The highest resolution vacuum ultraviolet photoabsorption spectrum of ethyl formate, C2H5OCHO, yet reported is presented over the wavelength range 115.0-275.5 nm (10.75-4.5 eV) revealing several new spectral features. Valence and Rydberg transitions and their associated vibronic series, observed in the photoabsorption spectrum, have been assigned in accordance with new ab initio calculations of the vertical excitation energies and oscillator strengths. Calculations have also been carried out to determine the ionization energies and fine structure of the lowest ionic state of ethyl formate and are compared with a newly recorded He(I) photoelectron spectrum (from 10.1 to 16.1 eV). New vibrational structure is observed in the first photoelectron band. The photoabsorption cross sections have been used to calculate the photolysis lifetime of ethyl formate in the upper stratosphere (20-50 km).