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Are you looking for a qualification that provides you with a Masters and that helps you achieve the professional standards required to become an Accountant?

This unique Masters degree is carefully aligned with the ACCA professional level papers and aims to thoroughly prepare you for the challenging ACCA professional examinations – a well-regarded accounting qualification by major employers in both the UK and Internationally.

This course not only prepares you for success in professional examinations but also aims to enhance employment prospects covering contemporary topics facing accounting practices and policies. Topics include auditing, corporate and group reporting, strategic business leadership and performance management, all of which allows you to gain a competitive edge and ensure you are one-step ahead of your peers.

Upon successful completion of this two-year course, you will obtain an MSc in Professional Accounting with professional study preparation and should have attempted the ACCA professional stage exams.

Northumbria University is part of a select group of business schools worldwide, following accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) in business and accounting – the first in Europe to gain the double accreditation. Founded in 1916, AACSB International is the longest serving global accrediting body for business schools that offer undergraduate, Masters, and doctoral degrees in business and accounting.

Course Information

Level of Study

Mode of Study
2 year full-time

Newcastle Business School

Law and NBS Building, City Campus East


September 2019

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Four core accounting modules are delivered in the first year of study that are carefully aligned with the ACCA professional level papers, covering topics of audit, corporate governance & ethics, corporate and group reporting, strategic business leadership and performance management.These core modules are designed to prepare you for the ACCA professional examinations.  

To complement the core specialist accounting modules,you will also undertake cross discipline modules such as Developing Global Management Competencies I and II, which will provide opportunities for you to explore leadership and management development through theory based and experiential learning.  

In the second year of study, you will study a 60-credit year long professional study preparation (PSP) module, where you will undertake an ACCA papers review, provided by a professional accounting trainer employed by Northumbria. This will offer exposure to professional accounting examination, expert advice, guidance and support to prepare you for the ACCA professional examinations as well as a professional accounting career. You will also develop research skills by preparing for an MSc dissertation.

You will be taught by specialist accounting staff via a combination of methods that include lectures, seminars and workshops.

Our staff are actively pushing at the frontiers of knowledge and generating new concepts and insights. Over 40% of our publication outputs and 60% of our impact case studies have been assessed as internationally excellent or world leading.  

Teaching is backed up by a well-designed support system in order to ensure a successful learning journey and the development of the necessary academic study skills. Extensive feedback, from both tutors and peers is built into the course. Whatever your background, we will help you take the more critical, deeper and research-informed approach that is needed for Masters degree at a UK university.

The excellent facilities at Northumbria University include a trading room that’s fully equipped with 20 Bloomberg terminals. It’s a great opportunity to develop financial and analytical skills in a simulated trading environment.

The 24/7 University Library achieves some of the highest levels of student satisfaction in the UK and has held the Cabinet Office accreditation for Customer Service Excellence since 2010.

Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) is embedded throughout the course. We use tools such as the ‘Blackboard’ eLearning Portal, lecture capture software to allow for catch-up streaming, and electronic reading lists that will guide your preparation for seminars and independent research.

Throughout your course, you will be an active participant in the on-going research agenda that is at the heart of Newcastle Business School. With conferences and research events regularly taking place,and with staff discussing their own research as it relates to the topics you’ll study, there’s a strong emphasis on engaging in up-to-date enquiry-based learning.

This is a practical Masters degree that focuses on helping you achieve the professional qualifications required for a career in accounting.

You will not only learn the skills and techniques to pass your ACCA professional examinations, you will also develop the academic skills and knowledge to gain a competitive edge in the jobs market.

Every module will play a role in developing and reinforcing the transferable attributes necessary for graduate employment: effective time management, excellent communication, performance teamwork and high-level analysis.

Graduates of this Masters will be one step ahead of their peers.

Entry Requirements 2019/20

Standard Entry

Applicants should normally have:

A minimum of a 2:2 honours degree or equivalent, and completion of ACCA Foundation papers.

International qualifications

If you have studied a non UK qualification, you can see how your qualifications compare to the standard entry criteria, by selecting the country that you received the qualification in, from our country pages. Visit

English Language requirements

International applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 with 6.0 in each component (or approved equivalent*).

*The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS.  You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades you will need in our English Language section. Visit

Fees and Funding 2019/20 Entry

Full UK Fee: £15,680

Full EU Fee: £15,680

Full International Fee: £21,860


Whilst books are made available via the University Library, some students may wish to purchase key texts during their first year of study. In the second year during Professional Study Preparation, students may also wish to purchase professional texts and study guides which approximate to around £70-80 per exam preparation. In addition, students will be responsible for booking and paying for the ACCA exams after Study Preparation on the programme is complete. Students should refer to the ACCA website for up to date details on applicable costs which will be incurred on application for their examinations.


Click here for UK and EU Masters funding and scholarships information.

Click here for International Masters funding and scholarships information.

Click here for UK/EU Masters tuition fee information.

Click here for International Masters tuition fee information.

Click here for additional costs which may be involved while studying.

Click here for information on fee liability.



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Modules Overview


Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

AF7007 -

Corporate and Group Reporting (Core,20 Credits)

You will learn to apply knowledge and exercise professional judgement in the application and evaluation of financial reporting principles and practices in a range of business contexts.

Over the course of the semester you will learn to:

• Evaluate the International Accounting Standards Board’s Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting
• Advise and report on the financial performance of entities
• Appraise the financial performance and financial position of entities
• Prepare the financial statements of a group of entities including the consolidated statement of profit and loss and other comprehensive income, statement of financial position, consolidated statement of changes in equity and consolidated statement of cash flows.
• Consider the need for additional disclosures to financial statements including the disclosure of financial and non-financial information
• Apply professional judgement and ethical principles in financial reporting

More information

AF7008 -

Strategic Business Leadership (Core,20 Credits)

On this module you will be able to demonstrate a blend of technical, ethical and professional skills in the evaluation, synthesis and presentations of responses through completion of a business report, designed to address problems faced by real businesses. You will need to present this report to an expert panel and answer questions on your recommendations.

Specifically, in this module you will learn to:

• Apply leadership and ethical skills in order to create a positive culture within an organisation
• Adopt a whole organisation perspective in managing performance and value creation
• Evaluate the effectiveness of governance systems within an organisation and recognise the detailed responsibilities of the board towards the various stakeholders
• Evaluate the strategic position of an organisation in relation to both the internal and external environment
• Analyse the risk profile and strategic options of an organisation
• Select and apply appropriate information technologies and data analytics to identify strategic opportunities
• Evaluate management reporting and internal controls to help ensure the organisation meets its objectives
• Enable success through innovative thinking and applying cutting edge research in relation to managing change, initiating and leading projects and effectively managing talent and other resources

More information

AF7009 -

Audit, Corporate Governance and Ethics (Core,20 Credits)

In this module you will consolidate and build on your existing knowledge of audit both from an academic, theoretical perspective and from a practical or professional perspective. The syllabus includes the following topics.

Theory of auditing
Students will debate whether and why auditing is needed, and its basic concepts, referring to Flint (1988) and Mautz & Sharaf (1961) and how their ideas relate to the profession today.

Practical approaches to audit
Students will revise their understanding of basic audit techniques such as compliance and substantive testing, and discuss the development of different audit approaches such as the Business Risk Audit. The use of technology by auditors, and the rapid pace of advancement within the profession will be reviewed.

Regulatory framework
Students will revisit their knowledge of international auditing standards, and how they are developed. We will discuss the role of the profession in regulating auditors, including quality control.

Audit and corporate governance
We will consider the role of audit within a broader corporate governance framework, and in relation to fraud.

Audit and society
Students will discuss the changing role of audit in society, drawing on Power’s (1997) work on the audit society and the way audit can affect practice.

Ethical issues
We will discuss ethical issues relevant to audit and relate them to professional codes of ethics and to ethical theories. Students will apply their knowledge to ethical decisions and dilemmas.

Current issues
We will explore and debate current issues such as mandatory auditor rotation, the changing audit report, and the expanding remit of the audit and assurance profession. The advancement of technology and AI within the profession will be discussed.

More information

AF7010 -

Performance Management (Core,20 Credits)

In this module, you will explore the knowledge, skills and exercise professional judgement in selecting and applying strategic management accounting techniques in different business contexts.

Specifically, this module aims to:

Use strategic planning and control models to plan and monitor firm performance, and support the development of corporate strategy

Identify and evaluate appropriate macroeconomic, fiscal and markets factors and key external influences on organisational performance

Identify and assess the design features of effective performance management information and monitoring systems

Apply relevant strategic performance measurement techniques in evaluating and improving organisational performance

Explore risk and its incorporation into corporate decision making process

Identify and assess the impact of current developments in management accounting and performance management on measuring, evaluating and improving organisational performance

More information

NX0422 -

Dissertation Preparation and Research Methods (Core,0 Credits)

In this module you will learn about a variety of different research methods. This will equip you with the knowledge and practical skills necessary for you to conduct research at Masters’ level and prepare you to complete a Master’s dissertation or consultancy project. By the end of the module you will know how to apply both quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis techniques. In quantitative techniques you will learn about sampling, questionnaire design, statistical inference, and hypothesis testing while qualitative techniques covered will include methods such as interviewing and focus groups. Analysis methods such as content analysis and thematic analysis will also be covered. In addition, you will gain some understanding of research philosophy (positivism and interpretivism) and research ethics and you will be able to write a research proposal to bring these ideas together.

More information

NX0472 -

Developing Global Management Competencies I (Core,20 Credits)

This module is the first of two that prepares you to be highly employable by developing key hard and soft skills which have been identified by current research as those necessary for postgraduate students seeking work. The development of the module has been underpinned by Bird and Osland’s (2003) Global Competency Framework (Fig 1.1) and will provide you with two discrete skills sets - emotional and cultural intelligence (soft skills) and business intelligence (hard skills).

Emotional and Cultural Intelligence:
This strand of the module is about the development of self, and is intended to develop your ability to recognise the need for, and to enter into, the process of personal and professional development for both early employability and career progression. This strand is also designed to develop your capacity as an independent learner and to enable the development and application of the transferable (soft) skills, and of individual and group learning, across the programme of study. A key outcome of this process is to provide you with sufficient self-awareness of your intra and interpersonal skills to be able to embark on a creating a personal development plan.

Business Intelligence:
This strand of the module is about the development of practical skills and techniques required by businesses to help them in decision making operations. You will develop skills in problem solving, activity modelling, scorecards and data modelling and will therefore enhance your employability. Building on the programme philosophy of ‘learning by doing’, there will be a strong practical emphasis involving the use of tools such as Soft Systems Methodology (SSM), Balanced Scorecard, Strategy Maps, MS Excel and SAS. In addition to being able to devise quantitative measures and calculations, you will also be able to provide clear, critical, informative management interpretations based on the results obtained.

More information

NX0473 -

Developing Global Management Competencies II (Core,20 Credits)

This module is the second of two that prepares you to be highly employable by developing key hard and soft skills, which have been identified by current research as those necessary for postgraduate students seeking work. The development of the module has been underpinned by Bird and Osland’s (2003) Global Competency Framework and will provide you with two discrete skills sets - emotional and cultural intelligence (soft skills) and business intelligence (hard skills).

Business Intelligence:
In this strand of the module you will develop the practical skills and techniques required by businesses to help them in the project management and implementation of business intelligence and business analytics solutions. You will be introduced to some project management processes, tools and methodologies e.g. PMBOK and agile approaches. Such skills will be of great value to you in the workplace and will enhance your employability through developing practice based skills for the contemporary manager, thus emphasising the programme philosophy of ‘learning by doing’. A prominent theme throughout this module, similar to the module in semester 1 is to give you experience in a wide range of industry standard tools and technologies. To that end, most of the teaching plan will involve weekly workshop / seminar classes rather than formal lectures, although there will be some supporting lectures. In addition to being able to provide clear, critical, analysis of data, you will also be able to consider the project implementation skills needs.

Emotional and Cultural Intelligence:
This strand of the module is designed to help you understand key issues and challenges in relation to your employability prospects in the context of your target profession/industry/sector. A particular focus of this strand will be the impact of emotional intelligence, cultural intelligence and self-awareness for your employability as postgraduates. This will include the development of knowledge into the global graduate labour market (including routes such as self-employment and developing your career with an existing employer), drawing upon local, national and international exemplars. A key learning vehicle for this strand of the module is interactive seminars/workshops where you will undertake a number of activities to enable you to build on your self-analysis from Developing Global Management Competencies I and explore further their strengths, weaknesses and areas for further development in the context of your career development plans. You will also receive guidance on how to craft professional, postgraduate CVs, LinkedIn profiles supporting documentation to meet the needs of employers, building on your NX0475 activities and development. Detailed directed reading, diagnostics and interactive exercises will be undertaken which are contextualised to the country of study and/or intended employment, representing the specific needs of our diverse student body.

More information

NX0475 -

Academic and Professional Development (Core,0 Credits)

You will undertake the following support sessions across each of the three semesters of your study.

Induction Week

This will involve an introduction to NBS PG Learning – including; Culture, PG learning in a UK University, expectations, programme specific sessions and activities (e.g. a programme task involving group work, information searching and presentation). For UK students, this will also include an ASk task to inform Programme Leaders and the prioritisation of ASk material development.

Semester 1

In the first semester (or first two terms) , the emphasis in terms of skills will be around the development of reflective practice including its practical deployment, experience of writing critically and being able to demonstrate reflective practice and experiential learning within the development of this writing, but equally, explicit development of and practice in everyday academic skills such as presentation preparation and doing, time management. Some lecture sessions will be delivered by the Programme Leader (PL) to their programme. This will give an opportunity to the PL to see their students on a regular basis and will help to build programme identity. The sessions will include: Academic writing, plagiarism, PECS, LA procedures, Assignment / Examination preparation and procedures.

Other sessions will be delivered to all F/T PG students such as managing your time and study skills (e.g. how to identify key factors in managing your time, identifying goals, getting organised, sorting out documents / information and a work schedule etc.), Introduction to Business Information Resources (including online resources) and Plagiarism and the use of Turnitin.

Semester 2 (or terms 3-4)

The module will continue to provide sessions for students to see their Programme Leader on a regular basis so their relationship is maintained. The emphasis of many of the sessions will be on enhancing our postgraduate student’s employability. This will be informed by Northumbria Employability Framework, the Northumbria Employability Plan; ‘Giving Your Career An Edge’ and Northumbria University Employability and Leadership Attributes. In the UK, some sessions will be delivered by the Careers Service. Care will be taken to ensure these sessions will compliment other aspects of employability delivery (in other modules). The careers provision can be customised by CV partners and our London campus to address the specific needs of their students in relation to their place of study. For example, QA in London would like their students to have exposure to their training facilities /courses; an equivalent aid to employability.

Semester 3

The focus will be on ASk tutors supporting the students undertaking their dissertation for example item 12 of the specific skill development sessions.

The following is a list of specific skill development sessions to be delivered over the year:-

1. Understanding of assessment and marking criteria.
2. Reading and taking good notes (this could be delivered by the ASk team or another academic).
3. Speed reading techniques
4. Using the APA system of referencing
5. Understanding and avoiding Plagiarism
6. Describing arguments and making proposals
7. Academic reading skills (the ASk team) reading techniques, scanning, skimming, deep reading, critical reading and strategies for effective reading.
8. Writing skills (ASk team) – writing assignment, analysing the task, planning, identifying information sources, identifying key ideas, writing drafts, reviewing and editing work, presenting, submission and using feedback.
9. Time Management
10. Presentation skills – preparing, researching, planning, organisation and rehearsing.
11. Working in groups – what is an effective working group, meetings, organisation, making notes and managing the group.
12. Understanding and writing the Chapters of a Dissertation
Describing arguments and making proposals
Evaluating Research Objectives
Describing bias and limitations of research
Writing reflective statements

More information

NX0480 -

The Newcastle Business School Masters Dissertation (Core,60 Credits)

In this module you will gain an understanding of the academic skills that are required to produce a Masters Dissertation. By the end of the module you will have written a 3000 word dissertation proposal and a 15000 word Masters dissertation. The areas included are:

• Justification for the choice of topic
• Appropriate understanding, awareness and critical analysis of existing and up to date literature evidenced by a comprehensive and well-referenced literature review with an extensive reference list
• Selection, justification and application of an appropriately rigorous methodology - including limitations of the approach selected
• Clear statement of the findings of the research
• Critical analysis of the findings
• Explicit links between the analysis and the conclusions supported by critical argument
• Evidence of original work or thought for example in the form or context of the data collected, analytical process or application of findings

More information

NX9720 -

Professional Study Preparation (Core,60 Credits)

The Professional Study Preparation module is a yearlong 60-credit module available on MSc Professional Accounting (with Professional Study Preparation). This module will build on your first year of studies on this MSc and will facilitate your independent attempt of four ACCA strategic professional level papers; you will also develop your critical reflection skills as an ethical and strategic accounting learner. In doing so you will learn the substantive ACCA syllabus for the following strategic professional level papers: Strategic Business Leader; Strategic Business Reporting; Advanced Performance Management; Advanced Audit and Assurance and Ethics and Professional Skills. The strategic professional level papers focus on integrating technical accounting, professional and ethical skills needed by the market place. Specifically you will prepare for the ACCA papers as follows:
- Strategic Business Reporting: you will apply ethical and professional principles regarding financial reporting and evaluate changes in accounting regulation. You will also apply your professional judgment regarding reporting of financial performance and you will learn to prepare and interpret financial statements. This includes advising on the meaning of both financial and non-financial reports.
- Strategic Business Leader: You will apply a blend of essential skills to successfully lead organisational success through: ethical leadership, effective corporate governance, strategic positioning and risk management as well as effective evaluation of IT security, internal control and auditing systems. You will also learn about how to embrace appropriate information technologies and apply data analytics.
- Advanced Performance Management: You will learn strategic planning and control models and assess key external forces, which affect organisational performance. As part of your learning on this module, you will apply advanced strategic performance measurement, planning and monitoring techniques.
- Advanced Audit and Assurance: you will recognise the legal and regulatory environment and its impact on auditing and assurance practice. You will also learn about effective practices in working on assurance and service engagements, this include appropriate quality control policies within practice management, formulation of work required to meet the international auditing standards and meet the objectives of non-audit assignments. You will learn about current issues and developments relating to offering of auditing and assurance services.
- Ethics and professional skills: this is aligned to a new ACCA module where you will learn about ethics and professionalism; personal effectiveness; innovation and scepticism, commercial awareness, analysis; evaluation and problem solving; leadership and teamwork and communication and interpersonal skills. This module should be finished before starting the strategic professional exams.

At the same time, in the academic element of this module, you will develop your critical and reflectivity skills by engaging in a student led research task and prepare an individual presentation in relation to a contemporary strategic level topic. The topic is related to the above subjects. This is a Pass/Fail module and so does not contribute to the final grade of your MSc. The learning and teaching on this module will be supported by supervisory meetings with your academic tutor.

More information

Any Questions?

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