Accounting calculator and graph
Mode of Study
Full-time, Part-time, Full-time by distance learning, Part-time by distance learning
Duration
1 year full-time, 30 months part-time, 1 year full-time distance learning, 2 years part-time distance learning, 30 months part-time distance learning
Start Date
September 2023, January 2023
Accredited
Yes

Overview

Explore financial crime investigations and work with business legal teams on this forensic accounting Master’s. Prepare for your career as a forensic accountant, or in internal auditing or compliance, whether you’ve studied accounting in the past or not. 

Develop your knowledge and critical analysis skills as you investigate where things have gone wrong in business. 

You’ll study financial crime, law and fraud as you focus on business crime prevention and prepare for case discussions with lawyers. You'll apply your learning in topical case studies and develop your understanding of what to look for in financial accounts in industry.

To start, you'll explore topics including data modelling, accountancy basics and valuations. You’ll then discover forensic investigation and fraud examination, as well as corporate governance and ethics, and learn to be an expert witness in our replica courtroom.

By learning from experienced lecturers and industry guest speakers you’ll gain a better understanding of the industry as a whole, and have opportunities to network with guests and fellow accountancy students from across the department. 

You'll graduate ready for your forensic accounting or compliance career. To get the most out of this course you should be analytical and curious, and keen to specialise in forensic accounting. 

Eligibility

This course accepts UK, EU, and international students.

Course highlights

  • Discover forensic accounting, law and policy 
  • Use real-world case studies 
  • Apply your learning in practical assessments in our replica court room
  • Learn how to prevent financial crime
  • Prepare to support businesses in industry 
  • Network with and learn from industry guest speakers
  • Use materials from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners 
  • Benefit from our partnerships with various accounting and audit partners and our work with the Financial Reporting Council
CIMA Logo

Accreditation

This course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). This means that you won't have to take some of the CIMA exams if you want to be CIMA certified after you graduate. You'll have completed part of your professional qualification by doing this degree. Find out more about these exceptions on the CIMA website

We're a member of the Anti-Fraud Education Partnership with the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. 

What you'll study on this MSc Forensic Accounting course

Full-time

Modules studied

All modules on this MSc Forensic Accounting Master's are core.

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Critically evaluate current issues and practices in the areas of corporate governance, ethics and control, using the latest international corporate governance practices, and propose ways in which sustainable value for business can be established
  • Analyse the effectiveness of corporate governance practices' in a real-life case study

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Understand different stages of data science
  • Understand the process of data cleansing
  • Understand fundamental concepts in data analytics and machine learning
  • Understand and critically apply common algorithms given sets of data and requirements

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Develop a theoretical background and recognise the data and analytics different concepts and terminology
  • Develop a good understanding of data management and evaluate its theories and techniques
  • Critically evaluate the data governance and ethics with focus on Forensic Acc and data-based auditing
  • Practice and evaluate the applicable methods to collect, clean, handle, and manage massive amounts of data, using real-life sample datasets and considering Forensic accounting research and data-based auditing
  • Assess and critically review the different applicable methods to ensure the data security and reliability

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Define, differentiate and compare the conceptual themes, legal and procedural features of the various dispute resolution methods
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the framework that defines and informs the role of the forensic practitioner as an expert witness within the different systems of dispute resolution
  • Critically evaluate the reporting requirements for experts and assessors laid down in the Civil Procedure Rules Part 35, the Civil Procedure Practice Direction Part 35 and the Criminal Procedure Rules Part 19

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Evaluate the purpose of a company's annual report, and its relationship with share valuation methods and earnings management practices
  • Analyse and critically interpret company information, both from the stock market and the annual report and have practical knowledge of these applications, having developed a comprehensive understanding of the limitations of such information
  • Critically interpret market reactions to accounting information and evaluate the role of auditors in financial reporting quality

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Differentiate the various current models and theories of motivation and evaluate their relationship to financial crime as investigated by forensic accountants
  • Critically appraise the historical and contemporary perspectives and forms of serious financial crime investigated by forensic accountants
  • Critically evaluate the special characteristics of financial crime investigated by forensic accountants, such as the difficulties of measuring it and morally assessing it
  • Appreciate the current regulatory and criminal law framework for financial crime and the models and techniques used to prevent and deter crime; and the structure and contextual issues relating to the law enforcement agencies tasked with fighting financial crime in conjunction with forensic accountants

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Develop an understanding of the theory of regulatory, digital, and financial crime investigations
  • Evaluate techniques for conducting regulatory, digital, and financial crime investigations
  • Judge the importance and impact of technology on forensic investigations

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Clarify, specify and justify the aims of an independent research project
  • Review, assess and draw on relevant previous research, including, where appropriate, that which advances our understanding about the role, dynamics and impact of corporations in the creation of sustainable social, environmental and economic value
  • Draw appropriate conclusions and recommendations from research outcomes, supported by relevant evidence and arguments
  • Communicate the aims, review of previous research, critical analysis of research methodology, arguments and conclusions and recommendations of the research project in a clearly written and structured document
  • Be able to complete an independent research project under supervision taking the advice from the supervisor effectively

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • To introduce to the student the fundamental concepts which can be used to understand and improve the process of decision making
  • Use appropriate statistical methods to analyse a variety of financial decisions
  • Use appropriate methods to analyse a variety of financial decisions

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Understand and apply the critical elements of writing expert reports
  • Appreciate the varying form and nature of criminal, civil, and other dispute reports
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the expert witness testimony requirements

Explore this module

Part-time

Year 1
Year 2
Year 3
All modules on this MSc Forensic Accounting Master's are core.

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Critically evaluate current issues and practices in the areas of corporate governance, ethics and control, using the latest international corporate governance practices, and propose ways in which sustainable value for business can be established
  • Analyse the effectiveness of corporate governance practices' in a real-life case study

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Evaluate the purpose of a company's annual report, and its relationship with share valuation methods and earnings management practices
  • Analyse and critically interpret company information, both from the stock market and the annual report and have practical knowledge of these applications, having developed a comprehensive understanding of the limitations of such information
  • Critically interpret market reactions to accounting information and evaluate the role of auditors in financial reporting quality

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Differentiate the various current models and theories of motivation and evaluate their relationship to financial crime as investigated by forensic accountants
  • Critically appraise the historical and contemporary perspectives and forms of serious financial crime investigated by forensic accountants
  • Critically evaluate the special characteristics of financial crime investigated by forensic accountants, such as the difficulties of measuring it and morally assessing it
  • Appreciate the current regulatory and criminal law framework for financial crime and the models and techniques used to prevent and deter crime; and the structure and contextual issues relating to the law enforcement agencies tasked with fighting financial crime in conjunction with forensic accountants

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Develop an understanding of the theory of regulatory, digital, and financial crime investigations
  • Evaluate techniques for conducting regulatory, digital, and financial crime investigations
  • Judge the importance and impact of technology on forensic investigations

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • To introduce to the student the fundamental concepts which can be used to understand and improve the process of decision making
  • Use appropriate statistical methods to analyse a variety of financial decisions
  • Use appropriate methods to analyse a variety of financial decisions

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Understand different stages of data science
  • Understand the process of data cleansing
  • Understand fundamental concepts in data analytics and machine learning
  • Understand and critically apply common algorithms given sets of data and requirements

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Develop a theoretical background and recognise the data and analytics different concepts and terminology
  • Develop a good understanding of data management and evaluate its theories and techniques
  • Critically evaluate the data governance and ethics with focus on Forensic Acc and data-based auditing
  • Practice and evaluate the applicable methods to collect, clean, handle, and manage massive amounts of data, using real-life sample datasets and considering Forensic accounting research and data-based auditing
  • Assess and critically review the different applicable methods to ensure the data security and reliability

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Define, differentiate and compare the conceptual themes, legal and procedural features of the various dispute resolution methods
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the framework that defines and informs the role of the forensic practitioner as an expert witness within the different systems of dispute resolution
  • Critically evaluate the reporting requirements for experts and assessors laid down in the Civil Procedure Rules Part 35, the Civil Procedure Practice Direction Part 35 and the Criminal Procedure Rules Part 19

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Understand and apply the critical elements of writing expert reports
  • Appreciate the varying form and nature of criminal, civil, and other dispute reports
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the expert witness testimony requirements

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Clarify, specify and justify the aims of an independent research project
  • Review, assess and draw on relevant previous research, including, where appropriate, that which advances our understanding about the role, dynamics and impact of corporations in the creation of sustainable social, environmental and economic value
  • Draw appropriate conclusions and recommendations from research outcomes, supported by relevant evidence and arguments
  • Communicate the aims, review of previous research, critical analysis of research methodology, arguments and conclusions and recommendations of the research project in a clearly written and structured document
  • Be able to complete an independent research project under supervision taking the advice from the supervisor effectively

Explore this module

Changes to course content

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. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Careers and opportunities

Careers this Master’s prepares you for

This Master’s degree will help you to specialise in forensic accounting and build on your business or accountancy studies at undergraduate level.

You'll benefit from CIMA exam exemptions after you graduate. This means you'll have fewer exams to sit to become an accredited forensic accountant. 

Graduates of this course have gone onto areas such as:

  • forensic accounting
  • business accounting
  • compliance
  • internal auditing

9 reasons to do a Master's

Career outcomes shown are sourced from the latest available graduate outcome surveys. The data shows career outcomes at 15 months after graduation.

Career planning

During your course you'll have expert career support from our Careers and Employability Centre, your tutors and our Business and Law Career-Ready Programme. This support will continue for 5 years after you graduate.

Female student standing at careers and employability help desk

You'll benefit from:

  • Networking events
  • Regular emails from the Career Ready Programme sharing job opportunities, application tips and events
  • Applied projects with companies such as IBM, Boeing and Hampshire County Council
  • Workshops to enhance your employability skills
  • Recruitment events including the Student and Graduate Opportunities Fair
  • 1-to-1 appointments 
  • CV and cover letter advice
  • Interview preparation and practice
  • Support starting your own business

Learn more about your career support

How you'll spend your time

We recognise that you'll probably be juggling more demands when you do your Master's degree, as you may be working or you may have family responsibilities.

We'll give you as much indication here as we can of how much time you'll need to spend in on-campus or in online lectures and seminars and how many hours you can expect to spend in self-directed study, but please note that these indications are always subject to change.

Course structure

You will study the same modules on this course if you study full-time or part-time, and whether you study on campus or through distance learning. 

You can study this course: 

  • Full-time over 1 year, on campus or via distance learning
  • Part-time over 2 years by distance learning
  • Part-time over 30 months on campus or by distance learning, or by distance learning starting in January 

If you choose to study on campus you should plan to attend campus every weekday.  

If you choose to study by distance learning, your classes will be pre-recorded and available online so you can study in your own time.

Assessment

You'll be assessed through:

  • cross examinations (law court)
  • presentations
  • assignments

Full details of assessment can be found in the modules in the 'What you'll study' section.

Teaching

Master's study is deeper and more specialised than an undergraduate degree. This means you'll focus on something that really matters to you and your career as you work closely with academics committed to the subject.

You'll spend more time in independent study and research than you did for your undergraduate degree. If you choose campus based study, the majority of your teaching time will be in-person and face-to-face.

Teaching staff

These are some of the expert staff who'll teach you on this course:

Portrait photo of Christina Philippou smiling to camera.

Christina Philippou

I qualified as a chartered accountant with PKF (now BDO), where I specialised in auditing across a variety of business sectors. I then spent 8 years working as a forensic accountant for Deloitte in London. I joined the University in 2015.

I'm particularly interested in forensic accounting and fraud in sport and I've done a lot of research on the finances of football. I created a football finance course for the Premier League's Elite Academy Managers programme (EAM) and I'm Director of Policy at 'Fair Game'.

Read my full profile

Professor Lisa Jack

Professor Lisa Jack

I am one of the few accounting researchers to investigate the agri-food industry. I write about the effects of accounting and performance measurement practices on the industry, and on society more widely. In particular, I investigate fraud in the food and drink industry. I have also led a successful project, on the growing costs and other problems associated with retail returns in from online purchases. This work has brought me into contact with major retailers in Europe and is continuing with new projects around costing, lean management and circular economy in omnichannel environments.

Read my full profile

Term dates

September start

The Master's academic year runs from September to the following September. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter. Over the summer you'll be writing your project / dissertation.

January start

Courses that start in January have the same amount of teaching as September-start courses, but they normally run over a longer time period.

January-start courses normally run between 14–18 months, beginning in January and ending in the spring / summer of the following year. There are breaks at Christmas, Easter and in the summer. In the last few months you’ll be writing your project / dissertation.

See key dates

Joining us as an international student

You'll feel at home in our international community and our diverse city. You'll be joining over 5,000 international students from more than 150 countries who are studying with us.

Learn more about international student life and how we can help you with visas, applications, arrival and settling in. 

Information for international students

Facilities

Student at workstation in the Bloomberg Suite

Bloomberg Suite

Access data from the world's global financial markets and gain experience using industry standard software.

Discover our Bloomberg Suite

Students taking part in a practical learning session in our replica courtroom

Replica courtroom

Explore how laws and policies operate in practice and build the skills you'll need to present and attend cases in our realistic copy of a Crown Court, complete with witness stand, jury box, public gallery and defendant dock.

Learn more about the courtroom

Placement Software Engineer Criterion Games EA Prisha Gellaboina at her desk

Business analytics software

Use industry standard business analytics software such as Microsoft BI, Python, and Tableau.

Supporting your learning

Master's study is more focused on independent learning than undergraduate study, but you'll get lots of support via video and phone from teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. If you choose to study on-campus, you'll also get face-to-face support. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:

Types of support

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to postgraduate study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your Master's.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.

In addition to the support you get from your personal tutor, you'll also have access to our student engagement officers. They can give you confidential, impartial advice on anything to do with your studies and personal wellbeing, and refer you to specialist support services if you need extra help or support.

The Maths Cafe offers free advice and help with maths skills in a friendly, informal environment. You can come to our daily drop-in sessions, develop your maths skills at a workshop, or use our online resources.

You'll have help from a team of study support tutors. Based within the Faculty of Business and Law, these tutors are familiar with the specific requirements your assignments and work closely with faculty academics. This means they can give you focused support with the specific study skills you need to be successful on your course. They're available face-to-face, by phone, email, and by video call.

They can help with:

  • academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations, projects and literature reviews)
  • reflective writing skills
  • critical thinking skills
  • delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
  • understanding and using assignment feedback
  • managing your time and workload
  • revision and exam techniques

If you're a mature student, specialist support to help you return to learning is available.

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University's Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone, or online chat to help you make the most of the University's library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from librarians who specialise in business and law.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to:

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

​Course costs and funding

Tuition fees (September 2022 / January 2023 start)

All figures given are for the full award. For part-time study this figure will be broken down into annual payments.

On campus September 2022 start
  • Full time (1 year): £10,900
  • Part time (30 months): £10,900
Distance learning September 2022 / January 2023 start
  • Full time (1 year): £9,400
  • Part time (2 years): £9,400
  • Part time (30 months): £9,400

All figures given are for the full award. For part-time study this figure will be broken down into annual payments.

On campus September 2022 start
  • Full time (1 year): £10,900
  • Part time (30 months): £10,900
Distance learning September 2022 / January 2023 start
  • Full time (1 year): £9,400
  • Part time (2 years): £9,400
  • Part time (30 months): £9,400

(including Transition Scholarship)

All figures given are for the full award. For part-time study this figure will be broken down into annual payments.

On campus September 2022 start
  • Full time (1 year): £18,300
  • Part time (30 months): £18,300
Distance learning September 2022 / January 2023 start
  • Full time (1 year): £9,400
  • Part time (2 years): £9,400
  • Part time (30 months): £9,400

University of Portsmouth graduates may receive a 20% alumni tuition fee discount

Fees are subject to annual increase. Read our tuition fees terms and conditions.

You'll be able to pay your fees in instalments. Find out how to pay your tuition fees.

Funding your studies

Explore how to fund your studies, including available scholarships and bursaries.

If you're a UK student, you may be eligible for a Government Postgraduate Master's Loan, which you can use to help with course fees and living costs.

If you're a UK student who achieved a first in your undergraduate degree you may be eligible for a £3,000 University of Portsmouth scholarship.

Additional costs

These course-related costs aren't included in the tuition fees so you'll need to budget for them when you plan your spending. Additional costs could include:

  • Accommodation: If you choose to study on-campus, accommodation options and costs can be found on our accommodation pages
  • Recommended reading: You can borrow key texts from the library and if you choose to purchase these texts they may cost up to £60 each.
  • General costs: such photocopying, memory sticks, printing charges, binding and specialist printing. We suggest budgeting £75 per year.
  • Final project transport or accommodation: where necessary, which related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

Read more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Entry requirements​

Eligibility

This course accepts UK, EU, and international students.

September 2023

  • A second-class honours degree in a relevant or related subject, which includes some element of statistics or quantitative methods, or equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications.

Please get in touch if you're not sure if your undergraduate subject is relevant to this degree.

Equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will also be considered, such as previous study, employment, voluntary work and training courses, including courses and qualifications you didn't complete. Learn more about our Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

If you're applying as an international student with a non-UK degree, you’ll need to show you meet the UK entry requirements listed above.

To find out if your non-UK degree or other qualification is accepted, please visit our page for your country and view the UK equivalent of your qualification. 

  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 (or equivalent) with no component score below 6.0.

You do not need an IELTS or equivalent certification if:

  • you have a UK degree
  • you have a degree from a majority English speaking country (not taught by Distance Learning)
  • you are a national of a majority English speaking country

Degrees taught solely in English from non-majority English speaking countries will be considered on a case by case basis. Find out more about our English language requirements.

If you do not meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

How to apply

Unlike undergraduate applications, which go through UCAS, applications for this Master's course are made directly to us.

There's no deadline for applications to this course. We accept applications right up until the start dates in September and January, as long as there are places available. If you wait until your start month to apply, you may find that the course is full. 

If you're applying to study on-campus as an international student, remember that you'll need to leave plenty of time to get your visa organised.

You can find more advice about applying in our Master's application checklist. International students and current students and recent graduates of the University of Portsmouth also have some different application options, which are detailed below.

Extra information for international students

If you're an international student, you can apply directly to us using the same application form as UK students.

You could also get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region. To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.

If you don’t meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Ready to apply?

Standard applications

Start this course in January 2023

Distance learning

Apply now (Part-time) – 30 months

I'm a current Portsmouth student, or a recent Portsmouth graduate

If you're currently in your final year of study at Portsmouth, or you graduated since July 2021, you're eligible to make a fast track application. You'll have:

  • a shorter application form to complete
  • access to the 20% Alumni fee discount
  • a guaranteed conditional offer, for most Master's courses 

Learn more about fast track

After you apply

Once we receive your application, we may ask you for further information. We will then either make you an offer or suggest alternatives if your application is unsuccessful.

You'll usually get a decision within 10 working days, so you shouldn't have to wait too long. Some courses have an interview stage – we'll let you know if you need to prepare for one.

Learn more about how we assess your application.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.