MA (Hons) Accountancy

The course

UCAS code
4 years
Delivery type

Edinburgh Business School at Heriot-Watt's specialised accountancy degree, MA (Hons) Accountancy, is designed to prepare students for a career in professional accountancy, business and beyond.


Got questions about this programme?

Contact our enquiries team.


Whether you are considering a career as a chartered accountant in professional practice, industry or the public sector, or you are looking to work in other professional, commercial and industrial areas, our MA Accountancy programme has been designed to ensure you have the knowledges and skills that employers most value.

Over the course of studying our MA Accountancy programme, students can expect to develop a broad understanding of the context in which modern accounting operates, as well as developing accounting expertise in several areas including, but not limited to:

  • Recording and summarising business transactions
  • Preparing and analysing financial statements
  • Analysing and making decisions on business operations
  • Conducting financial analysis
  • Producing and reporting projections
  • Conducting audit
  • Analysing governance issues
  • Gaining awareness of the importance of business ethics.

In addition to these key accounting skills, our MA Accountancy programme allows students to expand their overall skillset through a combination of individual and group work, written reports, presentations and examinations. Throughout this programme we will develop skills such as:

  • Analysis
  • Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Negotiation
  • Conflict resolution
  • Presentation delivery.

On the whole, our MA Accountancy programme provides students with a solid foundation for their future career in accountancy, business or beyond.

Guest lectures and internship opportunities

Students will have the opportunity during their studies to gain first hand insights into accountancy practice through guest lectures.

Global College foundation pathway for this degree

If you do not meet the entry requirements for this degree, have a look at foundation study with Heriot-Watt Global College, where you can follow an accelerated pathway which will get you onto the second year of this degree.


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

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) for the purpose of exemptions from some professional examinations.

The Association of International Accountants (AIA) for the purpose of exemption from some professional examinations.

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) for the purpose of exemption from some professional examinations through the Accredited degree accelerated route.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW) for the purpose of exemption from some professional examinations.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants Scotland (ICAS) for the purpose of exemption from some professional examinations.

Course content

Year 1

Semester 1 

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

Semester 2

  • The Economy 
  • Discovering 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

  • Taxation (Tax Law)
  • Auditing and Assurance
  • Business Law and the Law of Corporate Governance
  • Business Research Methods

Year 4

Semester 1

  • Accounting and Finance Dissertation 1 
  • Optional courses:
    • Governance and Professional Ethics
    • Professional and Critical Theory
    • Accounting Theory
    • Risk Management and Derivatives
    • Public Sector Accounting
    • Managerial Accounting: Decision Making
    • Agency Theory and Corporate Governance

Semester 2

  • Accounting and Finance Dissertation 2
  • Optional courses:
    • Accounting History
    • Strategic Management Accounting
    • Corporate Reporting 
    • Contemporary Issues in Finance 
    • Equity Markets and Fund Management 
    • International Accounting

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Work and study

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

  • 70% 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, Research and Administrative 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 Accounting and Finance with Accelerator Programme

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 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.