MSc Finance and Management

The course

Full-time, Part-time, Per course
Course type
Entry date
September, January

MSc Finance and Management at Heriot-Watt University gives you the platform to develop highly employable, specialist expertise across the modern practices of financial management and business management.


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MSc Finance and Management at Heriot-Watt University gives you the platform to develop highly employable, specialist expertise across the modern practices of financial management and business management.

This highly respected masters degree programme has been developed in response to industry demands for dynamic graduates who can combine expertise in financial management with the ability to implement effective business management strategies across organisations of any size.

Taught with a genuine industry focus by professionals and leading researchers from the fields of financial management and business management, this programme will open up many new career opportunities.

Whether you come from a relevant honours degree or an industry position in finance or business this programme will meet your ambition and equip you with a wealth of globally attractive and highly employable qualities.

This programme will improve your confidence, communication, creativity and fine-tune your team work and organisational skills. Group work and classroom discussion will give you insights into the working practices and perspectives of many different cultures and prepare you for a global career where you will work with colleagues from all over the world.

MSc Finance and Management includes a bespoke range of courses which will equip you with highly employable expertise across crucial areas of financial management and business management, specifically:

  • Project management
  • Financial research
  • Financial analysis
  • Portfolio management
  • Corporate governance
  • Corporate market analysis
  • Business strategy

Gaining up-to-date expertise across these areas will put you in the position to succeed in roles such as financial analyst, investment banker, financial consultant and corporate finance specialist in highly lucrative areas such as asset management, corporate finance and banking.

The blend of skills and qualities developed through MSc Finance and Management can also be applied to managerial positions in small businesses where proper control of corporate finances is essential or to larger businesses and public sector organisations where financial management can play a critical role in defining organisational success.

Rankings: Scotland's number 1 for Finance

Heriot-Watt University enjoys a well-earned reputation as one of the best universities in Scotland at which to study the fields of both finance and business management.

The Guardian University Rankings 2018 placed us as the number 1 university in Scotland for Finance while Business Management was ranked in the Top 10 in the UK. 

Some of the factors which help us achieve such high rankings for our Finance and Business departments include:

  • Our industry-focused, highly specialised course content
  • Our blend of theoretical and practitioner-led teaching
  • Our world-leading academics and their high-impact research
  • Our leafy campus environment and welcoming international community
  • The city of Edinburgh and its student experience, financial industry and cultural offerings

Cutting-edge research and an ethical approach

Heriot-Watt University is one of the UK's leading research-led universities with a mission to lead in both ideas and solutions. Our department of finance puts this unique approach to academia into practice through the Heriot-Watt University Centre for Finance and Investment (CFI).

The CFI brings together globally recognised researchers from Heriot-Watt with senior practitioners from the financial industry to stimulate debate and collaboration in research and teaching.

This year, postgraduate students had the chance to attend the CFI Research Seminar Series and an Ethical Finance Debate organised in partnership between the CFI and the University's Ethical Finance Hub.

This debate posed the question, ‘Is ethical finance the pursuit of shareholder value?' and invited key practitioners from within the industry to share their points of view and offer world-class insights:

  • Prof Robin Angus, Executive Director Personal Assets Trust and Honorary Prof. at Heriot-Watt 
  • Bill Dinning, Non-Executive Director, Medical Defence Union
  • Professor Iqbal Asaria CBE, Islamic finance consultant and academic
  • Tomas Carruthers, Chief Executive Officer, Social Stock Exchange

Learning from industry: London Stock Exchange

At Heriot-Watt University we aim to ensure that all teaching is applicable to the real world and on MSc Finance and Management you will learn cutting-edge theory from experienced academics and see how this is put into practice through industry experiences and insights.

We enjoy a close relationship with the educational departments of the London Stock Exchange and this has led to exciting opportunities for students to visit the London Stock Exchange and learn from ‘Inside the Markets'.

This year's ‘Inside the Markets' trip gave our students of MSc Finance programmes the chance to tour the London Stock Exchange and discuss with professional traders how their theoretical knowledge can be put into practice in the real world.

June Nabira, studying Heriot-Watt's Capital Markets course, reflecting on the London Stock Exchange trip,

It expanded my knowledge in capital markets and how they run. I had already completed a course in capital markets at Heriot-Watt which gave me a foundation in the topic and the trader was really insightful and was speaking from experience

June Nabira, studying Heriot-Watt's Capital Markets course

Heriot-Watt University also hopes to become one of only two universities in the United Kingdom to offer students a state-of-the-art stock trading simulator which will help finance students gain true-to-life first-hand experience in preparation for future careers as stock traders.

Read more about the trip here: Heriot-Watt London Stock Exchange Trip

Guest speakers and links to industry

Our Edinburgh campus provides MSc Finance and Management with unparalleled links to Scotland's Financial Industry.

The City of Edinburgh is a powerhouse of the Scottish economy and the second largest financial hub in the United Kingdom. It is home to a number of international financial firms including Standard Life, RBS Groups and the Bank of Scotland and boasts a financial district with multinational corporations such as JP Morgan, Franklin Templeton, State Street and HSBC.

Our graduates are held in high-regard throughout Edinburgh's financial industry and can be found in advanced positions within these organisations. These links could give you invaluable networking opportunities during this programme of study and you may well benefit from the excellent reputation of our alumni as you look to begin your career after graduation.

Throughout the most recent year of this programme, students on Finance and Management had the opportunity to hear talks covering areas such as competitive strategy and emerging economics in the global market place from a number of industry experts including:

Ivan Rossignol, Chief Technical Specialist, Trade & Competitiveness, of the World Bank spoke about the challenges facing multilateral financial institutions given the integration of most economies into the global financial system

  • Bryan Buchan, CEO of Scottish Engineering and former managing director at the Bausch & Lomb plant, spoke about competitive strategy
  • Alastair Atkinson, CEO of Dysis Medical and honorary professor at Heriot-Watt University
  • Dr Andrew MacLennan, Managing Director of Strategy Execution Ltd, a leading strategy implementation consultancy in Scotland.
  • Ken Shaw, Head of Employability & Talent Development, City Strategy and Economy, City of Edinburgh Council

Programme duration

  • MSc: 12 months (full time), 24 months (part-time)
  • PG Diploma: 9 months (full time), 21 months (part-time)

September 2024 entry

The deadline for applications from UK students is 30 August 2024. For EU and overseas applicants, we guarantee to consider applications submitted by 2 August 2024.


Bloomberg Experiential Learning Partner

Heriot-Watt University is accredited as a Bloomberg Experiential Learning Partner, recognising us as a leader in experiential learning in the area of finance. 

Course content

Semester 1 (Sept - Dec) Semester 2 (Jan - April)
Corporate Governance Emerging Financial Markets
Financial Analysis Project Management
Competitive Strategy Research Methods
One from: One from:
  • Capital Markets
  • Corporate Finance
  • Comparative Financial Reporting
  • Research in Finance

Between May and August students undertake their MSc dissertation.

Corporate Governance

Semester 1 (mandatory)

Develops understanding of issues relating to corporate governance and the financial research methods used to approach them including principal-agent theory, ownership structure and control, board of directors, CEO turnover, mergers and acquisitions and state versus private ownership.

Financial Analysis

Semester 1 (mandatory)

This course examines how to analyse the financial performance of an organisation through the use of published financial information.

Competitive Strategy

Semester 1 (mandatory)

Examines how companies compete by developing and understanding the interactions and relationships between theoretical concepts; examining the individual components of strategic management models and considering how companies may achieve and sustain competitive advantage.

Capital Markets

Semester 1 (optional)

Examines the way financial markets and institutions function in practice, with particular emphasis on equities and bonds.

Corporate Finance

Semester 1 (optional)

This course introduces contemporary topics in corporate finance and looks at the major decisions facing a firm in this area.

Emerging Financial Markets

Semester 2 (mandatory)

Supplements understanding of mainstream finance during the year, and applies it to the specific circumstances of emerging financial markets. This exposure is also designed to assist you with identifying possible dissertation topics and data sources.

Project Management

Semester 2 (mandatory)

Examines monitoring and controlling projects. Develops competence in use of quantitative and qualitative project planning and control tools & techniques.

Research Methods

Semester 2 (mandatory)

Looking at both qualitative and quantitative techniques this course will equip students with the means to develop and carry out their own research projects and to evaluate the contributions of others.

Comparative Financial Reporting

Semester 2 (optional)

Provides an international perspective to the study of accounting by looking at the reasons for national differences, the tendencies towards harmonisation, the problems of multinational companies, as well as analysis and evaluation of financial reports prepared in other countries.

Project Finance, Accounting & Control

Semester 2 (optional)

Explores developments in the economic analysis of management accounting including strategic management accounting, capital budgeting, project appraisal, budgeting and control within an organisational context. Alternative modes of analysis that demonstrate the social impact of management accounting techniques are also considered.

Research in Finance

Semester 2 (optional)

Covers quantitative methods used in research in the area of finance and financial markets. It will extend knowledge from the main Research Methods course by equipping students with modern methodology applied for the time series analysis. The first part of the course is focused on the theory and the second one on practical applications in the computer lab.

Students will build models of stock and currency prices, evaluate them using different criteria and use them for the forecasts and formulation of trading strategies. They should perform their own work using real data from financial markets. By applying modern econometric methods, students will prepare themselves for their dissertation as well as for further research, either in academia or in the non-academic world.

Meet the MSc Finance and Management team

Professor Chris Pong - Course Leader: Financial Analysis

Chris Pong is Professor of Accountancy at Heriot-Watt University and the Course Leader for Financial Analysis on MSc Finance and Management. Chris has worked in many UK Russell Group universities and his research expertise lies in the audit market area with specific reference to the effects of audit market legislation and the demand for audit services. He is the Director of the Accounting Research Centre at Heriot-Watt University and his research has been published in a range of international journals. It has also informed discussions with professional and regulatory bodies, such as the Competition Commission.

Dr Edward Jones - Course Leader: Corporate Governance

Eddie Jones is an Associate Professor of Finance in the School of Social Sciences at Heriot-Watt University and Course Leader for Corporate Governance on MSc Finance and Management. He is Director of the Centre for Finance and Investment at Heriot-Watt University and his research interests extend from corporate investment decisions, mergers and acquisitions to agency costs associated with M&A, capital structure and executive compensation. Dr Jones received his PhD from Heriot-Watt University and worked at Swansea University and the University of Edinburgh before returning to Heriot-Watt in 2009.

Dr Bing Xu - Course Leader: Research Methods

Bing Xu is an Associate Professor in Finance at the Heriot-Watt University and Course Leader for Research Methods. She holds a MA (Hons) in Business Studies and Accounting, and a PhD in Management both from the University of Edinburgh. Bing's research concerns banking and finance, energy and commodity markets and decision making analysis. She has also worked on a number of funded research projects and collaborated with a range of industrial and government partners. Currently, Bing is working on an EPSRC funded project on low carbon aviation biofuel and she is the work package leader on Energy Policy and Public Engagement.

Dr John Sanders - Course Leader: Competitive Strategy

John Sanders is an associate professor in management in the School of Social Sciences at Heriot-Watt University and is course leader for Competitive Strategy on MSc Finance and Management. Strategic fit within a University setting was the subject of John's PhD and his past research efforts have focused on Internet portals, website quality, social networks and the market reach of rural small firms in Scotland.

Dr Robbie Mochrie - Course Leader: Emerging Financial Markets

Robbie Mochrie is the Course Leader for Emerging Financial Markets on MSc Finance and Management and leads the teaching of microeconomics in the School of Social Sciences at Heriot-Watt University. Robbie is a Chartered Banker with close links to the banking sector in Scotland and works with credit unions across the UK to turn microfinance institutions into challenger banks.  As a researcher, Robbie has a long-standing interest in behavioural economics, exploring how people's limited cognitive capacity has led to the development of legal and religious institutions that have enable society to function more effectively.  He has served as the Executive Director of the Association of the Study of Religion, Economics and Culture.

Entry requirements

A good Honours degree (first or second class), or its non-UK equivalent, in a relevant subject from a recognised British or overseas university.

Work or project experience in the area of finance or management will be of further advantage.

English language requirements

If your first language is not English, or your first degree was not taught in English, we'll need to see evidence of your English language ability.

The minimum English language requirement for entry to this programme is IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) with no component lower than 6.0.

If you do not have IELTS 6.5, we offer a range of English language courses to help you meet the English language requirement for this programme prior to commencing your studies:

  • 20 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.0 with no skill lower than 4.5)
  • 14 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.0 with minimum of 5.0 in writing and no skill lower than 4.5)
  • 10 weeks English (for IELTS of 5.5 with no skill lower than 5.0)
  • 6 weeks English (for IELTS 5.5 with no skill lower than 5.5)


Tuition fees for entry
Status Full-time Part-time Per course
UK £10736 £5368 £1342
Overseas £23248 £11624 £2906
Tuition fees for entry
Status Full-time Part-time Per course
UK £10736 £5368 £1342
Overseas £23248 £11624 £2906


  1. Your residency 'status' is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the three years before the start of your course. Find out more about tuition fees.
  2. Fee per course (module). Refer to the Course Content to see how many courses comprise the full programme.
  3. Overseas includes applications from European Union countries who do not hold Pre-Settled or Settled status in the UK. Read more about the application process for EU nationals.

Scholarships and bursaries

We aim to encourage well-qualified, ambitious students to study with us and we offer a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries to achieve this. Over £6 million worth of opportunities are available in fee and stipend scholarships, and more than 400 students benefit from this support.

View our full range of postgraduate scholarships.