Course overview

On our MSc International Accounting and Finance you will learn advanced-level theory and concepts used in accounting and finance. We’ll develop your technical skills in these areas but also focus on providing you with an in-depth knowledge of accounting and finance and its place in today’s global corporate environment. 

This course is designed for students with an undergraduate degree or work experience in accounting, finance or a related subject area. If you did not specialise in one of these areas at undergraduate level or have relative work experience, take a look at our MSc Accounting and Finance course instead.

This course provides you with the opportunity to use the accelerated gateway route to gain exemptions from the CIMA qualification to become a fully qualified accountant. The degree is recognised by professional accounting bodies and has been developed to ensure that it is relevant to the changing world of business, as well as preparing students with skills needed for a successful career.

"One of the best things about my course was the professional development programme, that was a module that was really focused on improving your career prospects and your employability.

Oluwadamilola Smart
MSc International Accounting and Finance
Financial analyst, Talbot

Why International Accounting and Finance at Aston University?

Professionally accredited
Accredited by the Association of Chartered Accountants (ACCA) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
Triple accredited icon
Recognised for quality
Aston Business School is proud to be among 1% of business schools worldwide with triple accreditation
Eduniversal ranking logo
2nd in the UK
We have been ranked 2nd in the UK and 13th in Europe (Accounting; Eduniversal Best Masters Rankings, 2024)
QS World University Rankings logo
66th in the world
We’ve been ranked as 66th in the world for business and management studies (QS World University Rankings By Subject 2024)

Course description

MSc International Accounting and Finance

Our MSc International Accounting and Finance programme combines advanced accounting and finance with a broad understanding of international business, preparing you for a wide range of career options. 

arrow icon

What we will provide
First-class teaching in the UK’s second-largest city, delivered by a diverse array of staff who will inspire and excite you. On this course, you’ll learn about complex topics within accounting and finance, including corporate reporting, taxation and financial analysis. This will be underpinned by key strategic business topics, and the chance to specialise in areas of interest to you. 

We are also an Adobe Creative Campus meaning you will have access to top-notch software licenses, including Adobe and Solidworks, commonly used in industry.

user icon

What you will provide
It is important you learn how to adapt a growth mindset to your studies – understanding that intelligence and success come from applying yourself, a willingness to learn and an ambition and drive to excel.

graduate cap icon

What skills we teach
As well as financial accounting concepts, case studies and theories, you’ll also develop key skills in management accounting in an international context, accounting and taxation and corporate reporting. You’ll gain a broad understanding of international business, having the choice to study topics such as data mining and visualisation and sustainability accounting and accountability. 

signpost icon

Career prospects
You’ll be taught by our exceptional teaching staff who 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.

How you will learn

We use an innovative and engaging range of teaching methods. Lectures, tutorials, group work and debates, case studies and simulations 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 advance your knowledge of current practices and challenges in accounting and business finance.

There is avid opportunity to gain practical experience through things such as, consultancy projects and entrepreneurial opportunities. You’ll work with real-time financial, accounting and economic data, thanks to our dedicated trading room facility and industry leading software. Your exposure to these practical tools will give you the confidence and technical capability to gain a competitive advantage. Aston University's virtual learning environment supports your journey, providing resources like lecture slides, e-books and online journals. 

In the Aston Global Advantage module, you will enhance your employability and global citizenship through experiential learning and reflective practice. Dedicated employability support, skill-building workshops and diverse learning streams will prepare you for both academic and professional success.

At the start of your course, you will be allocated a personal tutor who can offer individual study advice and guidance. You will also benefit from access to the University Library's extensive collection of over 25,000 books and electronic journals.

Student holding laptop in student study space

Gain the advantage

Our flagship professional development module provides a range of opportunities to apply your learning and increase your employability.

What you will learn

Our programme will enhance the accounting and finance knowledge and skills you have previously gained and teach you about advanced theories and concepts to enable you to take the next steps in your business or accounting career.

In the taught stage you will learn about topics such as financial analysis and strategic management accounting, as well as topics such as international business finance and taxation and accounting. This stage will also allow you to specialise in areas such as trading techniques, data mining and visualisation and sustainability accounting and accountability. This stage hones essential transferable skills, preparing you for the next step in your accounting and finance career.

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 Exchange Partnership Second Degree Pathway, meaning you can spend an additional year at one of our international partner institutions. If successful, you will graduate with two masters degrees.

Lan Xu MSc Finance graduate

Well balanced

Reflecting on her time at Aston University, Lan Xu described her course as “well balanced in terms of theory and practice” with lecturers who were “very helpful”. 

Postgraduate courses

Learn business, do business

Our classroom goes beyond traditional lectures, focusing instead on real-life projects and hands-on experiences.

Course objectives

  1. Provides a programme of study which develops intellectual capacity of local, national and international graduates consistent with the demands of a Masters award.
  2. Builds on your prior learning and/or experience to enhance theoretical and conceptual learning of recent graduates and those already in employment in Accounting & Finance in order that you may embark or progress successfully on your chosen career.
  3. Enhances lifelong learning skills and personal development that enables you to work with self-direction and originality and to contribute to organisational development.
  4. Provides you with an excellent learning experience that draws on the research and consultancy of Aston academic staff, utilising the University’s links with business, professional
    and public sector organisations.
  5. Allows you to reflect upon and develop your own position in relation to corporate responsibility, sustainability and ethics.
  6. Develops advanced practical skills and insightful theoretical knowledge in the functional aspects of accounting.
  7. Applies knowledge and concepts acquired to produce an in-depth investigation on an accounting / finance topic.


Modules and learning outcomes

Taught stage modules

In the taught stage you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
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.
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.
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.
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.

You will choose two of the following optional modules:*

Module TitleCredits
Trading Techniques15
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 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.
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 & 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.
Applied Analytics and Data Visualisation in Accounting
This module explores the significance and implications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data Analytics within the Accounting profession. It is designed to provide accounting students with comprehensive training in both the conceptual frameworks and the practical skills necessary for mastering data analytics and business intelligence tools. The learning content focuses on the theoretical foundations, strategic relevance, and hands-on applications of these technologies in various accounting scenarios.
Students will engage with a wide range of topics, including the integration of data-driven technologies in financial processes and the use of data analytics techniques to gain insights into data relevant for businesses and organisations. The module also covers the application of data visualisation techniques for enhancing interpretability and decision-making in accounting. It connects with other areas of study, such as financial reporting, financial analysis, auditing and assurance, sustainability reporting, and strategic management accounting, to name a few, equipping students to leverage data-driven insights for optimised decision-making and enhanced strategic initiatives.
Through lectures, case studies, lab sessions, guest speakers, and interactive projects, participants will develop a robust set of skills that prepare them for the evolving demands of the accounting field, emphasising ethical considerations and the responsible use of technology in professional practice. This module aims not only to educate but also to inspire innovative thinking and proficiency in the application of data analytics and AI in accounting
Data Mining and Visualisation15

*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. 

Dissertation stage modules

In the dissertation stage you will study the following core module:

Module TitleCredits
Research Project 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.

You will choose one of the following optional modules:

Module TitleCredits
MSc International Accounting & Finance Business Project
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.
MSc International Accounting & Finance 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.

Programme outcomes

On successful completion of both the taught and dissertation stage, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate high level understanding and application of core theory and concepts at an advanced level in the field of accounting and related management disciplines
  • Understand the role of accounting for the provision of information to both internal and external parties for the assessment of performance and decision making in an organisational context
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the international context of accounting and finance
  • Demonstrate competence in critical reasoning and decision-making in the area of accounting and finance
  • Demonstrate a high level of intellectual and analytical skills in your understanding of the accounting and financial problems facing organisations within their environments
  • Apply knowledge and concepts with the objective of recommending and justifying strategic decisions based on robust analysis and sound judgement using data from multiple sources
  • Demonstrate effective academic communication, the ability to think holistically and work collaboratively
  • Promote social responsibility, sustainability, accountability and ethical practice in their working lives
  • Demonstrate a range of transferable skills that are necessary for a successful career in accounting and finance and enhance your employability. These may include: IT and computing skills, presentation and report writing skills, communication and team working skills, self-confidence, reflective practice; and problem solving, leadership and decision-making skills.

We may update our courses to reflect best practices and academic developments. If we do, we’ll let you know of any changes at the earliest opportunity by updating our course webpages. If you have already received an offer, we’ll write to you directly to let you know of the changes.


Entry requirements

One of the following:

  • 2:2 (lower second-class honours) degree or equivalent
  • Equivalent overseas degree recognised by Aston University (see international students tab below for more information

Subject specific requirements

To study MSc International Accounting & Finance you must have completed your first undergraduate degree in accounting, finance or a related subject area. 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.

You will also need to provide:

  • A professional reference
    • If you are a current student or recent graduate (within the last 2-3 years), we will ask for an academic reference
    • If you are currently employed and not a recent graduate, we will ask for a professional reference
  • An official academic transcript of your university grades to date
  • A completed application form.

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

Qualifications in your country

For details of equivalent qualifications in your country, use our area pages below:

English language requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification.

English language requirements

How to apply

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.

Aston’s professional work placements can improve your chance of securing a graduate job. Placements give you experience, confidence and opportunities and, as an Aston student, you’ll be better prepared for your future career. One of the great things about Aston is our focus on employability. Our close links with businesses, industries and professions make this possible.

Find out more about applying

Post-study work visa

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.

Graduate Immigration Route

Pathway programmes

If you don’t meet our entry requirements, we have a range of pathway programmes offered by our partner, ONCAMPUS Aston, which you can complete to progress onto one of our degrees.

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.

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. 


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 09:30-16:30)

George Salijeni

Meet your programme director

Dr George Salijeni
Programme Director, MSc International Accounting and Finance

If you have any questions about the course or modules you will be studying, you can get in touch via email and I will be happy to answer your queries.

Fees and scholarships

Course fees

UK students

Annual tuition fees:£12,000

International students

Annual tuition fees:£23,500

More information on fees

The United Kingdom government has confirmed that European Union (EU), other European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals commencing academic courses in England from August 2021 will no longer be charged the same tuition rates as UK students.

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.


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.


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.

Career prospects

This course will equip you with the necessary knowledge, skills and applied experience for a rewarding career within business, including in accountancy, business services, economics and the financial sector, particularly in a global setting.

The transferable skills that our accounting and finance programmes provide mean that our graduates are successful in finding employment in a wide range of roles such as:

  • Investment associate 
  • Investment analyst
  • Auditor
  • Risk consultant
  • Stock market observer
  • Accounting analyst
  • Financial analyst
  • Trainee accountant
  • Tax associate

Our graduates have gone on to work at companies such as HSBC, Credit Agricole (France), BEA (China), IBM, Bank of New York, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, TISCO Bank (Thailand), Deloitte, Ernst and Young, PwC and KPMG.

Paras Khistriya MSc Finance graduate

Persistence pays

Paras Khistriya proves that hard work pays off, advising others to “keep going until you hit the jackpot and always have positive people around you”.

Our graduates achieve amazing things all over the world – whether it’s setting up their own businesses, landing jobs with high profile organisations, or making real differences within their communities.

Hear from our graduates



Be part of our community

Once you have joined us at Aston University, you’ll always be part of our community, even beyond graduation.

Frequently asked questions

Why study International Accounting and Finance at Aston University?

As well as a strong understanding of the methods and models in accounting and finance, you’ll get to develop the skills that are in high demand across the financial sector and more broadly in business, particularly within an international context, with practical experiences and applying your learning to real world situations.

You’ll gain a breadth of practical learning and professional experience, whether that’s providing support to live projects, undertaking an internship or studying abroad. Not only does this bring your learning to life, but it will also really help you to progress to your next step once you complete the course.

What is the ‘Aston Global Advantage’?

Embedded in all our masters degrees, this assessed, year-long credit-bearing module aims to develop professional and personal transferrable skills relevant to any workplace and create a bridge between the degree and the world of work.

The Aston Global Advantage

Why should I study my postgraduate degree at Aston University?

There are lots of benefits of studying a postgraduate degree at Aston University.

Watch this video from MBA student, Monique, who talks about just a few of them:

Is Birmingham a good place to study?

Our campus is based in the centre of Birmingham, the youngest major city in Europe and a great place to live, work and study.

  • Great music and entertainment with a vibrant nightlife. Bars, clubs, pubs, live music, festivals, concerts. Whatever your tastes, there's something here for everyone.
  • Fantastic food. Birmingham's diverse community means you can try anything from the famous Balti triangle, the Chinese Quarter, high street chains, halal and vegan food, and Michelin-star dining.
  • World-class shopping. The Bullring and Grand Central is a shopper's paradise. From the world's biggest Primark to luxury brands at the Mailbox.
  • Arts and culture. Museums, galleries, theatres, concerts and Birmingham's art collection is as wide as it is impressive - not to be missed.
  • Green, open spaces. One of the greenest cities in Europe, Birmingham has hundreds of publicly accessible parks and green spaces across the city.
  • Sporting action. Birmingham has some of the most exciting venues for watching or participating in sport in the UK.

Discover Birmingham

What will my timetable look like?

We understand how important it is to know your timetable in advance for planning around work, childcare, or other responsibilities. Here's some basic guidance on what to expect regarding your student timetable.

Full-time programmes
As a rough estimate, full-time postgraduate students in the College of Business and Social Sciences should expect to spend about 12-15 hours per week in lectures and on-campus seminars. This is in addition to independent study, and there may be additional guided learning activities during certain weeks. The exact distribution of these hours will vary depending on your course and module choices.
Part-time programmes
Part-time students will have fewer weekly on-campus hours compared to full-time students. This reduction is proportional to the number of modules you're enrolled in.
Timetable availability
Complete timetables are usually released shortly before the start of your programme. This timing is necessary to ensure that we accommodate all course requirements and that rooms are allocated based on the number of students likely to enrol on each programme. We aim to provide these timetables as early as possible, to assist you in your planning.

As your induction week approaches, you will be sent more information about your timetable via email, and you will be able to access your timetable by logging into MyAstonPortal. For any further queries or information regarding your timetable, you can reach out to your programme director or the Student Support team.

Online/distance learning programmes
The above information also applies to students enrolled in online/distance learning programmes. Please note that both full-time and part-time distance learning students are still required to attend scheduled synchronous learning sessions.


What can I get involved in at Aston Business School?

At Aston Business School, you will dive into a dynamic blend of innovative learning and hands-on experiences. With our acclaimed triple-crown accreditation, we offer you academic excellence and a track record of producing successful graduates.

Located in Birmingham, the UK's vibrant second city, Aston Business School provides you with a culturally rich environment and superb connectivity. You will benefit from real-world business engagements, international study opportunities and entrepreneur support programmes like BSEEN and Pitchfest.

You can also engage in practical consultancy at the Aston Business Clinic and collaborate with global peers in events such as the Maastricht Case Competition or the Universities Business Challenge. Our partnership with The Prince’s Trust, alongside a range of student clubs including TEDx and Enactus further enriches your learning experience.

Discover more

Say Hello to students at Aston University

Hello, what would you like to ask us?

Hello! We are a team of current Aston University students from various parts of the world, studying a wide range of postgraduate subjects.

Feel free to ask us anything about studying at Aston University.

Chat to our students


Register your interest