Banking and Finance

MSc, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate

"This is a challenging and worthwhile course which will be ideal preparation for students wishing to work in the Banking & Financial sector" 

Professor David Blanchflower, CBE, External member of the Bank of England's MPC 2006-09.


This MSc gives you the knowledge and analytical skills you’ll need for a successful career in banking or finance or a related role. It’s suitable for students who already have related qualifications or experience, and those who don’t. It will also support your progress towards recognised professional qualifications.

You’ll develop an understanding of the concepts and methodologies of banking practice, an appreciation of the value and limitations of research, and a critical awareness of the current and potential problems facing the industry. You’ll also develop your ability 
to read, understand and compile economic reports, company accounts and financial forecasts.

Graduates aren’t limited to careers in banking; studies in finance equip students to succeed in the financial world in general.


The MSc Banking and Finance programme is accredited by the Chartered Banker Institute,

The Chartered Banker Institute recognises the relevance of our programme and offers graduates credit against its professional qualifications. Once you graduate you can apply for Associate membership of the Institute. If you decide to work towards Chartered status you can follow an accelerated route. This fast-track means you only have to study two further modules to attain a globally recognised, professional qualification.

Class of 2016

Santander Universities Work Skills Programme

Santander Universities will provide MSc Banking and Finance students with the opportunity to participate in it Work Skills Programme. This programme will develop students’ skills across a range of competencies including Risk Management, World Class Service Ethics, Sales Management and HR functions including People Management. It provides students with an excellent opportunity to learn more about the industry, gain new skills and also demonstrate their commitment to a career in banking.

Bringing Learning to Life

Key information

EU Applicants
EU students enrolling for a postgraduate taught degree in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 academic year will be admitted as Scottish/EU fee status students and will be eligible for the same tuition support as Scottish domiciled students.

  • Qualification: MSc, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
  • Study methods: Full-time, Campus based
  • Duration: One Year
  • Start date:


  • Course Director: Dr Theo Diasakos
Download course leaflet
Download postgraduate prospectus

Dr Theo Diasakos

Stirling Management School
University of Stirling

  1. Chartered Banker Institute accreditation — offers graduates credits against its professional qualifications
  2. Real work experience opportunities — through the Santander Universities Work Skills Programme
  3. Flexible course structure — build on the core curriculum from a suite of optional modules
  4. Week long masterclass — run by Amplify Trading this will give you practical experience of trading markets
  5. Stirling’s global research rating — we’re among the top 25 in the UK according to REF 2014

Course objectives

The overall objective of the course is to impart the knowledge and skills needed for a successful career in banking and finance, or a related field. A particular strength is a focus on the practical application of key banking and finance concepts, financial reporting, risk management tools and professional ethics in the banking industry.

The course includes developing your understanding of the different types of banking and financial systems that exist globally, including those in emerging countries and countries in transition. As a Masters programme, the course also covers theory, methodology and research techniques within the dissertation module.

You’ll develop a:

  • Systematic understanding of knowledge in banking and finance
  • Critical awareness of current problems and new insights in banking and finance
  • Practical understanding of the techniques of enquiry and research used in banking and finance, and how they are used to create and interpret knowledge
  • Conceptual understanding for evaluating current research and scholarship in banking and finance

What makes us different?

Formal accreditation by The Chartered Banker Institute

The Chartered Banker Institute has formally accredited the MSc Banking and Finance programme offered by the University of Stirling, making it one of a select few UK programmes offering this level of recognition. Those who successfully complete the programme are eligible to apply for Associated Chartered Banker status with the Institute. It will also allow the MSc graduates who wish to attain Chartered status with the Institute to follow an accelerated route.

Chartered Banker Institute

Left to Right: Dr. Siobhán Lucey (MSc Banking and Finance Programme Director), Mr Simon Thompson (Chief Executive, Chartered Banker Institute), Ms. Linda Livingstone (Chartered Banker Institute, Academic Relationship Manager) at the formal accreditation signing at the University of Stirling in December 2015.

Santander Work Skills Programme boosts MSc Banking and Finance students’ CVs

MSc Banking and Finance students, Weijie Jin and Xinzhe Yuan, successfully completed the Santander Work Skills Programme in July 2016. This was the first year that the work skills programme took place. The programme is designed to give students a real-life view of what a career with Santander could be like through shadowing the branch manager as well as working on a small strategic project which will stretch and develop the skill set of the student. The programme covers a variety of topics within the business such as risk management, marketing, sales, people management and customer service. Dr Siobhán Lucey, MSc Banking and Finance programme director said: This innovative partnership between the MSc Banking and Finance programme and Santander Universities provides an excellent opportunity for our students to get real life experience of working in a banking environment and to put into practice what they have learnt during the academic year. Stephen Jenkins, University Relationship Branch Manager, Santander Universities, said: "This year was the first year we have delivered the programme at The University of Stirling and it has been a great success. The students got very involved with the branch operation, showed interest throughout and asked questions to further their knowledge and understanding as they shadowed me.”

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.

The Boot Camp won the CFA Institute’s Innovative Delivery of Education (IDEA) Award in 2015

Learn more about the Boot Camp


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

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

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

Library shelves

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.

Watch our videos now

Live Life

Entry requirements

Academic 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.  A background in banking and finance is not required but you should feel comfortable with the level of numeracy required to interpret statistics and financial reports.      

International students

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

Study in the UK

English language requirements

English language requirements

If English isn’t your first language, you must have one of these qualifications:

  • 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

More information on English Language Requirements

If you don’t meet the requirements, you might be able to attend one of our English courses before your main course begins.

More on English courses and how to register

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

2018/19 Overseas £15,250
2018/19 Home/EU £7,900

Fees for all new applicants to postgraduate taught courses are held at the level set upon entry.

Please note there is an additional charge should you choose to attend a graduation ceremony. 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 degree courses on offer at the University of Stirling. There are various categories of funding available to support the cost of your studies at the University of Stirling.

Other scholarships and funding

You may qualify for University funding as well as funding from government bodies, the European Commission, funding trusts, research councils, industry and employers.

Scholarship finder

Structure and teaching

Structure and content

Begin your new course in the best possible way, with our unique Flying Start Leadership programme.

This programme is exclusively for new students about to start one of our postgraduate courses. You’ll take part in activities, workshops and information sessions to help you prepare for the year ahead, and make the most of their time at Stirling.

Participate in the Flying Start Leadership programme and you will:

  • Discover more about the exciting period of learning ahead
  • Understand what is expected of you in your course
  • Get to know the teaching and support staff
  • Learn more about a diverse range of approaches to learning
  • Work as part of a successful team

Activities range from practical skills – like effective public speaking – to developing ways to work under pressure in difficult situations and manage conflict. It’s also a chance to discover all that the University and the vibrant city of Stirling have to offer and to make new friends.

Other learning activities to prepare you for study in the UK

Prepare for Success

Delivery and assessment

You will be taught through a combination of lectures and small group teaching, in the form of seminars, workshops or computing labs. Most of your module assessments include coursework, a mid-semester test and an end-of-semester examination. Resit examinations are available.

When you successfully complete the taught element of the course you will be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Banking and Finance – or you will be awarded the MSc by going onto successfully complete a dissertation based on an original research question agreed by yourself and your supervisor. The dissertation project should reflect your own understanding and knowledge of selected topics covered in the taught modules.


Course modules

There are eight taught modules in total, six are compulsory and you can select the other two.

Compulsory modules

Quantitative Methods in Finance 

Professionalism, Regulation and Ethics

Corporate Finance 

Economics for Banking & Finance

Contemporary Issues in Banking

Risk Management in Banking

Optional modules

One from:


and/or one, two or three from

International Banking & Development Finance

International Corporate Finance

Mergers & Acquisitions

Behavioural Finance

Investments -Equity Portfolios and Pricing

Investments -Fixed Income and Alternative Investments

Learn more about the course modules

Recommended reading

  • Dougherty, C., (2011), Introduction to Econometrics Fourth Edition, Oxford University Press.
  • Begg, D. and Ward, D., (2013), Economics for Business 4th ed., McGraw-Hill.
  • 2010. Professionalism and Ethics: Study Book. BPP Learning Media in conjunction with the Chartered Banker Institute.
  • Solomon, J., 2010, Corporate Governance and Accountability 3rd Edition. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Mishkin, F., (2013), The Economics of Money, Banking and Financial Markets, Global Edition, 10th edition update, Pearson Education.
  • Matthews K., Thompson, J., (2008), The Economics of Banking. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Spratt, S., (2009), Development Finance: Debates, Dogmas and New Directions. Routledge.



Modes of study


Study method


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 Economics Division at Stirling Management School is committed to the pursuit of excellence in both research and teaching. The Division is ranked in the top 10% of institutions in the UK and Europe by RePEc (Research Papers in Economics). The Division’s contribution 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 the UK.  

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.

We have received an overall score of 80% by the Complete University Guide Ranking in 2014. We are considered among the top 25 universities in the UK and top four in Scotland.

Stirling places emphasis on graduate employability, with 98% of our postgraduate students in employment or further study within six months of graduating (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2015/16).

We are also part of Scottish Graduate Programme in Economics ( which is a collaborative venture between eight top Scottish universities.

International Students

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


Our global reputation: research rating

The University of Stirling Management School was ranked among the Top 25 in the UK for business and management in the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014).

Industry accreditation

Our MSc Banking and Finance degree is recognised by the Chartered Banker Institute. The Institute will award subject-specific credits to graduates who go on to study for their chartered status.  Further, those who successfully complete the MSc programme are eligible to apply for Associated Chartered Banker status with the Institute. 

Our students have the opportunity to participate in the Santander Universities Work Skills Programme – this gives you invaluable experience of working for a leading UK bank. 

We’re also members of the Association of Business Schools and the European Foundation for Management Development. We work in partnership with the Chartered Management Institute and are signatories to the Principles for Responsible Management Education.

Wide-ranging expertise

Our lecturers have global reputations for advancing knowledge in the fields of banking and finance. The course reflects current developments in banking and finance and students, and we encourage our students to explore contemporary challenges with academic staff in seminars and workshops.

Flexible course structure

The flexible design of the degree programme means you can build on the core curriculum from a suite of optional modules.

Enhanced employment opportunities

Banking and finance qualifications, especially with a focus on the ability to analyse and solve problems with ethical dimensions, are highly attractive to today’s employers.

Professional development for long-term success

Our Flying Start Leadership programme helps you develop self-awareness about your strengths and acquire new competencies in a supportive environment. You can also participate in a course for professional stock market traders.

What do our previous graduates think?

Read more from students who studied this course

Careers and employability

Career opportunities

Career opportunities

The University of Stirling is ranked 7th in the UK for graduate employability. MSc Banking & Finance graduates work around the world in countries such as Kenya, Indonesia, China, India, Norway, Ghana, Turkey, Greece and Malta.

Our graduates have enjoyed success within different financial organisations, including Alpha Bank, Ministry of Finance (Greece), Citibank, Santander, Ernst & Young, HSBC, Jones, Lang LaSalle, Grant Thornton UK LLP, Bank of China, Vodafone, CITIC Trust, and Emporiki Asset Management.

Alumni who have built their careers after graduating more than 10 years ago today hold posts such as the regional head of Novartis in Switzerland, credit partner at Santander Corporate Banking and head of banking trends at Egnatia Bank in Greece.

Developing real-world expertise

The Santander Universities Work Skills Programme helps students to develop their skills across a range of competencies including risk management, world class service ethics, sales management and HR.  It provides students with an excellent opportunity to learn more about the industry, gain new skills and demonstrate their commitment to a career in banking

We also offer an innovative week-long global financial trading and training boot camp for Masters students on our finance-related courses. Run by Amplify Trading, specialist trainers for the financial markets, its aim is to bridge the gap between the academic understanding of financial markets and implementing trading strategies in the real world.

Students work with live market data and can to trade across multiple asset classes to gain experience of how intra-day trading actually works.

Employability video

employability video promotion

Business engagement video

industry promotional video


98% of our postgraduate leavers are in employment or further study withing six months of graduating - Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2015/16
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