Postgraduate Course

MSc International Accounting and Banking with Professional Placement

MSc International Accounting and Banking with Professional Placement


The details
International Accounting and Banking with Professional Placement
October 2019
2 years
Colchester Campus

This course equips you with in-depth financial knowledge and the practical skills needed for a rewarding career in accounting or banking in multinational organisations.

Our MSc International Accounting and Banking with Professional Placement is a unique degree amongst UK universities, and the inclusion of the professional placement gives you a competitive edge by combining theory and practice with real-life examples. You gain an advanced understanding of contemporary accounting and banking issues and produce a business report on a listed company. You develop your ability to research issues, analyse and solve business problems and operate effectively in a fast-paced international business environment.

Whether you have a first degree in accounting, or are looking to study the subject for the first time, this course is for you if you’re looking for a career in international organisations, such as banks, accountancy firms, accountancy and finance departments or business consultancy.

You explore topics including:

  • international management accounting
  • international financial reporting
  • corporate reporting and analysis
  • modern banking
  • bank strategy and risk

This course is taught in Essex Business School, an internationally diverse place to study, with more than half of our staff and students joining us from overseas (our Masters students currently join us from more than 40 countries). As a result, this course is informed by a wide range of global perspectives, preparing you for the demands of an international career in accounting or banking.

We’re a research intensive business school, ranked in the top 25 in the UK for research excellence (REF, 2014). You learn from world-class thinkers who embed the latest academic thinking into their teaching to ensure you experience the cutting-edge of your discipline.

Why we're great.
  • Unique opportunity to undertake a professional placement during your Masters
  • You don’t need a first degree in accounting for this course
  • One-of-a-kind course amongst UK universities
THE Awards 2018 - Winner University of the Year

Placement year

This course offers a unique opportunity to take a work placement as part of the degree so that you to gain relevant work experience within an external business or organisation, giving you a competitive edge in the job market and providing you with key contacts within the industry.

The placement is undertaken between the taught part of the course and the individual project. Its aim is to allow students to acquire industry experience and, especially, develop an appreciation of how the skills acquired in the taught part of the course can be applied to real world problems.

The Essex Business School Placements Manager can offer bespoke support throughout the process of researching, applying and interviewing for placements. However, it is your responsibility to apply, prepare for and secure your own role. Most recently, our undergraduate students have gained placements with organisations such as BMW, Samsung and Cummins.

Our expert staff

Our expert staff possess a wealth of experience from around the globe and are at the forefront of accounting and banking research and debate.

We’re home to industry renowned figures, such as Emeritus Professor of Accounting Prem Sikka. Prem is a leading thinker on issues surrounding tax avoidance and his work has been quoted in The Guardian, The Huffington Post and The Independent.

The University of Essex is also ranked in the top five UK universities for social science research (REF, 2014). Our work is informed by a broad range of social science theories and concepts to tackle challenges currently being faced by organisations across the commercial, public and third sectors.

We’re recognised for our work on:

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

Specialist facilities

The Essex Business School building at our Colchester Campus is the first zero carbon business school in the UK, reflecting our commitment to sustainable business practices. The building provides a modern working environment for staff and students, and includes:

  • a virtual trading floor, so you can practise managing stocks and securities with our Bloomberg Financial Market Labs
  • light and spacious lecture theatres
  • group working areas
  • networking opportunities with visiting businesses
  • Bonds café, next to our sun terrace
  • a winter garden, which contributes to the building’s own micro-climate
  • study skills support, provided by the EBS Learning Team

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 develop your creativity, innovation and ethical awareness to prepare you for a successful business career. Our Masters courses foster the business leaders of the future, equipping them with the skills to handle the many challenges the international world of business continues to present.

As well as exploring their own entrepreneurial ventures, our graduates have gained fulfilling roles in financial analysis, management, public administration and accountancy. In 2018, 80% of our postgraduate taught students were in work or further study (DLHE 2017).

Essex Business School graduates have progressed to work for high-profile organisations and innovative SMEs, such as:

  • PwC
  • Hiscox
  • Access Group
  • Bank of England
  • EY
  • Credit Data Research, SME finance provider
  • Footprint Digital, a fast-growing digital marketing agency

We’re also proud of our student entrepreneurs, including international business incubator 0100Ventures and entrepreneurship website SlovakSTARTUP.

Alongside the University’s Employability and Careers Centre, our own EBS Employability Team will encourage you to enhance your study with work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities. There is also access to employer talks on campus.

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

A 2:2 degree containing modules from a social science or numerate 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.

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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.


Example structure

Most of our courses combine compulsory and optional modules, giving you freedom to pursue your own interests. All of the modules listed below provide an example of what is on offer from the current academic year. Our Programme Specification provides further details of the course structure for the current academic year.

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.

International Management Accounting

Analyse the changing practices and theorization of management accounting and control in emerging and less-developed countries in the context of environmental change, institutional and socio-economic factors. You examine traditional management control systems in the context of different cultural, political, and socio-economic contexts.

View International Management Accounting on our Module Directory

International Financial Reporting

Develop a critical understanding of current issues in international financial reporting. You analyse the development of national accounting systems, the role of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and its impact on financial reporting internationally, and the particular financial reporting needs of developing countries.

View International Financial Reporting on our Module Directory

Corporate Reporting and Analysis

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

Modern Banking

Explore the basics of the structure and environment of banking, and selected aspects of the applied economics of the modern banking firm. You study structure-conduct-performance, competition, bank efficiency, regulation, international banking and bank failures and crises.

View Modern Banking on our Module Directory

Bank Strategy and Risk

Analyse the key strategic developments in banking and the main aspects of risk management in modern banks. You are introduced to the concept of shareholder value in banking, the main banking strategies to create shareholder value, the key risks in banking, and the most important tools required to manage bank risks.

View Bank Strategy and Risk on our Module Directory

Professional Placement

This module enables you to undertake a placement with an external Placement Provider. You will acquire effective work-based skills specific to your chosen field, and gain a detailed understanding of work processes. It’s an opportunity to put taught skills into practise and develop a network of industry professionals. Your placement is a sought-after contribution to your employability, giving you the tools employers look for in skilled graduates.

View Professional Placement on our Module Directory

Professional Placement

This module enables you to undertake a placement with an external Placement Provider. You will acquire effective work-based skills specific to your chosen field, and gain a detailed understanding of work processes. It’s an opportunity to put taught skills into practise and develop a network of industry professionals. Your placement is a sought-after contribution to your employability, giving you the tools employers look for in skilled graduates.

View Professional Placement on our Module Directory

Business Report

This module gives you the opportunity to use the skills and knowledge gained on your course to assess the performance of a real-world business and make recommendations for improvement. You produce an independent business report using published accounting information and techniques such as content analysis, advanced ratio analysis and statistical analysis. You develop your ability to analyse information, think critically and exercise professional judgement when making decisions in difficult accounting contexts. By interrogating a real-life case study, you learn how accounting issues and principles are applied in practice.

View Business Report on our Module Directory


You will complete a professional placement between the taught part of the course and the individual project. This professional placement allows you to gain work experience during your postgraduate studies.


  • This course combines theory with practice; you gain real-world context through up-to-date research and live case studies.
  • Teaching combines lectures, seminars and private study.

Fees and funding

Home/EU fee


Year 2 fee is currently calculated as a 40% of the Year 1 fee.

International fee


Year 2 fee is currently calculated as a 40% of the Year 1 fee.

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

What's next

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 and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

2019 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

  • Monday, March 18, 2019


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.

Colchester Campus

Visit Colchester Campus

Home to over 13,000 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.

The Campus is set within 200 acres of beautiful parkland, located two miles from the historic town centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded town. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.


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.


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.

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.

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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