MA Economics and Accounting
UCAS code: LN14
Duration: 4 years
College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
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)
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 stipulated 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.
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
In Year 2, you will study:
- Economics 2
- Accountancy 2A and 2B
- Statistical Methods for Economics
You will also take one optional course.
In Year 3, you will study:
- Topics in Microeconomics
- Essentials of Econometrics
- 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.
- 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
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.
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 on this programme takes place across the Central Area campus. You will have access to all the University's libraries and computer labs.
The Business School is located in a dedicated Business School building in George Square, in the middle of the central campus.
All business teaching takes place across the central campus. However, you may be required (based on your course selection) to travel to the King’s Buildings if you are studying courses in Science and Engineering.
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.
The School of Economics exchange programme offers you the opportunity to study in locations in:
The University's exchange programmes are spread all over the world.
How will I learn?
You will be taught through a combination of:
- web-based learning
Our Economics Help Desk offers help and support throughout your programme.
The peer-assisted learning schemes EconPALS and BizPALS aim to help first-year students develop their learning and study strategies.
How will I be assessed?
You will be assessed by exams and coursework, including:
- problems sets
- project reports
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
- 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:
- work in aid agencies
- not-for-profit organisations
- government departments
Many graduates have entered the finance sector and 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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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
- 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.
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.
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:
- the costs of insurance
- visa requirements
- internet access
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
- 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.
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