Personal Statement Postgraduate Study Finance Sxm

We focus on the role of modern business organisations, financial institutions and markets in the global economy.

This course enables you to understand in detail the operation of modern business organisations and the role of financial institutions and capital markets in the global economy.

It will introduce you to state-of-the-art techniques and thinking regarding research methodology and the statistical techniques employed to investigate a firm's values and asset prices. At Dundee you will be taught by staff who have practical experience working in the financial sector or who have insights into financial practices through their research of, and with, analysts, company directors and market traders.

Visits by guest speakers complement the academic programme and cover topics such as Behavioural Finance, Portfolio Management, High Frequency Trading and International Trade.

Students have an opportunity to visit London to tour the Bank of England, the Lloyds Insurance Market and attend presentations from bankers and financial analysts.

The Centre for Qualitative Research in Finance based at the University of Dundee provides a focal point for qualitative research which is becoming increasingly influential in the financial sector, and focuses on issues such as why managers and investors make their certain decisions and choices.

Dundee is among the fastest risers in the 2017 Guardian University Rankings and has also been rated the best in Scotland by some of the most influential higher education surveys.

You’ll learn about the structure of modern capital markets, with an emphasis on data analysis and quantitative skills through taught modules and a dissertation.

How you will be taught

There are two intakes each year - January and September. The course lasts for 12 months. Modules start at the beginning of the academic session and are taught through a mixture of lectures and tutorials.

How you will be assessed

Modules are examined in December and April/ May. Students complete their supervised dissertation during the summer. The dissertation takes around three months to complete with final drafts submitted in August.

Course content

The course will encourage you to think critically about how modern business organisations interact with capital markets. Specifically, you will will:

  • understand the manner in which modern global capital markets operate
  • analyse the relative merits of alternative trading systems
  • evaluate the impact of risk on modern businesses and find out how markets can minimise its impact
  • understand challenges facing emerging financial markets
  • appreciate the links between international capital markets and related disciplines, such as financial accounting, management accounting and corporate governance
  • apply econometric techniques to large datasets using modern statistical software, and use these skills to assess the behaviour of individual shares and market indices
  • understand methodological issues inherent in social science research
  • work intensively on a research-based dissertation



  •  Emerging Financial Markets and Investment (BU52012)
  •  Research Methods and Methodology (BU52015)
  •  Econometrics for Finance (BU52017)
  •  Global Financial Markets (BU51013)
  •  Dissertation (BU52010)

Plus one optional module from:

  •  Corporate Governance (BU51001)
  •  Current Issues in Banking and Finance (BU51012)
  •  International Banking (BU51011)
  •  Derivatives and Risk Management  (BU51021)

Plus one optional module from:

  •  Global Risk Analysis (BU52006)
  •  Money, Investment and Banking Systems (BU52009)


Optional modules are subject to change.

View our Terms and Conditions for Applicants and Students

This course is ideal if you want to progress in banking, fund management, investment analysis, treasury management or doctoral study in finance. The structure of the degree emphasises the development of both the technical and generic skills required to work in the fast-moving world of finance.

The University has excellent employment outcomes for its students and this programme is designed to build on this record; past graduates have gone on to take up careers in international banking, asset management, investment analysis and academia.

You’ll be able to make use of the University's dedicated careers service to help you to confidently present yourself to the world's top employers.

A good undergraduate degree in business.

 EU and International qualifications

English Language Requirement

IELTS Overall6.0

 Equivalent grades from other test providers


English Language Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional and Foundation Programme(s) throughout the year. These are designed to prepare you for university study in the UK when you have not yet met the language requirements for direct entry onto a degree programme.

 Discover our English Language Programmes

The fees you pay will depend on your fee status. Your fee status is determined by us using the information you provide on your application.

 Find out more about fee status

You apply for this course via the UCAS Postgraduate (UKPASS) website which is free of charge. You can check the progress of your application online and you can also make multiple applications.

You'll need to upload relevant documents as part of your application. Please read the How to Apply page before you apply to find out about what you'll need.

 DegreeCourse Code
Apply NowFinance MScP038651

Course Contact

Fiona McMillan
Social Sciences
+44 (0)1382 385838

Related Courses

Internships in China

Enhance your employability with graduate internship opportunities.

Find out more »

Alongside the usual application materials - testing requirements, transcripts, CV, and recommendations - graduate and post-graduate programmes will always require you to include a ‘personal statement.’

Think of it as if you’re on trial, and the admissions committee is the jury. Except in this case, you’re not trying to prove your innocence to a crime. You’re simply trying to prove to that you should be admitted to their Master's or Ph.D programme. You write a short statement with concrete examples and evidence, all pointing to what kind of student you are as a student.

Here are some universities to apply to, all over the world:

Below we will outline general tips that will help you write and prepare your personal statement for your Master’s or Ph.D application.

Discover 64,206 Masters programs worldwide

You will learn from the following topics:

  • Allow yourself extra time
  • Research the programme you're applying to
  • Avoid useless cliches, junk, and details
  • Only present your life-story if it enhances the statement
  • Grab your reader's attention from the very beginning
  • Don't use the same statement for 10 different applications
Allow yourself extra time

Although personal statements are generally short in length (approx. 700 words; 1-2 pages), you should take extra special care to make sure that it is written well and edited thoroughly for grammar, spelling, or punctuation errors. Every sentence should be carefully thought out, and every single word should contribute to your overall statement of purpose.

The previous 271 words leading up to this sentence only took me 15 minutes to compose; but your personal statement must be taken more seriously.

  • Give yourself few weeks to think about what you want to say (and how you want to say it).
  • You should also allow time to double- and triple-check your statement for any glaring mistakes. Send it to a colleague, your thesis mentor, a teaching assistant, or your friendly neighborhood copyeditor to have them look over it for clarity.

The personal statement is your opportunity to get, well...personal! This is an opportunity for you to reflect on what led you to apply for this programme. An encounter you had with a particular scholar, an inspiring course you took, a pivotal moment during your studies – there isn’t space for these kinds of things on your CV, but at least your personal statement gives the perfect space to share these things.

Discover 65,963 Masters programs worldwide

Research the programme you are applying to

Part of doing post-graduate research (especially in a Ph.D) is proving that you understand the field you are entering; and there are ways for you to prove how familiar you are with the scholars who work in that subject.

  • In your personal statement, show that you’ve given thought to the actual programme that you’re applying to. Don't tell them that you applied to their school because it is the highest-ranking school, or that it’s in a city you’d love to live in.
  • Almost every university department website has details about each faculty member - what they specialise in and what they’ve published. Use this information to your advantage. Show that your interests align with those who already work in that department and that your research will find a comfortable home there. Then, include a sentence or two about it in the personal statement: ‘I have contacted Professor Xavier, who has agreed to oversee my research during my post-graduate studies’.
Avoid useless clichés, junk, and details

While your personal statement is an opportunity to express yourself, you shouldn’t waste the admission committee’s time.

Amateur writers fall into the trap of excessive, unnecessary preambles.It looks something like this:

‘Since the beginning of time, mankind has utilised principles of mathematics to measure objects in the world…’.

As a general rule for good writing, this kind of statement is, frankly, useless and annoying. Someone reading this sentence gets thinks you're either trying to fill space or just trying to show off. Committee members are just trying to find information about you that will let them decide your suitability for the programme. The last thing you want to do is bore them with unnecessary junk.

Only present your life-story if it enhances the statement

Students writing personal statements always feel tempted to present stories from their personal history. But, unless it is absolutely necessary to include in your statement, or if it really enhances the purpose that you’re presenting, you can leave this kind of information out.

For example, if you’re applying to a Master’s programme in English Literature, you can leave out the ‘I’ve been a bookworm from the time that I learned how to read’ section. This kind of statement doesn’t set you apart from other applicants.

Similarly, if you’re applying to a medical school, you needn’t include statements about how you’ve ‘always wanted to help people’ or that you ‘had a calling to be a doctor since age 7’.

However, there are aspects of your personal history that will be useful here.

  • Talk about the time that you did an internship, and what experience that gave you.
  • Talk about your own major research project and what you discovered about yourself.
  • Talk about any publications, conference presentations, or assistantships you’ve done, and what they taught you.
These kinds of details are much more concrete, especially if there is a direct link between these experiences and what you will be doing in your graduate studies programme. These are the things that will set you apart from other applicants.
Grab your reader’s attention from the very beginning

Quick! In two sentences explain what you’re interested in and how you became interested in it! In the next two sentences give an overview of your background in this field! Now conclude with what you intend to do with your graduate degree!

  • This is your opening paragraph: grab the reader's attention and tell her exactly what she needs to know from the start.
  • Think of it like your 'elevator pitch': you catch one of the committee members before getting into an elevator. You step into the elevator with them and, between the bottom floor and the floor where they are getting off, you must convince them to hire you for the position.

Your personal statement is basically the same thing.

Discover 94,995 Bachelor's programs worldwide

It would be good to introduce these details in the beginning (without too much detail) to direct the reader’s attention: 'In 2013, after joining a seminar on holistic nutrition, I realized that this is a more viable approach to health management, and I decided to devote my research to it'.

Don't use the same statement for 10 different applications

One mistake that applicants often make is thinking that, when they’re applying to more than one programme, they need only send the same details, written the same way, to 5 or 10 different universities. I’ve heard advisors and tutors recommend ‘writing one personal statement’ and ‘changing the name of the university’ for each one.

This is an enormous mistake.

For one thing, every programme has its own unique set of questions that they want answered in your personal statement.

  • Some want extra-curricular activities you’ve participated in;
  • Some want a clear proposal for your project;
  • Some want you to just explain why are applying to their school;
  • Some want to see what is unique about you and the research that you’re doing.
Admissions officers can tell when you’ve used the same, worn-out, reused personal statement and sent it to them without a second thought. Instead, you should have one personal statement that is uniquely tailored to every programme. Some information will overlap, but much of it will not.

Another reason to avoid this technique is that it often this ends in embarrassing mistakes and errors in the personal statement. Probably every admissions officer can recall a time in the last application cycle when a student applying to Northwestern University said ‘it would be an honor to be admitted to UCLA this year.’ Errors like this come about when an applicant decides to use the same template for every school he or she is applying to. The easiest and most certain way to avoid such an egregious error would be to simply write a new statement for each school (hence our first piece of advice: allow yourself plenty of extra time).


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *