International Accounting and Finance

MSc, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma


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.


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

Key information

  • Degree type: MSc, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma
  • Study methods: Full-time
  • Start date: September
  • Course Director: Professor David McMillan
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Joanne Fairbrother Accounting and Finance
Stirling Management School
University of Stirling
Stirling FK9 4LA
Scotland UK
+44 (0) 1786 467297 accounting-and-finance/

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  1. In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, the University of Stirling’s division of Accounting and Finance was rated first equal in Scotland and fifth in the UK. 90% of the research activity carried out in the division was judged to be of international significance.
  2. 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 peerreviewed journals including the Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, the International Journal of Forecasting and the Journal of Business Finance.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Innovative trading Boot Camp with Amplify Trading

As part of the University of Stirling Management School’s focus on enhancing graduate employability we welcome Amplify Trading, a global financial trading and training company, to campus to deliver a week-long Boot Camp for Masters students on our finance-related courses. 

Taking place from 13-17th April, the Boot Camp will help to bridge the gap between academic theories of financial markets and how they behave in the real world. During the intensive week students will be presented with live market data and have the opportunity to trade across multiple asset classes, gaining first-hand experience of how intra-day trading actually works.

This unique and free course ran for the first time in 2014. Learn more

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 new trading Boot Camp 2014 with Amplify Trading

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

Learn more

Amplify Trading

Supercharge your career

We host the Bloomberg Aptitude Test

Supercharge your career. We host the Bloomberg Aptitude Test.

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

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

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 2015/16

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 choose either

  • 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. It includes a group project where students collaborate to write and present an investment analysis report on a UK-quoted company.

or alternatively 50 credits from either/or Accounting or Finance Grouping

Accounting 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

Finance Grouping:

  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.

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, Buron G (2004), 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


  • 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.
  • Brooks, C. (2014), Introductory Econometrics for Finance (3rd Edition), Cambridge University Press.

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.

Our students

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"

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. 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


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)

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

Employability video

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Business engagement video

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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).



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:

Scholarship finder
© University of Stirling FK9 4LA Scotland UK • Telephone +44 1786 473171 • Scottish Charity No SC011159
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