Browser does not support script.

Postgraduate Course

Professional Accounting MSc

Further your knowledge of accounting standards, procedures and practices. This course is the next step towards your career as a qualified accountant.

 A person working from a on a laptop and reading a book

Boost your CV with an MSc qualification, while also putting yourself in the best possible position to sit the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) final four Strategic Professional examination papers.

Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)

  • A logo

York campus

  • Duration – 18 months full time, 3 years part time
  • Start date – September 2022
  • School – York Business School

Minimum Entry Requirements

    2:2 in an undergraduate degree from a UK ENIC listed institution

    Experience Current or recent work experience

Tuition Fees

    UK 2022-23 £12,000 full time

    International 2022-23 N/A full time

Discover why York St John University is The One

Course overview

On this Professional Accountancy MSc you will investigate the strategic financial issues that are most important for accountants. This will cover management accounting, financial accounting and corporate finance. You will build your understanding of the theory and practice of accounting, as well as gaining critical thinking skills which are valued in any profession. This course will provide you with the skills necessary for a successful career in accounting within any sector.

You will also address wider business issues, giving you a broad understanding of management and leadership in accountancy contexts.

We will focus on the role of accountants within the context of business sustainability, corporate social responsibility and ethics. This will help you to go on to have an effective role in business organisations as a responsible and ethical accountant.

Our teaching combines theoretical learning with practical application, and our assessment methods mirror real organisational activities. You will engage with contemporary research in accounting, and learn to apply this to find solutions to real workplace challenges.

We encourage the sharing of knowledge and experience between students and staff with a wide range of professional backgrounds. This fosters a collaborative learning community which will provide both support and varied perspectives throughout your study.

Course structure

How you will study

You can study this postgraduate course full time or part time. This allows you to fit your studies around other commitments.

If you choose to study full time the course will take 1 year to complete, or 2 if you choose a year in industry. You will study:

  • 8 compulsory modules, including an extended Professional Accounting

If you choose to study part time the course will take 2 years to complete and the modules will be split across both years.

You can find out which modules are available in each term in the Course Specifications.


Credits: 15

Compulsory module

On this module you will develop your management accounting skills, so you are able to use them at a strategic level in various business contexts. You will learn to evaluate the performance of various types of business organisation at a strategic level, and identify the key influences on organisational performance. The topics you will cover include:

  • Environmental influences on business
  • Advanced budgeting
  • Performance management and reporting
  • Corporate failure
  • Environmental management accounting

Credits: 15

Compulsory module

This module lets you familiarise yourself with the research expectations of postgraduate study. You will develop a thorough understanding of the research process and advance your skills in this area. We will support you in identifying a specialist business topic which you would like to specialise in and developing a proposal for your own research investigation. We will also introduce you to many of the interconnected contemporary issues that will are essential for the study of business.

Credits: 15

Compulsory module

On this module you will explore the relationships between business and society in an uncertain world. You will expand your understanding of the theoretical and practical issues relating to sustainable business, and engage with the current debates taking place in this field. You will evaluate issues of sustainability in the context of environmental, social and economic needs, and consider how these may differ at national and global levels.

Credits: 15

Compulsory module

On this module you will develop the skills required of a senior finance executive. You will learn about:

  • The role of a senior financial advisor in a multinational organisation
  • Risk and investment appraisal
  • Treasury functions
  • Managing risk
  • Hedging, foreign exchange risk and interest rate risk
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Business valuation

Credits: 15

Compulsory module

On this module you will develop a knowledge and appreciation of contemporary global economic and business issues, and the challenges they can pose for managers. You will engage with current events and the debates surrounding them, considering how they impact on both internal and external business environments. Through this you will have an opportunity to apply the theory you have been learning to topical events occurring in the world today.

Credits: 30

Compulsory module

On this module you will explore corporate reporting from the perspective of a variety of external stakeholders, including providers of finance. You will learn to use professional judgement when evaluating recognition, measurement and presentation decisions. You will consider the professional and ethical responsibilities of the professional accountant, as well as the consequences of unethical behaviour. You will also investigate emerging issues within accounting regulation and corporate reporting, which will provide a personal research opportunity.

Credits: 30

Compulsory module

This module will prepare you for organisational leadership or senior consultancy. There will be a focus on leadership, professionalism, ethics and corporate governance. You will develop your ability to evaluate strategic options, applying your existing knowledge and skills to this task. The module will help you to build valuable professional skills in communication, analysis and evaluation.

Credits: 45

Optional module

This module represents the final section of your course. It is an opportunity to carry out your own in depth research in an area of accountancy and finance which interests you, which will be agreed with your supervisor. This will mean planning, designing and conducting your own individual project. You will also collect, analyse, interpret and evaluate the data you gather, and present your findings. You will be supported throughout this process through workshops and 1:1 sessions with your supervisor.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and learning

All of your modules will be taught using a variety of different teaching sessions. This includes:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Guest speakers
  • Workshops
  • Events

Each module has a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE, where you and other postgraduate students will benefit from online debate and collaborative approaches to learning.

Our teaching draws on both our research and professional experience. This means your learning is informed by the most current thinking in the subject area. You can find out more about our research and backgrounds by visiting our staff pages.


We use a variety of assessment types, which help you to develop skills relevant to the workplace. This includes:

  • Presentations
  • Critical essays
  • Portfolios
  • Reflective journals
  • Case study work

You will receive feedback on your work throughout each module. This will help you to improve your work for your graded assessments. We will advise you on developing your skills, useful areas for research and how to extend your business knowledge further. 

Entry requirements


Minimum Entry Requirements

    2:2 in an undergraduate degree from a UK ENIC listed institution

    Experience Current or recent work experience

If your degree is in an unrelated subject, but you can provide evidence of relevant professional experience, your application may still be considered.

International Students

This course is not open to international students.

Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL)

If you do not have traditional qualifications, you might be able to provide evidence of professional experience in the subject as an alternative way to meet the entry requirements. This is called Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL). Appropriate references and records of employment would need to be presented to support your case for admission. 

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. You can read them on our Admissions page.

Fees and Funding

UK 2022 - 2023 entry

The tuition fee for 2022 entry to this postgraduate course is:

  • £12,000 for full time study
  • £6,000 per year for part time study

These costs apply to all UK, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

Postgraduate loans are available to help you pay for your master’s course. Find out more about funding your postgraduate studies.

Funding opportunities

International 2022 - 2023 entry

This course is not open to international students.

Tuition Fees

    UK 2022-23 £12,000 full time

    International 2022-23 N/A full time

Alumni Scholarships

If you are alumni of York St John University we have scholarships available to help you continue your studies.

Scholarships for alumni

Additional costs and financial support

Course-related costs

While studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

Accommodation and living costs

View our accommodation pages for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.

Career outcomes

Where could Professional Accounting take you?

This course is ideal if you would like to pursue a career in accounting. On graduation you will be in a good position to sit the final four Strategic Professional examination papers of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and gain Chartered status. You could then go into an accounting role in any organisation.

As well as preparing you for a career in Accounting, the skills you develop on this course would also be useful in a career as an:

  • External auditor
  • Stockbroker
  • Actuary
  • Data analyst
  • Arbitrator
  • Procurement manager

Stand out from the crowd with postgraduate study.

Far fewer people have postgraduate degrees than undergraduate qualifications. This gives you something extra to set yourself apart in a competitive graduate job market. Those with a postgraduate qualification will earn an average of £8,000 a year more than those with only an undergraduate degree. (Department For Education Graduate Labour Market Report 2019)

Our careers service, LaunchPad, provides career support tailored to your ambitions. Through this service you can access:

  • Employer events
  • LinkedIn, CV and cover letter sessions
  • Workshops on application writing and interview skills
  • Work experience and volunteering opportunities
  • Personalised career advice

This support does not end when you graduate. You can access our expert career advice for the rest of your life. We will help you gain the experience and confidence you need to succeed.

Apply for this course

Applications are not yet open for 2022 entry on this course. Please check back here closer to the time for application links.

When applications do open, you will need to apply to us directly through a link on this page. To complete the online application form you will need to create login details.

Course highlights

More to explore

students looking at map on a desk

Discover postgraduate study

Campus buildings and gardens on Lord Mayors Walk

Why choose York St John?

Get in touch

Cookie Settings