our graduates now?

Stirling Management School is unique in having a dedicated Employability Manager and from the very begining of the course your career is our focus.

The MSc Finance opens up a range of exciting career opportunities which include fund management, security dealing, financial market regulation, treasury management, financial engineering and corporate finance work within merchant banking firms. 

Our graduates are currently contributing to the performance of major financial organisations such as Morgan Stanley, Standard Charted Bank, ABC Bank of China, and HSBC.  They are located in countries around the globe including China, Saudi Arabia, Germany, New Zealand, Vietnam, Greece, Taiwan, India and the UK.

To provide you with an indication as to what you can do with your MSc Finance degree, the following are examples of roles secured by those graduating from the course in the last three years:

  • Business Manager, CITICs Futures (China)
  • Interest Rate Swaps Dealer, Tullett Prebon (UK)
  • Banker, ABC Bank of China
  • Assistant to Country Chief Risk Officer, Standard Chartered Bank (Vietnam)

Building on that foundation, alumni who graduated between five and ten years ago have advanced into positions such as:

  • Investment Analyst, Ajeej Capital (Saudi Arabia)
  • Head, Secured Lending, Stanard Chartered Bank (Taiwan)
  • Settlements Associate, Titanium Capital (UK)
  • Senior Lecturer, University of Waikato (New Zealand)

Students have the opportunity to sit the Bloomberg Aptitude Test on campus. This test is used by employers to evaluate employment candidates.

Employability video

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Business engagement video

industry promotional video

Online application process

Please choose a start date and study method from the drop-down list below, and click the Apply Now button below to begin the online application process. (Please make sure you have consulted the Postgraduate Study pages on the University website and the Online Application Guidance Notes before continuing).

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Fees

2016/17 Overseas £13,950
2016/17 Home/EU £6,100
2015/16 Overseas £13,500
2015/16 Home/EU £6,000

 

You should expect to pay fees for every year you are in attendance and be aware fees are subject to revision and may increase annually. Students on programmes of study of more than one year should take this into account when applying.

Scholarships & funding

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 Postgraduate degree courses on offer at the University of Stirling. There are various categories of funding available to support the cost of your studies at Stirling Management School.

Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan

This course is currently approved for PTFL (Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan) funding from SAAS. More information

For further information on possible sources of funding, visit: http://www.stir.ac.uk/postgraduate/financial-information/

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