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Accounting, Governance and Financial Management
Faculty of Social Sciences
Our Accounting Governance and Financial Management MSc 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 materials.
Upon 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.
- 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.
An open day gives you the best opportunity to hear first-hand from our current students and staff about our courses. You'll find out what makes us special.
1 year full-time
- Case studies
- Group work for collaborative learning
- Web-based discussion groups
- Individual assignments
- Group projects
- End-of-semester examinations
We have an international reputation for practical and real-world economics.
We are a leading business school with Triple Crown accreditation (AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS). These awards have been achieved through the outstanding quality of our programmes, research output, support for students and alumni, and links with industry. We have a world-class reputation for high quality teaching, ground-breaking research and cutting-edge thinking.
You’ll be part of a dynamic and engaging business school that puts you and your future at the heart of everything it does. We balance a rigorous academic foundation with practical skills to ensure you are ready for the world of work.
We want you to develop skills so you can apply course content in a company setting. Our close links with organisations keep us in tune with the changing demands of the workplace. We know what employers are looking for.
You'll learn from experts - many are former industry professionals and they work closely with businesses. Because our academics are world-leading researchers, your education will draw on the most current management theories.
We want you to engage with the academic content, be conscientious and take an independent approach to study. We want you to be informed, innovative and proactive and do everything we can to support and enhance your career, steering you in the right direction with all the knowledge and skills you require.
You'll benefit from tailored on-site and online professional careers support, dedicated skills sessions and events with experts from world-leading organisations and professional bodies. These activities will help guide your personal and professional development to help you secure your dream placement, internship or graduate role.
The teaching facilities are so advanced: the stock trading room makes me feel like a real fund manager!
Xiaoyu Guo Postgraduate student, Accounting, Governance and Financial Management MSc
Xiaoyu finished her bachelor’s degree in Accounting before starting her masters. She is interested in the commerce field and financial market and her future plan is to work in the finance and investment industry as a fund manager.
Minimum 2:1 undergraduate honours degree or an approved professional qualification.
Overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.
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.
+44 114 222 3349
Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.
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.