Ranked in the top 100 for Business and Management (QS World University Rankings 2021)
Enhance your global career prospects with developed financial and accounting knowledge
Ranked 15th in Europe and 2nd in the UK Eduniversal Best Masters Ranking 2019.
Learn Business. Do Business. Practical business experience as you study
"The best thing about my course was the personal development programme which helped develop my career and employability prospects."
Oluwadamilola Smart, MSc International Accounting and Finance
"The best thing about my course was the personal development programme which helped develop my career and employability prospects."
Oluwadamilola Smart, MSc International Accounting and Finance
Course outline and modules
On our MSc International Accounting and Finance masters at Aston University 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, try our MSc Accounting and Finance course instead.
This course is taught by our exceptional teaching staff. They have a broad 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’ll benefit from various perspectives and insights, which will provide you with a detailed understanding of the global workings of accounting and finance.
We use an innovative and engaging range of teaching methods. Lectures, tutorials, group work, games 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 practises and challenges in accounting and corporate finance.
How will my skills develop?
By completing the summer projects, you will have an in-depth understanding of how to use accounting information and financial concepts to financially analyse and value a company and make recommendations as analysts. All the skills you need will be given to you through the taught part of the module. For those students who want to pursue a PhD in the future, our programme offers the option to complete a Dissertation, which will develop students skills on research design throughout a module tailored for the programme.
In the programme, we also explore the key principles and challenges of financial management decisions in an international context, and the linkages between organisations, the international financial markets, financial risk and international financial strategy. Furthermore, we examine the key concepts around accounting and taxation in a global context, the role and evolution of taxation and its avoidance/evasion in different global societies.
We also acquaint students with the nature and scope of alternative forms of corporate accountability which goes beyond the traditional form of an accounting model, which is considered essential in the modern business world as evidenced by the publication of substantial Corporate Social Responsibility/Sustainability reports by most big companies.
We will explore how accounting and finance determines and impacts an organisations’ strategic policy and decision making. This will give you an understanding of the key principles and challenges of financial management decisions. You’ll gain an insight into the application of accounting and finance within international organisations. We examine case studies to illustrate how firms are using certain tools and techniques in practise, allowing you to apply your learning to real-life business scenarios and gain a critical perspective on the wider economic environment.
You’ll also gain a broad understanding of international business. You’ll learn about the different perspectives on international business, look at key theories on international trade and foreign direct investment. You’ll also examine how firms are structured and operate across borders. This will equip you with knowledge which is extremely beneficial when looking to pursue management roles with international companies.
This programme has a strong practical element. You’ll gain hands-on experience working 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 and techniques will give you the confidence and technical capability to gain a competitive advantage over other graduates in the job market.
You’ll study The Aston Global Advantage module which focuses on professional development and employability, helping you to apply the key skills that you will gain throughout the year.
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.
Our courses offer a range of opportunities to gain practical experience through things such as consultancy projects and entrepreneurial opportunities. Find out more here.
How will this course help my career?
This course is designed to enhance your employability prospects. As well as being developed with industry experts through our advisory board, we also ensure you gain exposure to opportunities throughout your studies. In your third term you’ll have the choice of studying abroad or pursuing an internship.
Our MSc in Accounting and Finance is accredited by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) . By successfully completing our programme you will be exempt from completing the following ACCA modules:
F1 (AB) Accountant in Business
F2 (MA) Management Accounting
F3 (FA) Financial Accounting
F4 (LW) Corporate and Business Law
We are also accredited by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), which on completion leads to some module exemption(s) from this professional accounting body. You will still need to secure professional training and complete further exams in order to become fully qualified in accountancy, but these exemptions demonstrate to future employers your commitment and potential to complete sector qualifications.
Aston University has been nominated for the CIMA Global Excellence Award. This award recognises academic partner institutions that achieve CIMA pass rates above the global average in the same calendar year.
- Read Senior Lecturer of Accounting and Finance, Sara Saynor's comment.
Thank you on behalf of Aston University for the Excellence nomination. We have collaborated with CIMA for a number of years now to promote the value of the CIMA qualification to Aston students and to embed the excellent CIMA case studies into our Management Accounting Curriculum. Our 2nd and Final Year students have CIMA cases and research reports as part of their coursework assessment criteria and have really developed invaluable knowledge to support their placement and graduate job searches. The success of our collaboration is evident from the excellent CIMA pass rates that Aston students have achieved.
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. Find out more here.
- Study abroad options
- A wide, but alternative, range of study abroad options will be available for January starts.
- If you are an international student, your visa will still be valid until the end of May the year following your entry date.
- Core modules
International Business Finance
This module considers the concepts and techniques related to the key decision making areas of financial management, focusing on investment appraisal and financing decision making. The concept of risk underpins financial management and it will be explicitly examined within the topic of foreign exchange risk and its mitigation.
Strategic Management Accounting
Strategic Management Accounting (SMA) is a controversial subject and as such is treated practically and theoretically to reflect the state of the art. Critical assessment of SMA concepts and tools is undertaken in light of the latest research, and using practical contexts to allow you to appreciate the potential pitfalls of this high level concept.
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.
Sustainability Accounting and Accountability
We examine a range of theories and practical methods that underpin sustainability, accounting and accountability studies and applications. We go beyond the traditional accounting model to explore and challenging new ways of thinking using real-world data. This allows you to acquire conceptual and practical experiences within the growing field of sustainability accounting and accountability.
International Context of Corporate Reporting
This module aims to develop your knowledge and understanding of financial reporting for companies adopting International Financial Reporting Standards. The module is designed to enable you to evaluate the effects of financial reporting treatments, on published financial statements of international organisations as well as derive and communicate meaning in order to make or influence economic decisions.
International Taxation and Accounting
This module is designed to enable you to understand the key concepts around accounting and taxation in a global context. The role and evolution of taxation in different global societies including tax avoidance and evasion practices and international tax competition.
Ethics in Academic Practice
This module provides an introduction to the Academic Offence framework. By completing the resources you will understand the key principles underpinning the submission of academic assignments. These principles can then be applied to the rest of the modules studied at the university.
The Aston Global Advantage
The Aston Global Advantage is our professional development programme that runs throughout all MSc programmes at Aston Business School. Focusing on professional development and employability, this integrated module gives you the opportunity to identify, develop and apply the key transferable skills you will gain throughout the year.
Business Project or Dissertation
The Business Project/Dissertation is a chance for you to carry out an original piece of work applying material that you have learnt in the taught element of your degree. Specific requirements will be explained relating to different degree programmes but in summary you must demonstrate both theoretical and practical knowledge of your chosen area of specialism.
- Optional modules*
Note: Availability of any optional modules will be subject to staff availability and a minimum number of students who express an interest in studying the optional modules.
Research Design, Practice and Ethics* (only for students undertaking the Dissertation and is compulsory.)
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. (compulsory for students undertaking the Business Project.)
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 Data
Mining and Web Analytics - We explore data mining techniques and their use in business decision making. You will learn how to uncover patterns and trends hidden in data.
*Research Design, Practice and Ethics is only available to students undertaking Dissertation. This optional module should be selected for students undertaking Dissertation. For students undertaking Business Project, Financial Analysis optional module should be selected.
- UK students
One of the following:
- A good UK honours degree (minimum lower second class)
- An equivalent overseas degree recognised by Aston University
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.
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.
If you do not have the relevant academic qualification in accounting, finance, or a related subject area, please visit the see our extensive work experience stream, or professional qualifications stream, or 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 qualifications fall 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. Find out more.
- For more information about qualifications, view our Aston in your country webpage
If you do not have the relevant academic qualification in accounting, finance, or a related subject area, please see extensive work experience stream, or professional qualifications stream, or consider our MSc Accounting and Finance.
- 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 students if you carry the minimum academic requirements. If you are fully or partially qualified by a professional organisation such as ACCA, CIMA, or ICAEW, please visit the professional qualifications stream, which does not require extensive work experience. Alternatively, if you neither have a professional nor an academic qualification in accounting, finance, or a related area, but have an academic qualification in an unrelated area, you can visit our MSc Accounting and Finance course web page.
- Professional qualifications stream
Professional accounting full or partial qualifications
Candidates who are fully or partially qualified with professional organisations such as ACCA, CIMA, or ICAEW can apply to the programme. Candidates should provide the following documents:
- The list of the professional exams passed (and evidence thereof). *See minimum requirements.
- Supporting Document: A curriculum vitae outlining professional experience.
- Candidates should provide evidence that they have passed at least one exam from each stream below.
Candidates may also be interested in our main routes of entry for UK or International/EU 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.
Candidates should provide evidence that they have passed at least one exam from each stream:
Stream A Stream B Financial Accounting (FA) - ACCA Management Accounting - ACCA Financial Reporting (FR) - ACCA Performance Management - ACCA BA3 Fundamentals of Financial Accounting - CIMA Advanced Performance Management - ACCA F2 Advanced Financial Reporting - CIMA BA2 Fundamentals of Management Accounting - CIMA Accounting - ICAEW P1 Management Accounting - CIMA Financial Accounting and Reporting: IFRS-ICAEW P2 Advanced Management Accounting Financial Accounting and Reporting: UK GAAP-ICAEW Management Information - ICAEW Corporate Reporting - ICAEW
Learning, teaching and assessment
This course will be delivered using a wide range of teaching methods and techniques. We use a combination of lectures, tutorials, business simulations, group work, games and case studies to enhance your learning experience. For example, the international taxation and accounting module looks at a range of organisations and examines their tax affairs in detail, whilst The Aston Global Advantage module gives you the opportunity to participate in a bespoke accounting business simulation. These applied learning techniques allow you to test your knowledge in key areas, helping you to gain a deeper understanding of international accounting and finance in practice.
We’ll give you the unique opportunity to gain insight and advice from professional bodies, such as the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and Certified Practising Accountants (CPA) Australia. These industry professionals will pass on their experience in securing international employment in accounting and finance.
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.
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.
Student experience and employability
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 careers team will be on hand to support you finding work placements and graduate positions. Find out more here.
Placement case studies
Click here to find out about Dipti Rathi’s placement as a Capacity Planning Tool Developer with Terex Corporation.
Click here to find out about Ememobong Etim’s placement as a Business Strategist and Development Analyst with Vitabonna Development Limited.
Click here to find out about Suzhen Ye’s placement as an Assistant Marketing Director with First Plus Education.
Click here to find out about Chloe Chan’s, Health Tech Services Internship at Holland & Barrett.
Click here to 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. Find out more here.
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
UK/EU students (2020/21)
Annual tuition fees: £10,900
International students (2020/21)
Annual tuition fees: £19,250
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. Find out more about our scholarships here.
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 and Accounting Analysts for organisations including PwC, Capitax Financial Ltd and IBM.
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 to find work. The new post-study work visa will apply to international students starting undergraduate and postgraduate courses from 2020. Click here for more information on post-work visas.
Aston University was recognised as the 'Best University Careers/Employability Service'.
The Careers and Placements team at Aston University won the 'Best University Careers/Employability Service' category at the National Undergraduate Employability (NUE) Awards 2020 for its use of innovative ideas to engage a high number of students with the service in order to support them with their career planning.
Aston University has strong links with national and international organisations with over 200 employers interacting with students on campus each year.
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.
- 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.
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