At a glance
|1 year full-time|
|Mode of study|
A one year full-time programme, it provides an opportunity for you to develop an in-depth understanding of the theory and practice of accounting as well as the critical thinking skills so valued by employers. more
Our innovative MSc Accounting programme sits within Durham’s portfolio of Masters programmes. A one year full-time programme, it provides an opportunity for you to develop an in-depth understanding of the theory and practice of accounting as well as the critical thinking skills so valued by employers. The MSc in Accounting covers key accounting topics including financial statements and their preparation, the practical limitations of financial reporting, and the regulatory framework and its complexities.
This is an ideal programme to choose if you’re looking to pursue a career in accountancy, finance and business.
ACCA Academic Professional Partnership Programme
A key feature of the programme is ACCA’s Academic Professional Partnership Programme (APPP) where eligible students who have successfully passed or received exemptions from F1-F9 of the ACCA Fundamental level, alongside studying for their Masters degree, have the option to register with ACCA and receive a recognised level of tuition towards the new Strategic Professional level exam, Strategic Business Reporting (subject to verification). For more information on the ACCA qualification visit www.accaglobal.com
To achieve your qualification you will need to successfully complete eight core modules, and a dissertation or business project. Should you choose to study towards the ACCA Academic Professional Partnership Programme you will also be required to sit two Professional Level papers, P1 and P2 of the ACCA qualification.
Core and elective modules
You will study:
- Accounting Theory
- Auditing and Assurance Services
- Contemporary Issues in Accounting and Taxation
- Corporate Governance
- Corporate Reporting
- Financial Planning and Control
- Financial Statement Analysis
- Research Methods & Methodology in Accounting
In the third term you will complete a 12,000 word dissertation which could be a specific project with an organisation. Supervised by a faculty member with relevant experience, you’ll investigate in greater detail a subject that you’ve already studied as part of your programme.
This is an opportunity for you to develop your business insight and present your analysis and ideas in a scholarly and professional manner; combine critical discrimination and a sense of proportion in evaluating evidence and the opinions of others.
Adding to your experience
As part of your programme, you have the opportunity to enjoy presentations by academics and practitioners within your chosen area of interest. Past speakers have included representatives of major global multinationals and leading academics, providing an ideal opportunity to gain practical knowledge and progressive insight.
To find out more about the modules available to students studying at Durham University please click here.
Please note: Current modules are indicative. Information for future academic years may change, for example, due to developments in the relevant academic field, or in light of student feedback.
Learning and Teaching
Course Learning and Teaching
The programme is mainly delivered through a mixture of lectures, seminars, and practicals. Lectures provide key contents of a particular topic. Occasionally lectures might be delivered by guest speakers who are internationally recognised academic experts or practitioners in their field. Students can also attend the Durham Speaker Series, providing the opportunity to network with senior business leaders, staff and alumni.
Seminars provide the opportunity for smaller groups of students to solve problems and discuss and debate issues based on knowledge gained through lectures and independent study outside the programme’s formal contact hours. Practicals are medium sized group sessions, where students practice computer software, applying topics from lectures and seminars.
Students study 9 core modules including a 12,000 word dissertation to allow students to carry out independent research and develop their skills in analysis and scholarly expression, using an appropriate theoretical framework. They are supported in writing their dissertation through the study of research methods, and attending individual meetings with an allocated supervisor, who monitors their progress and provides advice.
Throughout the year, students may have the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities. All students have an Academic Adviser who is able to provide general advice on academic matters. Teaching staff are also available to provide additional support on a one-to-one basis via weekly consultation hours.
Outside of timetabled contact hours, students are expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study in preparation for teaching sessions, assignments and other forms of assessment including exams, and general background reading to broaden their subject knowledge. All students have an Academic Adviser who is able to provide general advice on academic matters. Teaching staff are also available to provide additional support on a one-to-one basis via weekly consultation hours.
Subject requirements, level and grade
Please note: The application process opens on 1 October for entry the following academic year.
There is high demand for places on these programmes – typically we receive around 10 applications for each place the University is able to offer. To maximise your chances of being offered one of these places, we recommend that you submit your application to the University as early as possible.
In order to manage the volume of international applications received by the University to allow the University to ensure each application is properly reviewed, considered and processed, applications from candidates must be received as follows:
- Applications from individuals resident in Mainland China must be received by 31 January;
- Applications from any other individuals who would be required to hold a visa in order to study in the UK, must be received by 31 May.
- Applications from those individuals who fall outside of either category specified above, must be received by 31 August.
Should you miss the deadlines specified above, then it may be possible for the University to add your application to a waiting list, which may be consulted in the event that following review and processing of all applications received prior to the deadlines, vacant places remain available on the programme.
The University is under no obligation to make any offer of a place on the programme to any applicant, nor is the University obligated to fill all spaces available on the programme.
Consideration of any application received by the University after expiry of the deadlines specified herein, shall be made at the sole discretion of the University.
The MSc Accounting is designed for new or recent graduates in any subject or discipline.
What do I need first?
The equivalent of a UK first or upper second class honours degree. Check the full list of equivalent qualifications
If you are an international student who does not meet the requirements for direct entry to this degree, you may be eligible to take a pre-Masters pathway programme at the Durham University International Study Centre.
NB Chinese Applicants: Applications will be accepted from students who have graduated from a prestigious university in China. Entry requirements may vary depending upon the reputation of the university you have graduated from and the academic programme you have applied for. As a guide, applicants are expected to have achieved an overall average of 85%.
Additionally, for students considering the ACCA pathway you will be asked to provide evidence of your eligibility to study. You will need to have passed ACCA's Fundamental level exams, F1-F9, or have exemptions from the Fundamental level.
How do I apply?
You will need to complete an online application form.
To support your online application form, you will need to provide the following documents.
- Two academic references using our standard form (Download the form - Word format)
- Official transcript of marks
- Copy of degree certificate (if available)
- Copy of English test results (if available).
You can either upload your supporting documents with your online application or email them to the Postgraduate Admissions Office using the contact details below.
Only files of type .doc, .docx, .gif, .jpg, .pdf, .png, .rtf are permitted to be uploaded.
The maximum file size is 5MB.
Once we receive your online application form, you’ll get an automatic email within 48 hours asking you to pay the £60 application fee* which is required to progress your application.
You’ll need to follow the link in the email to the webpage where you can confirm your details and make the payment using a debit or credit card. This is a secure website operated by Secpay, which will send you an automatic receipt of payment.
Once we receive confirmation that your application fee has been paid, we’ll be able to progress your application. If you do not pay the application fee your application will be automatically withdrawn.
If you’re applying for a full-time programme you’ll need to become a member of one of our Colleges as well as being accepted by a department. Here’s more information about how the college system works. Once you accept your programme offer, the College Postgraduate Office will get in touch with you to arrange accommodation. Please note that demand for college accommodation usually exceeds availability, so please try to arrange it as soon as possible.
Here are the steps in the admissions process:
- We will let you know when we’ve received your application.
- If applicable, you will be asked to pay our application fee.
- Once we’ve received all of your supporting documents, we will email you to let you know our decision.
- If the decision is to make you an offer of a place on the programme we will let you know by email. Please note we do not issue hard copy offer letters as these are not required to obtain a student visa.
- If you have requested university accommodation on your application form, the college will contact you direct. They will send you an accommodation application form, which you should complete and return direct to the college.
- You should confirm acceptance of your offer as soon as possible. In order to secure your place, you are required to pay a deposit within six weeks of the date of your original offer (check your offer documents for details of payment methods).
- International students requiring a student visa will receive a CAS (Certificate of Acceptance of Studies) via email once all offer conditions are met, acceptance and deposit have been received and you are within five months of the start date of your programme.
Note: The University is under no obligation to make any offer of a place on the programme to any applicant, nor is the University obligated to fill all spaces available on the programme.
Consideration of any application received by the University after expiry of the deadlines specified herein, shall be made at the sole discretion of the University.
English Language requirements
Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.
How to apply
Fees and Funding
Fees and Funding
Full Time Fees
|EU Student||£14,500.00 per year|
|Home Student||£14,500.00 per year|
|Island Student||£14,500.00 per year|
|International non-EU Student||£23,000.00 per year|
Note: Fees are subject to review and change in-line with inflation.
Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.
Scholarships and funding
Open Days and Visits
This Masters programme provides an opportunity for students who have successfully passed ACCA's Fundamental s exams (papers F1-F9) or have exemptions from the Fundamentals exams from a previous qualification.
The main benefit of this Masters programme is that while you are studying at Durham University Business School, you can also study towards two ACCA Professional-level exams: Strategic Professional level exam, Strategic Business Reporting (subject to verification).
This is an ideal programme to choose if you are looking to pursue a career in accountancy, finance and business which will give you a strong advantage when entering an increasingly competitive employment market.
Benefits of completing the MSc Accounting - Academic Professional Partnership Programme include:
- studying at Durham University Business School, a top UK Russell Group University
- a one-year Masters degree programme that has been designed to include two of ACCA's Professional level papers
- a pathway specifically created for progression from BSc to MSc Accounting, while also completing ACCA Professional level papers
- studying within an international context gives you a competitive edge on a global level , will help increase your employability which is attractive to employers around the world.
The MSc Accounting programme is an ACCA Academic Professional Partnership Programme.
Meet the Faculty
- Professor Omneya Abdelsalam
- Prof Carol Adams
- Dr Danny Chow
- Mr Gavin D'Northwood
- Professor Laurence Ferry
- Mr Stuart Green
- Mrs Anne Hall
- Mr Terry Harris
- Dr Hwa-hsien Hsu
- Dr Nor Kadir
- Ms Francine Le Saint
- Mr Darren Leiser
- Ms Jan (Sarah) Loughran
- Mr Tom Mclean
- Mr Anthony Miller
- Dr Eshref Trushin
- Professor Julian Williams
- Dr John Zhang
Core module overviews
Please note: The module content below applies to the current academic year and is intended as an indication only as it may be subject to change in the future.
- The financial reporting environment
- The regulation of financial accounting
- Conceptual framework projects
- Positive accounting theories
- Systems oriented theories
- Social and environmental factors in financial reporting
- Critical perspectives on accounting
- Methodological issues in experimental and market-based accounting research
Auditing and Assurance Services
- An introduction to audit and other assurance services
- Standards, materiality, and risk
- Audit reports
- Professional ethics
- Audit evidences
- The audit process and detecting fraud
- Audit sampling
- Other assurance and attestation services
- Compliance and internal auditing
- Auditing for the public sector
Contemporary Issues in Accounting and Taxation
- Professionalism, reputation and ethics in accounting
- Narrative disclosures, impression management and communication clarity
- International accounting and harmonisation of accounting standards
- Advanced financial risk management techniques and ethical issues in financial management
- Corporate tax planning and regulatory responses
- International taxation systems
- Implications of technological developments on accounting and taxation
- Research agendas in accounting and taxation
- Corporate governance and the theory of the firm
- The Board of Directors
- The rationale for, and impact of, best practice codes for corporate governance
- Investors and corporate governance
- Insider ownership and corporate performance
- Executive and Board remuneration decisions
- The market for corporate control: theory and evidence
- Corporate governance and corporate finance: capital structure and investment decisions
- International aspects of corporate governance
- Presentation of financial statements
- Ethical duties of accountants
- Non-financial, environmental and social reporting
- Reporting the financial performance of entities (international accounting standards (IAS/IFRS))
- Financial statements of groups of entities
- Analysis and interpretation of financial statements
Financial Planning and Control
- Understanding cost behaviour
- Strategic planning and short term budgeting
- Resource allocation and capacity costs and pricing decisions
- Activity-based costing systems and activity-based management
- Financial measures of performance, international dimensions and advanced ynvestment appraisal techniques
- Strategic management accounting and balanced scorecard
- Incentive measures and performance
Financial Statement Analysis
- Revision of financial statements
- Basics of analysis
- Liquidity of short-term assets; related debt-paying ability
- Long-term debt-paying ability
- Decision-making and statement of cash flows for investors
- Extended analysis: specific industries
- Voluntary disclosures
- Accruals and earnings management.
Research Methods and Methodology in Accounting
- Accounting research philosophies
- Methods of accounting research
- Techniques of critical analysis
- Accounting research ethics
- Using programming software for accounting research purposes (e.g. STATA)
What our students think
I chose Durham because of its reputation around the world. Msc Accounting is focused on accounting learning which will help me enter the profession.
The course includes accounting skills such as auditing, corporate reporting, financial statement analysis, and business management such as corporate governance. From a broad and basic perspective, we learned accounting theory and business thinking. Other modules covered contemporary issues in accounting such as sustainable reporting and integrated reporting.
I have now joined EY in China, and know that what I have learned and experienced at Durham University will be really useful.
I chose to study the MSc Accounting programme at Durham University Business School due to its prestigious reputation and its close connections with the ACCA.
The programme covers both theory and practice. Our sessions were delivered by both academics and senior managers from a number of companies, providing me with an in-depth understanding of accounting from different perspectives.
The School is highly focused on student career and skills development, and the Careers Centre provides a variety of services, including networking with businesses, latest job opportunities and tailored career consultations.
I know my Durham MSc in Accounting will enable me to reach my career goals.
The Durham MSc Accounting programme has not only provided me with a holistic accounting and business education, it has inspired me to focus on my future career. This diverse programme has further developed my knowledge, shown me the most up-to-date international accounting reporting practices, and given me career advice and support. With motivating academic and professional staff across the School, I know I made the right choice to study at Durham.
"The programme covers both theory and practice. Our sessions were delivered by both academics and senior managers from a number of companies, providing me with an in-depth understanding of accounting from different perspectives."