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The University of Southampton
Southampton Business SchoolPostgraduate study

MSc Accounting and Finance (1 year)

Studying during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
This course is running with start dates in September 2020 and January 2021. Find out how we’re safeguarding our students and staff during coronavirus.

As well as advanced study of accounting and finance, MSc Accounting and Finance will enable you to explore related areas such as audit, corporate governance and taxation. This combination will prepare you for a wide range of roles in accountancy and beyond.


Introducing your degree

MSc Accounting and Finance is one of Southampton Business School's most popular degrees. It offers a blend of modules that will deepen your knowledge of finance and accounting but also enable you to explore related areas such as international corporate governance, audit and corporate social responsibility.

Unlike many other accounting and finance masters courses, MSc Accounting and Finance also includes a module on international taxation, adding an extra dimension to your studies. This combination will open the door to a wide range of roles when you graduate – you may choose to go into accounting but you’ll have plenty of other career options too.

Our modules are directly informed by our academics’ research expertise and professional experience, and guest speakers from leading accounting, insurance and finance firms will further enrich your learning.

Course structure and content

MSc Accounting and Finance is a one-year, full-time course. 

In semester one you’ll take a number of compulsory modules, covering equity markets, management accounting and financial accounting. You’ll also choose one optional module that will allow you to look at an area of interest in more depth.

Unusually for a masters course of this type, the options include an International Accounting and Taxation module. This explores the importance of a country’s social, economic, legal and political environment in determining the nature of its tax regulations, the challenges of harmonising accounting practices, and the impact of tax issues on company behaviours. Other options cover topics such as financial reporting and markets, accounting and society and international corporate governance.

In semester two you’ll take your management accounting and financial accounting studies to a more advanced level. You’ll also study corporate finance and take a module on research in accounting and finance. This will prepare you to undertake independent study for your dissertation.

Outstanding academics

Accounting, audit and corporate governance are areas characterised by rapid change; our academics’ involvement in research and their professional networks ensure your learning keeps pace with the latest developments in the sector.

For example:

  • Dr Oliver Marnet conducts research into audit and corporate governance, often in collaboration with the private sector. His knowledge directly informs the International Corporate Governance module, where he uses recent research findings, case studies and news stories to help students relate their knowledge of corporate governance to real scenarios.
  • Dr Mohamed Houssam Al Kaddour brings his research expertise in tax-related topics to the International Accounting and Taxation module.
  • Senior Teaching Fellow Richard Cartwright, who leads the Financial Accounting 2 module, has strong links with accountancy training providers and is President of the Southern Society of Chartered Accountants, which supports almost 5,000 Institute of Chartered Accountants members

View the programme specification for this course for 2019/20 entrants

View the programme specification for this course for 2020/21 entrants


Association of International Accountants 

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Key Facts

A blend of finance and accounting modules will give you valuable skills without restricting your career options

Unlike most accounting and finance masters courses, the Southampton MSc includes a module on international taxation

Accredited by the major professional accounting bodies

Graduates have gone on to work in the UK and overseas for organisations including KPMG, Mars Chocolate, Zurich and the NHS.

Photo of Yi (Helena) Zhu
What I learnt in the Business School was not limited to the financial sheets or return on investment, but a logical mind set with can-do spirits. The Business School gave me a great exposure to the real business world, such as career talks and networking events.
Yi (Helena) ZhuMSc Accounting and Finance, BSc Accounting and Finance

Programme Leader

Typical entry requirements

Bachelor's degree

2:1 classification UK bachelors degree or equivalent

Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Acceptable subjects: Accounting degrees preferred but a wide range of subjects accepted if at least seven accountancy modules are included.

Required module areas: Business or corporate finance, taxation, auditing, mathematics, statistics, cost accounting etc.

Excluded subjects: English translation, art/performing art, vocational studies.

Professional qualifications such as ACA/ACCA/CIMA qualifications can compensate for unrelated degree subject. Work experience in accounting is not a requirement but can compensate for degree subject/grades.

Selection process

The University’s Admissions Policy, available on the University Admissions Policy page, applies equally to all programmes of study. These are the typical entry criteria to be used for selecting candidates for admission. The University’s approved equivalencies for the requirements listed will also be acceptable. The entry criteria for our programmes are reviewed annually by the Faculty. Those stated were correct as of July 2015. Applicants should refer to their specific offer conditions on their offer letter.

International applicants

If English is not your first language, you will need to demonstrate that you have reached a satisfactory standard in an approved English language test.

The following scores are accepted for direct entry:

  • IELTS 6.5 overall with 6.5 in reading and writing, 6.0 in listening and speaking

All tests must be no more than two years old at the time of enrolment.

For more information visit a list of equivalent English language tests that are also accepted.

Visit our International Office website or the NARIC website for further information on qualifications.

Pre-sessional courses

Our pre-sessional English language courses are the best way to prepare for study at the University of Southampton. The courses will improve your capability and confidence in using English language in your studies.

Pre-masters course

If you do not meet our entry requirements for direct entry to one of our MSc programmes, you could progress to one of them via the University's Pre-masters course

Recognition of prior learning (RPL)

If you have professional experience, or credit through prior learning at another institution, you may be eligible to use this experience against some of the programme requirements for period of study. You will need to present evidence that you have met the learning outcomes of the programme. Read the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning Policy.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Typical course content

Students must choose ONE Option module totalling 15 CATS/7.5 ECTS in Semester 1.

All Option modules are offered subject to availability and timetabling constraints.

MANG6095 Dissertation supervision starts in Semester 2 and should be submitted in September.

Year 1

Semester One
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Core [?]
A core module is a module which must be taken and passed.
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Semester Two
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Core [?]
A core module is a module which must be taken and passed.
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).
Credits are based on the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS).

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Tuition fees

List of tuition fees for this course and it's variations
Course TitleAwardYear of entryMode of studyUK/EUInternational
Accounting and FinanceMSc 2020Full-time£12,950£22,806
View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items (eg pens, pencils, notebooks, etc). Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However, due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
Printing and copyingIn most cases, written coursework such as essays, projects and dissertations are submitted online and by hard copy. The costs of printing a hard copy for submission of such coursework will be the responsibility of the student. The cost of photocopying will also be the responsibility of the student. For more information about University printing costs, visit
TravelSome modules may include optional visits. You will normally be expected to cover the cost of travel and admission, unless otherwise specified in the module profile.
OtherCandidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved models are Casio FX-570 and Casio FX-85GT Plus. These may be purchased from any source and no longer need to carry the University logo.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

The modules you'll study on MSc Accounting and Finance are designed to provide you with technical skills in finance and accounting but also to enhance key transferable skills such as analytical thinking, team working and communication and writing. Our academics use a range of teaching methods to achieve this, including lectures (sometimes with interactive technologies such as electronic voting systems), group discussions, student presentations and class exercises. You’ll apply the theories you have learned using case studies, discussion of news stories and business scenarios, numerical problem solving and online learning resources. Assessment methods include exams, coursework and group work.

Data and software

You will have access to Bloomberg terminals for live financial data, as well as a range of databases for use in quantitative investigations such as Bank Regulatory, Fitch Connect, WRDS, Boardex, EBSCO Business Source Premier, Zephyr, Dow Jones, Federal Reserve Bank and Thomson Reuters. These will be particularly useful for your dissertation research. You’ll also have access to statistical software packages for data analysis, including SPSS, EViews, Stata, Minitab and LIMDEP. Library staff with subject-specific expertise will be available to help you make the most of the resources on offer. 

Guest lectures from industry and academia

Guest lectures feature in many of our modules, with speakers from accounting and finance firms and from other universities bringing insights from current research and real-world industry issues that relate to your studies.

Previous guest lecturers have included staff from:

  • BDO
  • KPMG
  • PwC
  • Deloitte
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
  • Reuters

We have also welcomed visiting lecturers from the University of Bristol, Imperial College London, Exeter Business School, London Business School and National Taiwan University.

Student support

There is a friendly, ‘open-door’ culture at Southampton Business School and we provide plenty of support should you need it. Your personal academic tutor is there to offer help and advice on academic issues, and the module leaders and programme leader are also available for course-related queries. In addition, the University provides a range of support services including language and writing skills support.


MSc Accounting and Finance is accredited by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and the accounting professional body ICAS. This demonstrates that we meet their rigorous education standards and could enable you to apply for exemptions from some professional accounting qualifications.

Study locations

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