Study Finance and graduate with a university degree

Studying finance involves the investigation of how company managers and investors make financial decisions, how they manage risk and how financial markets function.

The course addresses issues such as: how do stock markets work? How can I make money by trading futures and options? What would be the implications for Britain of adopting the Euro? How can companies reduce foreign exchange risk? Do shareholders benefit from corporate takeovers? Does corporate governance matter? Why do financial crises occur? What types of securities should be included in an investment portfolio?

Finance teaching at Stirling is highly rated and you will gain a thorough grounding in the theoretical and analytical skills needed for a career in corporate finance, investment management or financial services.

Entrance requirements

Four-year Honours degree

SQA Higher:
ABBB - one sitting.
AABB - two sittings.

GCE A-level:

IB Diploma:
32 points

Essential subjects:
Mathematics preferred.

Three-year Honours degree

SQA Adv. Higher:

GCE A-level:

IB Diploma:
35 points

Essential subjects:
To include Accountancy and Economics. Preference given to those with Mathematics.

Other qualifications

Year one minimum entry
Scottish HNC/D - Bs in graded units
English, Welsh and NI HNC/D - Merits and Distinctions.
Advanced entry
Not available.

Access courses:
Access courses and other UK/EU and international qualifications are also welcomed.

Additional information

General entrance requirements apply
Mathematics Standard Grade (3), Intermediate 2 (C), GCSE (C) or equivalent.
If examinations are taken over two sittings, or there are repeats or upgrades, the entrance requirements may be higher.

INTO University of Stirling offers an International Foundation programme for those students who do not meet the required criteria. This course offers a route to study at University of Stirling through an excellent teaching and learning experience located in the high-quality study facilities on campus. Successful completion of the International Foundation in Business, Finance, Economics and Marketing to the standard required provides guaranteed progression to this degree.

English language skills

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

Modes of study

Full-time (three modules per semester).

Course contact

Mr Christopher Coles
University of Stirling Management School

+ 44 (0) 1786 466415

Alternative routes

Students from accredited colleges can enter the course in Year 3.

Find out more

Degree course

Students take Finance plus two other subjects in the first three semesters.

Semesters 1 - 3

You will take core modules in the following:

  • Finance I: An examination of the two key aspects of corporate finance: the financing decision and the investment decision. The evaluation of investment risk and return. Introduction to financial securities and financial markets. Basic principles of security valuation
  • Accounting I: An understanding of the basic concepts required to prepare and analyse financial statements
  • Accounting II: An examination of the basic accounting techniques used by management accountants to help in decision making and in the formulation of future plans

In addition to these core modules, you must also study one Economics module.

Semesters 4 - 8

You are required to take the following advanced modules:

  • Finance II
  • External Reporting
  • Quantitative Methods for Business Decisions
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Personal Financial Planning
  • International Finance
  • Securities and Investment
  • Financial Analysis
  • Finance Dissertation

Additional advanced modules may be selected from any advanced semester Accountancy or Finance option, or from those required by the particular degree course being followed.

View full module descriptions

You will have numerous opportunities to develop appropriate work-related skills at every stage of your studies, culminating in the Professional Development and Practice module in Semester 8 which helps you prepare for entering the workplace.

Teaching and assessment

Student learning takes place in lectures, tutorials, computer-based workshops and through independent study. Each module is assessed by a combination of examination and coursework. Assessed coursework may comprise of essays, problem-solving exercises or tests.

Development of Personal Transferable Skills

  • IT skills through completion of computer workshops (EXCEL & SAGE) and assignments, and by obtaining module information using Succeed
  • Communication skills through active tutorial participation; written coursework and oral group presentations
  • Self management through meeting coursework deadlines (set release and deadline dates)
  • Inter-personal skills through sharing skills and understanding in tutorials and practical computer sessions and group presentations
  • Research skills through the coursework research project
  • Critical reflection through awareness of how personal skills meet the needs of an employer in an accounting / business setting.  
  • Academic skills of problem solving, numeracy, analytical and logical thinking.

Combined degrees

Finance can be studied with:
CourseUCAS Code
Accountancy (BAcc)* NN43
Business Studies NN13
Economics LN13
Mathematics GN13

*Students can also exit with a BA in this subject combination

(For a Combined Honours degree the higher entrance requirements of the subjects usually apply.)

Related degrees

The course has five distinctive attributes:

  • It provides the opportunity to study finance in depth while also providing a broad understanding of the wider business environment.
  • The curriculum is regularly updated and so includes the latest developments in finance theory and practice, providing graduates with a cutting edge in the jobs market.
  • Reflecting the global nature of finance, the course is taught by staff from many different countries, bringing a wealth of experience into the classroom.
  • The course allows for flexible study. Students can switch to a related degree course at any stage up to the mid point in their studies. They can also combine finance with another subject.
  • Students on the finance course have the option of studying for a semester at a partner University in Europe or at Universities in North America, Asia and Australasia.

Annual Visits

There are annual visits by professional bodies including the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

We also host the Bloomberg Aptitude Test (BAT) for students in Year 4. The BAT is a professional and unique way to demonstrate
your strengths and connect with financial employers worldwide.

Study abroad

You may apply to study at a European university as part of the ERASMUS programme. In addition, you may also apply to study in the US under the University’s exchange scheme with a wide range of universities in North America, Australia, Hong Kong and Japan.


Top 25 in the UK for Business and Management Research

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

I enjoyed my time at the University, it was a good place to learn. The lectures were interesting and the lecturers themselves were all very nice and helpful which made the course easier. I felt that I learnt a lot during my course.

Nadya Zusmanov BA(Hons) Finance and Maths 2013

Studying Finance here at Stirling has given me a grounding in both the academic and practical side of the subject. After completing my BA here I returned to postgraduate study due to the School's supportive and intellectually stimulating atmosphere. The wealth of resources available and the community fostered within the School make it an outstanding place to study at any level.

Sinead Urquhart BA(Hons) Finance 2010

94% of our students are in employment or further study within six months of graduating (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education, 2012/13).

Career opportunities

Where are our graduates now?

Finance graduates are currently working in a wide range of countries around the world including: UK, Norway, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Japan, Mongolia, Ireland, Canada, Vietnam and China. 

Finance graduates are contributing to the financial performance of organisations such as:

  • Investec Asset Management
  • Bank of Ireland
  • Lloyds Banking Group
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Local authorities across the UK
  • Inspired Business Investments Ltd
  • Alliance & Leicester
  • Clydesdale Bank plc

Recent Finance graduates have progressed into careers as:

  • Inland Revenue Officer, HMRC
  • Customer Relationship Advisor, Santander
  • Commercial Strategy Analyst, Virgin Atlantic 

Graduates of Stirling’s Finance degree from five to ten years ago are now working as:

  • Management Associate, Bank of Ireland
  • Senior Analyst, Lloyds Banking Group
  • Group Administration & HR, Inspired Business Investments Ltd
  • Process Manager, Alliance & Leicester

Some of our more established graduates are currently employed as:

  • Security Analyst, Tsubasa Securities (Japan)
  • Senior Partner, Clydesdale Bank plc
  • Group Financial Controller, Melrose Resources Plc
  • Finance Director, Marsh & McLennan
  • Associate Director, MBAP (Canada)
  • Project Manager, Glasgow’s Helping Heroes

Career Development Centre

The University has an excellent Career Development Centre, situated in 3A1, which not only provides access to professional career advice and employment resources, but also runs career planning units and workshops.

Internship – What they are and why you should consider doing one?

An internship is an opportunity offered by an employer to students (or interns) over a fixed period of time, which enables the student to gain practical experience. The Career Development Centre has details of internships available around the world with large private sector organisations, as well as opportunities with smaller local businesses which are promoted through the Third Sector Internship Scheme, the Saltire Foundation, and our very own Stirling Internship Programme. As a student, you will automatically be registered onto the University’s Vacancy & Events System which means that you will receive regular updates regarding new opportunities as they become available.

Six reasons why you should consider an internship:

  1. Boost your CV and stand out from the crowd in order to have an edge in the graduate job market.  
  2. Make professional connections which may lead to the offer of a job upon graduation
  3. Test your career choices – internships can ease your transition into future careers or alternatively, help you decide that you don’t want to work in that area after all
  4. ‘Real world’ business experience, enabling you to put theory into practice
  5. Develop transferable skills such as communication, team working, problem-solving, decision-making, initiative and creativity
  6. Help fund your studies by earning a full-time salary during the vacation periods

Fees 2016/7

Overseas students (non-EU) £ 11,555.00
Scottish and EU students TBC
Students from the rest of the UK £6,750 per year for a maximum of 4 years


Fees 2015/6

Overseas students (non-EU) £ 11,275.00
Scottish and EU students £ 1,820.00
Students from the rest of the UK £6,750 per year for a maximum of 4 years


Please note: Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish government.

Please note: Students from the rest of the UK can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loan Company.

  • Degree award BA (Hons)
  • UCAS Code N300
  • Type Full-time, Part-time
  • Start date September
Course leaflet UCAS Application Make an Enquiry Course Directory UG Prospectus