• UCAS code L100
  • Duration Up to 4 years
  • Delivery type Full Time
  • Study location Edinburgh
  • Number of places 40 across all programmes


The Course

The MA in Economics does not require prior knowledge of the core discipline of economics. Study begins at an introductory level and the degree has a flexible structure to enable students to tailor their studies so that they can pursue their own interests. As a result, graduates are able to embark upon successful careers, especially in banking, finance, the civil service, a wide range of management roles, and also pursue further study in economics and related disciplines.

Career Prospects

Our MA in Economics strongly emphasises the application of theory to problems that arise in everyday life. As a result, our graduates are well equipped to enter permanent employment or further study, and most do so within three months of leaving the University.

Programme content

Level 1

Semester 1Semester 2
Management in a Global ContextEnterprise and its Business Environment
Introductory MicroeconomicsIntroductory Macroeconomics
Introduction to AccountingIntroduction to Finance
Introductory MathsElective


Level 2

Semester 1Semester 2
Intermediate Economics 1: Theory & Techniques (30 credits)Intermediate Economics 2
Contemporary Economic Policy & Institutions
Quantitative MethodsStatistical Techniques

Level 3

Semester 1Semester 2
Introductory EconometricsEconometrics Project
Advanced Economics 1Advanced Economics 2
One Economics option
Three electives

Level 4

Semester 1Semester 2
Advanced Economic Policy 1Advanced Economic Policy 2
Four Economics options
Two options from Accountancy & Finance, Economics or Business Management

Your career

Graduate profiles

David Broadbent

  • School St John Fisher Catholic High School, West Yorkshire
  • Degree MA (Hons) in Economics and Finance
  • Present job Analyst, Barclays Capital
David Broadbent

"The superb campus, fantastic facilities and friendly staff all initially attracted me to Heriot-Watt University. Having its own campus gave Heriot-Watt a fantastic atmosphere, with the added benefit of being close enough to Edinburgh city centre to take advantage of its great night life and social scene. Studying Economics and Finance very much helped me to determine what career I wanted to do. The course offered a good balance between theory and practice and since starting work I have realised just how up to date the course was, teaching material that is at the very forefront of current research. I found the course to be extremely flexible, and the wide range of modules to choose from each year ensured that I could tailor the degree to fi t my requirements. When applying for a job to take up on leaving Heriot-Watt it became very apparent how well known and respected the University is. The economics and careers departments had some great contacts and were a huge help in preparing me for interviews. The degree has certainly stood me in good stead for my current job. I feel confident in saying that if you want to live in one of the UK's best cities and benefit from some of the best academics, then Heriot-Watt University is the one for you."

Warren Goldthorpe

  • School Bangor Grammar School
  • Degree MA (Hons) in Economics
  • Present job Assistant Economist, Department of Health

I currently work as an Assistant Economist in the Department of Health in London. Currently I'm based in the Finance Directorate working on various projects including resource allocation of the GBP100 billion budget.

I chose to study economics at Heriot-Watt because the University has an excellent reputation for producing graduates who excel in the private and the public sectors. The campus university offers facilities that are easily accessible and also provides a community spirit which is important when leaving home for the first time.

Economics at Heriot-Watt is excellently taught with a very wide range of topics offered. This broad and varied base of knowledge enabled me to go into many different career paths upon graduating. The teaching of economics at Heriot-Watt is first class with lecturers who invest both time and effort in your personal development.

After graduating, I initially went into accountancy training for the ACCA qualification. However, I wanted to use my economic knowledge to better effect and changed career paths by applying for the Government Economics Service. The economic foundations gained at Heriot-Watt have enabled me to easily adapt to health economics and the economic tools for analysis are put to use each day at work.

My work as an Assistant Economist is challenging and requires a very flexible and reactive approach to problem solving. Skills such as time management, analysing and reporting are essential in the work place.

Entry requirements

The University offers as its normal entry routes:

  • entry at Level 1, mainly for students with Scottish Highers (or similar)
  • entry at Level 2, mainly for students with A-levels (or similar).

There is nevertheless considerable flexibility, depending on the level of qualifications, for entrants with A-levels to opt to enter at Level 1 and for Scottish students to enter at Level 2. Direct entry into Level 3 is also possible for students who already have certain HE qualifications.

Level 1 entry

  • Highers AAAB
  • A-Levels BBB
  • HNC B in graded unit
  • Int. Baccalaureate 29 points
  • Additional information Passes in English and Mathematics at Credit level (Standard Grade), or A - C (GCSE)

Level 2 entry

  • A-Levels ABB in relevant subjects
  • Advanced Highers BB in relevant subjects, plus AAAB at Higher.
  • HNC Relevant HNC. Entry to Level 2 will be considered for exceptional candidates on an individual basis.
  • HND BB in graded units, relevant HND
  • Int. Baccalaureate 34 points
  • Additional information Minimum of grade C in Maths at AS Level or Scottish Higher required for Level 2 entry.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees for 2016 entry (by residency status)
Status*Scotland / EU**England / Northern Ireland / WalesInternational
FeePaid by SAAS£9,000£13,500

* Your residency 'status' is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the 3 years before the start of your programme. Find out more about tuition fees.

** European Union countries, not including England, Northern Ireland or Wales.

Scholarships & bursaries

Featured scholarships

Bursaries for students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales starting undergraduate degree programmes in 2016

In addition to government maintenance 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.