MSc International Accounting & Finance

Key facts

  • Start date: September
  • Accreditation: Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA); CFA Institute University Recognition Program
  • Study mode and duration: 12 months full-time
  • Ranked: 2nd in the UK for Accounting & Finance (Complete University Guide 2020)

Study with us

  • gain awareness of international accounting standards
  • study financial management and security markets
  • learn to apply analytical techniques in practice
  • for graduates looking to broaden their previous study of accounting or for those already working in accounting or finance
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Why this course?

The programme is for graduates looking to broaden their previous study of accounting or for those already working in accounting or finance.

The course gives you an international perspective on the theory and practice of accounting. You will study financial management and securities markets. There is a particular focus on the move towards harmonisation with international accounting standards and the impact of leading standard-setting authorities.

The programme provides you with

  • an international perspective on accounting theories of income and value
  • critical awareness of international accounting standards and their implementation
  • sound understanding of financial theory and analysis
  • appreciation of the nature and functioning of financial markets and institutions
  • ability to apply analytical techniques in practice.

 

Exterior of Strathclyde Business School with students walking past

Triple-accredited business school

AACSB accreditation logo
EQUIS accreditation logo
AMBA accreditation logo

What you'll study

Two research projects

Over the summer, you will work on a series of research projects, supported by an academic supervisor. You can choose a topic from the broad range of issues covered on the programme. You will 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.

Accreditation

The 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.

Learning & teaching

Core and elective classes will be taught across two semesters running from September to December and January to March. Classes will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials and workshops.  Research projects are undertaken during the summer months.

Assessment

Every class will either have a class test or assignment during semesters 1 and 2. Exams will take place at the end of each semester in December and April/May.

QS logo 2019 - 5 stars
Complete University Guide League Tables logo - 2nd Place for Accounting & FInance
Financial Times European Business Schools Rankings logo 2018
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Course content

Core classes

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.

Find out more in the class outline of Accounting & Financial Analysis.

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.

Find out more in the course outline for International Financial Markets & Banking.

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, and 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 they take place, it will also consider the principles underlying financial reasoning that can be applied on a more general basis.

Find out more in the class outline for Principles of Finance.

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.

Find out more in the class outline for Quantitative Methods for Finance.

Core classes

Advanced Accounting

The class aims to give you an understanding of the practice of external financial reporting in the context of the quoted company. It emphasises the role of professional judgement in preparing financial statements. Financial reporting lies at the heart of corporate governance.

This is a vitally important area that creates opportunities for debate and discussion. The ongoing globalisation of accounting regulations means that it is possible to conduct such a discussion with an international audience. This class provides an introduction to the preparation and analysis of financial statements in a form suitable for publication. It builds upon the semester 1 class Accounting and Financial Analysis.

The emphasis will be on the forces that have driven the development of standards and regulations and on the issues arising from the application of accounting standards.

Find out more in the course outline for Advanced Accounting.

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.

Find out more in the class outline for Advanced Corporate Finance & Applications.

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.

Find out more in the course outline.

Elective classes

Chose one from the following:

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.

Find out more in the class outline for Empirical Methods in Finance.

Financial Modelling with Excel

The aim of this class is to develop the ability to capitalise on the potential use of Excel for financial analysis and financial modelling. The class will develop the ability of students to structure (non-financial) business problems and make use of quantitative analysis in the resolution of such problems. It is also expected to develop the students' general understanding of the potential use of programming techniques in developing business models and plans.

Find out more in the class outline for Financial Modelling with Excel.

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.

Find out more in the class outline for Portfolio Theory & Management.

Equity Analysis

The class will provide coverage of a topic that is generally perceived to be critical for a good understanding of finance.  The valuation of equities plays a critical role in the allocation of resources through the financial markets.  Many students taking the M.Sc. programmes at Strathclyde will develop their careers in security analysis that will involve the assessment of the value and prospects of various equity investments.  This class will provide reasonable comprehensive coverage of the relevant analysis in this area.

Find out more in the class outline for Equity Analysis class outline.

Fixed Income Analysis

This class aims to develop students ability to deal with problems that require forecasting outcomes in the context of incomplete information and to explain the rationale for proposed decisions.

Find out more in the class outline for Fixed Income Analysis class outline.

 

Research projects

Prior to the start of the work on the projects classes are provided on research methodology for each project. These compulsory classes will provide the basis for the project work, the nature of research work in finance or accounting and the writing and structuring of research reports. The classes will not be assessed but attendance is compulsory.

Empirical Research Projects

For this project, you will be supplied with data relating to some issue in finance or accounting, and a preliminary list of hypothesis or questions to be addressed. You will be expected to expand the range of hypotheses to be considered and ways in which the hypothesis can be tested. Whilst all members of the class will consider the same issue the data sets will differ from one person to another.

By providing the data, and a broadly defined research agenda, the research project allow considerably more time to be spent on the analysis of the data and interpretation of results than is feasible in the context of a more conventional dissertation. While the challenge of identifying a research topic and the development of an appropriate data set are to a large extent eliminated it does allow the analytical work to be developed in more depth. The introductory class will review briefly the analysis and techniques that will be relevant for the research work to be undertaken.

Financial Analysis of a Company

This project requires that you undertake a financial analysis of a company from the standpoint of a potential investor and provide an evaluation of the investment potential of the company’s shares. An assessment should be undertaken of the company’s financial position and performance on the basis of both its financial statements and stock market performance. The discussion should also bring out clearly the financial policies of the company and how these impact on the company’s performance. 

This will require an evaluation of its capital expenditure programme, the form of financing adopted by the company, including an evaluation of its capital structure and its sources of equity and debt funding. You should differentiate between the use of internal sources of funding, in the form of retentions, and the new issues of equity, and also discuss the company’s dividend policy to the extent that this is not covered by the discussion of its retention policy. In some companies it may be difficult to identify a consistent policy perspective on some of these issues – this can be documented and its implications assessed. The project should also provide an assessment of the company’s recent stock market performance to put the current share price into context. 

The returns achieved on the company’s shares should be evaluated using an appropriate benchmark as well as the standard market ratios – the earnings yield, dividend yield, etc. The final objective of the project is an assessment of the value of the company and the investment value of its shares. Even the most experienced and capable security analysts find this a very difficult task, even though they may be monitoring a company’s performance and prospects on a continuing basis. You are simply expected to build on the financial information and analysis you have undertaken to produce some tentative assessments of value. As the focus is on the use of financial information you are expected, firstly, to undertake a “fundamental analysis” of the company. Secondly, you are expected to use the various valuation models to provide insights into the determination of the company’s market value.

Case study/ Literature Review

This project provides you with the opportunity to choose a topic to study in some depth.  It can take the form of

  • a review of the literature on some topic in finance (e.g. Some recent developments in the financial markets)
  • a case study (e.g. the sub-prime crisis)
  • a consideration of some area of controversy (e.g. the regulation of financial institutions)

In completing the third project you are expected to demonstrate an understanding of the concepts and analysis developed on the course, a comprehensive knowledge of the relevant literature on the chosen topic, and an ability to discuss issues in some area of finance or accounting on an informed basis.

Strathclyde Business School

Strathclyde Business School was founded in 1948 and is a pioneering, internationally renowned academic organisation with a reputation for research excellence.

One of four faculties forming the University of Strathclyde, SBS is a triple-accredited business school (AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA) and was the first business school in Scotland to achieve this accolade in 2004. The Business School is home to seven subject departments and a number of specialist centres, all of which collaborate to provide a dynamic, fully-rounded and varied programme of specialist and cross-disciplinary courses.

Strathclyde Business Network

As a postgraduate student at Strathclyde Business School, you may choose to join the Strathclyde Business Network, a student-led initiative that facilitates interaction with business and industry leaders.

The Network aims to foster knowledge sharing, facilitate discussion and enable networking opportunities with the very best business professional in industry. Every year the Network organises Glasgow Business Summit, which is the first-ever student-led business conference in Scotland and brings together students with leading businesses from across the UK.

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

Minimum second class Honours degree, or overseas equivalent - see our country pages for further information -  in accounting, economics, business studies, maths, statistics or computing.

English language requirements

Students whose first language is not English must have a minimum of 6.5 IELTS score, with no individual score lower than 5.5. Get more information about the English language requirements for studying at Strathclyde.

Pre-Masters preparation course

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

Upon successful completion, you will be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.

International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 100 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.

Visit our international students' section

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Fees & funding

2020/21

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

Scotland/EU

£13,550

Rest of UK

£13,550

International

£24,300

Additional costs

Textbooks vary in price from around £40 to £100. The majority are provided free in the University library or through Myplace, our Virtual Learning Environment. We recommend that you allow £200 per academic year for books.

Students may be required to make hardcopy submissions for some assignments and will cover the cost of printing. Students are required to print and soft bind their project submission. An average cost would be in the region of £10.

Available scholarships

Take a look at our scholarships search for funding opportunities.

Please note: the fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

How can I fund my course?

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Scottish and non-UK EU postgraduate students

Scottish and non-UK EU postgraduate students may be able to apply for support from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS). The support is in the form of a tuition fee loan and for eligible students, a living cost loan. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from England

Students ordinarily resident in England may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance England. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from Wales

Students ordinarily resident in Wales may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance Wales. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from Northern Ireland

Postgraduate students who are ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland may be able to apply for support from Student Finance Northern Ireland. The support is a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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International students

We've a large range of scholarships available to help you fund your studies. Check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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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

Glasgow is Scotland's biggest & most cosmopolitan city

Our campus is based in the very heart of Glasgow, Scotland's largest city. National Geographic named Glasgow as one of its 'Best of the World' destinations, while Rough Guide readers have voted Glasgow the world’s friendliest city! And Time Out named Glasgow in the top ten best cities in the world - we couldn't agree more!

We're in the city centre, next to the Merchant City, both of which are great locations for sightseeing, shopping and socialising alongside your studies.

Find out what some of our students think about studying in Glasgow!

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Apply

There’s no need to make an application for all taught postgraduate courses offered within the Department of Accounting & Finance. It’s possible to transfer between programmes after starting your studies, so you should choose only one course for application purposes.

International Accounting and Finance

Qualification: MSc
Start Date: Sep 2020
Mode of Delivery: full-time

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Contact us

SBS Postgraduate Admissions

Telephone: +44 (0)141 553 6105 / +44 (0)141 553 4590

Email: sbs.admissions@strath.ac.uk

Strathclyde Business School, University of Strathclyde
199 Cathedral Street
Glasgow
G4 0QU