MA Accounting and Business
UCAS code: NN14
Duration: 4 years
School: Business School
College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
Introducing MA Accounting and Business
This programme combines the study of accounting and finance to prepare you for the social, political, environmental and cultural challenges facing contemporary businesses, governments and not-for-profit organisations.
Taught by world-leading industry professionals and researchers, you will develop personal and professional competencies such as:
- authentic leadership
- ethical, responsible, sustainable business behaviour
- entrepreneurial practice
- effective communication
This will enable you to work across a range of roles in contemporary business including:
- accountancy and finance
- human resource management
- data analytics
- entrepreneurship and innovation
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.
Environment for learning
We offer a supportive and encouraging environment where you can grow and develop. Our Student Experience Team offers an extensive range of personal and professional services to support you on your undergraduate journey.
We provide a variety of opportunities for you to engage in co- 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.
This degree offers the opportunity to study abroad in Year 3. More information can be found in the below section ‘Where you will study’.
Our school and programmes are accredited by a range of world-leading business education organisations and professional bodies. We have strong links to the world of practice through:
This ensures that our school and programmes are:
- attuned to world-leading thinking and practice in business education
- actively and continuously engaging with, and responding to the needs of employers
It also ensures that you will be work-ready and prepared for entering the diverse range of globally available career opportunities post-graduation.
This programme holds double accreditation from international ranking bodies:
- Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
- European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS)
This Accounting and Business programme is also 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 and 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 through 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 stipulated by the accountancy organisation
Other terms and conditions may also apply. You will need to check with the relevant accountancy organisation for full details.
Successful completion of the examinations and attainment of professional membership status is regarded as a highly coveted and respected accounting qualification worldwide.
Your Year 1 courses will provide an introduction to:
- business and its global environment
You will broaden your knowledge of essential business subjects and continue your study of accounting.
You should enrol in the Principles of Finance and Law for Business courses in order to gain full accreditation from professional accounting organisations.
You may also choose one option course from across the University. This is subject to availability and timetabling constraints.
As you progress to the Honours level, you will continue to specialise in your chosen area of accounting, building on financial and management accounting studied in Years 1 and 2.
You will also choose one more specialist Honours course in business.
Your Management Honours Dissertation is central to Year 4. You will conduct an independent research project on a topic of your choosing that is closely linked to your degree programme.
You will also study two more Honours courses in both accounting and business.
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.
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 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
For specialist business analytics, business research and finance related courses, we have dedicated teaching labs. These labs include associated software and databases. We also have our own Business School Cafe.
Studying abroad is a fantastic opportunity to gain an insight into the global business dimension, and the cultures and languages of the individual markets we deal with.
Depending on your degree, a year abroad might be compulsory or optional. To be inspired, read stories by Edinburgh students about their experiences abroad.
A wide range of international experiences are available, including studying abroad at one of our partner universities and business schools in:
- New Zealand
Your choice of partner university will depend on your degree programme/availability of courses in the subject area.
The benefits of studying abroad
Living and studying abroad will give you the opportunity to try new things such as:
- learning a language
- taking on new challenges
- enhancing your academic perspective
- visiting new places
- meeting new people
Your self-confidence will improve and you will develop valuable skills for the future, all of which are highly valued by employers.
All Business School students have the option of studying abroad. However, you will need a strong academic performance in Year 1 (minimum first-year average 60%) to be offered a place at one of our partner universities/business schools.
How will I learn?
We embrace a variety of different teaching methods including:
- computer laboratories (you will learn software packages, data interpretation and analysis)
- workshops (you will work with a tutor on practical problem-based learning)
- tutorials (you will engage with tutors in discussion and analysis, and where you might undertake peer-group projects and presentations)
- one-to-one meetings with course lecturers/tutors/student advisers
- independent learning throughout your studies (in particular for your Honours dissertation research)
You will be taught by:
- experienced subject-specific lecturers
- industry professionals
- research-led academics
- internationally renowned guest speakers
We have a number of leading academics who have designed and developed courses specific to their research, particularly in Years 3 and 4.
Support for learning
We offer a motivating and encouraging environment where you can grow and develop as an independent learner.
You will be guided and supported throughout your studies by our dedicated student experience team who offer:
- enhanced course and programme guidance
- wellbeing, professional and academic advice
- study skills development
We also have an excellent peer support service that can help you develop your study skills. The university offers a ‘one-stop shop’ - EdHelp - where you can get help and advice on everything from finance to counselling, accommodation, and accessing IT and library resources.
How will I be assessed?
Courses are assessed by a range of methods and often take the form of formative work. This provides you with ongoing feedback, and summative assessment, on which your final course grade is achieved.
Some of these assessment methods are:
- blogs (written and/or video)
- business plan and/or feasibility analysis
- case study analysis
- computer-based timed assignments
- consultancy reports
- reflective diaries/journals
- exams - these might be closed book, multiple choice, oral (group or individual), short questions, seen case study/unseen exam question, open book, timed submission, and so on
- portfolios (paper and/or online)
- presentations (face-to-face/video; group and individual)
- projects (group and individual)
- technical workshops
- your dissertation
Many of your assessments will involve:
- industry engagement
- real case examples
- practical solutions to contemporary business problems
A very small number of courses are assessed using only a single, written examination or coursework assignment. Most courses employ two or more forms of assessment, and a growing number combine both individual and group-based activities to develop subject-specific knowledge and transferable skills.
Accounting and business graduates are highly valued by employers worldwide and graduates of our programmes are highly sought after by a wide range of employers.
Our graduates secure employment in a diverse range of fields, the most popular being:
- human resources
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.
During your time as a student in the Business School and following graduation, the 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: no specific Higher subjects required. National 5s: Mathematics at B and English at C.
- A Levels: no specific A Level subjects required. GCSEs: Mathematics at B or 6 and English at C or 4.
- IB: HL: no specific subjects required. SL: English at 5 and Mathematics at 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.
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 7.0 with at least 6.0 in each component.
- TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 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 185 with at least 169 in each component.
- Trinity ISE: ISE III with passes in all four components.
- PTE Academic: total 70 with at least 59 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.
If studying abroad in Year 3 is a compulsory part of your degree programme (International Business), your costs will vary depending on the country/partner university. Additional costs may include:
- visa requirements
- internet access
In Year 4 you will undertake 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.