BA Accounting and Financial Management

Every organisation needs strong financial leadership, and our BA Accounting and Financial Management will set you on the road to success.

This multi-disciplinary approach means that you learn practical skills to help you land the right job, as well as gaining the rigorous academic knowledge that you require to progress. We'll also put things into context - helping you to understand the role of accounting and financial management within an organisation is key to this course. You'll learn how it affects everything, from budgeting and control to environmental issues.

At a glance

  • UCAS code: N420
  • Entry requirements: A-Level ABB plus Maths GCSE B
  • Three year course
  • Optional placement year 
  • Range of accreditations and exemptions from professional accountancy bodies 

Overview

The first year gives you a broad understanding of accounting, built around core modules such as Accounting Theory and Practice, as well as Introduction to Financial Accounting and Introduction to Management Accounting. We’ll encourage you to start thinking about life in the workplace with modules such as Introduction to Behaviour at Work and Professional Self Management. This structured, supportive process will help you to reflect on your own learning, performance and achievement in preparation for your first job. Our students quickly become familiar with the challenges faced by professional accountants. As your confidence grows, you'll develop your own views on how to approach these challenges.

Seminar Accounting Financial ManagementIn the second and third years you'll study accounting and financial management techniques in detail, going from intermediate to advanced stages in financial and management accounting, and exploring Corporate Finance and Asset Pricing. Some modules cover material from professional accounting examinations, which means that students are given exemptions with accounting bodies including ACCA, ICAEW, CPA Australia and CIMA - click here for a full list of up-to-date exemptions. Optional modules offer the chance to specialise and enhance your solid grounding in accounting and finance.

Modules

Level one

Your first year introduces you to the two types of accounting - management accounting and financial accounting, with additional modules in economics, management and quantitative decision making.

Core
Module title Credit value Module description Assessment method
Business Economics 10 This module shows how economic analysis can be used to understand and predict business decisions, and provides a description and discussion of macroeconomic issues affecting the whole economy. Exam
Introduction to Management Accounting 20 The aim of this module is to establish a firm understanding the basic techniques of management accounting: classifying costs, conducting break-even analysis, preparing cost budgets and cash budgets, understand variances between standard and actual costs and appraising investments. Exam, tests and tutorial assignments.
Introduction to Behaviour at Work 10 This module provides insight into the study of human behaviour in work organizations, developing understanding of why people do the things that they do in organisations. Exam
Introduction to Financial Accounting 20 Financial Accounting is concerned with the ways in which the financial transactions of a business are recorded and summarised in financial statements. This module provides an introduction to the construction of financial statements for sole traders and limited companies as well as an understanding and evaluation of the principles and concepts on which they are underpinned. It also focuses on the preparation, interpretation and limitations of company financial statements and the regulatory framework in which they are prepared. Essays and online tests
Futures First: Professional Self Management 10 This module provides students with a structured and supported process to reflect upon their own learning, performance and achievement, and to plan for their personal, educational and career development. Critical review, self reflection analysis and production of personal action plan
Introduction to Financial Management 20 This module introduce basic techniques and contemporary issues of financial management. It aims to build a basic knowledge of financial management and to provide a foundation for finance related level 2 and 3 modules. It is designed to help students learn basic problem solving techniques and to identify the interconnections between different disciplines within financial management, in particular, and within management, in general. Online tests, coursework
Analysis for Decision Making 20 Focusing on a variety of business problems, this module will demonstrate how quantitative techniques can be used to support effective business decision making. Students will be introduced to a range of quantitative techniques and tools which can be used to produce useful management information within a business context. Students will develop the ability to apply this knowledge and communicate the results of their analyses in a range of business situations. Exams, group project, online quizzes

Optional
Module title Credit value Module description Assessment method
Business Challenges 10 The module offers students the opportunity to work in autonomous groups to undertake one of a number of different business ‘challenges’. These challenges involve students working on a range of practical business activities in which the outcomes involve not just a piece of assessed work but also, for some challenges, extra-curricular engagement and impact with external bodies. The nature of the challenges will vary over time to reflect the ongoing engagements with business and the local community. Group presentation, team performance and personal reflection
Unrestricted module 10 An unrestricted module is a module from the same department or another department at the University that is available to all students, subject to availability and numbers. The modules may have other restrictions, such as requiring certain subjects at 'A' level or equivalent. For more information click here. Varies

 

Level two

In your second year, we build on your foundation knowledge and introduce more optional modules, giving you the chance to tailor your studies to an area you are most interested in.

Core
Module title Credit value Module description Assessment method
Intermediate Management Accounting 20 This module expands on the role of management accounting for management decision and control purposes. Particular emphasis is placed on the management accountant's various methods of analysing and presenting different kinds of information, drawn from both internal and external sources. Distinctions between the provision of management accounting services at strategic, executive and operational levels present the management accountant as centrally involved in the evaluation and implementation of alternative courses of action in organisations. Exam and assignment
Intermediate Financial Accounting 20

This module expands on some of the concepts, techniques and skills acquired in level one, including reporting results of limited companies and groups of companies and the associated problems, how to apply accounting standards in treating specific situations and understanding regulatory frameworks.

Assignment, exam
Financial Management 20 The function of financial management is the acquisition and use of funds for investment purposes. Thus, this module focuses on ways of raising and deploying investment finance, the institutions that are involved and the
tools and techniques that are used when making financial decisions. Financial decisions are not isolated from the rest of society, so the unit also considers perspectives on the relationship between finance and society and the prospective impact of financial decisions on other parties. The study of financial management is not value-free, so the module also introduces different epistemological underpinnings of different approaches to financial management.
Exam
Optional
Module title Credit value Module description Assessment
Law for Management 20 This module provides a basic introduction to the core aspects of English law, with particular emphasis placed on areas of law directly significant to the business professional. The module reviews the essential structures of the English legal system and sources of law necessary to facilitate an understanding of the key substantive areas identified as of primary significance to the business professional. The module subsequently explores different aspects of the substantive areas of contract, tort and company law. Exam, coursework
Budgeting and Control 20 This module expands students’ knowledge of the behavioural aspects of budgeting and control, the criticisms of the annual budgeting cycle and attempts to overcome those criticisms. Exam
Business Intelligence 20 Organisations are increasingly viewing business intelligence as a strategic weapon to improve their competitiveness in 21st Century corporate environments. This module uses case studies to illustrate the importance of business intelligence for organisations and to use data to aid decision making. Project report and presentation, exam
Issues in Corporate Governance 20 This module is designed to provide you with an in-depth understanding of the key theoretical and practical issues underpinning the study of
corporate governance, and how they affect the governance of modern corporations.
Group coursework, exam
Business Strategy 20 This module aims to enhance students understanding of the theories and practice of strategy. Students will be able to learn why, and how, companies make strategic decisions in the context of today's complex and dynamic world of business. Students will be introduced to various strategic analysis frameworks and learn how these can be used to help organisations better understand their strategic position and formulate feasible and suitable growth-oriented and competitive strategies. Exam
Career Management Theory and Practice 20 This module introduces students to the theory and practice of career management, both of one’s own career and as future managers and employers. As well as exploring theories of career participants, the module will consider practical aspects of careers, for example transitioning into work; recruitment and selection process; marketing oneself and finding appropriate jobs. Coursework, mock assessment centre participation
Quantitative Methods for Accounting and Financial Management 20 This module is concerned with the collection and analysis of data using statistical methods to support research studies and inform decision making in finance and accounting. Exam, in-class test
Issues in Financial Management 20 This unit explores and critiques the assumptions underpinning the essential elements of traditional financial management theory (outlined in MGT 212), including notions of perfect information, market efficiency and human rationality. The unit introduces alternative perspectives regarding the nature of organisational objectives, stakeholders and power relations. Exam, Coursework
Introduction to Corporate Finance and Asset Pricing 20 This module focuses on quantitative and advanced aspects of finance and gives a solid foundation in principles of corporate finance and asset pricing to understand and analyse the major issues affecting the financial policies of corporations. The module covers the following topics: arbitrage and financial decision-making, Valuation for Bond and Equity, Advanced capital budgeting, risk/return trade-offs, portfolio theory, market efficiency, capital structure, payout policy, and options. Case study analysis and exam
Unrestricted module 20 An unrestricted module is a module from the same department or another department at the University that is available to all students, subject to availability and numbers. The modules may have other restrictions, such as requiring certain subjects at 'A' level or equivalent. Varies

 Level three

In your final year, we consolidate your accounting knowledge with advanced management accounting and advanced financial accounting modules. There are more optional modules to choose from, in subjects such as tax, auditing, investment and financial derivatives.

Core
Module title Credit value Module description Assessment
Advances in Management Accounting 20 This module is concerned with the past, present and future of management accounting theory and practice. Exam, assignment
Advances in Financial Accounting 20 This module examines a number of accounting standards and addresses some contemporary issues in financial accounting. Students will be able to adjust a set of accounts to take account of reductions in, or reconstructions of, a company’s capital, produce financial statements which account for the effects of changing prices, prepare consolidated financial statements for groups, vertical groups, associates and joint ventures, account for individual company transactions with a foreign company and prepare consolidated financial statements for groups containing a foreign subsidiary, account for financial instruments, identify a related party and know how to disclose related party transactions and make segmental disclosures. Exam, assignment

Optional
Module title Credit value Module description Assessment
Accounting and Accountability: Theory and Practice 20 This module challenges the traditional concepts upon which accounting processes, external reporting, and its regulation are based. In recent years accounting has been the focus of criticism from a number of quarters. Audit failure, the collapse of the western banking system, market volatility, inequality, and the unprecedented challenges to business presented by climate change compel the profession and its standard-setting authorities to reshape their notion of accountability in the face of changing societal expectations. Coursework, exam
Auditing 20 Audit has crucial roles to play in the processes of corporate and social governance, relating especially to the transmission of information to financial markets and individual/groups to whom organisations are accountable. This module is designed to introduce students to the major issues in auditing theory and practice, making reference to current contexts. Exam, assignment
Corporate Finance 20 The module covers more advanced topics in corporate finance, such as financing and investment decisions under asymmetric information. Debt financing, equity financing, hybrid financing, and mergers & acquisitions are also discussed. Some of the fundamental assumptions underlying corporate finance, the efficient market hypothesis, are challenged and an alternative approach to finance, behavioural finance, is reviewed. Exam
Taxation in Theory and Practice 20 This module covers fundamental concepts such as equity, efficiency, burden, incidence, impact, income, structure and ethics. It also looks at the operation of the UK tax system, how companies and individuals calculate their tax liabilities and the development of the UK tax system in relation to social norms and government policy. Exam, project/assignment
Case Studies in Accounting and Financial Management 20 As the accounting and finance academic discipline has developed, the repeated contrast between theory and practice has been held-up as a classic illustration of the value of studying accounting and finance thought and practices in the contexts of which they are part and in which they operate. Individual and group assignments
Corporate Social Responsibility 20 This module seeks to provide an initial introduction to the key issues and themes that are emerging within the CSR field. It examines the pressures encouraging companies to adopt more ethical business strategies, the types of practices and strategies which different companies have sought to adopt in this field, and the potential advantages that are identified for a socially responsible business. Exam, engagement in Peerwise exercise
Financial Derivatives 20 The use and complexity of derivatives has increased significantly over the last 20 years with market participants such as fund managers, traders, banks and treasurers using an increasingly diverse range of derivative instruments to hedge, speculate and undertake arbitrage. This module will start from first principles and will investigate how a wide range of derivatives are used, priced and regulated, with a core focus on quantitative methods. It will also cover key market developments and prepare students for working in a wide array of finance roles through a very practical teaching focus and the integrated use of Bloomberg. Test, exam
Emerging Markets Finance 20 The unit provides an understanding of the financial system and of finance and investments in emerging markets. The unit covers the essential elements of finance in emerging markets as well as institutional and policy issues affecting emerging markets. The first part of the unit looks at the main characteristics of emerging market finance in the light of economic reforms leading to financial liberalisation and market openness. The second part looks at the role of financial markets in financial globalisation and the last part will focus on reviewing recent financial crises and the lessons for future developments in emerging markets. Coursework, exam
Company Analysis and Valuation 20 The overarching aim of this module is to utilise a wide range of advanced techniques to analyse and value global listed companies in order to form an efficient investment portfolio. The module will be practical in nature using real time data and contemporary techniques used by leading fund managers and analysts to analyse companies. Topics will be based around the use of a Bloomberg terminal whilst also ensuring key academic theories are evaluated in light on current market conditions. Coursework
Unrestricted module 20 An unrestricted module is a module from the same department or another department at the University that is available to all students, subject to availability and numbers. The modules may have other restrictions, such as requiring certain subjects at 'A' level or equivalent. Varies

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. Assessment methods may change - current students can find up-to-date information on MOLE. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption. Please note that not all combinations of optional modules may be possible because of timetabling.

Placement year

 A placement year is an excellent opportunity to apply what you’ve learnt in your course so far and gain invaluable workplace experience. You’ll develop a range of transferable skills and become more commercially aware. You’ll find out what the world of work is really like and you’ll be paid a salary – on average £13,000-£20,000. Some big corporates are starting to see it as an extended selection process for their graduate training schemes.

It isn’t something you apply for before you get here and they aren’t guaranteed – it’s your responsibility to secure one but we’ll do everything we can to help. Placements take place between your second and final year of study and are usually based in the UK.

Find out more

Student insight
drew

Student Insight - Placement Year: Drew Spare

What do you enjoy most about your course?
The variety of modules on offer within the Management School has, from my perspective, been the most enjoyable aspect of my course. The opportunity to select modules based upon my own interests has been very rewarding. The wealth of resources available made available to me throughout my time at The University of Sheffield have enabled me to build a strong foundation of knowledge to apply to my future career in finance.

Why did you choose to undertake a placement?
After attending at a University careers event, I realised that a placement year would provide the perfect opportunity to get a foot in the door with employers. Having researched undergraduate placements online, it became clear that a placement year would enable me to apply the skills and knowledge I had acquired in my first and second years to a real-world situation. The opportunity to prolong my University experience, and the prospect of potentially securing a graduate role with my employer, was a welcomed bonus.

Did you receive any help/support from the Management School when applying?
I received regular emails from the Management School’s Employability Hub about potential placement year openings and applied to those which appealed to me. Before starting my year in industry, I attended a meeting with the placement leaders who set out the requirements for the year and made very clear the support which would be available to me, should I need it.

What was your role when on your internship?
As an Assurance Associate at PwC, I essentially followed the same opening year as graduate joiners. Based at their East Midlands office, my responsibilities were predominantly focused around the external audit of UK-based companies. This provided the opportunity to work with a variety of clients across the UK, and to build a strong network of professional connections. During my year in industry, I also began studying towards the Association of Chartered Accountants (ACA) qualification and completed seven of the fifteen examinations.

What skills have you gained?
Having been exposed to a variety of people outside my normal friendship group during my placement year, I have become much more confident. I have also developed a maturity from my year in industry which has enabled me to work in a much more organised fashion in my final year. This has been reflected in the grades I have achieved this year. Aside from this, I have also developed a wealth of technical skills around the finance function and its associated practices which I have been able to apply to my final year modules.

Do you have any advice for students thinking about doing a placement?
My advice for students considering a placement year would be to do lots of research, both online and through consultations with the Management School’s Employability Hub and placement ambassadors. Attending careers events are a great way to meet with potential employers and to hear about the things which you could be involved in if you were to undertake a placement year


Hannah J

Student insight: Hannah Jones

Why did you choose Sheffield University Management School and your course? The University of Sheffield is a member of the Russell Group and is a red brick university; this shows the strong reputation it holds amongst other universities in the UK. The University of Sheffield is one of the few universities which offers a course in both accountancy and financial management. Sheffield University Management School has a great reputation with its Triple Crown accreditation, and also has close links to companies such as Santander and Grant Thornton so can offer more opportunities for internships and placements with these companies.

What have you most enjoyed about your course? The course provides a wide range of subjects for you to increase your financial knowledge and allows you to choose many of your modules on the course for second and third year. This means that you can specify modules so you can specialise your knowledge to certain areas. The modules I chose gave a wide variety of both coursework and examinations. This allowed me to work independently and also in groups for certain coursework projects. The lecturers are so friendly and welcome you to go see them during their feedback hours with any issues you have with their module.

How does University level teaching differ to how you were taught at secondary school and what are the benefits of this? On my course you generally take three modules each semester; these are 20 credit modules each. You typically have two-hour lectures per module each week allowing you to intake information in one go then spreading it out across the week. Along with these lectures you will also have tutorials which normally take place every other week; in total you should have around five per module across the semester. The course involves a high level of self-study, but the teaching in lectures is very intuitive, thus making self-studying much easier in understanding the course content. If any help is needed, lecturers are more than happy for you to go to them to ask questions and resolve your issues. This way of teaching allows you to become more independent with your learning, and helps you to become more organised in your study.

What do you like most about the city and why? Sheffield is a great, friendly city to live and in comparison to many other cities around the UK it is much smaller. Everything is in close proximity and therefore you can easily stroll into the centre of Sheffield within a 15 minute walk from the university buildings. The bus, tram and train services are excellent and well run. There is plenty to do, with Meadowhall (a shopping centre), Centertainment (activities) and ice skating within a train or tram ride away. There is lots of culture in Sheffield such as the beautiful Botanical Gardens and theatre venues.

What are your plans after graduation? Planning for the future is always a tough decision, but there is a great career service situated within the new management school building, providing excellent facilities to help you with these decisions. They offer one-on-one appointments, which are friendly and informative in helping with any issues and questions you have about placements and graduate jobs, etc. you can also sign up to the careers service website to receive emails on a regular basis informing you have new jobs and events happening in the coming week. The course has given me a great underlying knowledge of the finance industry, with an insight into accounting and management. After graduation I plan on entering into the finance service industry.

Read more from our students on our blog

Careers and employability

Your development is our highest priority. Right from the start, we’ll encourage you to think about your career. We’ll listen to you and provide you with all the support you need to achieve your goals. As one of our students, you get a full package of support from the school’s dedicated Employability Hub. This includes one-to-one advice, skills training and special events connecting you to businesses. You’re supported throughout your course and for up to three years after you graduate.

95% of our graduates were in work or further study within six months of graduating

We’ll help you to find part-time jobs, internships and year-long placements. We’ll do everything we can to help you find opportunities that fit with your career plans and meet your development needs. Our External Relations team builds relationships with alumni and businesses so you get lots of opportunities to meet professionals and learn from them. We can also teach you how to develop networks of your own, how to make face-to-face meetings count and how to use social media effectively.

Graduates are highly numerate, articulate and analytical, making them attractive to a wide range of employers. 95% of our graduates were in work or further study within six months of graduating, earning an average starting salary of £20,000. Recent graduates have gone to work for companies such as Deloitte, Deutsche Bank, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PwC, in roles such as Chartered Accountant, Graduate Financial Analyst, Corporate Tax Associate, Senior Financial Support Officer, and Assistant Stock Analyst.

Entry Requirements
Qualification Grades
A-Levels ABB
International Baccalaureate 33
BTEC DDD in relevant subject
Cambridge Pre-U D3 M2 M2
Scottish Highers AAABB
Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma/Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate B+AB

Other requirements

Acceptable Subjects

At Sheffield University Management School we feel it is important that the A-Levels you study prepare you for studying on the BA Accounting and Financial Management. We require that students have at least one A-Level from the Universities ‘Acceptable A-Levels’ subject list when combing with subjects which are primarily applied or practical learning based. More information here.

English language requirements

For overseas students we require an overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in Reading, 6.0 in Writing, 6.0 in Listening and 5.5 in speaking, or an equivalent English language qualification.