MSc Professional Accounting (with Professional Study Preparation)

2 years Full-time classroom

Download PDF Enquire now


This programme has been designed to meet your needs as a student who is at the beginning of a career in the field of accounting. Therefore, the overall aim of the programme is to enable you to develop an integrated and critically aware understanding of international accounting and thus expand your career options by combining the knowledge of your previous degree with a specialised MSc in Professional Accounting.

The programme will give you the specialised skills required to implement theory in areas such as governance and auditing, performance management, corporate and group reporting, and business strategic management. As such, this MSc is designed to build on the transferable skills important for employment in the areas of financial accounting, auditing and management accounting.

Key facts

  • Develop your expertise in core professional accounting topics in auditing, strategic management, reporting and performance management
  • Study an MSc closely aligned with the ACCA professional level papers, including a dedicated year-long module where you should have attempted the ACCA professional stage exams
  • Prepare yourself for managerial and strategic roles in accounting
  • Newcastle Business School is part of a select group of business schools worldwide, following accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) in business and accounting – the first in Europe to gain the double accreditation
  • Upon completion of your programme, you will be eligible for the QA Professional Pathways programmes which will enable you to further develop your skills with one of the UK’s largest providers of IT and project management training
About this course

What will I study?

The programme will give you a thorough introduction to essential accounting concepts, knowledge and skills of important accounting subjects thus enabling you to demonstrate relevant knowledge and understanding of accounting practice. A further intention of the programme is to offer you the opportunity to develop your knowledge in specialist accounting topics in which you are taught the key skills of auditing, financial accounting principles and management accounting principles.

This uniquely designed MSc includes four core modules delivered in the first year of study that are carefully mapped with the ACCA professional level papers. These are designed to offer a strong theoretical base of professional accounting, develop academic skills and grasp of the relevant subject matter within a global context which enhances professional competence and enables you to take effective managerial roles within organisations. These core modules are also designed to prepare you for the challenging ACCA professional examinations.

In your second year, you will study a yearlong Professional Study Preparation module where you’ll undertake ACCA paper reviews with study provided by an external accounting training provider or by professional accounting trainers (Associate lecturers) employed by Northumbria. A professional accounting examination expert will provide further advice and guidance, of professional development and support you to prepare for the ACCA professional examinations.

The programme will also support your development in emotional and cultural intelligence through practices embedded in the teaching, such as team working, professional values, cultural awareness as well as business essentials such as problem solving, information handling and analysis. As well as this, you will engage with the principles, theories and practices of Professional Accounting.


This programme will offer you the opportunity to study an MSc which aligns to the professional stage of the ACCA qualification. Through completion of the modules on the programme this will facilitate your ability to apply to attempt the external ACCA examinations (after further preparation for relevant papers), whilst also completing an MSc.

You will be responsible for booking and paying for the ACCA exams once the Study Preparation module is complete. You should refer to the ACCA website for up to date details on applicable costs which will be incurred on application for their examinations.

If you have an Accounting undergraduate degree you may already have exemptions to the ACCA Applied Knowledge and Applied Skills papers required to study this programme. Please see our entry requirements for more guidance.

How will I be taught and assessed?

You will be taught through a mix of lectures, seminars, IT workshops and one-to-one sessions, averaging around 14 hours per week. You will also be expected to engage in independent study involving directed and self-directed learning, around 33 hours per week.

You will be assessed via coursework, presentations and exams.

You’ll be taught by experienced lecturers and academics who use their industry experience to demonstrate how the theories you will learn translate in to real life situations.

Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) is embedded throughout the course with tools such as the ‘Blackboard’ eLearning Portal and electronic reading lists that will guide your preparation for seminars and independent research.

Careers and further study

Through the specialist accounting modules that are closely aligned with the ACCA, you will be well placed to pursue a career in accounting in a number of varied roles ranging from corporate reporting and auditing to more strategic and performance focused positions.


Applicants should have the following:

Academic requirements

  • A minimum of a 2:2 honours degree or equivalent, and completion of ACCA Applied Knowledge and Applied Skills papers, or contemporary equivalent.
  • Applicants with professional qualifications in accounting and finance will also be considered

If you have studied Accounting at undergraduate level it is likely you may have exemptions to the ACCA Applied Knowledge and Applied Skills papers.

Please use their online calculator to find out if you’re undergraduate degree provides you with the necessary exemptions to study this programme.

The exemptions to look out for are:

Applied Knowledge:

  • Accounting in Business
  • Management Accounting
  • Financial Accounting

Applied Skills:

  • Corporate and Business Law
  • Performance Management
  • Taxation
  • Financial Reporting
  • Audit and Assurance
  • Financial Management

To find out more about the ACCA Applied Knowledge and Applied Skills papers please visit their website.

If you don’t meet the academic requirements

Applicants who do not meet the academic requirements but who do have substantial experience of working in a business organisation and/or possess a relevant professional qualification will also be considered. If you are unsure if you meet the entry criteria, please contact us and our team will be able to advise you.

Alternatively, you may also be eligible for our Pre-Masters courses. These are programmes designed specifically for students who are looking to progress on to a Masters degree.

Please visit our entry requirements page for country-specific qualifications.

English language requirements

Students require IELTS 6.5 (or above) with no single element below 6.0 or equivalent.

If you have IELTS 5.5 – 6.0, you may be eligible to join our Pre-Sessional English before starting this programme.

Enquire now

All modules are core unless otherwise stated.

This module is the first of two that prepares you to be highly employable, and enables you to demonstrate your ability to make an immediate impact on your organisation of choice.

It develops key hard and soft skills which have been identified by current research as those necessary for postgraduate students seeking work.

This module builds on your earlier financial reporting studies and requires you to consider the more complex aspects of corporate reporting.

Over the course of the module you will develop and apply knowledge, skills and professional judgment to various corporate reporting issues. You will develop an appreciation of current developments in corporate reporting and how this impacts on the organisation and will consider how additional disclosures of financial and non-financial information enhance the quality of the information presented in the corporate report.

All businesses benefit from strong strategic business leadership. On this module you will be provided with opportunity to increase both your knowledge and skills in relation to running a business. In order to do this the module considers the following nine major themes: leadership, governance, strategy, risk, technology and data analytics, organisational control, planning and decision making, innovation, performance excellence and change management and professional skills.

The content of the module will incorporate research by leading international scholars. You will be encouraged to become independent learners by developing skills to find and evaluate articles in a research-focused environment.

Developing Global Management Competencies II facilitates and supports you to develop and refine relevant and up-to-date employability skills, and in so doing enables you to recognise and articulate how you can demonstrate your potential added value to organisations.

You will learn about the development of practical skills and the techniques required by businesses to help in project management and the implementation of data management and data analytics solutions. The module will introduce some project management processes, frameworks and methodologies e.g. PRINCE2, Agile, PMBOK as well as some database principles and data analytics.

This module is designed to consolidate and build on your existing knowledge of audit from both a theoretical and a practical perspective. You will study topics and practice questions that will help you prepare for future professional exams, while also considering the wider implications of your learning. This will include discussion of topics that are current for audit and accounting practitioners as well as engaging with academic research about audit and its role in society.

The module will therefore help you to understand audit from different perspectives, preparing you for future professional roles where you might encounter audit as either an auditor, auditee or user of audit reports.

This module introduces you to the strategic role of management accounting as a discipline for planning and controlling performance, in order to facilitate the establishment, monitoring and control of strategic organisational objectives. It begins by exploring the process of strategy formulation, and subsequently, the development and implementation of appropriate performance monitoring and management frameworks. It also addresses the impact of external factors on strategic management issues, such as macroeconomic, fiscal, market and environmental impacts on performance. From appreciating the strategic context of performance management and the impact of broader factors, the module investigates, at an operational level, the issues relating to performance measurement systems and their design.

In addition to the above, the module examines the scope and application of high-level performance measurement techniques in a variety of contexts, including not-for-profit organisations and multinational businesses. The knowledge and skills in this module mean that you can act as an advisor to senior management or independent clients on how to assess and control the performance of an entity, including the recognition of whether a business is facing difficulties or possible failure.

The module is designed to facilitate the development of the student learning experience over the course of their one-year full time Masters programme. Academic and Professional Development activities will be delivered, where appropriate, in parallel with Academic Skills (ASk) sessions. Both will be mapped to support student academic skills and professional development to support the delivery of programme modules.

In this module you will learn about a variety of different research methods. This will equip you with the knowledge and practical skills necessary for you to conduct research at Masters’ level and prepare you to complete a Masters dissertation or consultancy project. By the end of the module you will know how to apply both quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis techniques. In quantitative techniques you will learn about sampling, questionnaire design, statistical inference, and hypothesis testing while qualitative techniques covered will include methods such as interviewing and focus groups. Analysis methods such as content analysis and thematic analysis will also be covered. In addition, you will gain some understanding of research philosophy (positivism and interpretivism) and research ethics and you will be able to write a research proposal to bring these ideas together.

This module give you the opportunity to develop your professional accounting career by reviewing the professional level stage ACCA papers, while further increasing your knowledge and research skills in relation to a contemporary accounting topic of your choice within the specified subject areas.

As such, this module provides you with an opportunity to develop your employability skills and enhance your accounting career prospects. This module will build on your first year of studies on this MSc and prepare you for sitting four ACCA strategic professional level papers; you will also develop your critical reflection skills as an ethical and strategic accounting learner. In doing so you will learn the substantive ACCA syllabus for the following Strategic professional level papers: Strategic Business Leader; Strategic Business Reporting; Advanced Performance Management; Advanced Audit and Assurance and Ethics and Professional Skills.

The content of the module is based on preparation materials published by renowned providers. Professional tutors will support your learning of the subject matters and exam taking skills. In the academic element of this module, you will develop your critical and reflectivity skills by engaging in a student led research task and prepare an individual presentation in relation to a contemporary strategic level topic.

In this module you will gain an understanding of the academic skills that are required to produce a Masters Dissertation. By the end of the module you will have written a 3000 word dissertation proposal and a 15000 word Masters dissertation.

Enquire now

Tuition fee 2021/22

  • UK/EU students: TBC
  • International students: TBC

Please note that your tuition fees do not include the cost of course books that you may choose to purchase, stationery, printing and photocopying, accommodation, living expenses, travel or any other extracurricular activities. As a Northumbria University London Campus student, you will have full access to our online digital library with over 400,000 e-books and 50,000 electronic journals.

Whilst books are made available via the University Library, you may wish to purchase key texts during their first year of study. In the second year during Professional Study Preparation, you may also wish to purchase professional texts and study guides which approximate to around £70-80 per exam preparation.

In addition, you will be responsible for booking and paying for the ACCA exams after the Study Preparation on the programme is complete. You should refer to the ACCA website for up to date details on applicable costs which will be incurred on application for their examinations.

Your tuition fees cover far more than your time in class with our expert academics, it covers the cost of providing you with excellent services and student experience.

  • Contact time in class – typically in lectures, seminars and tutorials
  • Access to facilities, including computers, on-campus Wi-Fi, printers, vending machines, quiet study spaces
  • The support of our Careers & Employment Service who help you to become more employable, secure placements and run workshops
  • Academic support – our ACE Team run multiple sessions on academic writing, presenting, exam techniques throughout the semester, as well as 1-2-1 appointments and drop-in sessions
  • Student support services such as our Ask4Help Service. Find out more about the services available to you on our Student Support page
  • Access to online resources, including 24/ 7 Library with over 400,000 e-books and 50,000 electronic journals.

Scholarships and bursaries for international students

Depending on the country you are from, you may be eligible for a country bursary and/or scholarship when studying this Masters programme.

All of our scholarships and bursaries are automatically applied when we process your application and one of our team will be able to confirm your eligibility.

Scholarships and bursaries

Payment plans for self-funded students

If you need support to spread the cost of your tuition, you may be eligible for our payment plan.

Payment plans

Government Loan for Masters study

If you are a UK or EU student, you may be eligible for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,000+ from the UK Government. Click here to find out more about the loan and whether you are eligible to receive it.

Postgraduate Loan

How to find out more

Enquire now to find out more information about the course, studying with us, the application process, and to ask any other questions you may have.

Enquire now

How to apply

Students can apply online for this course by clicking the button below.

Apply now

Alternatively, you can apply online for this programme by downloading a PDF application form below email it to

International students application form
UK/EU students application form

We strongly recommend that you submit your application as early as possible to allow you to complete all of the preparations needed to study your programme. After receiving an offer it can take time to arrange your finances and apply for your visa (if required) and it is important that you arrive in good time to enrol onto your course. Please refer to the Dates and Fees page.

Supporting documents

For us to assess your application in a timely manner, it is important that you provide us with the following documents:

  • Fully completed application form
  • Personal email address must be included on the application form
  • Transcripts and/or certificates (including a certified translation if not in English)
  • Passport – copy of personal details page
  • Proof of financial sponsorship if applicable
  • Reference
  • Confirmation of immigration history including copies of previous and current visas if applicable

You can check more information on how to apply here, including guidelines for the application forms.

Course information

Level of study:
UK/EU Fee: TBC International Fee: TBC
Entry requirements:
A minimum of a 2:2 honours degree or equivalent, and completion of ACCA Applied Knowledge and Applied Skills papers.
English language requirements:
IELTS 6.5 (or above) with no single element below 6.0, or equivalent
Mode of study:
Full-time classroom
2 years
Assessment methods:
Coursework and exams
Scholarship or bursaries:
Student finance:
Payment plan:
September 2021
Next application deadline:

Quick contact

Please enter a valid telephone number
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
By providing your email address and/or phone number, you are confirming that you give us permission to respond to your enquiry via these means. We will process your information in accordance with our data policy, more details of which can be found on our privacy statement. In future we would like to contact you with relevant information on our courses, facilities and events. Please confirm you are happy to receive this information and indicate below how you would like us to communicate with you. Please note, this will overwrite any previous communication preferences you may have already specified to us.
This field is required