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MA Psychology and Business

UCAS code: CN81

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA Psychology and Business


Psychologists study:

  • how we perceive, think and learn about the world around us
  • the way biological and social factors influence how we behave
  • how interests and abilities differ from person to person
  • how we communicate verbally and non-verbally
  • how and why our mental abilities change across our lives

Psychology is an experimental and observational science. It uses evidence from research studies to develop and evaluate theories.

Our psychology courses have a strong emphasis on developing skills in research methods and statistical analysis using R programming. This supports our research-led teaching.


Studying business will prepare you for the social, political, environmental and cultural challenges facing contemporary businesses, governments and not-for-profit organisations.

Taught by world-leading industry professionals and researchers, you will develop personal and professional competencies such as:

  • authentic leadership
  • ethical, responsible and sustainable business behaviour
  • entrepreneurial practice
  • effective communication

[Our personal and professional competency framework] (https://www.join.business-school.ed.ac.uk/competency-framework)

This will enable you to work across a range of roles in contemporary business including:

  • accountancy and finance
  • strategy
  • marketing
  • human resource management
  • data analytics
  • entrepreneurship and innovation

Our Business School Student Development team provide opportunities for you to further progress.

For example, you can take part in the Edinburgh Awards, supported by an alumni professional mentor and trained coaches:

  • Personal and Professional Development (Year 2)
  • Effective and Responsible Leadership (Year 3 or 4)

Edinburgh Awards

You can also participate in a large number of business societies, events and peer-support schemes.



It may be possible to obtain accreditation by the British Psychological Society (BPS).

This programme is accredited when you:

  • cover all the core BPS areas:

    • Cognitive Psychology
    • Biological Psychology
    • Social Psychology
    • Developmental Psychology
    • Individual Differences
  • complete a dissertation in Year 4

  • achieve a 2.2 or above in your overall degree classification

The vast majority of students graduate with BPS accreditation, however, if you fail to meet the accreditation criteria, you will graduate with an alternative degree in Psychology.


Business School programmes are accredited by a range of world-leading business education organisations and professional bodies. We have strong links to the world of practice through research, consultancy and teaching.

Details of our accreditation and rankings

This programme holds accreditation from an international ranking body, Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

Year 1


There is a strong emphasis on research methods and statistical analysis throughout this programme. You will:

  • be trained in basic concepts in research methods and statistics
  • learn how to programme in the R language
  • have a practical introduction to laboratory-based psychology research

Through lectures and tutorials, you will complete a general introduction to psychology, covering:

  • cognitive psychology
  • developmental psychology
  • the psychology of memory and perception
  • individual differences
  • language and thinking
  • social psychology

We strongly recommend that you take the Data Analysis for Psychology in R1 course. This course provides the foundations for working with:

  • data
  • probability
  • hypothesis testing
  • the R statistical programming environment


You will take two business courses:

  • Global Challenges for Business
  • The Business of Edinburgh

These courses will introduce key concepts of management and business, including:

  • strategy
  • finance
  • marketing
  • the management of people

Through lectures, tutorials and assignments, you will learn how to apply concepts of social science to business.

We also recommend that you take an accounting course and/or a range of optional courses in business.

Year 2


To prepare you for Year 3, you will complete a year-long, intensive grounding in:

  • research methods
  • statistics
  • R programming

You will continue to study core areas of psychology, developing an integrated understanding of topics such as:

  • individual differences
  • abnormal, developmental and social psychology
  • perception
  • cognitive neuroscience
  • language
  • memory/learning

You will practise and develop your professional and study skills, such as:

  • reviewing scientific literature
  • report writing
  • ethical awareness


You will choose three optional courses from a range of disciplines, such as:

  • finance
  • marketing
  • innovation and entrepreneurship
  • organisation studies
  • international business
  • business analytics
  • understanding and delivering public services
  • human resource management
  • business economics
  • business simulation

Year 3


You will choose advanced courses in psychology. These will expand upon and combine the core areas required for British Psychological Society (BPS) accreditation.

To support your research work, you will complete further specialist courses in research methods and statistics, which you will conduct using R.


In business, you will take courses in:

  • Strategic Management
  • Research in Management

You will also choose two specialist honours courses in business. These will build on the knowledge and skills you gained in Year 2, for example:

  • global business
  • finance
  • marketing
  • innovation and entrepreneurship
  • business economics
  • human resource management
  • business analytics

Year 4

You will complete an honours dissertation in either psychology or business.

You will continue to choose advanced option courses according to your interests. These courses are research-led and will allow you to learn about cutting edge topics across the range of psychology sub-disciplines.

Course options

Precise course options change each year to reflect emerging topics, staff availability and student demand.

Psycholgy course options

Examples of courses offered include:

  • Social Psychology of Groups
  • Introduction to Neural Network Modelling
  • Methods and Controversies on Parapsychology
  • Psycholinguistics of Language Production
  • Clinical Psychological Problems in Context
Business course options

In business, you will choose at least two more specialist honours courses in key areas of business, for example:

  • Marketing and Society
  • Management of Technology
  • Decision Analytics
  • Corporate Finance
  • Brand Culture
  • Applications of Human Resource Management

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.

Programme structure (2023/24)

Our facilities

Teaching will take place at the Psychology building at George Square, and at other locations within the University's Central Area.

You will have access to:

  • specialised laboratories
  • the University and School's library and computer facilities

The Business School facilities

The Business School has its own dedicated building, located in George Square.

You will have access to:

  • specialist business resources in the central Main Library (books, journals, databases)
  • dedicated student experience and student development support
  • dedicated teaching labs (and associated software and databases) for specialist business analytics, business research and finance related courses
  • the Business School Cafe

Take a virtual tour

You can take a closer look at the University’s Central Area and explore our facilities on the University's Virtual Visit site.

Take a virtual tour of the Central Area

Study abroad

There are opportunities to study in Europe through international exchange programmes.

What are my options for going abroad?

Studying abroad is a fantastic opportunity to gain an insight into the global business dimension, and the cultures and languages of the individual markets we deal with.

To be inspired, read stories by Edinburgh students about their experiences abroad:

Student experiences abroad

Partner universities

A wide range of international experiences are available, including studying abroad at one of our partner universities.

Business School partner universities (subject to change)

Your choice of partner university will depend on your degree programme/availability of courses in the subject area.

How will I learn?

Courses are taught through a combination of:

  • lectures
  • tutorials
  • practical classes
  • project work
  • peer-supported group work
  • computer-based exercises

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed by various types of coursework and exams.

In Year 3, you will complete a group research project.

In Year 4, you will complete an independent research project.

Business courses are assessed by a diverse and innovative range of methods and often take the form of formative work, which provides you with on-going feedback, as well as summative assessment, on which your final course grade is achieved.

Some of the assessment methods you may experience are:

  • blogs (written and/or video)
  • business plan and/or feasibility analysis
  • case study analysis
  • computer-based timed assignments
  • consultancy reports
  • reflective diaries/journals
  • essays
  • exams - these might be closed book, multiple choice, oral (group or individual), short questions, seen case study/unseen exam question, open book, timed submission, etc.
  • presentations (face-to-face/video, group and individual)
  • projects (group and individual)

You will develop high-level skills in:

  • research
  • statistics
  • information technology
  • report-writing

These skills are valued by employers in various sectors.

Many psychology and business graduates have gone on to work in:

  • healthcare and social services
  • charitable organisations
  • human resources
  • management
  • business and finance
  • consulting
  • media and advertising

Some students continue their studies to enter a research or teaching career. Others go on to train as a professional psychologist in a specific field, such as:

  • clinical psychology
  • educational psychology
  • forensic psychology
  • health psychology
  • organisational psychology

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: AAAAA (achievement by end of S5 preferred). BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: A*AA.
  • IB: 39 points with 666 at HL.

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points with 655 at HL.

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: Highers: one from Biology or Human Biology, Chemistry, Computing Science or equivalent, Geography, Mathematics, Physics, or Psychology at B. Higher Applications of Mathematics is not accepted in place of Higher Mathematics. National 5s: English at C. Mathematics at A or Mathematics and Physics both at B or Higher Mathematics at C.
  • A Levels: one from Biology or Human Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science or equivalent, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Physics, or Psychology at B. GCSEs: English at C or 4 and Mathematics at A or 7, or Mathematics and Physics both at B or 6, or Mathematics, Science plus Additional Science (or science double award) at BB or 66.
  • IB: HL: one of Biology or Human Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science or equivalent, Geography, Mathematics, Physics, or Psychology at 5. SL: English at 5 and Mathematics at 6 (if not at HL).

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

International Foundation Programme

If you are an international student and your school qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to the University you may be eligible for admission to this degree programme through our International Foundation Programme.

International Foundation Programme

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant qualifications

Regardless of your nationality or country of residence, you must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.


For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:

  • SQA National 5 at C
  • GCSE at C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate at C
  • IB Standard Level at 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 with at least 5.5 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 92 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 176 with at least 162 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 62 with at least 54 in each component.

(Revised 29 August 2023 to remove PTE Academic Online)

We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.

Unless you are a national of a majority English speaking country, your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start of the month in which the degree you are applying to study begins. If you are using an IELTS, PTE Academic, TOEFL or Trinity ISE test, it must be no more than two years old on the first of the month in which the degree begins, regardless of your nationality.

English language requirements

This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.

It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.

Please note that some programmes do not have Discover Uni data available.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for MA Psychology and Business

Additional costs

If studying abroad in Year 3 is an option, your costs will vary depending on the country/partner university.

Additional costs may include:

  • insurance
  • visa requirements
  • accommodation
  • internet access
  • travel

In Year 4, you will complete a dissertation as a compulsory assessment component. Depending on the field of study you choose, there may be costs associated with:

  • undertaking surveys
  • travel
  • conducting interviews

Details of student living costs


For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.

Fees and funding