About the course
How can organisations ensure fair and accurate accounting? How has finance changed in the wake of the global economic crisis?
Our MSc Accounting and Finance is taught at Essex Business School, an internationally diverse school ranked in the top 25 in the UK for research excellence (REF, 2014). You join one of the UK’s largest and most respected finance groups and experience a Masters education that combines theory with practice. You further your understanding of advanced accounting and corporate finance and can tailor your studies to your professional ambitions by choosing from a range of optional modules.
You cover topics including:
- recent developments in theoretical approaches to accounting and corporate finance
- quantitative and qualitative approaches to empirical research
- financial reporting
- portfolio management
Our world-renowned academics are at the cutting-edge of their fields. They embed the latest thinking into your course to ensure you stay up-to-date with the current developments and major issues in accounting and financial reporting.
Whether you’re thinking about continuing your studies to PhD level or targeting a senior role in the world of accounting or finance, this is the course to advance your career.
Our MSc Accounting and Finance is also available to study part-time and you may be eligible for University of Essex scholarships and discounts. Postgraduate loans for Masters courses are now available from the Student Loans Company, worth up to £10,000, for students from the UK and EU.
Our expert staff
Our expert academics and practitioners seek to shape the direction of debate and research in the fields of accounting and finance, addressing issues currently faced by commercial businesses, public sector bodies and not-for-profit organisations. Their work has been cited in the national press and we’re home to internationally regarded figures, such as Emeritus Professor Prem Sikka, who is campaigning for an end to corporation tax avoidance.
Essex Business School has four accounting and finance research centres, producing work with real-world impact:
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
We’re proud to have the UK’s first zero carbon business school building, which reflects our commitment to ethical and sustainable business. 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
- utilise the study skills services provided by the EBS Learning Team
- relax in Bonds café, adjacent to our sun terrace
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. In 2015, 78% of our postgraduate taught students were in work or further study (DLHE).
Our recent graduates have progressed to roles in financial analysis, management, public administration and accountancy in high-profile organisations and exciting SMEs across the world, such as:
- The Government of Pakistan
- Brit College
- Dytex Cotfabr
- Capital Markets Intelligence, a financial publisher
- Credit Data Research, a provider of small business finance
We’re also proud of our student entrepreneurs, including international business incubator 0100Ventures and entrepreneurship website SlovakSTARTUP.
Working alongside the University’s Employability and Careers Centre, we’ll help you find out about employability opportunities, such as work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities. There is also access to employer talks on campus.
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 and optional 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.
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.
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.
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.
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, which our Masters students are welcome to attend
- learn in an international environment; our Masters students join us from more than 40 countries
- Regular assessment is by coursework, presentations, case studies, group work, tests and examinations
- You submit a 15,000 word dissertation.
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.
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.
English language 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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.
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.