Accounting and Finance MSc

A masters programme, designed for those who are currently non-specialists in the field but wish to gain a robust understanding for the fundamentals of accountancy and business finance, so learn the practical skills needed for graduate roles in the financial sector. 

The programme aims to develop and advanced understanding of the field so you are able to think critically, beyond the traditional role of a finance professional to how these skills can be effectively applied in a dynamic business environment which requires a finance professional with a digital mindset and is sustainability conscious. 


Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type

Course format


1 year

UCAS code(s)


Start date

Explore Accounting and Finance at Aston University
Richard Kenyon Taught by the best

Taught by the best

Richard Kenyon has been awarded the CIMA Teaching Excellence award for the UK, 2021.

Why Study a Postgraduate Degree at Aston University?

A postgraduate degree is a great way to improve your career prospects. As well as opening doors, it builds on your experience, develops your skills, and gives you a competitive edge in a crowded job market.

Dimitrios Chatzitsirakoglou

“My masters course equipped me with the skills and knowledge which made me eligible to be recruited by a top IT corporation like IBM.”

Dimitrios Chatzitsirakoglou

Accounting Analyst, IBM

Dimitrios Chatzitsirakoglou

“My masters course equipped me with the skills and knowledge which made me eligible to be recruited by a top IT corporation like IBM.”

Dimitrios Chatzitsirakoglou

Accounting Analyst, IBM

Course outline and modules

With a strong demand for accounting and financial skills in the job market, our MSc Accounting and Finance will set you up for a rewarding career. The programme will bring you up to speed with the fundamentals of accountancy and business finance, and develop an advanced understanding of the practical skills needed for graduate roles in the financial sector.

You’ll get the opportunity to engage with a Business Project or Dissertation. This is a substantial piece of work designed to provide you with the opportunity to analyse a business problem and practically apply the knowledge and skills developed during the course.

With a strong demand for accounting and financial skills in the job market, our MSc Accounting and Finance can set you up for a rewarding career.

On this stimulating and varied course, you’ll learn about the practical and strategic application of financial and management accounting information, business finance, as well as how corporations report on and engage with sustainability issues.

This course is a fantastic step towards becoming a qualified accountant. It is accredited by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), giving exemption form the whole of the Applied Knowledge level (three papers) and a further paper in the Applied Skills level of ACCA.

Significant accreditation is also given by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, where you entry level will be the Management Case study which means you are entitled to Eleven exemptions from the Certificate, Operational and Management levels of CIMA.

The degree is recognised by the professional accounting bodies and has been developed to ensure that it is relevant to the changing world of business and that students are prepared to enter the job market with skills that are needed for a successful career.

How will my skills develop?

As well as financial accounting concepts, case studies and theories, you’ll also develop key skills in management accounting to help you construct and interpret financial statements, critically assess tools and use real-world data in core modules such as sustainability accounting and accountability.

All of this means you’ll become highly skilled at providing information to business leaders, improving commercial decision-making and business performance.

You'll study The Aston Global Advantage module which focuses on professional development and employability, helping you to apply the skills that you will gain throughout the year.

This is our professional development programme and an integrated module that runs throughout your MSc course at Aston Business School. The programme will equip you with transferable skills and relevant experiences for the workplace, giving you a competitive edge in the job market, or for when starting a business. Flexible and personalised, this programme can be tailored to your career aspirations, development needs, or existing professional experience. Whatever career path you wish to follow, this programme lets you take control of your future. 

You’ll also have the opportunity to study abroad with one of our international partners, undertake an internship placement in the UK or overseas or get involved in a global business challenge simulation.

How will this course help my career?

You’ll be taught by our exceptional teaching staff. They have a range of experience and expertise, with qualified accountants who have worked for prestigious global companies as well as leading academics who are at the forefront of research in the field of accounting and finance. This means you will benefit from various perspectives and insights that will help you develop a solid understanding of accounting and financial theories and practice.

We use an innovative and engaging range of teaching methods. Lectures, tutorials, group work and case studies will introduce you to the latest thinking in this field and give you the opportunity to critically consider its application in real-life business situations. This is enhanced by leading industry experts delivering guest lectures. These opportunities will enable you to learn about current practices and challenges in accounting and business finance.

Our courses offer a range of opportunities to gain practical experience through things such as, consultancy projects and entrepreneurial opportunities. 

Find out more here.

The course concludes with a Business Project or Dissertation, giving you the opportunity to analyse a business problem and practically apply the knowledge and skills developed during the course to outline your recommendations. This will also help to show prospective employers how you are able to impact their business.

This course offers an opportunity to study a second degree at one of our international partner institutions once you have completed your year at Aston University.

Find out more here.


Core modules

Financial Accounting and Reporting

This module covers a range of financial accounting concepts and provides a challenging and interesting introduction to the theory and practice of financial accounting. The module is designed to help you construct and interpret financial statements and to develop a theoretical and analytical grasp on financial accounting issues.

Management Accounting

Using a range of case studies this module will look at traditional and innovative ways of measuring and managing costs and recent developments in performance planning, measurement and management. Key techniques in cost and management accounting as well as context appropriate practices will be taught.

Contemporary Issues in Financial Reporting

This module aims to equip students with more advanced and knowledge of financial reporting in the global business environment.

By considering the more current or contemporary issues in financial reporting, the module is designed to inspire critical evaluation of the concepts underlying and effectiveness of financial reporting regulations and accepted practice applied within published financial statements of international organisations. The module will challenge you to derive and communicate meaning to make or influence economic decisions.

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 the light of the latest research and using practical contexts to allow you to appreciate the potential pitfalls of this high level concept.

Business Finance

This module teaches you the key principles and challenges of financial management decisions.  Develop an understanding of the characteristics influencing factors and the advantages and disadvantages of different forms of financing.  You'll also apply mathematical techniques to support a range of business decisions such as the valuation of shares and the evaluation of investment opportunities.

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.

Research Design, Practice and Ethics 

The module introduces students to various concepts and viewpoints on social science and business research - particularly in accounting and finance. These concepts and perspectives relate to so-called ontological, epistemological, and methodological choices that need to be made during the research process and in every research project. These choices infuse, for instance, what may count as an appropriate research question and methods of data collection and analysis, and they pertain equally to qualitative, quantitative and mixed-methods studies. The module examines the implications of the choices that researchers (can) viably make, considering the kinds of conclusions that can be drawn from different types of evidence produced by different research project designs. Discussions about valuation techniques, research quality, publishing research accounts, and knowledge synthesis through policy or practice are also facilitated.

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 transferrable 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.

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.

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.

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.

Corporate Governance, Regulation and Compliance

This module has an interdisciplinary focus, and its main objective is to provide a comprehensive understanding of the UK corporate governance framework. The influence of the UK framework in other countries is considered and comparisons with the frameworks in other jurisdictions is also made.

International Business Strategy

This module aims to broaden your understanding of the international strategic options available to organisations. The theoretical approach to strategic decision-making is examined in an international context following onto application of strategic concepts and tools to make appropriate strategy recommendations.

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.

Sustainability Accounting and Accountability

This module examines 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 challenge 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.


Entry requirements

Entry Requirements

If you have already specialised in accounting and finance or a related subject at undergraduate level, visit our MSc International Accounting and Finance course page.

One of the following:

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

Subject specific requirements:

Applicants must also provide evidence of Mathematics - C/4 or above at GCSE (or equivalent). Please be aware if you have already specialised in Accounting and Finance or a related subject, we will consider your application instead for our MSc International Accounting and Finance programme.  

As well as:

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


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.
Extensive work experience

We recognise the value of extensive professional experience. If you do not have the academic qualifications, but have extensive and relevant professional experience and a proven ability to succeed, we would welcome your application.

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.



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

Speak to our Admissions Team

If you have any questions about the application process please get in touch with our postgraduate admissions team:


Call: 0121 204 3200 (Please note this line is open Monday-Friday between 10am-4pm)

Please click here for guidance on completing the postgraduate application. 

Our programme directors are our experts

Frances Rosairo

Frances Rosairo
Programme Director, MSc Accounting and Finance

If you have any questions about the course or modules you will be studying you can email me via this link and I will be happy to answer your queries.

Learning, teaching and assessment

We are recognised for the quality of our teaching and research with 100 per cent of our business research achieving the highest rankings in the latest Research Excellence Framework.

You will be taught various concepts and principles of accounting and finance but this is far from a passive, theory-heavy course. What makes us stand out is our focus on providing you with the practical skills to help you get ahead in your career. We’ll give you hands-on activities where you can apply what you’ve learnt to solve commercial problems.

We will also give you the unique opportunity to gain insight and advice from professional bodies such as the CIMA and Certified Practicing Accountants (CPA) Australia. We firmly believe this will improve your understanding and enhance your employability.

CIMA award banner

Aston University has won the CIMA Global Excellence Award. This award recognises university partners that achieve CIMA pass rates above the global average over a 12 month period (1 Sept 2020 to 31 Aug 2021).

Read Senior Lecturer of Accounting and Finance, Sara Saynor’s comment.

Aston is delighted to have been awarded Global Gold in the 2021 CIMA Global Excellence Awards in recognition of the prominent pass rates of Aston graduates in their CIMA Strategic level exams. This is recognition of the excellent teaching and support provided to Accounting & Finance undergraduates while studying at Aston, which enables graduates to achieve such high standards in their Accounting and Finance professional qualifications and careers.

Our innovative online learning platform will also support you with your studies. It has all the digital resources you will need when revising, including lecture slides, access to e-books, and online journals, as well as video recordings of teaching sessions. Your lectures will also be on hand to offer one-to-one support with any topics you have difficulty with.

Here’s a few examples of activities or projects you can get involved in as part of this course:

Financial Analysis - This module is taught through a case study focusing on a real company trading on the London Stock Exchange. Each session consists of a mixture of lecturers, self-study tasks, discussions and interactive and fun methods such as games and videos. You will also have opportunities to fetch data necessary for valuing a company using resources on the internet.

Financial Accounting – The module concentrates on the preparation of companies' financial statements. Students learn how to prepare financial statements using various allowances and adjustments for accruals and prepayments. The module concentrates on examining the structure and significance of financial statements. It provides an insight into the main creative accounting techniques, by which accounts are produced, to provide a more favourable view than is objectively justifiable. Also included is the interpretation of accounts through the technique of ratio analysis, the distorting effect of inflation, and a review of current accounting issues including moves towards harmony in international accounting.

Accounting in Action Simulation – This innovative online business simulation lets you take the role of senior managers within a company and compete with other students to see who can run the most profitable business. Working as part of a team, you will need to make business decisions based on certain scenarios and quantitative data. You’ll have to consider the financial implications of your decisions and apply various accounting and finance concepts, tools and techniques.

Sustainability Accounting and Accountability – This progressive module gives you the chance to analyse how companies manage the conflict between maximising their profits whilst being socially and sustainably responsible. We look at case studies which show sustainable practises of firms and take part in class debates to assess their approach. You will then critically analyse how stock market listed companies engage with sustainability and if they’re doing enough to meet the demands of their various stakeholders.

Dissertation or Business Project – You'll also have to complete either a project or a dissertation, which will see you research a topic in detail through independent study.  This brings together the skills and knowledge you've gained throughout the programme. For the project you'll analyse financial information and the strategy and business activities of your chosen company. It’s a great practical exercise that simulates various tasks you may have to undertake in financial roles in the workplace.


We use a variety of assessment methods as part of this course. There are a mix of exams, coursework, presentations and group work. For our assessments we use real business scenarios. These practical assessments help you to develop the skills and competencies required for future job roles.


Student experience and employability

Overseas opportunities

We benefit from an extensive network of partner institutions, including some of the highest ranked business schools in Europe, such as Kedge Business School in France. We also have partnerships with universities worldwide, from Australia to China and USA to Singapore.


You can go on a work placement for as little as one month or as long as a year. You’ll spend your time with a company of your choice, either in the UK or overseas. A work placement is really beneficial to your future career prospects, it can enhance your CV and help you stand out from the competition when applying for graduate roles. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to develop your understanding of your subject area by applying what you’ve learnt in the classroom to a professional context.

Our students have been successful in gaining work placements in a wide variety of organisations, both in the UK and internationally. They’ve worked for accountancy, financial institutions in the UK and overseas, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as well as small businesses.

You’ll also be given the opportunity to support start-up businesses and SMEs with business projects through our Aston Business Clinic. Working with other students, you’ll collaborate to solve a strategic problem and make a real difference for a growing business.

Our careers team will be on hand to support you finding work placements and graduate positions. 

Placement case studies

Find out about Amandeep Chadha's Virtual Internship programme experience.

Find out about Ememobong Etim’s placement as a Business Strategist and Development Analyst with Vitabonna Development Limited.

Find out about Suzhen Ye’s placement as an Assistant Marketing Director with First Plus Education.

Find out about Chloe Chan’s, Health Tech Services Internship at Holland & Barrett.

Find out about Piyushi Pawan’s placement as a Regional Marketing Coordinator for India, Aston University.

Universities Business Challenge Global Masters

All Aston University Business postgraduate students have the opportunity to take part in the Universities Business Challenge (UBC) Global Masters. The UBC Global Masters is a team-based business simulation event that provides participants with the opportunity to act as a board of directors, who have taken responsibility for improving the performance of a company. 

Trips and visits

Your lecturers will arrange for guest speakers to visit, giving you the chance to learn from experienced professionals.  You'll gain an insight into how different companies operate and the challenges faced in this area of business.

We also have a large number of graduate employers visit the campus during the year.  There's careers fairs, networking events and much more.  You'll have the chance to discover a wide range of graduate opportunities and speak with companies to see where is the best place for you to start your career.

Fees and scholarships

UK students (2024/25): £12,000

International students (2024/25): £23,500

Tuition fees for students are reviewed annually and may increase in subsequent years in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering the Programme. Any such increase shall always be in accordance with the law. When undertaking a placement year a placement year fee applies.

More information on fees and funding

UK postgraduate loans

If you're thinking about studying a masters course with us, you may be eligible for a postgraduate loan to help with course fees and living costs. 

Find out more here.


At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs. 

Find out more about our scholarships here.

20 per cent postgraduate alumni scholarship


Cost shouldn't limit your career aspirations, which is why we are delighted to offer all Aston University graduates (including exchange students) a 20% loyalty scholarship in standard taught MA, MSc and Full-time MBA course fees. Students who have completed their first degree at Aston University will receive an automatic scholarship when applying for their course. If you are not an Aston University graduate there is still a range of UK and international scholarships that you can apply for.

This means that as an Aston University graduate applying to our MSc Accounting and Finance course, you could save...


UK students
(Total saving equivalent to 20% of the annual tuition fee)


International/EU students
(Total saving equivalent to 20% of the annual tuition fee)

As an Aston University graduate, you will automatically qualify. For more information visit our webpage.

Career prospects

This course will prepare you to enter a wide range of professional and management careers in accountancy, business services, banking, investment and insurance.

Successful completion of this course leads to exemptions from professional accountancy bodies ACCA and CIMA. You will still need to secure professional training to complete further exams to become fully qualified in accountancy, but these exemptions demonstrate to future employers your commitment and potential to complete sector qualifications.

You’ll develop a range of technical and transferable skills and knowledge. These are highly relevant to a wide range of graduate careers where analytical, decision-making, problem-solving and planning are required skills.

Recent graduates

Our recent graduates have gone on to work in accountancy, financial management and banking and investment in roles including investment Associate, Analyst, Auditor, Risk Consultant, Stock Market Observer, Director, Accounting Analyst and Financial Analyst.

Some of the companies they have worked at include:

  • HSBC
  • Credit Agricole (France)
  • BEA (China)
  • IBM
  • Bank of New York
  • Citigroup
  • Deutsche Bank
  • TISCO Bank (Thailand)
  • Deloitte
  • Ernst and Young
  • PwC
  • KPMG.

International students

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our postgraduate programmes. Students from over 120 different countries chose to study with us every year and Aston University is not only a great place to study, based in the centre of Birmingham, it’s also a great place to live.

Post-study work visa

Graduate Immigration Route

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new Graduate Immigration Route which enables international students to remain in the UK for two years after you complete your studies to find work. This new post-study work visa applies to international students completing full-time undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Find out more information about the Graduate Immigration Route.

Best University Careers Service Award


Aston University was recognised as the 'Best University Placement Service'.

The Careers and Placements team at Aston University won the 'Best University Placement Service' category at the National Undergraduate Employability (NUE) Awards 2022. This was achieved by launching Virtual Employability Festivals and recognising the power of peer-to-peer communication by pairing 500 students looking for placements with 500 students who had completed placements.


Here's what our students say

Woody Chiu

Woody Chiu

Audit Associate, Grant Thornton UK LLP

"I studied my undergraduate degree at Aston, so I already knew that the quality of teaching was excellent. Having close links with business means that academics can offer practical advice, that’s really valuable to me. The career support at Aston also stands out because they can offer practical advice about what I can do to improve my prospects."

Frequently asked questions

Why study Accounting and Finance at Aston University?

Not only will you have a high-quality taught course but our focus on practical skills means that you will be able to put everything you learn into practice and prepare yourself for your career.

Why choose to study with Aston Business School?

Aston Business School is part of an elite group of business schools thanks to our triple accreditation from AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA. We can help to enhance your career prospects, boost your earning potential and set you on the path to a successful, and rewarding career. 

Aston University is renowned for its excellence in teaching and research and the employability of our graduates. At Aston Business School we are committed to innovative approaches to teaching and education. We are dedicated to providing students with a competitive advantage in the jobs market by delivering the knowledge students need to pursue the many career tracks available to them with a background in international business. Teaching on the course is informed by our world-class scholars and provides you with a deep understanding and skills for conducting business on a global scale. At Aston University, we aim to prepare students for the real world challenges. There are plenty of opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience and apply their knowledge in real-life situations by engaging in live projects and internships. 

Chat with current students

Register your interest
Register your interest form