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Economics/Economics (Finance) - Scottish Graduate Programme MSc

Open Day: 21 November 2014

Our Postgraduate Open Day is an opportunity to learn more about the University and our programmes, and to meet our staff and current students.

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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
Marie Craft (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 a research-oriented MSc that provides you with a high-quality and thorough training in economics. MSc is challenging, uses a lot of Maths and is highly theoretical. 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.

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

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 given an offer that is conditional on a good performance at our SGPE Summer School.

Graduate Admissions Exams

We do not require you to submit a GRE or GMAT result when you apply, but if you have taken the exam we will be happy to receive the result. We do occasionally issue offers which specify that a student must achieve a specific result on a graduate admissions exam. In general we look for a quantitative reasoning result in the top 20%.

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

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

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

Programme description

Our MSc is an in-depth programme that will equip you with the tools a professional economist needs to work in government, 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 optional courses, but the options available to students taking the MSc in Economics (Finance) are restricted to a finance-focused selection.

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 optional courses
  • a dissertation on a subject of your choice

Preliminary courses

  • Foundation Mathematics
  • Foundation Statistics

Compulsory courses

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

Optional courses for Economics students

Choose three optional courses:

  • 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

Optional courses for Economics (Finance) students

Choose three optional courses:

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


The core and option courses are examined in April/May each year. After these exams, successful students write a dissertation of between 8,000 and 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.

Career opportunities

Our MSc 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, with roughly 25% of MSc students progressing to PhD studyat Edinburgh and elsewhere.

Further Information

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