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Economics/Economics (Finance) - Scottish Graduate Programme MSc

Online information sessions: 28 January 2015

Join us for a series of online question-and-answer sessions about applications, admissions, fees and student support.

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MSc Economics (Finance) - 1 Year (Full-time)
MSc Economics (Finance) - 2 Years (Part-time)
MSc Economics (Scottish Graduate Programme) - 1 Year (Full-time)
MSc Economics (Scottish Graduate Programme) - 2 Years (Part-time)

Fees & costs information

Where available, individual programme fees are linked above. For details information on fee status, policies and payment see:

Contact information
Postgraduate Administrator
Phone: +44 (0)131 651 1764
Professor Jonathan Thomas (Programme Director)
Phone: +44 (0)131 650 1764
Address: School of Economics
30/31 Buccleuch Place
Central Campus

We offer an MSc that provides you with a high-quality and thorough training in economics. The programme lasts one year (or two years if taken part time) and leads to the award of MSc Economics or MSc Economics (Finance). It is perfect preparation for a career as a professional economist or for PhD research.

Entry requirements

The minimum entry requirement is a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in economics or mathematics.

We look for high grades in university-level courses, covering introductory integration, probability theory and linear algebra.

Some applicants may receive an offer that is conditional on a good performance at our SGPE Summer School or on taking a graduate admissions exam such as a GMAT or a GRE (see below).

If you are uncertain if you qualify, you are welcome to email a scanned transcript of your marks for informal feedback.

Graduate Admissions Exams

You can apply without having a graduate admissions test (such as GRE or GMAT) result, but we may stipulate that you must attain a specified grade in one of these tests as a condition of entry.

Most important to us is that you have good quantitative knowledge and skills. In general we look for a quantitative reasoning result in the top 20th percentile.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English.

IELTS minimum score
  • IELTS: total 6.5 (at least 6.0 in each module)
Other accepted tests and scores
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 (at least 20 in each module)
  • PTE(A): total 61 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)
  • CPE: Grade C; CAE: Grade B

Find out more about our language requirements:

How to apply

You must submit a reference with your application.

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Programme description

We offer a research-oriented MSc that provides you with a high-quality and thorough training in economics.

The programme is challenging, uses a lot of mathematics and is highly theoretical. Our MSc is an in-depth programme that will equip you with the tools a professional economist needs to work in government or in international organisations, or to carry out economic research.

We will give you rigorous training in the core areas of economics to make you proficient in the latest analytical and quantitative techniques. You will also receive a firm grounding in mathematical and econometric techniques, microeconomics and macroeconomics, including their application to new economic problems.

You will join the Scottish economic community, attending varied seminars and events, such as lectures given by Scottish Government economists and our residential methodology conference in Crieff. Such exposure has wide-ranging benefits, including helping guide your career choices.

Your choice of Economics or Economics (Finance) will determine which courses you take within your degree programme: all students take the same compulsory courses, and three option courses, but the options available to students taking the MSc in Economics (Finance) are restricted to a finance-focused selection.

The masters programme is taught in Edinburgh and awarded by the University of Edinburgh, but is part of the Scottish Graduate Programme in Economics, a unique collaborative venture that combines the teaching expertise of eight Scottish universities: Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Heriot-Watt, St Andrews, Stirling and Strathclyde.

Programme structure

The programme has five main elements:

  • preliminary courses in mathematics and econometrics
  • six compulsory courses over two semesters
  • a residential methodology weekend
  • three option courses
  • a dissertation on a subject of your choice

Compulsory preliminary foundation course (September):

Mathematics, Statistics and Econometrics.

Compulsory courses (October to February):

There are six compulsory courses, comprising two each in microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics.

Option courses (February to April):

Economics students choose three from:

  • Advanced Topics in Macroeconomics
  • Advanced Topics In Microeconomics
  • Advanced Time Series Econometrics
  • Advanced Microeconometrics
  • Development Economics
  • Development of Economic Thought & Methodology
  • Economic Policy
  • Economics of Eastern Europe
  • Environmental & Natural Resource Economics
  • Experimental Economics and Finance
  • Industrial Organisation
  • International Money & Finance
  • International Trade
  • Personnel Economics

Economics (Finance) students choose three from:

  • Advanced Time Series Econometrics
  • Asset Pricing
  • Corporate Finance
  • International Money & Finance
  • Experimental Economics and Finance


Following examinations in April/May, successful students write a dissertation of 8,000–10,000 words, for submission in August.

For those intending to pursue a PhD, the dissertation is often on a topic that relates to your proposed area of research.

We also support a small number of externally commissioned dissertations that allow students to research and write a dissertation on a specific topic defined by a company, charity, or government organisation.

Career opportunities

Our graduates have found employment in a wide variety of private and public organisations including in financial services, with the civil service (the Government Economic Service and the Department for International Development), with overseas development agencies, and as research economists with journals and media agencies.

Our MSc programmes are research oriented and primarily act as a pathway into PhD study.

Further information

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