MSc, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma


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

EU Applicants
EU students who have applied or who have been made an offer to study at the University of Stirling in 2016 (or 2017 deferred entry) are unaffected by the outcome of the EU Referendum on 23 June 2016.

Those who are considering applying to the University for 2017 entry are encouraged to do so in the usual way, and we will keep all applicants informed as relevant details emerge.

  • Degree type: MSc, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma
  • Study methods: Full-time, Campus based
  • Start date:


  • Course Director: Dr Isaac Tabner, CFA, ASIP, DipPFS.
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Dr Isaac Tabner, CFA, ASIP, DipPFS.

Accounting and Finance
Stirling Management School
University of Stirling

View fees and finance
  1. Students undertake the free Amplify Trading week long masterclass giving practical experience of financial markets.
  2. 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.
  3. The course is led by Dr Isaac Tabner, who is a senior lecturer in finance, a holder of the CFA Charter, a full member of the CFA Institute, the CFA Society of the UK and of the Personal Finance Society from which he and has a diploma in financial planning (DipPFS). He prepares Digest Summaries for the CFA Institute and is an Academic Advisor on the IMC Panel for the CFA Society of the UK.
  4. 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.

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


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

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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.

Learn more

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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. View our online films to get a picture of what it's like to live and study on our beautiful campus.

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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.

Flexible Learning

If you are interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email to discuss your course of study.

Fees and costs

2016/17 Overseas £13,950
2016/17 Home/EU £6,100


2017/18 Overseas £14,600
2017/18 Home/EU £7,750

From 2016/7 onwards, the fees for all taught postgraduate courses are to be held at the level set upon entry.

Please note there is an additional charge for the conferral of your degree. This will be charged at the rate applicable when you complete your studies. View more information

Cost of Living

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

Payment options

Find information on paying fees by instalments

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:

Scholarship finder

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.


Academic Year 2017/18

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 Semester 2 you will select five/six (70 credits) modules from the following:

  • 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
  • Introduction to Research Methods: Introduces students to generic and subject-specific research training. It also aims to prepare students for the dissertation module as well as to lay the foundations for more advanced postgraduate research
  • Empirical Methods in Finance and Accounting: Introduces students to econometrics techniques required to undertake research in finance and to understand empirical papers published in academic journals. It also prepares students for the dissertation module as well as lays the foundations for more advanced postgraduate research.
  • Investments - Equity Portfolios and Pricing: Provides an understanding of equity portfolio management and pricing. Focuses on the valuation of equities and the management of equity portfolios.
  • Investments - Fixed Income and Alternative Investments: Provides an understanding of security valuation and portfolio management. Focuses on the valuation of both fixed-interest securities and issues around alternative investment products such as hedge funds, fund of funds and venture capital.
  • 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:

  • Skidelsky, R. (2010). Keynes: The Return of the Master. Penguin.
  • Malkiel, B. (2012). A Random Walk Down Wall Street. WW Norton & Co.
  • Lewis, M. (2010). The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine. WW Norton & Co.


  • Hillier, D., Ross, S., Westerfield, R., Jeffrey Jaffe, J. and Jordan, B. (2016). Corporate Finance, 3rd European Edition. McGraw-Hill International Edition.
  • Stolowy, H. and Lebas, M.J (2013). Financial Accounting and Reporting: A Global Perspective, Cengage Learning.
  • Asteriou, D and Hall, S (2016). Applied Econometrics, 3rd edition, Palgrave, Macmillan Publishers Ltd.
  • Begg, D. and Ward, D. (2013). Economics for Business, 4th Edition. McGraw-Hill.

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


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


3-4 Seminar Seminar  
4-5   Lecture    

Why Stirling?



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.

International Students

The University of Stirling welcomes students from around the world. Find out what studying here could be like for you .

Our staff

Dr Isaac Tabner is a senior lecturer in finance, a holder of the CFA Charter, a full member of the CFA Institute, the CFA Society of the UK and of the Personal Finance Society from which he and has a diploma in financial planning (DipPFS). He prepares Digest Summaries for the CFA Institute and is an Academic Advisor on the IMC Panel for the CFA Society of the UK. He also has an MSc in Investment Analysis with Distinction from the University of Stirling (1998) and has been actively investing his own savings and those of close family members since 1992. He regularly attends CFA Institute and CFA Society of the UK events, as well as respected international conferences. He has published research on, corporate finance, corporate governance, portfolio diversification, household finance and economics in leading international journals such as: the Review of Finance; Financial Analysts Journal; European Financial Management; the Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money; and the Multinational Finance Journal. He was a visiting researcher at the Waseda Business School (Graduate School of Business and Finance) Tokyo. He writes blogs for the Conversation and his work has been cited in various investment blogs and in the Investors Chronicle as well as other academic journals.

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.

Dr Isaac Tabner, 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 beginning 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)

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