MSc in Finance


Program Description

The MSc in Finance trains students with advanced analytical abilities and technical skills in empirical finance and modelling. Students acquire an in-depth understanding of the financial markets and institutions both in the UK and abroad, preparing them for a professional career in the financial industry.

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


  • You will learn the research methods used in modern corporate finance in order to understand the relevance of corporate finance theory in an applied work setting.
  • The case study approach in core modules helps develop analytical skills that can be used in everyday financial measurement applications.
  • Small group teaching allows a high level of student-teacher interaction, encouraging a warm and friendly learning environment.
  • You will become knowledgeable about the functioning and rationale of leading financial institutions both in the UK and abroad.
  • You will pursue advanced studies in finance and cognate areas, allied to a strong tradition of graduates from the School working in the financial community.

Teaching format

The programme consists of traditional lectures, tutorials, seminars and computer lab work in small groups of students. 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 that is 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 four compulsory modules for the MSc.

  • Corporate Finance: investigates the problem of how a collection of corporate liabilities are affected in value by corporate actions.
  • Financial Econometrics: the theory and practice of financial econometrics.
  • International Finance: key issues in international finance including analysing models of exchange rate determination.
  • Investment Analysis: basic concepts of investment value analysis.


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 currently 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.
  • 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.
  • Portfolio Theory and Management: key issues in asset allocation and portfolio composition and management at an advanced level.
  • Risk Management: standard techniques in risk and insurance.

The topics, and therefore module titles, vary year on year as they reflect the research interests of our 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 a topic relevant and appropriate to the MSc 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 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 disciplines that include intermediate or advanced knowledge of economics, finance and statistics.
  • 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).


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 October 2019

About the School

Founded in the fifteenth century, St Andrews is Scotland's first university and the third oldest in the English speaking world. St Andrews is a unique place to study and live. Nestled on the east coas ... Read More

Founded in the fifteenth century, St Andrews is Scotland's first university and the third oldest in the English speaking world. St Andrews is a unique place to study and live. Nestled on the east coast of Scotland, students may find themselves crossing golf-courses on their way to class, or jogging along the beach after dinner. Not only does the University have a world-class reputation, but it also offers a diverse range of social activities, including over 140 student societies and 50 sports clubs. Historic buildings are juxtaposed against the modern facilities, and the many student traditions truly make studying at St Andrews an unforgettable experience. Read less
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