AF5044 - Assurance

What will I learn on this module?

Throughout this module, you will learn about the practice of assurance through ‘real life’ scenarios. Topics are viewed and taught as interrelated concepts, with the ethical principles of auditors (Accountability, Integrity, Objectivity, Independence, Competence and Rigour, Judgement, Confidentiality) and the process of assurance being taught alongside one another. The following topics are covered during the module:

The Audit & Assurance Context
What is the role, purpose, and value of assurance? What is the role of the audit profession and what are the key professional ethical guidelines? What are the rules guiding assurance both within the UK and internationally?

Assurance Ethics
What are the ethical frameworks offered to the practice of assurance? How does the nature of the business impact on audit ethics? How does audit regulation promote or comprise confidence in audit ethics? Why do audit ethics matter?

Audit Process
The process of assurance will include understanding; the identification of audit risk from knowledge of the business and the control environment, planning the assurance process, assessment of risk management and internal control deficiencies through the application of assurance approaches, the nature of audit evidence and the methods of collection and formulating and reporting an audit opinion.

How will I learn on this module?

You will be supported by a teaching and learning plan which outlines the formal sessions, together with the tutor-directed study and independent reading. An interactive approach to lecture sessions will draw upon the directed learning undertaken and participants’ own experiences. Throughout, the emphasis will be on high levels of participation, by both you individually, and within small groups or teams. You can therefore expect the reflective-practitioner approach to learning to be embedded in all workshop/seminar sessions through undertaking activities which facilitate you to apply theory to ‘real-life’ situations.
Directed learning will centre upon a range of activities including pre-reading, preparation for interactive activities and a range of additional practice questions for outside of seminars.

You will learn through tutor led activities in the form of lecturers and seminars (24 hours lectures and 12 hours of seminars across the module), alongside independent completion of directed study. Directed study is highlighted on the teaching and learning plans, alongside updates to recommended electronic reading list.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

During lectures and seminars, you will be supported by the tutors, and key reading from both the academic and practice led literature bases will be highlighted to you (including reference to the relevant International Auditing Standards). Tutors will be available both during sessions, and over email to answer student queries about the module. Formative feedback will be provided by tutors, both verbally during teaching sessions, and through additional guidance documentation following seminars.

The e learning portal site of the module will be populated with lecture material and seminar activities in advance of all sessions. You will have access to an electronic reading list will provide you with information in respect of the supporting texts. Your lectures will be recorded and uploaded to the e-learning portal which you will be able to access to consolidate your knowledge and develop understanding. Examples of prior assessment questions will also be available for you to access, to enable you to prepare accordingly for assessment.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

• At the end of the modules you are expected to have critically analysed the role of the auditing business in the corporate world (MLO1).

• Identify audit risk and select, with justification, appropriate audit techniques to obtain audit evidence to support the formulation of the audit opinion appropriate to professional practice (MLO2).

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

• Critique the development of your auditing practice in the context of progression to professional settings (MLO3).

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

• At the end of the modules you are expected to have critically analysed the role ethics within the auditing profession (MLO4).

How will I be assessed?

Formative Assessment:
Formative assessment will be provided to you through a range of seminar activities which will enable you to prepare for summative assessment during, and at end of the module. You will be given the opportunity to develop your assessment skills through exemplar assessment questions. Formative assessment will be provided by tutors during sessions, and through guidance notes to seminar activities.

Summative Assessment:
The module will be assessed by an individual assignment of 3000 words in order to meet the learning objectives (MLO1, MLO2, MLO3 & MLO4).





Module abstract

This module allows you to explore the nature of assurance and the role of the professional auditor. The module gives an insight into the practical aspects of how and why assurance engagements are performed, paying note of audit and its role in corporate reporting. You will explore the theory supporting current audit practice and be able to critical appraisal theory. The module discusses the nature and influence of audit risk on the modern audit and the key issues of audit independence and liability. It also focuses on the contemporary and contentious issues surrounding the effectiveness of audit (audit quality) due to the limitations in the modern audit process and the ethical conflicts arising from the nature of audit as a business.

You will participate in ‘audit simulation’ and client ‘case studies’ activities, alongside engagement with practice-based auditors to embed a knowledge of documentation, analytical skills and processes undertaken during modern audits. Technology enabled learning is utilised in this module and use of ‘audit simulation’ both within class, and as directed study. The practical assessed task will be submitted through ESAF, with feedback provided electronically.

Course info

UCAS Code N422

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 2 years full-time or 3 year sandwich

Department Newcastle Business School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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