Undergraduate study - 2023 entry
Open to the world

MA Economics and Mathematics

UCAS code: LG11

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Economics

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA Economics and Mathematics

This combined programme complements the basic grounding in and applications of mathematical techniques, provided within the economics programme, with a more thorough and rigorous development of mathematical principles.

Who is the programme for?

The programme provides an excellent background if you want to pursue a relatively technical career in an area such as:

  • finance
  • insurance (including actuarial work)

It is also suitable if you would like to proceed to graduate study of economics.

Year 1

You will study:

  • Economics 1
  • Introduction to Linear Algebra
  • Calculus and its Applications
  • Proofs and Problem Solving

You will also take one option course.

During this year you will have access to mathematics support from the MathsBase, our popular walk-in help centre.

Year 2

You will study:

  • Economics 2
  • Statistics (Year 2)
  • Several Variable Calculus and Differential Equations
  • Fundamentals of Pure Mathematics
  • Probability

You will also take one option course from economics or mathematics.

From this year onwards, you can use the MathsHub, a student-run facility in the James Clerk Maxwell Building which is both a social centre and a work space.

Year 3

You will study:

  • Topics in Microeconomics
  • Essentials of Econometrics
  • either Applications of Econometrics or Topics in Macroeconomics
  • two of the mathematics Honours courses: Algebra, Analysis, Complex Variables and/or Differential Equations

You will also take further optional courses from either economics or mathematics.

Year 4

You will undertake:

  • an economics honours dissertation or a project in mathematics (double)
  • two economics honours option courses
  • two mathematics option courses

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 (2022/23)

Our facilities

For economics courses, teaching takes place in the Central Area.

In Year 1, mathematics classes typically take place in the University's Central Area. In subsequent years, mathematics teaching will take place at the King's Buildings campus, often in the James Clerk Maxwell Building where the School of Mathematics is located.

Please note that your subjects will be taught on different campuses from Year 2 onwards, and so you may need to travel between campuses for classes.

In addition to the University's extensive libraries and computer facilities, you will have access to the School of Mathematics’ facilities, MathsBase and MathsHub.

Take a closer look at all our facilities on the University’s Virtual Visit site

Study abroad

The School of Economics exchange programme offers opportunities to study in locations in:

  • USA
  • Europe

The University's exchange programmes are spread all over the world.

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

Courses are taught through a combination of:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • tutorials
  • workshops
  • web-based learning

Mathematics teaching

Year 1 mathematics lectures are usually interactive. Our lecturers use online voting systems and encourage small group discussion to improve your understanding of core material.

Lectures in later years follow a more 'traditional' lecturing style, but do occasionally incorporate the voting system.

Mathematics lectures are also supported by workshops, our small-group teaching sessions. These sessions are to give you an opportunity to practise applying the concepts learnt in lectures, and develop your understanding further. You will work with 5-6 other students, and a tutor will be on hand to answer questions and support you.

Support facilities

The Economics Help Desk offers students help and support throughout their programme. The peer assisted learning scheme, EconPALS, aims to help first year students develop their learning and study strategies.

You will also have access to support from the MathsBase, our popular walk-in help centre, and from our Mathematics Student Support Team. Year 1 students will also have the option of taking part in the mathematics peer-assisted learning scheme, MathPALS.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed by exams and coursework, including:

  • problems sets
  • essays
  • project reports
  • presentations

In Year 4, you will complete an honours dissertation.

Mathematics Assessments

In the first and second year, mathematics has mainly ‘open book’ exams where you can use a textbook and your notes. This is because we want you to concentrate on understanding and using the ideas and concepts involved, instead of just memorising procedures.

In most maths courses you will have regular assessments (both written and online) so that you can get feedback on your progress. These typically count for a small part of the course grade so that your grade is not only based on the exam. There are a small number of courses offered which are entirely assessed by coursework.

Our graduates are highly regarded by employers. Studying a joint honours degree enables you to develop a wider range of transferable skills, and opens up more varied employment opportunities.

Many of our graduates have entered the finance sector and some large financial firms actively recruit Edinburgh graduates.

The skills you will develop through the study of both subjects will equip you for a broad range of careers, including but not limited to:

  • accountancy
  • business
  • management and consultancy
  • working for aid agencies
  • not-for-profit organisations or government departments
  • software engineering
  • logistics
  • education

Development opportunities

There are many opportunities within the University for you to develop additional skills and enhance your CV. You can:

  • become a Student Ambassador to enthuse prospective students
  • work with the wider community as a member of the Mathematics Outreach Team
  • apply for a project scholarship to work with a university lecturer during the summer

The School of Mathematics regularly invites alumni back to the school to share their experiences with students. This is an opportunity for you to discover the breadth of careers available to graduates with a maths background.

You will also be able to access the School of Mathematics' weekly employability events including:

  • presentations from industry employers
  • alumni careers showcases
  • useful workshops to help you prepare for applying to internships, jobs and further study

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: A*AA - A*AB
  • IB: 39 points with 666 at HL - 37 points with 665 at HL.

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: AABB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S5.
  • A Levels: A*BB.
  • 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: Mathematics at A or Advanced Higher Mathematics at B. Higher Applications of Mathematics is not accepted in place of Higher Mathematics. Sixth-year work in Mathematics is recommended. Your Mathematics qualifications must have been achieved no more than two academic years prior to entry. National 5s: English at C. (Revised 2 May 2022 to include requirement for recent study of Mathematics.)

  • A Levels: Mathematics at A*. Your Mathematics qualifications must have been achieved no more than two academic years prior to entry. GCSEs: English at C or 4. (Revised 2 May 2022 to include requirement for recent study of Mathematics.)

  • IB: HL: Mathematics (Analysis and approaches only) at 6. Your Mathematics qualifications must have been achieved no more than two academic years prior to entry. SL: English at 5. (Revised 2 May 2022 to include requirement for recent study of Mathematics.)

Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

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

Entry requirements by country

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.

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 at C
  • SQA Standard Grade at 3
  • 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.

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, PTE Academic, TOEFL or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

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 Economics and Mathematics

Additional costs

Textbooks are required, which cost about £100.

Funding

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

More information

How to apply

School: Economics

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences