MA (Hons) Accountancy and Finance

The course

UCAS code
4 years
Delivery type

Edinburgh Business School’s MA (Hons) Accountancy and Finance degree is accredited by all major professional accountancy bodies in the UK. The course aims to prepare students for professional life and features the use of Bloomberg Trading Terminals.

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2023 Autumn Open Days

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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.

Global College pathway for Accounting and Finance Degree

If you do not meet the entry requirements for this accounting and finance degree, you can have a look at 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 degree.


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 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

  • Introductory Economics
  • 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
  • Financial Markets Theory

Year 3

Semester 1

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

Semester 2

  • Business Entities 
  • Business Research Methods
  • Choose two from:
    • Managing Corporate Value,
    • Applied Financial Modelling
    • Financial Derivatives 

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:

  • 80% are working
  • 0% are studying
  • 10% are working and studying.


  • The average salary of students 15 months after graduating: £22000
  • The average UK salary of students 15 months after graduating from a similar course: £22000

Potential career paths

  • Finance Professionals
  • Business and public service associate professionals

Entry requirements

Year 1

Standard entry requirements

  • Highers AABB (over two sittings)
  • A-Levels BBC - ABB
  • Int. Baccalaureate 29 points
  • BTEC DDM (Business/Accountancy/Finance preferred)
  • HNC B in graded unit

Minimum entry requirements*

  • Highers BBBC
  • A-Levels BBC - ABB

* 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 (including at least one: Accountancy, Business, Economics, Maths plus AAAB at Higher)
  • A-Levels ABB (including at least one of: Accountancy, Business, Economics, Maths)
  • Int. Baccalaureate 34 points (including at least one of: Accountancy, Business, Economics, Maths at Higher Level 5)
  • HNC A in graded unit (Accounting)
  • HND BBB in graded units (Accounting or Business)
  • Global College Successful completion of Bachelors Degree Accelerator Foundation - Accounting, Economics and Business Management

Year 3

  • HND AAA in graded units (Accounting)

Additional information

English language requirements

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


Tuition fees for 2023 entry
Status* Scotland England / Wales / N Ireland / Rep of Ireland International**
Fee Paid by SAAS £9,250 £17,320

* 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.