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Strategic Accounting (extended)
MSc

2019/20 Full-time Postgraduate course

Award:

Master of Science

Faculty:

Ulster University Business School

School:

Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics

Campus:

Jordanstown campus

Start dates:

September 2019

January 2020

Overview

Accelerate your accounting career with this fast-track to ACCA membership plus an Masters in Strategic Accounting.

Summary

Do you aspire to become a leader within the global accounting profession?

The MSc in Strategic Accounting is an excellent way to advance your career within this competitive and highly rewarding industry.

Give yourself an additional edge in accounting and professional services by getting the finance, technology, leadership and advanced accounting skills employers are looking for.

This course will help you obtain ACCA membership in the minimum possible time, while gaining an Masters with employment relevant skills.

All of ACCA’s strategic professional papers are embedded into the course, so you will be ready to complete all of the examinations in the ACCA professional qualification.

As well helping you achieve your ACCA membership this course provides the opportunity to work with an employer on a live project ensuring the course is relevant and provides you with workplace ready skills.

Over 2 years you will cover topics such as financial accounting, management accounting, strategic business leadership, strategic business reporting, advanced performance management or advanced audit and assurance, advanced taxation or advanced financial management, cyber security or data analytics.

ACCA members are in demand across the globe – and this demand is increasing.

If you want to be part of this growth, this course is for you.


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About this course

About

The MSc Strategic Accounting is designed to build on, and further develop, the employment relevant skills that are at the heart of the ACCA qualification.

Completing the Strategic Business Project module will enable you to meet some of the performance objectives of ACCA’s Professional Experience Requirement (PER).

You will also be encouraged to complete ACCA’s Ethics and Professional Skills Module.

Thus, you will be well placed to obtain ACCA membership in the minimum possible time, while gaining a Masters and employment relevant skills.

The modules you will study are:

First semester of study (January – May)

Regulatory Framework of Accounting

Financial Reporting

Management Accounting in Practice

Financial Management

Taxation

Second Semester of study (June – August)

Audit and Assurance

Third semester of study (September – January)

Introduction to Research

Strategic Business Reporting

Advanced Performance Management OR Advanced Audit and Assurance

(You will sit the relevant ACCA exams in December.)

Fourth semester of study (January – May)

Strategic Business Leader (you will sit the ACCA exam in June)

Cyber security OR Data Analytics

Fifth semester of study (September – January)

Strategic Business Report

Advanced Taxation OR Advanced Financial Management

(You will sit the relevant ACCA exam in December.)

Attendance

The course is completed over five semesters of study (24 months), on a full-time basis.

Start dates

  • September 2019
  • January 2020

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Attendance and Independent Study

As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements. Usually, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. A course handbook is also made available.

The course comprises modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by credit points. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort.

This Master’s course comprises 80 credits at level 6 and180 credits at level 7, taken over five semesters (24 months).

Class contact times vary by module. Typically, you can expect at least 4 contact hours per week for each module. The precise model will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons.

Assessment

Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module.

Assessment for modules in the first and second semesters of study will be by a combination of coursework and university exams.

Successful completion of these modules, will lead to ACCA awarding 5 exemptions, so that you will be able to progress to the remaining modules.

All other modules will be assessed through coursework but may also include closed book class tests. These assessments are designed to confirm your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes – and to fully prepare you to sit ACCA exams in relevant modules.

You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons.

The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

Calculation of the Final Award

The pass mark for each individual module at level 6 is 40%, and 50% at level 7.

A pass with distinction will be awarded if your average mark in the modules in the third, fourth and fifth semesters of study is 70% or greater and a pass with commendation will be awarded if your average mark in these modules is 60% or greater.

Your average mark will be calculated as a weighted average of the modules in the third, fourth and fifth semesters of study, based on the credit points for each module.

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    Content

    The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.

    Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:

    • the relevant generic national Qualification Descriptor
    • the applicable Subject Benchmark Statement
    • the requirements of any professional, regulatory, statutory and accrediting bodies.

    Attendance and Independent Study

    As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.

    Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.

    The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.

    Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.

    Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.

    Assessment

    Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

    Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

    Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.

    Calculation of the Final Award

    The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).

    Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.

    All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.

Academic profile

All of the staff involved in the delivery of the modules have extensive experience of assisting students to prepare for the exams of professional accounting bodies, including ACCA and of teaching on postgraduate courses.

They are also either professionally qualified accountants, holders of postgraduate qualifications, or both.

A number of staff are, or have been, examiners or exam markers for professional accounting bodies, including ACCA.

Ulster University students have been prize-winners in a range of ACCA papers and 100% pass rates have been attained in a number of ACCA papers in previous sittings.

The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.

Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).

We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.

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    The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.

    Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.

    Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.

Jordanstown campus

The largest of Ulster's campuses.


Accommodation

Jordanstown is our biggest campus in an idyllic setting surrounded by lush lawns and trees. It's just a few hundred metres from Loughshore Park and promenade, and just seven miles from Belfast city centre.

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Sports Facilities

At our Jordanstown Campus we have world class facilities that are open all year round to our students and members of the public.

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Student support

At Student Support we provide many services to help students through their time at Ulster University.

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Jordanstown campus location info

  Find out more about our Jordanstown campus

Address

Ulster University
Shore Road
Newtownabbey
Co. Antrim
BT37 0QB

T: 028 7012 3456

Modules

Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

In this section

Year one

Strategic Business Leader

Year: 1

The module will develop students' appreciation of strategic management and leadership in the context of organisational strategy, corporate governance and ethical issues. Through case studies, practical examples and academic journal articles, the module will enable students to critically appraise and apply advanced practices and theories of the discipline.

Strategic Business Reporting

Year: 1

This module aims to discuss, apply and evaluate the concepts, principles and practices that underpin the preparation and interpretation of corporate reports in various contexts including the ethical assessment of management's stewardship and the information needs of a diverse group of stakeholders.

Introduction to Research

Year: 1

The module will provide students with an understanding of the research process when conducting applied research within the accounting and finance profession. It underlines the role that applied research can play in helping to define and ultimately resolve key strategic business issues. This will involve consideration of the development of appropriate research questions, undertaking a literature review, identification and justification of an appropriate research methodology, data collection and analysis, reporting findings in an effective manner.

The module also provides an opportunity for learners to reflect on their intellectual and professional development during their master's programme with the creation a portfolio of work-based evidence that in turn, forms the framework for development of a personal development plan.

Advanced Performance Management

Year: 1

This module is optional

The module will develop students' appreciation of strategic management accounting in the context of organisational strategy, business planning and development. Through case studies, practical examples and academic journal articles, the module will enable students to critically appraise and apply advanced practices and theories of the discipline.

Advanced Audit and Assurance

Year: 1

This module is optional

This module provides students with an in-depth understanding of audit and assurance services. It combines audit and assurance concepts with their application to professional practice. It also highlights the responsibilities and ethical dilemmas faced by auditors and assurance providers.

Cyber Security

Year: 1

This module is optional

This module aims to discuss, apply and evaluate the concepts, principles and practices that underpin the relationship between information governance and cyber security underpinning the management of organisation's information assets.

The module also covers cyber security risk assessment and management strategies.

Data Analytics

Year: 1

This module is optional

This module provides students with the knowledge and practical skills for applying business intelligence and data analytics principles to support management decision making in a business context. The module also help develop students' quantitative analysis and data visualisation skills to derive valuable insights from the data in a business context. The module will help students to design, develop and deploy a performance dashboard as part of their performance management system case organisation.

Year two

Advanced Taxation

Year: 2

This module is optional

Advanced tax; income tax, corporation tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax, stamp duty; how tax law and ethics impact businesses today

Advanced Financial Management

Year: 2

This module is optional

The module examines the investment and financing decisions facing large multinational corporations, with the emphasis moving towards the strategic consequences of making such decisions in a domestic, as well as international, context. Connected to this, the module then focuses on developing advisory skills in planning strategic acquisitions and mergers and corporate re-organisations. Finally, the module examines the risks associated with international business and provides a broad analysis of the sophisticated strategies which are employed in order to manage such risks.

Strategic Business Project

Year: 2

This module is optional

The module integrates and further develops the knowledge and skills acquired within the taught element of the programme. The module specifically allows the student to apply the knowledge and skills acquired to undertake a project relevant to the financial services sector and of interest to the student. The project topic will vary, depending on the requirements of the financial services organisation that instigates the project.

Dissertation

Year: 2

This module is optional

The dissertation module integrates and further develops the knowledge and skills acquired within the taught element of the programme.

The module specifically allows the student to apply the knowledge and skills acquired to undertake a research dissertation investigating a topic relevant to the financial services sector and of interest to the student.

The dissertation topic will vary, depending on the interests of the student and expertise of staff.

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

Entry Requirements

Applicants must have gained an Honours or non-Honours degree from a university of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, or from a recognised national awarding body, or from an institution of another country which has been recognised as being of an equivalent standard, which provides for exemptions from the following four examinations of ACCA:

Accountant in Business (AB), Financial Accounting (FA), Management Accounting (MA) and Corporate and Business Law (LW).

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

United States of America flagAdditional information for students from United States of America

Postgraduate

Typically we require applicant for taught programmes to hold the equivalent of a UK first degree (usually in a relevant subject area). Please refer to the specific entry requirements for your chosen course of study as outlined in the online prospectus. We consider students who have good grades in the following:

Qualification
Bachelor degree

English Language


Financial Information

In addition to the scholarships and bursaries open to all international students, US students may apply for Federal and Private US loans

Qualification
Level 12 English Lang in HSD

View more information for students from United States of America  

Careers & opportunities

Career options

ACCA members are employed in a wide range of roles in all sectors globally.

Further information can be obtained at:

https://www.accaglobal.com/uk/en/qualifications/areas-of-accountancy.html

Work placement / study abroad

The Strategic Business Project module provides an opportunity to work with an employer on a specific project which will be structured so that you will meet a number of the learning outcomes specified by ACCA's Professional Experience Requirement.

Apply

Start dates

  • September 2019
  • January 2020

Fees and funding

In this section

Additional mandatory costs

Please note that, in addition to the course fees payable to the University, the following fees are payable to ACCA:

Initial registration

Annual subscription

Exemption fees

Exam entry fees

Ethics and Professional Skills module.

ACCA fees are reviewed annually. Up to date fees information is available at:

https://www.accaglobal.com/uk/en/qualifications/accountancy-career/fees/fees-charges-cluster-a.html?countrycode=UnitedKingdom

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.

Contact

For further details, please contact the Course Director, Ronnie Patton (r.patton@ulster.ac.uk)

For more information visit

Ulster University Business School

Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics

Disclaimer

  1. The University endeavours to deliver courses and programmes of study in accordance with the description set out in this prospectus. The University’s prospectus is produced at the earliest possible date in order to provide maximum assistance to individuals considering applying for a course of study offered by the University. The University makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in the prospectus is accurate but it is possible that some changes will occur between the date of printing and the start of the academic year to which it relates. Please note that the University’s website is the most up-to-date source of information regarding courses and facilities and we strongly recommend that you always visit the website before making any commitments.
  2. Although reasonable steps are taken to provide the programmes and services described, the University cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility and the University may make variations to the contents or methods of delivery of courses, discontinue, merge or combine courses and introduce new courses if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key staff, changes in legislation or government policy including changes, if any, resulting from the UK departing the European Union, withdrawal or reduction of funding or other circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control.
  3. If the University discontinues any courses, it will use its best endeavours to provide a suitable alternative course. In addition, courses may change during the course of study and in such circumstances the University will normally undertake a consultation process prior to any such changes being introduced and seek to ensure that no student is unreasonably prejudiced as a consequence of any such change.
  4. The University does not accept responsibility (other than through the negligence of the University, its staff or agents), for the consequences of any modification or cancellation of any course, or part of a course, offered by the University but will take into consideration the effects on individual students and seek to minimise the impact of such effects where reasonably practicable.
  5. The University cannot accept any liability for disruption to its provision of educational or other services caused by circumstances beyond its control, but the University will take all reasonable steps to minimise the resultant disruption to such services.

Testimonials

“The model incorporating the ACCA Strategic Professional syllabus into the programme supports students taking their ACCA Strategic Professional Level exams and enable students to benefit from gaining both an academic and professional qualification.”

Alan Hatfield, Executive Director, Strategy and Development, ACCA

“The way this course combines academic and professional study with practical experience and develops the skills employers are seeking and that ACCA has identified as essential for the accountants of the future is unique.” John Cullen FCCA, Partner Menzies LLP