The course

UCAS code
Up to 4 years
Delivery type

The study of Economics at Heriot-Watt University is underpinned by the work of globally respected researchers. Our flexible degrees focus on making a difference in the real world and have the 3rd best Student Satisfaction in the UK (NSS2019).



Our Economics MA degree is underpinned by the work of world-leading researchers who design and teach our degrees with a real-world focus. We begin at an introductory level so you don’t need to have any previous knowledge in economics to study the course.

Heriot-Watt University has been ranked 1st in Scotland and 3rd in the United Kingdom for Economics in the Guardian University League Tables 2018, behind only Oxford and Cambridge.

One reason for our exceptional ranking is our ‘value-added’ score which has been the best in the UK for 6 of the past 7 years. Value-Added is a rating given to all universities in the UK which measures the first and upper-second class degrees achieved by students against their entry qualifications.

Our degree uses a flexible structure to let you tailor your studies and follow your own particular interest, allowing you to study Economics as a specialism or with an additional discipline through our five specialist pathways:

  • MA (Hons) Economics and Accountancy
  • MA (Hons) Economics and Business Law
  • MA (Hons) Economics and Business Management
  • MA (Hons) Economics and Finance
  • MA (Hons) Economics and Marketing

As a result of this flexibility,  your Economics degree will prepare you for a wide range of successful careers in economics, banking, finance, consultancy or business management. You can also continue with further studies in economics and related subjects like recent graduates who have gone on to study PhDs at world-leading institutions such as Harvard and Cambridge.

Read on for a break-down of the degree structure and for further details about the destinations of our graduates. 


Bloomberg Experiential Learning Partner

Heriot-Watt University is accredited as a Bloomberg Experiential Learning Partner, recognising us as a leader in experiential learning in the area of finance. 

Detailed course information

Course content

Detailed course guide

Year 1

Semester 1

  • Management in a Global Context
  • Introductory Economics
  • Introduction to Accounting

Semester 2

  • Enterprise and its Business Environment
  • The Economy
  • Introduction to Finance
  • Elective

Year 2

Semester 1

  • Intermediate Economics 1: Theory & Techniques (30 credits)
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Elective

Semester 2

  • Intermediate Economics 2
  • Contemporary Economic Policy & Institutions
  • Statistical Techniques
  • Elective

Year 3

Semester 1

  • Introductory Econometrics
  • Advanced Economics 1

Semester 2

  • Econometrics Project
  • Advanced Economics 2

Across both semesters

  • One Economics option
  • Three electives

Year 4

Semester 1

  • Advanced Economic Policy 1

Semester 2

  • Advanced Economic Policy 2

Across both semesters

  • Four Economics options
  • Two options from Accountancy & Finance, Economics or Business Management


Work and study

This is what our MA (Hons) Economics students are doing six months after graduating:

  • 70% are working
  • 5% are studying
  • 15% are working and studying.

Managerial/professional position

  • 85% of those working are in a professional/managerial position six months after graduating.


  • The average salary of students six months after graduating: £24000
  • The average UK salary of students six months after graduating from a similar course: £24000


These are the most common jobs students go into six months after graduating:

  • Business and public service associate professionals
  • Business, research and administrative professionals
  • Elementary occupations
  • Information technology and telecommunications professionals
  • Science, engineering and technology associate professionals
  • Sales occupations


Employers include:

  • Procurement Specialist | BP Oil & Gas
  • Economics Analyst | Mediacom
  • Graduate Economist | PwC Consulting
  • Junior Consultant | Ernst & Young
  • Trainee Medical Underwriter | Royal London Group
  • Management Consultant | PA Consulting
  • Graduate Retail Banker | Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Business Consultant | Ernst & Young

Entry requirements

Year 1

Standard entry requirements
  • Highers AAAB (over two sittings)
  • A-Levels BBB
  • Int. Baccalaureate 29 points
  • BTEC DDM (Accountancy, Business, Economics, Finance preferred)
  • HNC B in graded unit (Accounting or Business preferred)

Minimum entry requirements*

  • Highers BBBC
  • A-Levels BCC

* Minimum: under our Fair Access Policy, we will relax our standard entry requirements for some Scottish students depending on their circumstances. Our minimum requirements will apply if you:

  • live in an area within the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation lowest 20% (SIMD20), or
  • are care experienced.

We can also make exceptions for some Scottish students with grades above minimum but below standard. Read more about our Minimum and standard entry requirements

Year 2

  • Advanced Highers BB (AAAB at Higher to include Maths or AAAB plus Maths Higher C)
  • A-Levels ABB (at least one of the following preferred: Accounting, Business or Economics and AS Level Maths C)
  • Int. Baccalaureate 34 points (including Maths or Economics at Higher Level 5)
  • HND BB in graded units (Accounting or Business required)

Additional information

English language requirements

  • If English is not your first language, you have to show that your English is good enough to succeed on your course. Please see our English language requirements.


Tuition fees for 2019 entry (by residency status)
Status* Scotland / EU** England / Northern Ireland / Wales*** International
Fee Paid by SAAS £9,250 £14,640

* 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. Find out more about tuition fees.

** European Union countries (not including England, Northern Ireland or Wales).

*** 'Rest of the UK' (RUK) students entering at Level 1 receive a fee waiver of one year's tuition fee. Normally this will be the final year, or a year during which students study abroad (either at a partnership institution, or at one of Heriot-Watt's overseas campuses).

Additional costs

You may incur additional costs in the course of your studies at Heriot-Watt over and above tuition fees in an academic year. Depending on your programme of study, these may include: protective equipment, field trips, professional memberships, studio fees, required course texts or other study resources.

Scholarships and bursaries

Featured scholarships

Bursaries for students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales starting undergraduate degree courses in 2020

In addition to government loans and grants towards the costs of fees and living costs, we are offering generous financial support to attract and support eligible students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales:

Merit Awards for international students starting undergraduate degree courses in 2019

If you are an international fee-paying, self-funded applicant and have achieved, or are on course to achieve, the minimum entry requirements for the programme you wish to study you may be eligible for:

View our full range of undergraduate scholarships.