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MSc Accounting and Finance

Why we're great

  • We are home to one of the largest and most-respected finance groups in the UK
  • Tailor your Masters to your career goals with our wide range of modules
  • We are at the forefront of accounting and finance research – be at the cutting-edge of the discipline

Course options

Duration: 1 year
Start month: October
Location: Colchester Campus
Based in: Essex Business School
Fee (Home/EU): £9,950
Fee (International): £15,500

Duration: 2 years
Start month: October
Location: Colchester Campus
Based in: Essex Business School
Fee (Home/EU): £4,975
Fee (International): £7,750

Course enquiries

Telephone 01206 872719
Email pgadmit@essex.ac.uk

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About the course

How are the latest theoretical and empirical developments in accounting and finance making a difference in the modern business world?

At Essex Business School, you further your understanding of advanced accounting, together with financial topics and methods. You become adept in both theoretical and practical approaches to accounting and corporate finance, and have the chance to specialise in an area of particular interest through a wide range of optional modules.

Areas you will cover include:

  • recent developments in theoretical approaches to accounting and corporate finance
  • quantitative and qualitative approaches to empirical research
  • financial reporting
  • portfolio management

You study at a business school ranked in the top 25 in the UK for research excellence (REF, 2014).

Our course gives you the perfect stepping stone, whether you’re thinking about continuing your studies to PhD level or are targeting a senior role in the world of accounting or finance.

Our MSc Accounting and Finance is also available to study part-time.

Our expert staff

Our expert academics and practitioners continue to shape the direction of accounting debate and research, addressing issues currently faced by commercial businesses, public sector bodies and not-for-profit organisations. With their work often cited in the national press, they remain at the cutting-edge of their fields to ensure you experience the latest developments within your discipline.

We’re recognised for being at the forefront of research in:

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

Specialist facilities

We’re proud to have the UK’s first zero-carbon business school building. You will be able to:

  • practise analysing financial data in our virtual trading floor, complete with Bloomberg Financial Market Labs
  • prepare for your lectures in our lush winter garden
  • experience our Eden-style dome, which gives the building its own micro-climate
  • learn in light and spacious lecture theatres
  • utilise our study pods and innovation booths for group working
  • network with visiting businesses
  • relax in our Bonds café, adjacent to our sun terrace

Your future

Essex Business School shapes the organisational leaders of the future. We develop your business skills so you can use creativity, innovation and ethical awareness to solve the challenges that the international business world continues to present.

Our recent graduates progress to roles in financial analysis, management, public administration and accountancy in organisations across the world, such as:

  • The Government of Pakistan
  • Brit College
  • Dytex Cotfabr

Our courses also inspire graduates to pursue their own entrepreneurial ventures.

Working alongside the University’s Employability and Careers Centre, we’ll help you find out about further 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 covers topics in mathematics that are required in Masters-level finance courses at the University of Essex. You focus on the basics of linear algebra, differential calculus including optimisation and dynamics.

Understand the process of portfolio management. You cover the main concepts such as efficient diversification, managing risk exposures, and the valuation of financial assets that are at the core of managing investment portfolios, and pay special attention to the practicalities of the implementation of these concepts.

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.

Explore a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods, and study several case studies which illustrate the suitability of these methods and make transparent their epistemological and ontological underpinnings. This allows you to explore issues in management and accounting, providing you with the skills to identify, choose and implement research designs and strategies.

Gain theoretical knowledge and a practical understanding of financial markets, trading strategies, risk and money management and trader analytics at the highest level. You study a mix of classroom-based instruction, case studies and practical trading exercises where you trade on real-time simulated global markets through the use of industry-strength proprietary trading software in the trading lab.

This module offers you a standard introduction of the field of corporate finance at postgraduate level. You consider the classical areas of Modigliani-Miller irrelevance, Taxes and capital structure, Trade-off theory and Pecking order theory of capital structure, before exploring the more modern areas, which are essentially based on contract theory.

Gain a formal introduction to asset pricing theories and empirical findings. You review the fundamental theories of the expected utility, asset pricing kernels, and risk-neutral valuation, covering the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM), and linear factor models arising from the Arbitrage Pricing Theory (APT). You also discuss empirical asset pricing studies.

Teaching

  • 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

Assessment

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

Dissertation

  • You submit a 15,000 word dissertation.

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Qualifications

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 pgadmit@essex.ac.uk 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 tours@essex.ac.uk 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.

Exhibitions

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.

Applying

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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Although great care is taken in compiling our course details, they are intended for the general guidance of prospective students only. The University reserves the right to make 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, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University.

The full procedures, rules and regulations of the University are set out in the Charter, Statues and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.