MA Accounting and Finance
UCAS code: NN43
Duration: 4 years
School: Business School
College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
Introducing MA Accounting and Finance
Contemporary global business, be it for profit or not for profit, is fraught with complexity, tensions, and socio-political, economic and cultural challenges. Our accounting-related programmes will prepare you intellectually and practically to embrace these complexities, negotiate tensions and address the wider socio-political and cultural challenges through astute, fiscally appropriate and socially responsible accounting practice.
The study of accountancy and finance provides an extremely strong platform to build a career within or outside the commercial world. Accountants play a crucial role in business, public sector and not for profit organisations. Their ability to measure financial information and make projections affects economic and organisational decision-making at all levels.
Financial accountants report on the performance of an organisation, and management accountants provide financial information to help with planning and strategy.
Accountancy is the fastest growing area of business activity. Equally the world of finance is a crucial aspect of contemporary business. This programme therefore offers a thorough understanding of both these disciplines.
This programme is accredited by the:
- Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)
- Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
- Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
- Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy (CIPFA)
- Association of International Accountants (AIA)
- Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
- Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
- EFMD Quality Improvement System (EQUIS)
You will study Accountancy 1A, an Introduction to Financial Accounting, and Accountancy 1B, an Introduction to Management Accounting.
You will also study Introduction to Financial Markets, Economic Principles, and Global Challenges for Business, which introduces key concepts of management and business including strategy, finance, marketing and the management of people. You will also study Economic Applications or The Business of Edinburgh.
You will study Accountancy 2A, which deals with some of the more complex aspects of financial accounting, such as the preparation of financial statements and Accountancy 2B, which examines the more complex areas of management accounting.
You will learn about cost management topics and costing systems, including activity-based costing, transfer pricing and divisional performance.
You will study Introduction to Corporate Finance as well as Business Research Methods I: Introduction to Data Analysis.
You may choose the courses Applications of Finance or Business Analytics and Information Systems and one other option course from the following business courses:
- Organisational Behaviour
- Business Economics
- HR Management
- International Business
- Innovation and Entrepreneurship
- Business Simulation
- Organising for Social Change: Creating Value and Impact
Alternatively you may take one course option in another subject area, subject to availability and timetabling constraints.
The Business Law course is a further option taught by the School of Law and deals with the main areas of law relevant to accounting, economics and business.
You will study the compulsory courses Advanced Financial Accounting, Auditing, Management Accounting Applications and Investment and Securities Markets.
If your dissertation topic is in accounting you will take the compulsory course Business Research Methods II: Applications and Analysis; if your topic is in finance, your compulsory course will be Research Methods in Finance. You will also study one other course in finance or Decision Analytics.
You will choose two accounting courses from a range of options including:
- Advanced Management Accounting
- Audit Practice; Taxation Practices
- The Accounting Profession
- Accounting and Everyday Life
You will also choose Corporate Finance and one other course in finance, for example, Behavioural Finance and Market Efficiency; Financial Modelling with Excel; Futures and Options.
You will also complete an accounting or finance based research dissertation.
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.
Teaching takes place across the Central Area campus. You will have access to all the University's libraries and computer facilities. Honours students have access to the Business School's Undergraduate Resource Centre, on level 11 of David Hume Tower.
The University's Business School exchange programme offers exciting opportunities to study abroad in Year 3 at one of our partner universities in Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Canada or the USA.
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.
How will I learn?
Courses are taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials and computer workshops.
How will I be assessed?
You will be assessed on presentations, reports, essays, exams and individual and group projects.
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.
Accountancy graduates can train to become a qualified accountant through a traineeship with an accountancy or commercial firm. Alternatively, you can also choose a career in taxation, finance or banking.
Some of our graduates decide to follow a different direction and pursue employment in management positions in the public and private sectors or take up the opportunity to pursue further study at postgraduate level
Standard entry requirement
The standard entry requirement is:
- SQA Highers: AAAA - ABBB by end of S5. If you haven't achieved this by the end of S5 we may consider your application based on a strong performance in S6. A minimum of BBB must be achieved in one set of exams and by end of S5. (Revised 21/06/2019 from 'AAAA - AABB'. Revised 18/10/2019 from 'AAAAA - AABB'. Revised 11/12/2019 from 'AAAAA - ABBB'.)
- A Levels: AAB - ABB. (Revised 21/06/2019 from 'AAB - ABB'. Revised 11/12/2019 from 'AAA - ABB'.)
- IB: 40 points (grades 776 at HL) - 34 points (grades 655 at HL). (Revised 21/06/2019 from '40 (766 at HL) - 34 (655 at HL)'. Revised 11/12/2019 from '43 (766 at HL) - 34 (655 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 set of exams by end of S5.
- A Levels: ABB.
- IB: 34 points (grades 655 at HL).
The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:
- SQA: no specific Higher subjects required. National 5: Mathematics at grade B and English at grade C.
- A Levels: no specific A Level subjects required. GCSEs: Mathematics at grade B or 6 and English at grade C or 4.
- IB: HL: no specific subjects required. SL: Mathematics at grade 5 or Mathematical Studies at grade 6 and English at grade 5.
We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
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.
We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of 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.
SQA, GCSE and IB
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 Grade C
SQA Standard Grade 3
SQA Intermediate 1 Grade A
SQA Intermediate 2 Grade C
GCSE Grade C or 4
Level 2 Certificate Grade C
IB Standard Level Grade 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 100 or above with 20 in each section
Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 185 with 169 in each component
Pearson Test of English (Academic): Total 67 with at least 56 in each "Communicative Skills" section
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 programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.
(Revised 05/06/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)
As this degree is very popular, we strongly recommend that international students apply by 15 January 2020.
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.
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.