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Home > Courses > Undergraduate > Accounting and Finance (Year in Business)
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Accounting and Finance (Year in Business) BSc

UCAS code NN43
Year of entry 2017
Course Length
4 years full time
Department Management »


Our School of Management has a fresh and intellectually challenging approach to research and education. Specialising in Accounting and Finance at Royal Holloway means that you will benefit from the in-depth knowledge of our academic experts.  You will study the core areas of financial accounting, management accounting and finance and obtain a thorough knowledge of both theory and practice. The valuable knowledge and understanding this degree will give you, combined with interpersonal and transferable skills, will lead to excellent career prospects.

Your studies will be grounded in the wider business environment, providing you with an understanding of international business, information systems, strategy, and ethical decision-making. You will receive individual attention and the flexibility to take specialist options,such as business law, auditing and taxation.  By electing to spend a year in business you will also have ample opportunities to integrate theory and practice and gain real business experience.  

As well as graduating with enhanced knowledge of accounting and finance, you will have commercial awareness, the ability to communicate clearly,work in a team, analyse and solve problems, and manage your time effectively. As a graduate you will be able to apply for exemptions and/or credit for prior learning from selected professional accounting bodies we have agreed exemptions with. The exemptions from examinations or credit for prior learning that students are granted will depend on courses chosen and the marks obtained on those courses.

  • Excellent employment prospects in many areas, including: accounting, banking, consultancy, finance and general management.
  • Course accredited with ICAEW, CIMA, CIPFA and CPA Australia.
  • Quality research publications are judged as 14thout of 101 UK business and management schools (Research Excellence Framework 2014).
  • Innovative and effective Management School; 81% student satisfaction (National Student Survey 2015).
  • Inspiring international community; the 8,500 students at Royal Holloway come from 130 countries.

Core modules

Year 1

Financial Accounting

This module introduces you to the underlying framework and concepts of accounting and its role in organisations and society. You will develop an understanding of the basic components of financial statements (Income Statement, Balance Sheet, and Cash Flow Statement), the procedures and techniques for the preparation of these, and an understanding of their purpose and value for businesses. You will also examine the principles of financial decision making, with emphasis on developing skills for analysing financial accounting information.

Introduction to Management Accounting

This module will provide you with an introduction to the basic techniques and processes of management accounting. You will look at the current technical languages and practices relating to the provision and use of management accounting information in organisations. You will learn now contribution-based approaches are used in cost-volume-profit analysis and the allocation of scarce resources, and how marginal and full costing information, including activity-based costing, is used to determine product costs, prices, and overall profits. You will also consider the concept of relevant costs, specifically in the appraisal of capital investment decisions.

Introduction to Finance

In this module you will develop an understanding of the theory and techniques for appraising financing and investment decisions. You will be introduced to concepts of risk and uncertainty in investment decision making and the assessment and management of risk in straightforward scenarios. You will look at how the role of capital markets in facilitating access to funding, learning how to estimate the weighted average cost of capital, and explain its implications for financing and investment decisions. You will evaluate a range of techniques for managing elements of working capital, including calculation of relevant ratios and the operating cash cycle. You will also become familiar with the techniques used to manage and assess inventory, trade receivables, cash and current liabilities.

Quantitative Methods

This module will introduce you to quantitative studies and develop your understanding of how they are employed in management and economics. In particular, you will look at how quantitative studies relate to differences, associations and relationships in groups and populations, and learn to apply a number of statistical techniques. 

International Business

In this module you will develop an understanding of the formal economic, political and legal institutions, as well as cultural, religious, and linguistic differences that must be taken into account when conducting business across borders. You will look at how the global context in which companies operate has evolved over time, considering the role of foreign direct investment and internationalisation strategies. You will examine the motivations for entering a foreign market, the factors determining whether a company enters on their own or in partnership, the risks of entry and how they are analysed, and how companies negotiate with governments.

Information Systems

In this module you will develop an understanding of information systems and how they have become the backbone of contemporary businesses. You will consider how they are used by business managers as a tool for achieving operational excellence, developing new products and services, improving decision making, and achieving competitive advantage. You will also examine the broader organisational, human and information technology dimensions of information systems and how they can be used to provide solutions to challenges and problems in the business environment.

Year 2

Financial Reporting

In this module you will develop an understanding of the theory and practice of financial reporting. You will look at the regulatory and ethical background to the composition of financial reporting documents and learn to prepare single-company financial statements, and extracts from statements, in accordance with the international financial reporting standards (IFRS). You will consider specific accounting issues such as handling of intangibles, and will critically examine and interpret financial statements using quantitative tools such as ratio analysis.

Management Accounting for Performance and Decision Making

In this module you will develop an understanding of the use of management information systems, in particular those used for performance measurement, performance management, and decision making. You will look at how management accounting information is used to support short and long term decision making by organisations to gain a competitive advantage. You will consider traditional and alternative budgetary practices, including preparation of functional budgets, master budgets, and forecasts, and use of management control systems, such as standard costing and variance analysis. You will also examine the use of transfer pricing methods for performance and decision making within divisionalised structures.

Corporate Finance

In this module you will develop an understanding of the theories and empirical evidence concerning financial management, risk, and the operation of capital markets. You will look at strategic decisions such as gearing and dividend policy within specified institutional contexts, and consider more practical aspects of business finance, including the preparation of forecast financial statements and their use in business planning and valuation. You will also examine aspects of business restructuring, the global context for both investing and financing, and further aspects of risk management.

Strategic Management

In this module you will develop an understanding of the theories of strategic management. You will consider these theories in the context of contemporary business operations, including the political and regulatory frameworks, in response to technological change, financialisation, the development of new business models, and changes in the way corporate performance is assessed. You will look at key concepts and debates in the theory of corporate and business strategy, and examine the changing context in which corporate strategy is formulated and implemented. 

Managerial Economics

In this module you will develop an understanding of the tools and techniques of economic analysis to solve common managerial problems. You will look at economic intuition and its relevance to business problems, and the application of economic principles to strategic situations. You will consider the constraints faced by business decision makers, the economic consequences of their decisions, and the influence of the macro environment. You will also examine the benefits and drawbacks of free trade or restrictions on imports and exports across a range of countries with divergent socio-political contexts.


In this module you will develop an awareness of the challenges associated with gaining employment in the contemporary workplace. You will learn about work experience, internships, and part-time employment opportunities, and receive guidance on how to complete applications, become familiar with what to expect from an assessment centre, and develop your interview technique. You will participate in a range of activities including business games, quizzes, coaching exercises, and hear from industry speakers offering insights into what it’s like to work in a particular sector or company.

Year 3

This year will be spent on a work placement. You will be supported by the School of Management and the Royal Holloway Careers and Employability Service to find a suitable placement. However, Royal Holloway cannot guarantee that all students who are accepted onto this degree programme will secure a placement, and the ultimate responsibility lies with yourself. This year forms an integral part of the degree programme and you will be asked to complete assessed work. The mark for this work will count towards your final degree classification.

Year 4

Advanced Financial Reporting

In this module you will develop an understanding of the advanced theory and practice of financial reporting, in the context of governance and corporate social responsibility. You will look at theories that have been developed to assist in the improvement and regulation of corporate financial reporting. You will consider the economic concepts of income and value and their application to financial reporting, and how group financial statements are prepared in accordance with international financial reporting standards (IFRS). You will also examine complex accounting issues, such as financial instruments, taxation, employee benefits and leases, and advanced techniques of analysis and interpretation of corporate financial statements, such as trend analysis, segmental analysis, and advanced ratio analysis.

Management Accounting for Strategic Analysis

In this module you will develop an understanding of the contemporary theories and practices of strategic management accounting. You will look at the techniques and practices of activity based management, pricing decisions and profitability analysis, cost management, strategic investment decision making, alternative approaches to management control, and situational influences, such as the absence of a profit motive. You will examine the tools use to gain a competitive advantage in a globalised business environment, including those related to both short and long term decision making, planning and control. You will also consider the use of quantitative and qualitative data to support arguments and justify conclusions in relation to selected cases.

Investment Management

In this module you will develop an understanding of management in theory and practice. You will look at the ethical and international contexts in which investment management takes place. You will examine topics such as efficient markets, the capital asset pricing model, arbitrage pricing theory, and models of systematic risk, considering empirical evidence and current practices. You will evaluate optimal portfolio choices, learning to devise an appropriate portfolio strategy which takes into account the current state of the financial markets. You will also asses the merits of active and passive bond portfolio management from both a domestic and international perspective and examine recent changes to international fund management and their implications.

Ethics for Accounting and Finance

In this module you will develop an understanding of approaches to ethical decision making in accounting and finance. You will critically evaluate decision models for accounting ethics, assessing contemporary issues faced by accountants and finance professionals, including the influence of stakeholders, accounting standards, and moral philosophy. You will also examine the role of auditing practices in society, looking at look at real world examples, including major accounting and finance scandals. You will also analyse some of complex ethical issues that surround business decision making, including examples of good and bad practice by governments, corporations and individuals.

Optional modules

In addition to these mandatory course units there are a number of optional course units available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course units that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

Year 1

Business Law

In this module you will develop an understanding of the legal context in which businesses, managers and professionals operate. You will look at the sources and administrative structure of English law, identifying key aspects of the domestic legal system and the influence of the EU. You will consider the nature of contractual agreements, the agency relationship and the consequences of negligence. You will scrutinise the legal implications of incorporation, including the roles of shareholders and directors, and the key principles of insolvency law. You will also examine instances of business and commercial crime encountered by professional accountants, directors, and managers, including whistleblowing, fraud, bribery, and money laundering.

Economic and Social Foundations of Sustainable Organisations

In this module you will develop an understanding of the main economic, social, ecological and governance factors that determine the long-term sustainability of organisations. You will look at the interconnectedness of these factors and how they set the context within which small and large businesses, public service organisations and third sector organisations operate. You will consider perspectives on the identification and management of corporate social responsibility, including the complex and often contested business case for it, and how this is often tied into, and justified, in terms of the economic context within which the organisation operates. You will also examine the importance of corporate governance for global sustainability.

Markets and Consumption

In this module you will develop an understanding of how marketing can be seen as both an academic discipline and as a business practice. You will look at the role of the consumer as a stakeholder in an organisation, examining how they make consumption decisions. You will assess marketing as a business practice, considering how it has penetrated all sectors of the economy (private, public, and not-for-profit). In addition, you will learn about the sustainability of marketing practices in an increasingly globalised consumer society.

Year 2

Audit and Assurance

In this module you will develop an understanding of the assurance process, specifically in relation to the assessment of internal controls and gathering of evidence on an assurance engagement. You will look at the codes of professional ethics that apply to accountants, and auditors in particular, considering the concepts and need for assurance, the process of assurance, and professional ethics. You will learn methods of obtaining and documenting evidence, including sampling, written representations and substantive testing, and apply your knowledge to selected case studies to arrive at reasoned conclusions, making recommendations where appropriate. 

Principles of UK Taxation

In this module you will develop an understanding of taxation and tax practice, including the ethical context, in the UK. You will look at the influence of the EU on UK tax objectives and policies, the administration of the tax system, the different types of tax in the UK, and the ethical principles that relate to undertaking tax engagements. You will learn how to calculate income tax, national insurance contributions, capital gains tax, corporation tax and VAT in straightforward scenarios. You will consider usage of quantitative and qualitative information to make recommendations to taxpayers and others, examining application of tax law and identifying ethical decision making processes, for example in mitigating tax liabilities.

Digital Marketing

In this you will develop an understanding of how digital technologies are being used in marketing programmes. You will look the frameworks and models that are relevant to digital marketing practice and their supporting technologies. You will examine various digital channels and how they are used within marketing campaigns, considering search engine optimisation strategies, customer acquisition and retention, customer service, direct marketing, communications, e-tailing and digital channel structures. 

Marketing Strategy in Context

In this module you will develop an understanding of the marketing strategies used by organisations. You will look at the elements of the marketing mix and their critical interrelationships, examining the competitive environment, customer insights, market information systems, business models, enterprise competencies, control, evaluation and innovation. You will also consider the sustainability of marketing practices in an increasingly globalised consumer society.

Operations Management

In this module you will develop an understanding of the design, planning and control of operating systems for the provision of goods and services. You will look at the tools and techniques used in the development of operational systems and the factors that affect the choice of operating methods. You will consider approaches to the planning cycle, inventory management, and production control techniques, including capacity planning, and the merits of push and pull systems. You will also examine quality control and its management in practice.

Multinational Enterprise

In this module you will develop an understanding of the development and contemporary fluctuations of multinational enterprises. You will look at their history and the role of foreign direct investment in achieving growth. You will consider the effect of internationalisation on host countries, and examine the political economy context within which multinational enterprises operate, as well as their own strategic decision making.

The Global Economy

In this module you will develop an understanding of what is meant by globalisation, looking at the growth and development of the international economy from the late nineteenth-century to the present day. You will consider the many arguments and myths surrounding globalisation, focussing on the growth and development of the global economy during the twentieth-century. You will examine institutions such as the World Trade Organisation and multinational enterprises, and the role of foreign direct investment as a driving force in the integration of developing countries into the globalisation process. You will also consider the consequences of globalisation is relation to the environment, social inequalities, and poverty.

Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship

In this module you will develop an understanding of the theoretical foundations of entrepreneurship. You will look at the roles and contributions of entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises to economies, and the theories of business growth and development, barriers to growth, internationalisation, and management buyouts. You will consider debates around the provision of hard and soft government support for entrepreneurship, and examine the application of entrepreneurship across different domains, including social entrepreneurship and the increasingly important ‘third sector’, the role of women, family businesses, ethnic minority businesses, and corporate ventures.

Year 4

Communication and Impression Management in Accounting

Taxation - Economics, Policy and Practice

International Financial Reporting

Contemporary issues in Accounting and Finance

Advertising and Promotion

Asia Pacific Business

Emerging Markets

European Business

Corporate Governance

Global Marketing

Project Management

Business Data Analytics

Enterprise Systems Management

  • Lectures introduce the key knowledge areas, concepts and frameworks; lectures will be in larger groups than seminars and workshops.
  • Seminars and workshops are an opportunity to apply your knowledge and to discuss and explore the concepts and frameworks raised in lectures with lecturers and fellow students.
  • Group work will provide you with the opportunity to learn to work with other people. This is important for your development when considering an accounting, finance or management role in your future career.
  • Independent learning is a key skill that will benefit you in the workplace and life in general, as well as study. You will be able to conduct your own research to find out more about the subject areas you are interested in, especially in your final year of study.
  • Case studies will be integrated throughout your course. The case studies chosen will reflect the reality of decision-making and problem-solving activities in today’s business environment, increasing in complexity as your degree progresses.
  • You will be assessed through individual written assignments, group written assignments and presentations and formal examinations, all of which will test your knowledge and skills;
  • The formal examination period is in May/June each year and other formal assessment takes place throughout the academic year

Typical offers

Typical offers


Required/preferred subjects

Required: Maths A level, or GCSE Mathematics Grade B

5 GCSEs A*-C including English and Maths

Other UK Qualifications
International Baccalaureate

6,5,5 at Higher Level subjects including Maths, with a minimum of 32 points overall. 5 in Standard Level Maths or 6 in Higher Level Maths Methods are acceptable if Maths is not taken to Higher Level.

BTEC Extended Diploma

Distinction, Distinction, Distinction in relevant subject plus grade B in GCSE Mathematics 

BTEC National Extended Diploma

Distinction, Distinction in a relevant subject plus 1 A level grade B, plus Maths GCSE grade B

BTEC National Extended Certificate

Distinction plus A levels grade BB, and GCSE Maths grade B

Welsh Baccalaureate

Requirements are as for A-levels where one non-subject-specified A-level can be replaced by the same grade in the Welsh Baccalaureate Adv Level Core.

Scottish Advanced Highers

AB plus Higher at published level

Scottish Highers

AABBB including Maths plus Advanced Highers at published level

Irish Leaving Certificate

H2,H2,H3,H3,H3 including Maths. Grade O2 Level Maths is accepted if Maths is not taken at Higher Level.

Access to Higher Education Diploma

Pass with at least 30 level 3 credits at Distinction and 15 level 3 credits at Merit in a relevant subject PLUS GCSE Maths at grade B.

Other UK qualifications

Please select your UK qualification from the drop-down list below

Please select a qualification

Please select a qualification

International and EU entry requirements

Please select your country from the drop-down list below

English language
IELTS 6.5 overall with 6.0 in reading and writing and a minimum of 5.5
in all other subscores. For equivalencies please see here.

For more information about entry requirements for your country please visit our International pages. For international students who do not meet the direct entry requirements, we offer an International Foundation Year, run by Study Group at the Royal Holloway International Study Centre. Upon successful completion, students can progress on to selected undergraduate degree programmes at Royal Holloway, University of London.

An Accounting and Finance degree at Royal Holloway, University of London offers you a route into the accounting profession, and it can also lead into a wider range of careers in business.  It is highly regarded by employers because of the deep understanding of accounting and finance in the context of the business environment combined with valuable interpersonal and transferable skills that can be taken directly into the workplace.  By spending a year in business you will also have the experience that employers value highly, as well as having created valuable business connections. We will help students to recognise their own strengths, skills and abilities so that they can make strong applications for their chosen job or further study.

  • Full time employment or further study achieved by 90% of graduates within six months of graduation (Unistats 2015).
  • Graduates entered accounting firms, investment banks, trusts and government departments in roles such as financial analyst, finance broker, government economist and trainee chartered accountant.
  • Graduate appointments have included Associate at Ernst and Young, Trainee Accountant at Garners Chartered Accountants and Financial Analyst at Johnson and Johnson.

Home and EU students tuition fee per year 2017/18*: £9,250

International students tuition fee per year 2017/18**: £15,600

The fee for the Year in Industry will be 20% of the tuition fee for that academic year

Other essential costs***: Costs incurred by students while on a Year in Industry / Business will vary depending on the nature and location of the placement. For further information please contact the School of Management.

How do I pay for it? Find out more.

*Tuition fees for UK and EU nationals starting a degree in the academic year 2017/18 will be £9,250 for that year. This amount is subject to the UK Parliament approving a change to fee and loan regulations that has been proposed by the UK Government. In the future, should the proposed changes to fee and loan regulations allow it, Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase tuition fees for UK and EU nationals annually. If relevant UK legislation continues to permit it, Royal Holloway will maintain parity between the tuition fees charged to UK and EU students for the duration of their degree studies.

**Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase tuition fees for international fee paying students annually. Tuition fees are unlikely to rise more than 5 per cent each year. For further information on tuition fees please see Royal Holloway’s Terms & Conditions.

***These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree programme at Royal Holloway. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing etc., have not been included.

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