The University of Edinburgh offers a wide choice of undergraduate business courses. Here, we provide a broad overview of their design and nature.

Choosing your courses at Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh offers a wide choice of undergraduate business courses. Here, we provide a broad overview of their design and nature.

Most of our exchange students will select courses from our second year onwards.

These second year courses would be the courses of choice in subjects where you may have little or no prior knowledge. For example, the Principles of Finance course starts from the assumption of no prior knowledge of business finance and is designed both for those who wish to study the subject further and for those who do not. Superficially, the MA degree resembles a North American four-year BA, but there are very real differences. Whilst non-honours courses (first and second year) may look like North American 'lower division' ones, the Edinburgh courses are frequently at a higher level, especially those designated as second year courses.

Honours courses (third and fourth year courses) all assume either particular prior knowledge - and will have a pre-requisite course - or they assume the general knowledge of business acquired on the non-honours courses.

It is likely that you will be studying a mix of non-honours and honours courses. This is appropriate for you even if you are in your third or fourth year at your home university. Note that it is not possible for you to do postgraduate-level (graduate) courses.

Students studying for a full year here take three full courses or the equivalent in half-courses, where these are available. All second year half courses and honours courses are equivalent to approximately one sixth of a full student load - ie 20 SCOTCAT points or 10 ECTS. Therefore, if you are spending a full academic year at the University of Edinburgh you would normally select six courses (a total of 120 SCOTCAT points equivalent to 60 ECTS).

The courses are weighted according to the number of lecture hours or sometimes total class hours (including tutorials). In the College of Humanities and Social Science, most non-honours courses have two or three hours of lectures per week and a one-hour tutorial (small-group discussion). Honours courses are usually two hours a week, often in one single session, but this varies from course to course. One SCOTCAT credit point is equivalent to 10 hours of notional student effort. Therefore a course with 20 SCOTCAT points (10 ECTS) will be 200 hours.


Your Director of Studies

A Director of Studies is appointed to every exchange student. This individual will not only provide a warm welcome to the School and the city but help you to choose your courses. As an exchange student based in the School, you are also eligible to select those other University courses available to exchange students. The Visiting Student Guide includes a fully searchable database of all these courses.

The University's International Office provides very useful information for new students which contains details on:

  • Immigration
  • Money and opening a bank account
  • Accommodation
  • Matriculation/Registration
  • Social media

For details on how to apply as a Business School Exchange student, please refer to the University's International Office website.

Please note that if your home university does not currently have an exchange link with the Business School, you can still come to study at Edinburgh as an independent Visiting Student.