Master of Science
Ulster University Business School
Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics
For operational readiness and simplicity, the vast majority of Academic Year 21/22 Semester Two teaching will continue on our Jordanstown campus, enabling firm and precise timetabling to be available for staff and students.
As phases of the new building become available, all staff and students will have the option to transfer teaching and research at a point that is practical and suitable for all, or if they prefer, stay in Jordanstown.
Precise timetabling will be provided to all students at the beginning of Semester Two as usual.
Accelerate your accounting career with this fast-track to ACCA membership plus an Masters in Strategic Accounting.
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.
The Strategic Accounting (extended) version is for those applicants who are exempt from or have completed the first 4 ACCA Papers. We also have a Strategic Accounting course for those who have completed the first 9 ACCA Papers.
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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
Management Accounting in Practice
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.)
The course is completed over five semesters of study (24 months), on a full-time basis.
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 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.
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:
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 near the start date and may be subject to 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 of attendance will often 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 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 Masters 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 methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be via one method or a combination e.g. examination and coursework . 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 four learning outcomes, and no more than two 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.
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 Masters 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 Masters degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.
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 (20%) or Lecturers (55%).
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) by Advanced HE - 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.
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 2021-2022.
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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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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 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.
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ACCA members are employed in a wide range of roles in all sectors globally.
Further information can be obtained at:
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.
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Please note that, in addition to the course fees payable to the University, the following fees are payable to ACCA:
Exam entry fees
Ethics and Professional Skills module.
ACCA fees are reviewed annually. Up to date fees information is available at:
It is important to remember that costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges) and normal living will need to be covered in addition to tuition feesWhere a course has additional mandatory expenses (in addition to tuition fees) we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering)vaccinations , 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 are also available on each of the campuses.
There will be some additional costs 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.
We know that choosing to study at university is a big decision, and you may not always be able to find the information you need online.
Please contact Ulster University with any queries or questions you might have about:
For any queries regarding course entry requirements or getting help with your application, please select Admissions in the drop down below.
For queries related to course content, including modules and placements, please select Course specific information.
We look forward to hearing from you.
“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