Accounting and Finance MSc

Course overview

  • Course level
    Postgraduate
  • Course type
    Full-time
  • Duration
    1 year
  • Course options
    Internship / overseas study
  • School

Entry requirements

  • One of the following:
    A good UK honours degree (minimum lower second class) or an equivalent overseas degree recognised by Aston University.
  • For International Students:
    An official academic transcript, with official English translation, of your university grades to date, students whose native language is not English also need to satisfy our English language requirements.
  • As an alternative:
    Students with accounting backgrounds (academic or work experience), please consider the MSc International Accounting and Finance course.
  • Full entry requirements
    See entry requirements below for full details
More information
Apply

Key Dates

Ranked 26th in Europe and 5th in the UK Eduniversal Best Masters Ranking 2018.

One of the only UK courses including sustainability and corporate governance

Course summary

With a strong demand for accounting and financial skills in the job market, our MSc Accounting and Finance can set you up for a rewarding career.  

This fast-paced masters programme will bring you up to speed with the fundamentals of accountancy and business finance. You’ll develop an advanced understanding and learn the practical skills needed for graduate roles in the financial sector.

MSc in Accounting and Finance is accredited by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)

The course concludes with a Business Project; a substantial piece of work designed to provide you with an opportunity to analyse a business problem and practically apply the knowledge and skills developed during the course.

You can choose to study this course as part of our double degree programme. 

Entry requirements

One of the following:

  • A good UK honours degree (minimum lower second class)

  • An equivalent overseas degree recognised by Aston University

Subject specific requirements:

Our students come from a wide range of educational backgrounds, including both business and non-business specialisms. If you have already specialised in accounting and finance or a related subject at undergraduate level, visit our MSc International Accounting and Finance course page. 

As well as:

  • Two references – at least one must be from an academic referee

  • An official academic transcript of your university grades to date

  • A completed application form.

For International students:

  • An official academic transcript, with an official English translation, of your university grades to date.

  • Students whose native language is not English will also need to satisfy our English language requirements. Pre-sessional English language programmes are available for good applicants whose English qualifications fall just short of these requirements.

  • Postgraduate masters students enrolling with Aston Business School with a 5.5 in one of the four IELTS sections will be required to engage with English language tuition as part of our development programme,The Aston Global Advantage (formely known as the Professional Development Programme.  There will be no extra cost to the student.

  • For students who do not meet our minimum academic and English language requirements for this course, we offer an alternative pathway to an Aston Master’s with Kaplan International College, London

  • For more information about qualifications, view our Aston in your country webpage.

Applicants with extensive work experience:

We recognise the value of extensive professional experience. If you do not have the academic qualifications, but have extensive and relevant professional experience and a proven ability to succeed, we would welcome your application.

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.

Why choose us?

Given our exceptional reputation for student satisfaction and teaching quality, this course offers you the opportunity for a rewarding study experience and will certainly boost your career prospects.

Course Director Dr Umair Riaz discusses how this new course is preparing students to think about management operations on a global scale. Read here. 

This course will set you up for a rewarding career in the financial sector. Recent graduates have gone on to secure graduate jobs as well as management-trainee positions at leading international firms. Employers of our recent graduates include all of the big-four accounting firms; KPMG, Deloitte, Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers, as well as financial institutions, such as Deutsche Bank and UBS Bank.

We’ve been recognised by our students and industry bodies for teaching excellence. The UK Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) presented us with its highest award – a Gold Award, for consistently outstanding outcomes.

Our courses offer a range of opportunities to gain practical experience through things such as, consultancy projects and entrepreneurial opportunities. Find out more here. 

Whatever your career ambitions, we can help you realise them.

Fees and scholarships

Fees 2020/21

UK/EU:          £ 10,550
International:  £18,850

Scholarships
Find out more about our scholarships here.   

 

 

Professional exemptions

Our MSc in Accounting and Finance is accredited by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) . By successfully completing our programme you will be exempt from completing the following modules: 

  • F1 (AB) Accountant in Business
  • F2 (MA) Management Accounting
  • F3 (FA) Financial Accounting
  • F4 (LW) Corporate and Business Law 

We are also accredited by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), which on completion leads to exemption from this professional accounting body. You will still need to secure professional training and complete further exams in order to become fully qualified in accountancy, but these exemptions demonstrate to future employers your commitment and potential to complete sector qualifications.

Course outline

Our MSc in Accounting and Finance is a stimulating and varied course through which you will learn about the practical and strategic application of financial and management accounting information, business finance, as well as how corporations report on and engage with sustainability issues.

You’ll also be able to apply your learning to a variety of real-life business scenarios through case studies and MSc project.

This course is also a fantastic stepping stone towards becoming a qualified accountant. Our course is accredited by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). This means you will benefit from exemptions, which will reduce the number of ACCA or CIMA professional exams that you’ll need to take to become a fully qualified accountant once in employment.

This course is taught by our exceptional teaching staff. They have a broad range of experience and expertise, with qualified accountants who have worked for prestigious global companies as well as leading academics who are at the forefront of research in the field of accounting and finance. This means you’ll benefit from various perspectives and insights that will help you develop a solid understanding of accounting and financial theories and practice.

We use an innovative and engaging range of teaching methods. Lectures, tutorials, group work and case studies will introduce you to the latest thinking in this field and give you the opportunity to critically consider its application in real-life business situations. This is enhanced by leading industry experts delivering guest lectures. These opportunities will enable you to learn about current practises and challenges in accounting and business finance.

Subject guide and modules

Core modules

  • Financial Accounting and Reporting
    This module covers a range of financial accounting concepts and provides a challenging and interesting introduction to the theory and practice of financial accounting. The module is designed to help you construct and interpret financial statements and to develop a theoretical and analytical grasp on financial accounting issues.
  • Management Accounting
    Using a range of case studies this module will look at traditional and innovative ways of measuring and managing costs and recent developments in performance planning, measurement and management. Key techniques in cost and management accounting as well as context appropriate practices will be taught.
  • Contemporary Issues in Financial Reporting
    This module aims to equip students with knowledge and understanding of financial reporting from an international context. The module is designed to inspire you to evaluate the effects of financial reporting treatments on published financial statements of international orginisations, as well as derive and communicate meaning in order to make or influence economic decisions.
  • Strategic Management Accounting
    Strategic Management Accounting (SMA) is a controversial subject and as such is treated practically and theoretically to reflect the state of the art.  Critical assessment of SMA concepts and tools is undertaken in the light of the latest research and using practical contexts to allow you to appreciate the potential pitfalls of this high level concept.
  • Sustainability Accounting and Accountability
    This module examines a range of theories and practical methods that underpin sustainability accounting and accountability studies and applications. We go beyond the traditional accounting model to explore and challenge new ways of thinking, using real-world data. This allows you to acquire conceptual and practical experiences within the growing field of sustainability accounting and accountability.
  • Business Finance
    This module teaches you the key principles and challenges of financial management decisions.  Develop an understanding of the characteristics influencing factors and the advantages and disadvantages of different forms of financing.  You'll also apply mathematical techniques to support a range of business decisions such as the valuation of shares and the evaluation of investment opportunities.
  • Financial Analysis
    This module will focus on providing you with the knowledge, understanding and skills to analyse published financial statements. It will develop your ability to critically assess the current stock market valuation of major public companies and make impartial financial recommendations.
  • Ethics in Academic Practice
    This module provides an introduction to the Academic Offence framework. By completing the resources you will understand the key principles underpinning the submission of academic assignments. These principles can then be applied to the rest of the modules studied at the university.
  • The Aston Global Advantage
    The Aston Global Advantage is our professional development programme that runs throughout all MSc programmes at Aston Business School. Focusing on professional development and employability, this integrated module gives you the opportunity to identify, develop and apply the key transferrable skills you will gain throughout the year. 
  • Business Project or Dissertation 
    The business project/dissertation is a chance for you to carry out an original piece of work applying material that you have learnt in the taught element of your degree. Specific requirements will be explained relating to different degree programmes but in summary you must demonstrate both theoretical and practical knowledge of your chosen area of specialism.

Optional modules

  • Fundamentals of Audit and Taxation
    This module aims to stimulate an interest in the reasons why taxation and auditing only partially achieve their objectives. Through understanding those objectives, the way tax and audit function, the controversies and how tax and auditing work and don’t work but with an eye to their future.
  • Islamic Accounting and Finance
  • Corporate Governance, Regulation and Compliance
  • International Finance
    In this module you’ll explore the role of international financial markets, the financial problems faced by firms when undertaking international trade and investments and the financial strategies used by multinational firms to alleviate financial and political risks. We use theory and practical examples to give you an understanding of these financial issues facing firms and investors when firms operate internationally.
  • Research Design, Practice and Ethics
Learning, teaching and assessment

You’ll be taught various concepts and principles of accounting and finance but this is far from a passive, theory-heavy course. What make us stand out is our focus on providing you with the practical skills to help you get ahead in your career. We’ll give you hands-on activities where you can apply what you’ve learnt to solve commercial problems. This is done using case studies and other innovative teaching methods, such as business simulation games. We'll also give you the unique opportunity to gain insight and advice from professional bodies such as the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and Certified Practising Accountants (CPA) Australia. We firmly believe this will improve your understanding and enhance your employability.

We use a variety of assessment methods as part of this course. There’s a mix of exams, coursework, presentations and group work. For our assessments we use real or fictitious business scenarios. These practical assessments help you to develop the skills and competencies required for future job roles.  

Our innovative online learning platform will also support you with your studies. It has all the digital resources you need when revising, including lecture slides, access e-books and online journals, as well as video recordings of teaching sessions. Your lecturers will also be on hand to offer one-to-one support with any topics you have difficulty with.

Classroom activities

Here’s a few examples of activities or projects you can get involved in as part of this course:

Financial Analysis - This module is taught through a case study focusing on a real company traded on London Stock Exchange. Each session consists of a mixture of lecturers, self-study tasks, discussions and interactive and fun methods such as games and viseos. You will also have opportunities to fetch data necesary for valuing a company using the resources on the internet.

Accounting in action simulation – This innovative online business simulation lets you take the role of senior managers within a company and compete with other students to see who can run the most profitable business. Working as part of a team, you’ll need to make business decisions based on certain scenarios and quantitative data. You’ll have to consider the financial implications of your decisions and apply various accounting and finance concepts, tools and techniques.

Sustainability accounting and accountability – This progressive module gives you the chance to analyse how companies manage the conflict between maximising their profits whilst being socially and sustainably responsible. We look at case studies which show sustainable practises of firms and take part in class debates to assess their approach. You’ll then critically analyse how stock-market listed companies engage with sustainability and if they’re doing enough to meet the demands of their various stakeholders.

Dissertation or Business Project – You'll also have to complete either a project or a dissertation, which will see you research a topic in detail through independent study.  This brings together the skills and knowledge you've gained throughout the programme. For the project you'll analyse financial information, the strategy and business activities of your chosen company. It’s a great practical exercise that simulates various tasks you may have to undertake in financial roles in the workplace.

The Aston Global Advantage

More than a Masters

The Aston Global Advantage (formely known as the Professional Development Programme) is an integrated module which runs throughout your course. Focusing on professional development and employability, this module gives you the opportunity to identify, develop and apply the key skills you will gain throughout the year. You'll have the opportunity to:

  • Develop your academic skills
  • Build a portfolio of professional business skills

Study abroad with one of our international partners, undertake an internship placement in the UK or overseas or get involved.

Student experience and employability

Overseas opportunities

We benefit from an extensive network of partner institutions, including some of the highest ranked business schools in Europe, such as Kedge Business School in France. We also have partnerships with universities worldwide, from Australia to China and USA to Singapore.

Placements

You can go on a work placement for as little as one month or as long as a year. You’ll spend your time with a company of your choice, either in the UK or overseas. A work placement is really beneficial to your future career prospects, it can enhance your CV and help you stand out from the competition when applying for graduate roles. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to develop your understanding of your subject area by applying what you’ve learnt in the classroom to a professional context.

Our students have been successful in gaining work placements in a wide variety of organisations, both in the UK and internationally. They’ve worked for accountancy, financial institutions in the UK and overseas, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as well as small businesses.

You’ll also be given the opportunity to support start-up businesses and SMEs with business projects through our Aston Business Clinic. Working with other students, you’ll collaborate to solve a strategic problem and make a real difference for a growing business.

Our careers team will be on hand to support you finding work placements and graduate positions.

Trips and visits

Your lecturers will arrange for guest speakers to visit, giving you the chance to learn from experienced professionals.  You'll gain an insight into how different companies operate and the challenges faced in this area of business.

We also have a large number of graduate employers visit the campus during the year.  There's careers fairs, networking events and much more.  You'll have the chance to discover a wide range of graduate opportunities and speak with companies to see where is the best place for you to start your career.

Erasmus+

Study or work in another country

The University has secured Erasmus+ mobility funding for students going on placement during the academic year 2019/20.  For students planning their placement in the academic year 2020/21, Erasmus+ mobility funding will be dependent on the Exit date and whether a Withdrawal deal is agreed. The University’s Brexit information page is regularly being updated and will have the latest information.   

 

"Aston supported me in finding an internship while studying my MSc. It really grew my knowledge and gave me real life experience."

Woody Chiu
Audit Associate, Grant Thornton UK LLP
Find out more

"My masters course equipped me with the skills and knowledge which made me eligible to be recruited by a top IT corporation like IBM."

Dimitrios Chatzitsirakoglou 
Accounting Analyst, IBM

Register your interest