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Start dates
Degree type

MSc

Course length

1 year full-time

Location

Durham City

Program code

L1T509

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Course details

Our MSc in Accounting is designed to provide an essential introduction to accountancy as a career choice for graduates with no prior learning in the discipline. The programme covers key areas of accounting, and it will stimulate your interest in the broader aspects of finance and business across the globe.

You will develop an in-depth understanding of the theory and practice of accounting and it will also sharpen your critical thinking skills, such as decision-making and problem-solving.

Topics covered in the programme include, financial statements and their preparation and analysis, the practical limitations of financial reporting, contemporary and evolving practice in financial and non-financial accounting and reporting, management information for decision-making, and the practice and concepts of auditing.

You will be taught at Durham University Business School, one of the longest established business schools in the UK, offering state-of-the-art facilities and, as an accounting student, you will be part of an academic department with an international reputation for research and teaching excellence.

Professional Exemptions - ACCA and CIMA

The programme also carries professional exemptions from both the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants CIMA

  • ACCA Exemptions

    F1 Accountant in Business

    F2 Management Accounting

    F3 Financial Accounting

    F4 Corporate and Business Law

  • CIMA ExemptionsBA1 Fundamentals of Business EconomicsBA2 Fundamentals of Management AccountingBA3 Fundamentals of Financial AccountingBA4 Fundamentals of Ethics, Corporate Governance and Business LawP1 Management AccountingF1 Financial Reporting and TaxationE1 Managing Finance in a Digital WorldOCS Operational Case StudyE2 Managing PerformanceP2 Advanced Management AccountingF2 Advanced Financial Reporting

International Opportunities

We are proud of our international connections and offer several opportunities to experience life in destinations across the globe:

  • Dissertation Abroad

    You will be offered the opportunity to apply to undertake your dissertation (research project) at one of our prestigious European partner institutions during the summer months (June to September). This exciting programme provides an opportunity to gain experience of living abroad and to build your network, as well as developing an understanding of how campus life works in another destination. Participation in the programme will develop your personal skills, in addition to improving employability by demonstrating adaptability, resilience, communication skills and a global mindset. This partially self-funded programme is very popular and our International Team in the Business School will support your journey from application to departure.

  • Summer SchoolIf your ambitions lie beyond the UK, you will have the opportunity to participate in a Summer School at one of our global network of university and business partners. These partially self-funded competitive activities, normally take place after exams in either June, July or August, for up to three weeks. They cover a wide range of topics and aim to complement the knowledge you gain during your time in Durham, whilst contextualising it in an international business setting. Please note, in order to be considered for a place on one of our Summer Schools, all students must apply as places are limited.

Practitioner Insights - Guest Speaker Programme

As part of the programme, you will be encouraged to attend presentations by leading academics and professionals who are specialists in your particular area of interest. Past speakers have included representatives of major global multinationals, global professional bodies and leading scholars, combining critical and progressive thinking with practical insights.

Course structure

Core modules:

Auditing and Accountability examines the practice of auditing and underlying concepts including the development of the role of the audit function in modern business society, the governance roles and responsibilities of external audit functions, the concepts of audit quality and assurance and the contribution of audit research in understanding practice and informing policy and regulatory debates.

Modern Accounting Research introduces a range of topics in contemporary and evolving practice in accounting and associated subjects such as reporting and taxation. The module also explores ethical issues in accounting and associated subjects and considers contemporary research agendas in accounting and associated subjects.

Financial Accounting and Reporting enables you to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding of financial accounting and reporting concepts and ethical issues as well as the application of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) to specific cases involving single entities or groups. You will also prepare single entity and consolidated financial statements that meet IFRS requirements and show an understanding of accounting-based techniques of financial statement analysis.

Financial Planning and Control develops your knowledge of the financial planning and control processes of organisations and understanding of key aspects of management accounting related to financial planning, control and decision-making in organisations. It builds skills that are relevant to management accounting practice such as preparing, interpreting, and presenting essential financial information for management control and decision-making. The module will also enhance your knowledge of current development relating to financial planning and control of organisations.

Research Methods in Accounting explores the main research assumptions used in accounting to build your understanding of the range of methods and techniques employed to achieve different research aims and objectives. You will also use technology used in accounting research (e.g. STATA, Nvivo).

Corporate Governance provides an understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of corporate governance, its underlying concepts and practice, academic research and how it informs practice, policy and regulatory debates and the role of corporate governance as a means of accountability in organisations and in society.

The MSc Accounting Dissertation is an in-depth investigation of a specific subject you've already studied as part of your programme, theoretically underpinned and normally supported by undertaking empirical research, but may also be a critical essay that draws upon academic literature. Supervised by a faculty member, this is an opportunity for you to develop your business insight and present your analysis and ideas in a scholarly and professional manner. There is also the opportunity to undertake your dissertation abroad at a partner university.

In recent years, optional modules have included:

  • Accounting Theory
  • Accounting: An Information Content Perspective
  • Designing and Marketing Services
  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Human Resource Development
  • New Venture Creation
  • Project Management (MSc)
  • Retail Marketing Management
  • Strategic Marketing Management
  • Sustainable Supply Chain Management
  • Language module offered by the Centre for Foreign Language Studies

Careers and employability

This innovative programme is ideal if you are considering a career in the fascinating and challenging world of accounting but have no prior learning in the subject at undergraduate level, or if you would like to take practical steps to build on your burgeoning interest in business and finance as career options.

By studying the MSc Accounting programme, in addition to the academic abilities gained, your career development will also benefit from the global reputation of Durham University Business School, from the quality of its teaching to the networking opportunities made available to you.

As a Business School Masters student, you will be supported by an extensive career development programme, which has been designed to complement your academic programme to help you achieve your career goals and develop the skills that employers are looking for. You can take advantage of one-to-one appointments with a specialist Masters Career Consultant to help you with specific issues, from finding a route into your career to applying for your dream role.

Career insight sessions will be delivered by external professionals with expertise and knowledge of their particular sector, which provides insight into working in areas popular with our students.

Whichever career you will choose, the MSc in Accounting will help you gain the confidence to demonstrate the academic, professional and practical skills that are highly sought by employers around the world. Some of our recent Accounting graduates have gone on to work in sectors including:

  • Financial Services including Accounting
  • Consultancy
  • Healthcare/Pharmaceutical
  • Transportation/Logistics
  • Government/Public Services
  • Technology Education

Learning

Delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, involving the study of core and elective modules, and a 12,000-word dissertation.

Lectures provide key content of a particular topic, occasionally delivered by guest speakers who are internationally recognised academic experts or practitioners in their field.

Seminars provide the opportunity for smaller groups of students to discuss and debate issues based on the knowledge gained through lectures and independent study.

Practicals are medium-sized group sessions, where you will work on topics from lectures and seminars, with some sessions including the opportunity to use industry standard computer software.

Assessment

Assessment is conducted by means of assignments, exams and a major 12,000-word dissertation, which requires you to carry out independent research and develop your skills in writing and analysis with support from a supervisor.

Outside of timetabled contact hours, you will be expected to carry out a significant amount of independent study in preparation for assignments and other forms of assessment including exams.

Entry requirements

Application Deadlines:

October 2024 start

Please note: The application process will open 1st October for entry the following academic year.

There is a high demand for places on these programmes. To maximise your chances of being offered one of these places, we recommend that you submit your application to the University as early as possible.

We aim to have a diverse student body and recognise that we can only offer places to a finite number of applicants. To help achieve our aim, we look to ensure we offer places to applicants from all nationalities and close applications when we receive the allocated numbers.

The University is under no obligation to make any offer of a place on the programme to any applicant, nor is the University obligated to fill all spaces available on the programme.

Our MSc Accounting programme is intended for graduates in any subject or discipline; no previous study in accounting is necessary. Accounting undergraduate students or students who have completed a professional accounting qualification may find some content of this programme overlaps with their prior learning.

If you are an international student who does not meet the requirements for direct entry to this degree, you may be eligible to take a pre-Masters pathway programme at the Durham University International Study Centre.

NB Chinese Applicants: Applications will be accepted from students who have graduated from a prestigious university in China. Entry requirements may vary depending upon the reputation of the university you have graduated from and the academic programme you have applied for. As a guide, applicants are expected to have achieved an overall average of 85%.

What do I need first?

The equivalent of a UK first or upper second class honours degree. Check the full list of equivalent qualifications

If you are an international student who does not meet the requirements for direct entry to this degree, you may be eligible to take a pre-Masters pathway programme at the Durham University International Study Centre.

How do I apply?

You will need to complete an online application form.

Fill out the online application form

To support your online application form, you will need to provide the following documents.

  • Official transcript of marks
  • Copy of degree certificate (if available)
  • Copy of English test results (if available).

You can either upload your supporting documents with your online application or email them to the Postgraduate Admissions Office using the contact details below.

Note:

Only files of type .doc, .docx, .gif, .jpg, .pdf, .png, .rtf are permitted to be uploaded.The maximum file size is 5MB.

Application fee

Once we receive your online application form, you’ll get an automatic email within 48 hours asking you to pay the £60 application fee* which is required to progress your application.

You’ll need to follow the link in the email to the webpage where you can confirm your details and make the payment using a debit or credit card. This is a secure website operated by Secpay, which will send you an automatic receipt of payment.

Once we receive confirmation that your application fee has been paid, we’ll be able to progress your application. If you do not pay the application fee your application will be automatically withdrawn.

College membership

All students of Durham University will become a member of one of our Colleges. Here is more information about what college membership means to our students. Once you have accepted your postgraduate offer, the Accommodation and Allocations Office will contact you with further information regarding how to express college preferences. You can also apply for college accommodation if you wish to.

Admissions process

Here are the steps in the admissions process:

  1. We will let you know when we’ve received your application.
  2. If applicable, you will be asked to pay our application fee.
  3. Once we’ve received all of your supporting documents, we will email you to let you know our decision.
  4. If the decision is to make you an offer of a place on the programme we will let you know by email. Please note we do not issue hard copy offer letters as these are not required to obtain a student visa.
  5. You should confirm the acceptance of your offer as soon as possible. In order to secure your place, you are required to pay a deposit within six weeks of the date of your original offer (check your offer documents for details of payment methods).
  6. International students requiring a student visa will receive a CAS (Certificate of Acceptance of Studies) via email once all offer conditions are met, acceptance and deposit have been received and you are within five months of the start date of your programme.

Note: The University is under no obligation to make any offer of a place on the programme to any applicant, nor is the University obligated to fill all spaces available on the programme.

Consideration of any application received by the University after the expiry of the deadlines specified herein, shall be made at the sole discretion of the University.

English language requirements

Fees and funding

Full Time Fees

Tuition fees
Home students £15,500 per year
EU students £32,750 per year
Island students £15,500 per year
International students £32,750 per year

The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of full time study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships

We are committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances and are delighted to offer a range of funding opportunities. 

Find Out More

Career opportunities

Accounting

As a Business School Masters student, you will be supported by an extensive career development programme. You can take advantage of one-to-one appointments with a specialist Masters Career Consultant to help you with specific issues, from finding a route into your career to applying for your dream role.

We work in partnership with the University's careers team to connect you with events, organisations, or individuals to help kick-start your career. You will have access to one-to-one support on every aspect of the application process, from CV writing to interview techniques.

Our graduates are highly sought after by global employers with some of our recent graduates now working in sectors including, Financial Services including Accounting, Healthcare, Government and Consultancy among others.

Business School

Key to your career

Whatever your specialist interests, you’ll find our careers team is one of the most useful resources to support you on your way to your target career. Now more than ever, it’s the skills you’re able to demonstrate in addition to your academic abilities that will make you shine in a fiercely competitive jobs market.

That’s why our facilities and services are designed to complement your course and help you develop essential professional and practical skills – from personal resilience and self-awareness to CV writing and interview techniques.

We work in partnership with the University's Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre to connect you with events, organisations or individuals to help kick-start your career.

Sector specific presentations

Our Career Insights sessions are delivered by external professionals with expertise and knowledge of their particular sector which provide insights into working in areas that are popular with our students. Previous guest speakers have delivered presentations on working in banking, professional services, and management development programmes within international companies.

Support for International Students

We recognise that many of our students will progress their careers outside of the UK once they finish their studies, and our career development programme is designed with this in mind. We offer events focused on career opportunities in China and are continually developing relationships with international recruiters.

If you’re an international student interested in working in the UK after your studies, the University's Visa Information pages provide information related to immigration. Our advisers are dedicated to helping you understand the requirements and restrictions of your visas during your studies and can provide limited advice on post-study visa requirements.

You can access more information on our English Language support pages.

Online resources

You will have access to a huge range of career resources including an interview simulator with a bank of interview questions, a CV builder, and our international Jobs Board.

Alumni career support

You can continue to make the most of our specialist career development advice after you graduate, including on-going one-to-one support from our Masters Career Consultants, workshops in our key locations, and continued access to our online career resources.

Department information

Accounting

The Department of Accounting is one of four departments at Durham University Business School. We offer a stimulating learning environment for Masters students, and as an accountancy student you will be joining an academic department with an international reputation for research and teaching excellence.

Our innovative one-year, full-time MSc Accounting programme will help you develop key analytical and practical skills and is an ideal programme if you're looking to pursue a career in accounting but have no prior subject knowledge. What's more our MSc Accounting programme carries exemptions from both the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants).

We are proud of be a part of Durham University Business School, one of the UK’s longest established business schools and one of an elite group of institutions to be accredited by all three major bodies: the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the Association of MBAs (AMBA) and the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS). The School also offers postgraduate programmes in the areas of Business, Management and Marketing (delivered by the Department of Management and Marketing), Economics (delivered by the Department of Economics) and Finance (delivered by the Department of Finance).

Research Excellence Framework

Read more about our results in the recent REF 2021.

Facilities

The MSc Accounting programme is taught across the Durham University campus by world leading faculty from the Business School. The University is situated in the historic centre of Durham, a city with UNESCO World Heritage Status.

Business School students have access to libraries and study spaces across the University. Many of our learning resources are accessible online, including up-to-date financial information, industry-standard databases and access to over 10,000 journals.

Business School

The Department of Economics, is one of four departments at Durham University Business School and is recognised across the globe for its high quality teaching and research. The department's research is broad and far-reaching, with a range of active research centres delivering impactful research across the global business world, informing policy and changing business practice.

Our programmes in economics, environmental economics and behavioural economics, provide the rigorous training and advanced analytical and technical skills required by global employers, or, to take you onto doctoral study.

You'll join a vibrant, diverse community and hear from guest speakers including leading academics and professionals from across the globe, who are specialists in your particular area of interest.

You'll benefit from our significant investment in database resources, giving you access to live and historical data to add valuable insight to your research.

Durham University Business School, is one of the UK’s longest established business schools and one of an elite group accredited by all three major bodies: the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the Association of MBAs (AMBA) and the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS). The School also offers postgraduate programmes in the areas of Accounting, Business, Management and Marketing and Finance.

Staff

For a current list of staff, please see the Business School website.

Research Excellence Framework

Read more about our results in the recent REF 2021.

Facilities

Our Economics Masters are taught across the Durham University campus by world-leading faculty from the Business School. The University is situated in the historic centre of Durham, a city with UNESCO World Heritage Status.

You will join a strong and vibrant learning community with state-of-the-art facilities.

We have made a major investment in acquiring state-of-the-art database resources.

Our modern and spacious teaching and learning areas include lecture theatres, seminar rooms and study areas while the library houses extensive collections of business, economics, finance and management books and offers access to over 10,000 journals online.

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Join one of our virtual events, webinars, open events or recruitment fairs.

Durham Business School Postgraduate Events
  • Date: 01/09/2023 - 31/08/2024
  • Time: 09:00 - 17:00
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  • Date: 01/09/2023 - 31/08/2024
  • Time: 09:00 - 16:00
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