Taught course

Accounting and Finance

University of Portsmouth · Department of Accounting and Financial Management

Entry requirements

A second-class honours degree in a relevant subject or equivalent qualification and/or equivalent professional experience. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Months of entry


Course content

Why take this course?

Based on practical skills and reflection, this course will introduce you to the key principles and practices of accountancy and finance, giving you a foundation of business knowledge and personal transferable skills. It is particularly relevant if you have completed an undergraduate degree course in a business-related discipline.

Accounting and finance skills are complementary in business and this course will give you understanding of the key concepts. You will also appreciate how the study of accounting, finance and associated decisions are vital to ensure efficient, effective and sustainable wealth creation.

What will I experience?

All organisations have to present their performance in the form of financial statements and this course will help you to interpret such information – vital in order to monitor, control and plan for the ongoing health of the enterprise. It also provides a firm foundation in the knowledge, business skills and understanding needed for accounting and finance at a strategic and management level.

On this course you will:

  • Use the University’s Bloomberg terminals to monitor and analyse real-time financial market data movements and trade
  • Gain real-life commercial skills by using our business simulation software
  • Receive guided support and mentoring from staff through formal meetings and through our use of social media
  • Tap in to our Library’s vast selection of electronic resources, which can be accessed from anywhere

What opportunities might it lead to?

On graduating from this degree, students will be exempt from all five Certificate Level papers of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). Additionally, CIMA's 'Gateway' route would offer MSc Accounting and Finance graduates the opportunity to sit one paper which is a combination of their Management level papers P2, F2 and E2. Successful completion of this exam would exempt students from all of CIMA's Operational level and Certificate level papers.

For the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), we currently have exemptions from Fundamentals Level papers F1 - F4.

The University is recognised as a centre of excellence for finance teaching by the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI). Here are some routes our graduates in accounting and finance disciplines have pursued:

  • audit
  • financial accounting
  • management accounting
  • corporate finance
  • financial planning
  • insurance
  • banking

Module Details

You will study a total of five units which incorporate a range of topics covering financial accounting and corporate governance, strategic management accounting, investment strategies and business valuation. We will also guide you in applying sophisticated forecasting techniques to help you understand and anticipate business trends. With our guidance you will learn how to design and deliver research to the highest standards. The course concludes with your dissertation where you’ll engage in research on a topic of your choice.

Here are the units you will study:

Financial Accounting and Corporate Governance:

This unit will cover the purpose, principles and preparation of the main accounting statements in the context of a global financial environment. You will also consider the regulatory framework, analysis and interpretation of company reports, corporate governance frameworks and business ethics. You will also cover the key principles and methods behind the preparation of corporate tax calculations. This insight will be built upon a broad based understanding of important accounting concepts covered in the unit. You will develop, through practical seminar and assignment work, an understanding of the purpose and application of external corporate reporting.

Strategic Business Planning and Control:

You will consider the internal perspectives of the firm in areas such as business planning and control, including issues such as budgeting, the design of management control systems and the development of spreadsheet-based decision support systems. You will then build on this foundation by developing a more strategic corporate perspective. The unit also explores the relationships between strategy, strategic management and strategic management accounting. The latter will be set in the context of the historical development of management accounting in general.

Managerial Finance and Financial Markets:

This will introduce you to key theoretical issues relating to financial markets and institutions, investments and corporate financial management, and their practical applications plus limitations. The areas covered will encompass shareholder value and the goals of the firm and the process of shareholder value creation, project evaluation and the discounted cash flow model, capital market theories including the efficient markets hypotheses and the ideas of modern portfolio theory. From this core understanding you will move on to look at the psychological, institutional and agency theory factors that impact upon financial markets. You will consider key empirical research on the explanatory and predictive power of models in the context of implementing investment strategies. This will be assisted by guided critical analysis of research and analysis of live data.

Corporate Finance and Valuation:

This unit will give you the opportunity to consider the primary financial decisions of the firm focusing on advanced capital budgeting techniques and the strategic analysis of capital investment decisions, capital structure theories and financing policy, and dividend policy. You will appraise theories in the context of empirical research to facilitate critical understanding of the issues. Advanced study in business valuation will give you a practical understanding and further enable you to apply key professional techniques, which is particularly relevant for mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings and private equity transactions.

Research Methods and Dissertation:

This is a scheme of independent research. We offer comprehensive training via lectures and workshops throughout the year to develop skills commensurate with standards of good research practice. On completing this programme you will be ideally placed to develop your own research projects and work within professional research teams.

Programme Assessment

We use a combination of teaching methods from lectures, seminars and tutorials to student presentations, case studies and practical sessions in our Bloomberg Suite. We are committed to best practice in learning and encourage group participation promoting discussion and debate in a friendly, yet challenging class environment.

You are assessed in a variety of ways to reflect the individual topics. Our approaches to learning, assessment and feedback are varied and constructive, to help you build the personal management and employability skills that are essential for a fulfilling career.

Student Destinations

This course provides many opportunities for students of different cultures and backgrounds to collaborate in group discussions and assignments. This, together with the international focus and wide professional backgrounds of our staff, informs our teaching practices, providing an emphasis on employability, as well as technical skills. By completing this course you will be well placed to embark on professional careers in accounting and finance, as well as in general business, all within a global context. Using our existing expertise in the Bloomberg trading floor mock-up and our SimVenture business game software and case studies, you will gain excellent real life experience of dealing with real world business. Opportunities for future doctoral study may also be followed after completion of this Master’s degree.

Fees and funding

UK students
full time: £9,200, part time: £3,070 p/a* (fees are subject to increase)
International students
full time: £14,000, part time: £4,670 p/a* (fees are subject to increase)

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months
part time
30 months

Course contact details

Admissions Team
+44 (0) 23 9284 2991