Taught course

Investment Management

Heriot-Watt University · Edinburgh Business School

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.

No investment management experience is required but some prior knowledge of finance and/or accounting would be an 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)

Months of entry


Course content


The MSc Investment Management allows you to develop specialist expertise to help you transition into professional and managerial careers in investment analysis and management, in the public and private sectors. The programme has been developed to cover many aspects of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute examination syllabus, positioning you well to obtain the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. This will make you highly sought after upon graduation, giving you access to opportunities in employment, further education, and research.

During the master’s program, you’ll develop a systematic understanding and knowledge of investment management and gain a critical awareness of current issues within the academic discipline and professional practice. You’ll understand and evaluate a comprehensive range of research techniques used in investment management and how these are put into practice, to create and interpret knowledge. You’ll cover the core theories and concepts in finance and investment, including different approaches adopted in the formulation of finance and investment theory, specialised theories and models such as CAPM, APT and ARCH used in the analysis of financial markets, contemporary issues in investment management, and how institutional investors operate. You’ll learn how to follow complex lines of reasoning, expressed both verbally and algebraically, assess empirical and qualitative evidence, and assess alternative theories, explanations or points of view regarding a given investment question. Throughout the programme, you’ll develop critical thinking and analyses, as you evaluate investment management academic research, professional research and pronouncements and financial and business media articles.

Your learning will equip you with highly employable expertise across crucial areas of investment management. You’ll have the opportunity to choose four optional courses – from corporate finance, corporate governance and sustainability, financial analysis, international accounting standards, emerging financial markets, comparative financial reporting, derivatives, empirical financial modelling, and advanced valuation of financial markets – to customise your learning and develop your investment management interests. Your dissertation will allow you to build upon your expertise, by carrying out an original research project at the forefront of knowledge.

You’ll learn from staff at the forefront of research and practice in finance and investment management, with most members of the Centre for Finance & Investment (CFI) which unites Heriot-Watt’s finance and investment staff with senior practitioners from the local financial community. You’ll benefit from their industry knowledge and expertise and can discuss academic theories, and their limitations, and conduct practical applications. The Current Topics in Investment Management course allows you to hear from senior investment practitioners in their weekly guest lecturers, to gain insight and real-life perspectives into the investment industry.

Beyond investment management knowledge and skills, you’ll develop key transferable skills, including teamwork, communication, organisational and presentation skills to prepare you for lifelong learning and personal development.

As Edinburgh Business School at Heriot-Watt University is situated on the edge of Edinburgh, you’ll have excellent links to the financial sector of Scotland’s capital city, and the UK’s second-biggest financial and economic hub. Edinburgh is a major centre for fund management and is home to two of the world’s largest banks. You’ll also benefit from our close ties to the London Stock Exchange and Bloomberg, which can provide you with excellent industry-focused learning opportunities.

Our Expertise

Your learning will be informed by the expertise of our research-active academics whose work covers four key areas:

  • Employment, Work and the Professions
  • Logistics and Sustainability
  • Networks and Enterprise Excellence
  • Social and Economic Data Analysis

Your learning environment

The MSc Investment Management programme is taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials and group work allowing you to get to know and build relationships with your peers, the teaching staff and academics. You will be assessed by coursework, exams, and your dissertation, and will receive support and feedback throughout the programme.

During your studies, you’ll benefit from and have access to our state-of-the-art facilities, including our professional-standard Bloomberg Trading Room with 12 Bloomberg Terminals to enhance your employability with data skills. These Terminals are equipped with industry-standard software that provides live financial data and trading tools to the world’s leading banks and corporations.

Outside of the classroom, you can join Heriot-Watt’s Business Society which holds regular social events, and provides networking opportunities and insights into career prospects in Economics, Business, Finance, and other relevant industries.

Customise your learning

You’ll learn from the core four courses on the syllabus, with the choice of four optional courses to focus on the area of investment management that interests you the most. This allows you to customise your degree to match your specific interests or career pathway by selecting a specialist course option.

In semester three, you’ll explore in-depth your chosen area of investment management through your dissertation. You will be required to demonstrate your mastery of the subject area by developing new insight from the analysis of valuable primary research.

You can choose whether to study the programme full-time, part-time, or by course. This flexibility allows you to fit your postgraduate studies around your lifestyle. You can begin the programme either in January or September, based on your availability, and the full-time course will last 12 months full-time or 24 months part-time. If you decide to study part-time, you register for two courses per semester and progress to the dissertation at the end of your second year.

You may have the opportunity to Go Global on our Inter-Campus Transfer. Opportunities for postgraduate study abroad are assessed on a case-by-case basis and if you are interested in studying at our Dubai campus or Malaysia campus for a semester or longer, you should contact the Go Global Team.


We work closely with the industry to ensure our course content is up-to-date and reflects the current and emerging needs of the industry and employers. You’ll gain the right blend of knowledge, practical skills, and soft skills to set you up for life after graduation.

Heriot-Watt University is named Bloomberg Experiential Learning Partner (ELP), a programme designed by Bloomberg to recognise universities that are leaders in experiential learning. 

Our partnership with Bloomberg, and the achievement of ELP status, is a mark of our innovative approach to connecting our teaching experience with real-life practical applications. Being a Bloomberg experiential learning partner allows Heriot-Watt and Edinburgh Business School to better integrate industry-leading data, research, news and analytics into our curricula.

The Bloomberg Trading Room at Heriot-Watt University is unique in Scotland and enables students from different disciplines of business to better understand different aspects of markets, business behaviours and economic trends. It enables:

  • Performance comparison between different companies or industries using financial reports, company valuations, company news, company portfolios, and key changes/trends
  • Supply chain analysis through a company's supply chain relationships that include suppliers, customers and competitors. This enables managers to refine their supply chain configuration and strategy
  • Market share analysis by providing key industry data, interactive charting and commentary by Bloomberg industry experts.  It also provides industry fundamental statistics, market share and other key industry-specific metrics (i.e., retailers, airlines, global auto manufacturing, etc.)
  • Strategic portfolio analysis through creating portfolios against markets and market positions, allocation of assets and performance attribution analysis
  • Accounting and financial analysis by providing the financial history of companies and indices including current and historical income statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements, ratio analysis and more


The MSc Investment Management programme is recognised as an affiliated degree by the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute (CFA®) through their University Affiliation Program.

Fees and funding

UK students
£9,152 (full-time) £4,576 (part-time)
International students
£20,376 (full-time) £10,188 (part-time)

See University website

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Admissions Office