Undergraduate study - 2025 entry
Edinburgh: Extraordinary futures await.

MA Economics and Accounting

UCAS code: LN14

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Economics

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing MA Economics and Accounting

Economics and Accounting are complementary, both in terms of knowledge and the wider-ranging skills they help develop, such as IT and data interpretation (for example, corporate and public sector accounts).

Studying this combined programme will help you understand the economic incentives that shape and reconcile the important decisions made by individuals, businesses, governments and societies.

Accountancy is the fastest-growing area of business activity. The 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.

This combined programme is suitable if you are planning to take accountancy qualifications after graduation.

Environment for learning

We offer a supportive and encouraging environment where you can grow and develop. Our student experience team offer an extensive range of pastoral and professional provision to support you on your undergraduate journey.

We provide many varied opportunities for you to engage in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. Our dedicated Student Development Team can help you develop a range of essential business graduate competencies.

Further development opportunities

You may take undergraduate 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 Award

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


Accounting 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)

Professional accountancy membership

If you decide to undertake a professional accounting examination with an accountancy organisation (after you graduate), the proposed structure of the degree programme will allow you to be exempt from a number of subjects.

You can apply to join via the graduate entry route and will be awarded the appropriate exemptions (based upon our existing accreditation arrangements with the respective accountancy organisation) when you enrol for their professional examinations.

Professional membership to a professional accountancy organisation is subject to:

  • the terms and conditions specified
  • passing the required examinations
  • having a minimum period of work-related experience (as specified by the accountancy organisation)

Other terms and conditions may also apply. Check with the relevant accountancy organisation for full details.

Successful completion of the examinations and attainment of professional membership status with a professional accountancy organisation is regarded as a highly coveted and respected accounting qualification worldwide.

Year 1

In Year 1 you will study:

  • Economics 1
  • Accountancy 1A and 1B
  • Digital Literacy for Business - Information
  • Digital Literacy for Business - Data

You will also take one optional course.


You will take two accounting courses where you will:

  • examine the basic principles and underlying concepts of accounting
  • explore the ways in which accounting statements and financial information can be used to improve the quality of decision-making
  • learn how accounting relates to the broader context of the strategic and operational aspects of business

You will also:

  • produce financial statements from the relevant transactions and events affecting organisations
  • analyse, interpret and facilitate the use of accounting information
  • relate accounting to the broader context of the strategic and operational aspects of organisations

The study of internal management accounting systems places particular emphasis on:

  • cost calculation and control
  • the provision of information for managerial decision-making and performance evaluation

Year 2

In Year 2 you will study:

  • Economics 2
  • Accountancy 2A and 2B
  • Statistical Methods for Economics

You will also take one optional course.

Year 3

In Year 3 you will study:

  • Topics in Microeconomics
  • Essentials of Econometrics
  • Auditing
  • Management Accounting Applications

You will also take either Applications of Econometrics or Topics in Macroeconomics and one economics or accounting honours option course.

The two accounting courses build on accounting studied in Years 1 and 2.

You will:

  • develop a critical understanding of conceptual issues
  • enhance your technical and analytical skills
  • gain an understanding of the principles underlying the theory of auditing, the regulatory framework and practical audit approaches and techniques
  • develop an appreciation of the benefits and limitations of management accounting systems in organisational contexts
  • critically interpret the use of management information, control and performance measurement

Year 4

In Year 4 you will complete a dissertation in economics or in management.

You will also take:

  • the compulsory Advanced Financial Accounting course
  • one accounting honours options
  • two economics honours options

The Advanced Financial Accounting course builds on financial accounting studied in Years 1 and 2. You will explore some of the more complex and controversial areas of financial reporting.

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 (2024/25)

Our facilities

All teaching takes place across the central campus. However, you may be required (based on your course selection) to travel to King’s Buildings if you are studying courses in Science and Engineering.

Business School

The Business School is located in a dedicated building in George Square, in the middle of the central campus.

You will have access to:

  • specialist business resources in the central Main Library (books, journals, databases)
  • dedicated student experience and student development support

We have dedicated teaching labs (and associated software and databases) for:

  • specialist business analytics
  • business research
  • finance-related courses

We also have our own Business School Cafe.

Study abroad

The School of Economics exchange programme offers you the opportunity 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?

You will be taught through a combination of:

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

The peer-assisted learning schemes, including BizPALS, aims to help first-year students transition into higher education, develop their learning and study strategies as well as to provide opportunities to socialise.

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.

Some of the assessment methods we use include:

  • blogs (written and/or video)
  • case study analysis
  • computer-based timed assignments
  • consultancy reports
  • reflective diaries/journals
  • essays
  • exams (types include closed book, multiple choice, group oral, individual oral, short questions, seen case study, unseen exam question, open book, timed submission)
  • presentations (these may be face-to-face or via video, and in a group or individually)
  • projects (group and individual)

Our graduates are highly regarded by employers.

The skills you develop will equip you for careers in areas such as:

  • accountancy
  • business
  • management
  • consultancy
  • work in aid agencies
  • not-for-profit organisations
  • government departments

Many graduates have entered the finance sector. Some large financial firms actively recruit Edinburgh graduates.

Accountancy graduates can train to become a qualified accountant through a traineeship with an accountancy or commercial firm. Alternatively you can choose a career in taxation, finance or banking.

Our Careers Service will help you fully develop your potential and achieve your future goals.

Careers Service

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: 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: Mathematics at B. Higher Applications of Mathematics is not accepted in place of Higher Mathematics. National 5s: English at C.
  • A Levels: Mathematics at B, or AS Mathematics at A. GCSEs: English at C or 4.
  • IB: HL: Mathematics 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.We do not accept IELTS One Skill Retake to meet our English language requirements.
  • 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 65 with at least 54 in each component. We do not accept 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

(*Revised 24 May 2024 to change PTE Academic requirement from total 62 with at least 54 in each component, and to clarify that we do not accept PTE Academic online.)

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 Accounting

Additional costs

Textbooks are required, which cost about £100.

If you study abroad in Year 3, your costs will vary depending on the country and partner university.

Additional costs while studying abroad may include:

  • costs of 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


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