Undergraduate study - 2021 entry

MA Business Management

UCAS code: N100

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Business School

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA Business Management

Business Management encompasses the study of public, private and not-for-profit organisations, both small and large, their management practices and processes, and the changing external environment in which they operate.

In our four-year programme we reflect the global, dynamic climate of contemporary business and management, offering specialist courses in areas such as international business, entrepreneurship and climate change, drawing on disciplines which include psychology, law, economics, sociology and mathematics.

You will be able to study a range of disciplines outside business, particularly in Years 1 and 2, allowing you to develop a broader range of knowledge and skills. A range of compulsory and option courses examine topics in the context of businesses and of other types of organisation, including, charities, voluntary organisations and the public sector.

You will gain specific business knowledge and an understanding of the business world, and develop a range of transferable, intellectual and study skills which are appropriate not only for those aspiring to a career in management but for those interested in the relationships between people, organisations and their environment who intend to pursue career opportunities within other types of organisation.

Our programmes are accredited by a range of leading business education organisations and professional bodies. We have strong links to the world of practice through research, consultancy and teaching, which ensures that our programmes are attuned to the needs of employers and prepare you for the wide range of career opportunities upon graduation.


This programme holds double accreditation from international ranking bodies:

  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS)

Year 1

You will study Global Challenges for Business and The Business of Edinburgh which introduce key concepts of management and business including strategy, finance, marketing and the management of people.

You will also study an accounting course and may choose two or three optional courses in other subject areas, for example, languages, economics, psychology, mathematics etc. subject to availability and timetabling constraints.

Your studies of business will focus on key themes of understanding the nature of business including organisational forms; the impact of globalisation and global inequality; the shift to a low carbon economy; and the impact of technology and digital disruption. You will gain an insight into the practice of management by using examples of widely-used concepts and techniques in local businesses and the day-to-day role of managers. This will include guest lecturers, cases and recorded interviews, developed in partnership with local organisations.

Accounting is central to any modern organisation. It is concerned primarily with the measurement and communication of financial information to aid decisions and control in a variety of business and other organisations. You will examine the basic principles and underlying concepts and ways in which accounting statements and financial information can be used to improve the quality of decision making. You will learn how accounting relates to the broader context of the strategic and operational aspects of business.

Planning for a start-up is a new Year 1 practical course option where you will be working in entrepreneurial teams, coming up with a business idea, pitching it and writing a feasibility plan for your business idea.

Year 2

The Business Research Methods I: Introduction to Data Analysis course introduces you to the quantitative techniques in business to effectively carry out statistical analysis. You will learn all about quantitative material, including the collection, collation, analysis and interpretation of data.

To broaden your knowledge of business, you will choose at least two from a suite of Year 2 courses including: finance, marketing, innovation and entrepreneurship, organisation studies, international business, business analytics, organising for social change, business economics, business simulation.

You may also choose other courses or continue with your studies in other subject areas (subject to availability and timetabling constraints).

Year 3

You will study 3 compulsory courses:

  • Strategic Management

  • Business Research Methods II: Applications and Analysis

  • Research in Management

Hands-on projects with companies are the defining feature of the Strategic Management course. You will be allocated to particular company projects working in teams and senior executives will brief you on the challenges and the backgrounds to the projects to get you started and then you will present your findings to the client.

Business Research Methods II introduces further aspects of business research and demonstrates the fundamental role and importance it plays in the making of business decisions. Topics include research approaches and philosophies; qualitative methodologies and methods; qualitative data analysis and interpretation. You will also be introduced to a range of research methods and support to prepare for your Management Honours Dissertation in Year 4.

You will also choose two or more specialist Honours courses in Business building on the knowledge and skills you gained in your Year 2, for example: global business, finance, marketing, innovation and entrepreneurship, business economics, HR management, business analytics etc.

It is also possible to choose one or two Honours courses in other subject areas subject to meeting the pre-requisite requirements, availability and timetabling constraints.

Year 4

Central to Year 4 is your Management Honours Dissertation. This is an independent research project that you will conduct on a topic of your choosing that is closely linked to your degree programme. It gives you the opportunity to develop advanced project management and critical thinking skills whilst also helping you to develop your cognitive, analytical, creative, evaluative and written communication skills. You will also develop a strong capacity to develop, build and present arguments to a wider audience.

You will be allocated a Dissertation advisor who will offer advice and guidance throughout your Management Honours Dissertation. This will be further supplemented by dissertation support sessions and hangouts where you can share your experiences, learn from each other and get timely advice form the dissertation team.

As in Year 3, you choose at least two more specialist Honours courses in Business or one or two Honours courses in other subject areas.

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 (2020/21)

Our facilities

Teaching takes place in the Central Area of the University.

Study abroad

The University's Business School exchange programme offers exciting opportunities to study abroad in Year 3. Available partner universities in Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Canada or the USA vary from one year to the next. We publish an up-to-date list to our students each year.

To participate in our study abroad programme, you will need to achieve an average mark of at least 55 per cent in Year 1 to be eligible to study abroad in Year 3.

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

Courses are taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, practical exercises and computer-based learning.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed on presentations, reports, essays, exams and individual and group projects.

Programme details

Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.

To give you an idea of what to expect from 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 details (2020/21)

Business graduates are highly valued by employers across the world. Our business-related programmes will help you develop the necessary personal and professional competences required to work across a range of roles central to contemporary business.

You will have a choice of careers open to you, including management, consulting, finance, marketing and human resources.

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: AAAAA-AAAA (achievement by end of S5 preferred). BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S5.
  • A Levels: AAA - ABB.
  • IB: 43 points with 776 at HL - 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-S5.
  • 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: no specific Higher subjects required. National 5s: Mathematics at B and English at C.
  • A Levels: no specific A Level subjects required. GCSEs: Mathematics at B or 6 and English at C or 4.
  • IB: HL: no specific subjects required. SL: English at 5 and either Mathematics at 5 or Mathematical Studies at 6.

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

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


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
  • SQA Standard Grade at 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 at A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 at C
  • GCSE/IGSCE at C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate Grade 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 module overall 7.0 with 6.0 in each component
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition) 100 or above with 20 in each section. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 185 with 169 in each component
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

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

English language qualifications must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the degree you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

English language requirements

*(Revised 27 April 2020 to include TOEFL-iBT Special Home Edition.)

As this degree is very popular, we strongly recommend that international students apply by 15 January 2021 as we can't guarantee to consider all applications after this date.

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 Business Management

Additional costs

If studying abroad in Year 3, your costs will vary by country. In Year 4 you will undertake a dissertation and, depending on the field of study you choose, there may be costs associated with undertaking surveys and conducting interviews.


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