Finance and Accounting MSc
View course-specific entry requirements
Applicants should normally hold a first degree from a recognised institution (minimum Lower Second Class Honours or international equivalent) and demonstrate interest and motivation in the subject area. Alternative professional qualifications with at least three years' relevant professional experience will also be considered. Directly 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. If English is not your first language, you will need an IELTS score of 6.5, with a minimum score of 6 in each element.
This course has been designed to develop the knowledge, skills, research interests and career prospects of those who work, or wish to work, in finance, treasury management or accountancy. It’s especially useful if you’re a graduate with little or no accounting experience, as it offers the opportunity to study modules which will cover this shortfall.
If you are a graduate member of a UK accountancy body, or an overseas equivalent, you may claim up to four exemptions from this Masters by applying for Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning. This would enable you to complete the taught part of the course in one semester.
The course provides exemptions from 7 of the papers of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) exams. The Westminster Business School is an ACCA Gold approved learning partner and one of the few UK institutions where you can qualify for so many ACCA exemptions on completion of a one-year course. Furthermore, graduates of the course have the chance to enter the the Gateway route of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). On successful completion of the Gateway examination, students will gain exemptions from 12 of the 17 CIMA examinations.
As a postgraduate finance student you will have access to the Financial Markets Suite, which uses the Bloomberg computer system to monitor real-time financial market movements and trends. It’s a resource available to very few UK universities, and one which provides a modern and progressive teaching environment combining finance theory with practice.
A highlight for many students are the social events organised throughout the course which provide an opportunity for networking with fellow students and alumni. Students on this course also benefit from free access to part of the material on the course reading list.
The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course. For more details on course structure and modules, and how you will be taught and assessed, see the full course document.
Financial Accounting Policy and Practice
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.
International Risk Management
This module provides you with the fundamental ideas and tools for thinking about international risk management.
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.
You will gain an overview of fundamental topics in the field of finance, including capital structure, corporate value, cost of capital, dividend policy, financial instruments, investment and modern portfolio theory.
An 8,000 – 10,000-word dissertation in the area of either accounting or finance.
Research Methods in Finance and Accounting
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.
You can choose a total of three options modules. Choose two or three from the following list; a third may be chosen from anywhere within the University, subject to the course leader’s approval.
Corporate Governance and Business Ethics
You will examine the theoretical and practical issues involved in the direction and control of companies operating in the UK and internationally.
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.
Financial Information Systems
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.
Financial Markets and Institutions
This module offers detailed coverage and analysis of global financial markets and institutions.
Fixed Income Analysis and Trading
This module provides the fundamental ideas and tools for thinking about traditional income securities.
International Financial Reporting
This module will develop your systematic understanding of the principles underlying, and policy issues inherent in, the study of international financial reporting, with particular reference to multinational groups.
Modern Portfolio 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.
All students on our full-time business Masters courses can apply to undertake the PG/MBA Internship Programme Reflective Practitioner Module. This is an 8 week unpaid accredited internship, which can be taken in addition to option modules and will help students to gain invaluable work experience. The internships, which are with London-based organisations, take place during the summer period. To apply, students must submit a completed application form and a copy of their updated CV to the Business Experience Team; the team then shortlist from the applications and conduct group meetings with the applicants.
Ultimately it is up to our internship employers to decide whether they would like to interview the candidate(s) and offer him/her an internship. We have received very positive feedback from both postgraduate students and employers and expect that the internship programme will continue to remain popular amongst our students.
- Philip (Declan) McDonald, Course Leader
The majority of our graduates go on to successful careers in accounting, with some having secured employment in a ‘Big 4’ accountancy firm. Other graduates have achieved employment in the fields of finance, banking or general management careers.
Additional costs information
To check what your tuition fees cover and what you may need to pay for separately, see our What tuition fees cover page.
As a Finance and Accounting MSc graduate, you can look forward to excellent career prospects in finance, banking, treasury management or accountancy, as well as general management and other senior finance-based positions. A number of our graduates have gone on to work for the "Big 4" accountancy firms.
Your exposure to the Financial Markets Suite simulated financial trading facility will mean you will be equipped in both the theory and practice of international finance.
Graduates of the course can apply to various professional accountancy bodies, which give exemptions on the basis of electives you have studied. The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) allow graduates to go through a "Gateway" route. Successful completion of the Gateway exam grants 12 exemptions from CIMA's 17 examinations. You also have the opportunity to gain exemption from 7 papers of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) examinations during this degree.
All Full-time Postgraduate (MA, MSC and MBA) WBS students have the opportunity to undertake a 2 month part-time unpaid internship in local organisations, so as to further enhance their academic experience. Our internships take place during the Summer and are in various fields including Marketing, Project Management, Retail, Marketing Communications, Finance, HR and the charity sector.
In order to apply, students must complete an application form (along with a copy of their updated CV) and submit this to the Business Experience Team (BET). Subsequently we then shortlist from the applications received and conduct group meetings with the students, which provides them with an opportunity to understand more about the internship programme and for the BET to better understand their internship aspirations. Ultimately it is up to our internship employers to decide whether they would like to interview the candidate(s) and offer him/her an internship.
We have received very positive feedback from both our Postgraduate students and employers and expect that the Internship Programme will continue to remain popular amongst our students.
The Business Experience Team also offers full-time overseas postgraduate (MA, MSc, MBA) students the opportunity to take part in our WBS Mentoring Programme. We will match students with a senior professional (mentor) from their field of expertise to give them an exact insight into British working practices and policies. Experienced professionals in any business field share their career experiences and knowledge with students who may wish to venture down a similar path in the near future. Our mentors come from a wide range of backgrounds, including Marketing, General Management, Finance and Entrepreneurship. In addition, our mentors typically offer 3 hours of their time over a 3 month period to the mentee (student). In addition, to one-to-one meetings, students are encouraged to keep in touch with their mentor over email and telephone.
Our dedicated Career Development Centre is actively working with an ever-expanding network of over 3,000 employers to provide you with exceptional employability support and guidance. As a result we were nominated as finalists for a significant industry award – the NUE Awards Most Improved Commitment to Employability 2016.
We provide our students with work placements and international opportunities to support them in becoming highly employable, globally engaged graduates, and with one million businesses operating within 20 miles of the University of Westminster, over 84% of our students are in work or further study six months after graduation. Our graduates work in a variety of sectors and organisations, from small/medium-sized companies and start-ups to large not-for-profit organisations and corporates.
During your time at Westminster you will be able to use our comprehensive online vacancy service and meet with our experienced careers consultants, providing you with thorough training and support on CV writing, application forms, interview preparation and assessment centres.
In addition to this, you will receive careers support from academic staff and faculty work placement teams, offering targeted course-specific careers advice and assistance in securing a work placement during your time at Westminster. You can find out more about course-specific career opportunities by visiting the Prospects website.
For more details, visit the employability section on our site.
Career Development Centre
Our Career Development Centre can help and support you throughout your study and after graduation.
We can help you to:
- find part-time/vacation, placement and graduate jobs, including voluntary experience
- explore how to develop the skills that employers are looking for
- plan your career development
- identify your career options
- market yourself effectively in CVs, application forms and at interviews
- develop your enterprise skills
We also organise a range of presentations and networking events with employers, professional bodies, alumni and other organisations throughout the year to help you with career planning.
Find out more about the Career Development Centre.
Our Work Placement Teams are based in your Faculty Registry Office and can help you find a suitable placement, as well as support you in making applications, writing CVs and improving your interview technique.
More details on work placements can be found on our Work placements page.
Career options in your subject area
Our team of careers consultants work closely with Faculty departments to deliver tailored employability support, including subject-specific workshops, employer events and careers information, advice and guidance.
Study in the city
If you study at the University of Westminster, everything that London has to offer is on your doorstep.
Our central London campuses are ideally located for the city's fantastic learning institutions including libraries, archives and museums, as well as opportunities for shopping, eating out, enjoying London's nightlife or just simply relaxing.
After choosing your course, one of your biggest decisions will be where to live, and we aim to make that choice as easy as possible. Whether you want to apply for our Halls of Residence or live in private housing, we can help you to find the right accommodation.
Fees, funding, bursaries and scholarships
In recent years the University of Westminster's scholarship scheme has been the largest university scholarships scheme in the UK, and our Scholarships Department won the Times Higher Education inaugural Award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students.
All students on courses of a year or more and who are registered for more than three modules will be allocated a personal tutor.
Your personal tutor will be there to support you from induction onwards, helping you to integrate into the University, academically and socially, at an early stage. They will be able to give you advice and support on academic and personal matters affecting your study, as well as developmental advice through regular individual and group tutorials.
Polylang is a University-wide programme through which you can study a language as a free choice module.
Personal advice and counselling
While most students overcome any problems with help from friends, family or a personal tutor, the University's free counselling and advice services are there if you need them.
With one of the UK's largest international student populations, the University of Westminster has plenty of experience in giving you the help and support you need to make the most of your time with us.
Study Abroad and Summer School programmes
Westminster's Study Abroad programme has been running for more than 15 years, and is one of the largest in the UK – each year we welcome hundreds of visiting students from universities all over the world.
If you are already studying outside the UK, the programme offers you the opportunity to study with us for one or two semesters, or for a period in the summer.
Sport and recreation
The University has extensive sport and recreation facilities, with a sports hall and gym at Harrow, a state-of-the-art gym at Regent Campus, and the University sports ground by the River Thames at Chiswick.
University of Westminster Students' Union (UWSU) aims to make sure you have the best university experience possible by providing a range of activities and support, from sports clubs to society groups, educational advice and social events.
Accounting, Finance and Economics - why Westminster?
In a bid to provide invaluable work experience to our full-time postgraduate business students we are giving you the opportunity to apply to undertake an 8-week unpaid accredited internship with a London organisation.
Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)