MSc Sustainable Finance

Key facts

  • Start date: September
  • Accreditation: CFA Institute University Recognition Program; Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA); CFA Institute Certificate in ESG Investing Recognition Program
  • 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.

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.

CQF

The Certificate in Quantitative Finance (CQF) is the largest professional qualification in quant finance and is recognized by financial companies worldwide. Strathclyde Business School is one of the few Universities recognised by the CQF Institute and our students can register as free members and have the opportunity to access the latest CQF Institute membership resources, including events, research, careers tools, workshops and thought leadership content.

CIMA logo

CFA Institute University Affiliation Program logo

Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP)

CQF Institute Logo

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

20 credits

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.

International Financial Markets & Banking

20 credits

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.

Sustainable Finance

The main objective of this module is to provide students with the necessary foundation of theoretical and conceptual tools used in Sustainable Finance and the analysis of ESG Investing. Other learning objectives of the course include the review of diverse case studies within different industries to enable students to understand the subtle differences from the traditional Investing lens, and especially the challenges of quantifying ESG in the investment decision, since ESG is not a clear-cut and tangible concept that can be measured easily. An additional aim is for students to understand the importance of Sustainable finance and how it can be a force for shaping not only the markets but also society and the environment. By the end of the module, students will be able to better understand how markets behave within the new paradigm of sustainable finance and ESG investment.

Core classes

Sustainable Finance and Technology

This course uniquely encourages students to explore the nexus between sustainable finance and financial technology (FinTech). Students will be introduced to key concepts that define FinTech. The dynamic FinTech landscape will be navigated, outlining how a new ecosystem of financial services is evolving, with new innovative financial products and services being offered and new alternative markets being developed. Against the background of the global sustainability challenge and the critical need for mobilising sustainable finance, the role that FinTech can play as an enabler of this capital flow will be discussed. 

Across areas such as crowdfunding and peer-to-business lending, cryptoassets and blockchain, and wealth management and roboadvisors, students will synthesise academic and industry evidence to evaluate the levels of investment currently being directed through FinTech enabled channels to fund sustainable companies and projects. Particular attention will be given to the area of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing and Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) and how technology can support this activity. The challenges of ESG measurement will be considered and financial data science applied to the problem of ESG scoring. Portfolio management demonstrations will be provided to students under emerging portfolio construction frameworks that seek to optimise across risk, return and ESG.

Sustainable Accounting: Theory & Practice

The main aim of this class is to apply theoretical and conceptual frameworks to evaluate the effectiveness of sustainable accounting. In turn, 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, ISSB, 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 course will consider different policies, regulations and supervisory expectations related to sustainable finance are evolving in different jurisdictions. In particular, the course will focus on the role of (financial) regulators in promoting sustainable finance (eg. EU Taxonomy, bank stress-testing), the role of ESG rating agencies and how they apply across different financial products (not just bonds/loans, but also emerging areas). Industry engagement to highlight the applications of sustainable finance will involve, focusing on practical situations and key parties in the sustainable finance ecosystem - eg.:- Strategy deployed by specific impact / ESG funds- Establishment of specific sustainable finance frameworks and debt issuance under it- ESG due diligence undertaken by specific investor/bank- Second party opinion provider explaining their role in assessing sustainable finance frameworks- ESG rating agency explaining their methodology, using case studies and the latest academic and professional research.

Elective classes

Choose 3 from the following:

Portfolio Theory & Management

10 credits

The class aims 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.

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.

 

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

All members of the class 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 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.  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.

Empirical Research Project 2

The educational aim is for students to be able to apply all the skills and knowledge acquired during their studies, leading to a comprehensive ESG analysis and evaluation of a potential investment proposition. Due to the ambiguity and inherently challenging nature of defining and measuring sustainability, the project will have a two prone approach. First, students will need to assess a listed company of their choosing (but approved by the supervisor) and assess its Sustainability performance based on established metrics as covered in the relevant modules in terms 1 and 2. Students will need to provide a quantitative analysis and discussion based on this analysis with regards to the past and current ESG performance. Ideally, students will need to cover the standard ESG metrics, provide ESG metrics from multiple providers and comment as to whey there is a deviation if any, and also look into alternative sources of data, e.g. outside Asset4 and Blomberg, that can relate to ESG issues and provide an opinion as to where the company stands as an investable proposition and with regards to its peers.

The second part relates to a qualitative aspect and investigative research. For instance, students will need to demonstrate their understanding of material ESG issues and identify key opportunities and challenges that are not obvious from secondary data source providers. Overall, this second part of the analysis will resemble an in-depth research akin to an investigative report.

AmplifyME 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: Amplify Me - Experience Management

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 140 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

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 (or studying standalone modules) 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

£16,650

England, Wales & Northern Ireland

£16,650

International

£31,900

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-UK/Ireland) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for a Masters degree at University of Strathclyde.

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

Please note: Previous Maths & English qualifications and your undergraduate degree must meet GTCS minimum entry requirements as well as the pre-Masters course and an interview will be conducted before an offer can be made.

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 2024

Sustainable Finance

MSc
full-time
Start date: Sep 2024

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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