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Key information

Our MSc Accounting degree focuses on the practical skills you’ll need to succeed in any sector that requires expertise in accountancy.

Postgraduate Taught
Delivery type
Full Time
Degree qualification
Mode of delivery
1 year
Start date

During this master's degree, you’ll gain in-depth knowledge of theoretical and practical accounting and be able to combine this knowledge with analytical techniques, to advise and act as consultants in key decision-making. The MSc will provide you with the skills to identify the risks in a business management context and recommend ways to mitigate such risks.  

The programme offers specialised modules in areas such as accounting, auditing, and tax. You’ll learn about, and evaluate, a comprehensive range of research techniques, and understand how they are put into practice to create and interpret knowledge. You’ll also carry out your own research as part of your independent research project. 

You’ll focus on real-world problems and explore ways accounting can help to address them. You’ll explore a range of organisational contexts and practices which will set you up for a professional accountancy career. Accredited and approved by several accountancy bodies and taught by professionally qualified staff you’ll gain professional qualifications in any accounting-related field with a focus on grant exemptions in the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Qualification or Foundations in Accountancy awards.   

Your student experience

Our MSc Accountancy programme is taught with a clear industry focus by experienced professionals and respected academics. They are accredited by professional bodies and will introduce you to professional-standard software in our state-of-the-art Bloomberg Trading Room

Go Global

With Go Global, Heriot-Watt's global student programme, you can carry your studies to new places and experience new cultures, expanding your horizons on the way. You'll discover what it means to be a true global citizen and emerge prepared for wherever your career journey will take you.

Inter-Campus Transfer

Some of our Postgraduate Taught Masters Programmes are eligible for Inter-Campus Transfer. Please contact for further information.

Course content

September Intake - Edinburgh

Financial Management

Financial Management will provide you with an understanding of different strategies companies follow to maximise shareholder wealth. The course aims to provide an understanding of how finance theories are applied to a variety of practical situations and will enable you to gain practical experience of research and analysis in a financial strategy context.

Financial Accounting and Reporting

Financial Accounting and Reporting will enable you to prepare a set of financial statements in accordance with the relevant accounting standards and will also provide an understanding of issues, principles and theories underlying current developments in financial accounting and reporting.

Auditing Assurance and Professional Ethics

Auditing and Assurance will introduce you to the theory and practice of Auditing. You will examine the role and objectives of an audit. The context in which audits are carried out and the practical skills required for auditors.


Taxation will help you develop a strong understanding of the theoretical framework of taxation. We will teach you the practical skills and knowledge of UK personal income and capital gain tax rules and calculations alongside UK Corporation tax rules and calculations.

International Managerial Accounting

International managerial accounting will enable you to assess and apply a range of accounting techniques that are used for performance evaluation and for decision-making and control in the management of companies and their organisations nationally and internationally.

Research Methods

The Research methods course will prepare you for your dissertation and for future research in the academic or non-academic sectors. You will be exposed to both dominant modes of research in accountancy and finance which are qualitative and quantitative and you will also be given practical help on the steps required for the successful completion of the MSc level dissertation.

Ethics and Governance

Ethics and governance aims to create awareness of ethical responsibilities in professional accountants to enable them to resolve ethical issues. It also aims to explore the role of accountants in achieving effective governance and to help them understand their role in measuring economic social and environmental performance of organisations and their implications on different stakeholders.

Financial Analysis

Financial analysis will provide a systematic understanding of how to analyse the financial performance of an organisation through the use of published financial information. It will provide you with a conceptual understanding of accounting process and insights into the critical areas of advanced professional practise.

Financial Information Systems

Financial Information Systems will enable you to develop an understanding of the concepts as well as the practical skills required by accounting and finance professionals not only as users but also as designers, evaluators and managers of computer based financial information systems.

Comparative financial reporting

Comparative Financial Reporting provides you with an international perspective to the study of accounting so that you can develop an understanding of the reasons for national differences the tendencies towards harmonisation and the problems of multinational companies. This course will also help you to develop skills of analysing and evaluating financial reports prepared in other countries not just within the UK.

Dissertation project

During the final semester and upon successful completion of your prior courses you will write a dissertation which will help you develop a range of research skills and demonstrate specialist accounting knowledge.

Mandatory September

  • Financial Management
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting
  • Taxation

Optional September

  • Corporate Governance and Sustainability
  • Financial Analysis

Mandatory January

  • Research Philosophy and Practice
  • Auditing, Assurance and Professional Ethics
  • International Managerial Accounting

Optional January

  • Comparative Financial Reporting
  • Financial Information Systems

Mandatory May

  • Accounting, Banking or Finance Dissertation

Fees and funding

StatusFull Time
  • Status: Your residency status is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the three years before the start of your course.
  • International: 'International' includes applicants from European Union countries who do not hold Pre-Settled or Settled status in UK. (This does not include students from the Republic of Ireland - see above).

Scholarships and bursaries

Postgraduate scholarships and bursaries

We aim to encourage well-qualified, ambitious students to study with us and we offer a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries to achieve this. Over £6 million worth of opportunities are available in fee and stipend scholarships, and more than 400 students benefit from this support.

View details

Entry requirements

We have standard entry requirements for all of our courses that you will have to meet.

A good Honours degree (first or second class), or its non-UK equivalent, in a relevant subject from a recognised British or overseas university.

Work or project experience in the area of finance will be of further advantage.

Why Heriot-Watt

We're the top university in Scotland for graduate outcomes which means that more of our graduates are employed or in postgraduate education than any other institution in the country and we ranked 5th in the UK.

We're also rated number one in the UK for CEO or MD roles, meaning more of our graduates go on to become CEOs or MDs than any other university in the whole of the UK. On top of that, we have beautiful campuses, across the globe, so you'll get a truly international education. Our Edinburgh Campus is home to Oriam, Scotland's National Sports Performance Centre combined with plenty of wellbeing resources, prioritising fitness and mental health for all students. Our Global Research Institutes look at solving real world issues such as climate change and saving our oceans as well as working on the next medical technological breakthrough and the future of AI and robots.

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