Scottish Graduate Programme in Economics


The SGPE MSc is taught at, and awarded by, the University of Edinburgh. Our School of Economics has a long and distinguished history.

Edinburgh skyline
© Paul Dodds/The University of Edinburgh

Edinburgh has long been a major centre for the study of Economics. In the eighteenth century, the age of the Scottish Enlightenment, economics was a prominent interest in the city, with David Hume, James Stuart, Adam Smith and Dugald Stewart all playing a part in Edinburgh’s intellectual life.


Political economy was initially taught as a single course. In 1892, it became a component of the new MA Ordinary degree. An Economics honours degree was then introduced in 1898. The first Economics graduates, two in number, received their degrees in 1902. Now there are over 100 MA graduates annually. Postgraduate teaching took off in the mid-1950s and is now part of the Scottish Graduate Programme in Economics.

School of Economics

Located less than a mile from the final resting place of Adam Smith, the School of Economics offers an inspiring and collegial environment to postgraduate students. Our internationally renowned expertise includes research in nearly all areas of economics, with many of our faculty having published in the top five economics journals. We are particularly strong in the study of microeconomic theory, labour and macroeconomics and applied econometrics. Our postgraduate programmes benefit from a dynamism and energy that comes with being at the leading edge of discovery and scholarship.

Research at the School of Economics

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, 85 per cent of our economics and econometrics research was rated 4* world leading or 3* internationally excellent on the overall quality profile. We were ranked first in Scotland and ninth in the UK by overall Grade Point Average (Times Higher Education, overall ranking REF 2014).

Our principal research strengths are in microeconomics, macroeconomics, applied economics and economic theory, and labour economics. Our research group is one of the strongest in Europe and we can offer supervision and support across a range of subject specialisms, from social and behaviour economics to game theory and contract theory; from sports economics to family economics; and from search and matching and international economics to political conflict and occupational mobility. A key strength is in labour economics (both theoretical and empirical).

Since 2015 the School has been home to a £6 million Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) grant to conduct research into the Credit and Labour Market Foundations of the Macroeconomy. The MacCaLM project, which runs from 2015 to 2020, is led by Professor John Moore, and involves several other faculty members from Edinburgh, along with co-investigators from various other international institutions.

Research at the School of Economics

MacCaLM - Credit and Labour Market Foundations of the Macroeconomy

University of Edinburgh School of Economics