Globalisation, the growth of multinational enterprises, the convergence of international accounting practices and the expansion of the European Union all contribute to the importance of an international focus in accounting and finance education.
The increasing influence of international financial reporting standards and the shortage in some countries of international accounting expertise have led to significant demand for relevant education. Also in the EU the speed and significance of recent reforms have led to a demand for Master’s-level education which reflects these developments and facilitates transition.
Accounting and finance qualifications, especially with an international focus, greatly enhance employment opportunities and career prospects in business, commerce and accountancy. The global accounting body ACCA recognises the MSc International Accounting and Finance, giving graduates of the course exemption from up to six of their papers. In addition, the course provides an ideal base for progression to PhD level study.
A minimum of a second class honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.
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 (5.5 in all bands).
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.
This course is currently approved for PTFL (Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan) funding from SAAS, full details of how to apply for PTFL can be found here: http://www.stir.ac.uk/postgraduate/financial-information/scholarships/#PTFL
Full details of the PTFL fund and how to apply online can be found here: www.saas.gov.uk
For further information on possible sources of funding, visit: http://www.stir.ac.uk/postgraduate/financial-information/
Modes of study
Full-time: one year
Course start date
Structure and content
The Master’s course is a one-year, full-time course with an initial taught component of two 15-week semesters, involving lectures, practical case study work and workshops, with a supervised dissertation in the final period.
Semester 1 modules:
- Financial Reporting: Provides an appreciation of the underlying assumptions and limitations of accounting information. Measurement and reporting problems in financial accounting are discussed. Methods available for interpreting 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
- Accounting and Society: Provides students with an awareness of the wider social background to accounting by introducing them to the concept of accountability in different contexts, such as (international) accounting regulation, accounting theory, auditing and corporate governance, social and environmental accounting, and accounting for internal (management) purposes
- Quantitative Methods in Finance: Provides the statistical and computing skills necessary to fully understand modern banking and finance operations. Spreadsheets are used to manipulate statistical models and estimate linear models
In the Semester 2 you will choose at least one of the following core modules depending on the type of dissertation that you plan to undertake:
- 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
- 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
You will then select two or three from the following modules (with at least one from each subject grouping):
- Topics in International Accounting: Introduces international accounting in its theoretical context and practical relevance, and explores financial reporting in different national or regulatory contexts
- Advanced Financial Reporting: Considers a number of advanced topics in financial reporting and introduces students to the practical application of international financial reporting standards
- 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. It focuses on the valuation of both equities and fixed-interest securities and the management of equity and fixed-interest portfolios
- 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
Graduates of the MSc International Accounting and Finance are eligible for exemption from ACCA papers F1-F4, F9 and, if Spring option module ACCP06 Advanced Financial Reporting has been completed, paper F7.
Additionally, many modules cover learning outcomes from all three levels of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) programme.
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 accounting and finance and allow completion of a case study or research topic dissertation.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
The timetable below is a typical example, but your own timetable may be different.
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Professor David McMillan
In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), Accounting and Finance ranked 1st (equal) in Scotland and 5th in the UK, with virtually all (90 percent) research activity considered to be of international standing.
Thomas Neal (MSc International Accounting and Finance 2012-2013)
"I began my studies at Stirling with a BAcc in Accounting and Economics in 2008, a course I very much enjoyed."
Boram Lee (MSc International Accounting and Finance 2007-2008 and PhD 2008-2013)
"I consider entering the programme to have been the best decision of my life…"
Hany Elzahar (MSc International Accounting and Finance 2009-2010)
"After working as a Teaching Assistant at Mansoura University, Egypt for 12 years I was attracted to Stirling’s creative environment for studying and research..."
Fanis Tsoligkas (MSc International Accounting & Finance 2008-2009)
“Studying at the University of Stirling was one year that I will never forget”
Mohamed Elmaghrabi (MSc International Accounting and Finance 2009-2010)
"The knowledge and experience accumulated during the MSc course provided me with a solid foundation in order for me to continue with my education and undertake my PhD"
Professor David McMillan is a Professor of Finance and Director of the MSc in International Accounting and Finance. He has previously taught at the universities of Aberdeen, Durham and St Andrews. His main research interests are in empirical finance, with particular emphasis on the modelling and forecasting of asset returns and volatility as well as the links between between the stock markets and the macroeconomy. He has published over 100 articles in peer-reviewed international journals, including the Journal of Banking and Finance, the Journal of Forecasting, the International Journal of Forecasting, the Journal of Business Finance and Accounting and the Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics.
The MSc in International Accounting and Finance provides a rigorous training for those seeking a career working in international finance or within a MNC as well as for those wishing to pursue higher studies, such as a PhD. The degree covers key areas of accounting and finance theory and practice as well as providing the skills to analyse data, all critical in understanding the changing economic and financial environment within which we live and work. The course is both challenging and demanding but also rewarding and, we hope, enjoyable. The connections made, both with faculty and fellow students, will last beyond your time spend studying here and will serve you well in your future careers.
Professor David McMillan
Where are our graduates now?
Since the introduction of the course in 2007, our graduates have gone on to build their careers in a variety of sectors around the world in countries such as Malaysia, China, UK, Ethiopia, Italy, Oman, Kazakhstan and Taiwan. In doing so, they are contributing to the performance of organisations including investment banks, universities, car manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies.
Some of the roles that our alumni currently hold include:
- Head of Internal Audit, University of Putra (Malaysia)
- Accountant, Beijing Benz Automotive Co. Ltd (China)
- Multi-Functional Financial Analyst, Lockheed Martin (UK)
- PhD Students in Universities around the world
- Relationship/Business Development Manager, BGL Plc. (Nigeria)