Investment Analysis

Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma, MSc

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 Investment Analysis is the UK’s longest-established postgraduate level course in the field of investment management education, with up to date content that is closely aligned to the current needs of the investment industry.

It is also one of very few masters degrees in the UK to be recognised as an affiliated university under the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Institute University Affiliation Program (UAP). This acknowledges that the course covers at least 70 percent of the CFA Program Candidate Body of Knowledge (CBOK) and places emphasis on the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. The course positions students well to obtain the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation, which has become the most respected and recognized investment credential in the world.

Our affiliation with CFA Institute dates back to 2007 when the MSc Investment Analysis was the first course in Scotland to be recognized as a Program Partner, and in 2017 we joined the replacement UAP introduced by CFA Institute. Our participation in the UAP provides a number of benefits to students, including the ability to award 10 student scholarships for the CFA Program exams each year.

We have an excellent relationship with CFA Institute and our record in the UK leg of the annual CFA Institute Research Challenge is unrivalled, with our team coming second in the UK final in 2017 after winning it (again) in 2016.

On the course you will learn about the techniques used to value investments and to develop and evaluate investment portfolios. The course also covers the everyday subject areas that form the investment analyst’s role. These include the analysis of financial statements, the use of derivatives in portfolio management and investment regulations and ethics.

This masters degree prepares you for a career in the investment management industry, working either for a ‘buyer’ such as a mutual fund, insurance firm or private equity fund, or for a ‘seller’ such as a stockbroker or investment bank.


CFA Institute logo

The MSc Investment Analysis is a member of the CFA Institute University Affiliation Program (UAP), a designation awarded to academic institutions that embed a significant portion of the CFA® Program Candidate Body of Knowledge™ (CBOK) into their curriculum. It is one of very few affiliated partner institutions in the UK, and one of a select group globally.

CFA Institute is the largest association of investment professionals in the world. Successful completion of the CFA Program leads to the award of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) credential, the most respected and recognised investment management designation globally.

To become a CFA Charter Holder, students must study a prescribed curriculum and take exams at CFA levels I, II and III. At least 70% of the learning outcomes of all three levels of the CFA curriculum are covered on the MSc Investment Analysis. This makes the course an ideal route for those wishing to achieve the CFA qualification.

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.

It was also shortlisted in 2015 for the Herald Higher Education Awards for Scotland, in the Innovation Technology Excellence category, and for the Wharton-QS Stars Reimagine Education Awards, in the Presence Learning category.

Students on the course also have the opportunity to participate in the University of Stirling Student Managed Investment Fund.

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: Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma, MSc
  • Study methods: Full-time, Campus based
  • Duration: 12 months
  • Start date:


  • Course Director: Dr Kevin Campbell
Download course leaflet
Download postgraduate prospectus

Course Director

MSc IA Course page pic

Dr Kevin Campbell

Stirling Management School
University of Stirling

  1. The MSc Investment Analysis at Stirling was the UK’s first postgraduate programme in the field, and is one of the few such programmes in the world to have CFA Institute University Affiliation Program (UAP) status. As 70% of the learning outcomes of the CFA Charter Programme are covered, the course is ideally suited to students who wish to qualify as CFA Charter holders.
  2. Students undertake the free Amplify Trading week-long masterclass giving practical experience of financial markets. 
  3. The Course Director, Dr Kevin Campbell, is an internationally respected expert with specialist research interests in corporate finance and governance.
  4. University of Stirling students have reached the UK final of the CFA Institute Research Challenge in nine out of the last Ten years, a record unique amongst the UK affiliated universities. In 2016 Stirling won the UK final.
  5. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF) 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 MSc Investment Analysis equips students with the knowledge to pursue a successful career in the investment management industry. Students learn how to value equities, fixed income securities and other asset classes, including derivatives. They also learn how to construct portfolios of different assets to meet client needs, the techniques for managing risk and how investment performance is measured. The insights gained from academic studies of financial markets are emphasised throughout the course, along with the importance of ethical decision-making.

The course is industry-focused as it follows the CFA syllabus, covering at least 70% of levels I, II and III. Students therefore develop the skills necessary to add value for employers from the outset and for that reason are highly sought after in the industry.

The course syllabus has a distinctly international bias. This reflects the globalised nature of financial markets and the investment management profession. Such is the international reputation of the course that students come from a wide variety of educational and professional backgrounds and cultures, providing a unique opportunity for the development of worldwide contacts.

What makes us different?

A winning team

The MSc Investment Analysis has an unrivalled record in the prestigious CFA Institute Research Challenge, a global competition known as the 'Investment Olympics' for university students. A team of students from the MSc Investment Analysis has reached the UK Final of this competition in nine of the last ten years, a feat unrivalled by any other UK Program Partner university.

A team of five MSc Investment Analysis students - from China, Ghana, Vietnam and the UK - won the 2016 UK Final in London and competed in the Global Finals in Chicago.

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 or professional qualifications such as the CFA Level 1.

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

More information on 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 your studies at Stirling Management School.

Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan

This course is currently approved for PTFL (Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan) funding from SAAS. More information

Other Scholarships and funding

The Investment Analysis course has two specific scholarship opportunities:

The Karen Napier Scholarship - will meet the course fees and will also provide a £3,500 maintenance award for any student of any nationality.

Wauton Scholarship - provides £2,000 funding towards tuition fees for a Home/EU student.

CFA Program Awareness Scholarship are available for 10 MSc Investment Analysis students each year and are awarded on the basis of academic performance during the course. The scholarships allow those students to sit levels I, II or III of the CFA exams at a significantly reduced fee.

A full set of CFA study materials is available at the University. Students also receive a daily CFA Institute newsletter and are invited to local CFA society events.

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 course of two semesters followed by a dissertation. You will be taught through lectures, seminars, problem-solving lectures, computer workshops and practical case study sessions.

Following success in your examinations, you will be awarded the MSc Investment Analysis upon successful completion of a dissertation project.

The Walter Scott Global Investment Management Prize, of £1,250, is awarded annually to the top student on the course.

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 investment analysis and allow completion of a case study or research topic dissertation.

The top student on the course receives the Walter Scott Global Investment Management Prize.


In each of the two semesters, you will complete the following compulsory modules.

Semester one:

Semester two:

  • Financial Statement AnalysisThe interpretation and use of financial statements, focusing on company valuations and identifying companies that may become insolvent.
  • DerivativesThe uses and pricing of options, futures, forwards and swaps.
  • 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.
  • Investment Regulation and Ethics: The regulatory environment governing financial markets, with an emphasis on standards of ethical behaviour as detailed in the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct.

Guest Lectures

In addition to the formal classes students joining the MSc Investment Analysis 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:

  • King, M. (2016). The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking and the Future of the Global Economy. Little Brown.
  • Turner, A. (2015). Between Debt and the Devil: Money, Credit and Fixing Global Finance. Princeton University Press.
  • Kay, J. (2015). Other People's Money: Masters of the Universe or Servants of the People?. Profile Books Ltd.
  • Lewis, M. (2014). Flash Boys: Cracking the Money Code, Allen Lane.
  • Lewis, M. (2010). The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine. New York:WW Norton & Co.
  • Peter L. Bernstein, P.L. (1993). Capital Ideas: The Improbable Origins of Modern Wall Street, The Free Press.


  • Hillier, D., Ross, S., Westerfield, R., Jeffrey Jaffe, J. and Jordan, B. (2016). Corporate Finance, Third 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.
  • 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    
11-12 Seminar Problem
Solving Lecture
Lecture Computer Lab Seminar
12-1     Lecture Computer Lab  
1-2 Lecture Drop in
  Seminar Lecture
2-3 Lecture  

Practitioner Presentation  

4-5   Lecture    
5-6        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 MSc Investment Analysis at Stirling was the UK’s first postgraduate course in the field, and is one of the relatively few such courses in the world to have CFA Institute Programme Partner status. It is ideal for students who wish to qualify as CFA Charter holders.

Wide-ranging expertise
Teaching is delivered by experienced lecturers with strong research profiles and a deep commitment to advancing industry-relevant knowledge. The Research Excellence Framework has consistently judged most of our research activity to be of international significance.

Global reputation
The Stirling MSc Investment Analysis team has an unrivalled record in the UK CFA Institute Research Challenge. Stirling has won the UK final of this competition, most recently in 2016, and reached the UK final in eight out of nine years.

More details and photos from the CFA Institute Research Challenge 2016 UK final.

A team of Stirling students also achieved a top 10 finish in the 2016 CME Group Trading Challenge, in which teams from 200 universities, spread across 30 countries, participated.

More details and photos from the 2016 CME Group Trading Challenge.

Students from the MSc Investment Analysis were also members of a team that triumphed in the 2016 Global Investment Banking Valuation Olympiad, beating off entries from almost 470 teams comprising 5,000 participants. More details here.

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 Kevin Campbell is senior lecturer in finance and director of the MSc Investment Analysis. He is also a visiting professor at the University of Gdansk, Poland. He has taught at the University of Łódź and the University of Szczecin in Poland, Gadjah Mada University in Indonesia, the University of Western Australia, the University of New South Wales and the Graduate Business School at the University of Cape Town. His main research interests are in corporate finance and corporate governance and he has published regularly in a range of prominent business and finance journals.

The MSc Investment Analysis is one of only twelve Master’s degrees in the UK to have CFA® Institute Program Partner status and one of a select group of partner institutions worldwide. The success of Stirling’s students in reaching the UK final the CFA Institute Research Challenge in eight of the last nine years, a feat unmatched by any other UK Program Partner university, signifies the elite status of our course.

Dr Kevin Campbell, Course Director


Careers and employability

Career opportunities

The University of Stirling is ranked 7th in the UK for graduate employability. MSc Investment Analysis graduates work around the world in countries such as the United States, Canada, Brazil, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, China, Japan, Taiwan, India, Norway, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Portugal, Spain, Greece and Malta.

The MSc Investment Analysis curriculum is designed to develop investment professionals who have the knowledge and skills to make a difference in the industry. Many of our alumni hold senior positions in the investment profession; others have developed successful careers in related fields, such as banking, financial media and business consultancy.

MSc Investment Analysis graduates work around the world for organisations including:

  • Aberdeen Asset Management
  • Alliance Trust Investments
  • Andersen
  • Anderson Strathern Asset Management
  • Aon
  • Baillie Gifford
  • Barclays Global Investors
  • Bfinance
  • Citibank
  • Central-Asian Electric Power Corporation
  • Edinburgh Partners
  • Ernst & Young
  • GAM
  • Herald Investment Management
  • Henderson Global Investors
  • Hermes Investment Management
  • Honeywell
  • Horwarth Capital China
  • HSBC 
  • Investec Securities
  • Investiture
  • ITM Power
  • JP Morgan
  • Kames Capital
  • KGI Securities Thailand PCL
  • Martin Currie
  • Russell Investments
  • Schroders
  • Standard Chartered Bank
  • Standard Life Investments
  • Vodafone
  • Walter Scott Asset Management

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

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 financial market institutions, it bridges the gap between academic understanding of financial markets and trading strategies in the real world.

Students work with live market data to trade futures contracts 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
© University of Stirling FK9 4LA Scotland UK • Telephone +44 1786 473171 • Scottish Charity No SC011159
Portal Logon