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MSc in Accounting and Finance

Course Description

This programme is suited to anyone wishing to deepen their knowledge of accounting and finance, and who wants to enter a career in financial markets, either as an analyst or professional accountant. You will develop your ability to apply and evaluate the various models and methods that practitioners use to solve practical accounting and financial problems.

The MSc Accounting and Finance is designed to deliver financial expertise with an emphasis on understanding the accounting process. You will gain insight into the accounting process within the firm (management accounting) and into external reporting and its relevance to company valuation (financial accounting). The programme gives you a solid grounding in the fundamentals of financial management and financial accounting, and will sharpen your quantitative skills in finance.

You can specialise your knowledge further by selecting options in subjects such as derivatives, investment analysis, international portfolio management, corporate finance, banking, international financial management and many others.

We offer a programme of visiting speakers and a series of study weekends in which practising fund managers and finance experts from the City, share their expertise through a combination of seminars, discussions and practical project work. In addition, non-assessed intensive computing training, covering Thomson Reuters Datastream and other financial databases and software systems, is incorporated into relevant modules.

Study abroad and gain a second Masters qualification

The double degree option enables you to gain a second Masters qualification by studying for a year with one of our prestigious partner universities. For more information on this and other postgraduate study abroad opportunities, visit the Business School’s Study Abroad webpages at http://business-school.exeter.ac.uk/programmes/postgraduate/studyabroad/

Programme structure

This programme is available for study 12 months full-time over three terms and is University-based throughout this time. During the programme you will study modules (including the dissertation) totalling 180 credits. Descriptions of the individual modules are given in full on the Business School postgraduate module list at http://business-school.exeter.ac.uk/programmes/postgraduate/modules/.

Compulsory Modules

Some examples of the compulsory modules are listed here; Applied Empirical Accounting; Advanced Financial Accounting; Fundamentals of Financial Management; Financial Modelling; Dissertation; Advanced Management Accounting and Principles of International Taxation.

Optional Modules

Some examples of the optional modules are listed here; Topics in Financial Economics; Derivatives Pricing; Domestic and International Portfolio Management; Banking and Financial Services; Advanced Corporate Finance; International Financial Management; Corporate Finance and Governance; Mergers, Management Buyouts and Other Corporate Reorganizations; Alternative Investments and Principles of International Taxation.

Please note that programme structures may be subject to change. The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

Visit the MSc in Accounting and Finance page on the University of Exeter website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Raksha Anantha Ram

3932.jpg “The University is in the top 10 in several high-profile rankings, and student satisfaction ratings are some of the highest in the UK. It’s a very student-friendly place, with welcoming people and better weather compared to other cities in England – and when I looked at all the factors, I decided that studying at the University of Exeter Business School was by far my best option.

My Masters in Accounting and Finance has a great deal of flexibility, so we can tailor our programme towards the subjects that most interest us, whether that’s more economics-based topics, or modules looking at investment or taxation-related subjects. The course is also structured in a way that means I have more than enough time to prepare for my classes and coursework, yet still fit in extracurricular activities, including volunteering on the student helpline, and taking part in socials, travelling and sports.

The lecturers are having a big impact on my time here. They are all very experienced and knowledgeable, and extremely supportive as well. Alongside our structured classes, they discuss ongoing and current affairs related to their topics, and give us lots of opportunity for discussion.

It can be difficult, of course, moving to a new country and adapting to a new environment with a busy schedule, but Student Services – whether at the Business School, University Forum, or on our campus accommodation – have all been really friendly and helpful. The University of Exeter campus is also one of the most attractive places I have seen. To actually live here away from the chaos of city life is a beautiful experience – yet there is also a buzzing, exciting atmosphere about the place, with events and opportunities for everyone, irrespective of their backgrounds and areas of interest.

My advice to applicants would be to really take the time to find a university that ticks all the boxes for you. For me, Exeter offers a great network, excellent teaching and a reassuring level of support – all in a great place to live. It’s certainly the right place for me, and once I finish my Masters and gain a few years of industry experience, I’d love to come back here to do a PhD.”

(Student Profile)

Romrawin Thongsathitya

3934.jpg “The University of Exeter Business School is an academic partner institution of the European School of Business in Germany, where I obtained my second Bachelors degree. That was how I found out about Exeter’s good reputation and opted to do a Masters at the Business School here immediately after my undergraduate studies in business, accounting and finance.

I applied for the World Class Business School Scholarship, and was fortunate to be awarded the funding to cover my full tuition fees. I think my international study and work experience put me in a good position, as I was born in Thailand, went to school and worked in Japan, and then studied and gained further industry experience in Germany.

The Business School provides a very good learning environment and study facilities, with up-to-date infrastructure, balanced study materials and proactive and helpful staff. Each student is assigned a professor as an academic tutor, which I think is an excellent model. I know that if I ever have a problem, I have someone to go to who can advise me on any academic or personal issues.

The course content manages to find just the right balance between the core theories we need to be aware of, and supporting content such as case studies to support our deeper understanding. Thanks to the many industry examples and practical projects built into the curriculum, I’ve been able to apply what I am learning to my real-life work experience. I also find the academics we work with very inspiring – many have worked at senior levels in industry and that motivates me to work harder and do as well as I can on the course.

I believe the decision to come to a business school should be taken after careful consideration, especially for your Masters degree. The requirements are much higher, both in terms of motivation and academic content. But despite all these challenges, a Masters at the University of Exeter Business School will be one of the most memorable experiences of your life. I can thoroughly recommend it.”

(Student Profile)

Renata Stankeviciute

3948.jpg I knew that a Masters degree would help me feel more confident and ready for future challenges, and the University of Exeter Business School stood out because of its reputation and rankings. I knew the South West would be a peaceful and beautiful place to study, even though you do need to be prepared for a bit of rain in the winter!

For me, one of the best things about the MSc Accounting and Finance is the possibility to access worldwide academic databases, as well as enormous resources for research and independent studies. I believe this really helps to enhance your employability and helps to develop your future career path.

Many of the lecturers at the Business School are involved in research within their field, and it’s really useful as a student to get an insight into different perspectives on the subjects.

I’ve tried to make the most of my time at the Business School by attending insight talks and presentations from potential employers. I’ve also visited the Career Zone to take advantage of their ‘mock interviews’ –this is a great opportunity to experience real interview situations and get constructive feedback.

I would encourage any students considering postgraduate study to be proactive and enthusiastic – take all the opportunities that are presented to you and be ready to work hard. The MSc Accounting and Finance is really intensive but it’s also important to take time out from your studies and try out one of the university societies – there are hundreds of them and it’s a great opportunity to meet other students. Above all you can rest assured that you’re in for a challenging and interesting time!

(Student Profile)

Justin Low

3964.jpg I was offered the scholarship in my final year of the BA Accounting and Finance at Exeter. At that time, staying on to do the Masters seemed like the right thing to do, as it offered me the chance to take what I had learnt on the undergraduate programme that stage further. I seized the opportunity with both hands and haven’t looked back since.

As I am on a scholarship, I have a dual role of being a student as well as a staff member of the Accounting department. This has broadened my horizons and allowed me to see things from two very different perspectives. My experience as a student has taught me that clarity matters, so I have always tried to be as clear as I can when I teach – as well as keep things interesting. Accounting by its nature can be fairly dry, so it is important to incorporate real-life examples – and maybe a few jokes – to bring the subject to life.

I think a common characteristic of many of the lecturers and tutors at the Business School is their passion to make sure we, as students, fully grasp what they are teaching us. In that regard, I feel that Professor Joanne Horton, Professor John Burns, Professor David Gwilliam, Dr Jane Shen, Ms Imogen Moore, Mr Aurel Kucani and Mr Gary Abrahams deserve special mention, while several others should also be applauded for their continuing efforts to make the Business School a better place to learn. The individuals mentioned above often go the extra mile in helping students and I feel that their impressively diverse backgrounds will also serve as inspiration for bright-eyed students that come their way.

I’m currently working on my dissertation, and after that I will be joining one of the Big 4 Accounting firms. I look forward to using the knowledge and skills I have gained at Exeter to qualify and work as an accountant, before deciding on which area to specialise in. Ideally, I’d like to be in line for a position of Finance Director in ten years’ time. It’s a long way away, but to quote a renowned Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu, ‘a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’.

(Student Profile)

Wenjie Li

3970.jpg It was during one of those placements, in particular, with a small manufacturing firm, that I saw first-hand the problems that exist in financial management in Chinese enterprises. I realised I needed to master more advanced, practical financial management knowledge, which confirmed my resolve to study a postgraduate course in the UK.

The University of Exeter, with its excellent reputation and high ranking position, is a place I have long admired. The teaching staff, the educational resources, the beautiful environment, the facilities and the wide range of student services are all reasons why it was my preferred choice for postgraduate study.

The culture here is fantastic. Exeter is a very diverse, positive environment, which for me makes it one of the best places to achieve academic success and develop many precious memories.

The staff are very supportive. If you have any problems with your coursework, there’s a team of academic assistants waiting to help you address any issues. The professors are also very kind, and take time to really explain things to you in a clear and detailed manner.

I have attended several events organised by the Business School, but the most impressive one was a guest lecture in Advanced Corporate Finance. Martin Wood from Vicarage Capital Ltd is an alumnus of Exeter University. He gave a wonderful lecture, sharing with us the latest, practical knowledge and information from the business world. His ideas and opinions really blew my mind, and inspired me a lot.

After I finish my Masters, I hope to stay in the UK to gain some exposure to the British business world and put the theories I have learnt into practice within an accounting firm or a financial institution. After that, I want to take the financial management knowledge I have gained back to China’s SMEs, to help address some of the issues I know exist within organizations there. Ultimately, I’d like to use my skills to help Chinese enterprises to prosper.


Funding for Postgraduate Study - 20+ Awards

We offer a range of postgraduate scholarships and studentships for talented students. For 2016 entry, the total value of scholarships for taught postgraduate programmes exceeds £500,000. This is in addition to over 100 PhD studentships we make available each year.Students who reside in England and are interested in our Masters programmes can now take advantage of the UK government's postgraduate loan scheme which offers loans of up to £10,000.

Value of Scholarship(s)



Varies, but most awards are competitive and merit-based.

Application Procedure

Please see the details of each scheme as listed in our search: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/studying/funding/search

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Normally a good Honours degree (the equivalent to a UK 2:1) in Accounting, Finance, Economics or a related discipline from a recognised university. View Website

Course Fees

See our web site for more information (click on "Finance") View Website

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