MSc, Postgraduate Diploma
98% of our postgraduate leavers are in employment or further study within six months of graduating (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2015/16).
The major players in the financial sector* recognise that tendencies in behaviour can have an impact on financial outcomes. In response to this, investment banks are increasingly adopting strategies informed by behavioural thinking. With the advent of big data, there's an unprecedented opportunity to uncover winning behavioural investment strategies - but only for the behaviourally-literate.
Drawing on the combined expertise of Stirling's Accounting and Finance Division, Economics Division and Behavioural Science Centre, this course will give you the analytical skills you'll need for a successful career in banking, finance and related areas.
The course will cover the core theories in financial decision-making, and in the rapidly growing field of behavioural economics. You'll develop the critical skills to assess investment strategies, product designs and regulations, plus the technical skills to develop and pilot investment strategies, product designs and regulations.
MSc Behavioural Decision Making for Finance teaches students how behavioural tendencies impact upon financial outcomes. This course will provide you with the opportunity to:
• Develop the technical skills needed to develop and pilot test investment strategies, product designs and regulations.
• Learn the research skills required to predict market performance; design attractive financial products and anticipate the direct and indirect impacts of regulations.
• Gain the critical skills required to assess investment strategies, financial products and financial regulations.
• Develop communication skills to highlight the value added by our evidence-based approach.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
You’ll need a minimum of a second class Honours degree or equivalent. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant and relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.
The University of Stirling welcomes students from around the world. Find out what studying here could be like for you.
If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications:
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.
If you are interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email email@example.com to discuss your course of study.
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
Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling
Find information on paying fees by instalments
Stirling Management School postgraduate scholarships
Stirling Management School is committed to investing in academically talented students, helping them to further their education with one of our degree courses. There are various categories of funding available to support the cost of your studies.
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.
The full-time course consists of two 15 week semesters of taught modules and a three month dissertation period.
The first semester will cover the core toolkit required for understanding the financial world and interpreting it through a behavioural lens.
The second semester will focus in on specific financial sectors (of the student’s choosing) and will teach students how to apply behavioural science to uncover new insights in the financial realm.
The dissertation project requires students to write an investment prospectus that proposes a behaviourally informed investment portfolio or other financial product.
Delivery includes lectures, seminars, guest speakers, article discussion groups and presentations.
Assessment is by a mixture of examination and coursework including written assignments and presentations. Students are assessed on their capacity to identify a behavioural theory that offers useful predictions regarding investment or consumer behaviour; to derive implications from this theory for product design; to communicate this theory and its implications to a lay audience in a clear yet comprehensive manner; and to present data analysis that tests the theory.
When you successfully complete the taught element you will be awarded a diploma. You can then continue for the award of MSc by writing an investment prospectus that proposes a behaviourally informed investment portfolio or other financial product.
In semester 1 you take the following modules:
In semester 2 you take the following modules:
BSMP006 - Business and Finance Applications of Behavioural Science
And one of the following 10 credit modules;
During the summer you will undertake your dissertation – module code BSMP098
Akerlof, G. A., & Shiller, R. J. (2010). Animal spirits: How human psychology drives the economy, and why it matters for global capitalism. Princeton University Press.
Kahneman, D. (2011). Thinking, fast and slow. Macmillan.
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), an examination conducted by the UK government, which confirmed our place in the UK's top 25 institutions for Business and Management, out of over 100 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 rigor 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.
The University of Stirling welcomes students from around the world. Find out what studying here could be like for you .
This course has been developed in close collaboration between the Economics division within Stirling Management School and the Behavioural Science Centre at Stirling, a leading research centre in Europe for Behavioural Science. Our wide ranging expertise is coupled with industry knowledge and we regularly consult with the pensions industry, personal finance professionals and banks.
Many of our postgraduate students come from overseas. Studying at Stirling offers an excellent opportunity to establish your own global network of contacts at the outset of your career.
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.
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).
At least 98% of our postgraduate students are in work or further studies within six months of graduating (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2015/16). Many of our alumni are now working in leading organisations across the world.
The Programme Director for this course is Dr David Comerford. Dr Comerford is a Lecturer in the economics division and the Behavioral Science Centre. He works with policy makers and businesses in the USA, UK and Ireland, applying his research findings to improve decision making.
Other staff involved with the course are:
Major players in the financial sector, including Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, have published papers recognising the impact of behavioural biases on financial markets, and increasingly employers are looking for qualified candidates who can create behavioural investment strategies.
Through this course, our students will be equipped with theory and quantitative skills that will make them very attractive to potential employers. Typical employers could include investment banks, stockbrokers, FinTech, insurance companies, personal financial advisors and financial regulators.
By coupling behavioural science with finance, this qualification will especially appeal to employers who wish to find arbitrage opportunities (i.e. value) in the financial markets and need to forecast consumer response to products.
The projects and dissertation project are purposely designed to be applicable to industry and so will serve as a portfolio that students can bring with them to the job market.
We have occasional seminars from industry professionals such as Irrational Insights, a personal financial advice company with whom we have a very close working relationship.
Early in the Autumn semester we will have a seminar from a representative of Student Enterprise about models of enterprise that have successfully sprung out from the Stirling Management School.
Stirling Management School also deliver a ‘Flying Start Leadership Programme’ to all of its PGT students. It is an induction programme which takes place over the first two weeks of the Autumn semester. This Programme, which is designed and developed around graduate attributes and skills, brings students from all of the courses within the Management School to develop their cultural awareness, be self-aware by understanding their preferences and questioning their values, provide the tools and facilitation which encourage students to develop a personal development plan and facilitate an understanding of the impact individuals have on a team and how to manage conflict within a team.
Progressing from FSLP, students are encouraged to attend the Take-Off conference which takes place during Spring semester. This is a full day conference which comprises of Career Skills workshops, a keynote speaker, and a plenary session with leading businesses.
We regularly consult with the pensions industry, personal finance professionals and banks.