Applying for an accounting and finance master’s: Q&A with programme director

By H. Young

Updated April 14, 2023 Updated April 14

We spoke to Professor Andrew Marshall, Programme Director in the Department of Accounting and Finance at Strathclyde Business School, to find out what drives students to choose the school for master’s study.  

We spoke to Professor Andrew Marshall, Programme Director in the Department of Accounting and Finance at Strathclyde Business School, to find out what drives students to choose the school for master’s study.  

Tell us about accounting and finance at Strathclyde Business School 

Strathclyde Business School is triple-accredited and is home to a range of MSc degrees in accounting and finance. Our courses cover topics like risk management, investment and portfolio theory, financial technology and quantitative methods.  

Students can study a mix of core and elective modules across two semesters, which are taught via lectures, tutorials and workshops. Over the summer months, students complete two research projects, choosing from a broad range of topics covered on the programme, and supported by an academic supervisor. 

The first semester focuses on building core skills and knowledge in accounting, statistics, international financial markets and financial mathematics. Semester two allows students to build a specialism, applying the core competencies to different specialist streams. 

Our graduates go on to work in corporate finance, security analysis, portfolio, treasury or derivatives management, and options and futures, to name a few. Employers include Goldman Sachs, Blackrock, Morgan Stanley, UBS, Lloyds Group, IBM, PWC and more.  

What do you think potential applicants should be aware of? 

Our students have studied a variety of subjects at the undergraduate level which allows us to accommodate different abilities, skills and learning rates, but several of our courses are quantitative and so it’s beneficial for students to have some numerical or quantitative skills before starting with us. Although most of our programmes require no prior knowledge of finance. 

We also have links to a number of professional bodies to ensure that our courses are related to and informed by real world experience. We have accreditation agreements with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), CFA Institute and the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP). 

How is Strathclyde Business School innovating in accounting and finance? 

We continuously adapt our courses to reflect changes the field and in wider society. There is growing expertise in the department for banking, FinTech and sustainability, and this is reflected in the courses we offer including increased focus on FinTech innovations, sustainable finance, green bonds, climate change and finance. 

We now support the Women in Banking and Finance Society to help to promote and encourage career development for women in the field. The society was formed to create awareness of, and to address, the lack of diversity and gender inequality within the financial services industry. It aims to provide members with guidance and support to maximise potential. We run a series of events for students in conjunction with the society.  

We also became an academic partner with GARP in 2021, which will allow us to nominate six students from our MSc Finance programmes to receive a scholarship for the Financial Risk Manager (FRM) part one exam. Recognised in every major market, the FRM is the leading certification for risk managers and is only awarded to those who demonstrate the knowledge and ability to anticipate, respond and adapt to critical risk issues. It’s consistently in demand by nearly every major bank and firm in the world.  

What opportunities do your programmers offer students beyond the classroom? 

To ensure personal and academic skills development on our postgraduate courses, we have introduced Amplify, an online virtual training simulation for different financial applications. Amplify allows us to provide a week-long bootcamp experience for students, and links in with our university’s careers service to increase the employability of our cohort.  

The department has strong links with several employers in the accounting and finance industry and we use these links to bring further opportunities to students at all levels. This includes employer participation in workshops and tutorials, guest speakers and case studies for students. In order to ensure a breadth of opportunities, we link with a diverse range of employers for guest talks, including Johnston Carmichael, EY, and Morgan Stanley. 

We also offer a number of scholarships with professional and business organisations including DataLab scholarships for MSc Financial Technology students and CFA scholarships for MSc Finance and MSc Finance and Investment students.  

This article was originally published in April 2023 .

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