MA (Hons) Accountancy and Finance

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.


Got questions about this programme?

Contact our enquiries team.


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
  • 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.


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.  

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

(All Year 1 students at the School take the same subjects)

  • Introduction to Accounting and Finance
  • Introduction to Economics
  • Introduction to Marketing
  • Management in a Global
  • Context/Introduction to Business

Semester 2

  • Academic Skills
  • Becoming a Professional
  • Business Project

Year 2

Semester 1

  • Financial Markets Theory
  • Financial Reporting
  • Quantitative Methods 1
  • Elective: choose from across university portfolio

Semester 2

  • Corporate Financial Theory
  • Financial Reporting
  • Management Accounting in Organisations
  • Option: Statistical Techniques or Social and Environmental Accounting

Year 3

Semester 1

  • Auditing and Assurance
  • Management Accounting Techniques and Decisions
  • Option: Mergers and Acquisitions or International Bond and Currency Markets
  • Elective: choose from across university portfolio

Semester 2

  • Contemporary Issues in Financial Accounting
  • Research Methods
  • Option: Managing Corporate Value or Financial Derivatives
  • Elective: choose from across university portfolio

Year 4

 Semester 1

Accounting and Finance Dissertation 1


Choose three from:

  • International Trade
  • Topics in World Economic History
  • Accounting History
  • Agency Theory and Corporate Governance
  • Accounting Theory
  • Managerial Accounting: Decision Making
  • Public Sector Accounting
  • Risk Management and Derivatives

Semester 2 

Accounting and Finance Dissertation 2


Choose three from:

  • Development Economics 2
  • Economics of the European Union
  • Professional and Critical Theory
  • Contemporary Issues in Finance
  • Corporate Reporting
  • International Accounting
  • Equity Markets and Fund Management


Work and study

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

  • 78% are working
  • 4% are studying
  • 11% are working and studying.

In highly skilled work

  • 80% of those are in highly skilled work 15 months after graduating.


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


These are the most common jobs students go into 15 months after graduating:

  • Business and public service associate professionals
  • Business, research and administrative professionals
  • Managers, directors and senior officials
  • Information technology and telecommunications 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)

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 2022 entry
Status* Scotland England / Wales / N Ireland / Rep of Ireland** International***
Fee Paid by SAAS £9,250 £16,000

* 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.

** 'Rest of the UK' (RUK) and Republic of Ireland 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).

*** '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 starting undergraduate degree courses in 2021

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:

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

View our full range of undergraduate scholarships.