Develop forensic accounting skills for use in civil, corporate and criminal litigation procedures
Why take this course?
Through the application of professional forensic accounting tools, models, techniques and knowledge, you will gain a comprehensive range of skills covering the three core areas of forensic accounting – litigation support, expert witnessing and fraud examination. You’ll learn to apply your specialised accounting skills in a range of areas including business valuation, assessment of economic damages, proceeds of crime, fraud and money laundering.
This programme is taught full-time over one year, part-time over three years, and is also available through a Distance Learning option.
What will I experience?
On this course you will:
- Investigate real-life case studies and learn the processes involved in compiling your own case
- Receive guided support and mentoring from staff through formal meetings and via our use of social media
- Tap in to our Library’s vast selection of electronic resources, which can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection
What opportunities might it lead to?
One of the fastest growing areas of accounting, there is an increasing global demand for specialists with forensic accounting knowledge and skills. Our course therefore aims to provide a progressive, challenging and stimulating framework of study that will equip you to work in this field.
Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:
- audit and assurance
- forensic accounting
- management accounting
- financial analysis
I have always had a passion for accounting and investigating techniques, so the course was perfect for me.
Adiodun Odunowo, MSc Forensic Accounting student
- 1 year full time, 30 months part time
- A second-class honours degree in a relevant subject or equivalent qualification and/or equivalent professional experience. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
2016/17 entry: full time £6,400, part time: £2,130 p/a*
2017/18 entry: full time £7,900, part time: £2,630 p/a*
2016/17 entry: full time £12,700, part time: £4,230 p/a*
2017/18 entry: full time £13,300, part time: £4,430 p/a*
*Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.
+44 (0) 23 9284 2991
- Accounting and Financial Management
- Programme specification
- Programme specification (PT)
Structure & Teaching
You will study a total of five 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 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.
Here are the units you will study:
- Financial Analysis and Modelling: You will gain 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: This unit 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.
- Financial Forensics and Investigation: On this unit you will develop an understanding of the need for an holistic approach in the investigatory models applied so that you can develop a critical, questioning and evaluative approach in assessing financial data. You will consider the primary evidential elements with a particular emphasis on gathering information from interviews and examining key issues and innovative approaches.
- Financial Crime and the Law: You will focus on an appreciation and understanding of the wide variety of financial crime and how the current regulatory framework and crime control statutes have developed to deal with them. Through examining features of corporate integrity and management control systems you will gain an understanding of the development and needs of corporate governance in the context of the control theories of the firm.
- 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.
Teaching and Assessment
We use a combination of teaching methods from lectures, seminars and tutorials to student presentations and activity-based case studies. We are committed to best practice in learning and encourage group participation promoting discussion and debate in a friendly yet, challenging class environment.
How are you assessed?
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.
Facilities & Features
Academic Skills Unit (ASK)
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.
The Portsmouth Business School facilities are modern and the resources plentiful, allowing students to get work done with ease. I particularly enjoyed having the opportunity to learn and use the Bloomberg trading terminals, which financial professionals use daily.
Rachild Crookendale-Ward, MSc Forensic Accounting student
Budgeting for your studies
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.
Careers & Opportunities
This course is an ideal route into a wide range of professional careers in litigation support, expert witnessing and fraud examination. On graduating you will be qualified for a number of roles in financial regulatory authorities, law firms, accountancy practices and law enforcement agencies. We liaise closely with employers and professional bodies to ensure that all our courses are relevant to their business and recruitment needs. Our overall aim is to help you find a fulfilling and financially rewarding job once you graduate.
Roles our graduates have taken on include:
- financial analyst
- internal auditor
- account manager
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.
Benefits of Postgraduate Study
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.
- Postgraduate study may greatly improve your chances of getting that first break.
- Many graduate employers prefer the higher intellectual rigour displayed in postgraduate students.
- Recruiters for roles requiring specialist knowledge or research particularly target those with higher level qualifications.
- Postgraduate study shows you can take the challenge of in-depth study; acquiring transferable skills in team working and problem solving techniques.
- If you have a passion for a particular subject, postgraduate study can also be something undertaken as part of your own development at an appropriate time in your life.
Online application form
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.
Portsmouth Business School holds regular course information events throughout the year - we'd be delighted if you could join us.
Postgraduate Information Days
Our Postgraduate Information Days for 2016 entry have now finished.
If you would like to visit the campus you can download our free walking tour for a self-guided tour of the University. You can visit Monday - Friday between 8.30am and 4.00pm. We have an open-door policy so you will be able to take a look into our buildings, speak to some of our support services and get a feel for the campus. Find out more information about our self-guided walking tours.
If you are unable to visit us, why not contact the admissions team for your course of interest via our course pages.
If you have any further enquiries about postgraduate study at Portsmouth, including advice on the Postgraduate Loan for 2016 entry plus scholarships and bursaries available visit our postgraduate pages.
Staff from our international Office regularly attend overseas exhibitions. To find out more about these and our visits to your region see our International Office exhibitions page.
Fees and Funding
Find out more about fees and funding available to you at Portsmouth.