International Accounting and Finance MSc (ACCA Strategic Professional 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 have high technical skills and be able to think critically, challenge existing practice, and theories supporting effective and continual development and learning.

Through a strategic alliance between Aston business School and Kaplan Financial, this unique opportunity allows you to learn from specialists from their respective fields in accounting academia and professional education.

This combined study option is extended to 16 months:

•    To allow sufficient time to study towards both programmes
•    To allow space to synergise your academic and professional learning
•    International students require 1 study visa

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

Course type
Online / distance learning

Course format

No placements


16 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. 

Develop your critical skills through Aston University’s campus-based Masters in International Accounting and Finance

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. 

Study towards your ACCA Strategic level papers using Kaplan’s multi-award winning OnDemand Study resources.

You will also have full access to Kaplan’s multi award-winning OnDemand study resources to help you prepare for the ACCA Strategic Professional exams. The package includes flexible (yet structured) content which will respond to your performance and tailor to your needs. Through a mix of mini sessions, tutor-led 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. There is access to live academic support and the package includes a pass guarantee which allows self-re-enrolment to learning resources if required.

Wrap-around support for your learning for both awards

A collaborative support structure provided by Aston University and Kaplan Financial:

To support your study towards both academic and professional awards, you will have ‘wrap-around’ support provided which will include a face to face leaning coach and personal tutor support. In addition to this, further critical aspects which draw together both academic and professional context of your learning will be explored.

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, which aims 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

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.


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. 

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Entry requirements to MSc International Accounting and Finance include: 

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 qualify for entry to the strategic professional level of ACCA, but have the relevant academic qualifications in accounting and finance, or related subject area, please visit our MSc International Accounting and Finance web page. 

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.
  • To qualify for entry to the ACCA combined study programme, you must also qualify for entry to the ACCA Strategic Professional level.
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.

To qualify for entry to the ACCA combined study programme, you must also qualify for entry to the ACCA Strategic Professional level.

Professional qualifications stream

Entry requirements to MSc International Accounting and Finance:

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 

To qualify for entry to the ACCA combined study programme, you must also qualify for entry to the ACCA Strategic Professional level.

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

When studying toward your Masters award

Thanks to our virtual learning environment you’ll be able to get support and access to learning materials for your studies anywhere and at any time. This online platform contains electronic lecture slides, links to e-books and journals, video recordings of teaching sessions and much more.

Classroom activities

Financial Analysis - This module is taught through a case study, focusing on a real company trading on 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.

International Taxation and Accounting – We examine a range of case studies to give you a chance to look at specific organisations and examine how they manage their tax affairs. For example, we explore how corporations act to minimise their tax payments globally. We also consider practices in relation to double taxation arrangements and explore the debate around how ethical this practice is. You’ll also gain fascinating insights into why tax regimes differ, how a country’s tax regime is shaped by its history and connections.

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’ll 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.

Strategic Management Accounting – You’ll be given a case study company to investigate and draw on your research and analysis to present a solution to a strategic problem faced by the business. You’ll give a multimedia presentation to deliver your recommendation. This will give you first-hand experience of tackling real-life business situations and making commercial proposals in a formal setting.

Dissertation or Business Project - There are two options for your dissertation. You can undertake a traditional academic dissertation, whereby you choose a topic you have an interest in and carry out detailed research on it. Alternatively, you can conduct a practical financial analysis and valuation project, where you identify the investment potential of an organisation. You’ll review the financial performance, strategic position and business activities of an actual company and make recommendations based on your findings.

There’s a variety of different assessments used as part of this course, including exams, coursework, short tests, individual and group presentations. You’ll also have to complete a dissertation or business project, which will see you research a topic in detail through independent study.

ACCA papers exams will be undertaken in one of their approved exam centres.

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.


As part of this course you’ll have the opportunity to undertake a work placement and gain valuable professional experience.

You can go on a work placement for up to 12 months or as little as one month. You’ll spend this time with a company of your choice, either in the UK or overseas. A work placement is extremely 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 firms, financial institutions in the UK and overseas, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as well as small businesses. Recently students have enjoyed work placements with high profile companies such as Qatari Petroleum and Lloyds Bank.

We also give you the opportunity to support start-up businesses and SMEs with business projects through our Aston Business Clinic. You’ll gain practical experience of solving strategic problems and make a real difference for a growing business.

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

Placement case studies

Find out about Khushbu Thakkar's virtual placement as an Investor Outreach Intern with Paragon Partners Asia. 

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’s the best place for you to start your career.

Fees and scholarships

 Fees and Scholarships

The following fees are for the on-campus MSc International Accounting and Finance programme and OnDemand resources for the ACCA Strategic level papers (4 papers in total: 2 core papers + 2 optional papers) and wrap around support.

UK students (2023/24): £15, 850

International/EU students (2023/24): £26,750

Please note: There will be additional fees which you will be required to pay directly to the ACCA in respect to membership and exam entry fees and exam exemption fees (if applicable). 

Current rates are as follows: 

  • Registration fee: £89 
  • Annual subscription (2023): £122

Exam exemption fees (if applicable)

  • Applied knowledge level: £98 (per paper)
  • Applied skills level: £123 (per paper)


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. 

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

Career prospects

A postgraduate qualification in this subject prepares you for many different careers within business including economics and the financial sector.

Graduates from this programme have secured employment in a wide range of roles such as:

  • Tax Associates
  • Trainee Accountants
  • Accounting Analysts

for organisations including PwC, Capitax Financial Ltd and IBM.

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 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

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new immigration route which will enable international students to remain in the UK for two years after they have completed their studies, in order to find work. The new post-study work visa will apply to international students starting undergraduate and postgraduate courses from 2020 at universities with a track record of compliance with immigration policy.

Find out more about the post-study work visa.

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 in high demand in 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 study abroad opportunity. Not only does this bring your learning to life, it will really help you to progress to your next step once you complete the course.

What kind of career will I develop with a masters in International Accounting and Finance?

You’ll be equipped with the necessary knowledge, skills and applied experiences for a rewarding career in the accounting and winder financial sector, particularly within a global setting.

Graduates from this programme have secured employment in a wide range of roles such as Tax Associates, Trainee Accountants and Accounting Analysts for organisations including PwC, Capitax Financial Ltd and IBM.

How much does the course cost?
See our fees and scholarship section for more information.
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.

Can I enter the ACCA strategic level Combined study route of this master programme without having passed (or qualify for exemptions from) all the ACCA Applied Knowledge level papers?

This structured programme, is designed for only those candidates who are ready to study for the Strategic Professional papers. 

If you wish to study towards other ACCA papers using Kaplan OnDemand study resources, you can book the relevant courses through Aston University and get a preferential rate*

Why choose this programme?

Learn from the experts in both fields of educations:

  • High quality Academic programme of study from Aston Business School
  • Professional Qualifications Learning through Kaplan award winning OnDemand resources.
  • PLUS additional wrap around support to keep you on track with study for both qualifications as well as to synergise the learning from both
What else to I must do to be ACCA qualified?

On the successful completion of the programme, you will be fully exam qualified. For full membership of ACCA, you only have to complete your Practical Experience Requirements (PER) – Please visit the relevant pages on the ACCA website

What happens if I have not passed all my ACCA exams within the 16 months?

That is not a problem. You will retain all ACCA Strategic professional papers you have passed, and you Pass Guarantee on the OnDemand courses for each paper will allow you to re-enrol, to ready yourself for a re-sit exam. OnDemand being the most comprehensive and flexible course of study for your ACCA papers means you can continue to study towards and re-sits around your other commitments wherever you are in the world.


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