Heriot-Watt University’s Masters Degree in Investment Management has continued to be officially recognised by the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute (CFA) having been accepted on to their University Affiliation Program – an indication that the MSc degree meets the CFA standards and gives students the best preparation for their professional examinations.

With this recognition from the CFA’s University Affiliation Programme, we can offer up to three CFA Program scholarships to our MSc students each year along with a number of other benefits related to the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute.

Being recognised by the CFA’s University Affiliation Program indicates that our MSc Investment Management is closely tied to the industry practice of investment management and covers at least 70% of the CFA’s Candidate Body of Knowledge, including their Code of Ethics and Standard of Professional Conduct.

Professor Andy Adams, Director of MSc Investment Management at Heriot-Watt University, was thrilled to hear we would be recognised as an Affiliated University with the CFA:

“We are delighted that the MSc in Investment Management has achieved affiliation status with the Chartered Financial Analysis Institute. The programme is designed to prepare students for a rewarding career in the investment industry. Discussion of academic theories and their limitations is combined with an emphasis on practical application. A distinctive characteristic of the programme is the large number of senior investment practitioners who act as outside speakers. Most aspects of the CFA Institute examination syllabus are covered.”

Professor Adams, Director of MSc Investment Management

Neil Govier, Head of University Relations at CFA Institute, outlined why the Candidate Body of Knowledge is such an important benchmark for aspiring investment professionals.

“Students in these programs study the Candidate Body of Knowledge, which includes the core knowledge, skills, and abilities identified by practitioners worldwide as essential for successful practice. By mastering the fundamentals of the CFA Program as well as the Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct, these future investment professionals gain a strong foundation that helps prepare them well to join the growing CFA Institute community dedicated to promoting the highest standards of ethics, education, and professional excellence for the ultimate benefit of society.”

Neil Govier, Head of University Relations at CFA Institute

The CFA Program sets a standard for developing the skills, standards, competence, and integrity of financial analysts, portfolio managers, investment advisers, and other investment professionals worldwide and is considered to be the investment profession’s most rigorous credentialing program.

Many of our students site the MSc Investment Management’s affiliation with the CFA as one of the key reasons they study the subject at Heriot-Watt.


In a chat with the School of Social Sciences, one of those students, Nivi, explained that “the course provided me with the perfect stepping stone of postgraduate study which fitted with my career aims”. She also outlined her plans to sit the Chartered Financial Analysts (CFA) examination following graduation in order to better market herself in the field.

Discover why Nivi chose to study the MSc Investment Management at Heriot-Watt and find out what she thinks of the programme in her full Q and A below.

What drove your decision to study an MSc in Investment Management?

"Having completed my undergraduate degree in Banking and Investment, the MSc Investment Management provided me with the perfect stepping stone into postgraduate study to fit my career aims. It also covers 70% of the Chartered Financial Analyst programme (CFA) content which gives the student an early start if they plan on CFA studies."

Why did you choose Heriot Watt University in particular for your MSc?

"Being an international student, my 2 main drivers for the perfect study was a good university and good travelling opportunities. Scotland is known as one of the most beautiful countries in the world and Heriot-Watt University is well-known as one of the best universities in both Scotland and the U.K., the perfect match! I also received really good feedback about the university and its lecturers from friends and coming here confirmed everything I heard. After just 2 months I am more than proud of my decision to study at Heriot-Watt University."

Has there been one course that you have enjoyed the most so far?

"All the courses on MSc Investment Management complement each other and choosing just one will not do justice to the overall knowledge I’ve gained so far. It is not just the courses or classes, it also comes down to how dedicated the lecturers are and how they get you interested in the course and help you throughout the whole semester. There are so many opportunities to keep learning new things!"

How would you describe your experience of living in Edinburgh?

"My experience living in Edinburgh is by far the best I have ever had. I live on the campus and all the facilities that one could ever need are in walking distance. I have a really nice place to call home and the best flatmates ever. I have met so many people from all around the world, it’s crazy!! The people here are so extraordinarily nice and welcoming."

"Edinburgh in itself is such a beautiful place. You have any and everything here! I couldn’t ask for more. Topping it up is my travelling obsession. There are so many buses and easy routes to take you wherever you decide to go. There are also the chaplaincy trips that take you all around Scotland every few weeks and you learn so many things about the country. It’s perfect."

What is your ambition for after your graduate?

"After graduation, getting work experience in this field will definitely enhance what I learnt in lectures. At the same time, I plan to sit for the Chartered Financial Analysts (CFA) examination in order to better market myself in the field. The University often organises Career Open Days and Career Workshops with some big institutions which offer Graduate Programmes. I plan on applying to these programmes and working in Scotland or the U.K. for some years. This will allow me to gain important international exposure after which I can work in any country I want (travelling again!). One stone, 2 birds!"