Course Overview

UK Fees £14,500 *
International Fees £15,000 *
Alumni Discount See details
Duration 1 year

* Price per academic year

Course summary

This academic course is carefully designed for students to explore how an accounting and reporting education, as well as advanced study of accounting, will equip you for exciting careers in the business and finance sectors.  

Practical in focus, fully accredited and professionally oriented, our MSc in Finance and Accounting will equip you with the high-level skills, knowledge and expertise to advance your career as a qualified chartered accountant or as a specialist in a corporate services role.   

Study with us and, on successful completion, you will be exempt from nine papers of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) exams and 11 of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) via the Masters Gateway, an accelerated entry route to the CIMA Professional Qualification and the globally recognised CGMA designation. As an ACCA Gold approved learning partner, our course is fully aligned to the Strategic Professional Level syllabus of the ACCA qualification. Depending on your choice of optional modules, you also have the option to focus your study in financial management areas.

Course content has been designed to equip you with the technical, professional, analytical and ethical skills required for a successful global accounting career. Using Bloomberg data available in our state-of-the-art Financial Markets Suite (FMS), you’ll evaluate real-world scenarios, enhance your critical thinking, learn to explain the impacts of financial transactions and how to make the most appropriate accounting decisions. In doing so, you’ll gain a detailed knowledge of analytical techniques associated with accounting research, together with the key principles and practices in taxation, financial management and corporate valuation, managerial accounting and financial accounting. 

Case studies, research and finance skills workshops, projects and guest lectures, from current practitioners and CEOs from multinationals, will help you appreciate how these principles are applied by professionals working in accountancy, analytical or research environments, better preparing you for the business and finance world that awaits. We’ll consider contemporary issues in financial reporting, management accounting, auditing and governance, such as fair value accounting, auditors’ independence, corporate valuation and risk management.

For those with no prior accounting knowledge, this master’s level education will develop your knowledge and skills in this specialist subject area. Alternatively, if you’re a graduate member of a UK accountancy body, or an overseas equivalent, you may claim up to four module exemptions by applying for Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning.

Our graduates have gone on to work for leading accounting firms, including PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, KPMG and Ernst & Young, as well as multinationals such as Kimberly-Clark and other financial institutions, such as London Stock Exchange, Royal Bank of Scotland, and Allifunds Bank S.A.

Top reasons to study with us

  • 97% overall student satisfaction in the 2019 Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES)
  • Professionally accredited by ACCA and CIMA – completion offers exemption from multiple papers
  • Westminster is a Gold approved learning partner of ACCA, the global body for professional accountants
  • Study at one of the top 5 institutions in London for Accounting & Finance (Source: Complete University Guide 2020)
  • Access to one of the largest financial databases in our state-of-the-art Bloomberg virtual trading room and one-to-one training session to access DataStream for financial data and analysis on companies
  • Opportunity to undertake an internship module – one student completed an internship in a ‘Big Four’ firm and was then appointed as an auditor on graduation
  • Social activities and offsite trips (including a Thames boat trip in the past) to meet module leaders, industrial practitioners and multinationals' CEOs

Course structure


This course provides a comprehensive and rigorous treatment of key areas of accounting and finance, together with a broad commercial understanding of decision making within a cost context. Content is benchmarked against the professional body curriculums and regularly updated.

Current study themes include financial and management accounting, taxation, and financial management. Through optional modules, you can choose to specialise either in accounting or finance, or choose an equally balanced programme across the two areas. You may also choose any Level 7 electives that may be of interest to you.

Semester 1

The first semester is designed to build a strong foundation of knowledge of accounting in the management of organisations. We’ll look at managerial accounting concepts and techniques, exploring of a range of contemporary issues in financial accounting and reporting, such as fair value accounting, creative accounting and ethics of profession, or environmental and social reporting.

Receiving training in Bloomberg and Excel for accounting, you'll learn to use mathematical and statistical analytical methods. Essential topics covered in the first semester include: budgetary planning and control; costing and decision-making; managerial accounting; and research methods that provide you with the necessary guidance to choose a research topic and complete a literature review for your final year project.

Semester 2

The second semester builds on financial management and corporate valuation and taxation principles and practice. Optional modules enable you to choose areas of personal or professional interest, whether it is accounting or finance such as auditing and professional ethics, financial derivatives, modern portfolio management and financial information systems.

Your studies culminate with the final Project under the guidance of a designated supervisor, an intensive piece of research – an 8,000 to 10,000-word dissertation. As a guide, previous students have considered topics as diverse as dividend policy, gender diversification on boards, stock market volatility, emerging markets finance and earnings management, among others. 

The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course. 

You can choose a total of three option modules – two or three from the following list, and a third module may be chosen from anywhere within the University, subject to the course leader’s approval.

Core modules

You will be able to prepare financial statements up to consolidation with consideration of some of the main accounting standards underlying international financial reports. This module also explores the issues, principles and theories underlying current developments in financial accounting and reporting.

Through the exploration of practical applications, critical appraisal, contemporary approaches and international perspectives, this module explores the role of accounting in the management of organisations, and the development and application of managerial accounting concepts and techniques.

This module provides you with the fundamental ideas and tools for thinking about where you can source finance, how you use the finance you have raised and how you return wealth to shareholders. The emphasis is on maximising shareholder wealth through proper resource management.

An 8,000–10,000-word dissertation in the area of either accounting or finance.

This module aims to develop your knowledge and competence of the research process, and the application of research methods in the area of accounting and finance.

The focus of this module is on the UK Tax System including Personal, Corporation, Inheritance, Capital Gains and Sales taxes. The impact of International Tax Laws and Tax Avoidance will also be studied.

Option modules

In this module you will learn the requirements of good internal control systems and the responsibilities of the directors and external auditors in ensuring the correct recording of the financial status of the organisation.

Through this module you will cover a range of data analysis methods and concepts.

This module develops your theoretical understanding of financial derivatives markets. You will price and value financial derivatives from first principles and explore how financial derivative products can be used effectively in risk and investment management applications.

You will develop an understanding of the fundamental concepts and practical skills required by finance professionals as users, evaluators, designers and managers of computer-based financial information systems.

This module offers detailed coverage and analysis of global financial markets and institutions.

This module provides the fundamental ideas and tools for thinking about traditional income securities. 

This module provides you with the fundamental ideas and tools for thinking about international risk management.

Develop your understanding of contemporary portfolio theory and investment management principles in order to actively manage a range of investment funds used by professional institutional investors and the private wealth management industry.

Programme Specification

For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the programme specification.

Careers

You’ll be able to demonstrate in-depth knowledge of core accounting and finance principles, developing the advanced numerical and analytical skills to succeed in this rapidly changing and complex environment. Your exposure and manipulation of real financial data in the Financial Markets Suite provides excellent preparation for professional practice. You'll also graduate with a range of interpersonal, leadership, digital and critical thinking skills that employers want. 

On graduation, you can expect to pursue a range of career opportunities in financial accounting, management accounting, finance, and public administration and other roles in finance and accounting. Past graduates of this course have gone on to work as accountants, management consultants, audit managers, business analysts, senior financial analysts and in asset-based finance, among other professions.

With a growing global network of 3,000 employers, our Careers and Employability Service is here to support you to achieve your full potential.

Route between locations
Careers support

Postgraduate students have access to the University’s Careers and Employability Service for up to three years after graduation.

Social media connections
Kickstart your career

Learn how to use social media in your job hunt or LinkedIn to kickstart your career.

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Develop your CQ

Develop your cultural intelligence – or ‘CQ’ – studying alongside students and staff representing more than 100 nationalities.

Industry links

We have excellent industry links with some of the top firms in accounting and finance. Our course was designed with input from a range of industry professionals with expertise in financial accounting and financial regulation. To retain the currency and relevance of our course, we receive ongoing feedback from the Business School’s Departmental Employability Board, whose members include representatives from Vanguard, JPMorgan and Global Structured Finance – and we're looking forward to getting more alumni on board too.

Staff who currently teach on this course have extensive professional experience that includes financial accounting, management accounting, auditing, banking, risk management, and others.

Graduate employers

As well as setting up their own business and going on to work for a range of SMEs and multinationals, such as Kimberly-Clark, graduates from this course have found employment at organisations including:

  • Allfunds Bank S.A. 
  • Amazon
  • Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company
  • Deloitte 
  • Financial Conduct Authority
  • London Stock Exchange
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • Raiffeisen Bank International AG (Luxembourg)
  • Royal Bank of Scotland Business

Westminster Employability Award

Employers value graduates who have invested in their personal and professional development – and our Westminster Employability Award gives you the chance to formally document and demonstrate these activities and achievements.

The award is flexible and can be completed in your own time, comprising a set of core and optional extracurricular activities. 

Activities might include gaining experience through a part-time job or placement, signing up to a University-run scheme – such as mentoring or teaching in a school – or completing online exercises.

Westminster Employability Award

Teaching and assessment

Your learning experience is designed to provide both a practical and theoretical understanding of the structure, function and management of international finance.

To assist the learning experience, we provide reading lists, lecture and seminar materials in advance via Blackboard, our virtual learning environment. Lectures are recorded using specialist software and similar tools, so you can refer back to topics of interest at your leisure.

How you’ll be taught

Through a variety of teaching methods – from traditional lectures and seminars to case-study analysis, project work and pop quizzes – we aim to bring study to life by incorporating real-world experience. When studying financial modelling, for example, in weekly computer labs, you will apply the econometric and time series theory you learn, including regression analysis and volatility modelling, using real data such as housing prices or stock returns.

We use case studies and real data in many of our modules. For example, in financial statement analysis and valuation, you'll compare the business strategies of two multinational firms applying financial statement analysis techniques to actual corporate governance data.

You’ll be encouraged to keep up-to-date with market trends and regularly review current events using trade publications such as the Financial Times and the live news streams available in the FMS. Where possible, we also take you to visit and learn first-hand from various financial institutions and businesses. Our students were recently treated to a guided tour of the new Bloomberg Headquarters in London.

You’ll have plenty of opportunities to gain valuable insight from current practitioners, which in the past has included guest lectures about current topics in finance and opportunities in the entrepreneurial finance landscape.

In the following graph you'll find examples of how study time has been distributed in the past (data from the academic year 2019/20). Changes to division of study time may be made in response to feedback and in accordance with our terms and conditions.

Year
1
17%83%
Scheduled hours Independent study

How you’ll be assessed

We use a wide range of techniques, including time-constrained exams, individual and team-based coursework and presentations.

We try to make assessments as practical and relevant as possible, incorporating the type of work required by future employers, for example writing strategic reports or collecting, analysing and presenting financial data.

In the following graph you'll find examples of how marks have been calculated in the past (data from the academic year 2019/20). Changes to assessment weights may be made in response to feedback and in accordance with our terms and conditions.

Year
1
52%48%
Written exams Coursework

Why study this course?

Building
Outstanding faciliities

State-of-the-art, Bloomberg-powered Financial Markets Suite (FMS) featuring industry-leading technology and software

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Combine theory and practice

Link theory to global practice through real-life case studies, guest lectures, field trips and insight from one of the world’s largest financial databases

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Professional software

Free access to professional software including Bloomberg, DataStream, Fame, Factiva, EViews, MATLAB, NVivo, SPSS, Sage, Statista, EIU Viewswire, Mintel, Passport (Euromonitor), and LinkedIn Learning

Online open evenings

Find out more about the University by visiting us at one of our open evenings.

 

Visit our open days page

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Entry Requirements

A minimum of a lower second class honours degree (2:2). Relevant degree disciplines include business studies, economics, geography, management, and operations research. However, students with qualifications in other disciplines such as engineering, environmental sciences, the humanities and languages are also encouraged to apply. Alternative professional qualifications, with at least three years' relevant professional experience, will also be considered.

If your first language is not English you should have an IELTS 6.5 with at least 6.0 in writing.

Applicants are required to submit one reference.

View more information about our entry requirements and the application process

 

A minimum of a lower second class honours degree (2:2). Relevant degree disciplines include business studies, economics, geography, management, and operations research. However, students with qualifications in other disciplines such as engineering, environmental sciences, the humanities and languages are also encouraged to apply. Alternative professional qualifications, with at least three years' relevant professional experience, will also be considered.

If your first language is not English you should have an IELTS 6.5 with at least 6.0 in writing.

Applicants are required to submit one reference.

More information

Student work

Students apply financial statement analysis and valuation techniques to real-world data, comparing the business strategies of two multinational firms. They also analyse the tax policies of companies and schemes used by multinationals to avoid paying a fair share of their profit to the UK Government.

Business finance report with graphs

Using data from Bloomberg, you'll conduct an in-depth case study of a business of your choice, for example, the relationship of a listed firm's financial performance with its sustainable business practices. Students have also used Bloomberg to collect real companies’ data for their coursework and final year project. 

Stock market graphs

Fees and Funding

UK tuition fee: £14,500 (Price per academic year)

When you have enrolled with us, your annual tuition fees will remain the same throughout your studies with us. We do not increase your tuition fees each year.

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

Alumni discount

This course is eligible for an alumni discount. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply by visiting our Alumni discounts page.

Funding

As well as tuition fee loans, there is a range of funding available to help you fund your studies.

Find out about postgraduate student funding options.

Scholarships

The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible postgraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

Additional costs

See what you may need to pay for separately and what your tuition fees cover.

International tuition fee: £15,000 (Price per academic year)

When you have enrolled with us, your annual tuition fees will remain the same throughout your studies with us. We do not increase your tuition fees each year.

Find out how we set our tuition fees.

Alumni discount

This course is eligible for an alumni discount. Find out if you are eligible and how to apply by visiting our Alumni discounts page.

Funding

Find out about funding for international students.

Scholarships

The University is dedicated to supporting ambitious and outstanding students and we offer a variety of scholarships to eligible postgraduate students, which cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Find out if you qualify for one of our scholarships.

Additional costs

See what you may need to pay for separately and what your tuition fees cover.

Bloomberg Suite

Our purpose-built Financial Markets Suite uses the Bloomberg platform to provide a state-of-the-art teaching and research resource.

You'll get firsthand exposure to the technology used by leading investment banks across the world – from the City of London to New York's Wall Street and Tokyo's Citibanks.

Read more about our Bloomberg Suite.

Bloomberg Financial Markets Suite

Westminster Business School blog

Read our blog and get an insight into life and studies at Westminster Business School.

Visit the WBS blog

Learn new skills

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Develop sought-after skills

Develop the strong analytical and statistical skills needed in the world of finance and banking

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Boost your digital literacy

Enhance your digital literacy, learning how to collect and use data from Bloomberg, DataStream and Fame
 

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Improve your problem-solving skills

Improve your problem-solving skills to better understand and tackle issues facing the global financial markets
 

Facilities

Supporting you

Our Student Hub is where you’ll find out about the services and support we offer, helping you get the best out of your time with us.

  • Study support — workshops, 1-2-1 support and online resources to help improve your academic and research skills
  • Personal tutors — support you in fulfilling your academic and personal potential
  • Student advice team — provide specialist advice on a range of issues including funding, benefits and visas
  • Extra-curricular activities — volunteering opportunities, sports and fitness activities, student events and more

visit our student hub

Illustration for the Student Hub

Course Location

Our Marylebone Campus has benefitted from a multi-million-pound refurbishment resulting in new workshops, digital studios and development of the Marylebone Library. The campus is home to Westminster Business School and our award-winning Architecture, Planning and Tourism courses. For more details, visit our Marylebone Campus page.

Westminster Business School

Westminster Business School is one of London’s leading centres for business education based in the heart of London and its political, media and financial services scene.

We are a Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) Centre of Excellence, recognised by professional bodies including the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and APMG International. 

Contact us

We have an FAQs page if you are applying this year.

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