MA (Hons) Accountancy and Finance

The course

UCAS code
4 years
Delivery type

Edinburgh Business School at Heriot-Watt's MA (Hons) Accountancy and Finance degree is accredited by all major professional accountancy bodies in the UK. The course prepare students for professional life and features Bloomberg Trading Terminals.


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Edinburgh is the UK’s second biggest financial centre outside of London, and Heriot-Watt University enjoys a well-established reputation in the world of accountancy and financial services.

MA (Hons) Accountancy and Finance at the Edinburgh Business School is designed and taught by practising professionals and respected academics. It offers you the chance to develop the skills and knowledge needed for a successful career in accountancy and financial services. 

Accountancy with an industry focus

The industry focus of this degree, and its breadth of accreditations, makes it possible for you to gain the maximum number of exemptions from professional accountancy exams, offering the strongest possible foundation from which to launch your career.

You can enhance your employability in the area of finance through use of our state-of-the-art Bloomberg Trading Room. This professional-standard facility provides access to live financial data from global markets and organisations. Integrating the use of Bloomberg Terminals into our teaching develops professionally relevant skills in data analysis, financial reporting, financial risk management and financial modelling. 

The majority of our MA (Hons) Accountancy and Finance graduates go on to become chartered accountants in either professional practice, industry, or the public sector, but many go on to successful careers in banking and finance.

What skills will I gain from the MA Accountancy and finance degree?

This accounting and finance degree helps students to develop a broad understanding of the contexts in which modern accounting operates. It examines the legal and ethical contexts, introduces insight into accountancy as a profession, and analyses business entities and the capital markets in which they operate.

 Throughout this four-year degree, you will develop key accountancy expertise in a number of areas, including: 

  • Recording and summarising transactions
  • Preparing and analysing financial statements
  • Analysing business operations
  • Conducting financial analysis
  • Introducing and reporting projections.

On the financial side, you will gain theoretical knowledge and practical skills in the areas of:

  • Asset pricing
  • Portfolio construction 
  • Corporate finance
  • Financial risk management
  • Capital markets.

Why study at Heriot-Watt?

Edinburgh is home to a thriving financial industry being the second financial hub in the UK, it has played a key role in shaping the financial landscape and has informed our teaching program. Sitting within our Edinburgh Business School our faculty and industry experts will prepare you for a rewarding career in the financial sector.

Our accrediting bodies introduce students to professional standard software in our state of the art Bloomberg Trading Room. This professional-standard facility provides access to live financial data from global markets and organisations. Integrating the use of Bloomberg terminals into our teaching helps students to develop professionally relevant skills in data analysis, financial modelling and reporting and other key skills.

Global College foundation pathway for Accountancy and Finance

If you do not meet the entry requirements for MA (Hons) Accountancy and Finance, you might consider foundation entry with Heriot-Watt Global College, where you can follow our Accounting and Finance with Accelerator Programme pathway which will gain you admission into the second year of this programme.


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.

We are currently working with the following accreditation bodies to gain the maximum exemptions possible for this degree: 

The Accountancy and Finance degree programmes are accredited with the professional bodies AIA, ACCA, CIMA, ICAEW and ICAS.  There are potentially nine exemptions depending on the options taken and the professional qualification sought.  

Poppy Anderson

I wanted to become a chartered accountant so I liked how MA Accountancy and Finance offered exemptions from the professional exams. In 3rd year I did Go Global and studied at the Malaysia Campus. The class sizes were smaller so we got 1 on 1 teaching and I met some great friends and travelled all over South East Asia.

Poppy Anderson - Financial Analyst, JP Morgan Chase & Co, MA (Hons) Accountancy and Finance (2019)

Course content

Year 1

 Semester 1

  • Introduction to Accounting and Finance
  • Introduction to Marketing
  • Management in a Global Context
  • Academic Skills

Semester 2

  • The Economy 
  • Discovery Business 
  • Becoming a Professional
  • Elective 

Year 2

Semester 1

  • Principles of Accounting 
  • Fundamentals of Finance 
  • Elective

Semester 2

  • Financial Accounting 
  • Management Accounting in Organisations
  • Quantitative Methods 1
  • Financial Markets Theory

Year 3

Semester 1

  • Intermediate Financial Accounting 
  • Management Accounting Techniques and Decisions
  • Corporate Financial Theory 
  • Introduction to Commercial Law

Semester 2

  • Business Law and the Law of Corporate Governance
  • Business Research Methods
  • Choose two from:
    • Managing Corporate Value
    • Auditing and Assurance 
    • Applied Financial Modelling in Python 
    • Financial Derivatives 
    • Taxation (Tax Law)

Year 4

Semester 1 

  • Accounting Information Systems and Technology 
  • Choose two from:
    • Agency Theory and Corporate Governance
    • Risk Management
    • International Bonds and Currency Markets 

Semester 2 

  • Choose two from: 
    • Strategic Management Accounting
    • Corporate Reporting and Theory
    • Contemporary Issues in Financial Accounting
    • Accounting History
  • Choose one from: 
    • Contemporary Issues in Finance
    • Equity Markets and Fund Management

Discover Uni course data

Discover Uni provides data on each university's degree courses across a range of measures including student satisfaction, graduate jobs and salaries.


Work and study

This is what our MA (Hons) Accountancy and Finance students are doing 15 months after graduating:

  • 71% are working
  • 2% are studying
  • 16% are working and studying.


  • The average salary of students 15 months after graduating: £23000
  • The average UK salary of students 15 months after graduating from a similar course: £24000

Potential career paths

  • Finance Professionals
  • Business and public service associate professionals

Entry requirements

Year 1

Standard entry requirements for the first year of our MA (Hons) Accounting and Finance Degree are as follows:

  • Scottish Highers of AABB
  • A-Levels of BBC - ABB 
  • 29 International Baccalaureate points 
  • BTEC awards of DDM (in relevant subjects; business, accountancy or finance preferred.)
  • Higher National Certificate of B in graded unit 

Minimum entry requirements for the first year of the course include*:

  • Scottish Highers of BBC
  • A-Levels of  BBC - ABB 

* Under our Fair Access Policy, we will relax our standard entry requirements for 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

Standard entry requirements for the second year of our MA (Hons) Accounting and Finance Degree are as follows:

  • Advanced Scottish Highers of BB (including at least one: Accountancy, Business, Economics, Maths plus AAAB at Higher)
  • A-Levels of ABB (including at least one of: Accountancy, Business, Economics, Maths)
  • 34 International Baccalaureate points (including at least one of: Accountancy, Business, Economics, Maths at Higher Level 5)
  • Higher National Certificate of A in graded unit Accounting
  • Higher National Distinction of BBB in graded units (Accounting or Business)
  • Global College Successful completion of Accounting and Finance with Accelerator Programme

Year 3

Standard entry requirements for the third year of our MA (Hons) Accounting and Finance Degree are as follows:

  • Higher National Distinction of AAA in graded units (Accounting)

Additional information

English language requirements

Please see our English language requirements for further information.


Tuition fees for 2024 entry
Status* Scotland England / Wales / N Ireland / Rep of Ireland International**
Fee Paid by SAAS £9,250 £18,704

* 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.

** '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). Read more about the application process for EU nationals.

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

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 undergraduate students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales:

  • Heriot-Watt University Bursary (up to £3,100 per year)
View details about the Heriot-Watt University Bursary

View our full range of undergraduate scholarships.