Accounting (with Placement) MSc

Postgraduate ( full-time)


Intermediate awards: PG Cert, PG Dip

This course has now closed but you can browse our full range of postgraduate degrees here.


Get six months’ work experience and gain the specialist knowledge you need for many mid to senior-level roles in accounting and finance – plus a range of broader, transferable skills that will be valued by employers in any sector.

Full description


Your MSc Accounting (with Placement) degree could help you to develop a lucrative career in a range of settings and roles, including internal and external audit roles, financial accounting, management accounting, or taxation. Gaining a professional qualification alongside work experience will further enhance your opportunities.

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.
  • 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.
  • Postgraduate Major Project
    Building on your learning throughout the course, this module will enable you to carry out a major piece of research. This gives you a chance to develop specialist knowledge in area that interest you, ultimately enhancing your career development.

Optional modules

  • Strategic Management Accounting
    This module looks at the management accounting needs of those making strategic decisions. In particular, the unifying theme of this module is the role played by management accounting information in organisational control and decision making processes. This module provides the knowledge and skills required to make quality decisions when managing an organisation's (or strategic business units’) resources. Different concepts in strategic management accounting together with emerging issues in a wide range of related topics will be discussed and critically analysed. It focuses on short term decisions and the relevant financial considerations and analytical techniques, including consideration of their potential weaknesses. The need to consider non-financial factors, such as behavioural and strategic, is covered, together with examination of appropriate techniques. Assessment will be by way of continuous assessment, comprising group coursework and presentation, and an examination at the end of the module.
  • Forensic Accounting (Forensic Analysis and Investigation)
    Recent governmental and professional reports reveal that more businesses are experiencing incidents of financial fraud and cybercrimes, which have eroded the investor confidence and public trust, resulting in several regulatory, social, economical, ethical, and legal challenges facing corporations. These challenges underscore the importance of forensic accounting practice and education, making forensic accounting an attractive career opportunity for accounting graduates to combat financial and electronic fraud and crimes. This module aims to introduce students to the nature and extent of forensic accounting services. In particular, this module begins with an overview of financial fraud and crime from an accounting perspective and presents prevention and detection techniques as well as evidence collection methods. Also discussed are other forensic accounting services such as expert witnessing, dispute resolutions, and due diligence. Considerable emphasis is given to the fraud and crimes in the electronic business environment so students will learn about online communities, digital fraud, cybercrimes, and digital forensics. Legal and ethical issues of forensic practice will be followed. This module is aimed at linking forensic accounting practices with those of a more general and strategic nature carried out by and throughout organisations. Hence, considerable use of case studies and practice-based scenarios are made, enhancing students’ employability prospects. In the end of the module, students expect to understand the principles and practices of forensic accounting and evaluate current cases of improper activities in the field of forensic accounting. Accordingly, this will also be reflected in the two components of the assessment scheme – group presentation (25%) and individual written assignment (75%) on a current issue in the field of forensic accounting, where students will be offered a range of 5 topics to choose from.
  • Non-Commercial Governance
    The module will compare and contrast practice in the public and private sectors and consider to what extent it is appropriate to introduce private sector systems and practices into the public and not-for-profit sectors. The module will also draw on theoretical material developed for the International Governance module. This module considers the particular requirements of governance in the public sector and the charity and third sectors. It will consider:- the specific characteristics of corporate governance in relation to organisational vehicles in those sectors.- the specific characteristics of corporate governance in the context of public policy formation since 1945.- the main characteristics of governing organisations in the absence of a 'rational economic calculator' and the consequent theoretical issues involved. Practical examples will be drawn from across the sectors with case studies being utilised where possible and appropriate. Assessment will be by assignment and group presentation.


We’ll use a number of methods to assess your work both individually and as part of a group. They include:

  • feedback in class on topics of current interest and from textual material, research papers and articles
  • evidence of critical reflection in assignments, reports and projects
  • formal written and oral presentations
  • exams.

Assessment is designed to maximise your employability by encouraging you to develop skills in areas such as teamwork, communication, presentation and working under time constraints.

This is an 18 month 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

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

Funding for UK & EU students

It’s important to decide how to fund your course before applying. Use our finance guide for postgraduate students to learn more about postgraduate loans and other funding options.

We offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you're at university. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

From September 2018, EU students starting a postgraduate degree with us can access a £600 bursary.

Meanwhile, our £400 Books Plus scheme helps with the costs of study. There's no need to apply for this: if you're eligible you can simply collect a Books Plus card when you start your course.

Funding for international students

We offer a number of scholarships, as well as an early payment discount. Explore your options:

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.

International students

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

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.

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