MSc in Finance and Economics


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

The MSc in Finance and Economics provides advanced training in the theoretical tools and empirical techniques for economics and finance, preparing students for a professional career in international banking, the finance industry and governmental agencies.

The MSc in Finance and Economics is a one year taught postgraduate programme run by the School of Economics and Finance.


  • In the 2014 UK Research Excellence Framework exercise, the School was ranked joint tenth in the UK and second in Scotland on the basis of the quality of its research publications, with over 80% of the research publications being classified as internationally excellent or world-leading.
  • Small group teaching allows a high level of student-teacher interaction, encouraging a warm and friendly learning environment.
  • The programme focus is to provide a self-contained, rigorous but relevant learning experience that prepares you either to start employment at a senior level in a wide variety of economics or finance-related activities, or to pursue further research.
  • Advanced training in essential elements of an Economics Masters degree (macroeconomics or microeconomics) is combined with essential training in finance (investment analysis, corporate finance), supplemented by a wide variety of applications.
  • The programme aims to prepare students for jobs at a senior level in a wide range of areas: economics, finance, commerce, insurance, academia, diplomatic service and banking.

Teaching format

The programme consists of traditional lectures, tutorials, seminars and computer lab work. Courses are assessed both continuously and with end-of-semester exams.

You will also complete a 15,000-word dissertation in an area of your choice on a topic relevant and appropriate to the MSc.

Every MSc student is assigned an adviser at the beginning of the year. Your adviser will provide you with individual guidance on module choice and academic conduct.


Each compulsory module typically comprises:

  • 20 lecture contact hours,
  • 5 or 10 contact hours for seminars, workshops and tutorials,
  • intensive independent study,
  • 50% continuous assessment,
  • 50% assessment by written end-of-semester examination.


You must take three compulsory modules in Semester 1. These are:

  • Econometric Methods and Applications: advanced level training in econometric methods.
  • Investment Analysis: investment value analysis, risk and return.

and one of:

  • Macroeconomics: advanced treatment of the core models and concepts used in modern macroeconomics.
  • Microeconomics: advanced treatment of the core models and concepts used in modern microeconomics.

In Semester 2, students take one compulsory module and can choose two optional modules from a selection of topics. The compulsory module is:

  • Corporate Finance: the relationship between corporate liabilities and corporate actions.


In your second semester, you will have the opportunity to choose two modules from a selection of topics. The assessment patterns for individual optional modules may vary from the details given above.

Examples of optional modules include:

  • Behavioural Finance: examines the effects of behavioural biases in financial markets.
  • Corporate Governance and Risk: covers three key components: corporate governance, risk management, and financial management.
  • Econometric Time Series Analysis: advanced treatment of the core theory and practice of time series econometrics.
  • Experimental Economics and Finance: exposes students to the methodology of experimental economics.
  • Financial Intermediation: theoretical issues involved in financial intermediation with a focus on analytical models.
  • Game Theory: provides a thorough advanced treatment of the core models and concepts used in modern game theory.
  • International Trade and Migration: examines the causes and consequences of international trade and migration, combining theory with empirical applications.
  • Monetary Policy: key issues in monetary policy.
  • Portfolio Theory and Management: key issues in asset allocation and portfolio composition/management at an advanced level.
  • Risk Management: standard techniques in risk and insurance.

MSc Economics students may take up to one advanced undergraduate module (coded EC4xxx) in the second semester with the prior permission of the MSc Finance and Economics programme director.

The topics, and therefore module titles, vary year on year as they reflect the research interests of staff; in addition, optional modules require a minimum number of participants to be offered.


The final element of the MSc is a 15,000-word dissertation. The dissertation should be on an area of either finance or economics that you are interested in, chosen in discussion with your supervisor who will support you through the process.

You will receive training in Semester 1 in framing a hypothesis, conducting bibliographic research, writing a literature survey, and structuring a dissertation.

The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2019 entry.


There is a long-standing tradition of Finance and Economics graduates working in a wide variety of challenging and rewarding posts including:

  • academia
  • banking
  • commerce
  • diplomatic service
  • economics
  • finance
  • government
  • industry
  • insurance

They work in the UK, Europe, and North America, and more frequently in locations such as China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan and Thailand.

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students in building their employability skills.

Entry requirements

  • A strong 2.1 Honours degree from a recognised UK university in Economics or Finance with a significant Economics component; or a 2.1 joint Honours in Economics and another subject that includes substantial training in microeconomics, macroeconometrics and econometrics.
  • If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
  • English language proficiency.

The qualifications listed are indicative of minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.

Application requirements

  • CV or résumé. This should include your personal details with a history of your education and employment to date,
  • either a detailed personal statement including a list of current modules being undertaken (1,000 words) or a sample of academic written work (2,000 words),
  • two academic references,
  • academic transcripts and degree certificates,
  • evidence of English language proficiency (required if English is not your first language).


Entrants to the Finance and Economics MSc programme are eligible to be considered for the £1,500 Sir Quo Wei Lee scholarship which is awarded to the best entrant student.

Recent Graduate Discount

The University of St Andrews offers a 10% discount in postgraduate tuition fees to students who are eligible to graduate or who have graduated from St Andrews within the last three academic years and are starting a postgraduate programme with the University of St Andrews.

Last updated Apr 2020

About the School

As a 600-year-old institution, it's no surprise that the University of St Andrews is known across the globe as a world leader in education. We are Scotland’s best university ranked by the Complete Uni ... Read More

As a 600-year-old institution, it's no surprise that the University of St Andrews is known across the globe as a world leader in education. We are Scotland’s best university ranked by the Complete University Guide 2019, and 2nd overall in the UK (Guardian Good University Guide 2019). Read less
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