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Charity Accounting and Financial Management (MSc/PgDip)

Course content

Who is it for?

You may already be working in charity finance, as a manager or consultant, or aiming to move into this demanding role in the sector. Either way, this academically rigorous course will match your needs. It will also equip you for a role as an advisor, auditor or independent examiner to a charity.

You will gain a well-rounded understanding of the role and the knowledge and skills to develop and apply your financial expertise in the sector.


Under scrutiny from regulators, trustees and supporters, charities must exercise the highest level of financial governance. This course equips you for that unique challenge. Combining the academic rigour of an internationally respected business school with a highly practical and applied approach, it is tailored precisely to the issues facing senior managers in the third sector.

You will be taught by an academic team who understand first-hand the tools and techniques for effective financial management of charity income and assets. Guest lecturers will present their thoughts on the real-world challenges placed on charity finance managers. Your course includes a fieldwork exercise. This will give you a deep insight into the practical realities of charity financial management in another organisation.


The MSc course is taught on a part-time basis over a period of two years (18 months for those eligible to enrol on the April Intake). Students initially enrol on the Postgraduate Diploma with the specialist area of their choice, and confirm their intention to complete the MSc at the end of the first year.

  • Develop your understanding of the strategic issues and organisational challenges facing charity organisations and their managers within the finance function.
  • Build relevant management and leadership skills, and analytical capabilities
  • Acquire insights into the different strategies and approaches commonly adopted by charities
  • Deepen your appreciation of the issues of managing change in the finance function
  • Gain access to a strong network and connections within the charity sector
  • Build your confidence as you pursue your career in the sector.

Module outlines

  • Learning and Understanding the Voluntary Sector (10 credits)
  • Resource Management (30 credits)
  • Marketing and Fundraising (10 credits)
  • Strategy, Diversity and Governance (20 credits)
  • Fieldwork Exercise (20 credits)
  • Advanced Charity Accounting, Audit and Taxation (15 credits)
  • Voluntary Sector Financial Management (15 credits)

Assessment methods

The MSc course is taught on a part-time basis over a period of two years.

Alternatively, some students wish to graduate after the first year with a Postgraduate Diploma.  The Diploma consists of four core modules, common to all Centre for Charity Effectiveness postgraduate courses. These modules provide the essential underpinning of management skills. You also study three specialist pathway modules.

The MSc requires the completion of the Research Methods for Managers module. This is followed by either: a further six months of personal, supervised research and the presentation of a 15,000 word research-based dissertation. Or alternatively, you can opt to take a taught Masters which allows you to choose specialist modules from one of the other courses in the Charities Masters Programme.

Career pathways

Students are selected on their professional experience, and generally continue working in their full –time role whilst undertaking this course.

Past students have come from a variety of organisations, including business and the public sector.  

Visit the Charity Accounting and Financial Management (MSc/PgDip) page on the Cass Business School website for more details!




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Recipient: Cass Business School

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