Module Details

BE152-7-AU-CO: Audit Theory

Year: 2017/18
Department: Essex Business School
Essex credit: 20
ECTS credit: 10
Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students: Yes
Full Year Module Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students for a Single Term: No
Outside Option: No

Supervisor: Dr Pik Liew, Professor Stuart Manson
Teaching Staff: Dr Pik Liew, Professor Stuart Manson
Contact details: Email:

Module is taught during the following terms
Autumn Spring Summer

Module Description

The main aim of this course is to explore key issues in contemporary auditing through a critical evaluation and analysis of recent published research in the principal auditing and accounting journals. A secondary aim of the course is to provide students with a forum for discussing the major policy issues facing the auditing industry and to suggest changes and reforms that might be beneficial to practitioners and society.

The course will include the following topics:

The nature and functions of auditing.
Regulation of/by auditing.
Issues relating to the independence of auditors.
The risk based approach to auditing.
The importance of audit evidence and analytical review.
The issue of audit quality.
The auditor's reporting obligations.
The nature and scope of auditor' liability to third parties;
The impact of globalization on auditing.
The role of auditing in the financial crisis.


By the end of the course students will be expected to:

1. Understand and analyse some of the major contributions of the research literature on contemporary audit theory and practice
2. Apply the knowledge and understanding of research methodologies and methods to assess the relevance, validity and usefulness of the research literature in the course
3. Demonstrate the skills required to participate in debates and discussions on academic research in auditing, including the design of relevant questions, the techniques of argument and rebuttal and the skills of chairing a discussion
4. Produce a sustained piece of writing that synthesises and critically evaluates at least one piece of auditing research literature


On completion of this module, students should have attained key transferable skills that include being able to:

• Apply and adapt academic skills to a professional working environment
• Develop and apply analytical skills and critical thinking in the working environment
• Analyse information in a logical manner, understand the associated implications and arrive at conclusions
• Be aware of, and understand, contemporary auditing debates and developments in an international and practical context
• Appreciate the importance of ‘softer’ skills in the working environment such as developing a professional attitude (e.g. honesty and integrity) and commitment, exhibiting sound communication and awareness of completing tasks to strict deadlines.

Learning and Teaching Methods

The course consists of one two hour class per week for 10 weeks. All students are expected to actively participate in class discussions.


100 per cent Coursework Mark


One 4,000 word term paper

Other information

Postgraduate Administrator - Jade D'Mello

Further information