Accountancy and Business Management, MA

Accountancy and Business Management, MA

Introduction

Accountancy and Business Management at Aberdeen will help you gain a strong advantage in pursuing a career in business and finance. You will gain a thorough grounding in the theory and practice of accountancy and will acquire the business knowledge and skills to manage the challenges of fast-moving regional, national and global economies.

Study Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MA
Duration
48 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
September
UCAS Code
NN24
Pathway Programme Available
Undergraduate Foundation Programme
Degree marketing image

You will gain a strong foothold in accountancy and develop the analysis and evaluation skills required to process accounting information in a modern economy.

Your studies in Business Management will complement your learning in Accountancy, giving you a strong ‘people’ perspective and a wide understanding of how organisations function as well as the challenges they face as business becomes increasingly global.

Your skills will develop within the confines of a dynamic learning and research environment, inspired by staff from a range of professional backgrounds and financial markets. You will learn how complex organisations operate and will benefit from being involved in real-life scenarios.

You will have access to professional training facilities such as our virtual trading room and the Bloomberg finance lab, which is used by major financial service companies across the world.

You will thrive in the international, dynamic environment of our Business School with classmates from over 40 nationalities creating a truly global experience. The support you will receive from teaching staff and dedicated careers advisers will help you to develop as an individual with the skills and attributes sought by employers from a range of businesses.

What You'll Study

Year 1

Compulsory Courses

Academic Writing for Business (AW1003)

This compulsory evaluation is designed to find out if your academic writing is of a sufficient standard to enable you to succeed at university and, if you need it, to provide support to improve. It is completed on-line via MyAberdeen with clear instructions to guide you through it. If you pass the evaluation at the first assessment it will not take much of your time. If you do not, you will be provided with resources to help you improve. This evaluation does not carry credits but if you do not complete it this will be recorded on your degree transcript.

Accounting and Accountability (AC1011)

15 Credit Points

This course introduces the theoretical and contextual foundation of accounting. It does not involve any technical aspects of accounting or bookkeeping but provides an introduction to the political, economic, institutional, professional and managerial context of accounting. The main content includes:

  • Socio-political and economic mechanisms of accountability; theories of accountability.
  • Constitution of organisations and the role of accounting within organisations.
  • Constitution of accounting as a business function: how accounting is organised within organisations.
  • Constitution of Accountancy as a Profession: how accountancy is organised as a profession.
  • Sustainability and accounting: how accounting is reorganised to address sustainability issues.
The Economics of Business and Society (EC1006)

15 Credit Points

This course is an introductory course in microeconomics where we study the decision making of individual actors (consumers, employees, firms, governments, etc.) in an economy. Actors must make decisions about behaviours because they face scarce resources, but often they find that trading with other actors in markets can increase the wellbeing of all parties. This course models and examines the nature of these interactions, highlighting when they work well and when they fail to increase wellbeing and what might be the solution to these failures.

Finance 1: Finance, Risk and Investment (FI1004)

15 Credit Points

This foundation course in finance, risk and investment is the requisite for several degree programmes and for level 2 real estate and finance courses. The module considers the nature and operation of investment markets, focusing on three asset classes; shares, bonds and real estate. It looks at the characteristics of these investment options in terms of their risks and returns. The module introduces basic financial mathematics: time value of money, calculation of present values and investment rates of return. Finally, it considers the role of financial institutions and regulatory bodies in personal finance, where consumers and financial markets interact.

Managing Organizations (MS1009)

15 Credit Points

The aim of this course is to introduce students to the fundamentals of management, the internal structure and processes of organisations. Students will understand the main functions of management, what management is, what managers do and the factors that influence behaviour and performance of managers and other employees within an organisation.

The course will introduce a range of theories, research and real-life illustrations of a diverse range of management practices and organisational behaviour. The course will cover areas of: Staffing, Groups and Teams, Leadership and Management, Human Resource Management, Organisational Structure, Culture and Change, Communication, Marketing, Branding and Organisational Processes.

Accounting and Entrepreneurship (AC1515)

15 Credit Points

This is an introduction to accounting which aims to provide an understanding of how organisations – particularly small and medium sized businesses – capture, create and use accounting information both to guide their activities internally within the management function and to communicate their financial performance and position to external users of the accounts. This course allows students to develop practical and analytical skills through a problem-solving approach to accounting-related aspects of business performance reporting and control, particularly in relation to bookkeeping, accounts preparation, budgeting and management accounting.

Getting Started at the University of Aberdeen (PD1002)

This course, which is prescribed for level 1 undergraduate students (and articulating students who are in their first year at the University), is studied entirely online, takes approximately 5-6 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks.

Topics include orientation overview, equality and diversity, health, safety and cyber security and how to make the most of your time at university in relation to careers and employability.

Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’.

Optional Courses

Plus, further credit points from courses of choice to gain a total of 120 credits.

Year 2

Compulsory Courses

Management Accounting 2 (AC2031)

15 Credit Points

This course extends the operational tools and techniques introduced in AC1515. It develops more complex problem-solving techniques in the planning, control and decision-making process. It shows how quantitative methods and analytical techniques can be applied in management accounting solutions to management problems. It also emphasises the diverse industrial, commercial and not-for-profit settings in which management accountants work. It seeks to develop in students an understanding of the organisational context as well as the nature of management accounting information. The focus is to enhance students' problem-solving and communication skills, and develop their ability to select and apply appropriate techniques in specific contexts.

Finance 2: Business Finance (FI2004)

15 Credit Points

The main aim of this course is to develop a sound understanding of fundamental principles underlying the theory and practice of finance, thereby providing a strong basis for further study of advanced finance theory and cognate disciplines. The course introduces students to important concepts in finance: principles of assets pricing, concept of risk and return, theory of interest rates and pricing fixed income securities, evaluation of investment project with a focus on embedded real options. It equips students with good analytical skills in order to understand the implications of financial decisions by understanding the fundamentals that govern them.

Financial Accounting 2 (AC2530)

15 Credit Points

The objective of FA2 is to build upon material introduced in first year in order to develop students' technical skills in financial statement preparation. Students will gain an appreciation of the regulatory framework for financial reporting. They will examine the usefulness of financial statement information, by looking at the form and content of accounts produced by partnerships and public limited companies. Students will explore how to account for basic transactions through the implementation of current accounting standards and apply their knowledge in both the manual and the computerised environment, the latter through the SAGE accounting package.

Understanding Statistics (PO2508)

15 Credit Points

This course aims to provide students with an understanding of statistical concepts and methods relevant to accounting, management, finance, real estate and economics. The course is intended to enable students

i) To understand the principles of descriptive statistics, index construction, statistical inference, correlation, regression and time series analysis

ii) To apply statistical techniques to the analysis of accounting, business and economic issues and interpret findings

iii) To identify important sources of data in accounting, business and economics

Operations Management (MS2511)

15 Credit Points

Operations is the part of management that considers processes rather than people and focuses on the organisation rather than its environment.

We study processes and process types: when we produce goods or provide services through projects, jobs, batches or by mass production or mass services. We study layout–how facilities are arranged–, capacity and inventory–how much we can make and when to store–, supply chains, project management, quality and improvement.

The course considers theories such as lean and just-in-time but also practice. You will need a calculator besides the ability to write reports.

Marketing (MS2006)

15 Credit Points

This course provides students with an overview of the underpinning concepts of marketing, and the requirements for the development of a market oriented organisation. Specifically introduces the basic concepts of buyer behaviour, market research, the marketing mix and the strategic context of marketing. The linkages between marketing and other key functional areas of management, notably operations and human resource management are highlighted by this course, encouraging the adoption of a systems perspective.

Optional Courses

Plus, further credit points from courses of choice to gain a total of 120 credits.

Year 3

Compulsory Courses

Financial Accounting 3 (AC3049)

15 Credit Points

This course builds upon the material in Financial Accounting 2. The aim of the course is to strengthen practical and analytical accounting skills through the study of accounting problems and to develop the ability to critically appraise conventional accounting practice through an understanding of alternative accounting theories and their application to topical issues in financial accounting.

Management Accounting 3 (AC3054)

15 Credit Points

Building upon the material in Management Accounting 2, the course examines in greater detail behavioural, managerial, and strategic aspects of management accounting and management control. The course content includes management accounting issues pertaining to:

  • Strategic management accounting
  • Operational management issues including quality management
  • Performance evaluation and management systems
  • Management control systems, and
  • Advance decision making techniques such as decision-trees, learning curves and project evaluation and review techniques
Audit Practice (AC3560)

15 Credit Points

This course aims to develop the students’ knowledge, understanding and critical awareness of the audit techniques, judgements and practical skills associated with a financial statement audit. The context of the course reflects both the UK and International legal, regulatory and ethical framework.

The course forms an introduction to the 4th year Audit Theory and Evolution course which goes on to explore the historical context and current professional, regulatory, ethical and societal challenges and developments facing the audit and assurance profession.

Taxation (AC3561)

15 Credit Points

The aim of this course is to provide knowledge and understanding of the UK tax system and its administration. Students will gain an appreciation of direct taxes payable on income, profits, and other gains by both individuals and by corporations, and indirect taxes on spending. Knowledge application of the different taxes within the UK taxation system will be achieved by solving tax problems and computing tax liabilities.

Optional Courses

Select further credit points from level 3 Business Management courses to gain 60 credit points. Options are listed below:

  • Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility (MS3056)
  • New Venture Development (MS3058)
  • Understanding the Consumer (MS3551)
  • Research Methods for Business (MS3553)
  • Human Resource Management (MS3554)

NOTE: If you intend to take your dissertation in Business Management, you must take Research Methods for Business (MS3553) in level 3.

Also, select further credit points from level 3 Business Management courses to gain 60 credits in the discipline.

Research Methods for Business (MS3553)

30 Credit Points

This course introduces students to what is involved in undertaking research into business phenomena. It introduces philosophical issues in the theory of knowledge, ethical issues in research conduct, and considers quantitative and qualitative methods in turn, addressing issues in sampling and design, details of specific approaches, and considerations in data analysis. The course is taught through weekly lectures and an extended two hour tutorial every fortnight, with two pieces of coursework and a two hour written exam. The emphasis throughout is on understanding the conceptual underpinning of different methods, and their strengths and limitations in research.

Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility (MS3056)

30 Credit Points

What is Business Ethics and why should we care? There is an impression amongst many that Business and Ethics are opposed ideas. This course seeks to address these issues. Exploring Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility, tracing its historical origins through to current practice within organizations and the impact on the wider world. The course covers the fundamental question of what ethics is, granting a context for wider discussion. It looks at why ethics is relevant in the business world today and does so through traditional lectures and interactive learning such as the debates that have proven popular with students.

New Venture Development (MS3058)

30 Credit Points

Entrepreneurship skills are highly important to current economy and they are required to reach higher levels of economic growth and innovation. It is also widely believed that increased levels of entrepreneurship can be reached through, especially, entrepreneurship education. Therefore, this course help students build fundamental blocks that essential to embarking on an entrepreneurial venture.

Understanding the Consumer (MS3551)

30 Credit Points

This theoretically informed and practical course aims to explore the key concepts and theories of consumer behaviour. Students will explore: the consumer as an individual (understanding motivations, psychographics, demographics and cognitive processes) and social and group aspects of consumer behaviour (the role of friends, family and reference groups). The course uses interactive lecture sessions and tutorial activities to encourage students to reflect both on theory and their own experiences as consumers. The course will be very useful for those interested in marketing and market research careers.

Human Resource Management (MS3554)

30 Credit Points

This course provides an in-depth examination of key theories and concepts in Human Resource Management (HRM) and demonstrates how these concepts can be applied in practice, using relevant case studies. Key themes to be covered include important HRM issues like the link between strategy and HRM, organizational design, team and organizational performance, employee relations, the strategic aspect of compensation and other emerging trends in HRM (life-work balance; virtual organizations and teleworking)

Year 4

Compulsory Courses

Audit Theory and Evolution (AC4035)

15 Credit Points

This course builds on the knowledge and understanding gained in Audit practice in year 3. It will explore the historical context and current professional, regulatory, ethical and societal challenges and developments facing the audit and assurance profession. As such it contextualises financial statement audit within the expanding audit universe. A main objective of the course is to provide an opportunity for students to think critically about the state and future direction of audit as a profession.

Accountability and Sustainability (AC4034)

15 Credit Points

Sustainability, both in its ecological and social dimensions, has now become a challenge that concerns all types of organisations across the world. The media coverage has raised awareness among the general public on different aspects of sustainability and new regulations are emerging on this issue. Thus, a well-structured accountability system capable of managing and disclosing sustainability impact of organisational practices is an essential element for the successful sustainable organisation. Disclosure is an important part of the accountability process. Social and environmental accounting explores how organisations can disclose information to various stakeholders pertaining to issues such as: socially responsible investments, human rights, climate change and other environmental matters. Reporting and auditing of information on sustainability issues are a relatively new practice in the accounting field but rapidly growing in relevance. Managers will be required to deal with these issues on a frequent basis. Thus, this course will build up strong employability skills.

Public Sector Accounting (AC4036)

15 Credit Points

This course examines of the special issues concerning the public sector of the economy. It investigates why public sector accounting is different from private sector accounting and examines management accounting, financial accounting and auditing from a public sector perspective. The course will be of interest those wishing to develop knowledge and understanding of the importance of financial management of this segment of the economy. It utilises a research-based set of readings and examples and is highly accessible to accounting students.

Accounting History (AC4537)

15 Credit Points

Is knowing the history of accounting useful? Would it make it easier to be an accountant? Would you understand business better? Would you be a better accountant? “Yes”. This course will show you why. In accounting history, we strip back the façade that surrounds accounting. Revealed are the business-driven needs and the financial reporting needs that led us to where accounting is today. You will understand why what accountants do is indispensable, from perspectives only history can bring.

Corporate Governance and Professional Ethics (AC4538)

15 Credit Points

Corporate governance has become one of the most significant challenges for organisations and for the managers who work within them. The reasons for this include high-profile corporate scandals, conflict of interests, manipulations of financial statements, ethical dilemmas, crises like the global financial crisis, credit crunch or even pandemic, and a growing need to demonstrate corporate accountability, transparency and ethical practices. The “Corporate Governance and Professional Ethics” course will deepen students understanding and stimulate critical thinking in these areas. Students will have the opportunity to practise problem-focused decision-making on a range of governance and ethical issues that affect the operation of contemporary organisations. The course will be of benefit if students wish to develop further insights into good corporate governance system and professional ethics as part of their career development.

Optional Courses

Select ONE of the following options:

Option 1

  • Dissertation in Accountancy (AC4528)
  • Business Strategy (MS4536)
  • Plus further credit points from Honours course(s) in Business Management to gain a total of 60 credits in the discipline and further level 4 Business School courses (AC, EC, FI, IN, MS, PO) to gain a total of 120 credit points

Option 2

  • Dissertation in Management Studies (MS4540)
  • Plus further credit points from Honours course(s) in Business Management to gain a total of 60 credits in the discipline and further level 4 Business School courses (AC, EC, FI, IN, MS, PO) to gain a total of 120 credit points

Honours course(s) in Business Management available for this level:

  • Understanding and Managing Change (MS4048)
  • Understanding and Managing Behaviour in Organisations (MS4053)
  • Business Strategy (MS4536)

NOTE: You are required to gain a minimum of 90 credit points from level 4 courses.

Dissertations in Accountancy (AC4528)

30 Credit Points

All Accountancy and Finance students must undertake a dissertation. Students taking a joint degree may undertake the dissertation in either discipline, but not both. It is designed to show that you are able to:

Carry out a substantial piece of research on a chosen subject without close supervision

Critically analyse and evaluate work carried out by others

Reach your own conclusions based upon your analysis and evaluation of relevant evidence, whether this is prior research only or prior research coupled with your own research.

Write-up the results of your work in a clear, coherent and logical way.

Business Strategy (MS4536)

30 Credit Points

This course is about business strategy and covers a broad range of topics that come under the general heading of “Business Strategy” or “Strategic Management”. The course has been designed to help you gain an understanding of the key areas of strategic management including an understanding of: what strategic management is and why it is important; the different types of strategic analysis tools available; the difference between corporate, business and functional strategy; the complex issues associated with the implementation of strategy; the concept of strategic fit; and the role for strategic leadership in shaping and implementing strategy.

Dissertation in Management Studies (MS4540)

30 Credit Points

Students in this course conduct independent research under the guidance of a supervisor. They can select their own dissertation topic or choose one of a range of topics offered by staff within Management Studies. Students undertake a qualitative and/or quantitative piece of empirical research and produce a dissertation at the end of the process. This course provides them with an opportunity to develop a range of generic and research-specific skills including critical thinking, argumentation, writing, time management, review of literature, research design, and data analysis.

Understanding and Managing Change (MS4048)

30 Credit Points

There are many jobs available every year in the consultancy sector and preparing to apply for one requires knowledge, skill and experience demonstrated to your future employer. This course is intended to introduce you to the work of management consultants and identify the competencies you will require to apply for a career in consultancy. The course will include group presentation work which will be assessed by your tutors (who have both been consultants) and past students who have are now employed in consultancy who will advise you on how best to apply for a position in this important sector.

Understanding and Managing Behaviour in Organisations (MS4053)

30 Credit Points

This course is concerned with managing and understanding organisational behaviour. Organisational behaviour is one of the most complex and perhaps least understood academic elements of modern general management but since it concerns the behaviour of people within organisations it is also one of the most central. This course designed to prepare students for what lies within organisations, thus avoiding the 'reality shock'. The emphasis will be on real-life rather than theoretical examples although wherever appropriate theory will be grounded in practical examples.

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:

  • coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course;
  • practical assessments of the skills and competencies they learn on the course; and
  • written examinations at the end of each course.

The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, years of study and individual courses.

Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.

Why Study Accountancy and Business Management?

  • This programme combines two highly employable subject areas, developing your skills, knowledge and theory. You will be able to draw upon your experience across your career within financial business administration.
  • An MA (Hons) Accountancy and Business Management gives you a wide range of career options, such as administration, chartered accountancy, events management, hospitality, HR, recruitment and training, investment banking and management, management consultancy, marketing, retailing and wholesaling, transport management, accountancy and finance.
  • You will learn through a variety of styles, including practical assessments.

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.


General Entry Requirements

2022 Entry

SQA Highers

Standard: AABB

Applicants who have achieved AABB (or better), are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/ Advanced Highers may be required.

Minimum: BBB

Applicants who have achieved BBB (or are on course to achieve this by the end of S5) are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will normally be required.

Adjusted: BB

Applicants who have achieved BB, and who meet one of the widening participation criteria are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will be required.

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

A LEVELS

Standard: BBB

Minimum: BBC

Adjusted: CCC

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

International Baccalaureate

32 points, including 5, 5, 5 at HL.

Irish Leaving Certificate

5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3.

PLEASE NOTE: National 5/ Standard Grade/ GCSE (or equivalent) in Mathematics / Applications of Mathematics is required in addition to the requirements noted above.

2023 Entry

SQA Highers

Standard: AABB

Applicants who have achieved AABB (or better), are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/ Advanced Highers may be required.

Minimum: BBB

Applicants who have achieved BBB (or are on course to achieve this by the end of S5) are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will normally be required.

Adjusted: BB

Applicants who have achieved BB, and who meet one of the widening participation criteria are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will be required.

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

A LEVELS

Standard: BBB

Minimum: BBC

Adjusted: CCC

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

International Baccalaureate

32 points, including 5, 5, 5 at HL.

Irish Leaving Certificate

5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3.

PLEASE NOTE: National 5/ Standard Grade/ GCSE (or equivalent) in Mathematics / Applications of Mathematics is required in addition to the requirements noted above.

The information displayed in this section shows a shortened summary of our entry requirements. For more information, or for full entry requirements for Arts and Social Sciences degrees, see our detailed entry requirements section.


English Language Requirements

To study for an Undergraduate degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.0 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0

TOEFL iBT:

OVERALL - 78 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 59 with: Listening - 59; Reading - 59; Speaking - 59; Writing - 59

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency:

OVERALL - 169 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

International Applicants who do not meet the Entry Requirements

The University of Aberdeen International Study Centre offers preparation programmes for international students who do not meet the direct entry requirements for undergraduate study. Discover your foundation pathway here.

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
RUK £9,250
Tuition Fees for 2022/23 Academic Year
EU / International students £19,800
Tuition Fees for 2022/23 Academic Year
Home Students £1,820
Tuition Fees for 2022/23 Academic Year

Scholarships and Funding

Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, who pay tuition fees may be eligible for specific scholarships allowing them to receive additional funding. These are designed to provide assistance to help students support themselves during their time at Aberdeen.

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Careers

Careers in Accountancy and Business Management are in high demand globally, especially within private global industry where there is opportunity to work across countries or as a consultant and advisor upon further study.

Career Opportunities

  • Accountant

Accreditation

The University of Aberdeen courses are accredited by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) which can form part of a direct path to being granted exemptions from the examinations necessary to get professional qualification status.

This degree holds accreditation from

Our Experts

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

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Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
Student Recruitment & Admissions
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
Aberdeen
AB24 3FX