Postgraduate Course

MSc Accounting and Financial Management

MSc Accounting and Financial Management

Overview

The details
Accounting and Financial Management
October 2023
Full-time
1 year
Colchester Campus

Financial decision making impacts every business decision within an organisation, which ultimately has an impact on local and global economies, so it is imperative that accountants ensure their actions benefit a business’ bottom line, without negatively impacting society.

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. Your studies can be tailored 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

Essex Business School, where this course is based, is home to a number of cutting-edge financial research centres and institutes where the academics leading your course can share their latest research findings:

  • The Essex Finance Centre (EFiC) works with leading financial services firms and public sector organisations, governments and policy institutions to produce work that makes real-world impact across the globe.
  • Our Centre for Work, Organisation and Society organises regular events, which provide you with access to academic and industry expertise, as well as the opportunity to network with scholars from around the world.

Our students can use industry-leading Bloomberg data in Essex Business School’s virtual trading floor. This state-of-the-art facility gives you access to the same tools used by traders and business analysts worldwide, offering a fantastic opportunity to hone your practical skills in finance and management.

Essex Business School is a member of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute University Affiliation Program.

Discover our trading floor:

Professional accreditation

Accredited by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) for the purpose of exemptions from some professional examinations.

Completion of this course gives you accreditation exemptions from up to four professional examination papers with The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

This means that you are able to gain a professional qualification more quickly by taking fewer exams when you graduate, giving your career a head start.

Why we're great.
  • You don’t need an accounting or finance Bachelor's degree to study this Masters.
  • Accredited by ACCA with up to four exemptions from ACCA professional examination papers.
  • Our virtual trading floor offers a fantastic opportunity to hone your practical skills in financial management.

Our expert staff

Essex Business School has a number of established research strengths in accounting, including:

  • accounting in emerging economies
  • sustainable accounting
  • governance
  • global development
  • public sector accounting
  • regulation and reporting

Our researchers make a significant impact on the lives of people all around the world, with past and current research projects covering five continents.

The experience and findings of our experts will feature throughout your teaching. For example, you’ll hear from Dr Pawan Adhikari, Reader in Accounting at Essex Business School. Dr Adhikari’s expertise is public sector accounting, in particular highlighting the issues that emerging economies face while improving their accounting and accountability practices.

Pawan’s work is widely used in policy making and his recent work in Nepal has benefitted the government, investors, development partners (for example the World Bank) and wider Nepalese society by ensuring decision-makers are truly held to account, are transparent and open to scrutiny by stakeholders. This standardisation of public sector accounting practices has been a key part of Nepal’s reform agenda for the past ten years.

Two research centres support the research activities taking place in the accounting group. They organise seminars by external invited speakers, Essex Business School staff and research students; co-ordinate workshop programmes; and schedule bi-annual conferences of international renown. These offer a further excellent opportunity for you to engage with the very latest research and ideas in the field of accounting.

TheEssex Accounting Centre conducts distinctive world-class research, with a particular focus on accounting research applied in developing countries, including topics such as social responsibility and corporate governance; management accounting change; and corruption and accountability.

Our new interdisciplinary centre, the Centre for Accountability and Global Development (CAGD), is a dynamic hub for social justice research, with a particular focus on accountability across all sectors in both developed and emerging economies. The Centre contributes to impactful global development through rigorous research and engagement with the policy community, which complements the existing research strengths and expertise established within the Essex Accounting Centre.

Specialist facilities

Our MSc Accounting and Financial Management is based at our Colchester Campus.

You’ll be studying at Essex Business School, home to the first zero carbon business school in the UK– demonstrating our sustainable approach to business first-hand. Set around a lush winter garden, with shared spaces to encourage collaborative working, you’ll find a wealth of inspiring teaching and study zones:

  • a virtual trading floor with Bloomberg Financial Market Labs, where you’ll gain hands-on experience and learn how to model financial data in a practical setting
  • access to company reporting databases, Passport (GMID) and NEXIS advance UK
  • learn in modern lecture theatres with ‘listen again’ recording to aid your study
  • utilise study booths in our winter garden and versatile break out areas for group working throughout the building
  • study skills support provided by the Essex Business School Learning Team
  • networking opportunities with visiting businesses and careers events
  • Bonds café and adjacent foyer to enjoy on-site fresh food and drink

You'll also benefit from fantastic University facilities located close by, including our state-of-the-art Silberrad Student Centre, complete with an open-access 24-hour Learning Hub and a cutting-edge media centre.

Our building is located on the Knowledge Gateway, home to some of the region’s most exciting enterprises in the science, technology and creative sectors. The Knowledge Gateway provides potential networking and career opportunities for students directly on campus.

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.

Our graduates have progressed to work for high-profile organisations and innovative SMEs such as:

  • KPMG
  • Grant Thornton LLP
  • Ministry of Taxes of the Republic of Azerbaijan
  • European Central Bank
  • HP
  • Credit Data Research, SME finance provider
  • Footprint Digital, a fast-growing digital marketing agency

Our Student Support team work closely with the University’s Employability and Careers service to help you with careers information and advice and CV support. They will help you find work experience, internships, placements and voluntary opportunities and provide access to employer talks on campus. We also work closely with the Essex Startups team to support our budding entrepreneurs get their business ideas off the ground.

“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

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

A 2:2 degree in any discipline.

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

English language requirements

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

Additional Notes

The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.

Structure

Course structure

We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of core/compulsory modules, and optional modules chosen from lists. Please be aware that we are planning changes to our first year to make it more relevant to your chosen course.

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The following modules are based on the current course structure and may change in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.

We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision for you. We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities as described on our website. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to significant disruption, or in response to COVID-19, we’ll let our applicants and students know as soon as possible.

Components and modules explained

Components

Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.

Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.

Status What this means
Core
You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory
You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Compulsory with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Optional
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.

The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.

Modules

Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.

In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.

Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:

HR 100  4  FY

The department or school the module will be taught by.

In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.

The module number. 

The UK academic level of the module.

A standard undergraduate course will comprise of level 4, 5 and 6 modules - increasing as you progress through the course.

A standard postgraduate taught course will comprise of level 7 modules.

A postgraduate research degree is a level 8 qualification.

The term the module will be taught in.

  • AU: Autumn term
  • SP: Spring term
  • SU: Summer term
  • FY: Full year 
  • AP: Autumn and Spring terms
  • PS: Spring and Summer terms
  • AS: Autumn and Summer terms

COMPONENT 01: CORE

Dissertation in Accounting
(60 CREDITS)

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.

View Dissertation in Accounting on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 02: CORE

Research Methods in Accounting
(20 CREDITS)

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.

View Research Methods in Accounting on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 03: COMPULSORY

Corporate Reporting and Analysis
(20 CREDITS)

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.

View Corporate Reporting and Analysis on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 04: COMPULSORY

Financial Decision Making
(20 CREDITS)

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.

View Financial Decision Making on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 05: OPTIONAL

EBS (Colchester Campus) option from list
(60 CREDITS)

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.

Fees and funding

Home/UK fee

£13,650

International fee

£21,350

What's next

Open Days

Applying

You can apply for this postgraduate course online. Before you apply, please check our information about necessary documents that we’ll ask you to provide as part of your application.

We aim to respond to applications within two weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

For information on our deadline to apply for this course, please see our ‘how to apply’ information.

Colchester Campus

Visit Colchester Campus

Home to 15,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.

Set within the 200-acre award-winning beautiful parkland - Wivenhoe Park and located two miles from the historic city centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded development. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.

Whether you are planning to visit us at one of our Open Days, or coming to an Applicant day. Our campus conveniently located and easy to reach by car, train or bus.

View from Square 2 outside the Rab Butler Building looking towards Square 3

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.

Open Days

We hold 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.

At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.

Find out more

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification 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, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the 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 students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications. The University would inform and engage with you if your course was to be discontinued, and would provide you with options, where appropriate, in line with our Compensation and Refund Policy.

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.

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