M.Sc. Finance & Accounting (For Professional Accountants)

Aims of the programme

  1. Provide a strategic overview and critical appreciation of financial issues within a framework that allows the learner to develop particular areas of expertise through choice of electives and topic of research for the dissertation.
  2. Develop the learner’s knowledge and understanding of the fundamental theories and techniques that underpin strategic financial management.
  3. Give learners a critical perspective of the ethical, social and sustainability issues as it relates to the activities of financial institutions.
  4. Develop the learner’s competency in making financial decisions when faced with dynamic situations that involve a significant degree of risk.
  5. Engage the learner in a critical discussion of emerging ideas and debates in finance.

Upon completion students will: 

  1. Have developed a range of analytical skills that they will be able to apply to new and complex situations.Undertake independent research to investigate unstructured issues
  2. Communicate their ideas in a range of formats
  3. Work effectively with others
  4. Have the confidence to make informed financial decisions.

Admissions Criteria: 

  • Applicants will need to be full members of ACCA. Members of other Professional Bodies e.g. ICAEW will be treated on a case by case basis.

Graduate Skills and Employability Prospects: 

Students enrolling on the programme will be seeking to specialise in finance. In this context the programme is designed to develop finance professionals who are able to think creatively in addressing complex issues in finance. Through exposure to simulated risk-based scenarios graduates are expected to develop the skills to make effective financial decisions under conditions of risk and uncertainty. Throughout their degree experience, students will be required to be reflective learners as they are expected to manage their own time and learning and to conduct several tasks (not least the dissertation) independently. The programme also instils in students analytical skills and the ability to selectively apply these to changing situations. Given the international nature of the financial industry, and the multinational nature of the issues affecting it, learners will  have to be globally literate. The programme develops the foundations of knowledge and skills that are further developed and refined through experience and practice. The programme aims develop the learner as competent financial professionals while allowing them the opportunity to delve deeper into (universal) themes within finance (e.g. accounting, capital markets, risk-management). In addition to providing graduates with the choice of directing their learning within a desired theme, it also allows them scope to promote their achievement within specific opportunities and directions, while not confining their options through too narrow a specialism.

Teaching and Learning Strategies: 

The teaching and learning strategy has been formulated as a result of contemporary research and professional practice and reflects the learning outcomes of the Programme. The strategy seeks to reflect the University’s and Programme’s learning outcomes by providing students with a learning environment that will use a variety of learning and teaching methods.

The methods used to guide and facilitate the learning will include:
  • Dissemination of information via lectures and internet (primarily West London Online).
  • Seminars and plenary sessions to promote discussion and debate.
  • Simulated learning environments that gives students the opportunity to develop skills by exposing them to complex environments encountered by professionals in the ‘real-world’ (but in the safety of their classroom).
  • Use of case studies/live cases to provide students with experience of particular issues and problems.
  • Directed reading through the use of essential texts and articles/handouts.
  • Development of a research proposal resulting in the completion of a dissertation.
  • Access to industry and academic forums through association of tutors with relevant networks.
  • Experience in participating and organising in-house seminars/symposiums through their involvement with the intellectual activities of tutors.
The varied range of activities and exposures will appropriately support students as independent learners working towards achieving high standards of performance. It also accommodates the differing learning styles of students by providing opportunities for learning which match individual styles. Each module applies a selection of methods and activities appropriate to its learning outcomes.

Assessment Strategies: 

Module pass mark
On all postgraduate modules the pass mark is 50 percent.  The assessment processes employed in the programme are designed to follow the programme assessment strategy as set out in ‘The university guidelines on assessment practice’.

The key principles that inform the programme assessment strategy are :
  • While maintaining consistency, assessments are designed to evaluate the attainment of learning outcomes of individual modules.
  • A balance between the types of assessment and the overall workload of assessments; 
  • The equitable nature of assessments across the programme; 
  • A balance between formative and summative work; 
  • The integration of theory and practice; 
  • The use of experience and reflection to develop critical awareness; 
  • The relationship of the assessment to the leaning outcomes and the form of learning and teaching that takes place within the module. 

The marking will tend to use predetermined grids and assessment forms to aim to clearly identify the features that are assessed for all students in all assessment and to meet the Level 7 HE descriptors. 

The assignments will be marked anonymously according to University regulations.

The programme assessment strategy is underpinned by the Programme Learning Outcomes which has informed the rich and varied design of the assessment strategy.

The design of the programme assessment and feedback strategy is linked to the nature of the discipline and is aimed at ensuring variety, consistency and fairness of assessments across the Programme.

The assessment methods are varied: individual and group analysis, presentation of case studies and/or live cases, writing up of new case studies, independent formulation and presentation of a research proposal, critical review of research papers; analysis of company accounts and annual reports, evaluation and comparison of models and theories across all taught disciplines, undertaking a substantial supervised dissertation and exams for some modules.

There will be a combination of formative and summative assessments. All modules will contain formative assessment aspects. This variety of assessment caters for differing learning styles and modes by offering opportunities for reflective, conceptual and experiential learning. Each assessment will be looking for evidence that the student has achieved the specific learning outcomes of the module and the broader learning outcomes of the programme.

Compulsory modules:

1.    Capital Markets & Decision Under Risk (20 credits) - September to January
The module aims to develop the learner's financial decision-making skills under conditions of risk and uncertainty in the context of capital markets trading. With the aid of a simulator students will be given access to real-time price and volume variables and asked through observation and experimentation to develop an effective trading plan that accounts for pertinent risk factors. They will then test their trading plans using real-time data and hypothetical scenario building. The purpose being to give the learner confidence in applying methodical approaches to making financial decisions under conditions of risk and incomplete information. Students will also gain knowledge of the structure and operation of capital markets.
 
2.    Dissertation (60 credits, 15000 words) - January to May
All students on the Masters Level (7) and related programmes will normally complete a dissertation in the final year of their studies. The dissertation counts as a single module. The normal University regulations apply to this module as to any other – namely, you have to obtain an overall mark of 50% to pass the module. A dissertation is often the core element of a Master’s degree because it allows you to develop your interests and apply research skills. A demanding module, it reinforces your independent learning by enabling you to explore your chosen topic theoretically and empirically. In some ways the dissertation is similar to other modules because it will assess your ability to produce a persuasive discussion on a relevant management or business topic. But the dissertation module also differs from other modules because it requires you to put into practice your understanding of research methods. It expects you to be independent and apply your learning. Consequently, you will be assessed on what you know about your chosen topic and how it can be studied empirically as well as what you do in your research. Simply, you will write about what you do, rather that writing about what others have produced.
Note: A maximum of 3 months extension may be granted for the Dissertation submission.


Assessment 
All modules are assessed by coursework 100%


  Download Programme Leaflet

 

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