Triangle

Course overview

Our MSc Accounting and Finance will build on the business skills you gained in your undergraduate studies and equip you with specialist knowledge in financial accounting, management accounting, corporate finance, financial analysis and corporate governance. It will help to enhance your lucrative career opportunities in the multinational accounting and finance sector.

Core modules will help develop an advanced understanding of essential areas, including corporate financial strategy and financial security valuation. You can also choose from optional modules in areas that align with your individual career goals, such as behavioural economics, international finance and corporate governance.

You have the option to take industry-recognised digital qualifications by Microsoft and SAP alongside your course, which will develop your digital skills and help you stand out to future employers.

This MSc will enhance your CV and help to bring you to the notice of prestigious employers who are looking for the skillset you will have. As an asset to their organisation, you can put your knowledge and skills into practice, having a real impact on their business.

Why choose this course?

Top 100

in the world and top 20 in the UK

Triple accredited

Part of an elite group of business schools worldwide to gain ‘triple crown’ accreditation

EQUIS, AMBA and AACSB accredited

Gain digital skills

We offer the opportunity to take industry-recognised Microsoft and SAP certifications at significant discounts from the open market rate

More than 19,000

Business School alumni connect you to a powerful global network of business contacts

83% of our research

ranked as world-leading or internationally excellent

Course content

Across the autumn and spring semesters, you will take 120 credits of taught modules. Each module typically consists of 10 two to three hour sessions.

You will complete the remaining 60 credits with a 2,000-word proposal and 15,000-word dissertation. You will be allocated an appropriate dissertation supervisor who will oversee your progress.

Modules

Core modules

Semester one

Corporate Financial Strategy

The module covers:

  • investment, capital structure and divident decisions from a shareholder value perspective
  • capital market behaviour (background)
  • mergers
  • real options
Current Issues in Accounting

The module will cover lectures within each the following two areas:

  1. Current issues in financial accounting and reporting
  2. Current issues in management accounting

Indicative topic areas include:

  • Corporate governance and accountability
  • Current issues in auditing
  • Measurement issues
  • Current issues in taxation
  • Changing nature of management accounting
  • Contemporary management accounting techniques
  • Case study research in management accounting
Research Methods for Accounting and Finance

The module aims to equip you with an understanding of econometric techniques relevant to accounting and finance. Examples of topics covered include statistical distribution theory, and analysing different data sets (time series, cross-sectional, and panel data) using multivariate regression.

Semester two

Financial Security Valuation

Equity, fixed income and derivative securities will be considered individually and portfolios. These will be presented as extensions of previously studied material as well as new topics.

Among individual security classes topics will be:

  • Equities: Mean-variance efficient portfolios, CAPM, dividend discount valuation
  • Fixed Income: Basic bond terminology and valuation, interest rate term structure and forward rates, duration, convexity and hedging
  • Derivatives: Common options, real options
  • Principles of financial derivative valuation and analytic and numerical methods for valuation
Financial Statement Analysis

The module prepares you to analyse the financial performance of companies, to assess their prospects and to estimate their valuation.

The module is structured primarily from the point of view of investors and analysts, rather than from a company perspective. The module teaches you both theoretical and practical understanding of the financial performance of companies, and how to apply it for valuation.

Summer

Dissertation

The module aims to allow you to synthesise, apply and extend the knowledge you have gained in the taught component of the programme. The investigation of a current research topic will help to develop your theoretical and practical understanding of current problems in your area, as well as your research and communication skills.

Business Project

The Business Project requires students, working as groups, to undertake research in a topic which is relevant to business, management, marketing, finance, accounting, or information system. You must choose their research topic that is relevant to your named degree programme. The specific topic is subject to a formal approval process.

The module is intended for you to apply knowledge, concepts, skills, and techniques, acquired during the taught stage of your programme to real-world, business scenarios. You will be presented with real-word business problems for which you are required to review relevant literature, conduct research, analyse data, and formulate viable solutions.

Optional modules

Choose four from:

Advanced Issues in Financial Reporting

The module will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • Positive accounting theory
  • Creative accounting
  • Earnings quality
  • Financial statement fraud
  • Intangibles
  • Audit
  • Corporate governance
  • Accounting standard (IFRS)
  • Taxation
  • Sustainability reporting
Behavioural Economics and Decision Making

This module is aimed at giving you an understanding of behaviour in an economic context. You will learn the use of methods to measure economic preferences as: trust, risk, cooperation, social preferences and social identity. These measures are used in economics and finance to explain human behaviour and decision-making processes. In addition to this you will “play” games in the classroom to get a first hand impression of the structure and meaning of the games used in the lectures.

Together we will understand how rational behaviour predictions conflict with human “bounded rational” decision making. You will analyse studies of bounded rational behaviour, labour markets, asset markets, experimental behavioural finance, social dilemmas, preferences, public goods, reciprocity, bargaining and contests.

Contemporary Issues in Finance

The module starts with early phase of a typical firm’s life cycle with discussion of the role of venture capital in mentoring and leading them to possible exits including Initial public offerings. These will be followed by an in-depth analysis of financial markets with diversity of financial claims issued by both young and matured companies.

The module will then also explore corporate restructuring and financial decisions leading to analysis of corporate breakup transactions (divestitures, spinoffs, equity carve outs, tracking stocks), leveraged recapitalizations, and leveraged buyouts (LBOs) and study the value-drivers behind them with both theoretical framework and empirical analysis linking current events. It will also discuss factors that determine cross-border takeover, and the influence of cross-border M&As on corporate shareholders' wealth and corporate governance.

Finally topics dealing with corporate social responsibility and its value-enhancing capabilities and the link between corporate political connections (managers, board members, shareholders) and corporate financing activities will be discussed in detail from both theoretical and empirical perspectives.

Corporate Governance

The module covers:

  • The nature and perspectives of corporate governance
  • Corporate control and ownership across the world
  • Taxonomies of CG systems and CG mechanisms
  • Shareholder power: Individuals and institutions
  • External influences on corporate governance: The market for corporate control
  • The role of the board: Executives and non-executives
  • Executive remuneration and governance
  • Government and governance: The regulatory role
  • Corporate governance: A review of the domain
Financial Econometrics

The module provides an introduction to modern econometric techniques for modelling financial data. It covers relatively advanced econometric techniques such as dynamic panel data modelling, generalised methods of moments, discrete choices models and modelling volatility via ARCH/GARCH models.

International Finance

This module examines:

  • exchange rates and FX markets
  • FX market efficiency
  • real exchange rate and purchasing power parity
  • exchange rate determination
  • exchange rate forecasting
  • FX predictability: Statistical significance and economic value
  • FX volatility strategies
  • global equity analysis
  • global performance evaluation
Management Accounting and Control

This module will cover some or all of the following:

  • Introduction to management accounting and control
  • Management Accounting and Control Systems (MACSs) and technology
  • MACSs and strategy
  • MACSs and innovation
  • MACSs in multinational organisations
  • Inter-organisational MACSs
  • MACSs in developing countries
  • MACSs in public sector organisations
  • MACSs and sustainability
  • Methodological issues in management accounting research
SAP S/4 HANA Accounting Information Systems

SAP S/4 HANA is an in-memory platform for doing real-time analytics and for deploying real-time applications. This module includes:

  • an introduction and overview of SAP S/4 HANA and Fundamentals of Financial Reporting
  • journal entries
  • business processes
  • enterprise resource planning system
  • data security to protect corporate information and comply with regulatory requirements
  • auditing activity in SAP S/4 HANA system
The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Thursday 21 July 2022.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops

In addition to lectures, some modules have lab sessions, some have workshops and some drop-in sessions. Each module is run with the aim of providing best learning experience for students and module objectives are achieved by devising the most appropriate delivery and assessment methods.

Digital professional skills certifications

We offer the opportunity for you to take industry-recognised Microsoft and SAP certifications alongside your degree programme at significant discounts from the open market rate. This will enhance your digital capability, differentiate your CV and help you stand out to future employers. Find out more on our digital professional skills website.

How you will be assessed

  • Dissertation
  • Essay
  • Examinations

Modules are assessed by a combination of exams and coursework at the end of the relevant semester.

Contact time and study hours

For a 20 credit module, you are expected to work at least 200 hours over the duration of the course. One example of a break-down of the 200 hours is as follows:

  • Class contact: 44 hours
  • Coursework preparation: 40 hours
  • Independent learning: 76 hours
  • Exam preparation: 40 hours

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2023 entry.

Undergraduate degree2:1 (or international equivalent) in accounting, auditing, financial management, or another subject with a substantial proportion of accounting study. Applicants must have a strong accounting background and in their final two years of study have achieved a 2:1 (60%) in a minimum of four modules covering advanced or specialist accounting theory.

Applying

Spaces on this course are limited and, as such, applications will open in the following windows:

  • 1 September to 30 September 2022
  • 17 October to 30 November 2022
  • 6 February to 5 April 2023

Please note that this is a highly competitive course and there are a limited number of places available. The school reserve the right to close this course to applications when capacity is reached, and early applications are encouraged.

Our step-by-step guide covers everything you need to know about applying.

How to apply

Fees

UK fees are set in line with the national UKRI maximum fee limit. We expect fees for 2023 entry to be confirmed in August 2022.

Additional information for international students

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you may be asked to complete a fee status questionnaire and your answers will be assessed using guidance issued by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) .

These fees are for full-time study. If you are studying part-time, you will be charged a proportion of this fee each year (subject to inflation).

Additional costs

All students will need at least one device to approve security access requests via Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). We also recommend students have a suitable laptop to work both on and off-campus. For more information, please check the equipment advice.

As a student on this course, you should factor some additional costs into your budget, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses.

You should be able to access most of the books you'll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies or more specific titles.

Funding

Business School MSc scholarships

There are many ways to fund your postgraduate course, from scholarships to government loans.

We also offer a range of international masters scholarships for high-achieving international scholars who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers.

Check our guide to find out more about funding your postgraduate degree.

Postgraduate funding

Careers

We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students.

Expert staff can help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.

Each year 1,100 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.

International students who complete an eligible degree programme in the UK on a student visa can apply to stay and work in the UK after their course under the Graduate immigration route. Eligible courses at the University of Nottingham include bachelors, masters and research degrees, and PGCE courses.

Graduate destinations

Our in-house Postgraduate Careers Team provides expert advice and guidance so that you can make an informed decision about the right career path for you.

Prior to commencing your course you can take part in pre-entry careers discussions and once on programme our MSc Accelerated Career Leader Programme is complemented by one to one career coaching.

Increasingly, graduates are required to be cloud and data-ready for the workplace with 66% of employers wanting to see graduates achieve professional qualifications as well as their main degree (CMI 21st Century leaders report). The school works with some of the world’s leading business software providers including SAP and Microsoft, offering the option to take their globally recognised professional digital qualifications alongside your course. Our Digital Centre of Excellence will support you so that you can develop the digital skills necessary to pursue your chosen career and stand out to future employers.

Our support continues throughout your time at Nottingham and after you graduate. Business School postgraduates also have access to events and resources provided by the Careers and Employability Service.

Career destinations for our postgraduates include:

  • accountants
  • finance and investment analysts
  • higher education teaching professionals
  • investment bankers
  • IT business analysts
  • management consultants
  • marketing professionals
  • public relations professionals
  • university researchers

Some MSc graduates have gone on to doctoral studies, others have become entrepreneurs. Our Ingenuity Lab has supported a number of our MSc graduates in starting their own company.

Career progression

86.2% of all postgraduates from Nottingham University Business School secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary for these graduates was £36,668.*

* HESA Graduate Outcomes 2019/20 data published in 2022. The Graduate Outcomes % is derived using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

Two masters graduates proudly holding their certificates
" I chose the University of Nottingham because it is well-known as an employer-friendly university. The Career and Employability Team offers professional support for finding jobs and internships such as training and alumni experience sharing, which gives more opportunities for MSc students to improve career prospects. "
Wenxi Chen , MSc Accounting and Finance

Related courses

This content was last updated on Thursday 21 July 2022. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur given the interval between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.