2022 start September 

Accounting, Governance and Financial Management

Management School, Faculty of Social Sciences

Explore the financial management of a range of organisations and gain the skills you need to take on a variety of advanced accounting or financial management roles.
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Course description

The programme explores the financial management of a range of organisations along with core competencies of financial and management accounting. The first semester sets the scene with foundation modules, before guiding you to more advanced material.

On graduation, you will be fully equipped to take an advanced accounting or financial management role. The special emphasis on governance makes this masters 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.

Like all our masters, this programme combines 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 practise financial management in any sector.

You can apply to base your dissertation on project work with an external organisation.

Applying for this course

We use a staged admissions process to assess applications for this course. You'll still apply for this course in the usual way, using our Postgraduate Online Application Form.

Apply now


The modules listed below are examples from the last academic year. There may be some changes before you start your course. For the very latest module information, check with the department directly.

Core modules:

Corporate Governance

This module introduces students to the study of corporate governance. The module covers the subject both from a theoretical and practical perspective. The early part of the module discusses the theories underlying the study of governance, recent governance failures, and policy initiatives designed to improve governance quality and accountability. The module proceeds to explore the main mechanisms of the governance environment for shareholder-owned companies, specifically investigating whether governance characteristics influence corporate performance. The module also includes a detailed discussion of governance in an international context as well as a discussion of governance in non-profit organisations.

15 credits
Management Accounting

This unit aims to introduce students to the importance of management accounting¿s contribution to control and management of organizations. The module 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 and 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.

15 credits
Financial Accounting and Financial Statement Analysis

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.

15 credits
Financial Management

This module aims to provide knowledge about the ways in which organizations 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 organisations may make of finance and a range of decision-making tools that are used to select between different uses of available finance.

15 credits
Research Methods for Finance and Accounting

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.

15 credits
Project Dissertation

This unit requires the student to research a topic appropriate to the field of management. The topic chosen by the student must receive approval from a supervisor. A dissertation written by the student should be delivered to the School at the conclusion of the study. The study, and the resulting dissertation, may take the form of an academic research or of a managerial problem-solving exercise. In either case, it requires the student to apply critical analysis and to set the issues within the context of appropriate management literature.

45 credits

Optional modules - two from:

Quantitative Methods for Finance and Accounting

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 the ability to use standard econometrics computing packages, e.g. STATA or EVIEWS.

15 credits
Corporate Finance

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.

15 credits
Sustainability Accounting and Accountability

Drawing inspirations from the Sheffield School of Accounting and finance and the research work of CRAFIC, this research led unit will introduce students to key concepts that can enhance and develop an alternative their understanding of the roles of accounting and finance in organisations and society. Challenging the mainstream view of accounting as a mere technical and neutral tool to help organisations achieve their economic objectives students are encouraged to think about the wider role of accounting in addressing grand societal challenges such as sustainable development goals in general and climate change in particular. In addition, the unit will enhance students’ critical reasoning capabilities, and improve their employability by developing this new skill set related to alternative accounting and finance. In this way, students will develop a critical appreciation of key philosophical issues related to both research and practice in alternative accounting and finance.

15 credits
Comparative Finance and Financial Services

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.

15 credits

Optional modules - two from:

International Financial Reporting

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.

15 credits
Performance Management

This module develops student understanding of the management of corporate performance beyond budgetary control. It considers contemporary pressures on strategic managers, such as the competitive environment, stakeholding, sustainability and 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.

15 credits
Sustainable Finance

Sustainable Finance scrutinises climate related critical risks as well as integrates environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria in financing and the investment decisions.

15 credits
Supply Chain Accounting and Finance

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.

15 credits
Portfolio management and investment

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. Students will learn how to identify, measure and manage the risks associated with individual assets and how to combine them into an efficient investment portfolio. Lab sessions will be based in a computer lab enabling students to utilise a wide range of data sources and trading platforms, such as Bloomberg.

15 credits

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 are no longer offering unrestricted module choice. If your course included unrestricted modules, your department will provide a list of modules from their own and other subject areas that you can choose from.


1 year full-time


  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Case studies
  • Group work for collaborative learning
  • Web-based discussion groups


  • Individual assignments
  • Group projects
  • End-of-semester examinations
  • Dissertation

Student profiles

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.

Richard Barrett
MSc Accounting, Governance and Financial Management

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 honours degree or an approved professional qualification.

Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with 6.0 in each other component, or equivalent.

We also accept a range of other UK qualifications and other EU/international qualifications.

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.

Fees and funding

More scholarships and fees information can be found on the Management School website.


We use a staged admissions process to assess applications for this course. You'll still apply for this course in the usual way, using our Postgraduate Online Application Form.

Apply now

+44 114 222 3376

Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

Our student protection plan

Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.

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