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MSc/Postgraduate Diploma in Computing for Financial Markets

Course Description


This course covers the application and development of computer technologies as used in banking and financial systems, as well as financial and economic principles.
This course provides knowledge in key areas involving three subjects: Computing, Economics, and Finance. Together they offer a unique combination of expertise required for a successful career in the financial sector. This MSc offers a choice of computing modules so that the student can adapt the course to their previous computing experience.
The course has a distinct international dimension as financial markets today are international in scope: trading in equities, bonds, derivatives and other securities occurs across borders and on a global scale. It emphasises the key characteristics of today's globalised financial world.
Computing Science at Stirling has strong links with industry. Students can get a first-hand industrial experience through placements and internships with local enterprises and organisations. More specifically, we offer company-based MSc projects to our students where our students can work with an employer to gain valuable commercial experience. We also regularly invite industry experts to share their expertise with students through seminars and talks.
You will also get prepared to find and secure a great job after completing this course through an integrated structured personal and professional development programme called ‘Lift-Off’. This course covers crucial topics such as self-image, body language, interview techniques, assessment centre startegies, conflict resolution as well as CV preparation and job targeting techniques.

Key information

- Degree type: Postgraduate Diploma, MSc
- Study methods: Full-time, Part-time
- Start date: September
- Course Director: Dr Mario Kolberg

Course objectives

The course is aimed at students from a variety of backgrounds, especially those that do not have any previous training in computing, economics or finance. The course is designed to complement and extend a student’s previous education, training and experience. Appropriate module choices facilitate adjusting the course of study according to a student’s preferences and prior expertise.
The MSc in Computing for Financial Markets will greatly enhance the employment prospects of students. On completion of this course, you will be ideally placed to embark on an IT career in the financial sector. Our company sponsored MSc projects will provide an ideal pathway into the industry.

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 course comprises two 15-week semesters of taught modules, a winter programming assignment over three weeks in January, and the MSc project over three months at the end. Semester 1 concentrates on fundamental techniques. Semester 2 integrates, develops and applies these skills.
Practical work is a key component in this course. It builds from self contained tasks in the first semester, over the larger Winter programming assignment, to a group project in Semester 2. Finally, the dissertation project (possibly with a company) is the largest piece of work leading to your MSc dissertation. We usually place more than 50% of our students with a company for the MSc project duration.

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.

Career opportunities

The MSc in Computing for Financial Markets will greatly enhance the employment prospects of students. As a graduate of Computing for Financial Markets, you will be in demand in a range of sectors including banks, insurance business, IT software organisations, and service enterprises.
Previous postgraduate students have been very successful in obtaining suitable employment in the computing field in a considerable diversity of posts - some with small companies, others with major organisations such as HBOS, Prudential and RBS, with Local Authority and Government bodies. A number of graduates of the MSc Computing for Financial Markets have continued their studies towards a PhD.
Common job profiles of our graduates are:
- As a Systems Analyst, you will work on solving computer problems. This might involve adapting existing systems or using new technologies designing a new software solution In doing so, you will design software, write code, and test and fix software applications. You might also be involved in providing documentation for users. Typically you would work as part of a larger team.

- IT Consultants closely work with clients (often at the clients premises) and advise them on how to use computer technology and applications to best meet their business needs. You will work with clients to improve their efficiency of using computer systems. This may involve the adaptation/customisation of software applications, or the development of custom applications for the specific needs of the customer. As well as technical duties, you may be involved in project management.

- Applications Developers translate software requirements into programming code, and will usually specialise in a specific area, such as computer games or web technology. Often developers work as part of a larger team. You may be in charge of developing a certain component or part of a larger application.

Visit the MSc/Postgraduate Diploma in Computing for Financial Markets page on the University of Stirling website for more details!

All Available Videos:

Student Profiles

Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan - 20+ Awards

The Student Awards Agency for Scotland is a Scottish Government agency with funding and responsibility for supporting eligible students. The SAAS Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan scheme provides support for students on selected vocationally oriented taught postgraduate programmes. The loan is available to help you pay all or some of your tuition fees up to a maximum of £3,400. There is no help towards your living costs.

Value of Scholarship(s)

£3400 (tuition fees)


The main eligibility condition is that only UK nationals resident in Scotland, and European Union residents may apply. The detailed eligibility conditions are on the SAAS web site (see http://www.saas.gov.uk/).

Application Procedure

Application is through the SAAS web site: http://www.saas.gov.uk/how_to_apply/pg.htm

Further Information



University of Stirling Merit Scholarships - No. of awards TBC

The University of Stirling is offering any UK or European Union student with a First Class Honours degree (or equivalent) a £2,000 scholarship to study full-time on any taught Masters course. It is not available to students studying postgraduate certificates, diplomas or modules. Additionally, it is only available to self-funded students paying tuition fees to the University of Stirling. This scholarship will be awarded in two instalments at the end of each of Semester.To be considered, you must forward on a copy of your degree certificate and academic transcript when available to [email protected] eligibility will be verified after enrolment and you will be contacted with further details, through your University email address.Please note that award of this scholarship cannot be combined with any other scholarship or award. This award is only available to self-funded students who are paying the full course tuition fee to the University of Stirling.

Value of Scholarship(s)



You must be a UK or European Union student with a First Class Honours degree (or equivalent) with a place to study on a full-time taught Masters course. It is not available to students studying postgraduate certificates, diplomas or modules. Additionally, it is only available to self-funded students paying tuition fees to the University of Stirling.

Application Procedure

To be considered, you must forward on a copy of your degree certificate and academic transcript when available to [email protected]

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A minimum of a second class Honours degree or equivalent. No formal qualification in economics, finance or computing is required. 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 Science, Computing and Engineering and meet the required progression grades, you will be guaranteed entry onto year one of this Master's degree.

Course Fees

2015/16: Home/EU £4,500; Overseas £13,500

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