Strategic Accounting

MSc

2023/24 Full-time Postgraduate course

Award:

Master of Science

Faculty:

Ulster University Business School

School:

Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics

Campus:

Belfast campus

Start date:

September 2023

This course is now closed for International applications for September 2023

Overview

Accelerate your accounting career with this Masters programme linked to ACCA professional exemptions.

Summary

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

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

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

This programme will help you obtain ACCA professional exemptions while gaining an Masters with relevant employable skills.

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

As well helping you achieve your ACCA qualification, this programme 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 18 months, you will cover topics such as strategic business leadership, strategic business reporting, advanced taxation, advanced performance management, advanced audit and assurance, advanced financial management, cyber security and/or data analytics.

ACCA members are in increasing demand across the globe. If you want to be part of this growth, this course is for you.

We’d love to hear from you!

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:

  • Course specific information
  • Fees and Finance
  • Admissions

For any queries regarding 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.

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 enables 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, while gaining a Masters with employment relevant skills.

Students can study the following modules;

Strategic Business Leader

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

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

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 Taxation

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

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.

Cyber Security

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

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.

Advanced Performance Management

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

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.

Strategic Business Project

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

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.

Attendance

The course is completed over three semesters of study, on a full-time basis.

The duration of the course is almost 18 months (this being semester 1 & 2 of one academic year, and semester 1 of the subsequent academic year).

Start dates

  • September 2023

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 180 credits, taken in three semesters.

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 on all modules will be through coursework but may also include closed book class tests. Assessment is designed to assess 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 is 50%.

A pass with distinction will be awarded if your average mark is 70% or greater and a pass with commendation will be awarded if your average mark is 60% or greater.

Your average mark will be calculated as a weighted average of all modules, based on the credit points for each module.

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 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.

Belfast campus

Accommodation

High quality apartment living in Belfast city centre adjacent to the university campus.

Find out more - information about accommodation  


Student Wellbeing

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

Find out more - information about student wellbeing  


Belfast Campus Location

The Belfast campus is situated in the artistic and cultural centre of the city, the Cathedral Quarter.

Find out more about our Belfast Campus.

Campus Address

Ulster University,
2-24 York Street,
Belfast
BT15 1AP

T: 02870 123 456

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 Taxation

Year: 1

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: 1

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.

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 Performance Management

Year: 2

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: 2

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.

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.

Standard 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 completed the 9 ACCA papers which comprise the Essential Knowledge and Essential Skills modules of the ACCA qualification or to have been exempted from these papers by having gained:

(i) a second class honours degree in Accounting or better 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; or

(ii) an equivalent standard (normally 50%) in a Graduate Diploma, Graduate Certificate, Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma or an approved alternative qualification in Accounting;

and

provide evidence of competence in written and spoken English (GCSE grade C or equivalent).The English language requirements for non-native English speakers is IELTS 6.0 with no contributing band below 5.5 or equivalent SELT (S).

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.

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 you with a chance to work on a specific project which will be structured so that you will meet a number of the learning outcomes on the module.

(Please note the course team cannot guarantee placement with an employer, but can offer you support in search for a sutiable project with an organisation)

Apply

Start dates

  • September 2023

Fees and funding

Important notice - Tuition fees for this course may vary

Visit Tuition Fees 2023/24 for more details on the price of this course.

Fees (total cost)

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

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 fees.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses (in addition to tuition fees) we make every effort to highlight them above. 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 Wi-Fi are also available on each of the campuses.

There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

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

See the tuition fees on our student guide for most up to date costs.

Contact

We’d love to hear from you!

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:

  • Course specific information
  • Fees and Finance
  • Admissions

For any queries regarding 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.


For more information visit

Testimonials

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

“The model incorporating the ACCA Strategic Professional syllabus into the programme supports students taking their ACCA Strategic Professional Level exams and MSc Modules and enables students to benefit from gaining both an academic and professional qualification. The placement/internship opportunity within the programme supports students being ready for the workplace as well as potentially providing some of the Professional Experience Requirements (PER) which they need to gain their ACCA membership. Providing optional modules of Cyber-security and Data Analytics to students aligns with the work undertaken by ACCA Professional Insights which highlighted the importance of digital skills to future employers.” Alan Hatfield, Executive Director, Strategy and Development, ACCA

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