MSc Accounting, Governance and Financial Management

If you’re more interested in financial management than markets, this is the masters you’ve been looking for. You don’t need an undergraduate degree in finance or another business subject. You must be ambitious and have a high level of discursive skills. And you have to believe in a sustainable and ethical financial future.

Like all our masters, this programme will combine rigorous academic work with practical experience. Through seminars, group work, real-life case studies and a dissertation, you’ll develop the skills – and the judgement – to practice financial management in any sector.

Key facts

Study mode: Full time
Duration: 12 months
Next start date: September 2019

Sheffield AGFM

This exciting new programme will explore the financial management of a range of organisations. This focus on a critical understanding of financial management complements the longstanding Sheffield School of research and students will benefit from a division of enthusiastic, internationally acknowledged academics.

The first semester will set the scene with foundation modules then students will be guided into more advanced material. On graduation, students will be fully equipped to take on an advanced accounting or financial management role in a variety of organisations.


Core modules

Corporate Governance

Led by Professor Bill Lee

Autumn semester, 15 credits

Assessment: 1,500 word essay and 2 hour exam

The aim of this module is to introduce students to the key issues in corporate governance. The module covers the subject from a theoretical and practical perspective, with a particular emphasis on the financial aspects of corporate governance. The early part of the module discusses the theories underlying the study of governance, recent governance failures and policy initiatives to improve governance quality and accountability. The module proceeds to explore separately the main mechanisms of governance and specifically investigates whether governance characteristics influence corporate performance. In particular, the module examines the governance role of non-executive directors; audit committees; ownership structure; executive remuneration, audits and corporate social responsibility. The module also includes discussions of governance in an international context.

Management Accounting

Led by Dr Wael Hadid

Autumn semester, 15 credits

Assessment: Examination

This unit will introduce students to the importance of management accounting’s contribution to control and management of organizations. The unit will ensure students are familiar with essential internal budgetary and investment appraisal techniques, as well as with important contemporary developments including; activity-based management and costing, the balanced scorecard, just-in-time and throughput accounting, target costing and the applicability of such ideas, techniques and systems to a range of different contexts. The unit will use both academic empirical studies and corporate materials to ensure students develop a critical appreciation of how management accounting knowledge is employed in practice

Financial Accounting and Financial Statement Analysis

Led by Dr Maria-Teresa Speziale

Autumn semester, 15 credits

Assessment: Examination

This module is designed to equip students to analyse and interpret the published financial statements of listed companies. Students will gain an understanding of the important components of financial statements and of the impact of different economic, institutional and regulatory bodies on the forms of accounts. Students will develop analytical and numerical skills, including the ability to calculate, critique and use accounting ratios and to prepare company and share valuations utilising published financial information. Students will also learn how to supplement financial data from the contextual and forward-looking narrative in published financial reports.

Financial Management

Led by Mr Jonathan Jeffery

Spring semester, 15 credits

Assessment: Examination

This module aims to provide knowledge about the ways in which organisations raise finance and how they make decisions under a variety of conditions of how best to use that finance once it has been raised. As such the module will introduce the students to different types of markets, the regulation of those markets and the different types of finance that are available in those markets. Students will also be introduced to the different uses that organizations may make of finance and a range of decision-making tools that are used to select between different uses of available finance.

Research Methods for Finance and Accounting

Led by Professor Bill Lee

Spring semester, 15 credits

Assessment: 3,000 word research proposal

This module provides a general understanding of finance and accounting research methods. The module will equip students with the practical skills necessary to successfully complete a research project leading to the preparation of a dissertation. The module will consider how to develop appropriate research aims, objectives and questions. The module will address the available sources of data, data collection and analysis methods (quantitative and qualitative), and the philosophical underpinning of the principal research traditions. The module will also cover how to develop a critique of current literature, draw conclusions and form arguments as part of writing up a dissertation.


Summer semester, 45 credits

The dissertation is the culmination of your master’s study and recognition of your capability to conduct a research project independently. Students can apply to undertake an organisation based dissertation project, arranged by the Management School. Working with an organisation, students can structure their project around a real business issue of challenge set by the host organisation. A student project will develop your employability skills, enhance your CV and give you the chance to use your insight to help an organisation develop.

Optional modules (choose four)

International Financial Reporting

Dr Lei Chen

Spring semester, 15 credits

Assessment: Individual and group coursework

The module should develop within students a critical understanding of the theory, principles and empirical practice upon which modern international corporate reporting is based. In particular, it will explore the application of multi-national regulatory frameworks and examine in detail the conceptual, political, and technical aspects of controversial accounting/reporting standards and their impact upon reported results.

Performance Management

Led by Dr Juliana Matos de Meira

Spring semester, 15 credits

Assessment: Coursework and examination

This unit aims to develop the capability of students to manage corporate performance. It draws upon contemporary theory & practice to critically examine how performance management frameworks are responding to broadening pressures from and accountability in the 21st century socio-economic environment.

This module develops your understanding of the management of corporate performance beyond budgetary control. It considers contemporary pressures on strategic managers, such as the competitive environment, sustainability, social responsibility, governance and business risk that cause us to question the traditional singular focus on internal financial metrics. The module uses conceptual models and innovations in practice to provide alternative frameworks which address these multiple dimensions. Its content is technical and behavioural, as recognition of both is essential to designing a performance management system which suits a particular organisational context, and is aligned with its objectives.

Quantitative Methods for Finance and Accounting

Led by Dr Neng Jiang

Autumn semester, 15 credits

Assessment: Class test and examination

This module provides an understanding of the main mathematical, statistical and econometric techniques that underpin Finance and Accounting research and their application in practice.

Students will develop numerical and problem solving skills, including an introduction to econometrics, i.e. model-based measurement using the theory and techniques of statistical inference.

Corporate Finance

Led by Dr Shuxing Yin

Autumn semester, 15 credits

Assessment: Group presentation and a two-hour formal examination

The purpose of the course is to give a solid foundation in principles of corporate finance and asset pricing to understand and analyse the major issues affecting the financial policies of corporations. More specifically, the following topics will be dealt with: the time value of money, valuation of bond and equity, risk/return tradeoffs, portfolio theory, initial public offerings, capital structure, payout policy, and market efficiency. The course focuses on the quantitative and advanced aspects of finance and is aimed at those students who intend to specialise in finance.

International Corporate Governance

Led by Professor Jill Atkins

Spring semester, 15 credits

Assessment: Essay and examination

The module provides students with an understanding of systems of corporate governance worldwide, identifying significant differences in modes of governance regulation, provision of incentives for managers, market influences and employee representation. It will equip students to compare different systems and appreciate the impact of internationalisation on national governance systems. The module will require students to make use of a range of relevant material including textbooks, academic research and regulatory publications.

Philosophical Perspectives on Accounting, Financial Management and Finance

Led by Dr Sanjay Lanka

Autumn semester, 15 credits

Assessment: Examination

The aim of this module is to introduce students to key philosophical concepts that can enhance and develop their understanding of the roles of accounting, financial management and finance in organisations and society. You will explore key philosophical debates and their application to global, topical issues in accounting and finance. You will also learn about philosophical perspectives that suggest alternatives to current accounting, financial management and finance practices. In addition, the module will enhance your critical reasoning capabilities helping you to develop employability and life-skills. In this way, you will develop a critical appreciation of key philosophical issues related to both research and practice.

Supply Chain Accounting and Finance

Led by Mr Richard Bruce

Spring semester, 15 credits

Assessment: Examination and group presentation

The unit focuses on developments in supply chain accounting and finance. New organisational forms demand new approaches to accounting and finance in order to maximise opportunities arising out of collaborative forms of engagement. Firms compete with each other on the relative merits of their respective supply chains and therefore accounting and finance practices must support this reality rather than being rooted in traditional organisational settings. The unit will critically evaluate accounting and finance in this context and identify developing tools and techniques in the area.

This unit aims to provide students with a critical understanding of the role of supply chain accounting and finance in the context of modern business structures and relationships across different organisational boundaries.

Comparative Finance and Financial Services

Led by Dr Shuxing Yin

Autumn semester, 15 credits

Assessment: Examination

This module introduces students to major features and origins of financial services, the different forms of banking arrangements that exist and the available alternative financing tools for corporations, small- and medium-sized enterprises and major infrastructure projects. It provides students with an analytical framework for understanding the different types of banks that exist and the financing tools that are available. It will also provide insights into the ways in which banks and providers of finance are regulated and the limitations to those forms of regulations.

Portfolio Management and Investment

Led by Jon Jeffery

Spring semester, 15 credits

Assessment: 3,000 word report

This module will introduce students to the different investment instruments in global financial markets and how these are traded. It will address new developments, such as exchange traded funds, retail bonds and traditional asset classes such as equities, gilts, corporate bonds and how these assets can be analysed and combined to form an efficient investment portfolio.

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

We timetable teaching across the whole of our campus, the details of which can be found on our campus map. Teaching may take place in a student’s home department, but may also be timetabled to take place within other departments or central teaching space.

Student insight

Richard Barrett, class of 2017

Having studied History for my undergraduate degree, I wanted to study a postgraduate programme that was more career focused. The knowledge I have obtained has been highly practical and applicable to real world situations, and has given me a valuable insight into the world of business. This awareness and understanding of key business issues, combined with the excellent Employability Team in the Management School, has helped me to obtain a graduate position in auditing.

Careers and employability

As well as the Careers Service, students at Sheffield University Management School have access to the Employability Hub; a dedicated space where students will find information and support about Career planning, help with your CV, applications and interviews, skills events, looking for jobs, doing a placement or internship, summer schools, and professional memberships.

You will have many opportunities during your course to engage in personal and professional development. Our programmes are designed to enable you to acquire the transferable skills essential for employment: communication, organisation, the ability to deal with complex issues creatively and systematically; and the conceptual understanding required to evaluate current scholarship and research techniques.

Fees and funding


Tuition fees for 2019-20 are:

GBP 13,750 for EU Students
GBP 24,600 for non-EU Students

You may incur fees for late registration, re-examination and re-submission. Click here to find out more.


There are a number of scholarships which students may be eligible for, visit the following links for more information:
Sheffield University Management School Scholarships
University of Sheffield Scholarships
International Student Scholarships
For more information about fees and funding your studies, click here.

How to apply

Entry requirements

You don't need a background in finance but you must be ambitious and keen to expand your knowledge through rigorous discussion and learning.

Like all our masters, this programme will combine rigorous academic work with practical experience. Through seminars, group work, real-life case studies and a dissertation, you'll develop the skills - and the judgement - to practice financial management in any sector.

The special emphasis on governance means that this masters is ideal if you want to be a financial manager in an organisation or if you want to go into financial services, as an auditor for example.

You will have a 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent) in any subject or an approved professional qualification. For overseas students, Sheffield University Management School’s standard English requirement is IELTS 6.5 (with no less than 6.0 in each part). For detailed information on our English language requirements, click here.

Apply now

Staged admissions process

Applications to this course are assessed using our staged admissions process.

Stage For applications received by We aim to return decisions by
1 15 January 2019 15 February 2019
2 28 February 2019 31 March 2019
3 14 May 2019 15 June 2019
4 21 July 2019 15 August 2019

You can find information about the process on our staged admissions web page: 

Staged admissions for postgraduate applications 


If you have any enquiries about your suitability, please contact our Postgraduate Admissions Team:
Telephone: +44 (0)114 222 3376