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MSc Finance

Course Description


The MSc Finance provides a thorough grounding in the theory and analytical techniques required by finance professionals. It offers students a global perspective on the process of financial decision-making and practical knowledge of the workings of financial markets and the price-setting process. Students will also learn to critically evaluate research and advanced scholarship in finance.

Key information

- Degree type: MSc, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma
- Study methods: Full-time
- Start date: September
- Course Director: Professor Graeme Acheson

Course objectives

The course provides essential understanding of the theory of finance and of the skills required in practice. You learn about corporate finance, techniques of quantitative analysis, global financial markets, analysis of financial statements, derivatives, portfolio management, investment analysis, risk management and behavioural finance. You will develop spreadsheet skills and learn econometric techniques for analysing corporate performance and identifying trends in financial markets and have access to financial databases, including DataStream. The dissertation, completed in the summer, enables development of your individual interests.

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 https://www.stir.ac.uk/study-in-the-uk/entry-requirements/english/

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 the range of pre-sessional courses http://www.intohigher.com/uk/en-gb/our-centres/into-university-of-stirling/studying/our-courses/course-list/pre-sessional-english.aspx .

Structure and content

This one-year, full-time course has an initial taught component of two, 15-week semesters, involving lectures, practical case study work and workshops, followed by a supervised dissertation.
As soon as you arrive at Stirling you are introduced to your course, fellow students and the University by taking part in the Stirling Management School Flying Start Leadership Programme. This induction enables you to develop skills to get the most out of your studies and to progress quickly in your career.

Delivery and assessment

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

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.

Career opportunities

Where are our graduates now?
Stirling Management School is unique in having a dedicated Employability Manager and from the very begining of the course your career is our focus.
The MSc Finance 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.
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)

Visit the MSc Finance page on the University of Stirling website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Do Quyen Nguyen

Studying at the University of Stirling impressed me in many ways. The campus is gorgeous and very environmentally friendly. The university is well-equipped and modern enabling students to pursue their research and study. The lecturers at Stirling University are not only very competent but very helpful as well. The MSc in Finance course that I pursued for one year was quite intensive yet all the knowledge and experience I gained in the end is worth my effort and has benefitted my career.

In what way did your time at Stirling shape your career to date?
My Stirling experience has benefited me a lot. First of all, it is the theoretical and empirical knowledge I have achieved when attending the courses. In addition, I have been able to observe and acquire the teaching skills and methodologies of the lecturers. The program is designed in a practical way so that learners can understand all the theories behind as well as apply them into practice. The University's facilities are well-equipped with up-to-date database and a diversified library. Additionally, it is the research skills that my supervisor has equipped me with when supervising me with my dissertation. During my study at University of Stirling, I received a lot of supports from lecturers and staff. The course helped me build up confidence in my major, develop my personal and interpersonal skills and gain so much experience for my career as a lecturer. Last but not least, studying in the international environment at University of Stirling has helped me attain necessary skills to work efficiently with other students as a team.

What advice would you give to current students in terms of preparing for life after graduation?
Be very serious about what job you would like to do. Do research about the job requirements and the job market to see if you are qualified for the job and your chances of getting one. If you are not qualified, equip yourself with more necessary skills as soon as possible. If yes, start applying at least a semester before graduation. Be realistic of your available capacity. Set out your career achievements in every 3 or 5 years. If your career path is not smooth at first, do not give up. Try harder and you will be finally awarded in the end.

(Student Profile)

Nikita Groshev

Having graduated from Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia and having some six year’s work experience in finance and accounting in Russia, I decided to bring my career path at an international level. My choice to undertake Stirling’s MSc in Finance was chiefly driven by the course’s content, where all the modules fit exceptionally the modern world of finance. Also, my decision was based on recommendations that had been given by professionals who specifically had stressed the well-known international reputation of the teaching staff. Last but not least, the fabulous campus and Stirling town, steeped in history, made my choice by no means difficult and lengthy.

I entered Stirling University in October 2004 brimming with excitement and expectations that were subsequently lived up to. I enjoyed deepening my understanding of finance from an international perspective while acquiring a wealth of knowledge. This ranged from, for example, types of financial instruments used in modern finance to how the international markets function. Equally important, the campus including the outstanding sport facilities and landscape landmarks as well as the MacRobert Centre with its sheer range of films and entertainment helped to pursue quite an eventful life.

Having graduated from Stirling University, I joined in 2006 the London based hedge fund Titanium Capital, working on its operational side. My daily responsibilities encompass managing the fund settlements of equities, options, foreign exchange and distressed bonds. I also undertake the daily management of Corporate Events covering Rights Issues, Stock Dividends, Takeovers and Mergers, tracking interest claims and cash movements through trade life cycle of Distressed loan assets and P&L accounts’ administration. The role has given to me an exceptional opportunity to put my knowledge into practice, understanding how different investment strategies are used in the quest for absolute returns given a chosen level of risk. Furthermore, the international character of the company’s team with a wealth of expertise ranging across business sectors and geographies is an ideal environment to further my career path, now at international level.

Studying at Stirling University has given to me a priceless and memorable experience of thriving on new challenges and adapting myself culturally. I have no hesitations to recommend Stirling as the exceptional place to study and broaden your horizons.

(Student Profile)

Miss Jillian Wroughton

The MSc Finance course at the University of Stirling is a very intensive program but the faculty delivered the lectures in a manner that made it easy to understand; especially through the tutorial and problem solving lectures during which the class was organised into smaller groups for better concentration. I am thankful to the faculty for their support and willingness to help. I am very content with the learning I received there. In hindsight, I feel it is my best choice of University, in addition, it has plenty of societies within it's students Union which made my time there more eventful and enjoyable.

(Student Profile)

Mr Henry Okonne

Looking back on my time at Stirling I realise that choosing Stirling was absolutely the best choice that I could have made. My career has really taken off and I am now working asan Analyst with Lloyds Banking Group. I enjoyed my time at Stirling with great lecturers and made many friends from different parts of the world.

(Student Profile)

Dengyu Shen

With great expectation and excitement I arrived in central Scotland and Stirling. From the first sight I fell in love with the gorgeous campus, magnificent buildings and facilities with harmony between humans and nature.

The well-designed courses on MSc Finance ensure that every student can obtain the integrated and up-to-date financial skills, both theoretical and practical, no matter whether they have experience in finance or are new to the area, as I was. Without a background in finance, I worked hard and the University Library became the second home for me during the whole year, where I highly recommend the small study rooms as it is a fantastic place for study with beautiful views. For international students I should also highlight the great support available from the International Student Officer as well as the teaching and administrative staff, all of which ensure the life of overseas students is easier.

After graduating I started my career in finance by entering the Jones Lang LaSalle Sallmanns in the position of analyst where I focus on valuation work related to IPOs such as preferred shares, convertible bonds, employee share option plans and intangibles assets. In addition, I decide to further boost my professional knowledge by taking the CFA examinations as the MSc Finance has also helped prepare me for these.

Studying the MSc Finance in Stirling paved a way for my future development in the financial sector.


Entry 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. INTO University of Stirling offers a Graduate Diploma for those students who do not meet the required criteria for this course. If you successfully complete the Graduate Diploma in Business, Finance and Sport and meet the required progression grades, you will be guaranteed entry onto this Master's degree.

Course Fees

2015/16: Home/EU £6,000; Overseas £13,500

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