Based on practical skills and reflection, this course will introduce you to the key principles and practices of accountancy and finance, giving you a foundation of business knowledge and personal transferable skills. It is particularly relevant if you have completed an undergraduate degree course in a business-related discipline.
Accounting and finance skills are complementary in business and this course will give you understanding of the key concepts. You will also appreciate how the study of accounting, finance and associated decisions are vital to ensure efficient, effective and sustainable wealth creation.
All organisations have to present their performance in the form of financial statements and this course will help you to interpret such information – vital in order to monitor, control and plan for the ongoing health of the enterprise. It also provides a firm foundation in the knowledge, business skills and understanding needed for accounting and finance at a strategic and management level.
On this course you will:
On graduating from this degree, students will be exempt from all five Certificate Level papers of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). Additionally, CIMA's 'Gateway' route would offer MSc Accounting and Finance graduates the opportunity to sit one paper which is a combination of their Management level papers P2, F2 and E2. Successful completion of this exam would exempt students from all of CIMA's Operational level and Certificate level papers.
For the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), we currently have exemptions from Fundamentals Level papers F1 - F4.
The University is recognised as a centre of excellence for finance teaching by the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI). Here are some routes our graduates in accounting and finance disciplines have pursued:
I learnt and developed a lot of new skills during my MSc, for example, team work, communication, and organisational, analytical, and problem-solving skills.
Catherine Wan, MSc Finance student
You will study a total of five units which incorporate a range of topics covering financial accounting and corporate governance, strategic management accounting, investment strategies and business valuation. We will also guide you in applying sophisticated forecasting techniques to help you understand and anticipate business trends. With our guidance you will learn how to design and deliver research to the highest standards. The course concludes with your dissertation where you’ll engage in research on a topic of your choice.
Here are the units you will study:
Financial Accounting and Corporate Governance:
This unit will cover the purpose, principles and preparation of the main accounting statements in the context of a global financial environment. You will also consider the regulatory framework, analysis and interpretation of company reports, corporate governance frameworks and business ethics. You will also cover the key principles and methods behind the preparation of corporate tax calculations. This insight will be built upon a broad based understanding of important accounting concepts covered in the unit. You will develop, through practical seminar and assignment work, an understanding of the purpose and application of external corporate reporting.
Strategic Business Planning and Control:
You will consider the internal perspectives of the firm in areas such as business planning and control, including issues such as budgeting, the design of management control systems and the development of spreadsheet-based decision support systems. You will then build on this foundation by developing a more strategic corporate perspective. The unit also explores the relationships between strategy, strategic management and strategic management accounting. The latter will be set in the context of the historical development of management accounting in general.
Managerial Finance and Financial Markets:
This will introduce you to key theoretical issues relating to financial markets and institutions, investments and corporate financial management, and their practical applications plus limitations. The areas covered will encompass shareholder value and the goals of the firm and the process of shareholder value creation, project evaluation and the discounted cash flow model, capital market theories including the efficient markets hypotheses and the ideas of modern portfolio theory. From this core understanding you will move on to look at the psychological, institutional and agency theory factors that impact upon financial markets. You will consider key empirical research on the explanatory and predictive power of models in the context of implementing investment strategies. This will be assisted by guided critical analysis of research and analysis of live data.
Corporate Finance and Valuation:
This unit will give you the opportunity to consider the primary financial decisions of the firm focusing on advanced capital budgeting techniques and the strategic analysis of capital investment decisions, capital structure theories and financing policy, and dividend policy. You will appraise theories in the context of empirical research to facilitate critical understanding of the issues. Advanced study in business valuation will give you a practical understanding and further enable you to apply key professional techniques, which is particularly relevant for mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings and private equity transactions.
Research Methods and Dissertation:
This is a scheme of independent research. We offer comprehensive training via lectures and workshops throughout the year to develop skills commensurate with standards of good research practice. On completing this programme you will be ideally placed to develop your own research projects and work within professional research teams.
We use the best and most current research and professional practice, alongside feedback from our students, to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.
We use a combination of teaching methods from lectures, seminars and tutorials to student presentations, case studies and practical sessions in our Bloomberg Suite. We are committed to best practice in learning and encourage group participation promoting discussion and debate in a friendly, yet challenging class environment.
You are assessed in a variety of ways to reflect the individual topics. Our approaches to learning, assessment and feedback are varied and constructive, to help you build the personal management and employability skills that are essential for a fulfilling career.
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You can use this essential business research tool and gain real-life financial experience. Created by the Mayor of New York, Mike Bloomberg, the system is used by over a quarter of million finance professionals globally. You too can virtually access the same data, analytics and software used by city traders via one of our Bloomberg terminals.
We have invested heavily in open access computer suites across campus. Great working spaces with high-spec PCs (multimedia and CAD), Macs and printing facilities. More specialised software and equipment is also available, such as large format printing, audio-visual equipment and language laboratories. Should you need any assistance, there are specialist technicians on hand to support you in using the facilities.
For our international students we have a dedicated team of advisers to support you as you settle into life in Portsmouth and at the University. The role of the International Office is to provide you with extensive support to make your time here as stress-free and enjoyable as possible, enabling you to focus on your studies. One of the team almost certainly has direct experience of your culture and may even speak your language.
Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.
There may be extra costs arising from your studies which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.
Some are common costs to all courses of study. These may include the cost of study texts, reference books, photocopying and computer supplies. Others relate to specific courses and may include field trips, materials and specialist equipment.
This course provides many opportunities for students of different cultures and backgrounds to collaborate in group discussions and assignments. This, together with the international focus and wide professional backgrounds of our staff, informs our teaching practices, providing an emphasis on employability, as well as technical skills. By completing this course you will be well placed to embark on professional careers in accounting and finance, as well as in general business, all within a global context. Using our existing expertise in the Bloomberg trading floor mock-up and our SimVenture business game software and case studies, you will gain excellent real life experience of dealing with real world business. Opportunities for future doctoral study may also be followed after completion of this Master’s degree.
One of the benefits of studying at Portsmouth is the support that we provide to our Master's and Research Degree students in career planning. Our careers and recruitment service can assist you in career research and finding employment opportunities. Help is also available if you wish to find a part-time job while studying your degree.
We offer our postgraduate students and alumni one-to-one appointments with a careers adviser, or an online service for those not able to travel back to the University. Our alumni can call on our career services for five years after graduation.
In addition, regular employability events offer you the chance to meet employers, find out about different career sectors and improve your applications or CV. The Graduate Summer Programme provides a range of guidance and employability seminars and workshops.
Regardless of whether you are seeking to build on your studies, further your career or pursue a career change, a postgraduate qualification adds to your achievement record.
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Apply direct using our online form
Your application will be received by the University's Admissions Team before being transferred to individual departments for consideration and processing.
Visit us on one of our Postgraduate Open Evenings to meet subject specialists and admissions teams who'll provide information and guidance on our taught Master's courses and research degrees.
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If you can’t make it to Portsmouth, come and see us at one of the events we attend around the UK or contact the admissions team – see the 'Key Facts' section above for contact details..
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