2022/23 Full-time Undergraduate course
Bachelor of Science with Honours
Ulster University Business School
Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics
The UCAS code for Ulster University is U20
An innovative suite of subject pathways that offer you excellent employment opportunities within the growing professional service areas.
The BSc Hons Accounting (Pathways) is an innovative suite of subject pathways that offer you the opportunity to progress your studies within various fast growing areas of professional services. You will be able to graduate with one of the following awards: BSc Hons Accounting or BSc Hons Accounting (Forensics) or BSc Hons Accounting (Financial Economics) or BSc Hons Accounting (Management).
This suite of pathways offers you high quality teaching, expertise in subject areas such as forensics, financial services and management consulting. The team involved have well established links with the accounting professional bodies, key graduate employers, public sector and local industry.
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This programme has been designed to broaden your opportunities in accounting and utilise our high level employer links to ensure you get excellent employment opportunities.
All our pathways in Accounting give you maximum professional exemptions from many of the professional accounting bodies.
You can specialise in the area of accounting through either the BSc Hons Accounting or BSc Hons Accounting (Forensics) - both of these pathways are highly sought after by employers and following your programme, you will be employment-ready in these fields.
You could decide to maintain a focus on accounting and explore other areas such as financial economics or management through the BSc Hons Accounting (Financial Economics) or BSc Hons Accounting (Management ) - both pathways offering a highly sought after skills-set in the economic, public sector, finance or managerial environment.
Structure: All modules in each pathway of the BSc Hons Accounting (Pathways) are compulsory. The structure of the suite of pathways is such that you can delay choice between these four programmes until the second-year of study in the BSc Hons Accounting (Pathways). This flexibility provides you with the opportunity to experience subject areas, before making a choice between maintaining your specialism in accounting or broadening your interest to financial economics/management.
Diploma in Professional Practice DPP
Diploma in Professional Practice International DPPI
Diploma in International Academic Studies DIAS
Find out more about placement awards
Classes are timetabled per semester for full-time students:
Three years full-time – BSc Hons
Four years full-time – BSc Hons with DPP / DIAS
Full-time attendance is up to four days per week with 12-16 teaching hours per week, depending on level.
Each year has a different amount of time allocated to the modules being studied. Normally students are in class for 3 or 4 days per week. On top of this you would be expected to spend approximately 10 additional hours of independent study time per module per week.
Taking all modules into account this would equate to 40 hours per week over a semester.
Learning and Teaching Methods include: lectures, tutorials, seminars, case studies, experiential learning, guest speakers, practitioner master classes, workshops, directed and independent study, computer assisted learning including contemporary interactive learning technology to help enhance your learning.
Assessment Methods include:examinations, class tests, completion of worksheets, reflective logs, portfolios, critiques, reports, subject-specific essays and oral presentations, using both individual and group projects, and interactive technology.
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 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 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.
Over 80% of our teaching staff hold Fellowship of Advance HE (previously Higher Education Academy).
The majority of our accounting lecturers have professional qualifications and previous experience in professional practice and/or commercial business.
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.
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.
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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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Introductory accounting provides the student with an understanding of the concepts underpinning financial reporting for sole traders and partnerships.
Principles of Financial Accounting provides the student with an introduction to the concepts underpinning corporate financial reporting for single companies and simple groups of companies. This provides students with the foundations required for further study in Financial Accounting module.
This module provides students with an introduction to the principles of management accounting. It examines the role of the management accountant within an organisation and how management accounting information contributes to making judgements and decisions. The module focuses primarily on the theory and practice of cost accounting and introduces students to various cost accounting concepts, techniques and processes. It provides a firm foundation for further study in the area of management accounting.
This module provides students with an opportunity to consider, reflect on, and develop key skills that will provide a strong basis for successful study in higher education and in their future professional life. It provides opportunities to consider personal strengths and learning styles, and develop strategies to maximise their learning potential.
This module provides the student with a solid understanding of information management principles, applications and value in modern organisations. Particular attention is awarded to technological tools and business process improvement techniques. The opportunity to construct a simple data analytics dashboard system is provided. On completion of the module students will be equipped with the skills necessary to join the workforce having an appreciation of the own personal information management skills and an understanding of the roles/skills required in a sustainable learning organisation.
This module will provide an introduction to the fundamental concepts and applications of economics as they affect individuals, firms and governments, as well as the policy decisions taken in industry, commerce, and local government. An emphasis will be placed on the application of economics to the world around us.
Financial accounting provides the student with an understanding of the concepts underpinning corporate financial reporting for single companies and groups of companies. The role of financial accounting regulation, particularly International Financial Reporting Standards is examined and students are provided with the skills to apply these to practical examples.
Having completed this module the student will be able to: understand the role of the management accountant and how this contributes to the achievement of organisational objectives; understand the role of modern management accounting practices which enable organisations to develop and assess performance; and apply appropriate management decision tools to a specified range of scenarios.
Understanding the diverse career options within Accounting and Finance is essential if students are to understand and develop the skills and attributes that employers across different markets are seeking. This module aims to engage students in their own employability development as well as aid their understanding of what recruiting employers look for and in particular why they look for specific attributes.
This module is optional
This module explores the changing nature of HRM and people management and development in organisation. The impact of changes within the economy, in demographics, in legislation and advances in technology will be considered. Taking a broadly employee life-cycle approach the module covers the core functional areas of HRM to include recruitment and selection; equality, diversity and inclusion; learning and development in organisations; performance management; pay and reward; the employment relationship and employee engagement; and employee health and well-being: the topics are presented via a HRM lens but the importance of their understanding for aspiring line managers is emphasised.
This module is optional
This module introduces students to the macroeconomic environment and modelling, the role of money and central banking in the economy, the rationale for monetary policy and its effects on economic performance.
This module introduces students to finance decision making for individuals and small to medium sized national companies. Within the personal finance part of the course students will study the financial lifecycle, the financial plan and the main personal finance decisions (debt, savings, investments, insurance, mortgages and pensions). Within the business finance element of the module students will study the role of business finance, ethics in financial decision making, the influence of the environment on financial decision-making, the time value of money, capital investment appraisal, working capital management and sources of short and medium-term finance, and cost of capital.
This module introduces the student to the conceptual and theoretical fundamentals of business risk management combined with the processes surrounding risk management in both the private and public sector organisations. It identifies the skills that a professional services accountant must have and how best to utilise those skills in today's challenging business environment.
This module introduces the student to the conceptual and theoretical fundamentals of auditing combined with the practical application of auditing principles and the issues encountered in a financial reporting and audit environment. It identifies the skills that a professional auditor must have and how best to utilise those skills in today's challenging business environment.
Corporate Financial Reporting provides the student with an understanding of both accounting theory and the practical application of international financial reporting standards.
A knowledge of taxation is essential to students intending to pursue a career in accounting and is an essential part of most financial and economic decision making. This module provides a fundamental undertaking of the main aspects of the UK tax system covering personal, business taxation, corporation tax, inheritance tax and capital gains tax as well as an understanding of the administration of the self-assessment system.
This module introduces students to basic legal structures, principles and concepts relevant to business and the business environment in the United Kingdom (with a particular emphasis on Northern Ireland). It also enables them to acquire certain skills, such as those of instant recall, analysis, argumentation and articulation, which will prove useful in their work as business professionals.
This module is optional
This module provides undergraduate students with an opportunity to gain structured and professional work experience, in a work-based learning environment, as part of their planned programme of study. This experience allows students to develop, refine and reflect on their key personal and professional skills. The placement should significantly support the development of the student's employability skills, preparation for final year and enhance their employability journey.
This module is optional
This module provides an opportunity to undertake an extended period of study outside the UK and Republic of Ireland. Students will develop an enhanced understanding of the academic discipline whilst generating educational and cultural networks.
An important role of management accounting is to present accounting information to facilitate decision making, planning, control and performance measurement. The module will develop further the students' appreciation of management accounting. This will involve the in-depth study and critical appraisal of advanced practices and theories of the discipline.
The module informs and equips students to effectively respond to the governance challenges organisations face today. The module aims to investigate the key components for securing the highest standards of effective corporate governance.
This module is optional
This module examines some of the fundamental concepts underpinning managerial finance, including agency theory, EMH, theories on capital structure and dividend policy. The module focuses on financial management decision-making in large companies that interact with the capital markets and have an international presence.
This module is optional
The module introduces the concept of strategic business planning. With the dynamic business environment and the requirement for enterprise development to be linked to strategic management architecture, there is a need to enhance the level of understanding and competency in business planning.
This module is optional
In today's increasingly networked digital age, a knowledge of cybercrime and its impact on the operations of businesses is important. Delivered in association with Grant Thornton's forensic technology specialists this module provides insights into cybercrime and forensic technology from both a theoretical perspective (the legal, professional and ethical issues relating to the cybercrime) and a technical perspective (gathering, reserving and presenting digital evidence).
This module is optional
Banks, and other financial institutions, play a pivotal role in developed and developing economies. This module provides an overview of these institutions and the role of money in such institutions.
This module is optional
This module builds upon Money and the Economy introduced at level five. It covers the international financial system, exchange rates, open-economy macroeconomics, and will discuss current issues within international finance.
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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A level grades BBB if including A level Mathematics or
A level grades ABB if not completing A level Mathematics.
Overall BTEC Level 3 QCF Extended Diploma with profile D*DD in a relevant subject.
BTEC Level 3 RQF National Extended Diploma with profile DDM in a relevant subject.
You may also meet the course entry requirements with combinations of different qualifications to the same standard (provided subject requirements are met). Examples of combinations include:
A levels with BTEC Level 3 QCF Subsidiary Diploma or BTEC RQF National Extended Certificate
A level with BTEC Level 3 QCF Diploma or BTEC Level 3 RQF National Diploma.
For further information on the entry requirements for this course please contact the administrator as listed in Contact details
128 UCAS tariff points to include a minimum of four subjects at Higher level and one subject at Ordinary level. The overall profile must include English at minimum Grade H6 at Higher Level or Grade O4 at Ordinary level plus Mathematics at minimum H5 at Higher level or Grade O3 at Ordinary Level.
120 UCAS tariff points to include a minimum of four subjects at Higher level and one subject at Ordinary level. Theoverall profile must include English at minimum Grade H6 at Higher Level or Grade O4 at Ordinary level. One Higher Level subject must include minimum Grade H3 from Higher Level Maths.
The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is BBBCC to include a minimum of grade B in Mathematics or grades BBBBC if not undertaking Scottish Highers Mathematics.
The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is CCC to include minimum of grade C in Advanced Mathematics or grades BBC in not undertaking Advanced Mathematics.
Overall International Baccalaureate profile minimum 27 (13 points at higher level).
Overall mark of 70% to include 60% in NICATs Maths or GCSE Maths grade B/C* or 6/5.
GCSE Profile to include Maths with a minimum grade B/C* 6/5.
GCSE Profile to include English Language with a minimum grade C/4.
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.
Ulster Foundation Degree
Pass in Foundation Degree in Accounting with an overall mark of 60%, plus a minimum of 60% in each final year module, excluding Work Based Learning for year 2 entry.
The majority of students enter this programme in year 1 at Level 4. However applicants who provide evidence of previous relevant successful study may be considered for entry to Level 5 of the programme. Exceptionally applicants may be considered for entry at Level 6. Transfer will normally be admitted with exemptions depending on prior accredited knowledge.
There is a facility for transfer to other undergraduate degree programmes depending upon the nature of the subject matter of the other degrees and academic achievement.
Students who transfer from another university should present module information. Ulster can consider giving module exemptions on a like for like basis for prior studies.
The programme has been accredited by all UK and Ireland professional accounting bodies such as: Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI), Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), ACCA and CIMA. You have the opportunity to gain maximum exemptions from professional examinations depending on the pathway selected for study and the final module mark obtained.
The Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics have high level and well established partnerships with the following major accountancy bodies: Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI); The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS); The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW); The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA); The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA); The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA); The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA); The Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland (CPA); The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIT); The Assocaition of International Accountnats (AIA); and The Institute of Internal Auditors UK and Ireland (IIA).
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Graduates from this course are now working for:
With this degree you could become:
There is a considerable demand for those with accounting knowledge in business, industry and the public service. This suite of pathways provide you with an excellent basis for pursuing a professional qualification with one of the accountancy bodies and/or if you want to expand your knowledge in other allied areas of business.
As a graduate, you may take up a position as an Accounting Practitioner providing audit, accountancy, forensic services and taxation services to a variety of businesses and individuals. You can avail of many accounting and finance roles in any type of business e.g. Financial or Management Accountant in a large commercial enterprise or within central or local Government; a Taxation Specialist; a Management Consultant or an Educationalist.
You may, depending on classification obtained, be permitted to go on to further study at postgraduate level. On successful completion of your programme, it may be possible to progress to a Postgraduate Diploma / Masters in Advanced Accounting and Masters in Strategic Accounting.
After successful completion of your second year on the programme, you will have the option of a paid placement year in a range of local and international locations. This will provide a link between the subjects you have studied and their application in a 'real world' setting.
Satisfactory completion of the placement year will lead to the award of the Diploma in Professional Practice. You also have the option to study abroad for a year; satisfactory completion of a study abroad year will lead to the award of the Diploma in International Academic Studies.
Through our excellent links with businesses and accounting employers, there are also opportunities for you to avail of short-term placements over the summer months.
Accredited by Chartered Accountants Ireland for the purpose of exemption from some professional exams.
Accredited by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) for the purpose of exemptions from some professional examinations.
Accredited by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) for the purpose of exemption from some professional examinations through the Accredited degree accelerated route.
Accredited by the Institute of Chartered Accountants England and Wales (ICAEW) for the purpose of exemption from some professional examinations.
Accredited by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) for the purpose of exemption from some professional examinations.
Applications to full-time undergraduate degrees at Ulster are made through UCAS.
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Student achievements on the BSc Hons Accounting (Pathways) are recognised through an extensive range of prizes and awards sponsored by both professional bodies and leading employers including Baker Tilly Mooney Moore, BDO, CIMA, CPA, Deloitte, EY, Henry Murray & Co., KPMG, PwC and many others.
At a recent prize-giving ceremony Mr John Poole, a Director with leading global professional service firm KPMG, stated that “it’s essential that employers and the University work together to develop the great talent pool that exists in Northern Ireland and to reward them for their efforts and successes. As a significant employer of graduates, we will continue to work with the University and its students to achieve our common goal, namely the development of business leaders of the future who will help grow Northern Ireland businesses through the current economic environment and beyond”.
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.
Admissions contact regarding application process:
Course Director: Helen Foster
The staff are enthusiastic about the course, and try to engage as much as possible with students, to ensure that the course is delivered in an interesting way. The staff also make themselves available to help deal with any problems students may have. (National Student Survey comment).
Lecturers were very knowledgeable of the area. All had worked in industry, so were able to provide good feedback and real world experience. (National Student Survey comment).
Great employer links. Supportive lecturers. Personal rapport built with lecturers. Enjoyed the small classrooms. Helped with study abroad opportunities. (National Student Survey comment)