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Durham University

Postgraduate Module Handbook 2022/2023

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2021-22. The current handbook year is 2022-23

Department: Accounting

ACCT401JN: Auditing and Assurance Services

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2021/22
Tied to N3K109 Finance
Tied to N3K209 Finance (Accounting and Finance)
Tied to N3K309 Finance (Corporate and International Finance) (Last intake of students October 2021)
Tied to N3K409 Finance (Finance and Investment)
Tied to N3K509 Finance (International Money, Finance and Investment) (Last intake of students October 2021)
Tied to N3K609 Finance (International Banking and Finance) (Last intake of students October 2021)
Tied to N3K709 Finance (Economics and Finance)
Tied to L1T509 Accounting


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To examine the practice of auditing and the underlying concepts including:
  • the development of the role of the audit function in modern business society;
  • the governance roles/responsibilities of external audit functions;
  • the concepts of audit quality and assurance;
  • the contribution of audit research in understanding practice and informing policy/regulatory debates.


  • An Introduction to Audit and other Assurance Services
  • Globalisation of auditing - standards and regulation
  • External audit quality issues such as the role of the audit committee
  • Professional ethics
  • The audit process issues such as audit engagement, sampling and audit risk
  • Other process issues such as sampling, materiality and audit evidence
  • Audit expectation gap and expanded audit reports
  • Alternate assurance and attestation services
  • Future of external audit

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students should have a specialist knowledge and critical understanding of:
  • the role of external audit function
  • the enduring issues surrounding the quality of external audit
  • the contribution of audit research in informing policy debate
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of this module students should be able to:
  • critically appreciate the role of external audit function in the modern business society.
Key Skills:
  • written communication
  • planning, organising and time management
  • problem-solving and analytical skills

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • A combination of lectures, seminars, small group work and guided reading will contribute to achieving the aims and learning outcomes of this module.
  • The summative written assignment will test students' specialist knowledge and critical understanding of the material covered in the module, and their communication, problem-solving and analytical skills.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 10 1 per week 2 hours 20
Seminars 4 1 per fortnight 1 hour 4
Preparation, Reading and Independent Study 126
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written assignment 2,500 words max 100% Same

Formative Assessment:

Small group presentations during seminar sessions. Additional formative assessment, and feedback, may take a number of forms such as oral feedback on work prepared by students for seminars; answers to questions either discussed during a seminar, or posted on DUO.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University