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University of Edinburgh Masters Degrees

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This programme is a comprehensive and intensive investigation into key areas in accounting and finance. Designed for those with a quantitative background, it is both academically rigorous and closely in line with professional practice. Read more

This programme is a comprehensive and intensive investigation into key areas in accounting and finance. Designed for those with a quantitative background, it is both academically rigorous and closely in line with professional practice.

The MSc in Accounting and Finance is especially useful for those graduates with work experience in accounting looking to gain essential practical skills in finance - and, of course, vice versa. Although the compulsory core courses ensure a good balance between both accounting and finance study, the option courses give students the opportunity to specialise - tailoring their studies towards their chosen career.

Studying accounting and finance in Edinburgh gives students the opportunity to base themselves at the heart of the UK's second largest financial centre.

Many of Europe's leading financial institutions have their headquarters here, a fact that we make full use of on the MSc programme. We regularly bring guest speakers to the School to talk directly to accounting and finance students on real, current practice. The School also maintains good relationships with a number of accounting and finance professionals who will be on hand to provide advice on research and career opportunities. It is essential connections like these that characterise the dynamic nature of this strongly vocational programme.

Our strong connection to industry is exemplified by our work in the Centre for Financial Markets Research, and the Institute of Public Sector Accounting Research. Bringing together leading academics and practitioners, the centres are a keen theatre of debate, creating new thoughts, new ideas for both the theoretical study and practical application of accounting, finance and investment.

Programme structure

Learning will primarily be through lectures, set reading, class discussions, exercises, group-work assignments, problem solving in tutorials and case studies. Assessment methods include examinations, assignments, presentations or continuous assessment.

Learning outcomes

Your MSc in Accounting and Finance will provide you with greater knowledge and understanding of this subject area and by the end of your studies you will be able to:

  • Know and apply accounting and finance theory
  • Explain and apply international accounting standards
  • Critically evaluate financial statement information
  • Evaluate and compare different investments


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Program Description. A fully on-line, part-time, flexible programme which focuses on the wider, non-technical, aspects of accounting which have a broader impact on organisations and society. Read more

Program Description

A fully on-line, part-time, flexible programme which focuses on the wider, non-technical, aspects of accounting which have a broader impact on organisations and society.

The programme content and method of delivery will prove attractive to both professional accountants, and other non-professional accountant applicants, who are unable to commit to a full-time on-campus programme.

Professionally qualified accountants will gain exemption from year one of this three year distance learning programme.

This MSc looks at how accounting, the accounting profession and various calculative practices impact on the management and governance of organisations, cultural formations, and the definition of economic and social relationships.

Through the School’s Centre for Accounting and Society (CAS) an established research tradition in the area of interdisciplinary studies of accounting has been established and this programme draws upon this tradition, and on exceptionally strong relationships with professional and accounting bodies.

This new MSc will focus on the three strands: Accounting, Culture and Society, The Accounting Profession, and Communication, Governance and Control.

Online learning

Course resources and learning materials for students to achieve the learning outcomes of the programme will be delivered to participants by the following means:

  • Weekly study plan to include topic overview, learning objectives, required reading and listening, self-assessment material and assignments to be completed
  • Recorded lectures and tutorials available to course participants on the Blackboard Learn Virtual learning Environment (VLE).
  • Real-time virtual classes through the VLE
  • Online Discussion Forums via the VLE
  • Access to online electronic resources of the University of Edinburgh Library:
  • University of Edinburgh Business School Seminar Series recorded for delivery via the VLE
  • Selected electronic textbook resources

Program Structure

This is a three year fully online programme which is assessed by a mix of online assignments together with case studies and essays.

Professionally qualified accountants are exempt from year one which consists of three technical accounting courses as a foundation for years two and three.

Five courses in each of the years two and three are then taken in the specific area of Accounting and Society and a final project is completed in the final semester of year three.

Learning Outcomes

The programme is intended to further knowledge and skills in a number of ways:

  • Develop a high level of competence in using various online tools and resources together with enhanced independent learning and time-management skills.
  • Ability to analyse and assess ethical, political, cultural, governance and social responsibility issues and their impact on organisations and society overall.
  • Analysis of existing practice in organisations in the areas of Accounting and Society with a view to recommending change.
  • Further develop cross-cultural and inter-personal communication skills sensitive to diversity in people and cultures through sharing knowledge.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental principles and concepts of Accounting and Auditing together with ability to apply tools and techniques in these areas. (For students not already holding a professional accounting qualification and required to take Year One of the programme).

Career Opportunities

This online distance learning MSc programme enables you to study part-time for an internationally recognised degree, wherever you are in the world, while maintaining busy professional and personal commitments.

The programme is aimed at both professional accountants and other non-professionally qualified applicants from diverse backgrounds who may already have careers in practice and industry but who wish to gain an additional MSc qualification to advance their existing career opportunities and to study accounting in the broader context which includes the organisational, social, historical, cultural and technical aspects.

The three technical accounting courses in year one of the programme may also serve as a basis for the professional exams of a number of accounting bodies, should students wish to take those exams in the future, and it is possible that exemptions may be negotiated by students on an individual basis.

Our programme is promoted as a professional and personal development opportunity by the Chartered Accountants Worldwide whose members include the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland (ICAS), The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) among others.



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Taking the science of musical sound as your focus, you’ll work in a cross-disciplinary environment, using theoretical and experimental work to explore the musical, technical and multimedia applications of acoustics and audio technology. Read more

Taking the science of musical sound as your focus, you’ll work in a cross-disciplinary environment, using theoretical and experimental work to explore the musical, technical and multimedia applications of acoustics and audio technology.

The programme aims to:

  • Provide a broadly based, scientifically oriented foundation in the area of music, acoustics and audio technology
  • Develop skills in research, computation, design and analytical problem-solving
  • Create a multidisciplinary learning environment that will prepare the student for careers in which a strong understanding of music/audio technology is required
  • Develop an ability to appreciate, understand and develop the creative potential of sound design

The emphasis of this programme is on science and technology in the context of musical and multimedia applications. 

Programme structure

The MSc is taught by a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical work. Courses are assessed through a combination of report submissions and written examinations. In the final three months, you will carry out an individual project, which is assessed by submission of a dissertation.

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this cross-disciplinary programme will develop skills in the area of music, acoustics and audio technology.

Graduates will have a thorough understanding of the appropriate technologies and the science underlying them, as well as an understanding of their role in a wider creative arts environment.

Career opportunities

A knowledge of the science behind music and music production can prove a great asset in your career. Qualified technicians and producers are in demand in all areas of music, as are acoustic scientists. The programme will provide you with the perfect foundation for further study if you’d prefer to continue on an academic path. The highly transferable skills you’ll gain in communication and project management will also take you further up whichever career ladder you choose to climb.



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This MSc is an intensive language programme coupled with research. It will equip you to function in Arabic at a high level both orally and in writing. Read more

This MSc is an intensive language programme coupled with research. It will equip you to function in Arabic at a high level both orally and in writing. A unique feature of the programme is that spoken Arabic will be taught alongside Modern Standard Arabic.

You will acquire a strong understanding of a major spoken Arabic dialect, which is required to understand films, songs and an increasing amount of oral intellectual discourse. You will also develop your Modern Standard Arabic, enabling you to communicate as an educated native speaker of Arabic.

You will refine your abilities to engage critically and analytically with different aspects of the Arabic language and undertake a sustained piece of independent research that demonstrates the research skills, training and knowledge you have acquired.

You will also have the option of a course in Arabic pedagogy, which will equip you with the skills to teach Arabic to non-native speakers.

Programme structure

The language component of the programme will combine intensive class teaching with a wide range of activities including situational interpreting, listening and summarising and oral presentations. There will also be an e-learning element to the language learning.

The research and option pedagogy components will be delivered in the form of seminars and workshops.

The dissertation or language-based project will involve one-to-one meetings with supervisors and detailed feedback.

Career opportunities

The MSc in Advanced Arabic is both a professional and an academic qualification providing students with a solid linguistic as well as research foundation. You could use this qualification to continue in academic life either in teaching or research and the language skills gained will help you to use your Arabic in any professional capacity such as media, business, diplomacy, working for NGOs and other international organisations. Graduates are also in a good position to apply their language skills in various interpretive roles for organisations such as the International Red Cross.



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This one-year programme at the University of Edinburgh will immerse you in the most current developments in chemical engineering, through a combination of taught modules, workshops, a research dissertation, and a number of supporting activities delivered by the key experts in the field. Read more

This one-year programme at the University of Edinburgh will immerse you in the most current developments in chemical engineering, through a combination of taught modules, workshops, a research dissertation, and a number of supporting activities delivered by the key experts in the field.

The programme will develop from fundamental topics, including modern approaches to understanding properties of the systems on a molecular scale and advanced numerical methods, to the actual processes, with a particular emphasis on energy efficiency, to the summer dissertation projects where the acquired skills in various areas are put into practice, in application to actual chemical engineering problems.

Programme structure

The programme develops from compulsory courses, emphasizing modern computational techniques and research methods, to a range of options. It is complemented by a strong management and economics component.

Compulsory Courses

  • Numerical Methods for Chemical Engineers
  • Molecular Thermodynamics
  • Introduction to Research Methods

In addition to the compulsory courses you will take a range of optional courses, please review the "Degree Structure" portion the MSc website listed below to find further information on available courses and course descriptions:

Learning outcomes

  • A working knowledge of modern modelling and simulation approaches to understanding properties of chemical systems at a molecular level.
  • A working knowledge of advanced experimental techniques, such as for example particle image velocimetry, spectroscopy and infra-red thermography, as applied in engineering research and development.
  • Ability to transform a chemical engineering problem into a mathematical representation; broad understanding of the available numerical tools and methods to solve the problem; appreciation of their scope and limitations.
  • An understanding of the basic design approaches to advanced energy efficient separation processes.
  • Ability to transfer and operate engineering principles in application to other fields, such as biology.
  • Proficiency in using modern chemical engineering software, from molecular visualisation to computational fluid dynamics to process engineering.

On completion of the research dissertation, the students will be able to:

  • Plan and execute a significant research project
  • Apply a range of standard and specialised research instruments and techniques of enquiry
  • Identify, conceptualise and define new and abstract problems and issues
  • Develop original and creative responses to problems and issues
  • Critically review, consolidate and extend knowledge, skills practices and thinking in chemical engineering
  • Communicate their research findings, using appropriate methods, to a range of audiences with different levels of knowledge and expertise
  • Place their research in the context of the current societal needs and industrial practice
  • Adhere to rigorous research ethics rules
  • Exercise substantial autonomy and initiative in research activities
  • Take responsibility for independent work
  • Communicate with the public, peers, more senior colleagues and specialists
  • Use a wide range of software to support and present research plans and findings

Career opportunities

Our graduates enjoy diverse career opportunities in oil and gas, pharmaceutical, food and drink, consumer products, banking and consulting industries. Examples of the recent employers of our graduates include BP, P&G, Mondelēz International, Doosan Babcock, Atkins, Safetec, Xodus Group, Diageo, Wood Group, GSK, Gilead Sciences, ExxonMobil, Jacobs, Halliburton, Cavendish Nuclear to name a few. This wide range of potential employers means that our graduates are exceptionally well placed to find rewarding and lucrative careers. According to the Complete University Guide, the chemical engineering programme at the University of Edinburgh is ranked one of the top in the UK in terms of graduates prospects.

Find our more about career opportunities:

The MSc in Advanced Chemical Engineering may also lead to further studies in a PhD programme. With the 94% of our research activity rated as world leading or internationally excellent (according to the most recent Research Excellence Framework 2014), Edinburgh is the UK powerhouse in Engineering. As an MSc student at Edinburgh you will be immersed in a research intensive, multidisciplinary environment and you will have plenty of opportunities to interact with PhD, MSc students and staff from other programmes, institutes and schools.

Find out more about our research:



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Veterinary medicine is a rapidly evolving discipline, comprising a wide range of specialist areas. Research in veterinary medicine is directly relevant to the improvement of health and welfare of domestic animal species and the protection of public health. Read more

Veterinary medicine is a rapidly evolving discipline, comprising a wide range of specialist areas. Research in veterinary medicine is directly relevant to the improvement of health and welfare of domestic animal species and the protection of public health.

The R(D)SVS has an international reputation, and its clinical services - Hospital for Small Animals (dog and cat and exotics, zoo and wildlife) and Large Animal Hospital (equine and livestock) - are among the most influential centres for clinical care in the UK and Europe. It is best placed to advance the skills of the sector due to the skills in primary, secondary and tertiary care medicine and surgery, and its extensive research activities in all aspects of veterinary medicine.

Veterinary practitioners are under pressure to maintain high standards of practice while also keeping abreast of the latest developments. In response to the increasing requirement for support in developing advanced clinical skills, this new distance learning programme is aimed primarily, but not exclusively, at veterinarians in practice.

The modular, portfolio approach allows the greatest flexibility to meet the needs of the modern practitioner. The goal is to provide the student with the skills and knowledge required to be highly effective practitioners and to enable them to act as leaders and mentors within the veterinary community.

Online learning

Online learning is aimed at people who want to study for a postgraduate qualification alongside ongoing work or other commitments. You can study at times most convenient to you. Most of our students continue in their employment while they study.

The courses are taught in distance learning mode and are completed entirely online. The teaching is quite varied, including: online lectures, tutorials, specialist external lectures, scientific group discussions, case studies, problem-based learning scenarios, literature based research, computer-assisted learning and quizzes.

Programme structure

The programme is delivered part-time by online distance learning over a minimum period of three years and a maximum period of six years. You may undertake the programme by intermittent study (flexible progression route), accruing credits within a maximum time limit of two years for the Postgraduate Certificate, four years for the Postgraduate Diploma and six years for the MVetSci.

In summary, the completion times are as follows:

  • PgCert: 12-24 months
  • PgDip: 24-48 months
  • MVetSci: 36-72 months

The programme is modular in structure, offering a flexible student-centred approach to the choice of courses studied. You can choose to take a particular species track in the elective course, ie courses focussed on companion animals, exotic zoo and wildlife, equine or production animals. Equally, you can choose to take a mixed-practice approach by selecting courses that meet your individual professional needs.

Each year will consist of three 11-week terms structured into two blocks of five weeks of study with a week in between for independent study and reflection. One block of five weeks will equate to 10 credits of course material. This framework is designed to fit in with the part-time nature of the programme, giving you time to reflect on your learning and lessening the impact of the additional requirements that studying will place on the your working life.

Postgraduate Professional Development

Postgraduate Professional Development (PPD) is aimed at working professionals who want to advance their knowledge through a postgraduate-level course(s), without the time or financial commitment of a full Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate.

You may take a maximum of 50 credits worth of courses over two years through our PPD scheme. These lead to a University of Edinburgh postgraduate award of academic credit. Alternatively, after one year of taking courses you can choose to transfer your credits and continue on to studying towards a higher award on a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme. Although PPD courses have various start dates throughout a year you may only start a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme in the month of September. Any time spent studying PPD will be deducted from the amount of time you will have left to complete a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate programme.

Learning outcomes

This programme provides graduates with the scientific knowledge and practical skills to carry out the work of advanced veterinary practitioners.

The programme aims to support students as they:

  • Acquire knowledge about advanced veterinary clinical research and developments
  • Acquire specific veterinary skills applicable to an advanced practitioner in their chosen specialist area(s)
  • Develop an understanding of how an evidence-based medical approach can be applied in a range of practical situations
  • Learn to interpret and communicate scientific results and information in research and other forms of social debate, across other related scientific disciplines and to other stakeholders

Career opportunities

  • Enhanced promotion within the veterinary clinical practice sector.
  • Entry point for academic clinical positions coming from the private practice sector.
  • Veterinary-based industries particularly feed and pharmaceutical manufacturers.


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Programme description. Design informatics focuses on designing with data. This course is run in conjunction with Edinburgh College of Art through the Centre for Design Informatics. Read more

Programme description

Design informatics focuses on designing with data. This course is run in conjunction with Edinburgh College of Art through the Centre for Design Informatics.

On this programme you will learn how to build computational systems as well as the principles of design thinking and making.

Through case studies of real-life products you will apply your knowledge in a practical way, developing an understanding of what it takes to create, design and take a product to market.

Programme structure

Design Informatics: designing with data can be explored in most specialist areas of Informatics, but Design Informatics emphasises entrepreneurial product development.

In the first year you follow two semesters of taught courses, attending lectures, tutorials and group practicals to acquire the theoretical foundation to enable you to engage in independent research.

In the summer you have a commercial or public semester placement, where you will work on a project that will help you test and reflect on your knowledge and skills.

In the second year, taught courses focus on product design, and you will gain experience in leading a group, before completing a dissertation project.

Compulsory courses:

  • Case Studies in Design Informatics 1
  • Design with Data
  • Design Informatics Project
  • Histories and Futures of Technology
  • Dissertation
  • Placement

Option courses:

  • Accelerated Natural Language Processing
  • Computer Graphics
  • Extreme Computing
  • Introduction to Vision and Robotics
  • Text Technologies for Data Science
  • Automatic Speech Recognition
  • Innovation Driven Entrepreneurship

Work placement/internship

You will work on a project that will help you use your skills and knowledge during a summer placement with a commercial or public sector organisation.

Career opportunities

This degree will put you at the cutting edge of design technology and technology for design, opening a host of opportunities in the commercial sector.



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Programme description. This programme has been developed in response to the introduction of the Adult Protection and Support (Scotland) Act 2007 that puts at the forefront of contemporary professional practice and priorities, the importance of working with adults who are at risk of harm. Read more

Programme description

This programme has been developed in response to the introduction of the Adult Protection and Support (Scotland) Act 2007 that puts at the forefront of contemporary professional practice and priorities, the importance of working with adults who are at risk of harm.

The programme is intended for experienced practitioners (minimum two years post-qualifying experience) from a range of relevant agencies providing services to adults at risk of harm.

Programme structure

You will study 12 taught days and eight days of online learning.

Learning outcomes

You will develop confidence and competence within the complex field of adult protection in order to practice autonomously and collaboratively with individuals from a variety of professional backgrounds.

Career opportunities

This programme is intended to build on your existing skills and improve your professional abilities. On completion, you will be better placed to take on more advanced roles within your existing workplace, or apply for those that offer a greater degree of responsibility.

Advanced study such as this also provides a range of highly transferable skills, such as communication and project management, which can be applied to your current role or used to enhance future employment prospects in any field.



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Programme description. This programme is the postgraduate qualification for qualified social workers wishing to practise as mental health officers (MHOs). Read more

Programme description

This programme is the postgraduate qualification for qualified social workers wishing to practise as mental health officers (MHOs). It has been designed by, and is delivered in partnership with, 12 local authorities in the East of Scotland.

This programme focuses upon the role of the MHO in relation to relevant Scottish legislation. In addition to the taught elements, students undertake two periods of assessed MHO practice.

Under Section 32(2) of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 local authorities have a statutory duty to appoint and provide training for MHOs to undertake mandatory MHO responsibilities, enshrined in legislation: mainly the 2003 Act, but also the Adults with Incapacity Act 2000 and the Criminal Proceedings Act 1995.

This programme’s primary aim is to provide the required MHO qualification in partnership with the East of Scotland MHO Award Partnership.

Programme structure

The programme comprises 12 taught days and eight days of online learning over two semesters.

You will also undertake two periods of assessed MHO practice (thirty two days each), which are organised and supported by your employing local authority.

Learning outcomes

The programme aims to provide:

  • the knowledge, skills and competence required to undertake the role of the MHO
  • the opportunity for the development of academic study and specialist learning within mental health social work

Career opportunities

This qualification is for qualified social workers wishing to practise as mental health officers (MHOs).



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Programme description. This programme helps you conceive, refine and explain sustainable strategies in the built environment. The programme is scenario based, delivered in a series of studio projects supplemented with workshops and seminars on aspects of sustainable design. Read more

Programme description

This programme helps you conceive, refine and explain sustainable strategies in the built environment.

The programme is scenario based, delivered in a series of studio projects supplemented with workshops and seminars on aspects of sustainable design. There is an opportunity to study environmental simulation techniques and discover how these can influence wider issues in the built environment.

We address the complex relationship of design to contemporary sustainable agendas and engage in cultural and professional debates that increasingly influence the production of architecture.

This programme is affiliated with the University’s Global Environment & Society Academy:

Programme structure

You complete your studies in one year.

The first semester is a combination of seminars and workshops on the theoretical underpinnings of sustainable design. Alongside this are a series of design projects at the scales of both settlements and building systems. We set many of the projects in a variety of global contexts that reflects the international nature of our students.

The second semester offers an immersive design project that allows you to form your own building programmes and test them in real contexts. You conclude your studies with a comprehensive dissertation research project that can advance your own interests and can be shaped to your preferred career path.

Learning outcomes

Graduates of this programme will have:

  • knowledge of the social, economic and legislative forces that are driving contemporary, sustainable agendas, and understanding of such agendas in relation to architectural cultures
  • an ability to critically assess sustainability as a cultural, economic and environmental phenomenon
  • the ability to interrogate site, programme and context in relation to the production of sustainable construction, engineering and architectural strategies
  • the acquisition of trans-disciplinary skills in articulation of sustainable strategies in related industry sectors

Career opportunities

As the call for a more sustainable built environment increases, architects, designers, engineers and planners who can produce solutions are in demand. With this qualification you’ll be best placed to embrace these opportunities and advance your career.

Even if you follow an unrelated path, the experience and skill development in communication, team work and project management that you’ll gain from the programme will be a valuable addition to your resume.

Our graduates work in specialist sustainable design consultancies, and design practice across a variety of disciplines. Many of our students choose to continue their academic development through PhD study.



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Programme description. The field of nursing is ever changing and increasingly challenging. Read more

Programme description

The field of nursing is ever changing and increasingly challenging. This programme will equip you with the skills for self-development to become leaders and competent decision-makers, professional nurses who understand the primacy of care, the promotion of health and the imperative of evidence to underpin best practice and how this is acquired.

The programme offers a variety of courses which reflect the key concerns in developing an effective and flexible workforce, with the ability to embrace and generate new approaches to care.

It aims, through a process of flexible and open learning, to develop self-directed and reflective nurses who have the potential to be future leaders in advancing nursing.

Programme structure

Whilst there are some core subjects, the programme is extremely flexible and is tailored to students' requirements.

This programme allows:

  • development of a portfolio for professional and personal development;
  • opportunities for the synthesis of theory, evidence and practice;
  • accessibility for all nursing disciplines, including managers, educators and clinicians;
  • enhanced international collaborations, developing a global network of leading nurses as part of our alumni.

The programme consists of two compulsory courses and your choice of option courses.

Compulsory courses

  • Research Methods in Nursing and Healthcare A
  • Professional and Personal Development

Option courses may include:

  • Clinical Decision Making and Professional Judgement
  • Leadership: Exploring Your Potential
  • Global Public Health.

It is also possible in some instances to take option courses from other subject areas outside of nursing studies.

Learning outcomes

The MSc in Advancing Nursing Practice enables students to:

  • develop their practice through engagement with research and scholarship in nursing studies
  • develop a focus on research and application of the evidence base through five themes: Research, Professional Development, Leadership, Clinical Decision Making and Health
  • develop the analytical skills required for professional development and reflective practice
  • develop the skills for the critical appraisal of the practice of nursing
  • develop a critical appraisal of promoting health

Career opportunities

Our programme meets with the needs outlined in the recent Postregistration Career Development Framework (2012). This Framework provides an interactive professional development tool which maps the key knowledge, skills and behaviours which practitioners need to progress through or up a level.

This programme is suitable for nurses looking to advance into senior clinical, educational, teaching and policy roles within the healthcare service, the independent sector, academia, a professional organisation or the voluntary sector.



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Programme description. The programme offers a unique combination of regional expertise with a focus on the theory and practice of international development. Read more

Programme description

The programme offers a unique combination of regional expertise with a focus on the theory and practice of international development.

International Development is concerned with the idea of good change, but who decides what constitutes ‘good change’? How should such change happen? What unintended consequences might the pursuit of change create? The MSc in Africa and International Development encourages you to critically explore these questions, in the context of Africa.

Our course offers you a unique opportunity to acquire a combination of interdisciplinary, regional expertise with a critical knowledge of international development theory and practice. With this grounding, many of our students have gone on to work in development for charities, government agencies, international organisations, think-tanks or advocacy groups. Our degree can also serve as a stepping-stone for a career in research or academia.

Study online

We also run an online distance learning programme in Africa and International Development:

Programme structure

The programme is available on a full-time basis over one year or on a part-time basis over two years. Masters students are expected to complete six courses, and a dissertation.

Students can either complete their dissertation through independent study, or through a work-based placement. These work-based placements offer some students the opportunity to work in a wide range of development organisations across Africa for eight weeks, enabling students to apply academic training to real-world problems.

Work-based project

Students have the opportunity to apply for work-based projects, which offer an unique opportunity to partner with organisations worldwide as part of the MSc dissertation.

Our extensive network of partners in the UK and a large number of African countries (including Liberia, South Africa, Malawi, Kenya and Tanzania) includes NGOs, charities, social enterprise, think-tanks and government bodies, giving students the chance to acquire key skills and practical, first-hand experience of working in international development in the continent.

Learning outcomes

  • Knowledge of academic and policy debates about development interventions in Africa with a focus on sub-Sahara Africa.
  • Critical understanding of theories, concepts and the practice of development in Africa.
  • Detailed knowledge of case studies examining specific aspects of international development.
  • Ability to negotiate the challenges of inter- and multi-disciplinary research drawing in particular on political science, human geography, history and social-cultural anthropology.
  • Ability to critically evaluate and analyse empirical evidence on the implementation of development projects and policies.
  • Apply the critical analysis in writing, discussion and oral presentations as well as group exercises.
  • Ability to conduct independent empirical research in sub-Sahara Africa drawing on a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods.
  • Critical understanding of the challenges and realities of work in the field of international development.

Career opportunities

A qualification in Africa & International Development offers a multidisciplinary grasp of issues that will be of use when pursuing a career in development agencies, consultancy, the public sector and non-governmental organisations.

In addition, you will develop a range of transferable skills, such as communication and project management, which can be applied to roles in any field.



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Programme description. This programme is designed for those with an interest in international development who wish to develop analytical and theoretical skills along with an in-depth knowledge of development issues in the African continent. Read more

Programme description

This programme is designed for those with an interest in international development who wish to develop analytical and theoretical skills along with an in-depth knowledge of development issues in the African continent.

International development in Africa raises a complex set of issues. In this programme, you’ll draw on our Centre of African Studies’ long-standing reputation as a global hub of Africanist expertise to develop a deeper understanding of these issues.

Suitable for both students and professionals from a wide variety of backgrounds, the programme combines theory and practice in seeking to contextualise and analyse the processes that have shaped poverty and underdevelopment in Africa, and the many responses to these issues.

This programme is affiliated with the University's Global Development Academy.

Online learning

You will study three courses over nine months. The courses are taught using a range of innovative interactive teaching methods.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this programme you will:

  • know and understand development issues (with a specific African focus) and international development in comparative perspective
  • be able to critically evaluate the factors shaping particular development processes and their outcomes
  • be able to appropriately apply theories and insights from scholarly research to practical issues and problems of development policy and practice

Career opportunities

A qualification in Africa & International Development offers a multidisciplinary grasp of issues that will be of use when pursuing a career in development agencies, consultancy, the public sector and non-governmental organisations.

In addition, you will develop a range of transferable skills, such as communication and project management, which can be applied to roles in any field.



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Programme description. This is an established and highly regarded programme that offers an intensive introduction to the study of Africa. Read more

Programme description

This is an established and highly regarded programme that offers an intensive introduction to the study of Africa.

The MSc in African Studies provides the analytical tools and the empirical knowledge to understand some of the fundamental forces that are shaping Africa in the twenty-first century. It is the longest running programme offered by the Centre of African Studies, one of the world’s leading centres of Africa-focused knowledge and research, and has recently been restructured to meet growing student demand.

It retains its core strengths of anthropology, politics and history, but it now offers students a greater Africa-focused research component, along with a suite of exciting new option courses to better suit diverse research and employment interests. It also provides the research training necessary to progress to PhD study.

The programme is suitable for those students with some existing knowledge of the continent and who want to enhance their Africa-specific research skills. It is equally appropriate to those students whose existing knowledge of Africa is more limited.

Programme structure

You will complete three compulsory courses and three option courses (offered either by the Centre of African Studies, other subject groups in the School of Social & Political Science, or other Schools within the University). A weekly seminar series and other events will enhance your learning.

After the taught courses, you will work towards your independently researched dissertation.

Career opportunities

Past students have continued on to doctoral programmes in the UK and overseas, and to careers related to, or in, Africa with non-governmental organisations, international organisations, governments, universities and in the private sector.

In addition, you will develop a range of highly transferable skills, such as communication and project management, and research skills, which can be applied to roles in any field.



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This programme is distinctive in its breadth and diversity, both chronologically and thematically. It draws on the wide range of American historical expertise available in the School. Read more

This programme is distinctive in its breadth and diversity, both chronologically and thematically. It draws on the wide range of American historical expertise available in the School. You will enrich your skills in independent research, critical analysis and presentations, and gain an in-depth understanding of the key topics and historiographical debates of this young nation’s dynamic past, spanning the American Revolution, the Cold War and the War on Terror.

You will attain a level of expertise and knowledge that will enable you to embark upon independent research at an advanced level in American history. The University of Edinburgh is home to one of the largest teams of American historians outside the United States, allowing us to provide courses and research supervision in a wide array of topics and time periods with world class expertise. The impressive combined resources of the University’s Main Library and the National Library of Scotland, home to one of the UK’s largest collections of Americana, will be on hand.

Programme structure

The compulsory courses are Historical Methodology; Historical Research: Skills and Sources; Themes in American Historiography.

Option courses previously available include: The Intellectual History of the American Revolution; Slavery in the British Atlantic World, 1650-1834; The American Civil War and Reconstruction; The Civil Rights Movement; Conservatism in the United States, c1930–c1990; The United States and the Vietnam War; The United States and the Cold War.

Career opportunities

Our students view the programme and a graduate degree from Edinburgh as an advanced qualification valued and respected by many employers.Those students interested in long-term academic careers consider the programme as preparation for a PhD.

The combination of specialised skills training courses and seminars, and the opportunity for independent research provides you with transferable skills that will be beneficial whatever path you choose. Graduates pursue work in related areas such as museums, policy think-tanks, national and international civil services, non-governmental organisations, galleries, libraries and historic trusts whilst others build on the transferable skills gained and enter areas as diverse as business, media, public administration and marketing.



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