Professional Accounting and Finance MSc

This course aims to meet the needs of exam qualified home accounting professionals, with relevant employment experience, who wish to obtain a masters degree and gain the skills to complete a substantial, rigorous piece of research on a work related or broader issue in order that they may exploit their accounting qualification and progress in their chosen careers.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

This course is open to home students who do not require a visa to study this course. 

Course type

Course format

No placements


8-10 months part-time

UCAS code(s)


Start date

Explore Professional Accounting and Finance

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.


“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


“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

This course aims to meet the needs of exam qualified home professionals, with relevant employment experience, who wish to acquire a masters degree and specialist research skills in order to leverage their accounting knowledge and experience so that they may progress in their chosen careers.

How will my skills develop?

You will receive a wide-ranging introduction to the theories and practicalities underlying research methods in the social sciences with a particular emphasis on accounting and finance themes.

The implications of the choices that inform your style of research will be considered including research philosophy, methodology and the choice of qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods. Research quality, publishing and disseminating research will be discussed.

At this first stage you will develop skills in assessing published research and putting together your own, viable research plan. You then apply the research methods understanding and skills to your professional accounting and business finance background to create your own research.

You will choose a relevant issue or problem, design your research approach and execute it under the supervision of your personal supervisor. The aim is to produce a well-balanced, critical narrative based on a rigorous analysis of evidence, which comes to an informative, logical conclusion with recommendations where appropriate.

You will learn how to communicate your research findings/results effectively and demonstrate essential skills in project management, self-organisation and time management.

Entry requirements

Minimum entry requirement is a completed level 7 professional accounting qualification from a Recognised Body.

  • Institute of Chartered Accountants of England & Wales (ICAEW)
  • A member body of Chartered Accountants Worldwide
  • The Global Accounting Alliance
  • The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
  • The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA/AICPA)
  • OTHM Level 7 Diploma in Accounting & Finance
  • Nationally recognised accounting professional or vocational qualification bodies

Speak to our Admissions Team

For guidance on completing your postgraduate application, read our how-to-apply guide.

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 philosophies and theories of research in 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 and supervision to help you make your own piece of rigorous research.

We’ll give you hands-on activities where you can develop your research skills. Our innovative online learning platform will also support you with your studies. It has all the digital resources you will need when planning, drafting and writing up your research methods coursework, your research proposal and dissertation, including lecture/tutorial slides, access to e-books on research methods and accounting and finance, and online journals, as well as video recordings of teaching.

The programme will be assessed through an individual research methods coursework, proposal and dissertation plus an online academic ethics course.


UK student 2023 - 2024 course fee: £4,550

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

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. 

How will this course help my career?

You’ll be taught by our exceptional research and teaching staff. They have a range of experience and expertise, and include qualified accountants who have worked for prestigious global companies and the ‘Big 4’ 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 complementary perspectives and insights that will help you carry out well-informed rigorous research.

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


Core Modules

Ethics in Academic Practice

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

Research Design Practice and Ethics

By the end of this module you will be able to:

  • Formulate viable research questions pertaining to different research approaches that are currently used in accounting and finance research.
  • Critically examine the relationship between theory and evidence in the context of a particular research project that follows one of these approaches.
  • Demonstrate the applicability of various concepts of research quality in research papers.
  • Construct your own research design for a research project in accounting and finance, given your preferred approach to research.

Business Project or Dissertation

On successful completion of this module you will be able to:

  • Identify and critically evaluate an accounting and finance issue of theoretical or practical relevance with due regards to issues of sustainability, social responsibility and ethics.
  • Make informed judgements regarding appropriate research strategy, design and methods.
  • Carry out and appropriately analyse a study or studies that inform the accounting issue under investigation, and develop relevant and appropriate solutions and/or recommendations in light of these studies.
  • Communicate the findings/results of research effectively and demonstrate essential skills in project management, organisation and time management



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