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MScFinance

Why this course?

This course is suitable for those intending to develop their careers in finance.

If you’re already working in finance, the course will enhance your effectiveness in your current role. We’ll explore the latest developments in the field and encourage you to question traditional rules and techniques and take an analytical approach to practical problems.

The programme will provide you with:

  • a good understanding of financial theory and analysis
  • an appreciation of the nature and functioning of financial markets and institutions
  • a good working knowledge of accounting information and its use in financial decision-making and analysis
  • the ability to apply the analysis developed in the course

You’ll study

The curriculum provides you with a good balance between accounting and finance theory and practical skills and knowledge.

You'll study core classes, which include Principles of Finance and Accounting & Financial Analysis. You'll also choose elective classes from topics including Security Analysis and Management Accounting. 

Dissertation or three research projects (MSc only)

Supported by an academic supervisor, you’ll either work on a series of research projects or a dissertation. Topics can be chosen from the broad range of issues covered on the programme.

You’ll be assessed on your ability to select and apply relevant theory and research methods. This work may be linked to an issue raised by, or a problem to be solved for, an employer.

The Department of Accounting & Finance is ranked 2nd in the UK for Accounting and Finance by the Times University Guide 2015 & the Sunday Times Guide.

Facilities

Strathclyde’s award-winning Business School is one of the largest institutions of its kind in Europe. We have around 200 academic staff and more than 3,000 full-time students.

The departments and specialist units work together to provide a dynamic, fully-rounded and varied programme of specialist and cross-disciplinary postgraduate courses.

Accreditation

Our MSc programme is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). Exemptions will be awarded from CIMA’s professional examinations, according to the route taken through the MSc.

The course counts as credits towards the Chartered Banker qualification offered by the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland.

chartered banker logo cima logo

Course content

Compulsory classes

Semester 1

Principles of Finance
This class provides an introduction to the basic principles of financial decision taking and the theory of finance. It will develop the basic principles of valuation, the nature of risk and uncertainty, the relationship between risk and returns. While the analysis will be developed in the context of corporate finance, looking at companies’ decisions on the investments in assets and how these investments will be funded and the nature of the markets in which it will also consider the principles underlying financial reasoning that can be applied on a more general basis.
Accounting & Financial Analysis

The aim of this class is to provide you with an understanding of the basic principles of financial accounting and financial analysis, the ability to interpret financial statements and their use in assessing the financial position and performance of companies.

This class provides an introduction to the principles of accounting and the analysis of financial statements. It will enable you to prepare financial statements in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and to interpret and analyse these statements. Particular emphasis is placed on the accounting concepts and information employed in financial analysis and decision taking.

You'll develop the ability to prepare and interpret financial statements and construct cash forecasts. In addition, you'll develop an understanding of the demand and supply for accounting information; an appreciation of the role of financial analysis and analysts; and an awareness of the statistical characteristics of accounting numbers.

Quantitative Methods for Finance
This class aims to provide an introduction to statistical techniques that are commonly used in finance, a basic understanding of econometric analysis, and an appreciation of the general role of quantitative methods in finance. It also aims to develop your practical computational skills by offering an opportunity to solve problems using statistical software. The class will focus on the application of statistical techniques in empirical analysis in finance.
International Financial Markets & Banking

The aim of the class is to provide you with an understanding of the financial system and the roles and functions of financial markets and institutions. A particular emphasis is placed on understanding the roles of intermediaries such as banks and investment firms.

You'll develop an understanding of the various characteristics and roles of fixed income, equity, and foreign exchange markets. While some attention will be given to the UK financial markets, the global nature of financial markets will be widely discussed. This class aims to equip you with an awareness and understanding of financial markets and institutions in the context of the global economy. Particular emphasis will be placed on the role and contribution of the banking sector.

This class covers the reasons for, and nature of, of financial markets and institutions with a particular focus on banking, the global nature of these markets and their regulation.

Semester 2

Advanced Corporate Finance & Applications

The aim of this class is to discuss the different ways in which firms can raise funds, internally and externally, and the role of capital markets in determining the terms on which funding will be available. The costs and risks of difference sources of financing and the role of taxation will also be covered.

It will also provide you with a working knowledge of the leasing decision of a firm, of corporate financial planning, the management of working capital, the rationale for mergers and acquisitions, the implications of corporate governance, and issues related to corporate financial restructuring.

The class will cover the capital structure of companies, and their ability to raise finance through initial and seasoned equity capital issues. It will also examine mergers and acquisitions as major investments undertaken by companies, the firm’s working capital policy, and their payout policy in the form of dividends and stock market buybacks. It will be conducted through a series of lectures and tutorials.

Derivatives & Treasury Management
The aim of this class are to provide a strong grounding in derivatives that may be used to manage the financial risks faced by individuals, financial institutions and business corporations. It places an emphasis on corporate treasury management and the role of derivatives in managing treasury risk.

Elective classes

Choose two from the following:

Portfolio Theory & Management
The aim of this class is to examine the Markowitz (1952) approach to optimal portfolio selection. The class explores issues relating to optimal portfolio choice and issues in practical fund management.
Management Accounting

The course aims to give you a foundation in the theory and practice of management accounting. It emphasises the role of the management accountant in helping the owners and managers of a business to make decisions.

Different accounting information is required for different purposes: conventional cost accounting emphasises product costs for the allocation of costs between the cost of goods sold and inventories; decision-relevant costs provide information to help managers make resource allocation decisions; and responsibility accounting, cost control and performance measurement focus on both financial and non-financial information.

This course provides an introduction to the theory and practice of management accounting. It covers management accounting principles and their relevance to the business environment. It further involves a detailed exploration of the uses of management accounting information in the financial decision making process.

Security Analysis
The aims of this class are to develop an appreciation of the investment characteristics of different types of securities, particularly bonds and shares, and to develop an understanding of how such securities are valued. This class will build on the analysis developed in the first semester class, Principles of Finance. It will consider the determination of interest rates, the valuation of bonds, the management of bond portfolios, and the valuation of equities.
Empirical Methods in Finance
This class aims to build on the knowledge, understanding, and skills acquired in the Quantitative Methods in Finance class and extends it further, especially in the context of time series and panel data analysis. It focuses on applications in finance of econometric techniques and is extended to incorporate panel data analysis methods with their application in finance.
Behavioural Finance

The aim of the class is to provide you with an understanding of the main ideas of behavioural finance. A particular emphasis is placed on understanding the roles of non-rational actions and the development of new financial models that incorporate these ideas.

You'll engage with up to date research and develop a critical view of existing and new finance theories and models. It aims to introduce you to the rapid evolving area of behavioural finance. You'll develop an understanding of behavioural finance and an appreciation of its possible implications and applications.

This class introduces you to behavioural finance and provides you with an understanding of the main flaws of “traditional” finance theory from a behavioural finance viewpoint. It will allow you to develop the ability to discuss issues arising from violations of the rationality assumption and will enable you to evaluate new theoretical models based on research in psychology.

The course will allow you to appreciate the role of new developments in finance and their possible implications for established views of the functioning of financial markets.

Learning & teaching

The taught component of the course will be covered in the first two semesters. Both of these semesters will run for 12 weeks.

At MSc level the research project stage of the course is taken during the summer semester.

Assessment

Every class will either have a class test or assignment during semesters 1 and 2. The exams for all classes will take place at the end of the semester in January and June.

Entry requirements

  • an Honours degree, or equivalent, in accounting, economics, business studies or a subject area with a strong quantitative bias. The programme requires no prior knowledge of finance
  • for students whose first language is not English, find more information about the English language requirements for studying at Strathclyde
  • you must also be able to attend the introductory sessions at the end of September 2015

Pre-Masters preparation course´╗┐

The Pre-Masters Programme is a preparation course for international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the entry requirements for a Masters degree at the University of Strathclyde. The Pre-Masters programme provides progression to a number of degree options.

To find out more about the courses and opportunities on offer visit isc.strath.ac.uk or call today on +44 (0) 1273 339333 and discuss your education future. You can also complete the online application form , or to ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers today.

Fees & funding

How much will my course cost?

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.

Scotland/EU

2015/16 - £10,000

Rest of UK

2015/16 - £10,000

International

2015/16 - £16,000

How can I fund my course?

Scholarship search

Please note

The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year.

Careers

This course is suitable for those intending to develop their careers in finance, broadly defined as:

  • corporate finance
  • security analysis
  • portfolio management
  • options and futures
  • treasury management
  • the functioning of financial institutions and markets
  • financial decision-taking in the public sector

Where are they now?

Job titles include:*

  • Accountant
  • Analyst
  • Assistant Manager
  • Auditor
  • Controller
  • Credit Risk Analyst
  • Junior Debt Management Adviser
  • Trading Assistant
  • Trainee Actuary

Employers include:

  • Audit Scotland
  • Citibank
  • Daikin Industries
  • Ernst & Young
  • Grant Thornton Accountant
  • KPMG
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Rentokil Initial
  • Turner & Townsend

*Based on the results of the national Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey.

Apply

There’s no need to make an application for all taught postgraduate courses from the Department of Accounting and Finance. It’s possible to transfer to one of the departments’ other programmes should you wish to do so after starting your studies. You should choose one course for application purposes.

Finance

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2015, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

Finance

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2015, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

Finance

Qualification: MSc, Start date: Sep 2016, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

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