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MSc Sustainable Finance

Key facts

  • Start date: Sep 2023
  • Accreditation: CFA Institute University Recognition Program; Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA);
  • Study mode and duration: 12 months full-time
  • 2nd in the UK for Accounting & Finance (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023)

  • Triple-accredited business school (AACSB, EQUIS & AMBA)

Study with us

  • acquire a robust foundation in the principles and application of Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) frameworks in finance and investing
  • gain skills in problem solving and understanding the nuances of ESG with multiple case studies and guest lectures from industry leaders
  • enhance your skills and knowledge regarding the role of technology, big data, and innovation for sustainable finance
  • gain invaluable practical experience with the Amplify Trading Boot Camp
  • attain the Bloomberg Market Concepts certificate
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Why this course?

Aligning finance with sustainability is a necessary condition for tackling the environmental and societal challenges we face.

The incorporation of ESG factors in almost every dimension of investment and financing strategies is becoming pivotal for the survival and sustainability of business and investment communities.

This MSc programme takes a holistic approach on sustainability and covers all the key challenges and opportunities that considering environmental and social issues in the investment decision can have.

The purpose of the MSc Sustainable Finance is to train finance professionals with a vision of social and environmental responsibility and a clear understanding of the challenges, opportunities, and applications of sustainable finance.

Exterior of Strathclyde Business School with students walking past

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner

What you'll study

Semester 1

Semester 1 is designed to give you a solid foundation and understanding of finance and investments and introduce the key opportunities and challenges of environmental, societal, and governance factors.

Semester 2

Semester 2 delves deeper on sustainable finance covering issues such as:

  • disclosure and materiality of sustainability issues and opportunities
  • how technology, big data, and innovative solutions can be applied for sustainable finance and capital allocation decisions
  • how the latest sustainability-related regulatory requirements and industry applications shape the financial landscape.

In addition, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of finance, investments, and risk management from an array of elective classes.

Research Projects

You will work on two research projects focusing on sustainable finance, supported by an academic supervisor. You can choose a topic 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.

Accreditation

CIMA

This Finance Masters 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.

CFA Institute

Our MSc degree has also been accepted into the CFA Institute University Recognition Program. This status is granted to institutions whose degree program(s) incorporate at least 70% of the CFA Program Candidate Body of Knowledge (CBOK), which provide students with a solid grounding in the CBOK and positions them well to sit for the CFA exams.

GARP

Through our academic partnership with the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP), the world's leading professional association for risk practitioners, Strathclyde Business School will be able to nominate up to six students per year for a Financial Risk Manager Part I Exam scholarship.

CIMA logo

CFA Institute University Affiliation Program logo

Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP)

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.

Triple-accredited business school

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Course content

Core classes

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. The class will focus on the application of statistical techniques to examine empirical issues in finance, such as corporate finance and stock price analysis.

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

Principles of Finance

This class will provide an introduction to financial decision-making, and much of the relevant analysis will be developed from the standpoint of corporate finance. It'll explain how a company should decide on the investments to be undertaken to meet its objectives, generally assumed to be the maximisation of its value. It will be demonstrated that this will require a rate of return on its investments in excess of the return available in the capital market on equally risky financial investments. As a result, it will be necessary to develop an understanding of the capital market risk-return relationship. This will require an appreciation of the nature of risk and how this can be managed by the development of portfolios.

Even though the focus of the class will be on corporate finance, it'll also require an appreciation of how the risk-return tradeoff is determined in the capital market.

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

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.

Sustainable Finance

Almost every institutional investor, industry bodies (such as the CFA) and other international institutions (such as the UN, OECD) and governments around the world are demanding and mandating that corporates and investors act responsibly in providing solutions to Environmental, Societal, and Governance (ESG) concerns.

This class provides an introduction to all the main challenges and opportunities with regards to the environment, society, and corporate governance. It also covers some of the main policy and industry initiatives and regulations whilst showcasing how finance, both private and public, can be utilised in a sustainable way. It introduces students to some of the main tools that the finance industry has at its disposal to address the challenges of ESG concerns of business and how to make a difference to our world's environment, climate, and society as large. In summary, this module introduces students to the growing importance and varied dimensions of sustainable and responsible finance

Core classes

Sustainable Finance and Technology

The financial services sector is being transformed with the continued development, deployment and application of technological innovation and financial technology (FinTech). Financial technology is a strategic priority at industry and governmental level. A further strategic priority at governmental and societal level is climate change and sustainability. The mobilisation of significant volumes of sustainable finance is a pressing need to tackle the sustainability – in particular, climate, environmental and societal – challenges that are faced. FinTech can be a key enabler in this respect. This module provides input into how technology can drive the movement of sustainable finance and the allocation of capital in particular through Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing and Socially Responsible Investing (SRI), areas of growing importance to the investment and asset management community.

Sustainable Accounting: Theory & Practice

This class deals with the impact on accounting technologies due to the emerging topic of sustainability. An economy with a long-term value creation, an inclusive society and a sustainable environment has been accepted as a vision of the world as demonstrated in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to 2030. Therefore, it is crucial to review the implications of sustainable development issues and risks for businesses and accountancy.

The main aim of this class is to a theoretical and conceptual framework to evaluate the effectiveness of sustainable accounting. Students will be given an opportunity to critically engage and co-create ways to address those issues by problematising the role and the potential impacts on accounting from changing social and environmental pressures. During this class, students will practice reporting on sustainability and problematise the role of accounting to achieve the sustainability outcomes. In addition, students will analyse the role of accounting in standardisation techniques and evaluatory frameworks such as the GRI framework, UN SDGs, TCFD, ESG matrix, debates on single/double materiality and the role of accounting in integrated reporting and achieving triple bottom line. By the end of the module, students will be able to develop analytical/evaluatory skills to identify relationships between the society, market and the environment.

Applications of Sustainable Finance

This class will focus on how sustainability norms and regulations apply across different financial products and corporate practices. This class will consider different policies, regulations and supervisory expectations related to sustainable finance that evolve across different jurisdictions. In particular, the course will focus on the role of (financial) regulators in promoting sustainable finance (e.g. EU Taxonomy, bank stress-testing), the role of ESG rating agencies and how they apply across different financial products (not just fixed income) and also emerging areas.

Industry engagement will be used to highlight the applications of sustainable finance on practical situations such as the strategies deployed by different sustainability-oriented funds; the establishment of specific sustainable finance frameworks finance frameworks; sustainability due-diligence; the application of third-party sustainability-related data providers; and the latest academic research on sustainable finance. The industry insights provided by guest lecturers will provide practical insights of these issues and practical implementation of sustainability regulations.

Elective classes

Choose 3 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 passive and active fund management through the lens of the nature of variance, covariance, risk and return. The class introduces practical applications and an extension of basic theory.

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

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.

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 rapidly 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.

Find out more in the class outline for Behavioural Finance.

Equity Analysis

This class focuses on equity valuation. The aim is to equip students with the knowledge and tools required for analysing the financial performance of firms and measuring their value. Students will be skilled in reviewing financial statements, estimating and assessing financial ratios and relevant accounting and economic data, and use this data for making forecasts and performing equity valuations. In addition, the module will cover the theoretical background for each valuation method and its application with real-life examples and case studies. Also, the module will examine the advantages and disadvantages of the main valuation models. Finally, the ultimate goal is for students to be able to perform and deliver an equity analysis report for any publicly listed firm.

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

Fixed Income Analysis

While fixed income securities (bonds) have been traded for a far longer time than equities, it's only recently that the trading volume of these instruments has exceeded that of equities in many of the economies with highly developed capital markets. The bond markets for the last 25 years or so have been characterised by rapid innovation and the range of bonds now being traded is quite diverse. Any graduate of an MSc programme in Finance is expected to be familiar with the nature of the valuation of bonds.

This class will put the MSc courses at Strathclyde in a position to provide students with the opportunity to analyse bonds and the markets in which they are traded in more depth than is possible at the moment.

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

 

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.

Risk Management for Banks

This is a core class for the MSc in International Banking & Finance. The aim is to develop further the analysis of risk introduced in the core finance class and to introduce you to some additional risk management techniques employed in practice.

It provides an overall view of risk management, but will focus on the application of the analysis within the context of the banking sector. The class employs some of the basic principles of financial analysis to consider the application of risk analysis. It explores issues relating to risk management in the banking sector, with a particular focus on the regulatory requirements stemming from the Basel Accord.

Find out more in the class outline for Risk Management for Banks.

Derivatives

This class will provide you with a strong grounding in derivatives that may be used to manage the financial risks faced by individuals, financial institutions and business corporations.

Find out more in the course outline for Derivatives .

Core classes

Empirical Research Project 1

Project one requires an empirical analysis of a topic related to Sustainable Finance. For this project, you will be provided with the research topic (preliminary research questions) and required data. You will be expected to expand the range of research questions to be considered and ways in which these research questions can be tested. Whilst all members of the class will consider the same topic, the data sets may differ from one person to another. By providing the data, and a broadly defined research agenda, this project allows 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. Hence, this project will allow you to get an in-depth understanding of the research topic whilst mastering a data driven empirical analysis.

Empirical Research Project 2

Project 2 requires students to undertake a company analysis and review of issues related to sustainability from the standpoint of a potential investor. Students are required to apply the knowledge and skills acquired during their studies during semesters 1 and 2. Students are required to conduct a review of sustainability-related issues, challenges, and opportunities and assess whether the identified issues can have a material role in the valuation and conducting of business for a chosen public listed firm.

Amplify Trading Boot Camp

You can gain invaluable practical experience of the factors that drive today’s financial markets as part of your Master course. Amplify, a global financial trading and training company, in collaboration with Strathclyde Business School, delivers a week-long Boot Camp. This provides you with the opportunity to experience a real-life trading simulation, covering multiple roles in the process.

Amplify is a leading provider of training programmes to the financial industry, and they offer our students the same analyst level practical training they deliver to their clients. Amplify’s clients include Bank of China, Goldman Sachs, HSBC and Bank of America.

Note: the provider of this boot camp may be subject to change.

Finance simulation boot camp

Amplify logo

Learning & teaching

Core classes will be taught during semesters 1 and 2 with optional classes being offered in semester 2. Classes will be taught through a combination of lectures and workshops.

Research projects are undertaken during the summer months.

During your studies, you'll interact with the Bloomberg Trading Simulation Laboratory in the Business School and with Amplify Bootcamp. In addition, students that choose Derivatives as one of their electives will interact with Volcube, a Derivatives Trading Simulation from a market maker’s perspective.

Assessment

Class assessments will take the form of a class test and/or assignment for most classes. Each class will be examined at the end of the semester they are offered.

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Entry requirements

Degree

Minimum second-class Honours degree, or overseas equivalent - see our international student pages for further information - in accounting, economics, business studies or a subject area with a strong quantitative component.

The programme requires no prior knowledge of finance.

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

Map of the world.

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Fees & funding

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

Fees may be subject to updates to maintain accuracy. Tuition fees will be notified in your offer letter.

All fees are in £ sterling, unless otherwise stated, and may be subject to revision.

Annual revision of fees

Students on programmes of study of more than one year should be aware that tuition fees are revised annually and may increase in subsequent years of study. Annual increases will generally reflect UK inflation rates and increases to programme delivery costs.

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Scotland

£15,400

England, Wales & Northern Ireland

£15,400

International

£27,650

Additional costs
Course materials

Textbooks do vary in price from around £40 to £100. The majority are provided free in the library or via the Virtual Learning Environment platform. For budgeting purposes, we recommend allowing £200 per academic year for books.

International students

International students may have associated visa and immigration costs. Please see student visa guidance for more information.

Other costs
  • students are required to print and soft bind their project submission. An average cost would be in the region of £10.
  • graduation gown hir

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'll be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.

How can I fund my course?

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Scottish postgraduate students

Scottish 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

As a graduate of this course, you will be well suited to find employment in any job where a good knowledge of sustainability and finance is required, such as the financial services industry, consultancy firms, governmental and non-governmental organisations.

Currently there is extensive demand for sustainable finance talent and expertise from industry as denoted in the international and national press.

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Apply

Start date: Sep 2023

Sustainable Finance

MSc
full-time
Start date: Sep 2023

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Contact us

SBS Postgraduate Admissions

Telephone: +44 (0)141 553 6105 / +44 (0)141 553 6116

Email: sbs.admissions@strath.ac.uk

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