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 core areas of forensic accounting:
- dispute and litigation support
- expert witnessing
- fraud examination and financial crime
- regulatory investigations
You will 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 can:
- Investigate real-life case studies and learn the processes involved in compiling your own case.
- Participate in Web-based chat forums to discuss your work with lecturers and other students.
- Tap in to our Library’s vast selection of electronic resources, which can be accessed from anywhere with an Internet connection.
Your assessments will be reflective of real-world scenarios and you will be assigned a personal tutor.
What opportunities might it lead to?
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 present 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 development of accounting skills for use in disputes and litigation.
- Knowledge of evidence-gathering and investigative techniques, ADR (alternative dispute resolution) and litigation processes and procedures, preparation of expert reports and evidence.
I have always had a passion for accounting and investigating techniques, so the course was perfect for me.
Adiodun Odunowo, MSc Forensic Accounting student
or apply now
- 1 year full time, 30 months part time
- 2018 entry requirements
- 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
2017/18 entry: full time £7,900, part time: £2,630 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
Structure & Teaching
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.
Financial Analysis and Modelling allows you to 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. In addition, the key areas of decision and risk analysis are covered, 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 disputes 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.
Your Dissertation is the final part of the course. You will undertake 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
The MSc Forensic Accounting is an ideal route into a wide range of professional roles in dispute and 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.
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.
Visit us or apply now
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.
Postgraduate Information Days
We will confirm the dates of events related to 2018 entry soon. Visit the link below to get a reminder when booking opens.
Other opportunities to visit
Download our free walking tour PDF for a self-guided tour of the University. You can visit Monday to Friday between 8.30am and 4pm.
We have an open-door policy so you will be able to take a look in our buildings, speak to some of our support services and get a feel for the campus.
Can't get to Portsmouth?
If you can’t make it to Portsmouth, come and speak with us about the courses we offer and life and study in Portsmouth at one of the events we attend around the UK.
Staff from our International Office also regularly attend overseas exhibitions. To find out more about these and our visits to your region see our International Office exhibitions page.
If you are unable to visit us, contact the admissions team – see the 'Key Facts' section above for contact details.
Fees and Funding
Find out more about fees and funding available to you at Portsmouth.