Forensic accounting and the related discipline of forensic audit are fast-developing areas in the commercial world. The major professional accounting firms now have departments offering forensic accounting and audit services, and the demand for expertise in this area is growing exponentially.
There is a need for people with specialist skills who can undertake fraud investigations, valuations, assist in dispute resolution, prepare expert reports, and conduct fraud and forensic analysis.
Additionally, you will be required to evaluate the principles of good corporate governance and the integrity of management, and understand the role of computer forensic techniques in an investigatory and legal context.
On this course you will study 180 credits from the following modules:
- Corporate Governance (20 credits) Learn about the systems by which companies are directed and controlled, and their implication for fraud prevention and abuses of power.
- Forensic Audit and Accounting (20 credits) You will be introduced to the principles of forensic audit and accounting, including theoretical concepts allied to investigation and analysis.
- Research Methods for Finance and Accounting (20 credits) Gain an appreciation of the academic research process and the underlying elements and principles, developing the skills to critically evaluate and conduct postgraduate research.
- Dissertation (60 credits) Undertake a significant piece of research into an appropriate area of study.
You will study 60 credits from the following option modules:
- Computer Forensics and Crime Investigation (20 credits) Learn about the techniques and practices of computer forensics, applied to practical problems encountered by forensic accounting investigators.
- Audit and Assurance in a Global Environment (20 credits) Gain an appreciation of the knowledge, skills and professional judgement needed in a variety of audit and assurance engagements.
- Expert Witnesses and Dispute Resolution (20 credits) Gain an understanding of the role of an expert, including dispute resolution methods, legal and procedural requirements for experts in pre-trial and court situations.
- Contemporary Issues (20 credits) Consider contemporary theories and developments in accounting and auditing thought and practice, including forensic accounting.
Learning and teaching methods
The course is delivered full-time through a combination of lectures, tutorials, computer workshops, case study analysis and discussion groups. You will be exposed to real-life situations and given the skills and opportunities to find practical solutions. You will have the opportunity to use state-of-the-art computer forensic and data analysis software.
Work Experience and Employment Prospects
Employment opportunities are numerous, from specialist firms of forensic accountants to specialist departments within accountancy firms. There are many opportunities in the public and regulatory sectors, as well as employment prospects in commercial organisations, as part of investigatory, internal audit, and compliance departments. Recent graduates from this course are employed in the forensic accounting department of a ‘Big Four’ accountancy firm, and as a Fraud Investigator for a national public sector auditor.
Assessment methods include examinations and coursework-based assignments.
Specialist IT facilities are used where appropriate including audit and computer forensic software.