Undergraduate study - 2024 entry
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MA Economics and Statistics

UCAS code: LG13

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Economics

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA Economics and Statistics

Statistical techniques are an important tool if you are interested in economic theory (for example, risk management and finance) or applied economic analysis (econometrics).

This joint programme will provide you with a thorough and rigorous understanding of statistical principles. This complements the basic grounding in statistical techniques provided within our economics programme.

Who is this programme for?

This programme is suitable if you are interested in pursuing a relatively technical career in areas such as finance and insurance (including actuarial work). It may also appeal 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.

The School of Mathematics offers an optional course, Introduction to Data Science. You will learn to collect and explore data, before using models and predictions in order to make rigorous conclusions.

In addition to these courses, some students will also take our online course, Fundamentals of Algebra and Calculus. This introductory course provides extra preparation in key topics from advanced mathematics and supports the transition to university.

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.

Year 3

You will study:

  • Topics in Microeconomics
  • Essentials of Econometrics
  • Statistical Methodology
  • Stochastic Modelling
  • Statistical Computing

Plus either:

  • Applications of Econometrics, or
  • Topics in Macroeconomics

You will also study one of the following:

  • Theory of Statistical Inference
  • Multivariate Data Analysis
  • Statistical Learning
  • Applied Statistics

You will choose one honours option course from economics, or two from statistics.

Year 4

You will complete an economics honours dissertation or a project in mathematics (double).

You will also study:

  • two economics honours option courses
  • two mathematics option courses

You will have a wide range of optional courses to choose from, influenced by the varied research specialisms in each school.

The School of Mathematics offers a large selection of courses, such as:

  • Pure and Applied Mathematics
  • Statistics
  • Operational Research
  • Financial Mathematics
  • Mathematical Biology and Mathematical Education

You will be able to tailor your programme to meet your specific statistical (and mathematical) interests.

To find out more about the School of Mathematics' broad ranging research interests, take a look at our Researchers on Record video series.

Researchers on Record | School of Mathematics

Current mathematics courses include:

  • General Topology
  • Essentials in Analysis and Probability
  • Entrepreneurship in the Mathematical Sciences

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

It is worth noting that as these two subjects are based on different campuses, you will likely need to travel between campuses for classes.

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

The School of Mathematics is based in the James Clerk Maxwell Building at the King's Buildings campus. Your mathematics teaching will take place at the King's Buildings campus throughout your degree.

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:

  • the 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 discussions 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.

In workshops, you will work with five or six 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 broad-ranging support from within the School of Mathematics, including:

  • drop-in Year 1 mathematics support
  • our peer-assisted learning scheme, MathPALS
  • Mathematics Student Services team

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed by exams and coursework, including:

  • problem sets
  • essays
  • project reports
  • presentations

In Year 4, you will complete an honours dissertation.

Mathematics assessments

Mathematics courses are mostly assessed through exams.

In your first and second year, these exams are primarily 'open book' exams, where you can use your textbook and notes. This allows you to concentrate on understanding and using the ideas and concepts involved, rather than memorising procedures.

In later years, there is a mixture of open and closed book exams, depending on the course.

Most mathematics courses have regular assessments throughout the year, both written and online, so you can get feedback on your progress. These typically count for a small part of your course grade.

Later in the degree, there are some courses available which are entirely assessed by coursework, usually in the form of reports, posters, projects or presentations.

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
  • 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 mathematics project scholarship to work with a university lecturer during the summer

Employability support

The School of Mathematics regularly invites alumni back to the School to share their experiences with students and to showcase the varied 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 (achievement by end of S5 preferred). BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S5.
  • 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: 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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

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.

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 Statistics

Additional costs

Textbooks are required, which cost about £100.


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