MSc Finance and Economics


Program Description

This Finance and Economics MSc equips you with the practical skills you need to address the complex issues faced by businesses, governments and financial institutions.

As you study, you’ll use evidence and real-world applications to challenge economic theories and models. This approach is combined with finance theory and practice to gain a deep understanding of, and the capacity to analyse, financial markets, investment potentials and risks.

Combining practical economics with finance prepares students for professional roles in:

  • The finance and banking sector
  • Central banks
  • Treasury offices
  • Different offices at national, supranational and local government level around the world

Financial economists use tools and concepts to address complex problems, such as financial instability and climate change, and offer potential practical, innovative solutions, such as central bank equity purchases to combat recessions and carbon markets to reduce CO2 emissions. Economics courses often leave these practical problems aside, while focussing on teaching mathematical models that may feel too abstract. At Stirling, we adopt the CORE online platform, which uses an innovative way of teaching economics. Real-world issues are introduced in the classroom and contemporary economics models and data are then used to address them – providing you with ideal preparation for your future career.

Top reasons to study with us

  1. Combine real-world economics insights with finance theory and practice
  2. Learn from real-life experiences with our Student Managed Investment Fund and trading boot camp
  3. Benefit from a new problem-solving based approach to teaching economics

Course objectives

Students undertaking this programme will:

  • Acquire knowledge, skills and experience for a successful career in the finance sector, private institutions and central banks, and different offices across governments.
  • Develop capabilities to interpret how the economy and financial markets work and interact, using data and contemporary economics analysis.
  • Enhance capability to use economics insights and analytics to evaluate policies.
  • Become able to critically evaluate how macro and micro policy affect and are affected by households, businesses and nations interacting in the global economy.
  • Enhance and develop critical, analytical, interpersonal and other transferable skills.

Professional accreditations

The course covers much of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) programme, helping you progress towards obtaining CFA Charterholder status.


The University of Stirling Management School is rated among the top 25 in the UK for research impact, according to REF 2014. 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. We were ranked 14th in the UK in terms of research impact with over 60% of our research impact judged to have an outstanding reach and wide-ranging impact on the policies of public, private and governmental organisations.

The Economics Division is ranked 2nd in Scotland and top 10 in the UK in the Guardian University Guide 2020 while Accounting and Finance are in the top 20 in the UK in the Complete University Guide 2020.

Entry requirements

Academic 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.

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 C2 Proficiency (CPE) 180 with minimum 162 in each skill;
  • Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) 169 with a minimum of 162 in each skill;
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component;
  • IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17.

For more information on ways that you can meet our English language requirements, including options to waive the requirement, please read our information on English language requirements.

Pre-sessional English language courses

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

MSc Finance and Economics is a one-year, full-time course. You’ll undertake eight taught modules over two 15-week semesters followed by a supervised dissertation. The dissertation gives you the opportunity to apply your knowledge by undertaking independent work on an area that matches your interests and career objectives.


The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery in the next academic intake of this course. These may be subject to change as the University regularly revises and refreshes the curriculum of our taught programmes.

Year 1 - Autumn semester

Compulsory modules

  • Flying Start Leadership Programme (MANPFSL)
  • Corporate Finance (INVP001)
  • Quantitative Methods in Finance (BFIP013)
  • Microeconomics for Business and Policy (ECNP001)

Year 1 - Spring semester

Compulsory modules

  • Investments: Equity Portfolios and Pricing (INVP012)
  • Investments: Fixed Income and Alternative Investments (INVP013)
  • Macroeconomics for Business and Policy (ECNP002)

Option modules

  • Evidence-based Decision Making (BSMP007)
  • Applied Data Analytics Using R (ECNP003)
  • Financial Statement Analysis (INVP007)
  • Derivatives (INVP010)
  • Behavioural Finance (FINP006)
  • Financial Risk Assessment (FINP007)
  • International Corporate Finance (FINP013)
  • Mergers & Acquisitions (FINP014)
  • Investment Regulation and Ethics (INVP005)

Year 1 - Summer semester

  • Dissertation (ECNP099)

Course Details


Teaching is carried out through lectures, seminars, problem-solving lectures, computer workshops and practical case studies.

Many of our staff are publishing research in leading international journals and engaged in developing new policy and practices within the finance profession, as well as delivering innovative teaching.

Students will access and engage with labs, practical workshops, and live markets via the Student Managed Investment Fund, the Amplify Trading Boot Camp, and learn from contemporary economic analysts.

The course is taught by staff with finance and economics expertise and international research interests in areas such as financial economics and analysis, investors and consumer decision making, public policy, financial analysis, behavioural economics and finance, econometrics and analytics.

Innovative teaching in Economics using the CORE online platform

How the economy works is taught in an interactive way, using classroom experiments, and problem-motivated units. We adopt the CORE platform which is revolutionising the way economics is taught. Students learn economics by doing economics.


Our 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 or economics and allow completion of a research topic dissertation.

Classroom hours

Students can expect to have around 4-5 contact hours per module each semester and a timetable will be available shortly before the course begins.

Fees and costs


Home/EU Students

Fees shown are for full-time, one-year Masters course*

If you’re domiciled in Scotland, you may be eligible to apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for a loan of up to £10,000 to cover your tuition fees and associated living costs. Students domiciled in the EU can also apply for tuition fee support, although may not be eligible to receive funding to support living costs.

If you're domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, you should be eligible to apply for a loan from your regional body.

English students apply for a loan of up to £10,609 per year as part of the UK Postgraduate Loan Scheme, Welsh students can apply for a non-means-tested loan of up to £13,000 from the Welsh Government and Northern Irish students are eligible to apply for support of up to £5,500.

*Fees for students who apply for a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate will be paid on a pro-rata basis.

If the course is taken over two years then the fee will be split evenly over the two years. Fees are not pro-rated for students who enrol in a Masters course and decide to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma - the full fee is charged.


Overseas (Non-EU) Students

Fees shown are for full-time, one-year Masters course. Fees for students who apply for a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate will be paid on a pro-rata basis.

If the course is taken over two years then the fee will be split evenly over the two years. Fees are not pro-rated for students who enrol in a Masters course and decide to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma - the full fee is charged.


Please note: You will be liable to pay tuition fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. If you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

Scholarships and funding

If you have the talent, ability and drive to study with us, we want to make sure you make the most of the opportunity – regardless of your financial circumstances.

Additional costs

There are some instances where additional fees may apply. Depending on your chosen course, you may need to pay additional costs, for example for field trips.

Cost of living

If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.

EU and overseas students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support.

Payment options

We aim to be as flexible as possible and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments.

After you graduate

This Masters course helps you to develop the skills you need for a career in the finance, banking and public sectors, opening the door to a variety of jobs. Financial economists are appreciated for their analytical skills, which they can apply to many areas and roles, such as:

  • Market and investment analysts and specialists in financial and energy companies such as RBS, Coal Marketing Ltd, China Asset Management Company, China Investment Corporation;
  • Consultants in global economic and financial firms such as NERA Economic Consulting, McKinsey & Company, Mackenzie Consulting Group, Oxera;
  • Advisors, officers and researchers in Central Banks around the world.

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

  • You’ll take part in an innovative week-long global financial trading boot camp run by Amplify;
  • 96% of our postgraduate leavers are in employment or further study within six months of graduating (Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2016/17).

HigherEd Global Talent Portal

As a Management School student, you'll have access to the HigherEd Global Talent Portal where you’ll find internships, trainee positions, apprenticeships and graduate positions from companies around the world. It helps international students looking for placements back at home and local students that want to explore an international experience.

The global talent portal is in addition to all other existing initiatives and resources available for you through the Careers and Employability Service, and the Target Connect vacancy and events system.

“Integrating economics insights with the strong finance modules offered in Stirling is incredibly appealing and fills a gap in the Stirling offer.” Michele Battaglia, Senior Information Analyst, NHS

“Combining finance with economics will really help students to get the right skills for a successful career in the finance and public sectors.” Emma Van Dijck, Assistant Economist, The Scottish Government

Employability skills

Everything you do while studying here is designed to help you build the personal skills that will make you stand out to future employers.

You’ll start your MSc course on our Flying Start leadership programme which will challenge your perspective of culture and develop your self-awareness, as well as team-working, problem-solving and presentation skills.

You also have the chance to take part in real work experience opportunities through our week-long masterclass in trading.

Companies we work with

As a student on the MSc Finance and Economics, you’re given the chance to go to 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. Previous speakers include:

  • Russell Napier - Co-founder of ERIC (Electronic Research Interchange)
  • Nick Bartlett - Director of Education at CFA Society of the UK
  • Ross Lorrimer - Client Service Associate at State Street
  • Maxim Skorniakov - Investment Manager at Walter Scott Global Investment Management
  • Richard Dunbar - Head of Economic and Thematic Research at Aberdeen Asset Management
  • Kweku Adoboli - Former Trader at UBS
  • John Goodwin - Executive Vice-President and CFO at Lego
  • Colin McLean - CEO at SVM Asset Management
Last updated Dec 2020

About the School

At the University of Stirling, being the difference is in our DNA – providing education with a purpose and carrying out research that helps to shape society.

At the University of Stirling, being the difference is in our DNA – providing education with a purpose and carrying out research that helps to shape society. Read less