International Accounting and Finance

MSc, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate


Accounting and finance roles have increasingly taken on an international dimension. This has been driven by a number of factors including:

  • Increasing globalisation and the relaxation of barriers to the international movement of goods and capital
  • The growth of multinational enterprises
  • The convergence of international accounting practices, such as International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)

This course responds to the growing demand for graduates who are well versed in these issues, and educated to master’s level in international accounting and finance.


Logo ACCA 2014The MSc International Accounting and Finance is accredited by ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), the global accounting body.

This accreditation gives graduates automatic exemption from four of their papers, F1-F4 with a fifth and sixth, F7 and F9, possible based on the spring semester options that are chosen.

Real-world experience

The course includes an innovative, week-long global financial trading Boot Camp, run by our partner Amplify Trading. 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

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

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
  • Start date:


  • Course Director: Professor David McMillan
Download course leaflet
Download postgraduate prospectus

Course Director

Professor David McMillan accounting-and-finance/

Accounting and Finance
Stirling Management School
University of Stirling
Stirling FK9 4LA
Scotland UK

  1. 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.
  2. Students undertake the free Amplify Trading week long masterclass giving practical experience of financial markets. 
  3. 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 peer-reviewed journals including the Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, the International Journal of Forecasting and the Journal of Business Finance.
  4. 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.
  5. In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, 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.

Course objectives

The course provides specialised training in international accounting, and finance, and helps you develop the reporting and analysis skills needed by global organisations. You’ll be able to offer employers an understanding of issues related to international reporting standards which have an increasing global relevance, along with an appreciation of international financial markets.

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

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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. 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 in any subject, or an equivalent qualification. However, you can still apply if you don’t have these formal qualifications, but bring significant work experience in a relevant area.

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, helping them to further their education with one of our university degree courses. There are various categories of funding available to support the cost of postgraduate studies. More on postgraduate scholarships.

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:

You may also 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

This is a one-year full-time course of two semesters followed by a dissertation. You will be taught in lectures, seminars, workshops and through practical case study exercises.

Following success in your examinations at the end of the second semester, you will be awarded a Diploma in International Accounting and Finance – or an MSc if you also successfully complete a dissertation.

Preparation and Support

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 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 programme 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

Students experience lectures, small group seminars, problem-solving classes, drop-in sessions, computer labs and group working during their studies. 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.


Semester 1 modules:

  • Financial ReportingThe underlying assumptions and limitations of accounting information.
  • Corporate FinanceHow corporations raise finance, invest money and manage risk.
  • Accounting and SocietyProvides 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) purpose.
  • Quantitative Methods in FinanceThe statistical and computing skills necessary to understand and value financial market investments

In Semester 2 you will select five/six (70 credits) modules from the following. Students must choose at least one Accounting module from the list (Topics in International Accounting or Advanced Financial Reporting):

  • Financial Statement Analysis: The interpretation and use of financial statements, focusing on company valuations and identifying companies that may become insolvent.
  • 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 ReportingConsiders a number of advanced topics in financial reporting and introduces students to the practical application of international financial reporting standards.
  • DerivativesThe uses and pricing of options, futures, forwards and swaps.
  • 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 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.
  • Introduction to Research MethodsIntroduces 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.

All graduates are eligible for exemptions from ACCA papers F1 to F4. If you complete Financial Statement Analysis, you’ll be exempt from ACCA paper F9. If you complete Advanced Financial Reporting, you’ll be exempt from ACCA paper F7.

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

Guest Lectures

In addition to the formal classes students joining the MSc International Accounting and 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

Books of interest:

  • Malkiel, Burton (2012), 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
  • Weetman, P. (2010). Financial and Management Accounting - An Introduction. FT Prentice Hall.


  • Hillier, D., Ross, S., Westerfield, R., 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, South-Western, Cengage Learning.
  • Asteriou, D and Hall, S (2016). Applied Econometrics, 3rd edition, Palgrave, Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

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.

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).

Industry accreditation
The course is recognised by the global accounting body ACCA. This gives graduates exemption from up to six of their papers. It’s also ideal if you plan to progress to PhD level study.

Expert teaching
Course leader Professor David McMillan is an internationally respected expert in modelling and forecasting of asset returns, and identifying the links between stock markets and the macro economy. He has published more than 100 papers in peer-reviewed journals including the Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, the International Journal of Forecasting and the Journal of Business Finance.

Flexible course structure
The flexible design of the degree programme means you can build on the core curriculum from a suite of optional modules. Some modules carry exemptions from ACCA papers.

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.

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.

Our staff

Professor David McMillan is a Professor of Finance and Director of the MSc in International Accounting and Finance. He has taught at the universities of Aberdeen, Durham and St Andrews. David's main research interests are in empirical finance, with particular emphasis on modelling and forecasting asset returns and volatility, as well as the links between stock markets and the macro economy. He has published over 100 articles in peer-reviewed international journals.

The MSc in International Accounting and Finance provides a rigorous training for those seeking a career working in international finance or within a Multinational Corporation (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 spent studying here and will serve you well in your future careers.

Professor David McMillan


Careers and employability

Career opportunities

Where are our graduates now?

The University of Stirling is ranked 7th in the UK for graduate employability. Stirling Management School has a dedicated employability manager. From the very beginning of the course, your future career is our focus.

MSc International Accounting and Finance graduates work around the world in countries such as Malaysia, China, UK, Ethiopia, Italy, Oman, Kazakhstan and Taiwan.

Since the introduction of the course in 2007, our graduates have gone on to build their careers in a variety of sectors 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)

Developing real-world expertise

We 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, the aim is to bridge the gap between 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.

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

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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