MSc, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma

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


The MSc in Finance at the University of Stirling gives you a thorough grounding in the theory and analytical techniques used by finance professionals that will help you to understand how money influences the world we live in. We provide a global perspective on the process of financial decision-making and practical knowledge of the workings and role of financial markets in the allocation of capital.

You will learn about the qualitative and quantitative techniques used to evaluate financial decisions; understand and interpret market reactions to geopolitical events such as Brexit, oil price shocks and financial crises. You will develop skills in the analysis of: corporate financial decisions, behavioural biases, financial statements, derivatives, investment portfolios, investment decisions, risk and economic data. The MSc in Finance also gives students the opportunity to study much of the CFA course syllabus.

The financial decision making process is becoming increasingly automated. As technology advances, we wish to ensure that our graduates have the opportunity to remain employable and relevant as finance professionals. Therefore throughout the course, but particularly in the second semester modules of Financial Statement Analysis, Research Methods and the Dissertation, you will develop skills in critical thinking, analysis, synthesis and interpretation of large amounts of complex information. This includes developing arguments and communicating them both in written reports and via oral presentations with textual and visual aids.

While the emphasis is on corporate finance and decisions made by financial institutions or policymakers, the techniques and skills learned on the MSc in Finance at the University of Stirling are directly relevant to managing your personal finances. For example, saving for retirement, negotiating a mortgage, or deciding whether to buy or to rent a home. Furthermore, understanding how financial economics influences the world we live in, together with the ability to articulate geopolitical events in a financial market context are valuable skills regardless of your political persuasion or career aspirations.

Real-world experience

Throughout the course, you will get the opportunity to apply the theory and analytical techniques to real events and companies in real time. For example, in Financial Statement Analysis you will, as part of a team, develop an investment buy or sell recommendation. In your dissertation, you will get the opportunity to identify and answer a real world question, or extend your company analysis skills developed in Financial Statement Analysis.

The course includes an innovative week-long global financial trading and training boot camp run by our partner Amplify Trading, which won the CFA Institute’s Innovative Delivery of Education (IDEA) Award in 2015. Students trade futures contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) using University of Stirling computer labs on which Amplify Trading’s bespoke software links to live CME market prices through the Internet. By enabling students to trade in real time, but with virtual money, the Boot Camp bridges the gap between an academic understanding of financial markets and how they function in practice.

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


  • Course Director: Dr Isaac Tabner, CFA, ASIP, DipPFS.
Download course leaflet
Download postgraduate prospectus

Dr Isaac Tabner, CFA, ASIP, DipPFS.

Accounting and Finance
Stirling Management School
University of Stirling

  1. Students undertake the free Amplify Trading week long masterclass giving practical experience of financial markets.
  2. The course includes access to financial databases such as DataStream, providing real life, real-time information and insights into current research and analysis within the UK and international financial environment.
  3. The course is led by Dr Isaac Tabner, who is a senior lecturer in finance, a holder of the CFA Charter, a full member of the CFA Institute, the CFA Society of the UK and of the Personal Finance Society from which he and has a diploma in financial planning (DipPFS). He prepares Digest Summaries for the CFA Institute and is an Academic Advisor on the IMC Panel for the CFA Society of the UK.
  4. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF), the Stirling Management 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

The MSc in Finance equips students to pursue a broad range of careers in financial services, financial management, or financial policymaking as well as helping them to manage their personal finances and understand how finance and financial markets influence the world we live in. Given the deep and international reach of finance, the theoretical and practical foundations, together with the emphasis on critical thinking, analysis and communication developed during the second semester and dissertation provide a highly transferable knowledge and skill set for graduates who subsequently decide to diversify into other careers including further PhD study and academia.

Our graduates are currently contributing to the performance of major financial organisations such as Morgan Stanley, Standard Charted Bank, ABC Bank of China, and HSBC. They are located in countries around the globe including China, Saudi Arabia, Germany, New Zealand, Vietnam, Greece, Taiwan, India and the UK.

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.

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

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

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.

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

You’ll need a minimum of a second class honours degree or an equivalent qualification. However, you can still apply if you don’t have these formal qualifications, but bring significant and relevant work experience.

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


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

SAAS Postgraduate Loans

The Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) is now offering a generous loan scheme to assist eligible Scottish and EU-domiciled students pursuing a Masters at the University of Stirling during 2018/19. Find out more about SAAS Postgraduate Loans

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.

CFA Programme Scholarships

For students who wish to enrol on level I of the CFA course in December following graduation, up to five scholarships are available from the CFA Institute towards enrolment costs for the CFA course. These scholarships are awarded to successful students at the course directors’ discretion.

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

This is a one-year course of two 15-week taught semesters, involving lectures, case studies and workshops, followed by a supervised dissertation. You will be taught through lectures, seminars, problem solving lectures, computer workshops and practical case studies.

Preparation and Support

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

It’s exclusively for new students about to start one of our postgraduate courses. You will take part in activities, workshops and information sessions to help you prepare for the year ahead, and make the most of your time at Stirling.

Participating in the Flying Start Leadership programme will enable you to:

  • 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
  • Develop your personal goals for the year ahead

Activities range from practical skills such as effective public speaking – to developing ways to work in groups with other students. The course also offers a chance to discover all that the University and the vibrant city of Stirling has to offer, and to make new friends.

Find out more about the programme

Delivery and assessment

Assessment is through a combination of multiple choice and written class tests, written assignments, presentations including group assignments and written end of semester exams.

Following success in your assessments, you will be awarded an MSc in Finance upon successful completion of a dissertation project.


In Semester 1 you will take the following modules:

In Semester 2 you will select five/six (70 credits) modules from the following:

  • Financial Statement AnalysisThe interpretation and use of financial statements, focusing on company valuations and identifying companies that may become insolvent.
  • Derivatives: The uses and pricing of options, futures, forwards and swaps.
  • 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 AccountingIntroduces 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 PricingProvides 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 InvestmentsProvides 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.
  • Mergers and AcquisitionsProvides 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 FinanceProvides 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.

Many modules cover learning outcomes from all three levels of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) programme.

As part of the course, at the end of the Spring semester, we run a free, week-long trading masterclass in conjunction with London-based Amplify Trading.

Guest Lectures

In addition to the formal classes students joining the MSc in Finance are given the opportunity to attend regular guest lectures. These are typically held on a Wednesday afternoon and are delivered by eminent speakers drawn from leading financial institutions, think tanks, regulatory and professional bodies. For example, in 2016 and 2017 we had:

Recommended reading

Popular texts:

  • Skidelsky, R. (2010). Keynes: The Return of the Master. Penguin.
  • Malkiel, B. (2012). A Random Walk Down Wall Street. WW Norton & Co.
  • Lewis, M. (2010). The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine. WW Norton & Co.


  • Hillier, D., Ross, S., Westerfield, R., Jeffrey 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, Cengage Learning.
  • Asteriou, D and Hall, S (2016). Applied Econometrics, 3rd edition, Palgrave, Macmillan Publishers Ltd.
  • Begg, D. and Ward, D. (2013). Economics for Business, 4th Edition. McGraw-Hill.

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 Lecture Lecture   Drop in Session  
10-11     Lecture

  Computer Lab

11-12   Problem Solving Lecture  
12-1     Seminar  
1-2 Lecture

Drop in Session     Lecture


3-4 Seminar Seminar  
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 .


Why Study at Stirling

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).

Our staff
In addition to the Course Director, many of the faculty who will teach you on the course are publishing world research in leading international journals and engaged in developing new policy and practices within the finance profession as well as delivering innovative teaching.

On-going support
Our relationship with you doesn’t stop at graduation: we maintain and build links with our extensive network of alumni. We facilitate social and networking events for former students in the UK and around the world.

Networking opportunities
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.

Our staff

Dr Isaac Tabner is a Senior Lecturer in finance, a holder of the CFA Charter, a full member of the CFA Institute, the CFA Society of the UK and of the Personal Finance Society from which he and has a diploma in financial planning (DipPFS). He prepares Digest Summaries for the CFA Institute and is an Academic Advisor on the IMC Panel for the CFA Society of the UK. He also has an MSc in Investment Analysis with Distinction from the University of Stirling (1998) and has been actively investing his own savings and those of close family members since 1992. He regularly attends CFA Institute and CFA Society of the UK events, as well as respected international conferences. He has published research on, corporate finance, corporate governance, portfolio diversification, household finance and economics in leading international journals such as: the Review of Finance; Financial Analysts Journal; European Financial Management; the Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money; and the Multinational Finance Journal. He was a visiting researcher at the Waseda Business School (Graduate School of Business and Finance) Tokyo. He writes blogs for the Conversation and his work has been cited in various investment blogs and in the Investors Chronicle as well as other academic journals.

The MSc in Finance at the University of Stirling offers a coherent and current framework to understand many practical aspects of what is a vital industry within our economy. Providing comprehensive coverage of the main principles and applications of financial theory it connects the subject matter with the modern financial world. It equips students with all the necessary technical and conceptual skills to pursue a career in finance,  indeed many have secured posts with prestigious employers around the globe.  In the last number of years these have including ABC Bank of China (China), Standard Chartered Bank (Taiwan) and Titanium Capital (UK), demonstrating the international credentials this course offers.

Dr Isaac Tabner, Course Director


Careers and employability

Career opportunities

Where are our graduates now?

This course opens up a range of exciting career opportunities which include fund management, security dealing, financial market regulation, treasury management, financial engineering and corporate finance work within merchant banking firms.

Stirling Management School has a dedicated Employability Manager and from the very beginning of the course your career is our focus.

Our graduates are currently contributing to the performance of major financial organisations such as Morgan Stanley, Standard Charted Bank, ABC Bank of China, and HSBC.  They are located in countries around the globe including China, Saudi Arabia, Germany, New Zealand, Vietnam, Greece, Taiwan, India and the UK.

To provide you with an indication as to what you can do with your MSc Finance degree, the following are examples of roles secured by those graduating from the course in the last three years:

  • Business Manager, CITICs Futures (China)
  • Interest Rate Swaps Dealer, Tullett Prebon (UK)
  • Banker, ABC Bank of China
  • Assistant to Country Chief Risk Officer, Standard Chartered Bank (Vietnam)

Building on that foundation, alumni who graduated between five and ten years ago have advanced into positions such as:

  • Investment Analyst, Ajeej Capital (Saudi Arabia)
  • Head, Secured Lending, Stanard Chartered Bank (Taiwan)
  • Settlements Associate, Titanium Capital (UK)
  • Senior Lecturer, University of Waikato (New Zealand)

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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