International Accounting and Finance

MSc, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate


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. In the EU the speed and significance of recent reforms have also led to a demand for Master’s level education which reflects these developments and facilitates transition.


Logo ACCA 2014The global accounting body ACCA recognises the MSc International Accounting and Finance giving graduates of the course automatic exemption from four of their papers, F1-F4 with a fifth and sixth, F7 and F9, possible based on the spring semester options that are chosen.

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


  • Course Director: Professor David McMillan
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Course Director

Professor David McMillan accounting-and-finance/

Accounting and Finance
Stirling Management School
University of Stirling
Stirling FK9 4LA
Scotland UK

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  1. 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.
  2. Students undertake the free Amplify Trading week long masterclass giving practical experience of financial markets. 
  3. The course is led by Professor David McMillan, an internationally respected expert in modelling and forecasting of asset returns as well as identifying the links between stock markets and the macro economy. He has published more than 100 papers in peer-reviewed journals including the Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, the International Journal of Forecasting and the Journal of Business Finance.
  4. The course attracts a high proportion of students from overseas, presenting invaluable opportunities to establish a global network of contacts at the outset of a career in International Accounting and Finance.
  5. In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, 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.

Course objectives

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. The ACCA Accredited MSc International Accounting & Finance from the University of Stirling Management School reflects these developments and provides a solid foundation for a career in accounting or finance.

The course attracts students from every continent presenting a valuable opportunity to establish a worldwide network of contacts that last beyond the time spent studying on our beautiful campus. In 2014/15 the ACCA recognised MSc in International Accounting and Finance was the most popular Master’s degree at Stirling.

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

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.

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 accounting and finance and allow completion of a case study or research topic dissertation.


Academic Year 2017/18

Semester 1 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
  • 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 to estimate linear models

In Semester 2 you will select five/six (70 credits) modules from the following. Students must choose at least one Accounting module from the list (Topics in International Accounting or Advanced Financial Reporting):

  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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 FinanceThe 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.
  • 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.

Graduates of the MSc International Accounting and Finance are eligible for exemption from ACCA papers F1-F4. If Spring option module INVP07 Financial Statement Analysis has been completed, paper 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.

Recommended reading

Books of interest:

  • Malkiel, Burton (2012), A Random Walk Down Wall Street, W.W. Norton and Company: NY
  • Lewis, M. (2010). The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine. W.W. Norton and Company: NY
  • Weetman, P. (2010). Financial and Management Accounting - An Introduction. FT Prentice Hall.


  • Hillier, D., Ross, S., Westerfield, R., 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, South-Western, Cengage Learning.
  • Asteriou, D and Hall, S (2016). Applied Econometrics, 3rd edition, Palgrave, Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

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     Drop in Session    
10-11 Seminar Drop in Session    Lecture  Lecture
11-12     Lecture
12-1    Lecture Computer Lab
1-2 Lecture        


Lecture Seminar
3-4 Seminar Problem Solving Lecture Lecture 
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

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. David's 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 macro economy. 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 Multinational Corporation (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 spent studying here and will serve you well in your future careers.

Professor David McMillan


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.

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)

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