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Accounting and Financial Management

Course overview

(MSc) Master of Science
Accounting and Financial Management
University of Essex
University of Essex
Essex Business School
Colchester Campus
Full-time or part-time
MSC N4N312
A 2:2 degree containing modules from a social science or numerate discipline.
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.

External Examiners

Dr Chandana Gnanapriya Alawattage
University of Aberdeen Business School
Dr Mohamed Karim Sorour
Northumbria University
Associate Professor of Accounting/ Head of Accounting Subject

External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment. External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course. They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards. External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 21 October 2019 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.


Core You must take this module You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study
Compulsory You must take this module There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study
Optional You can choose which module to study

Year 1 - 2019/20

Exit Award Status
Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits PG Diploma PG Certificate
01 BE981-7-FY MSc/MA Dissertation Core 60 Optional
02 BE951-7-AU Research Methods in Accounting Core 20 Optional Optional
03 BE161-7-AU Corporate Reporting and Analysis Compulsory 20 Optional Optional
04 BE162-7-AU Financial Decision Making Compulsory 20 Optional Optional
05 EBS (Colchester Campus) option from list Optional 20 Optional Optional
06 EBS (Colchester Campus) option from list Optional 20 Optional Optional
07 EBS (Colchester Campus) option from list Optional 20 Optional Optional

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

To provide students with the opportunity to broaden and deepen their knowledge of advanced concepts in finance and investment.

To provide students with the opportunity to analyse the role of financial information and data.

To equip students with a knowledge of advanced research methodologies covering quantitative approaches to empirical research.

To provide students with the advanced knowledge and skills to enable them to proceed to independent, self-directed research.

To develop students' critical and analytical skills which will prepare them for employment in the financial or business sectors or an education environment.

Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods

On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:

A: Knowledge and understanding

A1 Role and nature of advanced concepts and theoretical models in finance and data analytics
A2 Competing perspectives and associated empirical evidence relating to finance and management issues.
A3 Epistemological and social scientific influences and interpretations of finance and management
A4 An in-depth understanding of the various research methodologies available to investigate finance and management issues and the influences of these methods on the understandings generated.
A5 In-depth understanding of particular areas in which the student has chosen to specialise.
Learning Methods:
Assessment Methods: Informal: Outcomes A1-A5 are informally assessed via oral presentations.

The associated informal feedback provided enable students to explore and enhance their understandings and develop presentation skills.

Formal: Outcomes A1-A5 are formally assessed via unseen written examinations and coursework assignments.

B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

B1 Capacity to appraise theoretical ideas.
B2 Assimilate and synthesise advanced theories and concepts from a variety of relevant frameworks.
B3 Formulate logical and coherent arguments
B4 Interpret and critically evaluate empirical evidence
B5 Plan and undertake a substantial piece of independent research
Learning Methods:
Assessment Methods: Informal: Skills B1-B4 are assessed informally via oral presentations.

The associated informal feedback provided enable students to explore and enhance their understandings, and develop presentation skills.

Formal: Skills B1-B4 are assessed formally via unseen written examinations and coursework assignments.

The MSc Dissertation provides a further opportunity to assess skills B1-B4.

Skill B5 is assessed through the dissertation.

C: Practical skills

C1 Access and retrieve information from a variety of primary and secondary sources
C2 Research presentation and written presentation skills.
C3 Plan and undertake independent research
C4 Evaluate the strengths and limitations of different approaches to analysing financial and management information and data
C5 Analyse and evaluate financial and management data
C6 Role and nature of advanced concepts and theoretical models in banking and international finance
Learning Methods:
Assessment Methods: Informal: Skills C1-C5 are assessed informally through presentations along with the associated informal feedback.

These further enable students to explore and enhance their understandings, and develop research and presentation skills.

Formal: Skills C1-C5 are assessed formally via unseen written examinations and coursework assignments.

These facilitate demonstration of knowledge of the relevant financial theories and of a critical and reflexive approach to empirical evidence.

Skill C6 is assessed through the dissertation

D: Key skills

D1 Communicate ideas and arguments in a coherent and effective manner.
D2 Participating in group work in undertaking research and preparing informal presentations
D3 Manipulate numerical data and apply appropriate statistical or econometric techniques
D4 Problem-solving and analytical skills
D5 Use information technology, such as word processing, spreadsheets, databases, and Internet in order to source, download and analyse data.
D6 Reflectively analyse own performance and feedback
Learning Methods:
Assessment Methods: The assessment of the majority of key transferable skills forms an integral part of the overall assessment of the finance degree schemes.

However the approach to assessment varies.

Written communication skills, problem solving, numeracy and IT skills are assessed directly throughout the degree programme.

Personal skills are assessed through coursework.

Verbal communication skills are not formally assessed although feedback on communication skills forms part of the formative feedback provided in tutorial sessions.


The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification 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 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.

Should you have any questions about programme specifications, please contact Course Records, Quality and Academic Development; email: