This course has a January 2021 start date available. For more information please see the Flexible learning 2020/21 page.
This course will develop your understanding of the theory and practice of accounting and financial management, regardless of your undergraduate background. You will study financial accounting, management accounting, financial management and other important topics in accounting and finance. The course draws upon the extensive research, practical knowledge, and teaching expertise of our accounting and finance academics.
The MSc in Accounting and Financial Management is suitable if:
- you have an academic background in accounting, finance, business or management and wish to advance your knowledge in accounting and financial management.
- you have graduated from another discipline, whether arts, sciences or social sciences, and wish to obtain a postgraduate qualification which will provide you with an understanding of accounting and financial management issues.
On graduating you will have acquired a number of transferable skills, including the ability to assess and employ a variety of analytical techniques, write reports, give presentations and work as a team.
- Strong career prospects in accounting, finance and commercial areas; organisations value graduates with knowledge and understanding of contemporary accounting and financial management who can also reflect on their broader setting and implications.
- Outstanding research; Royal Holloway sits in the top 25 per cent of UK universities for research which is rated as ‘world-leading’ and ‘internationally excellent’
- Inspiring international community; 60% of our Management students come from overseas and the 8,500 students at Royal Holloway, University of London are from 130 countries.
The mandatory modules you will take during your studies are:
In this module you will develop an understanding of contemporary issues in the theory and practice of international financial accounting and reporting. You will look at the fundamental characteristics, aims, contents, and structures of the main financial reports through which organizations measure and report their financial performance and position. You will examine the usefulness of financial accounting reports, and the tools and techniques of financial analysis. You will consider issues related to the recognition and measurement of intangible assets, ways of valuing assets, key regulatory differences, the conceptual framework and differences between IFRS and US GAAP. You will also critically evaluate the reporting and the financial performance of companies.
In this module you will develop an understanding of current issues in management accounting and related social, organisational and international influences. You will look at performance management and investment appraisal in an international context, perspectives on culture, control and accountability, and the transition to a knowledge and service-based business environment. You will consider the differences in management accounting across countries, and examine issues in the context of the private sector and new public management, making comparisons between the two.
This course aims to introduce you to the key concepts of Financial Management through a combination of sound intuition and theoretical rigour; to prepare the foundations for more advanced study of Finance by encouraging you to develop a critical understanding of the main theories and models of Financial Management; to provide you with structured opportunities to apply the key tools and techniques of Financial Management; to encourage you to read widely and built links between what you are learning in the classroom and the financial reality.
In this module you will develop your analytical research skills so that you are better prepared for your dissertation project. You will look at approaches to management research and the assumptions upon which they are based, and consider how to critically evaluate primary and secondary data sources. You will examine how to choose appropriate quantitative and qualitative research methods for data collection and subsequent analysis, and how to conduct research in a systematic and critical reflective manner. You will also analyse the ethical implications of research investigations and their impact upon findings.
The dissertation provides you with an opportunity to learn and practice researching and writing skills for your future career. You will apply the analytical and problem-solving techniques you have acquired throughout your studies to explore a specialist interest in greater depth. You will critically evaluate academic literature, collect data systematically, organise your findings, and present your research results in a clear and logical and manner. To help, your research proposal will be read by the programme director, who will select an appropriate member of staff to act as your dissertation supervisor. Your final submission will be between 12,000 and 15,000 words in length.
There are a number of optional course modules available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course modules that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new modules may be offered or existing modules may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.
Your optional modules include:
The objective of this module is to provide students with a critical appreciation of the relevance and overall role of sustainability accounting and accountability. To achieve this objective, the module will explore contemporary issues in the growing area of sustainability accounting including: notions of accountability in the context of sustainability, the role of accounting in embedding sustainability in decision making, sustainability reporting research and practice, and accounting's role in addressing key contemporary sustainability issues.
In this module you will develop an understanding of the contemporary issues regarding the theory and practice of communication in accounting. You will look at the nature of the international reporting environment, examining the roles, needs and characteristics of lay and expert readers of financial reports. You will consider how impressions are created through the use of graphs, narratives and pictures, and the role of experimental research. You will also explore rhetorical, literary and cultural theory perspectives in the critical study of financial reporting documents, and will examine case studies on a variety of international reporting practices.
This module will provide you with an overview of the international differences in financial reporting. You will look at harmonisation and classification, assessing the obstacles to and progress of the adoption of international standards in major countries. You will analyse the major practical issues facing multinational companies as they prepare financial statements, with consideration of the convergence of the Chinese, Japanese and American accounting systems. You will examine the effects of differences on capital markets, and see how companies and analysts adjust for them.
In this module you will develop an understanding of investment management in theory and practice. You will look at the contexts in which investment management takes place in an increasingly globalised market. You will consider theoretical perspectives, such as the capital asset pricing model, arbitrage pricing theory, and models of systematic risk, alongside empirical evidence and current practice. You will examine the techniques of financial risk management, with particular emphasis on derivatives, and critically analyse issues of international investments, behavioural finance and corporate restructuring. You will also gain experience in using professional sources of data such as those provided by Bloomberg Professional.
The aim of this module is to develop in-depth understanding of the characteristics and operation of the international financial markets. The analysis of international equity, bond, exchange and derivatives markets will be linked to the main concern of governments and international financial organisations taking part in these flows. This also enables students to appreciate the different trends in the integration of financial markets and financial intermediation within countries, regions and at global level.
This module provides students with the knowledge and techniques required to analyse a company’s financial statements and to estimate a company’s value. The following are the core topics to be covered: accounting analysis, financial analysis, forecasting and valuation.
This module, taught during your induction, will introduce you to the key elements of organisational management for commercial success. Through analysis of historical roots, you will develop an understanding of the current practices for managing customers, shareholders, and employees, and discuss how numbers and technology influence management decision-making.
Teaching & assessment
Assessment is carried out by a variety of methods including coursework, examinations and a dissertation.
This course requires a UK 2:2 (Honours) or equivalent. Relevant professional accounting qualifications and/or experience in an associated area will also be considered.
International & EU requirements
English language requirements
All teaching at Royal Holloway is in English. You will therefore need to have good enough written and spoken English to cope with your studies right from the start. Find out what scores we require.
For more information about country-specific entry requirements for your country please see here.
Your future career
On graduating with a Masters degree in Accounting and Financial Management you will be in a strong position to start a career in a variety of accounting, financial or commercial related areas. You will also have a solid foundation to continue PhD studies.
Our graduates have moved into roles in accounting and financial management-related areas including:
- Personal Relationship Manager at HSBC
- Auditor at Deloitte
- Senior Risk Analyst at Bank of Azerbaijan
- Corporate Tax at PwC
Fees & funding
Home and EU students tuition fee per year*: £11,600
International students tuition fee per year**: £19,000
Other essential costs***: There are no single associated costs greater than £50 per item on this course.
* and ** These tuition fees apply to students enrolled on a full-time basis. Students studying on the standard part-time course structure over two years are charged 50% of the full-time applicable fee for each study year. All postgraduate fees are subject to inflationary increases. This means that the overall cost of studying the programme via part-time mode is slightly higher than studying it full-time in one year. Royal Holloway's policy is that any increases in fees will not exceed 5% for continuing students. For further information see tuition fees see our terms and conditions.
Please note that for research programmes, we adopt the minimum fee level recommended by the UK Research Councils for the Home/EU tuition fee. Each year, the fee level is adjusted in line with inflation (currently, the measure used is the Treasury GDP deflator). Fees displayed here are therefore subject to change and are usually confirmed in the spring of the year of entry. For more information on the Research Council Indicative Fee please see the RCUK website.
*** 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, have not been included.