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MSc Accounting and Financial Management

Why we're great

  • You don’t need an accounting degree to study this Masters
  • ACCA accreditation means you may be exempt from some professional exams
  • We are rated as a top 20 UK business school by the Chartered Association of Business Schools

Course options2017-18

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
Email pgadmit@essex.ac.uk

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About the course

How do organisations make financial decisions? How can accountants ensure their actions benefit a business’ bottom line, without negatively impacting society?

Our professionally accredited MSc Accounting and Financial Management is designed for those who have not studied accounting before, but have a degree in business, economics or another related subject. We provide a comprehensive grounding in corporate analysis and reporting, as well as building your confidence in financial decision-making. You then tailor your studies to suit your preferred career direction in industry, commerce or professional services by choosing from optional modules.

You cover topics including:

  • theories of financial reporting
  • management accounting and control
  • theoretical and critical approaches to accounting and financial management
  • analysis of financial statements

You study at Essex Business School, in one of the top 25 accounting and finance departments in the UK for research excellence (REF, 2014). We expose you to cutting-edge course content, informed by the latest academic thinking so you can excel in your professional career.

This course is also available to study part time and you may be eligible for University of Essex scholarships and discounts. Essex Business School also offers a limited number of scholarships for the CFA level one exam and IMC level one and two exams to exceptional Masters students.

Essex Business School is an IMC Advantage Partner and a Recognised Partner of the CFA.

“I work as a Junior Risk Specialist at the Central Bank of the Republic of Azerbaijan. In my experience, employers look for a Masters degree from a well-respected UK university, like the University of Essex. I’ve found that many organisations give priority to candidates who have studied in another country.”

Orkhan Mehdiyev, MSc Accounting and Financial Management 2015

Professional accreditation

This programme is accredited by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

On successful completion of this course, you may be entitled to be considered for exemption from up to four of the ACCA’s examination papers, ensuring you’re well positioned to pursue a career in accounting.

Our expert staff

Our world renowned staff are at the forefront of debate and research in accounting issues and embed this thinking into your course.

You’ll find our academics, such as Professor Prem Sikka, writing on issues affecting commercial businesses, public sector bodies and not-for-profit organisations in global titles like The Huffington Post.

We use a broad range of social science theories and concepts to explore:

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

Specialist facilities

Our Essex Business School building uses an environmentally friendly design and features its own micro-climate:

  • the UK’s first zero carbon business school building
  • an innovative virtual trading floor with Bloomberg Financial Market Labs
  • high-tech lecture theatres
  • a winter garden with study pods and innovation booths for group working
  • a vibrant café located near to our sun terrace
  • study skills workshops

Your future

We foster your creativity and ethical awareness so you’re ready to meet the challenges of the international business world.

Our MSc Accounting and Financial Management provides you with the skills needed for roles in financial analysis, management, public administration and accountancy. Our course will be particularly useful if you want to pursue a career in industry, commerce or with professional services firms, with many of our graduates also beginning their own entrepreneurial ventures.

Read our graduate profiles to see some of the organisations our Masters students have progressed to.

You have access to a range of career advice and employability opportunities within the School, as well as from the University’s Employability and Careers Centre.

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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.

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.

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 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.

Corporate marketing goes beyond the traditional customer and product/service focus of conventional marketing modules. You are introduced to a number of key concepts including corporate identity, corporate culture, corporate image, corporate reputation, and corporate brands and how they facilitate our understanding and the management of corporate-level organisational issues and challenges in a multi-stakeholder environment.

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, with either some background in social science or some numerate degree content.

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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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.

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