Course overview

Delivered by the triple-accredited Aston Business School, our aspirational MSc Professional Accounting and Finance programme is designed for experienced accounting professionals seeking to enhance their careers through advanced research and a masters degree. Ideal for individuals working full-time, this programme offers the flexibility to study alongside professional commitments, allowing you to continue earning whilst working towards an academic degree.

Under the guidance of experienced, published researchers, you will develop postgraduate level research skills, from designing research plans to executing them effectively, preparing you to tackle a full size 60 credit research project in your final term.

Why Professional Accounting and Finance at Aston University?

Tailored to you
Our course is designed specifically for qualified professionals in accountancy
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Satisfied students
91% of students were satisfied overall with their course (Accounting programmes; PTES, 2023)
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Recognised for quality
Aston Business School is proud to be among 1% of business schools worldwide with triple accreditation
Advanced research skills
Gain in-depth analytical and research skills required to further your career

Course description

MSc Professional Accounting and Finance

Our MSc Professional Accounting and Finance programme emphasises research methodologies and project execution for experienced professionals in the field of accounting and finance.

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What we will provide
Expert-led education at our triple-accredited business school, enriched with research-based content and interactive teaching.

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.

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What you will provide
It is important to learn how to adopt a growth mindset in your studies, understanding that intelligence and success stem from applying yourself, willingness to learn and having ambition and drive to excel. You will already hold a level 7 professional accounting qualification and possess a good knowledge of accounting and finance.

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What skills we teach
The MSc Professional Accounting and Finance programme teaches you research methodologies, including qualitative and quantitative methods, facilitating critical analysis and informed decision-making. You will cultivate project management, communication and time management skills, equipping you to conduct comprehensive research and deliver impactful recommendations in accounting and finance contexts.

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Career prospects
As an Aston University Professional Accounting and Finance graduate, you will be equipped with a full masters qualification which recognises your professional standing and comes from a highly-regarded, triple-accredited business school. Our graduates have progressed to a range of careers both within their existing organisations and externally.

How you will learn

As a student on our part-time MSc Professional Accounting and Finance programme, you will spend approximately three hours on-campus each week in lectures and seminars during your first term on research methods. In your final two terms, you will attend four introductory sessions to help prepare you for your research project, followed by ongoing supervision from an allocated research supervisor.

Our highly experienced teaching and research staff are experts in their fields and include leading academics and qualified accountants who have worked for prestigious global companies and the ‘Big Four’. 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.

You will also benefit from access to the University Library's extensive collection of over 25,000 books and electronic journals. Aston University's virtual learning environment supports your journey, providing resources like lecture slides, e-books and online journals.

What you will learn

The MSc Professional Accounting and Finance programme at Aston University equips you with specialist research skills tailored for progress in your accounting and finance career. Leveraging Aston Business School’s triple-accredited status, the programme combines your existing practical accounting knowledge with rigorous social science research methodologies, preparing you for a nuanced understanding of the field's complexities.

In the taught phase, you will explore the principles of research design, ethics and methodological decisions across diverse study approaches. This phase hones your ability to formulate viable research questions, critically link theory with evidence and evaluate research quality. You will learn to critically assess accounting and finance issues, considering corporate responsibility, sustainability and ethics, laying a solid foundation for your research project.

In the dissertation phase, you will undertake an original research project in accounting and finance, demonstrating your capacity for independent research. This phase allows you to apply theoretical knowledge and analytical skills to a practical issue, culminating in a coherent report that communicates your findings effectively and reflects your understanding of ethical academic practice.

Course objectives

  1. Facilitates your production of a feasible, relevant research proposal formulated by critically selecting and applying rigorous social science research philosophies, approaches and methods whilst engaging with suitable selected theoretical frameworks.
  2. Enables you to produce a dissertation on an area of accounting and finance that demonstrates a balanced, critical and analytical approach evidenced in a logical, coherent report that communicates the findings effectively.
  3. Meets your needs as an exam qualified local or international professional with significant relevant employment experience that wishes to acquire specialist research skills as applied to accounting and finance in order that you may progress successfully in your chosen career.
  4. Provides you with an excellent learning experience that draws on the research and consultancy of Aston University academic staff, utilising the University’s links with business, professional and public sector organisations.
  5. Allows you to reflect upon and develop your own positions in relation to corporate responsibility, sustainability and ethics.


Modules and learning outcomes

Taught stage modules

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

Module TitleCredits
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
105 credits will be awarded automatically in recognition of prior learning as you will have evidenced completion of a level 7 professional or vocational accounting qualification from a recognised body.
Research Design Practice and Ethics
The module introduces you to diverse social science and business research perspectives, particularly in accounting and finance. It explores ontological, epistemological and methodological decisions crucial in research, shaping research questions, data collection and analysis methods across qualitative, quantitative and mixed-methods studies. Discussions cover research implications, valuation techniques, quality, publishing and knowledge synthesis.
Ethics in Academic Practice
This module introduces the Academic Offence framework. By completing the resources, you will understand the key principles underpinning the submission of academic assignments.

Dissertation stage modules

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

Module TitleCredits
MSc Professional Accounting and Finance Research Project
You will 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:

  • Formulate viable research questions pertaining to different research approaches that are currently popular 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 with due regard to ethics in academic practice.
  • Identify and critically evaluate an accounting and finance issue of theoretical or practical relevance with due regard to issues of sustainability, social responsibility and ethics.
  • Make informed judgements regarding appropriate research strategy, design and methods taking account of ethics in academic practice.
  • Carry out and appropriately analyse a study or studies that inform the accounting and finance issue under investigation and develop relevant and appropriate solutions and/or recommendations in light of these ideas.
  • Communicate the findings/results of the research effectively and demonstrate essential skills in project management, self-organisation and time management.
  • Activate your knowledge base acquired from completing a nationally recognised professional accounting qualification to full membership level, mobilising specific relevant subject area(s) in the context of rigorous academic research.

Entry requirements

A completed level 7 professional accounting qualification from one of the following recognised bodies is required:

  • Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and 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)
  • Another top tier nationally recognised accounting professional body.

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)

Dr Richard Kenyon

Meet your programme director

Richard Kenyon
Programme Director, MSc Professional 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.

Course fees

Course fees

Annual tuition fees:£4,600

More information on fees

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.


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

Career prospects

The MSc Professional Accounting and Finance programme will help enhance your credibility as an accounting and finance professional, providing you with the opportunity to complement your existing professional or vocational qualification with a widely recognised masters degree from a highly regarded, triple-accredited business school.

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 Professional Accounting and Finance at Aston University?

Studying Professional Accounting and Finance at Aston University offers a unique opportunity to enhance your credibility as a finance professional. Our MSc programme provides the chance to augment existing qualifications with a widely recognised masters degree from a triple-accredited business school. This qualification equips you with the skills and knowledge essential for success in the dynamic fields of accounting and finance. With expert instruction from experienced faculty, including qualified accountants from top firms and leading academics, you will gain practical insights and valuable perspectives, ensuring you are well-prepared to excel in your career.

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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.

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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.


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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.

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