Economics MA (Hons) 2020 entry

The MA (Hons) in Economics provides a structured, cumulative and rigorous foundation in economic concepts, principles, analysis, techniques and knowledge. You will develop your analytical and decision-making abilities through training in quantitative and model-based methods of analysis.

Students studying Economics at St Andrews have the opportunity to focus on macroeconomics, choice theory, international economics and development, game theory, international economics and development, competition and innovation, and climate change. 

Economics is studied up to Honours level in both the Faculty of Science (BSc) and the Faculty of Arts (MA). Students who have a background in the Arts or who wish to study Economics alongside Arts subjects at St Andrews should apply for the MA. For those interested in studying Economics alongside Science subjects, the BSc (Hons) in Economics may be of interest instead. 

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UCAS code

L100

Course type

Master of Arts (single Honours degree)

Course duration

Four years full time

  • Start date: 7 September 2020
  • End date: 30 June 2024

If you started this programme in 2019, you can find information about 2019 entry on the 2019 Economics MA page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Entry requirements

These grades are the overall standards required to consider you for entry. Find out more about Standard, Minimum and Gateway entry requirements using academic entry explained and see which entry requirements you need to look at using the entry requirements indicator.

    • Standard entry grades: AAAAB
    • Minimum entry grades: AABB
    • Gateway entry grades: BBBB
    • Standard entry grades: AAA
    • Minimum entry grades: ABB
    • Standard entry grades: 38 (HL 6,6,6)
    • Minimum entry grades: 36 (HL 6,5,5)

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry on to our programmes, please see our entry requirements for more information.

For degrees combining more than one subject, the subject with the higher entry requirements determines the grades you need. You will also need to meet any further subject-specific entrance requirements as outlined on their pages.

International applicants

If English is not your first language, you will need an overall IELTS score of 7.0, with a minimum score of 6.5 in each component (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking), or an equivalent English language qualification.

How to apply

Do I need to have studied this subject before?

No previous experience in this subject is required, but advanced school mathematics is an advantage and an ability to learn mathematical skills is essential.

Faculty entry requirements

You must also meet the Faculty of Arts minimum qualifications. These vary depending on which qualifications you hold.

Other qualifications

Passes in other examinations at equivalent levels and subjects may be accepted by the Dean of the Faculty. More information on how to apply via other entry routes or accreditation of prior learning and experience can be found on the University’s entry requirements web page.

Find out more about Faculty of Arts entry requirements.

Timetables

The University publishes its expected timetables before the advising process, and aims to provide each student with a personalised timetable once module choices have been made and confirmed during matriculation.

Course information

The MA in Economics is a four-year course run by the School of Economics and Finance. The School also offers a BSc in Economics, which may be more suitable for students who wish to take Economics alongside Science subjects. The Economics element within both the BSc and MA degree programmes is exactly the same.

In the first two years, you will build a solid foundation in the general knowledge of Economics. This includes an introduction to the principles of microeconomics and macroeconomics; an insight into quantitative techniques; and developing an understanding of economic relationships and the techniques necessary for their analysis.

At Honours level, students may select modules from a range of options on specific topics. These provide an analytical understanding of key aspects of finance, economics and government policy formation.

Specialist subject areas may include:

  • behavioural economics
  • corporate finance
  • econometrics
  • economic growth
  • economic history
  • economics of labour
  • economics of migration
  • experimental economics
  • health and education
  • macroeconomic policy
  • policy impact evaluation
  • portfolio management.

Alongside Economics, in the first year of your studies, you will be required to study an additional two subjects. In the second year you will usually carry on at least one of these subjects, sometimes two. Find out more about how academic years are organised

The University of St Andrews operates on a flexible modular degree system by which degrees are obtained through the accumulation of credits. More information on the structure of the modules system can be found on the flexible degree structure webpage. 

Find out more about studying Economics at St Andrews.

Modules

In the first two years of your degree (known as sub-honours) you will take the required modules in Economics alongside modules in at least one other subject in the Faculty of Arts.

Typically, you will take a total of three modules per semester each year. 

Find out more about the modular Scottish degree system.

Students will take all of the following compulsory first-year modules:

  • Macroeconomics: introduces the study of economics at the national and global level.
  • Microeconomics: explores the basics of the market system and consumer and producer behaviour.
  • Mathematics for Economists: covers calculus and algebra to provide indispensable mathematical tools for modern economists.

Students with a school qualification in Economics may take a more advanced first-year module in Economics which assumes prior knowledge.

Students will take all of the following compulsory second-year modules:

  • Intermediate Microeconomics: deepens the general understanding of microeconomics gained in first year.
  • Intermediate Macroeconomics: explores theories of the determinants of long-run economic growth and theories of the causes of short-run “business-cycle” fluctuations.
  • Statistics for Economists: introduces statistical methods and regression analysis.

If you decide to take Economics in your third and fourth years, you can choose from a wide variety of advanced options. Single-honours students are required to take at least one module in Econometrics.

Here is a sample of Honours modules which have been offered in previous years:

  • Decision and Game Theory
  • Economic Fluctuations
  • Economics of Development
  • Economics of the Environment
  • European Macroeconomics
  • Incentives and Contracts
  • Inequality and Redistribution
  • Innovation Economics
  • International Trade
  • Mathematical Economics 
  • Political Economy
  • Public Economics.

In fourth year, students may also undertake a dissertation or research project on a topic of their choice. This independent project enables you to develop key research skills which are desired by both prospective employers and by graduate schools offering postgraduate degrees.


The compulsory modules listed here must be taken in order to graduate in this subject. However, most students at St Andrews take additional modules, either in their primary subject or from other subjects they are interested in. For Honours-level, students choose from a range of Honours modules, some of which are listed above. A full list of all modules available for the current academic year can be found in the module catalogue.

Teaching

Teaching format

First and second year modules generally involve a series of lectures (100 to 350 students), laboratories and small-group tutorials (15 to 20 students) designed to facilitate effective interaction.

At Honours level, modules are taught through lectures (10 to 140 students) and smaller group tutorials (10 to 20 students). Students typically attend six hours of lectures and an average of one to two tutorials or labs per week.

When not attending lectures, tutorials and laboratories, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve:

  • working on individual and group projects
  • undertaking research in the library
  • preparing coursework assignments and presentations
  • preparing for examinations.

You will be taught by a research-led teaching team with expertise and knowledge of Economics. Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of tutorials under the supervision of the module leader.

In addition to your studies in the School, optional academic support is available through practical study skills courses and workshops hosted within the University.

The University’s student services team can help students with additional needs resulting from disabilities, long term medical conditions or learning disabilities. More information can be found on the students with disabilities webpage. 

Assessment

Progress is monitored through tutorial assignments and assessment is by a combination of graded work and examinations. Almost all of the modules are assessed by at least 50% written exams with the balance of assessment made up by coursework.

Examinations are held at the end of each semester during a dedicated exam diet with revision time provided beforehand.

Coursework takes the form of essays, along with other kinds of assessed work including oral presentations and class tests. 

The School aims to provide feedback on assessments and coursework within three weeks to help you improve on future assessments.

Undergraduates at the University of St Andrews must achieve at least 7.0 on the St Andrews 20-point grade scale to pass a module. To gain access to Honours-level modules, students must achieve the relevant requisites as specified in the policy on entry to Honours and in the relevant programme requirements. Please note that some Schools offer qualified entry to Honours, and this will be clearly specified in the programme requirements. To find out the classification equivalent of points, please visit the common reporting scale webpage

Visit St Andrews

If you are interested in studying at St Andrews, join us at a visiting day to explore the town, find out about our courses and meet current students.

Undergraduates

Upcoming visiting days:

  • Wednesday 25 September 2019
  • Wednesday 2 October 2019
  • Wednesday 16 October 2019
  • Wednesday 23 October 2019
  • Wednesday 30 October 2019

Fees

Tuition fees for 2020 entry

Scotland and EU Tuition fees for Scottish and EU applicants have yet to be set for 2020 entry.
Rest of the UK Tuition fees for applicants from the rest of the UK have yet to be set for 2020 entry.
Overseas £23,910 

For overseas students, tuition fees will be fixed at this level for the duration of your programme.

More information on tuition fees can be found on the undergraduate fees and funding page.

Accommodation fees

Find out about accommodation fees for University accommodation.

Funding and scholarships

The University of St Andrews offers a number of scholarships and support packages to undergraduate students each year.

Find out more about undergraduate scholarships.

"With" degrees

You can take the Economics MA as part of a "with" Honours degree in which the majority of the course deals with the first named subject. St Andrews offers the following "with" degrees in Economics: 

Your future

Careers

Graduates with a degree in Economics have some highly sought-after skills and pursue careers in a wide variety of fields. A degree in Economics will greatly enhance your analytic and decision-making abilities. You will significantly improve your quantitative abilities and greatly enhance other transferable skills highly valued by employers.

Popular career destinations among recent graduates include:

  • economic consulting
  • management consulting
  • accountancy
  • business intelligence analysis
  • broadcasting and journalism
  • risk management
  • research analysis
  • financial services analysis
  • stockbroking.

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students as well as a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.

Study abroad

Economics students may participate in the University-wide St Andrews Abroad programme. You may also have the opportunity to participate in the School Abroad exchange programme. For information about study abroad options, please see the Study Abroad site.

Student life

From the outset, the University of St Andrews offers an array of events and opportunities which result in a truly unique student experience. Students participate in a range of traditions, notably, the red academic gown and the academic family, where older students adopt first year students as ‘children’ and help guide them in a system of mentoring. These traditions and the choice of over 150 sports clubs and student societies to choose from ensures a community feel amongst students from first year onwards.

Students of Economics may be interested in joining the St Andrews Economic Society. This active society is run by students and holds regular career events, essay competitions and social occasions. The society also publishes The St Andrews Economist, a magazine covering current affairs, academic theory, economic policies, and trends.  

The School of Economics and Finance is located in Castlecliffe on The Scores in a beautiful Edwardian mansion overlooking St Andrews Bay, next to the ruins of St Andrews Castle on the Fife coast.

The town of St Andrews itself has lots to offer. As University buildings are located throughout the town, walking around you encounter ancient and modern buildings and areas of greenery and seaside which provide a rich, beautiful backdrop to learning. If you want a change of scenery, St Andrews' position near surrounding towns and cities such as Anstruther, Dundee and Edinburgh make it ideal for getting to know more about Scotland.

Find out more about student life at the University of St Andrews. 

Contact information

School of Economics and Finance
University of St Andrews
Castlecliffe
The Scores
St Andrews
KY16 9AR

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2443
Email: econsec@st-andrews.ac.uk 

Economics and Finance website

Policies

Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our admissions policy.

Curriculum development

As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online (PDF, 72 KB).

Tuition fees

The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online (PDF, 84 KB).