As one of the fastest growing areas of accounting, there is an increasing global demand for specialists with forensic accounting knowledge and skills. This course therefore aims to provide a progressive, challenging and stimulating framework of study that will equip you to work in this field.
Through the application of professional forensic accounting tools, models, techniques and knowledge, you will gain a comprehensive range of skills covering the core areas of forensic accounting:
Depending on how much time you are able to commit to your study, we offer a two-year or a 30-month duration, and our recommended study time per week would be around 12 and 18 hours respectively. We would strongly recommend that those students with full-time jobs or other commitments opt for the longer 30 month programme of study.
This programme is also offered as a campus-based taught programme for both full-time and part-time students.
Find out more about this course and our facilities by attending one of our regular open evenings where you can meet teaching staff and current students.
On this course you will:
The course will allow you to develop your accounting skills for use in litigation – civil, criminal and corporate (including business valuation, assessment of economic damages, proceeds of crime, fraud and money laundering). Alongside processes and procedures, you will learn how to investigate a variety of financial crime and regulatory compliance cases, gather evidence, prepare expert reports and evidence. In this context you will also consider areas such as corporate integrity and management control, fraud and forensic analysis, cyber-crime, corporate social responsibility, and interviewing and testimony.
Benefits to employers, financial and legal professionals, and organisations also include:
The University encourages the use of technology to improve and support students' learning, and the lecturers are always ready to help us.
Adiodun Odunowo, forensic accounting student
You will study a total of four units which consider a range of exciting topics such as corporate integrity and management control, fraud and forensic analysis, cybercrime and interviewing and testimony. You will learn how to investigate a case, gather evidence, prepare expert reports and provide evidence. The course then concludes with your research dissertation where you’ll have the flexibility to specialise in an area of your choice such as fraud examination, litigation consulting or expert witnessing to name a few.
In the 30-month programme you will study two units in each of year one and year two, followed by the dissertation in the final year.
In the two-year programme, you will study three units in year one followed by one unit and the dissertation in year two.
Here are the units you will study:
Financial Analysis and Modelling enables you togain a critical awareness of the financial environment from both an accounting and finance perspective. You will learn to understand, analyse and interpret company reports, examine the role of the regulatory framework for corporate reporting and the stock market, and explore the pricing of securities. You will also cover the key areas of decision and risk analysis, alongside the process of decision making, key statistical concepts, and selecting and using appropriate analytical software tools as aids to decision making.
Expert Witnessing and Dispute Resolution enables you to examine the full range of formal and informal methods for dispute resolution within common law, and civil and criminal legal systems, whilst also developing an understanding of the legal and practical protocols alongside the procedural knowledge and etiquette governing the appointment and testimony of expert witnesses. You will also develop a clear understanding of the legal basis and critical elements required to construct an expert report for submission in civil and criminal proceedings, as well as how to practically deal with the pressures and issues arising in cross-examination.
Financial Forensics and Investigation develops an understanding of financial crime and regulatory investigatory models so that you can develop a critical, questioning and evaluative approach in assessing financial and other relevant hardcopy and digital data. There will be an emphasis on gathering information from paper and digital sources, as well as interviews and examining key issues and practical innovative approaches to overcoming them. You will also consider the changing investigative landscape.
Financial Crime and the Law focuses on an appreciation and understanding of principles of law and how the current regulatory framework and crime control statutes have developed to deal with them, covering the wide variety of financial crime cases and theory. You will also develop an understanding of the development and importance of corporate governance, including such features as corporate integrity and management control systems.
Dissertation: This is a 15,000-word research project that combines a review of previous research undertaken in your chosen topic with your own data collection and analysis. This provides a unique opportunity for you to demonstrate the subject knowledge you have acquired, as well as your analytical abilities and problem-solving skills which are highly regarded by potential employers. During this phase, your research will be supervised by an experienced academic with expertise in your chosen topic area.
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.
This course is heavily student focused. You will be given resources, materials, help and guidance to complete your studies to your full ability. Using our virtual learning environment you can participate in group discussions with other students in a friendly, yet challenging online class environment. Plus real-time, text-based 'chat sessions' with lecturers will ensure you receive all the support you need throughout the course.
In order to participate in the cross-examination assessment, you will need access to Skype.
You are assessed in a variety of ways to reflect the individual topics, although for the Distance Learning mode of delivery there are no examinations to sit. 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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ASK will help you become a successful university student. Our workshops are designed to improve a number of essential academic skills from essay writing and understanding plagiarism to revision and exam techniques. This is a great way to enhance your academic performance.
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 is an ideal route into a wide range of professional careers in dispute litigation support, fraud examination, and forensic accounting and regulatory investigations The qualification will be suitable for a number of roles in financial regulatory authorities, law firms, accountancy practices and law enforcement agencies. Our Careers and Recruitment team will support you in developing the skills needed to pursue employment opportunities in your chosen career area.
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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