International Accounting and Finance MSc (ACCA combined study)

In this combined study programme, you will learn the critical aspects of accounting and finance alongside studying towards your ACCA Strategic Professional examinations. It will prepare you to be an all-round, future-focused professional. You will be able to think critically, challenge existing practice and theories supporting your continual development and learning.


Location: This course is delivered on-campus and via online teaching. 

Course type
Online / distance learning

Course format

No placements


2 years 2 months

UCAS code(s)


Start date

Course outline and modules

This combined study programme will enable you to study the critical aspect of accounting and finance alongside studying towards your ACCA strategic level examinations. 

You will benefit from the full on-campus experience at Aston University, with face-to-face lectures taught by experienced teaching staff who have a broad range of expertise. They include qualified accountants and leading academics who are at the forefront of research in the field.  You will gain credibility from studying at Aston Business School which is amongst the top 1% of business schools in the world to achieve triple accreditation. 

You will also have full access to Kaplan’s multi award-winning OnDemand study resource to help you prepare for the ACCA Strategic Professional exams. The package includes flexible content which will respond to your performance and tailor to your needs. Through a mix of mini sessions, bite sized videos and high-quality materials, you will cover the full syllabus and be completely prepared for your examinations. Preparation will include revision guidance, recap videos and exam practice. 

How will my skills develop? 

This combined course will focus on your accounting and finance skills and take them to the next level. It will introduce you to the latest thinking in this field and encourage you to improve your strategic decision making by critically considering its application in real-life business situations. 

The course also includes our professional development programme The Aston Global Advantage.  This supports to equip you with the transferable skills widely sought after by employers. This includes teamwork, leadership and analytical thinking. It will also give you the opportunity to gain real-world experience and make you stand out from the crowd in a competitive market.


Core modules

International Business Finance

This module considers the concepts and techniques related to the key decision making areas of financial management, focusing on investment appraisal and financing decision making. The concept of risk underpins financial management and it will be explicitly examined within the topic of foreign exchange risk and its mitigation.

Strategic Management Accounting

Strategic Management Accounting (SMA) is a controversial subject and as such is treated practically and theoretically to reflect the state of the art. Critical assessment of SMA concepts and tools is undertaken in light of the latest research, and using practical contexts to allow you to appreciate the potential pitfalls of this high level concept.

Financial Analysis

This module will focus on providing you with the knowledge, understanding and skills to analyse published financial statements. It will develop your ability to critically assess the current stock market valuation of major public companies and make impartial financial recommendations. 

Sustainability Accounting and Accountability

We examine a range of theories and practical methods that underpin sustainability, accounting and accountability studies and applications. We go beyond the traditional accounting model to explore and challenging new ways of thinking using real-world data. This allows you to acquire conceptual and practical experiences within the growing field of sustainability accounting and accountability.

International Context of Corporate Reporting

This module aims to develop your knowledge and understanding of financial reporting for companies adopting International Financial Reporting Standards. The module is designed to enable you to evaluate the effects of financial reporting treatments, on published financial statements of international organisations as well as derive and communicate meaning in order to make or influence economic decisions.

International Taxation and Accounting

This module is designed to enable you to understand the key concepts around accounting and taxation in a global context. The role and evolution of taxation in different global societies including tax avoidance and evasion practices and international tax competition.

Ethics in Academic Practice

This module provides an introduction to the Academic Offence framework. By completing the resources you will understand the key principles underpinning the submission of academic assignments. These principles can then be applied to the rest of the modules studied at the university.

The Aston Global Advantage

The Aston Global Advantage is our professional development programme that runs throughout all MSc programmes at Aston Business School. Focusing on professional development and employability, this integrated module gives you the opportunity to identify, develop and apply the key transferable skills you will gain throughout the year.

Business Project or Dissertation

The Business Project/Dissertation is a chance for you to carry out an original piece of work applying material that you have learnt in the taught element of your degree. Specific requirements will be explained relating to different degree programmes but in summary you must demonstrate both theoretical and practical knowledge of your chosen area of specialism.

Optional modules

Note: Availability of any optional modules will be subject to staff availability and a minimum number of students who express an interest in studying the optional modules.

Research Design, Practice and Ethics*

Current Issues in Global Audit and Assurance

This module attends to complex issues in auditing and assurance in a global context. Such issues are discussed and evaluated in relation to a wider range of theoretical and regulatory standpoint. In doing so you are equipped and contribute to advanced understanding and critique of the role of auditing and assurance in an ever changing global platform.

Corporate Governance, Regulation and Compliance

International Business

This module will give you the basic and fundamental knowledge of international business theories and concepts. It will cover selected topics from a wide spectrum of activities in the international business environment. It will also develop your skills in applying the theories into practice through experiential learning, such as case study, analysis and class discussions.

Data Mining and Web Analytics

We explore data mining techniques and their use in business decision making. You will learn how to uncover patterns and trends hidden in data.

*Research Design, Practice and Ethics is only available to students undertaking Dissertation. This optional module should be selected for students undertaking Dissertation. For students undertaking Business Project, Financial Analysis optional module should be selected.


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

One of the following:

•    A UK honours degree, minimum Lower Second Class (2:2)
•    Equivalent overseas degree recognised by Aston University

Subject specific requirements:
You must have completed your first undergraduate degree in accounting, finance or a related subject area. 

As well as:

  • Two references – at least one must be from an academic referee.
  • An official academic transcript of your university grades to date
  • A completed application form.

Entry requirements to ACCA Strategic professional level include: 

  • You must have passed up to and including ACCA papers F1 – F9
  • You must have relevant degree or other qualification which allows exemption form ACCA papers F1 – F9.  Please refer to ACCA’s exemptions calculator for confirmation of any exemptions.

Note: If you do not have the relevant academic qualifications in accounting, finance, or a related subject area, please visit our MSc Accounting and Finance web page.

International students
  • An official academic transcript, with an official English translation, of your university grades to date.
  • Students whose native language is not English will also need to satisfy our English language requirements. Pre-sessional English language programmes are available for good applicants whose English qualification falls just short of these requirements.
  • Postgraduate masters students enrolling to Aston Business School with a 5.5 in one of the four IELTS sections will be required to engage with English language tuition as part of our professional development programme, The Aston Global Advantage. There will be no extra cost to the student.
  • Aston University provides a range of opportunities for international students to join our community and study on our campus. A key part of our strategy is our relationships with teaching partners, providing multiple pathways to Aston. 
  • For more information about qualifications, view our Aston in your country webpage.
  • For more information about completing a foundation year, visit our foundation year webpage.
Extensive work experience

We recognise the value of extensive professional experience.  If you have extensive and relevant professional experience which would enable you to follow the content of the programme, and a proven ability to succeed, we would welcome your application.

You may also be interested in our main routes of entry for UK students, or International/EU student applications if you carry the minimum academic requirements.  If you are fully or partially qualified by a professional organisation such as ACCA, CIMA, or ICAEW, please visit the professional qualifications stream, which does not require extensive work experience. 

Alternatively, if you neither have a professional nor an academic qualification in accounting, finance, or a related area, but have an academic qualification in an unrelated area, you can visit our MSc Accounting and Finance course web page.

Professional qualifications stream

Professional accounting full or partial qualifications

Candidates who are fully or partially qualified with professional organisations such as ACCA, CIMA, or ICAEW can apply to the programme. Candidates should provide the following documents:

The list of the professional exams passed (and evidence thereof). *See minimum requirements. Supporting Document:  A curriculum vitae outlining professional experience. Candidates should provide evidence that they have passed at least one exam from each stream below.
*Minimum requirements

Candidates should provide evidence that they have passed at least one exam from each stream: 

Stream AStream B 
Financial Accounting (FA) - ACCAManagement Accounting - ACCA
Financial Reporting (FR) - ACCAPerformance Management - ACCA
BA3 Fundamentals of Financial Accounting - CIMAAdvanced Performance Management - ACCA
F2 Advanced Financial Reporting - CIMABA2 Fundamentals of Management Accounting - CIMA
Accounting - ICAEWP1 Management Accounting - CIMA
Financial Accounting and Reporting:  IFRS-ICAEWP2 Advanced Management Accounting
Financial Accounting and Reporting:  UK GAAP-ICAEWManagement Information - ICAEW
Corporate Reporting - ICAEW 


Candidates may also be interested in our main routes of entry for UK or International/EU student applicants if they carry the minimum academic requirements. Alternatively, they may be interested in our extensive work experience stream.

Candidates who do not have any accounting and finance background, but have an academic qualification in an unrelated area may be interested in our MSc Accounting and Finance course. 

Please note, if you do not meet the subject-specific requirements for this programme, you may be considered for an alternative programme which may be better suited to your academic/professional background. If you receive an offer for an alternative programme and do not wish to move forward with this, please contact the Admissions team at 

Learning, teaching and assessment

The course will be delivered using a wide range of content and teaching methods. Through a variety of modules, it will include a combination of lectures and workshops where you will be given the opportunity to analyse real-life case-studies. You will also be encouraged to share ideas and gather insights through tutorials and group activities. With all materials accessible online, you will be able to refer to lecture slides, watch teaching sessions as well as read e-books and journals to enhance your theoretical knowledge. You will be assigned a personal tutor to offer support throughout the course of the programme. 

Whilst studying towards your ACCA strategic level papers, you will have access to a diverse and flexible range of content which suits your needs and ability. This will enable you to track progress and inevitably aid your learning. It includes tutor-led bite sized videos, face-to- face coaching and support as well as revision guidance.  You will also partake in scheduled ACCA exam practice days as part of your preparation. 

Fees and scholarships

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