Accounting and Finance MSc

Postgraduate ( full-time)


January 2018, September 2018

Intermediate awards: PG Cert, PG Dip

January starts, 15 months; September starts, 12 months


Get a broad understanding of both accounting and finance and gain internationally sought-after skills on our challenging course. It’s perfect if you’ve already got an accounting or finance qualification and want to develop more advanced knowledge. You can now gain invaluable work experience as part of your course with a 10 week work placement (available from September 2018).

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Full description


Your MSc in Accounting and Finance can lead to a lucrative career in a wide range of settings and roles, in the UK and internationally.

Modules & assessment

Core modules

  • Research Methods for Business Management
    This module will equip you with the skills to frame, plan and deliver research, as well as the ability to analyse and interpret the data generated. These are important skills in both the academic and work contexts.
  • Financial Management
    The primary objective of this module is to provide a conceptual and analytical framework for looking at organisations operating in capital, financial and operational markets. To this end, international and global considerations, both quantitative and qualitative, will be given high prominence. Strategic financial management issues covered include raising finance (both short and long term), efficient allocation and utilisation of financial resources (including investment appraisal), and maintaining control over those resources to ensure objectives are met (treasury management and control of working capital). Students will gain an appreciation of the two core themes prevalent throughout financial management, namely, the relationship between financial risk and expected return, and the overriding objective of maximising shareholder wealth. These themes will then be built upon to include the inter-relationships between the various elements of financial management. Assessment will be by assignment and scenario based examination questions, requiring judgement to evaluate the issues key to a particular scenario, relationship between the issues, and suitable decisions to resolve the underlying problem. One of the main focuses for the design of this module has been the further development of relevant employability and professional skills. Such skills are implicit in the learning outcomes.
  • Global Financial Markets
    The course is designed to provide a rigorous grounding of financial theories and instruments to finance and non-finance executives and practitioners. Since the financial derivatives boom of the late 1980s and 90s, finance has transformed into a complex discipline leading to restricted understanding of its processes. Global Equity markets have been vital in the transformation of economies with the cycles of economic booms and bust often credited to the functioning of capital markets. The recent financial crisis has sparked a debate into an extensive understanding of financial instruments, institutions, their evolution, limitations and risks. Through this course candidates should experience the inter-relationship between the various elements of global equity markets as well as gaining an appreciation of core themes which are prevalent throughout financial analysis. Econometric modelling will equip students with an in depth understanding of the methods involved in determining risk and return from a global perspective. The module will also provide students hands-on experience with the use of a virtual trading platform. The trading platform will incorporate the module’s theoretical learning into practice by requiring students to build effective portfolios and techniques to “beat the market”.
  • International Accounting
    The word International in International Accounting can be defined at three different levels. The first level is the supranational accounting, which denotes standards, guidelines and rules of accounting, auditing and taxation issued by supranational organisations (United Nations, International Federation of Accountants). At the second level, the company level, international accounting can be viewed in terms of the standards, guidelines and practices that company follows related to its international business activities and foreign investments. These would include standards for accounting denominated in foreign currency and techniques for evaluating the performance of foreign operations. At the third and broadest level, international accounting can be viewed as the study of the standards, guidelines and rules of accounting that exist within each country and comparison of these rules with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) set by International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). The learning outcomes for this module will be assessed at the end of the module in the form of a written, case study based assignment and a written exam. One of the main focuses for the design of this module has been the further development of relevant professional skills.
  • International Tax Theory and Policy
    This module aims to provide students with general understanding on international tax policy. International taxation involves of the principles of international taxation involving international trade and taxpayers of several EU, OCED and non-OCED countries. This international tax policy course includes the following: 1. Tax jurisdiction and imposing tax on international trade. 2. Determined the tax base and taxing rights. 3. Double tax agreements (DTAs). The module will provide the students with knowledge of legal regimes in the area on international tax, through an integrated study of theory and practical aspects on international tax policy. Based upon tax research and background tax practices around the world, primarily focusing on OECD countries and contrast with non OECD countries. The students will be given opportunity to debates and research on number of disciplinary perspectives including accounting, tax laws and political and will be encouraged to be inquisitive and critical on the current developments in International taxation policy.
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
    Merger and acquisition (M&A) has long been an option for organisations. The adoption of such a strategy may be for many diverse reasons. The module begins by considering these motives, and begins to explore the integration of such a choice into the overall strategic plan. The techniques that may be used to value a potential M&A are then considered together with the capital market effects. This analysis is to provide an evaluation of what advantages and likely gains can be expected to be acquired by all parties to the planned proposal. The fact that gains are expected gives rise to the consideration of the tactics of the parties during the negotiations. This leads to consideration of the funding requirement and how the finance can be provided. The integration of the M&A is then considered and how the effectiveness and success can be measured. The module is designed to be contextualised for students from different organisations and sectors, and for it to be delivered to students without practical management experience. One of the main focuses for the design of this module has been the further development of relevant employability and professional skills. Such skills are implicit in the learning outcomes. Multiculturalism has been considered during the design of this module and will be considered when the assessment brief is written.

Optional modules

  • Postgraduate Major Project
    This module support students in the preparation and submission of a Master stage project,Dissertation. For 60 credits this involves a length of 15,000 words. The major project enables you to demonstrate some or all of the following: - the ability to raise significant and meaningful questions in relation to your specialism; - depth of knowledge which may involve working at the current limits of theoretical and or research understanding; - critical understanding of method and its relationship to knowledge; - awareness of and ability to develop solutions to ethical dilemmas likely to arise in your research or professional practice; - the ability to draw meaningful and justifiable conclusions from information which may be complex or contradictory; - the capability to expand or redefine existing knowledge; to develop new approaches to changing situations; and contribute to the development of best practice; - the ability to communicate these processes in a clear and effective manner, as appropriate to the 'audience'; and - the capability to evaluate your work from the perspective of an autonomous reflective learner. One of the main focuses for the design of this module has been the further development of relevant employability and professional skills. Such skills are implicit in the learning outcomes. The project is developed in conjunction with a specified supervisor and must be in the area of study of the Masters course being undertaken. The Major Project should enable you to demonstrate the ability to explore important and relevant questions in the context of your specialist area. You should be able to explore detailed knowledge of the research area, demonstrating depth and/or breadth as appropriate; a critical understanding of appropriate methodologies and theories; the ability to present well-argued conclusions from a range of different sources, using material that may be complex and challenging, as appropriate. You should be able to recognise and propose solutions to issues raised in the course of research. You should be able to communicate your research in coherent terms, both orally and in writing, as required.
  • Postgraduate Work Placement (Accounting and Finance)
    This postgraduate work-based major project module will allow you to undertake an extended project based on a work placement. It gives you the opportunity to put into practice what you have learnt in your course by offering real-life practical experience in the field underpinned by engagement with key literature and theoretical insights relevant to the chosen industry sector. During this module you will source and undertake an unpaid 10 week work-based learning internship/project with a company or organisation where you will be supported in developing effective professional practices through guidance in generic and specific employability skills. You will also be supported with critical thinking and research skills development during the lectures and online resources to ensure you develop independent, critical and reflective learning practices to enhance your continuing professional development in the context of your own working environment and career aspirations. The module aims to provide you with experience of work and research in a business environment including familiarisation with a professional work environment. This module will be underpinned by employability skills training, reflective assessments and support from academic tutors and employers. You will expected to be able to critically reflect on your own experience in writing and place this in the context of the industry and academic work on the sector in a 10,000 word research-based portfolio (accompanied by a diary which must draw on relevant theory and literature to evidence your learning of up to 5,000 words). In the portfolio you must demonstrate how you have engaged with a relevant research problem in the work setting, and supported this by drawing on relevant literature and applied theory, practical knowledge and learnings within a work-based environment. The overall assessment of up to 15,000 words aims to support and develop your ability to research real-life settings and industry issues, demonstrate professionalism, leadership and managerial skills to a prospective employer whilst also learning key communication and personal skills.


Assessment is mainly through informal question and answer sessions. You can expect individual and group presentations, management reports, exams, presentation or written analysis of case studies, and assignments.

Our assessment strategy is linked closely to your future employability. You'll develop skills that can be transferred to the professional environment, such as team work, communication and presentation skills, and the ability to work under pressure.

This is a 1 year programme

Please note that modules are subject to change and availability.

This is a 1 year programme

Alongside your core modules you will pick a number of optional modules. Please note that modules are subject to change and availability.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Lord Ashcroft International Business School is one of the largest business schools in the East of England, with nearly 100 full-time teaching staff and approximately 6,000 students from more than 100 countries.

Our striking and award-winning business school building in Chelmsford, as well as new buildings in Cambridge, offer the most advanced learning technologies. We’re well-recognised for our centres of excellence by students, employers and professional bodies alike.

What makes us stand out is that our courses don't just give you sound academic knowledge – they’re at the cutting edge of current business practice and highly relevant to employers. This is owing to the close links we have with the business community and the partnerships we've developed with a wide variety of businesses and public service organisations. 

We're interested in people who are confident, ambitious and ready to take the challenge of making a difference in the world of business. If that's you, we'd love to hear from you.

Where can I study?

Tindal Building on our Chelmsford campus

Our striking, modern campus sits by the riverside in Chelmsford's University and Innovation Quarter.

Explore our Chelmsford campus

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students, 2017/18 (per year)


International students, 2017/18 (per year)


UK & EU students, 2018/19 (per year)


International students, 2018/19 (per year)


How do I pay my fees?

Paying upfront

You won't need to pay fees until you've accepted an offer to attend, but you must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments.

How to pay your fees directly

International students

You must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments. You will also be asked for a deposit or sponsorship letter/financial guarantee. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees
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Funding for UK & EU students

It’s important to decide how to fund your course before applying. Use our funding guide for postgraduate students to learn more about the following:

  • The Government’s new £10k Masters loan
  • Applying for our scholarships
  • Additional funding options and support
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Funding for international students

We've a number of scholarships, as well as some fee discounts for early payment.

Entry requirements

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Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

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International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

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English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for postgraduate courses.

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Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

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Get more information

UK & EU applicants

01245 68 68 68

Enquire online

International applicants

+44 1245 68 68 68

Enquire online