International Accounting and Finance MSc

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The Aston Global Advantage

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Course overview

  • Course level
  • Course type
  • Duration
    1 Year
  • Course options
    Internship / overseas study
  • School

Entry requirements

  • Entry requirements:
    A good UK honours degree (2:2 minimum) or equivalent. To study MSc International Accounting & Finance you must have completed your first undergraduate degree, or with relevant work experience in accounting, finance or a related subject area.
  • As an alternative:
    Applicants who have not specialised in the accounting or finance field, please consider MSc Accounting and Finance course.
  • 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.
  • Full entry requirements
    See entry requirements below for full details
More information
Apply September 2020 Start

Key Dates

Ranked in the top 100 for Business and Management (QS World University Rankings 2020)

Enhance your global career prospects with developed financial and accounting knowledge

Ranked 15th in Europe and 2nd in the UK Eduniversal Best Masters Ranking 2019.

Course Summary

If you’re looking to take your accounting and finance skills to the next level and enhance your international employability, then our MSc International Accounting and Finance is perfect for you.

This course will develop your understanding of key concepts, enhance your technical abilities and help you appreciate the crucial role accounting and finance plays in organisations, by determining strategy and impacting decision making. 

Several modules on this course are 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. 

This course can also be studied online.

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:

To study MSc International Accounting & Finance you must have completed your first undergraduate degree in accounting, finance or a related subject area. If you did not specialise in one of these areas at undergraduate level please visit our MSc 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 The Aston Global Advantage (formerly known as the Professional Development Programme (PDP).  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?

We belong to an elite group of business schools in the world, thanks to our triple accreditation from AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA. We pride ourselves on our track record of exceptional levels of student satisfaction and teaching quality.

This course will set you up for a rewarding career in the financial sector. Our graduates have secured coveted graduate positions at leading international firms, including, accountancy heavyweights Pricewaterhouse Coopers and technology giants IBM. Given the broad range of skills developed on the course, you’ll be able to pursue a variety of roles in the financial sector. Recent graduates have secured international roles as trainee accountants, tax associates, financial analysts and auditors.

We attract students from all over the world, meaning the course gives you the chance to mix with people from different cultures and a variety of backgrounds. You’ll develop valuable cross-cultural communication, teamwork and management skills. These are essential competences for today’s modern multinational businesses.

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

Fees and scholarships

Fees 2020/21

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

Scholarships Find out more about our scholarships here.

Professional accreditations and 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 ACCA 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 some module exemption(s) 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

This course is designed for students with an undergraduate degree in accounting, finance or a related subject area. If you did not specialise in one of these areas at undergraduate level, try our MSc Accounting and Finance course instead.

Through this programme you will learn advanced-level theory and concepts used in accounting and finance. We’ll develop your technical skills in these areas but also focus on providing you with an in-depth knowledge of accounting and its place in today’s global corporate environment.

We explore how accounting and finance determines and impacts an organisations’ strategic policy and decision making. This will give you an understanding of the key principles and challenges of financial management decisions. You’ll gain an insight into the application of accounting and finance within international organisations. We examine case studies to illustrate how firms are using certain tools and techniques in practise, allowing you to apply your learning to real-life business scenarios and gain a critical perspective on the wider economic environment.

You’ll also gain a broad understanding of international business. You’ll learn about the different perspectives on international business, look at key theories on international trade and foreign direct investment. You’ll also examine how firms are structured and operate across borders. This will equip you with knowledge which is extremely beneficial when looking to pursue management roles with international companies.

The Aston Global Advantage (formely known as the Professional Development Programme), aims to strengthen and maximise your employability. You’ll identify and develop key skills that will help you succeed in the workplace. We’ll provide you with the opportunity to undertake work placements, build a portfolio of competences, participate in business simulations and develop a range of transferable skills that will prepare you for your future career and enable you to gain a competitive advantage over fellow graduates when applying for roles.

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, which will provide you with a detailed understanding of the global workings of accounting and finance.

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 corporate finance.

Subject guide and modules

Core Modules

International Business Finance 
This module considers the concepts and techniques related to the key decision making areas of financial management, focusing on investment appraisal and financing decision making. The concept of risk underpins financial management and it will be explicitly examined within the topic of foreign exchange risk and its mitigation.

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 light of the latest research, and using practical contexts to allow you to appreciate the potential pitfalls of this high level concept.

International Business
This module will give you the basic and fundamental knowledge of international business theories and concepts. It will cover selected topics from a wide spectrum of activities in the international business environment. It will also develop your skills in applying the theories into practice through experiential learning, such as case study, analysis and class discussions.

Sustainability Accounting and Accountability
We examine 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 challenging 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.

International Context of Corporate Reporting
This module aims to develop your knowledge and understanding of financial reporting for companies adopting International Financial Reporting Standards. The module is designed to enable you to evaluate the effects of financial reporting treatments, on published financial statements of international organisations as well as derive and communicate meaning in order to make or influence economic decisions.

International Taxation and Accounting
This module is designed to enable you to understand the key concepts around accounting and taxation in a global context. The role and evolution of taxation in different global societies including tax avoidance and evasion practices and international tax competition.

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.
*Students wishing to undertake the Business Project are required to select 'Financial Analysis' as one of your optional modules, and are unable to select 'Research Design, Practice and Ethics' as an optional module. 
*Students wishing to undertake the MSc Dissertation are required to select 'Research Design, Practice and Ethics' as one of your optional modules. 

Optional Modules – select two modules:

Research Design, Practice and Ethics

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.

Current Issues in Global Audit and Assurance
This module attends to complex issues in auditing and assurance in a global context. Such issues are discussed and evaluated in relation to a wider range of theoretical and regulatory standpoint. In doing so you are equipped and contribute to advanced understanding and critique of the role of auditing and assurance in an ever changing global platform.

Corporate Governance, Regulation and Compliance

Strategic Global Outsourcing  and Offshoring
This module offers a broad perspective on contemporary issues related to outsourcing and offshoring strategic IT and business service functions. During the module we examine the major theories guiding outsourcing decisions and governance. We also evaluate the role of emerging technologies (e.g. artificial intelligence and robotic process automation) and industry trends (e.g. servitisation) on global outsourcing.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Emerging Economies
This module focuses on entrepreneurial ventures and innovative activities of established businesses in emerging economies and how they contribute to economic development and growth. We look at specific processes of new business creation and innovation in this context, and examine case studies to help you to gain an applied understanding.

Data Mining and Web Analytics
We explore data mining techniques and their use in business decision making. You will learn how to uncover patterns and trends hidden in data.

International Business Strategy
This module aims to broaden and deepen your knowledge of the key issues and activities involved in international business strategy. In addition this module aims to develop skills related to interpreting and analysing complex real-world issues using theoretical perspectives concepts and models. The emphasis will be on using theory to inform practice and addressing real-world complex problems.

Learning, teaching and assessment

This course will be delivered using a wide range of teaching methods and techniques. We use a combination of lectures, tutorials, business simulations, group work and case studies to enhance your learning experience. For example, the international taxation and accounting module looks at a range of organisations and examines their tax affairs in detail, whilst The Aston Global Advantage module gives you the opportunity to participate in a bespoke accounting business simulation. These applied learning techniques allow you to test your knowledge in key areas, helping you to gain a deeper understanding of international accounting and finance in practice.

We’ll 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. These industry professionals will pass on their experience in securing international employment in accounting and finance.

Thanks to our virtual learning environment you’ll be able to get support and access learning materials for your studies anywhere and at any time. This online platform contains electronic lecture slides, links to ebooks and journals, video recordings of teaching sessions and much more.

There’s a variety of different assessments used as part of this course, including exams, coursework, individual and group presentations. You’ll also have to complete a dissertation project, which will see you research a topic in detail through independent study.

Classroom activities

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.

International Taxation and Accounting – We examine a range of case studies to give you a chance to look at specific organisations and examine how they manage their tax affairs. For example, we explore how corporations act to minimise their tax payments globally. We also consider practices in relation to double taxation arrangements and explore the debate around how ethical this practice is. You’ll also gain fascinating insights into why tax regimes differ, how a country’s tax regime is shaped by its history and connections.

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.

Strategic Management Accounting – You’ll be given a case study company to investigate and draw on your research and analysis to present a solution to a strategic problem faced by the business. You’ll give a multimedia presentation to deliver your recommendation. This will give you first-hand experience of tackling real-life business situations and making commercial proposals in a formal setting.

Dissertation or Business Project - There are two options for your dissertation. You can undertake a traditional academic dissertation, whereby you choose a topic you have an interest in and carry out detailed research on it. Alternatively, you can conduct a practical financial analysis and valuation project, where you identify the investment potential of an organisation. You’ll review the financial performance, strategic position and business activities of an actual company and make recommendations based on your findings.

The Aston Global Advantage

More than a masters

The Aston Global Advantage (previously known as the Professional Development Porgramme) 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 in a global business challenge simulation.
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 univesities worldwide, from Australia, to China, and USA to Singapore.


As part of this course you’ll have the opportunity to undertake a work placement and gain valuable professional experience.

You can go on a work placement for up to 12 months or as little as one month. You’ll spend this time with a company of your choice, either in the UK or overseas. A work placement is extremely 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 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 firms, financial institutions in the UK and overseas, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as well as small businesses. Recently students have enjoyed work placements with high profile companies such as Qatari Petroleum and Lloyds Bank.

We also give you the opportunity to support start-up businesses and SMEs with business projects through our Aston Business Clinic. You’ll gain practical experience of solving strategic problems and make a real difference for a growing business.

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’s the best place for you to start your career.


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.   



What's it like to study at Aston?

“The best thing about my course was the personal development programme which helped develop my career and employability prospects.”

Oluwadamilola Smart
MSc International Accounting and Finance
Find out more
What's it like to study at Aston?

The highlight of my Masters was studying abroad for a semester in Germany. It was a great experience, I got to study and work the way they do.

Amolnut Kraiphanont 
 Sustainability Consultant, ERM

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