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  • Scotland (Widening Access Places only)
  • England, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • International

The course

UCAS code
4 years
Delivery type

Edinburgh Business School’s MA (Hons) Accountancy and Finance is accredited by all major professional bodies in the UK. It prepares students for professional life and features use of Bloomberg Trading Terminals. Over 90% student satisfaction in NSS 2018.



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. As a reflection of this reputation, we were ranked as the second best university in Scotland for undergraduate accounting and finance degrees in the Guardian University League Tables 2019. 

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. 

The industry focus of this degree, and its breadth of accreditations, make 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 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. A survey by Unistats 2019 found that 91% of recent graduates were in work or further study six months after graduating.

The employable skillset

This degree develops 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
  • producing 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.


Bloomberg Experiential Learning Partner

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

As our flagship accounting degree, this accountancy and finance course is accredited by a number of institutions for exemptions from some professional examinations:

Student profile

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 Year 1 - Semester 2
  • Introduction to Accounting
  • Introductory Economics
  • Management in a Global Context
  • Elective
  • Introduction to Finance
  • The Economy
  • Enterprise and its Business Environment
  • Elective
Year 2 - Semester 1 Year 2 - Semester 2
  • Financial Reporting
  • Financial Markets Theory
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Elective
  • Management Accounting in Organisations
  • Corporate Financial Theory
  • Option
  • Elective
Year 3 - Semester 1 Year 3 - Semester 2
  • Management Accounting Techniques and Decisions
  • Auditing and Assurance
  • Elective

Choose one of:

  • International Bond and Currency Markets
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Contemporary Issues in Financial Accounting
  • Research Methods
  • Elective 

Choose one of:

  • Financial Derivatives
  • Managing Corporate Value
Year 4 - Semester 1 Year 4 - Semester 2
  • Dissertation 1

Choose three from:

  • Accounting History
  • Accounting Theory
  • Public Sector Accounting
  • Managerial Accounting Decision Making
  • Agency Theory and Corporate Governance
  • Risk Management and Derivatives
  • Level 4 Economics Course
  • Dissertation 2

Choose three from 

  • Professional and Critical Theory
  • International Accounting
  • Corporate Reporting
  • Contemporary Issues in Taxation
  • Contemporary issues in Finance
  • Equity Markets and Funds Management
  • Level 4 Economics Course



Work and study

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

  • 70% are working
  • 10% are studying
  • 10% are working and studying.

Managerial/professional position

  • 80% of those working are in a professional/managerial position six months after graduating.


  • The average salary of students six months after graduating: £20000
  • The average UK salary of students six months after graduating from a similar course: £20000


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

  • Business, research and administrative professionals
  • Business and public service associate professionals

Entry requirements

Year 1

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

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 (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 BB in graded units (Accounting or Business)

Year 3

  • HND AA 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 2020 entry (by residency status)
Status* Scotland / EU** England / Northern Ireland / Wales*** International
Fee Paid by SAAS £9,250 £15,080

* 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).

4 years for the price of 3

If you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, study with us and save £9,250 over your 4-year degree.

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:

View our full range of undergraduate scholarships.