Scottish Graduate Programme in Economics

SGPE Pre-sessional Summer Programme

The SGPE Pre-sessional Summer Programme is a four-week conversion course, designed as an entry qualification to our MSc Economics programmes.

It is typically for applicants who haven’t taken sufficiently advanced economics courses during their undergraduate degree, or those who haven’t specialised in economics but have a technical background, such as a good degree in science or maths.

The Pre-sessional Summer Programme covers microeconomics and macroeconomics to an intermediate level. It is delivered every August; students who successfully meet the required level can proceed onto the MSc in September. There is also a subsequent  Basic Statistics Course held in early September,  although this is not formally examined.

Self-study for the summer programme

Photo of students in the Business School cafe
© Paul Dodds/The University of Edinburgh

You must prepare in advance by undertaking a self-study course in Mathematics.  Your first exam will take place on the first day of the Summer Programme and will count 20% towards your Progression to the MSc.  This five-week self-study course should take about 5 – 20 hours per week depending on your academic background. 

Self-study course in Mathematics

Arrival and Welcome

We will hold a Welcome Event and induction before the start of the Summer Programme, on Sunday 31st July. This will be an opportunity to meet your fellow students, as well as staff and students who have previously attended the Summer Progamme and progressed to the MSc.

The Summer Programme starts with a Mathematics exam; this will take place on Monday 1st August 2022.

The first lecture will take place at 2pm on Monday 1st August 2022.

Visas for International Students

We are aware that some international students have had difficulties applying for their visa to come to the UK to study on the Pre-Sessional Summer Programme. We have been told that the UK government’s Visas and Immigration department is working to process all applications within 15 days, and so we encourage those who will require a visa to submit your application as soon as you can. 

Unfortunately, without a visa you will not be able to enter the UK, and you will not be able to participate in the SGPE Pre-Sessional Summer Programme, as there is no option to study online. Anyone without their visa by the start of the programme will be asked to either withdraw from their offer to study on the School’s MSc programmes, or request to defer your offer. Deferring would, in principle, reserve you a place to study with us in the following academic year without the need to reapply (that is, you would be invited to attend the Pre-Sessional Summer Programme in August 2023). We anticipate that all deferral requests will be successful, but at this stage cannot guarantee such an outcome as it depends on the total number of deferral applications. We will let you know in September 2022 whether your deferral request has been successful.

If you are unable to secure your visa and enter the UK by the start of the programme, please contact the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences’ PG admissions office ( before 31st August, copying in the SGPE office (, to discuss your deferral options.

Recommended Resources

We recommend that you access the textbooks for the course.


You should have a non-programmable calculator to use for the Mathematics exam.

Course materials

You can download the course materials from previous years. Please note there are likely to be amendments for 2022.


Intermediate Macroeconomics and Intermediate Microeconomics Course Materials

Programme information

The programme handbook outlines what is expected of you and the academic and pastoral support that is available. The handbook will be provided to you prior to the Induction.

The timetable shows the programme structure; further information about the online exams will be provided closer to the beginning of the programme.

Progression to MSc

You are probably taking the Summer Programme in order to meet a condition of your MSc offer, the exact details of which can be found in your offer.

The Mathematics exam that you sit on the first day of the programme will count 20% towards your Progression to the MSc, and each intermediate course will count for 40%.

Your Summer Programme exam marks will be confirmed at the Summer Programme exam board in early September 2022. 

We will inform you of your results, and whether or not you have successfully progressed to the MSc, following the exam board.