Investment Analysis

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Local:$ 8.56 k / Year(s) Foreign:$ 19.4 k / Year(s)  
301–350 place StudyQA ranking:2819 Duration:12 months

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The MSc Investment Analysis is the UK’s longest-established postgraduate-level programme in the field of investment management education. It is one of the very few Master’s degrees in the UK to have CFA® Institute Program Partner status and one of a select group of partner institutions worldwide.

Course objectives

As a CFA® Institute ‘Program Partner’, at least 70% of the learning outcomes of all three levels of the CFA® Programme are covered and so the programme is ideally suited to those who wish to become qualified as a CFA® Charter-Holder. The syllabus has a distinctly international orientation that reflects the increasingly globalised nature of financial markets and the investment management profession.

Such is the international reputation of the course that students come from a wide variety of educational and professional backgrounds and cultures, providing a unique opportunity for the development of worldwide contacts. The Stirling MSc in Investment Analysis team has an unrivalled reputation in the UK CFA© Research Challenge. It has competed in five of the six UK Finals since the competition began in 2008, winning the 2010 UK Final and coming second in the 2013 final.

Career opportunities

Where are our graduates now?

MSc Investment Analysis graduates work around the world and the following are examples of the organisations they are employed by:

  • Silk Invest Ltd
  • Alliance Trust
  • Ernst & Young
  • Standard Charted Bank
  • HSBC
  • Honeywell
  • Aegon Asset Management
  • Andersen
  • Barclays Global Investors
  • Investec Securities
  • JP Morgan
  • Citibank

Graduates entering into employment in the past two years have secured positions such as:

  • Financial Consultant, e-FSW (Greece)
  • Relationship Advisor (Private Banking), Royal Bank of Scotland (UK)
  • Quantitative Analyst, Silk Invest Ltd (UK)
  • Investment Banking Analyst, Government Savings Bank (Thailand)

Alumni of Investment Analysis who graduated between five and ten years ago have advanced into positions such as:

  • Partner, Corporate Services Bureau Limited (Zambia)
  • Senior Broker (Retail Sales & Trading), National Securities (Greece)
  • Portfolio Manager – High Yield, Fortis Investments (UK)
  • Senior Analyst, Bank of Thailand Risk Analyst, RBS Insurance (UK)
  • Investment Researcher, Jiajing Investment Company (China)

Our alumni are leading and shaping the strategy of global financial organisations:

  • Managing Director, Citi – Global Banking (Hong Kong)
  • Head of Asset Management, Allemby Hunt (UK)
  • Fund Manager, MCB Investment Management (Mauritius)
  • Chief Financial Officer, Nanyang Press Holding (Malaysia)
  • Vice President, MCB Bank Ltd (Pakistan)
  • Senior Equity Analyst, Atlantic Investment (USA)

Structure and content

This one-year, full-time course has an initial taught component of two 15-week semesters, involving lectures, practical case study work and workshops, followed by a supervised dissertation.

As soon as you arrive at Stirling you are introduced to your course, fellow students and the University. This induction enables you to develop skills to get the most out of your studies and to progress quickly in your career.

In the Semester 1 you will take the following modules:

  • Financial Reporting: Provides an appreciation of the underlying assumptions and limitations of accounting information. Measurement and reporting problems involved in financial accounting ‘solutions’ adopted by regulators are discussed
  • Corporate Finance: Provides an understanding of how corporations raise finance (debt and equity) and how they invest money (capital budgeting). Also examines other major decision areas of corporate finance and how these affect the value of the firm
  • Economics for Business and Finance: Introduces students to economics as a discipline, assuming no prior knowledge of economics, and focuses on aspects most relevant to a career in finance
  • Quantitative Methods in Finance: Provides the statistical and computing skills necessary to fully understand modern banking and finance operations. Spreadsheets are used to manipulate statistical models and to estimate linear models

In the Semester 2 you will take the following modules:

  • Financial Statement Analysis: Develops skills in the interpretation and use of financial statements, focusing on company valuation and identification of companies that may become insolvent. Includes a group project where students collaborate to write and present an investment analysis report on a UK quoted company
  • Derivatives: Focuses on the uses and the pricing of the key derivative instruments: options, futures, forwards and swaps
  • Investments and Portfolio Management: Focuses on the valuation of both equities and fixed-interest securities and the management of equity and fixed-interest portfolios
  • Law of Investment Regulation: Introduces investment regulation and the development of markets with focus on the international, US and EU context. Considers UK insider dealing and the Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct of the CFA® Institute is also covered

Delivery and assessment

Students experience lectures, small group seminars, problem-solving classes, drop-in sessions, computer labs and group working during their studies. Successful completion of the taught modules leads to the award of a Postgraduate Diploma. The Master’s degree is awarded on satisfactory completion of a dissertation, following the Diploma examinations. Dissertation topics range over all areas of relevance to investment analysis and allow completion of a case study or research topic dissertation.

Recommended reading

Popular texts:

  • Peter L. Bernstein, P.L. (1993). Capital Ideas: The Improbable Origins of Modern Wall Street, The Free Press.
  • Lewis, M. (2010). The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine. New York:WW Norton & Co.


  • Hillier, D., Ross, S., Westerfield, R., Jeffrey Jaffe, J. and Jordan, B. (2013). Corporate Finance, 2nd European Edition. McGraw-Hill International Edition.
  • Stolowy, H. and Lebas, M.J (2010). Financial Accounting and Reporting: A Global Perspective, South-Western, Cengage Learning.
  • Wooldridge, J (2012). Introductory Econometrics: A Modern Appoach, 5th edition, South-Western, Cengage Learning.
  • David Begg, D. and Damian Ward, D. (2009). Economics for Business, 3rd Edition. McGraw-Hill.
  • Schiller, B.R., Hill, C.D. and Wall, S.L. (2013). The Macro Economy Today, 13th Edition. McGraw-Hill.

Learning activities to prepare you for study in the UK

Prepare for Success is an interactive web learning tool for international students who are getting ready to come to the UK for study in further or higher education.

A minimum of a second class honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.English language requirementsIf English is not your first language, you must provide evidence of your proficiency such as a minimum overall IELTS score of 6.5 (5.5 in all bands). English Language Requirements IELTS band: 6.5 IMPORTANT NOTE: Since April 2014 the ETS tests (including TOEFL and TOEIC) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa. The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.

Stirling Management School Postgraduate Scholarships

At least two prestigious Karen Napier scholarships are usually available each year, meeting course fees and including a maintenance award.

Stirling Management School is committed to investing in academically talented students, enabling them to further their education with a reputable qualification from one of the many Postgraduate Degree Programmes on offer at the University of Stirling. There are various categories of funding available to support the cost of your studies at Stirling Management School.

The course has SAAS PTFL (Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan) funding approval and full details of how to apply for PTFL can be found here:

Full details of the PTFL fund and how to apply online can be found here:

For further information on possible sources of funding, visit:


Accreditation RAE rating

In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), Accounting and Finance at Stirling ranked 1st (equal) in Scotland and 5th in the UK, with virtually all (90 percent) research activity considered to be of international standing.


The course is a CFA Program Partner and has an unrivalled track record in the UK CFA Research Challenge competition.

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