Accounting and Finance for Contemporary China MSc


Fact file

MSc Accounting and Finance for Contemporary China
1 year full-time
Entry requirements
Candidates are normally expected to have at least a 2:1 Honours degree or equivalent from an accredited university in an appropriate discipline for entry onto the MSc.
Other requirements
Candidates with a high 2:2 or equivalent will be considered on a discretionary basis.
6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
Start date
Jubilee Campus
Tuition fees
You can find fee information on our fees table.


This course explores standard corporate financial theories and practices in an international context, with emphasis on the Chinese economy and its future.
Read full overview

The MSc Accounting and Finance for Contemporary China aims to provide the knowledge, skills and insight that will enable you to engage with the higher-levels of corporate finance within China and its relationship with the rest of the world. It will equip you with a comprehensive suite of financial skills that are recognised and sought after by Chinese companies and other companies/organisations around the world.

The goal of professionals working in corporate finance is to make sound financial decisions in an environment constrained by a given legal and regulatory framework, culture, and history. A financial decision could be right in one country but wrong in another. Many key financial decisions, such as mergers and acquisitions, managerial remuneration, dividend policies, and project valuation differ substantially across countries.

The development of the Chinese economy in the reform era has been based on millions of newly created enterprises. These range from world-class corporations such as Bank of China and Sinopec, down to small local business like restaurants or barber shops. Today, China is responsible for half of the world's production for the majority of key industrial products, and the growth and survival of those big and small firms all rely on one element - corporate finance.

The course explores standard corporate financial theories and practices in an international context, with a unique emphasis on the current Chinese economy and its future. The course is designed to teach you how to make strategic financial decisions based on well-established financial theories and practices, and taking Chinese characteristics into consideration, enabling you to move into jobs involving strategic corporate financial decision-making.

You will develop a critical understanding of both the theories and empirical research that are key to understanding the role of corporate finance within China and its impact on China itself and the world economy. You will also develop the theoretical and methodological skills necessary to pursue further postgraduate research.

This full-time taught masters programme is ideally suited to students with a background in finance, accounting, mathematics, statistics, and economics and a strong interest in contemporary China. 

It is suitable for both UK and non-UK students, including those from China.


Course details

The MSc Accounting and Finance for Contemporary China is taught on a full-time basis over one year. 

Over the first two semesters, you will be required to take 120 credits' worth of modules.

During the summer term, you will be expected to complete a 12,000 word dissertation (worth 60 credits). Alternatively, you have the exciting opportunity to apply for an internship which would culminate in the production of a final 12,000 word report (worth 60 credits). 



Core modules

Students must choose either:


The module requires students to produce an independent piece of research in the format of a dissertation on a self-selected topic related to China, and with substantial analysis based on evidence from desk-reviews or data/information collected from secondary or primary sources.

Qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods are all acceptable.

This module aims to:

  • allow students the opportunity to complete a substantive piece of research and writing on the area of contemporary Chinese studies or business, management and finance in China


Internship Report

This module is for postgraduate students who may be placed in an internship with an organisation in China or in the UK during which they will develop, carry out and write up a relevant research project based on the internship, in consultation with their supervisor.

This module aims to:

  • allow students to complete a substantive piece of writing based on an internship conducted in China, or in an organisation with a China focus in the UK

Then all of the below are mandatory:

Corporate Finance in China

The module offers specialist understanding and appreciation of financial management for the medium and larger sized organisations in the Chinese financial, legal and regulatory environment. It builds upon certain elements of the Financial Management unit, but the emphasis is on adopting a more strategic approach to corporate financing in the Chinese marketplace. Topics covered include:

  • the role of financial management in decision making and first principles of finance
  • valuation and bonds
  • valuation of equities and businesses
  • capital budgeting and risk analysis
  • capital structure decision
  • dividend policy
  • merger and acquisition
  • corporate governance
  • derivatives and option pricing

This module aims to:

  • understand and apply financial management principles and techniques in corporate finance decision making situations, particularly in the Chinese investment and finance
  • appreciate the importance of the role of financial management decisions in Chinese and global markets, and to business strategy and corporate objectives
  • undertake contemporary research into a financial management decision in China and their interactions within China and internationally
Further Issues on Accounting and Decision Making in China

The module follows the below structure:

  • Introduction to accounting
  • Financial statement analysis 
  • Consolidation of financial statements 
  • Advanced investment appraisal 
  • Corporate failure, reconstruction and non-financial performance measurement
  • Financial performance measurement

This module aims to:

  • provide a solid understanding of general accounting foundation at the masters level, as well as the Chinese accounting system
Research Methods for Business and Finance

The modules examines:

  • differences between qualitative and quantitative research methods
  • basic data handling
  • correlation
  • simple regression
  • statistical aspects of regression
  • multiple regression and hypothesis testing
  • regression with lagged explanatory variable
  • regression with dummy variables

This module aims to:

  • develop students' abilities to formulate researchable questions within a framework of financial economics, apply a statistical method to researching these problems and understand the relationship between theory testing and empirical evidence

Optional modules

You will choose a maximum of two modules from this group:

Chinese Bank Management

The module follows the below structure:

  • Overview of Chinese banking industry
  • Reform of the Chinese banking sector
  • Role of the central bank and the implementation of monetary policy
  • Performance of the Chinese banking sector and its future challenges
  • Measuring and evaluating the performance of banks
  • Managing the investment portfolios and liquidity positions of banks
  • Managing bank sources of funds
  • Provision of loans to businesses and consumers

This module aims to:

  • provide students with an overview of the Chinese banking industry
Chinese Economic Issues

This module introduces students to different hot topics and cutting-edge research on Chinese economy, and offers a platform for allowing postgraduate students to connect with experts in the field.

Topics vary across the years, including, but not limited to:

  • China's economic growth
  • investment and trade
  • foreign direct investment
  • the financial and banking reform
  • science, technology and innovation
  • regional inequality
  • business management

This module aims to:

  • develop students' knowledge and understanding of key economic issues in China in an era of rapid development and change
Chinese Financial Market Analysis

The course will apply advanced analytical techniques to financial markets in China, seeking optimal strategies in theory and practices in solving the issues in the markets. It covers:

  • Introduction and overview
  • Financial market basics
  • Chinese money markets
  • Bond market
  • Chinese equity markets
  • Chinese futures markets
  • FX market
  • Private equity
  • Insurance sector
  • Chinese regulations

This module aims to:

  • provide participants with a good general knowledge of how the various financial markets function and act as a conduit between suppliers and users of capital, the regulatory environment in which they operate, their increasing interaction and what the future prospects and trends are likely to be
East Asian Business and Society

This module provides an overview of industrial and business development of East Asian economies. Within that context, it examines business and industrial management practices which have been the subject of considerable academic and international business interest over the last two decades.

The module explores transformations in the economic, social, political, and business environments in order to evaluate changes in management practices. A comparison of various business practices and an analysis of the convergence and/or competition between various management models within China, the wider East Asian region, and global markets will also be undertaken.

This module aims to:

  • introduce Chinese and East Asian business and industrial management practices in terms of their post-war development and transition in the 1990s and early 21st century
  • trace the patterns and processes of industrial management and business structure in the context of the economic, social and cultural dimensions in which they are embedded
Government and Politics of China

This module deals with some key concepts, processes and institutions in contemporary Chinese politics, including:

  • the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership and succession
  • legitimacy and stability in Chinese politics
  • central and local elections
  • political opening and experiments
  • the development of civil society in the reform era
  • social and political life in cities
  • regulation and governing the market
  • the party in transition

This module aims to:

  • develop students' knowledge and understanding of the key concepts, processes, and institutions in Chinese politics during the reform era
Greater China Field School

This module consists of an intensive field study period in Hong Kong, southern China, and Taiwan. This will last for approximately three weeks.

By visiting government agencies, business groups, non-profit organisations, and rural and urban communities, participants will gain a first hand insight into contemporary history, politics, economics, society, culture and language of  the Greater China region.

This module aims to:

  • explore a range of themes and issues relevant for understanding contemporary China
  • contrast academic knowledge with insights of practitioners by visiting organisations in the government, business and civil society sector
  • develop an awareness of the ethical issues related to gathering data
Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations in China

The module aims to develop students' knowledge and understanding of the theory and practice of HRM and industrial relations in China during the reform era across enterprises in all ownership sectors.

Human resource management is a crucial element of industrial relations, providing the students with a sound understanding of theory concerning the collective relationship between employees and employers, and the role of union and non-union in representation of employees through the examination of practical issues, such as collective bargaining, grievance, and industrial actions.

This module aims to:

  • provide students with a generic understanding of the main elements in industrial relations, from employee/employer relationship to government/business relationship
Law, Market and Society in China

The module examines legal developments in China in the context of China's construction of a market economy and of China's participation into globalization since 1978. It focuses on particular aspects of legal development in China's making of a market economy.

This module aims to:

  • develop students' knowledge and understanding of the relationships among state, law and market economy of China in the reform era
Managing International Business in China

This module analyses the basic issues of managing international business in contemporary China, including entry mode selection, alliance management, negotiation with Chinese partners, cross-cultural human resource management, cross-cultural marketing, protection of intellectual property rights, environmental issues and strategic management.

The issues are discussed in the light of the relevant theoretical frameworks and models of international business and management, with reference to current business practices of multinational companies operating in China. 

This module aims to:

  • develop students' ability to apply theoretical frameworks and models to the analysis of practical issues of managing international business in China
  • enhance students' understanding of current business and management practices of multinational companies operating in China
  • foster students' cultural awareness
Marketing Management in China and Emerging Markets

The module covers the following main topics:

  • Understanding marketing management in China and emerging markets
  • Capturing marketing insights
  • Connecting with customers
  • Building strong brands
  • Shaping the market offerings
  • Delivering value
  • Communicating value
  • Creating successful long-term growth

This module aims to:

  • develop students' knowledge and understanding of the theory and practice of marketing management in China and emerging markets
Research Design and Practice in China

This module aims to:

  • develop an ability to identify research topics from real world issues
  • develop an ability to formulate researchable questions
  • understand how theories are formulated and how they can be tested in research
  • gain abilities to critique on literature and use literature analytically in writing
  • learn how to target on research objects: sampling and case selection
  • gain fundamental knowledge of research methods: questionnaire survey, design of interview, focus group, participant observation
  • learn how to utilise the knowledge provided to produce a proposal for dissertation or internship


Students who are non-native Mandarin speakers can take a maximum of 20 credits of Mandarin language through the University Language Centre's inter-faculty language scheme. You will be tested upon arrival and allocated to the correct level. 

Native Mandarin speakers can take a maximum of 20 credits of Chinese-English translation modules. 

The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. This list is an example of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.



Up-to-date fees information can be found on our student fees and finance website.

UK/EU students

University scholarships and external scholarships are available, please visit the Graduate School website for more information about all the available funding opportunities. 

International and EU students

The University of Nottingham offers a range of masters scholarships for international and EU students from a wide variety of countries and areas of study.

Applicants must receive an offer of study before applying for our scholarships. Applications for 2017 entry scholarships will open in late 2016. Please note the closing dates of any scholarships you are interested in and make sure you submit your masters course application in good time so that you have the opportunity to apply for them.

The International Office also provides information and advice for international and EU students on financing your degree, living costs, external sources of funding and working during your studies.

Find out more on our scholarships, fees and finance webpages for international applicants.



The MSc Accounting and Finance for Contemporary China is designed for graduates who want to pursue a career in financial analysis; investment management; corporate finance and planning; capital markets; investment, commercial, and retail banking; and any specialism requiring an in-depth understanding of corporate finance.

You will have the communication skills necessary to pursue a career in any area that requires an in-depth knowledge of China, and you will be prepared to work in large multi-national corporations operating in China, as well as Chinese companies operating outside of the country. You will also be ideally placed to embark on a research career in universities, research centres, institutes and think tanks around the world.

Our graduates have gone on to work in government and non-governmental agencies, banks, insurance companies, industries, universities and multi-national companies in China, the UK and the rest of the world. Some companies that employ our graduates include:

  • AXA-Minmetals Assurance
  • Bank of China
  • German Centre for Industry and Trade Shanghai
  • HSBC
  • Hudson Highland Group
  • ISoftStone Technology
  • Paragon Law
  • Romax Technology
  • Viaton Industries

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2014, 87% of postgraduates in the Nottingham University Business School who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £26,611 with the highest being £34,000.*

* Known destinations of full-time home and EU postgraduates, 2013/14.

Career prospects and employability

The acquisition of a masters degree demonstrates a high level of knowledge in a specific field. Whether you are using it to enhance your employability, as preparation for further academic research or as a means of vocational training, you may benefit from careers advice as to how you can use your new found skills to their full potential. 

Our Careers and Employability Service will help you do this, working with you to explore your options and inviting you to attend recruitment events where you can meet potential employers, as well as suggesting further development opportunities, such as relevant work experience placements and skills workshops.

Get in touch
+44 (0)115 846 6979


Ruth Evans
Postgraduate Admissions Administrator
Nottingham University Business School
Jubilee Campus
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