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MSc Accounting

Why we're great

  • We are in the UK’s top 25 for research excellence (REF 2014)
  • We are home to world-renowned accounting academics
  • Our Colchester Campus has the UK’s first zero-carbon business school building

Course options2017-18

MSc Accounting Full-time

Duration: 1 year
Start month: October
Location: Colchester Campus
Based in: Essex Business School
Fee (Home/EU): £10,200
Fee (International): £15,950
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
PGT fees information


Duration: 2 years
Start month: October
Location: Colchester Campus
Based in: Essex Business School
Fee (Home/EU): £5,100
Fee (International): £7,975
Fees will increase for each academic year of study.
PGT fees information

Course enquiries

Telephone 01206 872719

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About the course

How is the role and public perception of accounting changing in a world still coping with the effects of the financial crash?

Accounting at Essex goes well beyond the preparation of financial statements. We teach you to be accountable, act ethically and make financial decisions that positively impact both organisations and society.

This course will advance your knowledge of accounting in both depth and scope. You are taught at Essex Business School, champions of ethical management and sustainable business and ranked in the UK’s top 25 for research excellence (REF, 2014). We believe accounting information is the foundation for successful decision-making and further develop your practical accounting skills and theoretical knowledge so you can make a positive impact in the workplace.

You explore the changing role and perception of accounting within shifting global markets. We take a critical view of both financial reporting and management accounting, so that you can be perfectly placed to lead financial decision-making in your chosen industry. You work with students and staff from across the globe, preparing you to work in international markets; our Masters students currently join us from more than 40 countries.

MSc Accounting can also be part-time and you may be eligible for a number of scholarships and discounts.

“Essex Business School gave me the confidence to question and express my opinions. My career has gone from strength to strength and I’m now Financial Planning and Analysis Accountant at ERS Insurance Group. I focus on the Lloyd’s Syndicate 218’s budget and forecast process and am now a qualified Chartered Certified Accountant."

Ali Kutchuk - MSc Accounting graduate.

Our expert staff

Our expert staff are at the forefront of debate and research surrounding accounting issues.

Essex Business School is home to industry renowned figures, such as Professor of Accounting Prem Sikka. Prem is a leading academic on issues surrounding tax avoidance, with his work often quoted in The Guardian, The Huffington Post and The Independent.

Our academics are members of three internationally respected research centres:

By learning from accounting experts, you can experience an education at the cutting edge of the discipline. You hear the latest thinking on issues impacting the business world today.

We’re at the forefront of research in:

  • business ethics and corporate social responsibility
  • organisation studies
  • leadership and strategy
  • finance and banking
  • risk management
  • international management

As a top five UK university for social sciences (REF, 2014), our work is informed by a broad range of social science theories and concepts. Much of our research addresses the important issues currently being faced by commercial businesses, public sector bodies and not-for-profit organisations. At Essex Business School, you study at an institution that aims to make a direct impact on the world you live in.

Specialist facilities

This course is based at our Colchester Campus, where you benefit from excellent facilities in the UK’s first zero carbon business school building.

Our building represents our commitment to sustainability in business. Our beautiful winter garden is not only a tranquil place for group working and networking, but our Eden-style dome gives the building its own micro-climate.

You benefit from a cutting-edge working environment, complete with:

  • a virtual trading floor with Bloomberg Financial Market Labs, providing access to financial data used by professionals around the world
  • modern lecture theatres
  • networking opportunities with visiting businesses
  • Bonds café, serving a variety of refreshments
  • the EBS Learning team, who can provide study skills support to help you excel academically

Your future

Our courses are designed to foster the business leaders of the future who, through creativity, innovation and ethical awareness, can meet the many challenges that the international business world continues to present. As a result, 78% of our postgraduate taught students were in work or further study in 2015 (DLHE)

Many of our students enjoy roles in areas such as financial analysis, management, public administration and accountancy.

The School’s dedicated employability team work closely with the University’s careers advice services to help you to find work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

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Example structure

Postgraduate study is the chance to take your education to the next level. The combination of compulsory and optional modules means our courses help you develop extensive knowledge in your chosen discipline, whilst providing plenty of freedom to pursue your own interests. Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore to ensure your course is as relevant and up-to-date as possible your core module structure may be subject to change.

For many of our courses you’ll have a wide range of optional modules to choose from – those listed in this example structure are, in many instances, just a selection of those available. Our Programme Specification gives more detail about the structure available to our current postgraduate students, including details of all optional modules.

Year 1

Your dissertation is the culmination of your Masters programme, where you apply the knowledge gained on your course to produce an extended independent piece of work. You generate an original idea, analyse literature and current knowledge and produce a coherent argument that shows your ability to relate theory to practice. Your dissertation will help you develop vital skills for the workplace, as well as the ability to analyse real problems through an academic lens. You are assigned a supervisor for the duration of your project.

This module equips you with a critical understanding of research methods and methodologies in the field of accounting. You develop the skills needed to explore issues in accounting and identify, choose and implement research designs and strategies.

Demonstrate a critical understanding of major current issues in financial accounting and reporting. You develop an awareness of financial reporting theory, the problematic nature of accounting measurements and disclosures, corporate disclosure regulation, the implications of market efficiency for financial reporting, and the potential role of accounting information in social reporting and collective bargaining.

Management accounting provides information required for decision-making, planning and control and cost management. You examine a range of contemporary issues in management accounting such as activity-based costing, strategic management accounting and other management accounting issues. You also evaluate contemporary approaches of management control theories to understand the current practices of management accounting locally and globally.

Explore key issues in contemporary auditing through evaluation of recent published research in the principal auditing and accounting journals. You also consider the major policy issues facing the auditing profession, and suggest changes and reforms that might be beneficial both to the profession and to those affected by the activities of auditors.

This module introduces you to financial reporting, governance, regulation, and analysis of financial statements. You also gain an understanding of the role of published financial statements in aiding users in their decision-making.

This module introduces you to management accounting and management control principles, investment appraisal and financial control principles, and market and managerial behaviours. You examine a range of issues that relate to financial and managerial decision-making, including incremental costing, budgeting, activity-based costing, capital structure and long term financing, and financial analysis of commercial projects.


  • Tailor the content of your course to more closely fit your interests and aspirations
  • Courses focus on practical applications and links with industry
  • We run an open seminar series


  • Regular assessment is by coursework, presentations, case studies, group work, tests and examinations


  • You submit a 15,000 word dissertation.

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UK entry requirements

A 1st, 2:1 or good 2:2 degree, or equivalent, in accounting or a related discipline.

International and EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Email for further details about the qualifications we accept. Include information in your email about the undergraduate qualification you have already completed or are currently taking.

IELTS entry requirements

If English is not your first language, we require IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

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Visit us

Open days

We hold postgraduate events in February/March and November, and open days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.


Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.


You can apply for our postgraduate courses online. You’ll need to provide us with your academic qualifications, as well as supporting documents such as transcripts, English language qualifications and certificates. You can find a list of necessary documents online, but please note we won’t be able to process your application until we have everything we need.

There is no application deadline but we recommend that you apply before 1 July for our taught courses starting in October. We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

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The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its course finder is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep prospective students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.